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Unanswered Questions

7,449 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
6
votes
0answers
55 views

Adding -s to French city names

This seems to be fairly common pattern. The modern English names of several French or French-related cities seem to add s for no obvious reason. Marseille > Marseilles Lyon > Lyons Tanger ...
6
votes
3answers
199 views

First use of the expression “Spandau Ballet”

Am wondering about the known history of this term. I assume that Spandau refers to the German MG08. The term as a whole refers to the behaviour of massed troops being hit by machine gun fire. The ...
6
votes
3answers
89 views

What does “To weep into stones are fables” mean?

The above words are taken from Thomas Browne's Urn Burial (1658), in this context: "... Sense endureth no extremities, and sorrows destroy us or themselves. To weep into stones are fables. Afflictions ...
6
votes
6answers
316 views

Name for the phenomenon where only the top few priority levels are used

I work as a software developer, and we have a ticketing system. Tickets can have "priority levels", with labels like "Critical", "Highest", "High", "Medium", "Low" and similar. It is my experience ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

British South Asian accent

This is a two-part question. A lot of British South Asian that are born and bred in the UK have a peculiar accent. It's very different than the familiar Indian accent too. So my question is... Is ...
5
votes
0answers
42 views

Is there a reason for the prefix change of in-/un- in about the 60s period for these words?

I was looking up words beginning with prefix in-, the prefix meaning "opposite" or "negative". There is a pattern I've noticed, namely the one mentioned on Online Etymology Dictionary: The rule of ...
5
votes
2answers
121 views

How did “ticket” get a meaning of an item in a bug tracking system?

The word “ticket” has a variety of meanings, including what Wiktionary describes as a dated meaning of something with a bit of information on it, but how did it evolve to mean an item in a bug ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

What does “calculated income tax” mean?

"Dividend on share of profit which is exempted from calculated income tax" I'm Japanese and I'm trying to translate my husband's withholding tax certificate into Japanese to apply for his visa in ...
5
votes
2answers
253 views

Syntax of fused relative construction with 'what'

I really liked what she wrote. According to CaGEL* (Page 1073), what she wrote is not a clause but a noun phrase (NP). The reason I believe is that the head of what she wrote is not the clause she ...
5
votes
2answers
133 views

Why do I have a different vowel in “scarf” than I have in “scarves”, and how come nobody talks about this?

So in my opinion, scarves is pronounced as the dictionary has it: with a Short O or /a/. But I believe that scarf and other "ar" words that are followed by voiceless consonants, are not actually ...
5
votes
5answers
453 views

Does 'to prove' necessitate truth?

If I prove something, does it have to be true? I can structure the question more convolutedly: Does successfully proving something depend on the credulity of the audience, or the truth of the ...
5
votes
1answer
277 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

What does 'swallow' mean in this context?

I have a report of the Peace Celebrations 1919 written by the vicar of a village in Kent (a county in the southeast of England) in which he describes some of the sporting competitions staged in the ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Combining demonstrative and possessive pronoun

I know of at least one language (German, although it’s considered old-fashioned nowadays) where it’s possible to combine demonstrative and possessive pronoun: Diese deine Worte sind wahr. ...
4
votes
0answers
56 views

Trying to understand the nuances between ox, steer and bullock

Generally the dictionaries give two meanings of ox, one is the one I paraphrase below: A bovine (especially a domesticated one) Merriam Webster American Heritage Dictionary Collins Dictionary Oxford ...

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