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Jul
25
comment What's this word?
@tchrist - Actually, enough context was given to provide a meaning, as well as a rough idea of what the word sounds like (which beats the heck out of the usual "it starts with a U or an M or something"). It's every bit as valid a question as any of the other "single word please" questions that have ever been posted here.
Jul
25
awarded  Enthusiast
Jul
24
comment “You are” vs. “you're” — what is the difference between them?
If there is a difference (outside of the most formal usage), it is that you are (and other forms that don't use contractions) are more emphatic and separable. You are going to be doing it makes a slightly different point from You are going to be doing it.
Jul
17
comment Shalln't vs. Shan't in British English
"Shall" and "shall not" (in any form) are pretty much restricted to explicit speech and formal writing in North American English now (the "will" future marker has almost completely displaced it in common usage). In explicit use, the not is stressed, so it's rarely heard as a contraction except as an affectation.
Jul
17
answered When to repeat a paragraph?
Jul
16
comment Two types of sound for letter L?
If you record someone saying "oil" and play it backwards, it sounds almost exactly the same. The terminal ell is essentially a vowel; it only assumes "ellness" when it's immediately followed by another vowel, which initiates the release.
Jul
16
answered What does “dot” mean in this sentence?
Jul
15
comment When to use the abverbial form of maximal: maximally?
I agree, @tchrist, but there is a fine distinction in this case. Maximal would not work, even though it can be argued that it is somehow "legal" as a modifier of value. It really feels as if the word needed is playing the part of a noun in this sentence, and I can't articulate why. (That's why systematic descriptions of the grammars of natural languages are hard. There is very likely a way to tree this sentence that makes maximum obviously necessary if you invoke enough rules and corollaries.)
Jul
15
answered When to use the abverbial form of maximal: maximally?
Jul
15
awarded  Nice Answer
Jul
14
answered Word for a person being used
Jul
14
answered the use of the word “Bastard”
Jul
14
comment Laid—Had Laid … Which is correct?
@joeblow That's just a little bit weird in literature. We almost never write in the present tense; even if the action is "right now", it's almost always in the immediate past except in dialogue (and then we'll put the dialogue into the past with something like he said).
Jul
13
comment How did nominal come to mean “within acceptable tolerances”?
(Please forgive and in place of an in my original comment. My typing-related parts will get a stern talking-to later.)
Jul
13
comment How did nominal come to mean “within acceptable tolerances”?
The question here is: "How and when did definition #4 arise?"
Jul
13
comment How did nominal come to mean “within acceptable tolerances”?
@Frank - Exactly, and I'm saying that that use of nominal was probably extended by familiar usage within the engineering community, which is why it now means "within specs".
Jul
13
comment How did nominal come to mean “within acceptable tolerances”?
It is very likely (but not certainly, thus this being a comment rather than an an answer) and extension of its use in describing parts and so forth. A nominal "6 volt" battery will only provide exactly 6V under certain specific load, temperature and age conditions, a nominal "2 by 4" is 1½ by 3½ inches (more or less) and may never have been 2 by 4 even before dressing, and so on.
Jul
11
comment 'as of' in ‘Excusal as of right’
Just as a general comment here: many of the terms and turns of phrase you are asking about here have very narrow, specific and technical meanings established of hundreds of years of legal use; they don't necessarily correspond with ordinary usage in any way (and you may even find "false friends" in common use). They often give trouble to native speakers of English who have never delved into legal language. Use legal references/dictionaries, not common English language references.
Jul
11
comment What is the origin of “dox” and “doxing”?
Old newsgroup/BBS stuff lost in the mists of time, usually to do with software (and, more than occasionally, the cracks thereof) followed by the less-sociable practice of exposing personal/confidential information on 4chan and similar fora. As a noun, it's "documents"; as a verb, it's "dropping (posting) documents".
Jul
10
comment Why is there “Black English” but not “White English”?
Those dialects don't differ significantly in terms of grammar; the grammar of North Preston is almost indistinguishable from the grammar of black Georgia. The vocabularies differ significantly, but not the grammar.