Unanswered Questions

8,919 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
14
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
1k 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 construction. ...
10
votes
1answer
210 views

Origin of 'bog-standard'

Today, while reading an interview of Camilla Pang in The Guardian of 28 Nov 2020, I found this in the article: Deviations from that – whether through being a woman, or being neurodivergent or because ...
10
votes
1answer
438 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 sentences The ...
9
votes
0answers
195 views

How did 'even' shift from signifying 'exactly' to 'so much as, scarcely'?

Etymonline purports that the adverb 'even' originates from Old English efne [1.] "exactly, just, likewise." Modern adverbial sense (introducing an extreme case of something more generally ...
7
votes
1answer
234 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 b. that book ...
6
votes
0answers
109 views

Is the origin of “butch” really from Polari?

I've been researching the origin of the term "butch" and noticed that sources tend to be split on whether they mention it originating from Polari. OED, Green's Dictionary of Slang (adj., ...
6
votes
0answers
252 views

Earlier sources or identity of person who coined the term “neutrois”?

A lot of work I've been doing recently has been around the emergence of various gender identities. "Neutrois" recently came to my attention, with more information about it here: https://nonbinary....
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Why did English lose “-an” endings?

I saw this ending in many words of old English origin where a word has -an in old English but then lost in Modern English. Examples: habban, climban, sceþþan, singan, offrian etc. I noticed another ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

reasons that justify a statement as distinct from giving a reason for it

Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 reads as follows Because and for are both used to introduce reasons that justify a statement as distinct from giving a reason for it: You must have forgotten to invite them, ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

Prepositions before and after percentages

I'm commenting on several data of a graphic and I have a doubt question about the preposition that comes (or doesn't) before the percentage, and whether the determiner "the" has to appear before "...
4
votes
2answers
129 views

What function does the comma serve in the salutation of a letter, and when did it come about?

In a letter, we say "Dear Alexthecampbell," before starting the body. We then capitalize the first letter of the next sentence. Since the salutation functions like a header and isn't part ...
4
votes
0answers
50 views

Why can't we say “… of its”?

In a comment on the question Is there any rule regarding when not to use the pattern "noun phrase + of + possessive pronoun"?, such as "a friend of his", John Lawler writes First ...
4
votes
0answers
73 views

What does the term “liaison” amount to in the English language as regards the particular accent called Received Pronunciation?

In my study of the pronunciation of English (RP), the sources that I happened to use, means of information of a moment and forgotten or permanent ones such as the Longman Pronunciation dictionary (JC ...
4
votes
3answers
79 views

Is there a word to describe the situation when a system that you created yourself surprises the author?

I just thought that there would be a bunch of errors logged in my system, because it seemed as if two files with the same path and filename were being saved at the same time, conflicting with each ...

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