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Feb
8
comment “Dial M for Murder” meaning
My local exchange, when I was a kid, was OXford 2 (692-[number here]). (Within the exchange, you could drop the OXford when dialing.) I doubt that dialing 6 in New Orleans would have gotten you very far.
Feb
3
awarded  Enlightened
Feb
3
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Jan
19
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Dec
21
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Dec
21
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Dec
16
awarded  Good Answer
Nov
26
comment Why is “forward slash” not spelled “forwardslash”?
When I was a computing kid, many, many moons ago, in a world before CP/M, the reverse solidus was called hack.
Nov
21
comment How far back in time could I travel and still be understood?
That linked Prologue is a long way off. Most of the a instances (particularly in the word and) should be rendered as [æ] (or [ɐ], depending on stress and position) rather than [a] or [ɑ], the e is usually [e] or [ɛ] rather than a schwa in stressed syllables, the o was already starting to head towards [u] (raising) in some "little words", and the t in vertu should probably not be rendered as [tʃ] (that seems to be recent, since naïve spelling much later indicates that the phantom y characteristic of some British and Canadian dialects that caused it hadn't arisen yet).
Nov
21
comment What is the grammatical function of 'Celsius' in “ten degrees Celsius”?
It's more like the difference between avoirdupois and Troy when talking about ounces (weight). Degrees is the number of things, Celsius (or Fahrenheit) is the size and scale of the things you're talking about.
Nov
17
comment Does “five hundredth” mean 0.05 or 1/500?
@JanusBahsJacquet - The number written in numerals as "100" is normally pronounced fully as "one hundred"; the number written as "20" is very rarely (and incorrectly) pronounced as "one twenty" (although "one score" would be fine). That means that "five one-hundredths" is also acceptable, where "five one-twentieths" would not be.
Nov
9
comment Term for nicknames with different first letter
Just to add: names that begin with a vowel may have been rebracketed (a word-boundary shift) to begin with an N in the diminutive (such as Anne→Nan, Edward→Ned, Ellen→Nell) because the first and second person possessives ended in an n (mine, thine), in much the same way as thine eke name is now your nickname.
Nov
2
comment Pronunciation of “catch”
I submit in evidence Perry Como's 1957 recording of Catch a Falling Star, which used /kɛtʃ/ without arousing anyone's ire. An awful lot of speakers use /kɛtʃ/ and /kætʃ/ interchangeably without realising they're doing it; they'll use /kætʃ/ in Catch this! and /kɛtʃ/ in Didja catch it? in almost the same breath.
Nov
2
comment How do you pronounce “O'Nions”?
@nohat - No, it's about how one person (or one branch of a family) pronounces the name. By the standards of ordinary Anglified spelling of Gaelic names, he pronounces it incorrectly.
Nov
2
comment How do you pronounce “xth”?
The only ones that would actually be difficult to pronounce are fth, hth, mth, sth and xth. (The "th" is hard to enunciate with zed, but easy to produce.) The rest sound weird because they're not "real" words and are unfamiliar outside of the narrow contexts in which their use would be more-or-less mandatory (speaking about mathematics, where an arbitrary member of a sequence need to be named). I'm sure that if the original namers of our letters had known what sort of nonsense we were going to get up to, they'd have given some of them more felicitous names.
Nov
1
comment What's that robber's thing called?
Neckerchief would be familiar to people who've been through the Scouting system (at least in the Commonwealth; I don't know about the US). Apart from that, it's about as current as puttees or spats.
Oct
31
comment Two grammatical problems in the lyrics of “Colors of the wind”
@user13267 - No, the second use is "just dirt and rocks and stuff". If the planet was implied on that occasion, it would still have a definite article.
Oct
24
comment What is the name of the profession of car body repairing
Panel beater would certainly not be out of place in Canada, although it's not as current as it once was. (It's also harder to find young people who call a sofa a Chesterfield these days.) Carriage maker may also be seen at the high end of the trade, particularly among those who do as much custom work as repairs.
Oct
10
comment What is the difference between “up in here” and “in here”? And what does “up in here” mean?
@MichaelRader - Speaking "actual English" is not exclusive of dialect(s), and a grammar that is not the grammar of your native dialect (or of your regional "standard dialect") does not illegitimize the dialect. "Up" as an indication of the familiar is a long-standing part of AAVE, even if rap is what brought it to your attention. It is not slang.
Oct
10
comment New way of understanding the present perfect tense
Note, too, that young John could as easily be playing word games. Yes, I have done my homework doesn't necessarily mean that he has done the homework he was to have done today, he could simply mean that homework is something that he has done in the past. A wise parent will follow up on that response. Language is hard.