31,767 reputation
251108
bio website math.mit.edu/~shor
location Cambridge, MA
age 55
visits member for 3 years, 5 months
seen 6 mins ago

I'm a professor in the Mathematics Dept. at M.I.T. I mostly work on quantum computation, quantum information, and quantum complexity, but I am also interested in other areas of theoretical computer science and mathematics.


2h
comment That vs. who for “police”
MS Word doesn't understand grammar; "who" is correct.
3h
comment “I won't stay longer than I can help” or “longer than I can't help”?
I think you've identified an illogical expression, along the lines of "I could care less" rather than "I couldn't care less". For "unless I can't help it", people use both "can" and "can't", and searching in Google books it seems roughly 50-50.
19h
comment Should we say “the sun is risen.” or “the sun has risen”?
It's perfectly acceptable 19th century English; you're 250 years off. See Google Ngram (although I admit it was also used in the King James Bible).
19h
comment Grammar in proverbs
@Dan Bron: "tomorrow come never" was indeed a 19th-century English "saying" (see my answer). I am baffled as to how to interpret the grammar. I suppose the verb could be subjunctive, but that doesn't really make sense to me. Some sources spell it "tomorrow-come-never", which I expect shows they were also baffled by the grammar.
19h
comment Recommended pronunciation of international English for foreigners
@Janus: that's true. But you mentioned the American flapped t, and I think that's liable to confuse non-Americans (it even occasionally confuses Americans, since it near-merges /t/ and /d/), whereas the standard /t/ shouldn't confuse anybody.
20h
comment Recommended pronunciation of international English for foreigners
@Janus: I see no reason to make an effort to pronounce intervocalic /t/ as a flap (unless you want to sound like a native speaker of American English); /t/ is perfectly comprehensible to Americans, even if it marks you as a foreigner. If you do it naturally after listening to American English, that's a different matter. Similarly, you should not use the pin/pen merger since that even confuses Americans who live in regions that don't have it.
1d
comment Are these default questions about events correct grammatically?
"When is the Tour de France started?" doesn't sound very idiomatic, either.
1d
comment Noun form of verb “decline”
There's also the noun decline, but that doesn't mean "refusal", either.
1d
comment “small room” vs. “little room” / “big room” vs. “large room”
But note that "bigger cup" and "larger knife" are not mistakes; they're just slightly less likely alternative ways to say the same thing.
1d
answered Grammar in proverbs
2d
comment When did a mother giving birth become the deliverer instead of the deliveree?
If you search Google books for "delivered a child", in the 19th century, it's always a doctor or a midwife delivering the child. In the early 20th century, you see that some mothers have started delivering their own children. But in the 19th century, it's doctors either delivering a child of a woman, or delivering a woman of a child.
2d
comment What is the correct suffix for someone or something from “Bonaire”?
Wouldn't these be pronounced the same way? So it's just a variant spelling.
2d
comment He “lights his a cigarette”
The 1908 Methuen and Co. edition is correct. From Google Books. Since they wouldn't have re-typeset it (except to fix errors) between 1908 and 1912, I suspect the error was introduced by project Gutenberg.
2d
comment He “lights his a cigarette”
This 1907 edition doesn't have the "his". Since it was an 1895 play, I suspect it's an error introduced in a modern edition.
Aug
24
comment Intransitive verbs with preposition in passive sentences
@Janus: You can do it, but sometimes it comes out sounding funny. "She fainted at the sight of blood," but usually not "The sight of blood was fainted at" (unless you're aiming for a comic effect).
Aug
24
comment “While standing” vs. “stood”
I agree that the OP's sentences don't sound right, but I don't think you've identified the correct reason.
Aug
24
comment “While standing” vs. “stood”
If you can stand criticism, why can't you stand pessimism? Presumably the intended definition of stand is this one: 2b : to tolerate without flinching : bear courageously <stands pain well>. Why doesn't it work with pessimism? And if this is the intended definition, put up with would be much better than any of your suggested corrections.
Aug
24
comment When did a mother giving birth become the deliverer instead of the deliveree?
No, there are two questions here. The mother appears to have started out as the object of the verb deliver. The two questions are: (a) when did the baby become acceptable as the object of the verb deliver? (b) when did the mother become acceptable as the subject of the verb deliver? I think there are several centuries difference between the answers (ca 1580 vs. ca 1900).
Aug
24
comment Intransitive verbs with preposition in passive sentences
Lots of intransitive verbs with prepositions can be put into the passive. They're still considered intransitive verbs.
Aug
24
comment Difference between IPA ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ
As an aside, I say /ˈmʌðɚɹɪŋ/ and not /ˈmʌðəɹɪŋ/. However, no dictionaries use this notation, presumably because this is not a phonetic distinction that could possibly discriminate between two words in English. (Well … maybe not; shut a ring and shuttering would be a minimal pair here for me.) But this might be relevant since the OP is asking about how to correct his pronunciation.