Search found 3246 matches

by Phil White
Tue May 21, 2019 6:27 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Pregnant belly
Replies: 5
Views: 93

Re: Pregnant belly

Hmmm, the curse of the subjunctive... I have no intention of writing in detail on the subjunctive in modern English. That is material enough for a PhD. I just want to have a look at this one and put it into a little linguistic context. The subjunctive has only survived in a few constructions and a f...
by Phil White
Tue May 21, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Pregnant belly
Replies: 5
Views: 93

Re: Pregnant belly

Going back to the main question, I was thinking about it again last night, and I think I am right. I think I would say: ... my eight-month-pregnant wife ... (it is my wife that is pregnant) ... her eight-months-pregnant belly ... (it is not the belly that is pregnant) But it is strange, and, as I sa...
by Phil White
Mon May 20, 2019 10:58 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Pregnant belly
Replies: 5
Views: 93

Re: Pregnant belly

Well noticed, Steven! This seems very strange at first sight, and I cannot find a satisfactory explanation for it. In English, when we combine a number with a unit of some kind and then use the number and unit as an attributive adjective, the unit is always singular. When used predicatively, the uni...
by Phil White
Mon May 20, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Gee Gee
Replies: 4
Views: 83

Re: Gee Gee

The Chester Racecourse and Henry Gee etymology is widely touted. It is plausible enough, but it would need near-contemporary references to back it up.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horse ... times.html
by Phil White
Mon May 20, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Gee Gee
Replies: 4
Views: 83

Re: Gee Gee

The answer to your question is that I don't have the foggiest, but, since I have had Sheba, I have always called them gee gees. The family living in the old rectory opposite my house used to keep gee gees in the yard and Sheba used to spend hours standing at my desk watching them. And we often come ...
by Phil White
Thu May 16, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: for her to want to talk about it
Replies: 1
Views: 109

Re: for her to want to talk about it

They are both good in the contexts you give.
by Phil White
Wed May 15, 2019 10:09 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: they were all vs. all those who
Replies: 1
Views: 166

Re: they were all vs. all those who

Yes, although they are a little more unusual.
by Phil White
Wed May 08, 2019 11:32 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Gossip
Replies: 5
Views: 398

Re: Gossip

The French reads "compère Tourangeau". "Compère" generally means something akin to "accomplice". In the same way that "partner in crime" is used colloquially to mean a "bosom buddy", I believe that "compère" carries a similar meaning. So the meaning 4 as given by Erik is there or thereabouts. Having...
by Phil White
Mon May 06, 2019 5:56 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Sleeping style
Replies: 8
Views: 502

Re: Sleeping style

More generally, I think we would just use "curled up". "The foetal position" is not really a colloquial expression, although pretty well everyone understands it:

"I always sleep curled up."
"Ah, look at him sleeping all curled up."
by Phil White
Fri May 03, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: alright to...
Replies: 4
Views: 446

Re: alright to...

To put it another way:

"How did you do in the exam?"
"All right."

"How did you do in the exam?"
"Alright."
by Phil White
Thu May 02, 2019 10:10 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Talking in the abstract.
Replies: 3
Views: 293

Re: Talking in the abstract.

Insofar as "abstract" can mean "dissociated from reality", it would appear to refer to the way in which politicians and May in particular, always speak.
by Phil White
Thu May 02, 2019 10:00 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: alright to...
Replies: 4
Views: 446

Re: alright to...

Bobinwales wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 11:02 pm
I will be interested to see if anyone agrees with me that "alright" is not a word.
Some people are simply all ways all together wrong...
by Phil White
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: To be taken to a hospital by a plane
Replies: 3
Views: 457

Re: To be taken to a hospital by a plane

In the UK, we often talk about "air ambulances" (invariably helicopters) and people are "taken to hospital by air ambulance".

We also talk about people being "airlifted to hospital".
by Phil White
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:14 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: legitimate (the verb)
Replies: 3
Views: 600

Re: legitimate (the verb)

I have always been aware of both "legitimate" and "legitimize". I would certainly use "legitimate" in meaning 2 and "legitimize" in meaning 3. I am unsure whether I would use either in the strict constraints of meaning 1. I see a very clear distinction between meanings 1 an 3. Meaning 1 refers to th...
by Phil White
Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:28 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: The bill will be a lot easier
Replies: 3
Views: 478

Re: The bill will be a lot easier

Yes, it's the only way I can read it as well. "Poor soul" refers to the speaker.