1,386 reputation
826
bio website seamusbradley.net
location Munich, Germany
age 28
visits member for 3 years, 7 months
seen Dec 6 '13 at 13:36

profile for Seamus on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites

I am a postdoc in philosophy.

I contribute to a blog for philosophers who use LaTeX. If you fall in to that niche, check it out: PhilTeX. (The blog will be of use to all kind of humanities scholars using LaTeX, I imagine, but it was started by, and is run by philosophers...) The blog is currently defunct, but may be resurrected soon.

I made this beamer colour change package that slowly changes the colour of structure elements of beamer presentations. Feedback welcome. I also made this moreenum package which adds new enumeration options. The TeX goodies page of my website includes some other bits and bobs I've done.


Sep
4
answered Are there sentences in languages which use grammatical gender that lose meaning when translated into English?
Sep
4
comment Why do some words have two past tense forms (e.g. “dreamed” vs. “dreamt”)?
My understanding was that "proven" even in British English was fairly outdated and normally reserved for when using "prove" to mean "test" rather than "demonstrate"
Sep
4
comment Examples of different roots (and different meanings) coming to be spelled the same
@Shinto Sherlock I'm trying to work out what you meant by your first comment. I don't see how it's relevant to the question I asked.
Sep
4
comment Regarding Re: ; what is the correct usage in an email subject line?
You missed a golden opportunity to call this question "Re: "Re:""
Sep
4
comment Examples of different roots (and different meanings) coming to be spelled the same
@Shinto Sherlock I don't see how these words' rarity is at all relevant
Sep
4
comment What does “graduate applicant” mean?
@Rowland Shaw I'm not sure what you mean. Whatever "graduate applicant" is supposed to mean, I don't think it should refer to undergraduates... There doesn't seem to be a relationship worth mentioning.
Sep
3
asked Examples of different roots (and different meanings) coming to be spelled the same
Sep
3
comment Spaghetti and gravy
You need to work on your acceptance rate. Seriously
Sep
3
comment Colons and semi-colons
It seems there's a grey area between using a colon to indicate that the second sentence is expanding on the first, and using a semicolon to indicate that the two sentences are related. Could someone clarify?
Sep
3
comment What is an appropriate response to “what's up” greeting?
Related point: The correct response to someone going "waaazzzzzaaaaap!?" is to punch them in the face. Hard.
Sep
2
awarded  Editor
Sep
2
comment What does “graduate applicant” mean?
I see your point. I've amended my answer to accommodate.
Sep
2
revised What does “graduate applicant” mean?
amended answer
Sep
2
comment What does “graduate applicant” mean?
The first one is based on first hand experience of graduations. The second and third are suggestions for how to avoid the ambiguity.
Sep
2
answered What does “graduate applicant” mean?
Sep
1
comment Mass nouns and counts nouns. Does getting it wrong ever matter?
I'm fine with that. You seemed to be suggesting that grammar was what applied to all styles/registers/what have you. Rather than that different varieties have different rules. So there is a "style" (or some styles) where the less/fewer distinction is valid. And if people misuse it when in this style, they are wrong. This seemed to be a claim that you were denying earlier...
Sep
1
awarded  Commentator
Sep
1
comment Mass nouns and counts nouns. Does getting it wrong ever matter?
Given the myriad ways English is (ab)used in "the informal style" (whatever that means), I don't think there's any sense in which this informal style has a grammar. Otherwise you have to accept "Where was you last night?" as grammatical, since it's an often used informal construction. This makes a mockery of what grammar is supposed to be about. It's only in relatively formal contexts (when it is accepted that there are rules and they should be more or less adhered to) that grammar makes sense. And "less" being restricted to mass nouns is at least a candidate for being a rule.
Aug
31
comment Mass nouns and counts nouns. Does getting it wrong ever matter?
It's simply false to claim that style guides aren't a guide to proper grammar. Good style guides should mention those aspects of grammar that are frequently abused. There is no "definitive rulebook" for grammar, so an exhortation not to do something in things like these style guides is the closest grammar gets to saying something is wrong. Just because the rule is new that doesn't mean it isn't legitimate. 50 years ago "email" wasn't a word, that doesn't mean it isn't now a legit word. (I guess the obvious rebuttal is that there isn't a consensus among modern authorities on less/fewer)
Aug
31
comment Mass nouns and counts nouns. Does getting it wrong ever matter?
@nohat The Economist style guide, the Guardian style guide and Strunk and White all advocate the rule. That's hardly just "some deluded English teachers". Fowler is uncharacteristically silent and the OED allows that less is a comparative that can apply to quantity. It is interesting to note that most of the MDEU examples are massy concepts expressed in discrete units "no less than 10,000 miles"; large numbers; or the construction "no less than", the first and third of which don't strike me as wrong sounding.