All Questions

8
votes
0answers
183 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
39 views

“Indian” comes from Italian/Spanish “gente in dios” (God-like people)? False etymology?

A while ago in January The Black Hebrew Israelites were speaking/shouting/proselytizing to surrounding people at Lincoln Memorial. The speaker claimed that the word "Indian" means "savage". A member ...
5
votes
0answers
121 views

How tran­si­tiv­ity is de­fined in CGEL

This ques­tion is specif­i­cally for those who are fa­mil­iar with the 2002 edi­tion of The Cam­bridge Gram­mar of the English Lan­guage by Hud­dle­ston and Pul­lum. The book has this pas­sage at ...
4
votes
0answers
129 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
53 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
757 views

Is there an idiom or saying for someone asking the same question many times in hopes of a more favourable answer?

What is the idiom or phrase to describe someone fishing around by asking the same question to different people until they get the answer they want? Like when someone asks a sales person if there are ...
3
votes
0answers
279 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
412 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
612 views

What is the term for a word which has the meaning changed to its opposite?

This question was originally posted here: What is the term for a word that has come to mean the opposite of its orignal meaning? I don't think it should have been marked as a duplicate: the "...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Using the Present Progressive when describing a situation

I've noticed that use, and I like to learn more about the theory behind it. In that sense, why to choose this tense over the Simple Present. For example: When you are walking around Denver and ...
2
votes
0answers
28 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
30 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
34 views

Usage of “to double down” in British and American English

The idiom "to double to on sth" in the sense of "continuing to do something in an even more determined way than before" is mentioned in the Cambridge Dictionary. However, personally, I've heard this ...
2
votes
0answers
40 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
54 views

What's happening in this sentence using “far away”?

"David and Emma live far away in the mountains." What grammatical role do the words "far" and "away" have in that sentence? I realize that "far away" must be an adverbial, that can be both a ...
2
votes
0answers
27 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
20 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
63 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
49 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
68 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
63 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
62 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
94 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
56 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
73 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
49 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
40 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
47 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
65 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
93 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
149 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
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

What do we call the process of dropping the subject at the beginning of a sentence?

In casual conversation I've been noticing this more and more in my own speaking as well as others. The subject will be missing from the beginning of the sentence and instead it's inferred as the ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

Why is “shut” an adjective in “locked shut”?

Definition of 'shut' in Collins English Dictionary. Shut is also an adjective, with example sentence "The exit doors were locked shut." I wonder why 'shut' in this sentence is an ADJECTIVE not an ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Can you use a 'to' infinitive instead of using 'by ~ing'?

To identify human genes and understand their roles allows researchers to discover the cause of various diseases. To contain the meaning of 'by ~ing' or 'while ~ing', can you use 'to infinite' like in ...
2
votes
0answers
19 views

which or who in “the body, authority, entity or person which establishes”

... the body, authority, entity or person which establishes... Is it correct to use "which" in this case? Or should it rather be "who", since the last element of the list is a person?
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Comparative studies of examples of epizeuxis

Epizeuxis is a rhetorical device which is defined as involving immediate or close repetition of a word or phrase - 'Break, break, break, On thy cold grey stones, O sea!' (Tennyson) or 'There's a fox, ...
2
votes
0answers
248 views

“solder” and “salve” phonetics between AmE and BrE

Many will know that there are differences in AmE and BrE pronunciation of the words "solder" and "salve". On the topic of "solder", there are already two questions here asking about the correct ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Mass Noun em-dash List-of-Plurals em-dash Verb

Is it just me, or? All of the content you see on Stack Exchange—all the questions, answers, edits, reviews, users, badges, tags, and more—is stored in a relational database. Seems technically ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

What is the origin of the drafting term “screened back”?

In engineering/architectural drafting, many people consider grey lines - usually used to indicate existing work or reference work belonging to other disciplines - as "screened back". When older ...
2
votes
0answers
273 views

Is “mediaeval” an outdated spelling of “medieval”?

I saw "mediaeval" on a Wikipedia page, and figuring it was a typo, edited it to "medieval", it was reverted as apparently mediaeval is the UK spelling. However, in all the dictionaries I've found from ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

What are the grammatical rules for phrases like “Rome Victorious”?

Some people seem to use this phrase. The adjective 'Victorious' seems that it is being used as if it is part of the noun. Would this work in other cases? e.g. "Rome Sacrosanct". Is it technically ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Website where I could find words

Do you know any website where I could search a word by a sound from it's IPA transcription ( for instance like ə and get awesome, jonathan etc.). Thank you
2
votes
0answers
490 views

When to use “-er” vs “-or” as a suffix in verbs - a comprehensive example (a developer's perspective)!

It's been many times when it comes to decide whether to use "-or" or "-er" as an agent noun suffix to a verb. My native (mother language) is Greek, and I'll try to provide you a way to think before ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

What type of word allows raising?

I've come across a comment in “it seems” vs. “it seems that” and I am uncertain as to what type of word allows raising. It's not necessary (though it's almost always possible) for any complement ...
2
votes
0answers
111 views

Are there American English dialects which distinguish /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ but not /ɑ/ and /ɔ/?

I relied on the Logic of English (LoE) phonograms to give myself a better understanding of English pronunciation since the spelling gives me a hard time (even as native speaker), but I noticed that ...
2
votes
0answers
107 views

Verbs with interchanged subject and object

For some verbs we can find another (not necessarily unique) verb which has the same meaning except that it corresponds the subject and the object in the opposite direction. For example, if I say “our ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Participle modifying a noun other than a subject

Example: "John jumped over the girl shouting angrily." I assume the participle construction replaces a relative clause in this case. ("who shouted angrily"). My question: Can a participle ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Word or phrase for things that are only noticed when they break? (or are pointed out)

E.g. the engineering that goes into the roads we travel on, the railways we use, the negative space in a painting, or any of the many systems that we depend on.

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