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77

Whether either of these sentences sounds correct, and if so, which of them, actually depends on your dialect. There's a good post about this on the website of the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project. (Here's a sample map from them of the US -- they have a much better, interactive version in the article, but I thought I'd include this screenshot here just to ...


73

Of boughten the OED writes: boughten, ppl. a. [irreg. f. bought ppl. a. by assimilation to foughten] = bought ppl. a. used poet. for the sake of metre, otherwise only dial. and in U.S. in application to purchased as opposed to home-made articles. Under the OED’s entry for buy, in the section on that verb’s inflections and their historical spellings, at ...


38

Engrossing, perhaps. engrossing adjective very interesting and needing all your attention: an engrossing book/story I found the movie completely engrossing from beginning to end. Cambridge Dictionary


35

No matter which way you look at "am finished," as a passive construction or a verb plus a complement, there is no place for a direct object. If you want to maintain the verb, you have to say I am finished with my sandwich and if you want to maintain the direct object, you need a transitive and active verb: I finished my sandwich. "I am finished" is ...


34

It sounds to me that the advice was one of style rather than grammar. Many people think that that should not be overused, and that sentences flow better without it. From the blog post "Overuse of That" by Billie Jo Schinnerer: My finding is many times it can be deleted without being missed and often increases the flow of the passage. For example in the ...


25

Draconian (pertaining to Draco) The laws [Draco] laid down were the first written constitution of Athens. So that no one would be unaware of them, they were posted on wooden tablets... thus made known to all literate citizens. Wikipedia The laws were particularly harsh. The punishment for even minor offenses, e.g. "stealing a cabbage", was death. One ...


23

draconian: very strict and cruel [Longman] So named for the Greek lawgiver Draco: Athenian lawgiver whose harsh legal code punished both trivial and serious crimes in Athens with death—hence the continued use of the word draconian to describe repressive legal measures. [Britannica]


16

It depends what you mean by “correct”. Different varieties of English — e.g. standard US English, or standard British English, or various regional dialects — work differently. He snuck round the back is correct in US English, but not in British English, where it would be He sneaked round the back. From a linguistic point of view, ‘correct’ means that some ...


12

Neither I am finished my sandwich nor I am started my sandwich is grammatical. Am can only appear as a verb in a set number of ways: as a copula, for the first person singular (I am hungry) as an auxiliary with the first person singular of the present progressive forms (I am making lunch) as an auxiliary with the first person passive (I am thwarted by a ...


11

There are two specific, dedicated terms of art specifically introduced to resolve this ambiguity: Proper right and Proper left They mean "right" and "left" as the figure in the painting would see them. image source: wikiart.com Thus, the Mona Lisa's proper right hand is folded over her proper left arm, because that's how she would describe ...


10

The activity allows one to enter flow, "the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity" (link and quote from Wikipedia). For many, including myself, when I enter a period of flow, it is only ended by the sudden and ...


8

Your link includes the following: Boughten is also used in some dialects as a past participle of buy. The past participle of buy (and also the simple past tense form) in Standard English is bought. We say "I will buy some cookies soon," and later "I have bought the cookies." But boughten is also used by some: "I have boughten the cookies" (emphasis mine). ...


7

If you were facing someone and asked them to extend their left hand (i.e the one to your right), would you expect them to reach out with the hand to your left? If not, you have answered your own question. But things are different with inanimate objects: with the painting, references to viewpoint (and hence any mention of handedness) relate to the observer. ...


7

In this context, I think it means to avoid having to write intentions. This is: if you have a clearer inciting incident and stronger actions, you will not need to write what are the intentions of the characters, since they will already be clear for the audience.


7

This is my opinion as an American. The past perfect is not gone, but it is my impression that we don't use the past perfect when the simple past is sufficient to relay the intended meaning. Most of the time, as in your sentences, there are other constructions to supplement the simple past and convey it as perfect past. I heard about her before I met her. ...


7

As others have noted, "boughten" can be used as a verb (in some dialects) and an adjective. The OP wants to know if the sentence is correct with respect to its use as an adjective, and to that I would have to say no. Quite correctly, the OP states that an adjective can be used to describe a pronoun, and that "many" can be used as a pronoun. However, it can ...


7

In your example you are actually implying that he did say that. When you use "like" like this it's entirely possible for people to think the person actually said it, and it's entirely possible for them to think the person didn't. It's a minefield. You could use: "He looked like he was gonna say/he was about to say ..." Or you could just describe it ...


6

Myself too, drives I wild. Joking aside, I've only ever come across the misused reflexive pronoun in a formal context. You would never overhear someone saying, at the end of a date, 'Call myself tomorrow, OK?' But I'm sure many of us have received emails containing sentences a little like this: 'In the event of any further questions going forward, please ...


6

Maybe not a perfect fit, but "arcane" comes to mind. This is often used to describe very old laws that are never enforced, but remain on the books, and make no sense in current society. arcane (adj) known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric


5

If you want to focus more on the "backwards" than the "heavy handed" part of the question, I would recommend using the term "Byzantine". It is often used to refer to layers of bureaucratic red tape and obscure laws.


5

While draconian would have been my 1st choice, Puritanical also comes to mind Puritanical- very strict in moral or religious matters, often excessively so; rigidly austere


5

I believe that "do no worse" is a error in this case. I accept your logic. If I say "... do no worse than B" I mean there is nothing worse than B to be found anywhere.


5

platitude A remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful: ‘she began uttering liberal platitudes’ Oxford Dictionaries Online cliché truism commonplace


5

In the most common usage, "base" is a transitive verb. One bases something on something else (active), whereas something is based on something else (passive). In other words, generally native speakers think of "base" as requiring a direct object, as well as an indirect object: base (sth.) on (sth.). In this view, our lives cannot base on norms and values, ...


5

I understood both sentences. They are communicating effectively. If you wish to "correct," them, I suggest that you be clear about the purely stylistic motivation for the changes. Sentences that sound awkward are not grammatically incorrect, nor are they a failure to communicate. They are simply sub-optimal for the chosen reader/listener.


5

Although your desire to use 'will' to reassure your boss is well-founded, there's a conflict between your present adverb ('right now') and your future verb tense. A common solution is to use 'right away' to account for a slight delay in performing the action paired with the so-called future simple (which is arguably a present statement when coupled with a ...


5

Here's my two cents on the subject. Interestingly the ngram viewer doesn't find a single occurrence of are my two cents. The actual book search does however. Guess those books are not part of the corpus ngram is based on. However there is a clear rising trend of 's my two cents (top four of all phrases ending in my two cents) and here's my two cents. (...


5

There are certain adjectives, called absolute adjectives, which allegedly should not be modified, because logically ( but not grammatically) there is no way to modify them. Logically, you can't be be very dead, very pregnant or very unique. I can give you a perfectly logical argument (and I admit that an argument is either logical or it's not) that our ...


5

"engross" is the best word for it, as suggested. You could also use the expression "to lose oneself in (something)".


4

Stage left. Stage right. On your left. On your right. As viewed from the front. Left and right, other than dates, are the most perplexing. The navies of the world solved it with starboard and port. I like north-south, east-west when I can use it. There's also passenger side. The art world, I see from the above, solved it with "proper".


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