All Questions

8
votes
0answers
294 views

Did prescriptivists make up pied-piping in relative infinitive constructions?

A quick Internet search suggests that pied-piping in relative clauses was a natural feature of English even though it is loved by prescriptivists; it existed in older stages of the language, and it ...
6
votes
0answers
102 views

IELTS Reading passage issue (English as a foreign language learner I am)

I have been taking IELTS mock exams recently on a website. (The tests are probably taken from Cambridge textbooks). So I have 2 points I may disagree with in the Reading section. I had to choose ...
4
votes
0answers
100 views

What is the origin of “Panama schedule”?

"Panama schedule" describes an alternating 2-2-3 shift plan with 12-hour shifts over a period of 14 days, common in the military and some industries. What is the origin of this phrase?
4
votes
0answers
308 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
77 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....
3
votes
0answers
34 views

What is the purpose of using the word “coequal”

I heard someone use a phrase something like: My position (or power) is coequal with (something else). I believe it was used in the American House Judiciary Committee. I don't hear this word often at ...
3
votes
0answers
24 views

Pronunciation of “scald” and “old” (or “ol' ”) in West Ireland

Martin McDonagh's play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, is obviously set in Leenane/Leenaun, Connemara, County Galway in the west of Ireland. In the script, the two words "scald" and "ol'" (short for "...
3
votes
0answers
264 views

How did the meaning of “eventually” diverge from the French/German meanings

According to the online etymology sources, the terms "eventual" and "eventually" were in use in the early 1600s and held its current meaning by the mid 1800s. The etymologies point to French éventuel, ...
3
votes
0answers
326 views

Start + Gerund vs Start + Infinitive: is there a subtle tense difference?

Is there a subtle difference between these fragments: Jack walked over to the car, opened the door, and started to look for the aspirin vial in the glove compartment. Jill looked on skeptically. ...
3
votes
0answers
787 views

Pronunciation Rule for “nt” in the Middle of Words

Is there a "rule" or pattern for the pronunciation of "nt" in the middle of words, followed by a vowel (or "er" sound)? Here's what I have so far: 1) "t" is often omitted in words like "wanted," "...
3
votes
0answers
465 views

Past Perfect and Until

In the book which I use to prepare for the IELTS exam they have the following sentence: The situation remained unchanged for the next two years until more universities were opened. I do not ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

What does the phrase 'Throw your Cap on It' mean and where did it originate?

In watching a recent soccer match, the commentator stated that the goalkeeper should 'throw his cap on that'. This was immediately preceded by a relatively comfortable save by the goalkeeper from a ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Relation between crush and krushiti

Do the English verb "crush" and the Old Slavonic verb крушити (krushiti) "to break, to destroy" [where ити (iti) is a verb ending] have somehow relation with themself. Internet sources are scanty: ...
2
votes
0answers
20 views

Is using “if you would” instead of “if you will” in the sense of “if you wish/want/like” technically “correct”?

I may be wrong here, but I think of the verb "will" as in the set phrase "if you will" as an actual verb, with the rare sense "wish, desire, want", not as a mere future marker. Therefore, in this ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

An article before gerunds

I wonder how to distinguish words with a verb base and the -ing suffix. I have found that they fall into the following 3 classes: 1) gerundial noun (he had witnessed the killing of the birds), 2) ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

Connection between the words Apollo, Apollyon, and Apologise

I've tried researching this topic before, in re Apollo, the Greek god son of Leto and Zeus and twin brother of Artemis, and its possible connection with the "angel of the bottomless pit" as referenced ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Can the phrase “once more” be a noun in American English?

Can the phrase "once more" be a noun in American English? I'm wondering if it can, as the two Japanese online dictionaries I'm using for my translation of 今一度 both say that the entry, -which only ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Why the determiner “the” is missing?

"The descriptions given by people who claimed to have seen the puma were extraordinarily similar." It is a sentence from the first article of the NEW CONCEPT ENGLISH 3. I was wondering that why the ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

What is the origin of the phrase “(play) out of [their] skin”?

The phrase "play out of their skin" is frequently used in sports commentary, and to a lesser extent in describing exceptional performance in other areas, especially where physical exertion and/or some ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

What is the correct term for a fear of breasts?

I have known this is a phobia for quite a while and remember reading the word long ago, but when I googled it today I got 2 different spellings: mastophobia and mastrophobia. Which one is right? Is ...
2
votes
0answers
74 views

How do people actually pronounce “Orange”?

There are questions on ELU about the phonemic transcriptions of orange in both British and American English in dictionaries. However, this being a site for linguists and all that, I thought I would ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Meaning of expression: “After the powder, the jam”

In Agatha Christie's novel "Hickory Dickory Dock" there is a scene between "employer" and "employee", where the former one begins by criticising heavily the practices of the latter but ends on a very ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Is there a technique used when someone splits a compound noun into two parts?

My student has asked whether the splitting of the compound word keyhole into key hole is a particular literary technique. I didn't know! It's relevant to the text, as it is about disconnection and ...
2
votes
0answers
83 views

Usage of “so” in “So do I”

What are the grammatical rules behind the construction using “so” in the following examples? A: “I like chocolate.” B: “So do I.” Alice likes chocolate. So does Bob. Both examples seem to be ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

“hard to distinguish” or “hard to be distinguished”?

Here is a phrase (slightly modified from the original) that I'd like to discuss. A) targeting small structures that are hard to distinguish I have no doubt that this will convey what it means, but ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

IPA confusion for 'Aegis'

Merriam-Webster says: \ˈē-jəs \ or \ˈā-jəs\ Cambridge says: /ˈiː.dʒɪs/ for US Oxfor says: /ˈiːdʒɪs/ https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aegis https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Vocabulary Question: Stane (verb); to stane to do something

I came across the word "stane" in a poem in the Paris Review, and I can't seem to find a definition that fits its use in the poem. I checked several dictionaries. Some didn't have it at all, and those ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

How did quit come to mean quite

I've often been confused how 'quite' can mean so many things and upon leaning that it comes from 'quit' I only have more questions. How did quit semantically drift to come to mean quite?
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Where does compulsory do support come from?

We are familiar with the concept of "do support", where the verb do is used as a modal verb. It can be found frequently in Shakespeare and before and it is claimed to derive from the Celtic languages ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Does the change of “y” to “ies” in plural form of words have a phonological explanation?

I've been looking for phonological rules or explanation for the change that occurs in -ies ending plural form but all I found was : When we have a vowel before "y" we add "s", such as "boys". When we ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

word for attribute that is simultaneously positive and negative

I'm looking for a word that describes an attribute Y, where you could say The good thing about X is Y, the problem with X is Y note that it's not a neutral attribute, it's simultaneously good and ...
2
votes
0answers
147 views

What's the origin of “it's the same banana”?

I've come across the phrase in sources translated into English from Tagalog, and am wondering if it originated in the Philippines and passed into American English during the U.S. colonial period? A ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

Inversion with adverbials: when do I need the auxiliary?

I'd like to know why some inversions need an auxiliary and others don't need one. For example: "Little did I know about her" auxiliary + subject + verb Why not "Little knew I about her", which is ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Sentence with two 'than's in a row

I'm looking for a sentence with two 'than's in a row. I'm sure they exist but I just can't think of one!
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Possessive pronoun/object pronoun + Gerund

I have been thinking about this for quite a while and have done some research on it. What I have learned is that possessive pronoun+gerund is a structure that's more "formal", while object pronoun + ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

Imperative sentence patterns …

Please let me ask you native or very well-trained Eglish speakers if there’s some patterns, rules, or formulas in regards of an imperative sentence’s structure. For example, I was reading this ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

What do you call a fire panel with tools?

In Russia we have these "fire panels": So, they have tools like a bucket and a spade, so you can dig up some sand with the spade in the summer and extinguish the fire with it. Or in winter you can ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

Is “membership to an organisation” wrong?

I have been seeing increasing use of "membership to an organisation" (club, association etc.). The "to" makes my teeth grate, as I have always used "of". Should I continue to resist (I run a large ...
2
votes
0answers
99 views

Proper usage of an article/determiner in the given sentence

Recently I have read a book in chemistry field, and I have encountered this sentence: This is because typical metal Lewis acids are deactivated by the nitrogen atoms of the product formed that are ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

Difference between supplemental NP and absolute clause?

What is the difference between a supplemental noun phrase and a absolute clause? In these examples and in general. Is it just the non-finite nature of the second example? Are they not serving a ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

Why do we structure dialogue/direct speech the way that we do?

I hate how we format dialogue. I believe convention has gotten too heavy and we need to think a little more about logic. That being said, my question, to be more specific, is asking about labels for ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday!

Sources available on line say that the expression “Cyber Monday” is just a few years old, dating its coinage to 2005: The term "Cyber Monday" was dreamt up in 2005 by a marketing team at Shop.org,...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Proper spelling/saying

My 90 year old father has a saying, "I've been dragged through an auger hole and beat with a sut rake." It means you're worn out or have been treated badly. "Sut" pronounced almost like "soot." Not ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What is difference between participle phrases and ellipsis of subject + be in adverb phrases?

When invited, she gladly said yes. In the above sentence, my book says the sentence is formed because ‘she was’ is omitted. And the sentence is the example of ellipsis of the same subject + be in the ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Some words in The Boy at Mugby

I'm trying to read my way through The Boy at Mugby by Charles Dickens. The story is written in an 'accented' language, and there are a few words I'm having trouble making out: (The text excerpts are ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Why the sad face?

A previous question (What part of speech is 'why' ?) asked what function 'why' was playing when it is used with a verb. But 'why' can be used without a verb. Why the sad face ? So what is it ...
2
votes
0answers
99 views

New Yorker “Who”/“Whom”

Has The New Yorker changed its "who"/"whom" policy? Recently, I noticed--for the first time in fifteen years of more or less consistent readership---two occasions I considered non-standard, both from ...
2
votes
0answers
487 views

Is “in the essence of time” legitimate? Standard? Regional?

I had never heard "in the essence of time" before a recent trip to Virginia. Various local attendees of a meeting I attended used the phrase to justify moving on to a new topic, in a situation where I ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

inversion: From this hardship emerged a country

I'd like to know how to analyze the inversion structure below. Has the prepositional phrase from this hardship exchanged its position with the subject a country that is more capable of coping with ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Term for the ending consonant of one word connected/disconnected from the next leading to different yet related meanings?

In his 2013 TEDx Houston talk The tyranny of the rocket equation, astronaut and International Space Station Flight Engineer Don Pettit humorously introduces two categories of mass launched from Earth ...

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