1,607 reputation
312
bio website ryanhaberphotography.com
location Bethesda, MD
age 36
visits member for 2 years, 10 months
seen Nov 25 '13 at 19:36

I'm a technical writer at MicroStrategy in Vienna, VA.

I like running 5k, 8k, 10k, and marathons; watching movies; and reading philosophy or novels. My favorite activity, though, is hiking/backpacking/camping in wild areas and faraway lands ranging from Cambodia to my own backyard. And bringing my camera along is likely to make anything into pure joy.


Sep
21
comment Why is the historical present tense used so often by sports broadcasters?
I should expect you've seen the historical present since you were a child. Dickens' characters - especially his working class and poorer characters - use it as a mainstay of their speech. If this is a sign of the erosion of the conditional, then the conditional has been eroding for some time now.
Sep
11
comment Why is the historical present tense used so often by sports broadcasters?
I beg to differ. The pattern doesn't occur only in rushed vernacular but also in prepared speeches and certainly in writing. It is simple and direct, and that is what causes it to have more psychological impact. It grips the listener or reader. If the thing is appropriate, I do not see how it can be said to be an erosion.
Jul
19
comment “Have” vs. “Is” + Verb
@WendiKidd, you're awesome. :)
Jul
2
comment “Have” vs. “Is” + Verb
HA! Monty Python, anyone? More and more I think you are right, that formally, the difference is only in the emphasis: is emphasizes the state whereas has emphasizes the transition.
Jul
2
comment “Have” vs. “Is” + Verb
Thanks. I don't see the distinction, though. Can you clarify further?
Jul
2
comment “Have” vs. “Is” + Verb
@WendiKidd, "I found some expired milk in the fridge."
Mar
14
comment Is there a name for the time after dinner?
Post-prandial, at least in my social circle, wouldn't come across as either erudite or affected, as much as goofy - a verbal joke of sorts. Somebody being clever.
Mar
8
comment Why do newspapers use the terms “women voters” and “women candidates”?
In the example provided above, women is stated explicitly because in the example given, the voters' sex matters. Very often candidates and voters are not distinguished because, for present purposes, their sex does not matter. Men voters is very commonly used as well when the maleness of the voters is a distinguishing feature for the purpose at hand.
Dec
24
comment Why is it “Merry” Christmas, but “Happy” New Year?
@balanv, that is incorrect. The etymology of Merry isn't related to the name Mary at all. One of English's strengths over many other European languages is that we carefully preserve the etymology and ethnic origins of a word in its spelling. Of course, that does make our spelling ridiculously complex. In any event, merry comes from the Old English myrige meaning "pleasing" or "agreeable". Mary is an Anglicization of a Latin word from a Greek word from the Hebrew word name MRYM that is related to a word for "rebellion".
Dec
20
comment What is the articulatory logic behind the “a/an” rule in English?
And we pronounce them in the U.S., too, away from New England, New York, and the South, where lots of R's get left off.
Dec
14
comment Do you want choice A or B? Yes!— Is it wrong to answer with a yes when given two options?
Actually, it is kind of a trendy joke response right now. It expresses enthusiasm. "Do you want ice cream or cake?" "Yes." It could also result from the listener not listening closely.
Dec
9
comment Is there a single noun that describes “need not”?
@FumbleFingers: Option, on the other hand, strikes me as particularly good. The items of a well-formed list should be the same part of speech, at least, so that each item fulfills the same grammatical role. Option satisfies that requirement, and also has the benefit having the same ending, so there is a certain assonance. Finally, it expresses perfectly something that you may, not need not do. "There is permission to sing. There is the option to sing. There is a prohibition on singing. The is an obligation to sing." Perfect!
Dec
9
comment Is there a single noun that describes “need not”?
@FumbleFingers: I agree that election doesn't fit. It has a range of meanings with a shared underlying connection, but its common usage is so strong that to mean it as option is foolish.
Dec
9
comment Is there a single noun that describes “need not”?
Yeah, and to keep the endings the same (which is nice), use option.
Dec
9
comment Is there a single noun that describes “need not”?
No, but Kris is correct that "remiss" and "remit" do not, in ordinary (or even non-legal formal) usage mean "need not". I don't know about legal usage.
Nov
8
comment The correct syntax for “I/We remain” at the end of the letter
Any number of other affixes might work in place of "we remain" with a participial closing. I don't think it exactly weakens the letter - though it does that too, I suppose - but it clutters it. Business is very economical and a succinct closing is therefore more appropriate. In personal letters, there is more room to play around and have fun.
Oct
28
comment Capitalization of German words in English sentences
Matt is correct, according to Chicago (10.43 and 7.54).
Oct
20
comment If the prefix anglo- means “of the English”, what prefix means “of the Welsh”?
@Cerberus - Just so! I am sure you are right.
Oct
20
comment How popular is “sine qua non” in English? If I use it in day to day conversation, will I be scoffed at?
@jimbob - Just so! That's kind of what I was getting at with the last line of my last comment: it is courteous to address one's audience in terms it is likely to understand. I like the word "obfuscated" and, as a technical writer, sometimes look back over my own work and think, "Sheesh! Could I have obfuscated any worse!?" Lol.
Oct
13
comment How popular is “sine qua non” in English? If I use it in day to day conversation, will I be scoffed at?
I do love Latin very much, and defend its use adamantly. That said, your point about the particular expression "sounding heavy and false" rings true with me. It is too lengthy and uncommon to be used in a genuinely casual way, as de facto might be used. Because it is easily substituted with one or more perfectly accurate English-language equivalents, it probably should be.