Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now

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105

"What would you with the king?" is an archaic construct (but of course common in Marlowe's time), meaning "what do you want with the king?", or "what is your reason for wanting to talk to the king?"


92

This may be subtle and comes down to inflection and intention. I suspect that your manager was not being rude but trying to refer succinctly to a particular trade. If you were talking about a construction site you might talk about the "concrete people" or the "drywall people" to refer to the particular trades that were expert in those parts of the project. ...


68

"Would" is a form of "will". In current English, "will" and "would" are almost always used with another verb to indicate future or potential action. That's why you're expecting another word. But in Marlowe's time it was common to use "will" as a stand-alone verb meaning "to wish or desire", and "would" as its subjunctive. So "what would you?" has a meaning ...


51

Collocations modifying photo often don't refer to the photo as a physical object. They instead refer to the subject of the photo, or what's depicted in the image. To demonstrate this, here are the most common collocations for ____ photo according to the Corpus of Contemporary American English. I have bolded the ones that describe the image (source, subject,...


38

Christopher Marlowe lived between 1564 and 1593, so it is not to be expected that his English is entirely our English. In his play Edward the Second, the following exchange takes place. Young Mortimer. Cease to lament, and tell us where’s the king? Queen Isabella. What would you with the king? Is’t him you seek? From which it is readily seen that ...


36

It's a fragment because there is no required auxiliary verb. For instance: ✔ Consequences were inflicted. This is a valid passive sentence, along the same lines as: ✔ The window was broken. In this sentence, broken is an adjective. (In the previous sentence, inflicted is acting as an adjective.) In another construction, inflicted can be used ...


34

Depends what you mean by OK. It is grammatical, the meaning is apparent, and you would not be thrown in gaol for writing it. And (written later) I see that @Wilk has found some examples of “pregnant with crisis”. However I would not write it myself as I find it rather forced and unnatural. Perhaps the psychological basis of this is a positive association of ...


28

It depends on the implication. If you assume "floor" to be a metaphor for "the lowest strata" or "beneath my feet" then certainly, it's derogatory. However, I don't think this was your manager's intention. Instead, in his question, "floor people" is an ellipsis of the people whose job it is to clean the floor This use is much the same as saying "the ...


27

nude ADJECTIVE ... 1.1 [attributive] Depicting or performed by naked people. ‘she won't do any nude scenes’ Lexico


25

Id est is not commonly used in academic writing today. Two reasons come to mind. The usage is at best uncommon: A basic JSTOR search will churn up articles dealing with Latin sources, where id est occurs in larger samples of Latin text. Even when I limit the search to 2000 and later, the top sources are all Latin-facing, with titles like: "Alabastrum, ...


24

As explained in the following extract, the meaning of disgusting was not a big semantic jump from the original meaning and usage of gross. This connotation appears to have become popular as a slang term among teenagers in the ‘60s/‘70s, but its earliest usage appears to date from 1958: Meaning "disgusting" is first recorded 1958 in U.S. student slang, ...


24

"Gross" dates back to at least the 1380s. The OED lists the following quote under the definition "Of conspicuous magnitude; palpable, striking; plain, evident, obvious, easy to apprehend or understand. Obsolete.": Hoolynesse of lif techiþ rude men by groos ensaumple. Wyclif's English works, c1380 The word came from the French word gros(se) meaning "big,...


24

It’s a way to refer to photos with nude subjects. As you can see from Ngram this expression took off from the ‘60s/70s when pictures portraying nude people, generally women, started to become popular; the same expression was used earlier referring to paintings Nude: (of a photograph, painting, statue, etc.) being or prominently displaying a ...


23

No. A "no-brainer" is a decision that is so obvious, you don't need to use your brain to decide. However, it's never applied to people, but rather to the decision itself.


20

'Snitty' through the years The earliest instance I've been able to find of snitty where the word is used in its modern sense (derived from the noun snit) is from Philip Fair, A Marriage Is Arranged: A Love Story (1932) [combined snippets]: They looked up at Gay's step. "'Lo, Gay, ole thing!" from Nance the younger. Gay drew her brows together ...


19

from snit n. etymonline "state of agitation, fit of temper," 1939, American English, of unknown origin. First in Claire Boothe's "Kiss the Boys Good-bye," which gives it a U.S. Southern context. The OED registers snitty 1978, an adjective as: slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.). Ill-tempered, sulky. The use of the noun and adjective are infrequent in ...


15

I agree with the other answers that your manager meant "the floor people" as a neutral way to refer to the people whose specific task was to clean the floor as requested. I want to add something to that: he had put in a request last week for our janitors to mop up and then re-wax the tile floor in our area this morning. It's important to your manager ...


13

I would not write pregnant with a crisis, but simply "pregnant with crisis". Google books turns up this usage a lot. Example - Against the grain, Terry Eagleton 1985 'Modernism' as a term at once expresses and mystifies a sense of one's particular historical conjuncture as being somehow peculiarly pregnant with crisis and change. It is only ever "...


11

The following extract from BBC blog gives an interesting range of possible regional usages of the term, sometime used also as a verb. Manky It's a regional usage. I've heard it in various parts of the north of England and up in Scotland too. It has a whole range of meanings. When you hear somebody say 'my torch is all manky', it means it's not ...


11

Safe as a verb is quite uncommon, Wiktionary is one of the very few sources to show a few usage examples: (transitive) To make something safe. 2007, Rocky Raab, Mike Five Eight: Air War Over Cambodia: Air War Over Cambodia “It just trails behind the pylon until I land, then Cramer removes it when he safes the rocket pods. No evidence of ...


10

The same construction can be seen at about the same time in 1611 in the English translation (Authorised King James Version) of Joshua 15:18 : And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she dismounted from her mule; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? This quote is actually the 1769 rendering, ...


10

It happens fairly often in English that an adjective is "transferred" from one subject to another, even when it doesn't strictly speaking apply to the latter, provided it is still relevant (in some sense) to the latter. This often begins as a mild figure of speech — see https://www.thoughtco.com/transferred-epithet-1692558 for various examples — ...


9

It’s not considered a sentence because it contains no subject (even implicitly, like an imperative). “Consequences” is grammatically a direct object of “inflicted.” In formal standard written English, “Consequences inflicted” would not normally be written as a complete sentence. You would be more likely to see the phrase set off by a comma, perhaps, “...


9

According to the NY Times Style Guide, the underlying principles of quoting someone are respect for the speaker and the accurate representation of their statement. People often say things like “gotta” in place of “have got to”, and who can blame them? However, if you’re going to clean this up grammatically for publication, it would be more respectful of ...


9

They are very different constructions, though both are (probably) possible here. First, note that stop, like many verbs denoting a change of state, can be used both transitively and intransitively: The boy stopped the ball. (transitive) The ball stopped (intransitive). The transitive use usually implies that the stopping was caused by something ...


8

(1) Epistemic can Linguists often distinguish between three types of modality: Dynamic modality is about ability, capacity, physics. Deontic modality is about permission, obligation, social rules. Epistemic modality is about possibility, necessity, knowledge. The auxiliary can normally carries dynamic and deontic modality. (1) Mary can swim → ‘Mary ...


8

Well, if you're just looking for usage examples, it's easy enough to do a Google search for the phrase "which decision proved," which method will give you quite a few examples. (They will include many quotations of a passage from Little Women involving a "second tumble down the beanstalk.") Of course, you can also substitute different nouns and verbs for "...


8

You’re right that there is no relation between ‘sea-monster’ and ‘plain, field’ – the confusion is entirely due to how Wiktionary links function.   Κάμπος on the ground It is important to note that the Wiktionary entry for κάμπος kámbos ~ kábos is for a Modern Greek word; in Modern Greek, κάμπος does indeed mean ‘plain, field’. I’m guessing this is ...


8

Pretty sure we only use safe as a verb when discussing ordinance or firearms. There might be other domains (operations security maybe?) but by the verb safe we definitely mean operating a safety mechanism designed to keep the weapon from being firing/detonating. The military definition is provided at The Free Dictionary, with citation to the US DOD (PDF). ...


7

The Green’s Dictionary of Slang has the term “fine wirer”. The term derives from “wirer”, pickpocket, first registered in ‘Ducange Anglicus’, Vulgar Tongue,1857 edition. fine wirer (n.) (also fine worker): the most skilful grade of pickpocket, esp. one who steals from women. Wirer: an expert pickpocket who uses a wire to remove objects from his ...


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