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8,139 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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12
votes
1answer
1k views

Southern Dialect: Word for a time of day?

I remember reading a story somewhere that a Southerner wrote about one of his life experiences. He mentioned that in the region he lived there was a time of day that cooled off a large amount in less ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Is 'who' here a relative word or an interrogative pronoun?

(1) That's a big part of who I am. (2) When that day comes if you don't like who you are, you're done. At first blush, the who's in (1) and (2) seem to be relative words in the fused construction. ...
9
votes
2answers
436 views

What is the merit of calling a verb phrase a clause?

Traditionally, a clause is defined as consisting of a subject and predicate. In Oxford Dictionary, it is defined as: A unit of grammatical organization next below the sentence in rank and in ...
9
votes
1answer
396 views

Analyzing 'genitive/accusative + V-ing phrase (gerund-participle phrase)' as different constructions

(1) I regretted [his leaving the firm]. (2) I regretted [him leaving the firm]. (3) I regretted [leaving the firm]. (4) He didn’t bother [giving me a copy]. Regarding the above sentences The ...
7
votes
1answer
744 views

Dad, auntie, nana, grandpa, etc… What is this group of words used as informal family nicknames called?

When explaining to someone learning French when one has to use vous (the “formal you” pronoun) or tu (the “informal you” pronoun), there is a basic rule of thumb I find useful: Vous — Used when ...
6
votes
1answer
212 views

The traditional grammar term for 'nominals'

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 329) has a section titled 'Nominals': Intermediate between the noun and the NP we recognise a category of nominals: [3] a. the old man b. that book ...
5
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0answers
73 views

What’s the original sense of the term “alveary”?

Lexicographer John Baret published, in about 1574, a dictionary of the English, Latin, and French languages, with occasional illustrations from the Greek. The dictionary was called An Alvearie, or ...
5
votes
2answers
579 views

Is the verb for this gesture “wave off?”

Here is the definition: to wave off To dismiss or refuse by waving the hand or arm: waved off his invitation to join the group. But can "wave off" also be used for this gesture, ...
5
votes
0answers
219 views

Earlier sources or identity of person who coined the term “neutrois”?

A lot of work I've been doing recently has been around the emergence of various gender identities. "Neutrois" recently came to my attention, with more information about it here: https://nonbinary....
5
votes
0answers
162 views

How did 'even' shift from signifying 'exactly' to 'so much as, scarcely'?

Etymonline purports that the adverb 'even' originates from Old English efne [1.] "exactly, just, likewise." Modern adverbial sense (introducing an extreme case of something more generally ...
5
votes
1answer
165 views

Use of superscript 'x'(?) as an abbreviation for 'yards'

I'm currently working with some handwritten notes that look like they could be quite old, or at least written by somebody who grew up a little bit earlier than I did. I don't really know when they ...
5
votes
4answers
619 views

“Of any mall” vs. “of any malls”

I am an English native speaker working with non-native English teachers. In one of our texts, we came across the following sentence: ABC Mall has the most comprehensive loyalty rewards program of ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Origin of describing emotions with adjectives associated with taste

You might have seen that most of the adjectives that are related to taste are used to describe emotions. It is very common. It exists in many other languages. Salty, sour, sweet, bitter etc. We use ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

Looking for synonymous expressions for - to throw someone away like a used toothpick

In my native (Georgian) language we have this colloquial saying - throw someone away like an eaten apple, meaning-to get rid of someone after having taken advantage of him/her in a dishonest way. I ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Conjunctions, coordinators

I really know that for the levels of studying English language, we had always said that "for" is a coordinator. However, I would like to know what for serves in this sentence For God so loved the ...
4
votes
1answer
803 views

It is important that they “are” or “be”?

I was reading Jeremy Harmer's book (how to teach), and i encountered the sentence "it is, therefore, especially important that they are both fully engaged with what is going on and also ready to ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Category of the First Term in the Partitive Construction

Are the words in bold type in the following sentences determiners? One of the books was written by X I want two of those 8 percent of the population has X I ate some of that cake In a treatise ...
4
votes
0answers
646 views

Looking for a word that describes the merger of two words, is this an example of Portmanteau?

This is slightly awkward to explain, so I will be as clear as possible. I am aware of what a portmanteau is, as you will see below, but I am unsure if my examples classify as such. I'm looking to ...
4
votes
1answer
935 views

What distinguishes a predicative complement from an object?

Asked this on ELL but with no answer: What makes be an intransitive verb? How do we know that the analysis of It is me as transitive by tradtional grammars is incorrect? Take for example: 1. I gave ...
4
votes
1answer
553 views

What part of speech is the word “entire” in “over the little garden field entire”?

The sentence is: "After a while she got up from where she was and went over the little garden field entire." A quote from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I want to know if the ...
4
votes
1answer
943 views

How did epilogue and epigraph come to take on meanings opposite spatially when used in books?

I was thinking today about the apparent similarities in spelling at the start of the two words: Epigraph Epilogue And the fact they have seemingly opposed semantics. The first appearing at the start ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Simple present, or present continuous?

Which one is correct: Today, she talks to me by phone from the middle of Italy. What is she doing there? She is working on her novel. In the first sentence, is the tense correct, with the ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Active vs Passive voice in lab reports, and history of scientific usage

I've had some discussions in the past with TA's who would tell my undergrads "Lab reports are written in the passive voice". Aside from whether or not this is correct (let's come back to that in a ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a difference between 'on your account' and 'on account of you'?

Consider the following sentences: Get thee hence, lest we too die on your account! Get thee hence, lest we too die on account of you! My intuition is that the two are identical in meaning, the ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is “x” used as an abbreviation for some nouns?

This question is related, but is not a duplicate, of Why do some words have "X" as a substitute?. I have noticed that a few nouns can be significantly abbreviated with an "x" at the end. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

to begin with vs in the first place

I was wondering if it would be grammatically and idiomatically correct to use to begin with in the sense of used at the end of a sentence to talk about why something was done or whether it ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Genitives of ancient names

I've read (in the Elements of Style) that, while genitives of names ending in ‘s’ may have an additional ‘s’, as in "Ross’s", this oughtn't to be done with ancient names: Exceptions are the ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

B vs P pronunciation?

I'm a native Arabic speaker -Egyptian- we don't have the V & P sounds natively, I'm fully capable of pronouncing the V sound & telling the difference between it & the F sound perfectly, ...
3
votes
0answers
59 views

Is the “Secret Policeman's Ball” an allusion to bribery?

The Secret Policeman's Ball were a series of benefit shows. However, is the phrase "buying a ticket to the Secret Policeman's Ball" an allusion to paying a bribe?
3
votes
1answer
43 views

List of people including non-restrictive appositive

I'm editing a book with this sentence: 'Viroj, his wife, Pranom, Joan and I were duly ushered into an audience room at Chitralada Palace.' Viroj's wife is Pranom so Pranom is set off with commas as a ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Is there a word to describe the situation when a system that you created yourself surprises the author?

I just thought that there would be a bunch of errors logged in my system, because it seemed as if two files with the same path and filename were being saved at the same time, conflicting with each ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

What is a noun for the level of how anthropomorphic an object is?

Consider a set of objects like the following: a cube a 3-fingered robot claw a robot hand in the general shape of a human hand a human hand Objects further down the list have more "human" ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

What does the construction “indefinite article + adjective” mean?

I came accross sentences like these: "blablabla" says a breathless Mrs Johnson. "Dinosaur Jr. set to release new album mid-2016, says a nervous Lou Barlow" Are breathless and ...
3
votes
0answers
30 views

I wonder if I am being somehow oldfashioned

What is the correct phrasal construction "Protect you and yours" or "Protect yourself and yours"? Are they both acceptable? Thank you.
3
votes
0answers
59 views

When to use “pricier” and when to use “costlier”?

Pricier or Costlier? Which is appropriate and for when? Example sentence: The documentation says "managed disks" are costlier than "un-managed disks" The documentation says "managed disks" are ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

If I have a quotation that, within itself, quotes another source, how do I write an in-text citation for the nested quote?

While writing a literary criticism essay on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, I cited another critique that quoted the novel itself. Within the outline I submitted to the teacher, the entire quote ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

What is the convention for use of “volume” or “amount” in reference to quantity of data?

"Volume" is commonly used to refer to indefinite and definite (usually large) quantities of data or rates of data throughput (e.g., "The volume of data we delivered on each date is provided in the ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

How can I search this PIE root '*dens-'

I'm studying the etymology of vocabulary to memorize vocabulary efficiently and be able to inference its composition. Take 'autocracy' as an example, it is composed of 2 words: 'auto' and 'cracy'. I ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

that with verb after it

Why do we use the Verb without 's' after 'that' in this case? I've met this one in discord's description. Discord is the easiest way to communicate over voice, video, and text, whether you’re part ...
3
votes
2answers
839 views

What tense is “would have been”?

This is used in Conditional Type 3. But no one knows what tense this is...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

as + adjective + as vs as + many + as Rules

I'm trying to sum up some rules for myself around "as + adjective + as" and "as many/few/little/much as". This is what I have summed up for myself. Is this correct? If using a plural noun with "as + ...
3
votes
0answers
136 views

Is there an alternative modern approach to the fused-head NP?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 410) defines "Fused-head NPs" as follows: Fused-head NPs are those where the head is combined with a dependent function that in ordinary ...
3
votes
0answers
87 views

Can I drop the word “like” in certain instances?

The particular example I am thinking of here is: "This sounds like a noble pursuit." I was wondering if it would be grammatically correct to drop the like: hence, "this sounds a noble pursuit." It ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

“unable to be” used with incorrect subject?

I see this phrase used a lot, and always thought it to be incorrect, but I see more and more people using it so I'd like to find out if I am wrong or not. As an example the following sentences: The ...
3
votes
0answers
62 views

reasons that justify a statement as distinct from giving a reason for it

Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 reads as follows Because and for are both used to introduce reasons that justify a statement as distinct from giving a reason for it: You must have forgotten to invite them, ...
3
votes
0answers
56 views

What was the role of “compound” verbs in Middle English?

I was just reading a book where it is said that when perfect started to acquire modern meanings, "compound" verbs appeared. Here are some examples (I`m assuming with "compound" verbs on the right): ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Word to describe this behavior: applying your work habit even when you're not working?

For example: I'm an engineer on a vacation. When someone mentioned a machine that's broken, I can't help but join in an try to debug the issue.
3
votes
2answers
364 views

Is there a difference between categorial and categorical?

I am only interested in the meaning as relating to categories. I understand that there is only a "categorical denial". For example would be there be a difference between categorial storage of data ...
3
votes
0answers
118 views

Which words have historically had a final n only before a vowel?

In Modern English, the only word that has a final n only before a vowel is a/an: a face an eye In Middle English, there was the pair my/mine: my face mine eye Also, the was then before a vowel. ...
3
votes
4answers
125 views

Which verb is used to describe a person who is responsible and organising for doing something?

I want to use a verb to describe a person who is responsible for doing something, and the person is also the leader, organizer or initiator of doing a project or something. Checking the dictionary, ...

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