Hot answers tagged

48

Short answer:It's a contraction. These are modified in pronunciation beyond the more normal form's simple truncation, but they are the same thing, fundamentally. Essentially, it's a form of contraction that has been informally promoted to a word. (yes, that's a neologism as mentioned in the comments) Support: Oxford calls it contraction. Definition ...


38

It's called a preamble. Preamble noun 1 A preliminary or preparatory statement; an introduction: he could tell that what she said was by way of a preamble [mass noun]: I gave him the bad news without preamble - ODO Here are some examples taken from the internet: As a preamble to comments about the department's policy on distinction, please keep in ...


37

Preamble is accurate; however, I believe in casual conversation that preface would be more usual. preface noun 2 : the introductory remarks of a speaker or author (Merriam-Webster) It is often used in its verb form for just this sort of hedge (also a good option): Let me preface this by saying... (This Google Search, and a broader search with lots ...


33

In the spoken language, these examples are strings of words where the realisation of the strings in speech is quite different from the citation forms of the individual words. A citation form is the phonetic form of the word when we mention the word without using it in its normal sense. So for example we might say: This is the word "can". Here the item can ...


31

How about simply translating née into English, giving born? "Jane Smith (born Doe)" For an example of usage, see this web page Additionally, see this definition (1b): used for saying that someone had a particular condition, personal quality, name, or social status at the time when they were born [...] e.g. Elton John, born Reginald Dwight.


31

"Making sure we are on the same page." would be even better than the options you mentioned. Although I don't think your suggestions would be misunderstood, what I have suggested is a more common way of saying it. See below. Reference


20

They do start with an auxiliary verb, but since it's predictable, it's often omitted. These are examples of what's called Conversational Deletion in the literature. The link has references and further examples.


20

I express 3^4 as “three to the fourth power” You can say “base to the nth power” or “base to the power of n” It’s important to have the whole sentence to determine if it makes mathematical sense.


20

While "ten to the power of two" is correct (and the "power" does indeed refer to the "two" in this construction), it's also possible and very common to drop the "power of", giving "ten to the two". When reading out vacuum pressures for example, "ten to the power of minus six" would never be heard from a native speaking physicist; we'd just say "ten to the ...


18

I'm not sure I understand your question, but I believe the speakers are using this Native American word. From the Wikipedia article on the Lakota language: "Hau kola", literally, "Hello, friend," is the most common greeting, and was transformed into the generic motion picture American Indian "How!", just as the traditional feathered headdress of the Teton ...


18

I think you is the polite form (u). The less polite form is thou (jy), but us Brits, polite as ever, now call everyone by the the polite form and thou fell by the wayside a long time ago. Thou barely ever surfaces in normal English unless you want something to sound historical, but it is still in Holier than thou and used to be (20th century) common in ...


15

They are eye-dialect spellings designed to make the ordinary way these phrases are spoken appear careless or substandard.


15

This is often called the "patronizing we", among other names (see this answer of mine for more details on its names). According to the Oxford English Dictionary's page for "we" (pron., n., and adj.), it first appeared in 1702: Well, old Acquaintance, we are going to be Married then? False Friend In comparison, the "royal we" is much older, dating back ...


15

Nearly drowned means you almost died by means of drowning, but did not drown. This means you survived. Nearly rescued means you almost were saved by a third-party, but were not saved. This means you are still being affected by the situation (in this case, drowning to death). The riddle hinges on this distinction. It's better to almost die but not die, than ...


14

I can think of several valid examples of questions that neither start with an auxiliary verb, nor have been pruned through conversational deletion: Come again? [Idiomatic question construction meaning "Please repeat whatever it was you just said", or sometimes merely expressing disbelief] In what way? [Seeking some kind of clarification] By when?...


14

In light of Auracaria's and your comments below, consider calling these linguistic reductions. Linguistic reductions are lost sounds in words. This happens in spoken English. For instance, "going to" changes to "gonna". The most widely known reductions are contractions. Most contractions are reductions of 'not'. For instance, "cannot" becomes "can't"...


13

One thousand five hundred is more formal than fifteen hundred. Both will be understood by the listener and are correct English, but one thousand five hundred would be more appropriate on a legal document such as a contract. Also, in an informal setting, such as when talking about sports statistics, people may look at you funny if you use one thousand five ...


13

You haven't stated where you are currently located (if not in South Africa); how your question should be answered will depend both on your location and your social setting. So I will respond in general terms. You should be aware that in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand at least, expectations of social deference and the conventions of ...


13

We survived; we escaped; we celebrated ...these are Active Voice. we were saved; we were hunted down; we were followed ...these are Passive Voice. Some passives have the form: we got saved, we got rescued; we got given tea and biscuits. For got passive, see: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/get-passive


13

It can be described as a relaxed pronunciation type of elision.


12

Since it is spoken, it is a mispronunciation of "I thought", often called th-fronting.


12

In psychology, these are known as intrusive thoughts(1). The term is chosen because these thoughts seem to enter your mind from outside, without your control. Intrusive thoughts can occur across a wide spectrum of subjects, from uncontrollable fears, to the urges toward mischief or violence which you experience, to the urge to harm oneself without reason, to ...


12

As commenters have noted, camping is used in a number of contexts to mean something related to staying put. The best clue in this dialogue to which meaning is right in this context is, "I think you're high." Recreational drug use is often ritualized and has specialized vocabulary. Often, when marijuana is smoked recreationally, it will be shared by a ...


12

The term power refers to the exponent, not to the base. 10 to the power 2 is 100. However powers of 10 are the products obtained from raising 10 by various exponents. So again, power does not refer to the base.


11

Your first instance gives it away: Bad for big chief. Bad for tribe. How The character is imitating the stereotype of Native American speech. How is recorded as being a greeting adopted from the Sioux, or perhaps Omaha. See this dictionary entry for reference.


11

As other commenters have stated, it's a mock-American-Indian greeting. Westerby uses the metaphor of an American-Indian tribe to loosely refer to the British Intelligence Service. Smiley chooses to follow his lead, and so responds with the stereotypical response how to the stereotypical greeting how, hence the "echo". There isn't any deeper meaning or usage ...


11

Same in Dutch when I was growing up. That's been disappearing rapidly in the past two decades. I started noticing when my mom insisted that she wanted to be addressed as jij instead of U. Took me a while to get used to :) "You" in English used to be the equivalent of U, 2nd person plural pronoun (jullie in Dutch). Same idea as the French "Vouz". "Thou" ...


11

You can't really read the first 2 sentences out loud. They are clearly written to be read rather than listened to because they are showing you what a percent sign looks like. If you were speaking, and trying to tell someone what the percent sign looks like, you might start by saying something like "The percent sign is used to represent percent," but then ...


11

In that context, it means that the speaker wants sex, on the table. Urban Dictionary: "Meaning, have sex with me." In other contexts, it can me 'perform a service' in a more general way, such as asking a hairdresser 'Can you do me next?" in which case 'do me' means 'cut my hair'.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible