Unanswered Questions

6,114 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
924 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
329 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
302 views

What is the merit of calling a verb phrase a clause?

Traditionally, a clause is defined as consisting of a subject and predicate. In Oxford Dictionary, it is defined as: A unit of grammatical organization next below the sentence in rank and in ...
8
votes
2answers
148 views

The use of “keep” to mean “put away” (possibly dialectal or novel usage)

In Welsh, cadw, the verb corresponding to the English verb keep can be used to mean put away or store (something) in its appropriate place. Welsh-speakers will sometimes be teased for transferring ...
7
votes
0answers
206 views

What is the origin of “grapes” meaning the percent sign (%)?

While browsing through the Wikipedia article on the percent sign (%), I came across this interesting statement (emphasis mine): Names for the percent sign include percent sign (in ITU-T), mod, ...
7
votes
2answers
403 views

You two are shallow. [fused-head NP?]

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 410) defines "Fused-head NPs" as follows: Fused-head NPs are those where the head is combined with a dependent function that in ordinary NPs is ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

The traditional grammar term for 'nominals'

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 329) has a section titled 'Nominals': Intermediate between the noun and the NP we recognise a category of nominals: [3] a. the old man ...
5
votes
0answers
107 views

Early use of the phrase “human being”

There was a thread some years ago about the earliest use of the phrase "human being": When was the word 'being' first used to refer to a human being or sentient being? I found a citation ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “reprise” (repreez/reprize)

Is "reprise" pronounced as "repreez" in all contexts, as noun and verb, except for usages in legal context? I'd like to reference a number of dictionaries: Oxford Living Dictionaries only has one ...
5
votes
1answer
435 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Use of superscript 'x'(?) as an abbreviation for 'yards'

I'm currently working with some handwritten notes that look like they could be quite old, or at least written by somebody who grew up a little bit earlier than I did. I don't really know when they ...
5
votes
2answers
326 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
492 views

Dad, auntie, nana, grandpa, etc… What is this group of words used as informal family nicknames called?

When explaining to someone learning French when one has to use vous (the “formal you” pronoun) or tu (the “informal you” pronoun), there is a basic rule of thumb I find useful: Vous — Used when ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Is there a word complementary to “ullage”?

"Ullage" is a useful name for the empty space that often remains in a container of liquid after it has been filled as much as is practical. (Think of the small space at the top of a sealed bottle of ...

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