Reputation
15,099
Next privilege 20,000 Rep.
Access 'trusted user' tools
Badges
1 22 56
Impact
~2.0m people reached

1h
comment What is a “biological-only” father called?
This phrase is similar enogh to "absent friends", that if I heard it I'd assume the father in question is dead.
22h
comment What is a “biological-only” father called?
As someone in that situation, that may be his own personal code, but its not universal. There are people who actually reverse his meaning on those words. For me I would never make the distinction that way to someone who didn't otherwise know my situation, because it doesn't actually clarify things. At least not without stopping to write an entire essay, like he did. Perhaps he hands people photocopies of his essay to read first before speaking whenever the topic comes up in conversation.
22h
comment What is a “biological-only” father called?
@JamesMcLeod - That term is usually used by a woman to describe the biological father of one of their children (presumably with which they never had any other kind of relationship). If the child himself (or worse herself) tried to use it, that could lead to some unfortunate confusion.
22h
comment What is a “biological-only” father called?
I've used this one in the past. But even this level of cynicism implies I have some kind of complaint or issue with the guy, when in fact I couldn't care less. That's why I mostly just use "birth father" if it came up for genealogical reasons or "biological father" if it came up for biological reasons. For all other purposes, I have a real father, thank you very much.
2d
comment Origins of the word “mom” and “mother”
I've heard this theory before. For the most part, I don't buy it. Why "mama" and not "dada"? More likely infants learn that their parents respond differently to different vocalizations. So the semi-random vocalizations might be natural, but their eventual use of "mama" itself is probably driven by the parents.
Apr
26
comment Is it conceivable that President Obama might use the word “queue”?
@DarrelHoffman - Two things here. 1) Sharp eyes there. That isn't the word he used. I don't remember the exact word (it was 30 years ago), and I didn't want to invent my own Aussie lingo. 2) In the USA at least "borrow" is the typical word used ("bum" is also used). I'm not a smoker either, and it always struck me as odd too. I'm guessing the implication is that one day when the requestor has a pack on them, they will reciprocate.
Apr
25
comment Is it conceivable that President Obama might use the word “queue”?
@Kevin - Quite. I will never forget the dead silence that ensued when I was with a group of guys in New Orleans in the 80's and a visiting Aussie asked the group if he could borrow a fag.
Apr
25
comment Is it conceivable that President Obama might use the word “queue”?
This is pretty much it. Obama is a politician. Good politicians know to tailor their message to their local audience. Even in the US, we have local dialects which politicians will try to pander to when visiting. For example, how "Missouri" is pronounced depends on what part of the state you are in. It regularly makes headlines when a POTUS candidate uses the "wrong" local pronunciation during a visit.
Apr
21
comment Any equivalent to this Persian proverb “The yellow dog is the jackal's brother”?
I always assumed that was a common phrase that The Who put in their song. Did they really coin it?
Mar
11
comment Is there an informal term for the “best company in an industry”?
I upvoted, and think this is the right answer. However, that definition you quoted is horrible.
Mar
11
comment Is there an informal term for the “best company in an industry”?
There's not necessarily even a relation between the two. Company A could produce the best products, while company B could have enough distribution muscle to dominate the industry.
Mar
10
comment Why doesn't English have a word that means both Hello and Goodbye?
@DAVE Well...as an Okie, it depends on who you say it to. I'd actually propose that if we are just going to put forth loan words as answers, I hear "Aloha" more here in Oklahoma than "Ciao". I'd imagine the effect gets more pronounced as you go west. "Aloha" at least has the advantage that it is used much more by English speakers than by those of the donating language.
Mar
3
comment How to pronounce “th”
More of an ELL question, isn't it?
Mar
2
revised Are there are more vowels in the American English than in British?
added 4 characters in body
Feb
26
answered How to parse “let there be light,” “may grace and peace be multiplied to you,” etc
Feb
26
comment What's a word for making a weapon inoperable for public display?
@HotLicks - You're right. I've heard that term too. Adding it in.
Feb
26
revised What's a word for making a weapon inoperable for public display?
added 84 characters in body
Feb
26
answered What's a word for making a weapon inoperable for public display?
Feb
24
comment Is 'r' in Br/Amr pronunciation of Arjmand (Persian word) silent?
@Mitch - Yes, I'd put country, bluegrass, folk, and more niche things like perhaps Zydeco (shouldn't count either way, since its in French) in that category. Do be aware that many will argue that modern "Country" isn't really C&W but whitewashed pop (in which case the "jarring" rhoticity may be part of the point). These are the kinds of arguments a person can get into here in Oklahoma...
Feb
24
comment Is 'r' in Br/Amr pronunciation of Arjmand (Persian word) silent?
@Mitch - It isn't just AAVE's size. Its also its cultural currency. It is the dialect of the vast majority of American music styles. My skepticisim from the rest I suppose comes from personal experience. I have an aunt who speaks non-rhotic SAE, and my father-in-law speaks non-rhotic Boston. I grew up in an AAVE part of my town. So you can perhaps forgive me for believing non-rhoticity in the USA is actually rampant.