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14
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
495 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
254 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

Is the origin of “butch” really from Polari?

I've been researching the origin of the term "butch" and noticed that sources tend to be split on whether they mention it originating from Polari. OED, Green's Dictionary of Slang (adj., ...
6
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
291 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
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0answers
104 views

What does the term “liaison” amount to in the English language as regards the particular accent called Received Pronunciation?

In my study of the pronunciation of English (RP), the sources that I happened to use, means of information of a moment and forgotten or permanent ones such as the Longman Pronunciation dictionary (JC ...
5
votes
1answer
234k views

Is 'I am glad to hear that' very formal or informal phrase?

I said this to one professor when she expressed about her current research work. Later, I realized that that phrase could be very informal.
5
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1answer
691 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
138 views

Word for one too many items

Perhaps this word doesn't exist. I'm looking for the word to describe the last final thing you want to put in a container but it won't fit. There is always one of those. You have ten items but ...
4
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0answers
95 views

Etymology of the phrase “fine art”?

I'm reading in a book: A work of fine art is “fine” not because it is “refined” or “finished,” but because it is an end (finis, Latin, means end) in itself. Can anyone corroborate that? Multiple ...
4
votes
3answers
98 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Is “Does” or “Did” dropped when it occurs at the beginning of a sentence?

I watch a lot of American shows and I noticed that the actors tend to drop "does" or "did" from the dialogue when a sentence begins with it. For example: Does she have a name? ...
4
votes
1answer
264 views

Does “more recently” just mean “recently” here?

Here’s the context: “In England’s residential nurseries in the 1960s, there was a reasonable number of caregivers, and the children were materially well provided for. Their IQs, though lower than ...
4
votes
0answers
106 views

Re: Subject + verb (“intended”) + infinitive phrase. Could the phrase function as an adverb (vs. direct object)?

First, to save time and effort, I do understand simple explanations such as this (owl.purdue.edu): We intended to leave early. The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the verb ...
4
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0answers
61 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 + ...
4
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0answers
144 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
223 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
0answers
110 views

Is there a name for the substitution of “the + singular noun” for a plural noun?

For instance, I might say, "Overcrowding is a major concern in the classroom today" rather than "Overcrowding is a major concern in classrooms today". Is that substitution a literary device? The ...
4
votes
1answer
549 views

Difference between therapy mode and modality?

I don't really understand the word modality and how it's different from mode. Merriam defines it as 1 a : the quality or state of being modal b : a modal quality or attribute : form 2 : the ...
4
votes
1answer
141 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
1answer
2k views

What’s the reason for the zero article after a preposition and countable noun in “a change of X” and in “a switch from X to Y”?

I am a non-native speaker of English and therefore need your help. The question is: why do we use the zero article in the phrases “a change of X” and “a switch from X to Y”? For instance: a change ...
4
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0answers
2k views

Is it more common for the noun “research” to be stressed on the first or second syllable among educated native speakers of American English?

Which of the two common pronunciations of the noun research is more common among educated native American English speakers? /rɪ ˈsɝt͡ʃ/ with the stress on the second syllable /ˈriː sɚt͡ʃ/ with the ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Word or phrase describing preference for written language over spoken language

What is a word or phrase describing the prioritization of or preference for written language over spoken language? Example 1: They have a [insert word/phrase here]. They continue to write their ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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
1k 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
1k 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
1answer
5k 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
117 views

Is there a term for unconsciously using a wrong word when speaking because you were otherwise looking at, listening to, or thinking about that word?

As a contrived example, you might be looking at the book "1984" when someone ask you when you were born, so you answer "1984" by mistake. You do, of course, know when you were ...
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
3k 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
5answers
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
142 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
40 views

Is the expression “North Star” (meaning a constant or guide) commonly used in the Southern Hemisphere?

Since the North Star isn't visible below the Equator, I'm wondering whether English speakers in, for example, Australia or South Africa, would typically use or understand this expression. If not, is ...
3
votes
0answers
86 views

What is the etymology of the term 'hunch'?

Oxford states the etymology as: late 15th century: of unknown origin. The original meaning was ‘push, shove’ (noun and verb), a sense retained now in Scots as a noun, and in US dialect as a verb. [...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

“She was beautiful, she was.”

What is the term used to describe sentences such as: They did all they could, they did. It was a gorgeous day, it was. EDIT: Thank you so much to all who helped; you guys are great!
3
votes
0answers
104 views

Etymology of “get off your duff”

The phrase "get off your duff" is a call to action. The recipient of this exhortation is (literally or figuratively) sitting, unmoving, and is being asked to get off of his buttocks, as seen ...
3
votes
0answers
26 views

Neolog / prefix for use with bubble+ology

I want to coin a word that means the study of financial bubbles. After learning that Bubbleology is some kind of metropolitan tea beverage, my immediate hunch of "Bubbleology" lost a great ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

How would you describe a car kicking up clouds of dust as an adverb of a car heading somewhere?

I am trying to translate a sentence from Turkish to English. I'm almost satisfied and it is something along the lines of A black car kicking up clouds of dust was seen heading to the city from a ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

American English: Must I always use a singular pronoun with a collective noun?

Here's the stretch of text that I'm struggling with: The [company] team and the [client] team will formally introduce themselves and explain their roles to one another. The [company] team will share ...
3
votes
4answers
51 views

Term for allowing implausible scenario in argument

What is the term for allowing an implausible scenario in order to be as generous as possible to the claim one is about to knock down? Example: Acme Acres recorded 2,000 births last year, but the town ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

Words spelled the same way they are pronounced

Is there a term for words that are spelled the same way they are pronounced? If so, is there a list of them somewhere? For example, I have thought of: "a" spelled A pronounced "A" ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

Participle Phrases as Adverbs

I'm teaching my daughter some grammar lessons and ended up a bit confused about how to analyze participle phrases such as "removing his coat" in the following sentence: Removing his coat, ...
3
votes
0answers
55 views

Is there a word for “the king who has a regent”?

As the title says: Is there an established word or phrase for a "regent-ee," as distinct from a reigning monarch who does not have* a regent? From 1811 to 1820, the future King George IV was ...
3
votes
1answer
122 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
1answer
71 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
4answers
82 views

What's the term for contradictory sentences or phrases?

"Don't include too much technical detail if it doesn't add value. " In the sentence above, you could remove the last clause "if it doesn't add value", and the remaining statement &...
3
votes
0answers
2k views

Semantic Difference between “Skill” and “Skills”

I believe that there is a subtle semantic difference between skills and skill. According to the Oxford English dictionary, the uncountable noun "skill" refers to the ability to do something well ...
3
votes
1answer
777 views

“He hit my head.” or “He hit me in/on the head.”

Why do we need the preposition 'in' or 'on'? Can't we simply say "He hit my head."?
3
votes
1answer
72 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 ...

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