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Jun
27
comment Word for where speakers and honoree sit at a comedic roast?
No Red Buttons? What kind of roast is that, where everybody got a dinner?
Jun
27
comment Use “of” or “for” with Institute, Department, Office…?
Use the official name as published, since it varies. For instance, Canada currently has a Minister of Foreign Affairs, but it used to have a Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs doing the same job.
Jun
26
comment “No less than” when referring to non-quantities
It is an awkward sentence, and I don't think very many writers would write it that way. The formula is A requires B no less than [it requires] C, but the omitted repetition of the verb does make the sentence a hard read. There are much more felicitous phrasings available.
Jun
26
comment How to say one minute past midnight in military time?
In fact, in formal military radio communications (at least within NATO), it would be rendered "figures: zero zero zero one", with a specified pronunciation of zero (ZEE-ro) and a slight pause between each of the numbers. Ambiguity, or the potential for it, is not tolerated.
Jun
24
comment Etymology of certain words ending in “-en”
You want victims? How about chicken, which is not even use as a plural anymore, let alone as the plural for immature hens and cocks.
Jun
24
comment Should a translated quote be delimited by double quotes?
The fetish for exactness is novel; until well into the twentieth century, transcribed speech (as opposed to translated) quotations would routinely be tidied up even in "hard news". One needs to make significant adjustments before it becomes paraphrasing. Accuracy does not imply honesty; clever quote mining can put just about anything into anyone's mouth.
Jun
24
comment Etymology of “mortgage” and “deed”. Are they both related to “death”?
Indeed, a deed is a type of contract whose very creation requires a specific action, or deed (historically, "signed, sealed and delivered").
Jun
19
comment Definite article, repetition in lists
They are all understood to have the definite article, barring interference (one cannot apply the to John simply because one never applies the to John unless one is distinguishing between multipe Johns).
Jun
19
comment Single word for “this is why”
No, it doesn't - but neither does "thus" answer "how?" Your "when" and "where" examples offer a single-word value that answers the question. All of the others require additional information. If you have a single-word reason, then it will answer "why?"
Jun
19
comment Single word for “this is why”
@AndyHasIt - you can also say "because" and point. There is an archaic use of therefore (which answers wherefore), but therefore has semantically drifted to meaning something more like "it follows that" (sequitur) than the original "because".
Jun
19
comment What does “pay the graces” mean?
To my ear, "I've kept it all clean" suggests that the "graces" in question are the social graces. I don't know if the "paying graces" idiom is anything like current, though; it's the sort of thing that sounded old when my grandmother said it 50 years ago.
Jun
18
comment “force kill” vs “forcibly kill”
You are also not "killing a process forcibly" but "forcing the killing of a process" (using a procedure that may or may not be called "kill" formally on the platform) rather than, say, queuing a request to terminate when the machine finds it convenient (often because the process will ensure that it is never a convenient time).
Jun
14
comment Different prononunciations of “consummate”
@BrianDonovan - Believe it or not, as you will, there are a lot of non-native users of English hereabouts. Humour is fair game (as is wordplay) - $_DEITY knows I've committed a bit of it myself here - but promoting confusion isn't.
Jun
14
comment Different prononunciations of “consummate”
@BrianDonovan - are you referring to consommé?
Jun
11
comment “I and Jane” or “me and Jane”?
Oddly, me in a compound subject wasn't "incorrect" or "ungrammatical" until Robert Lowth's A Short Introduction to English Grammar. The use of I in such cases has merely been made conventional (just as its position of conspicuous humility has been). If they stopped teaching that usage in schools, it would be gone in a generation. It's not real grammar.
Jun
11
comment “I and Jane” or “me and Jane”?
@JonHanna - Yes. The old schoolteacher's suggestion to remove everybody else before deciding which pronoun to use actually changes the underlying grammatical construction, so it doesn't work. The rules of Latin do not apply to English.
Jun
10
comment “I and Jane” or “me and Jane”?
Sorry about the tone. My previous comment was just a bit flippant. The major cues are spontaneous usage by children who have acquired grammar and the frequency with which constructs are used in dialects other than The Standard. When almost everybody makes the same "mistake", it's probably not a mistake, regardless of the opinions of people like Hugh Jones, Robert Lowth, Lindley Murray, William Cobbett or their spiritual heirs, successors and assigns. Much of what they had to say stemmed from a desire to make Latin and Greek easier to learn for people who were literate in English.
Jun
10
comment “I and Jane” or “me and Jane”?
Try Huddleston and Pullum or Pinker. This isn't exactly a new or an odd concept.
Jun
10
comment Open vs Open Itself
... and English, unlike most European languages, does not share in the fetish for inherent reflexives. We simply remember; we don't remember ourselves.
Jun
7
comment What's the British equivalent of American “Formica” for faux wood?
Just to clarify, "Formica" is a brand name for what is more generically called "laminate". (It was a resin-and-paper-based replacement for mica, or, more properly, mica-impregnated linoleum sheeting.) Like Band-Aid (or Elastoplast in some regions) for sticking plaster, the brand became the generic term for a class of products. It doesn't imply faux wood; geometric elements (scattered lines, circles and diamond patterns) and faux stone prints were far more common except for a short period (approximately coinciding with the terrible reign of avocado and harvest gold appliances).