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9
votes
0answers
81 views

Derivation of a slang greeting in Yorkshire

When I was young, int] the West Riding of Yorkshire 1942 to 1960 You would greet an acquaintance thus: "Aye up serry". I believe older residents of the village of Kiveton Park still use the phrase, or ...
8
votes
0answers
575 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
210 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
622 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
212 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
170 views

Phrase for snipping of scissors between actual cuts that a barber makes

A barber generally keeps on snipping the scissors in between the actual cuts. There is a particular phrase for this behavior. I have come across this phrase before, but can't recollect it now. The ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

Is bludgeon connected with blood or block?

Bludgeon is a short, heavy club which is thicker or loaded at one end. Both OED and Etymonline say "origin unknown". There are possible Cornish, Celtic, Dutch, cant, Middle French, Irish and Gaelic ...
5
votes
1answer
242 views

Are differing pronunciations of “second” a regional difference?

According to Wiktionary the word "second" can be pronounced one of two ways in the US: /ˈsɛk.(ə)nd/ and /ˈsɛk.(ə)nt/ I've googled to try to find anything about the difference between these ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “surroundings” a plural noun or a mass noun that just happens to take the form of a plural?

I personally interpret “surroundings” as at least a plural-only noun but possibly just a noun whose plural form is much more common than its singular form in modern usage. But on a forum I frequent, ...
4
votes
0answers
67 views

What do you call overtaking after overtakers? Not necessarily a single word, a phrase will do

What do we call the act of overtaking a vehicle which is already being overtaken by one or more cars? You see that some other car begins overtaking, and you join this overtaker, and others may join ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

Is the right term to call the children of your sister wives in a polygynous marriage “stepchildren”?

I came across this issue what describing in writing the relatives of a woman commonly known in the West as Princess Haya. Princess Haya is the youngest of four current wives of the current ruler of ...
4
votes
1answer
44 views

Term for poetic technique in which the last word of a line is the first word of the next

"Runs in the family" by Amanda Palmer contains the following lyrics: Strips in the city and shares all her best tricks with Me? Well, I'm well The first word of the bridge, "Me?", is ...
4
votes
0answers
91 views

What's a word for a doppelgänger only in one's shlemazlut?

I have a friend who has exactly the same accidents, injuries, mess ups, failings, etc., as I but I can't find a word in English (or otherwise) for it. Physically, we're opposite as night and day. But ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

How are relative pronouns pronouns?

Pronouns usually replace nouns or noun phrases. There are a few fuzzy examples where it's not as clear cut as that (e.g. "my" which refers to me but acts like a determiner, and "mine" which refers to ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

pronoun agreement in neither nor

Which one is correct? Neither my friend nor I feel my best in the morning. Neither my friend nor I feel her best in the morning. Neither my friend nor I feel our best in the morning. I ...
4
votes
0answers
35 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 "...
4
votes
0answers
232 views

Trump's pronunciation of “origins” as “oringes”

President Trump pronounced the word origins [ˈɔ:rɪʤɪnz] as oringes [ˈɔ:rɪnʤəz] in a meeting with NATO secretary general Stoltenberg at the White House on 3 April 2019. See this clip on Youtube. ...
4
votes
1answer
275 views

Origins of the word “understand”?

I'm curious about the word understand and based on brief research its origins seem not very clear, https://www.etymonline.com/word/understand Breaking up the word in two, under-stand, I could make a ...
4
votes
0answers
98 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....
4
votes
2answers
84 views

Hypernym for individuals, organizations, possibly other things

I'm building a budgeting database application/program and I'm looking for two words as names of tables or variables in it. This question seeks one of them: It encompasses the following: The table ...
4
votes
1answer
214 views

What rule governs the usage of “by” versus “with”?

There are many instances where by and with mean something completely different, but which is the correct preposition usage in the following sentences? A file by the same name as the original file. A ...
4
votes
0answers
359 views

Word for the day you have spent half of your life with someone

My wife and I are approaching the point in our lives where we have been together for longer than we haven't. I was born in 81, she in 82 and we got together in 2000. I'm planning to celebrate the ...
4
votes
0answers
315 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, ...
4
votes
0answers
917 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," "...
4
votes
3answers
107 views

Why do people tend to use negation of negative statement

Why do people tend to use negation of negative statement? Let us see an example statement, he is not unhealthy, ... The above statement can have beginning like he is healthy, ... Why exactly ...
4
votes
2answers
166 views

Graded/ungraded adjectives and grading/non-grading adverbs

I saw in the Farlex Grammar Book an explanation of gradable adjectives and graded adverbs. It lists the following words as examples of each category: Gradable adjectives small cold hot difficult sad ...
4
votes
2answers
662 views

What is it called when someone presents two choices which are the same to emphasize the importance of the option?

I'm very curious to know if there is a name, a word, or a literary scheme/figure of speech/literary device for when in a conversation, you present two choices which are the same, in which the speaker ...
4
votes
1answer
502 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
2answers
405 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
4answers
8k views

“Full of spit and vinegar” meaning

I was reading a book and couldn't understand the meaning of this: After all, how many times had her father complained that she was full of more spit and vinegar than most boys? I searched, but I ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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
2answers
668 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
162 views

Is there a word for repeating the starting syllables of a word before completing it, in song?

In Coldplay's song Paradise, for example, the chorus goes "Para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise." Is there a term for this?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“Small question” or “little question”?

There could be a question of which the questioner does not know the answer. But the question may be very easy to the answering person because he is very familiar with the issue or has the information ...
3
votes
2answers
53 views

What is the word to describe an action taken for ones self?

I was wondering what is the best way to describe an action taken for one's self without a negative, or positive connotation behind it? Such as in the action of someone recusing themselves from an ...
3
votes
0answers
29 views

What's the grammatical principle behind the use of 'for' with an adjective?

The following common expressions are in the form of for in conjunction with an adjective: (give/take) for granted (leave) for dead for better/worse for sure/certain There doesn't seem to be anything ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Where no man {has gone/went} before

Is there any difference between these two sentences? And how to sense the difference? Where no man has gone before. Where no man went before. The first sentence is the title of episode three of Star ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

Salute usage as Firecracker

Recently, I learned about another meaning for the word "Salute": A firecracker. However, I could find this definition in only one online dictionary (M-W): firecracker (q.v.) ... together ...
3
votes
4answers
50 views

Word for focusing on what you do not have?

I would say “practicing gratitude” to convey the thought of focusing on what one has in life and ruminating on little things in a positive way, the glass half full. What would be the opposite word or ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

Around Hiram's barn

For most of my life I have used an expression "go around Hiram's barn" to mean an unnecessarily complicated way to do something or an unnecessarily circuitous route. Recently my daughter informed ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

How did a Greek 'table' become an English 'trapeze'?

I had cause to investigate the word trapeza in Greek and I was intrigued as to how it had evolved into the meaning of 'trapeze' as we use it in modern English. How did this happen ?
3
votes
0answers
88 views

What is the difference between “if” and “ȝif”?

What is the difference between Middle English "if" and "ȝif"? Wycliffe Bible Mt.6:23 In accordance with studylight.org: "...bodi shal be liytful; 23 but if thin iye be weiward, al thi bodi shal be ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

How you you spell non self destructive?

Non self-destructive Non-self destructive Non-self-destructive ????? It has to be these
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Is there a grammatical form that helps you to express that you don't believe the speaker? (reported speech)

Indirect speech: Can you express that you don't believe the original speaker of a sentence (with the help of a tense or a verb form)?
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Origin of the phrase “What's crackin'?”

My web search turns up accounts of it being Southern, Black American or/and Aussie slang. Would like some clarification on this.
3
votes
5answers
117 views

An element “lives” in a space

I have seen the expression, "X is the Hilbert space in which the element x lives". As a native speaker, this seems quite sloppy to me. Is there a more succinct way to formulate this expression?
3
votes
2answers
58 views

What do you call a person who intentionally malign someon'e image in front of others?

I have faced such situation twice or thrice in my Uni. and work life. Due to competition your peer or ill-wisher tries to you put in dark light intentionally. So, it gives wrong impression of you to ...
3
votes
1answer
34 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Why are numbers exempt from the less vs. fewer rule?

The way I tend to apply the less vs. fewer rule is: If I can count it, it's fewer - (Drink fewer glasses of water.) If I can't count it, it's less - (Drink less water.) But when it comes to numbers ...
3
votes
2answers
101 views

Is it okay to use “babysit” verb in context of own kids?

Say, my wife has to run some errands in the morning, and I have to announce at my work that I will be missing for some time. Are both correct? I have to babysit in the morning. I have to watch my ...

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