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1d
comment Origin of “come in handy”
@Mari-LouA: Thanks, fixed!
1d
comment Is 'bug' a term or a slang word?
@SvenYargs I don't mind at all!
2d
comment Is 'bug' a term or a slang word?
Really? A term must have an unambiguous synonym to be considered slang? Can you link to anywhere else that gives a similar definition of slang?
2d
comment Is 'bug' a term or a slang word?
Bug was also used in computing software in 1944, three years before Hopper's 1947 moth: "Ran test problem. Mr. Durfee from I.B.M. was here to help us find 'bugs.'" See english.stackexchange.com/a/41116/9001
2d
comment Is 'bug' a term or a slang word?
@Wudang It was used in computing software three years before Hopper's moth: "Ran test problem. Mr. Durfee from I.B.M. was here to help us find 'bugs.'" See english.stackexchange.com/a/41116/9001
Apr
4
comment Phrasal verb “be a thing”
@FaheemMitha Yep, all original research. Thanks!
Feb
19
comment Why is “decimate” still linked to its number-specific definition when other similar words are not?
The answer's in the third word of the question: pedantry.
Feb
16
comment Knock me over with a feather
And here is the September 1796 by Cobbett, in an 1801 collection, which antedates the OED's 1853 by a fair whack.
Feb
16
comment Knock me over with a feather
The Rural Rides link is broken.
Jan
28
comment Is it a good practice to refer to countries, ships etc using the feminine form?
@MarcusJ: It doesn't necessarily justify it, but ships are still often referred to using feminine pronouns, especially by the Royal Navy. It often makes sense to adjust your language for your audience.
Jan
28
comment Is it a good practice to refer to countries, ships etc using the feminine form?
Pendant? Pedant. (Sorry.)
Jan
25
comment Looking for the source of “SJO” or “South Jersey Original”?
@HarrySweeney: Please can you give an example of it used in context? I can't find anything online.
Jan
25
comment Etymology for “loganamnosis”
@BrianHitchcock: No, it's not a+ but ana+, from ana + mimneskein, back + to remember. EtymOnline says: "recollection, remembrance," 1650s, from Greek anamnesis "a calling to mind, remembrance," noun of action from stem of anamimneskein "to remember, to remind (someone) of (something), make mention of," from ana "back" (see ana-) + mimneskesthai "to recall, cause to remember" (see amnesia).
Jan
1
comment Where and when did “Bucket List” come to mean what it does today?
I really doubt the modern meaning of "things to do before you die" has anything to do with direct access data structures for efficiently selecting polygons. Their names are coincidental.
Jan
1
comment Where and when did “Bucket List” come to mean what it does today?
The original page may be from 1999, but that "bucket list" link isn't. It's not there in the earliest, 2008 page on the Internet Archive, which is after the 2007 film came out. It was added sometime between 9th and 25th Sepember 2009.
Dec
28
comment What’s the verb for discontinuing a call on a mobile phone?
@tchrist Some people in America do call it a mobile, I know because they wrongly pronounce it as "mo-bul" and not "mo-bile" :)
Dec
21
comment How did the term “X's finest” come to mean the police force of a city X?
@muru: That 1909 mentions "London's finest" right after talking about New York.
Dec
21
comment How did the term “X's finest” come to mean the police force of a city X?
Well, obviously NYPD are the best PD in NY because they're the only one. But you can still compare PDs from different cities in terms of policing abilities. But we shouldn't confuse original meanings with current meanings. What was first meant by X's finest is different to now. Word meanings change all the time. Now people generally mean they're the finest in that city. See also "The bravest" for the FDNY.
Dec
18
comment Do lexicographers have a formal term for Insta-cant
How do you define word acceptance? Use? Dictionary definitions?
Dec
17
comment Do lexicographers have a formal term for Insta-cant
@EdwinAshworth: Wiktionary has it, but also notes it's (chiefly Wiktionary and W[Wiki]M[media]F[Foundation] jargon). They list a number of citations from 2005-2011.