28,771 reputation
2172
bio website
location England, United Kingdom
age
visits member for 3 years, 8 months
seen 2 days ago

Apr
15
comment Does the etymology of the word “government” mean “to control the mind”?
The French adverbial suffix -ment does indeed derive from the Latin word (not suffix) mente, ablative of mens "mind". The nominal suffix -ment already existed as a suffix (-mentum) in Latin, and I have always understood that it is a thematic extension of the neuter nominalising suffix -men (as in nomen "name = that by which something is known" and flumen "river = that which flows") which is of Indo-European age (cf Greek -ma eg "dogma = that which is taught", Russian -mya, eg vremya "time", and English -m eg gleam = "that which glows".
Apr
15
comment Is “something appetite” correct as a noun?
The The Commercial is a common pub-name in Yorkshire, where I now live.
Apr
15
comment Principle Of Life
No, principle does not mean beginning. One of the meanings of Latin principium was beginning, but that tells you approximately nothing about the meaning of any English word.
Apr
15
comment Is it “Bride Weds Groom” or “Groom Weds Bride”?
"Wed" is very uncommon in ordinary use, including on wedding announcements. "Marry" is a more normal word.
Apr
13
answered Is the English-speaking Internet community moving towards Americanized spelling?
Mar
31
comment Usage of the future subjunctive
@tchrist: I agree with you, but Alexander Gil didn't. In his Logonomia Anglica of 1616, (one of the first grammars of English), he solemnly lists the paradigm of the "future subjunctive", which goes "that I may be hereafter"; "that thou mayst be hereafter" etc,.
Mar
30
comment Is there a rule for pronouncing “th” at the beginning of a word?
In my idiolect (and I think most accents from England, but I'm not so sure about Scotland), "with" always has [ð].
Mar
30
comment Origin of plurality of “wars” in phrases like “Star Wars”
I think this may well be a snowclone: with one exception, all the examples I can think of are either science fictional, or metaphorical. The exception is "The Wars of the Roses".
Mar
30
comment Quantification of Frequency Adverbs
That's not the way language works. Bradd Szonye has pointed out problems with you table in particular; but there's another dimension of difficulty, in that meaning often depends on contextual and extra-linguistic factors, such as the social context and the degree to which the interlocutors know each other.
Mar
26
comment Why did the KJV use “thou” toward God?
I can't make head or tail of this answer, most of which seems to be irrelevant to the question. I find the question clear, and one which has often occurred to me. Even if English were a creole (which I dispute) how is that relevant to the question? Thou was indeed in use for intimates and subordinates in Middle and Early Modern English, corresponding to tu, du etc in other languages; and for a Modern English speaker who knows it only historically it can indeed seem strange to address the deity in that way.
Mar
26
comment Is writing “My English is not the best around” wrong?
I don't find anything in "My English is not the best around" that suggests Eastern Europe (in fact, the reverse, because most Eastern European languages do not have articles corresponding to "the"). On the contrary, as Neil de Baudrap says in a comment, this is informal, idiomatic English.
Mar
26
comment active-passive voice related question
In English, intransitive verbs (those that don't take an object) cannot be put in the passive. "Leave" can be transitive ("Leave this house at once") but isn't in this example. (And in case anybody asks, "Leave this house at once" could have a passive: "Be left at once", talking to the house; but it isn't very likely).
Mar
26
comment What is the plural of “scenario”?
It's not Latin. And the only way you could get to scenaria would be by projecting the Italian word back to a (non-existent, as far as I know) Latin word scenarium, of which scenaria would indeed be the plural.
Mar
16
comment What does “matriculated” mean in following para?
None of the meanings of matriculate in the OED make sense without an explicit or implicit mention of what the person is matriculating into; so I suspect that this use relates to some institution which is not specifically mentioned in the quotation, so requires more context.
Mar
16
comment What does “matriculated” mean in following para?
It would be very helpful if you would give us an indication of when this comes from, and especially from what date. It is either quite old, or possibly pretending to be old - and if the latter, the author may simply have got the language wrong.
Mar
12
comment How is the English Subjunctive Composed?
Insofar as I can penetrate your verbiage and discursive examples, you seem to be using "subjunctive" in a highly idiosyncratic way, inspired by but not corresponding with any traditional interpretation of the word that I am familiar with.
Mar
6
comment Why is “distro”, rather than “distri”, short for “distribution” in Linux world?
Distro is also used in electrical installation (at least in the theatre world, which is the only part I have direct knowledge of).
Mar
6
comment Difference between would and will
@Drew: actually, I meant idiomatic in the sense of normal in everyday speech, rather relating to an idiom in its special meaning. But since you ask, I think it is not exactly an idiom, but a pattern: to appear more polite by avoiding direct statement, and using would as a buffer.
Mar
4
comment -ness suffix etymology
You're right that -nost' is a common suffix for abstract nouns in Slavonic languages, and I too have wondered whether it might share an origin with -ness. But I don't think your nesti theory works semantically; and creating a suffix out of an independent root is exceedingly rare (though it has happened in the Romance languages, which use suffixes derived from Latin mente (originally "with [an XXX] mind") for adverbs).
Mar
4
answered Repeat vs Repetition - are they exactly the same?