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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 ...
11
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
472 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
415 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

Was the Shark frightening to 16th / 17th-century English speakers?

Undoubtedly, in our Modern-mind-set, for many the mere utterance of the word "Shark" (more so when in the ocean, swimming) brings a sort of dread or at the least, undesirability to the ...
6
votes
1answer
222 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
5answers
664 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
771 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
236 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
172 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
59 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., ...
4
votes
0answers
86 views

I hardly dared breathe

The "Extra Examples" section in the entry of DARE in the Oxford Learner's dict. shows I hardly dared breathe. Dare here forms its past as a (semi)modal verb, yet the position in the sentence ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

What is a term with a negative connotation that can be used to denote someone who became rich through unscrupulous means?

What is a word of phrase which one can use to define someone, or group of people who profited/ became rich by borderline illegal/Immoral/unscrupulous means. I want a term which can relate to below ...
4
votes
1answer
81 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
205 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
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
2answers
1k views

How to calculate number of syllables in a word using only the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) spelling?

I want to write an algorithm to calculate the number of syllables in a word. This process is an automated one that will be run on an entire dictionary so manually counting the number of breaths, chin ...
4
votes
1answer
933 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
994 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
594 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
992 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
2k 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
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
47k views

“Mistaken as” vs. “mistaken for”

I heard someone use the words mistaken as rather than mistaken for. Is this correct? If it is correct then what is the difference between the two? Is it ever wrong to use mistaken as, and if so, why? ...
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
3answers
163 views

is there an active verb for what a “thing being consumed” does?

if we consider the sentence birds consume spiders, and spiders consume flies the "opposite" of that sentence is something like is flies <> spiders and spiders <> birds but, more active. ...
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
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
131 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
0answers
82 views

What function does the comma serve in the salutation of a letter, and when did it come about?

In a letter we say "Dear Alexthecampbell," before starting the body. After this, we then captialize the first letter of the next sentence. Since the salutation functions like a header, and ...
3
votes
0answers
36 views

Why can't we say “… of its”?

In a comment on the question Is there any rule regarding when not to use the pattern "noun phrase + of + possessive pronoun"?, such as "a friend of his", John Lawler writes First ...
3
votes
0answers
58 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
56 views

Addressing a person by occupation

In Dorothy Gladys “Dodie” Smith’s 1956 children’s novel, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, the author writes: But though you can call a cook ‘Cook’, the one thing you cannot call a butler is ‘Butler’ ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Are pronominal adjectives and determiners just different terms to describe the same thing? If not, how do they differ?

I have seen words like "every" and "any", etc. classified both as determiners and pronominal adjectives. Are these just different classifications of the same thing? Or does the ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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
62 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
56 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
110 views

Adjective that describes a person who urgently needs to to the toilet

We say hungry if someone wants to eat, thirsty if someone wants to drink and sleepy if someone wants to sleep. What's the adjective used to describe the person who has a desire to go urgently to the ...
3
votes
0answers
41 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
35 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
65 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
202 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
63 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
40 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
0answers
60 views

What to call a correction slip pasted onto a page of a book?

I have an old catalogue with new prices pasted in over the old prices. These correction slips are small, only covering the prices but leaving the rest of the page as originally published. What are ...
3
votes
0answers
60 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
0answers
54 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
137 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
89 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 ...

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