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"Semi-retired" from English.SE for now. It was a lot of fun for a few months, but it's too addictive.


Apr
2
comment What do you call the child who doesn’t resemble his / her parents in English?
@JoeBlow: No I didn't misunderstand you, and I wasn't thinking that. I was pointing out that, just as western people seem to think that of appearance or ability is "politically incorrect", but their minds freely wander to infidelity, the Japanese may be the opposite. It's just a matter of which aspects a culture decides are taboo; it's not a matter of one being unequivocally "less PC" than the other.
Apr
2
comment What do you call the child who doesn’t resemble his / her parents in English?
You interpret this an example of Japanese being "incredibly less politically correct" than English, but I can also see it as the opposite. Many responses here immediately jump to thinking of infidelity on the part of the woman, whereas the Japanese are comfortable talking of the simple fact of nature that children do not always resemble their parents in every respect (in "face, figure and temper" as the OP says), without any implicit innuendo about infidelity. (The OP seems to have needed to add "though they are their parents' real child" to the question, having not thought of it before.)
Mar
28
comment What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English?
@JoeBlow: Ah ok. :-) Sorry for any misunderstanding; I wasn't in the best mood yesterday. I actually agree that there aren't any common terms in English either: I've updated the answer to say that.
Mar
28
revised What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English?
no consistent terminology
Mar
27
comment What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English?
@JoeBlow: Finally, I'm not sure why you're seeking personal information about me. (You can look at my profile to see my other answers on this website.) If you really need to know, I can tell you (English is the medium of all my education, the language I'm most comfortable in, and I find the notion of "native speaker" one that imperfectly captures one's proficiency in a language, e.g. given that it's native speakers who make more mistakes of the your/you're, their/they're type), but this is a strange question to encounter on the internet.
Mar
27
comment What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English?
@JoeBlow: Sorry I didn't notice you had posted an answer: I was only notified of your comments here, and I additionally looked at your comment on Matt's answer because you pointed me to it, and in neither place did I see your view that there is no consistent term. That may well be the case, but as the answer above shows, at least one term that exists is "tabs", and it has enough support in books. Other terms may also have some support. To take X more seriously than Y is to give it more importance than Y.
Mar
27
comment What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English?
@JoeBlow: You didn't answer: What have you heard them referred to as? :-) And in any case the number of people playing jigsaw puzzles is much larger than those constructing them, so it's not clear that the terminology used by programmers should be taken more seriously than that used by those marketing, playing, or studying jigsaw puzzles.
Mar
27
comment What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English?
@JoeBlow: What does software engineering have to do with jigsaw puzzles? And what have you heard them referred to as? When I did the search back when I posted the answer, I did find an overwhelming majority of sources use "tabs", as I said in the answer.
Mar
13
comment Usage of 'at' and 'in' for cities
@mplungjan: I'm from India and I have never heard of sitting on a table (except of course the standard meaning, of actually sitting atop it). Sitting on a chair, yes.
Jan
17
comment “Do the media…” or “Does the media”?
@Susan: Fair enough. I agree as you have pointed out that there are two issues in "do the media": one, whether each medium is being considered separately (as in "do the different media have different effects on their readers/listeners/viewers?"), and two, whether we use "formal agreement" (as always in AmE) or "notional agreement" (as often in BrE). So the answer to the question is probably that the latter is being used. Indeed, searching online for "do the media exploit" throws up mostly BrE sources. However, it is also possible (as I guess you think) that it may be confusion with the former.
Jan
17
comment “Do the media…” or “Does the media”?
@Susan: What is "Inclusive English"? Of course American publications are more numerous than British, so unless you've filtered that out in your ngram statistics, the results are irrelevant to the issue at hand (on top of all the usual issues with ngram statistics).
Jan
17
comment “Do the media…” or “Does the media”?
You claim that "We do not say, do the public approve of these restrictions?", but of course we do. (Unless "we" refers only to speakers of American English.) This is a well-known difference (consider "the committee were unable to agree", "Spain are the champions", etc). Just do a Google search for phrases like "do the public approve", or "what do the public think" to see lots more examples.
Dec
28
comment Is there a word for “air can pass through it”?
@JAB: There are a lot of "X-able" adjectives where X is not a verb (like miserable, formidable, hospitable): my remark was only about the cases where X is indeed a verb (and unambiguously a verb: I'd say comfortable comes from the noun comfort), in which case the productive suffix -able usually has a consistent meaning. (Your flammable and inflammable would be counterexamples if they were produced as "can flame" and "can inflame", which is not the case—*inflammable* came first, with meaning indeed (roughly) "can be inflamed", and then flammable was coined.)
Dec
27
comment Is there a word for “air can pass through it”?
@tchrist: Often the suffix "able" works on a verb X to form adjective "X-able" meaning "something that can be X-ed": "eatable = something that can be eaten", "readable=can be read", "applicable=can be applied", "respectable=can be respected", "admirable=be admired", "desirable=be desired", "tolerable=be tolerated", "acceptable=be accepted", "conceivable=be conceived", "separable=be separated", etc. But instead of "can be breathed" (as in "breathable atmosphere"), here in fabrics "breathable = can breathe", which ("can X") does not follow the generally understood meaning of the suffix.
Dec
21
comment What is meant by “steep learning curve”?
@timpone: Firstly it doesn't matter, because the meaning of "learning curve" is well-defined. Anyway, just to humour you, if we adopt your axes, I'm pointing that "steep" means a large increase in y-axis for a small increase in x-axis. Do you doubt this? So this means a large increase in effectiveness after a small increase in number of facts.
Dec
21
comment What is meant by “steep learning curve”?
@timpone: The term "learning curve" has a well-established meaning for a century, and you cannot change what it means. (By the way, even with your axes, "steep" means that you very rapidly gain effectiveness after just a few facts.)
Dec
17
awarded  Enlightened
Dec
17
awarded  Good Answer
Dec
17
awarded  Nice Answer
Nov
26
comment Does the suffix in “lipolysis” and “ketosis” have the same meaning in both the words?
@Geo: Thanks for the clarification!