Unreason
  • Member for 10 years, 8 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
Is there a word for a person with only one head?
Accepted answer
89 votes

The point that a word should make is that it has to be an adequate symbol for what it represents. This is, in essence, arbitrary and pragmatic and what ever work (as a symbol) will make its way into ...

View answer
What is the purpose of using the word "automagically" when we already have "automatically"?
Accepted answer
70 votes

This comes from computer jargon, and the jargon file lists it. Automatically, but in a way that, for some reason (typically because it is too complicated, or too ugly, or perhaps even too trivial), ...

View answer
How obsolete is the word "overmorrow"?
Accepted answer
36 votes

It's a bit strange - searching the google books directly for "overmorrow" gives 16 results, see here. The measure of obsoleteness (and strangeness) is that fact that it is listed in 1913 Webster, but ...

View answer
If Christopher is a "carrier of Christ" then what is Jennifer carrying?
Accepted answer
28 votes

No Jennifer is from From a Cornish form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar (see GUINEVERE). This name has only been common outside of Cornwall since the beginning of the 20th century, after it was featured ...

View answer
What is a collective term for castles, citadels, forts, palaces etc.?
Accepted answer
26 votes

After looking at wikipedia entries for castles and fortifications, I can see that there are many technical historical-architectural terms which are very precise and detailed. 1st option The ...

View answer
Is there a difference between "holiday" and "vacation"?
Accepted answer
26 votes

Yes, while they can mean the same thing, vacation is, also, a time when one decides to have a holiday, while holiday is the time when one does not decide, but when it is decided on some higher level (...

View answer
Why is the unit of measure placed before the value for currencies? Are there other measures where the unit precedes value?
22 votes

I think that the reason comes from paper days. Normally you would write $1,200.00 in the ledger, because it makes it harder to modify the entry. If it was written as 1,200.00$ it would be easier ...

View answer
What would you call a person who doesn't want to learn anything new?
20 votes

a person who doesn't want to learn new things (and even maybe thinks that this is unnecessary since he knows enough already) If you consider Mitch's close-minded a good answer then there are similar ...

View answer
Can a noun (such as “duct tape”) be used as a verb?
Accepted answer
18 votes

This is, I learn, called conversion in lingustics: also called zero derivation, is a kind of word formation; specifically, it is the creation of a word from an existing word without any change in ...

View answer
Why did "sceptical" become "skeptical" in the US?
17 votes

Following Thursagen's trail on Noah Webster, I found the following note in 1828 Webster's entry for skeptic This word and its derivatives are often written with c instead of k in the first syllable,...

View answer
"A whole nother" way of looking at things
16 votes

In addition to JSBangs' metanalysis reference I found the following in classical rhetoric (as one often does): Tmesis, Gk. "a cutting", Also sp. timesis, dissectio Interjecting a word or ...

View answer
Is "receival" a valid word for the act of receiving something?
Accepted answer
16 votes

If you check it with onelook you will find this noun mentioned in only two sources (which is really rare) and none of them is a major source. Searching through the books finds about 5,000 results ...

View answer
What is an expression for something you particularly like?
Accepted answer
15 votes

I wanted to find out what it exactly means in Italian and what I found out is that it really seems that google translate does an excellent job: ho un debole per le ragazze svedesi gives I have ...

View answer
Are "Conditional apology" and "poisoned apology", rude?
Accepted answer
15 votes

I find your examples confusing, but looking at the article and your question here is what I have to say: Conditional apologies indeed leave space for possibility that there is nothing to apologize ...

View answer
What is the opposite of "abstain"?
13 votes

I voted up drm65's answer of contextual solution, to simply say vote. However if you are looking for a term you might consider participate in voting | abstain from voting vote | abstain from voting ...

View answer
How do you quote a passage that has used '[sic]' mistakenly?
13 votes

You might, also, try something like: "...suppose I write a letter from me [sic] to you." (sic!?) Depending on the intention this might be overemphasized. Using round brackets is less frequent, ...

View answer
use of => symbol
12 votes

In logic it is used for implication, as shown in the table of symbols given by Wikipedia: p implies q is denoted with p ⇒ q This is the 'demands' sense of 'implies', not the 'suggests'. If statement ...

View answer
What is the difference between "definite" and "definitive"?
12 votes

In addition to Kevin's fine answer here are some tips Definitive -> final; conclusive Definite -> precise; explicit and clearly defined So things can be clear and explicit, but might lack the ...

View answer
Word for someone who collects dice
12 votes

If you mean what is the word that has the same relation to game dice collection as philately to stamp collection? Then, I don't think there is already one (also note: while dictionaries define ...

View answer
It's raining today or it's rainy today?
12 votes

The meanings are as expected It is raining today can mean that it is raining now and it implies that you expect more of it and it can imply that it had been raining previously in the day - expresses ...

View answer
Can "Sure thing" mean "You're welcome"?
12 votes

Well neither of the things that are used as replies to "thank you" is particularly logical in the direct meaning of the words you're welcome: welcome originally means 1. gladly and cordially received:...

View answer
What word describes people who attack those doing the same thing as them?
Accepted answer
11 votes

Yes, normally you would call such a person a hypocrite (exceptions include situations where actually the same standards should not apply for both persons). However, hypocrite is a wider concept, that ...

View answer
How does a word come to have two completely opposite meanings?
Accepted answer
11 votes

If you start with wikipedia An auto-antonym (sometimes spelled autantonym), or contranym (originally spelled contronym), is a word with a homograph (a word of the same spelling) that is also an ...

View answer
Fine semantic differences between "thus" and "therefore"
10 votes

From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition thus In this manner: Lay the pieces out thus.1 To a stated degree or extent; so. 2 Therefore; consequently: Thus3 it was ...

View answer
Why do "catsup" and "ketchup" coexist?
10 votes

Etymonline entry is 1711, from Malay kichap, from Chinese (Amoy dialect) koechiap "brine of fish." Catsup (earlier catchup) is a failed attempt at Anglicization, still in use in U.S. Originally a ...

View answer
Do you say 'white blackboard'?
10 votes

That is, quite naturally, called whiteboard, Bierce does not have an entry for the word but it would probably be: the writing board that always get written on with permanent marker

View answer
Does "criticism" imply positive as well as negative?
Accepted answer
10 votes

I don't think there was a recent shift; there are words with two distinct meanings, one of which is more used and therefore requires little or no context and the other, more rare which requires ...

View answer
What is a synonym for “superstition” but without the negative connotation?
10 votes

Folklore is a very nice Anglo-Saxonism, coined from folk + lore Tradition can also be used, for things "handed down" from generation to generation. Ritual is the word usually saved for other people'...

View answer
What are the similarities and differences between "irony" and "sarcasm"?
10 votes

On etymology under the entry for humor you will find a table that classifies humor and lists several qualities for both terms (from H.W. Fowler, "Modern English Usage," 1926): In terms of motive and ...

View answer
Dropping the subject from sentences
Accepted answer
9 votes

There is grammatical ellipsis, which in general case might not introduce the sense of accelerated time, but quite the reverse, depending on how hard is it to parse, for example: The average person ...

View answer
1
2 3 4 5
8