Search found 3335 matches

by Phil White
Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:45 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Technology
Replies: 4
Views: 38

Re: Technology

When I worked for a big industrial company, our resident IT specialist was just called "Jesus". He was Spanish and his name was indeed Jesus. He pottered around with long hair, wearing sandals. We called on him as our only salvation in time of need. In our department, we had stickers on our keyboard...
by Phil White
Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:27 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Technology
Replies: 4
Views: 38

Re: Technology

Colloquially, we would usually call such a person a "geek". I have the feeling that the meaning of this has changed over the past 15 years or so. Originally, it tended to be negative and refer to people who were only interested in technology and didn't have much of a social life. Nowadays, it is far...
by Phil White
Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:26 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: which came out in 1973
Replies: 2
Views: 61

Re: which came out in 1973

It is unproblematic. I would understand the qualification "in 1973" in exactly the the same way as in "the Battle of Hastings in 1066". It is not necessary to say "the Battle of Hastings, which took place in 1066". It is simply a prepositional phrase used as an adjectival qualification. Compare a se...
by Phil White
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:06 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Fire or sack someone
Replies: 5
Views: 154

Re: Fire or sack someone

Erik's list is pretty exhaustive, but there are also a huge number of slang expressions such as "He has been given the boot", "he has been given the heave-ho", and countless others. I also recently heard the very tongue-in-cheek "I have been downsized". This is a sarcastic reference to the way in wh...
by Phil White
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: verb agreement
Replies: 2
Views: 125

Re: verb agreement

Number 4 grates a little on my ears, and I would change it if proofing a text, but the others are fine. Have a look at the several discussions on this board about "synesis" or "constructio ad sensum". One thing that we did establish is that we in the UK use constructions in which the verb does not a...
by Phil White
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: keep on keeping on
Replies: 5
Views: 23886

Re: keep on keeping on

Hello wherrmann , and welcome! Pretty well all the early references I can find are from the early 20th century, which would put the expression in the timeframe you suggest. However, the very earliest occurrence I can uncover is from 1846: "Keep on keeping on," as the bricklayer's labourer said, and ...
by Phil White
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Raip?
Replies: 1
Views: 185

Re: Raip?

My guess is a typo for "raps out a couple of winners".

Somewhat unfortunate.
by Phil White
Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Juicy hamburgers
Replies: 3
Views: 229

Re: Juicy hamburgers

Yes. Trolley is quite correct. If you read recipes for cooking meat dishes, you will often see references to the "juices" or "meat juices", which are often used as the basis for a gravy or sauce for the dish you are cooking.
by Phil White
Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Cackalacky and derivatives
Replies: 8
Views: 1388

Re: Cackalacky and derivatives

Unfortunately, from your own research and the attempts of others on this board, it would seem clear that the origins of this one are lost in the mists of time. Without a good chain of evidence that would link the word to a particular community in its earliest days, we can only ever speculate, and I ...
by Phil White
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:13 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: for him to win
Replies: 1
Views: 143

Re: for him to win

Like Schrödinger's cat, which is both alive and dead simultaneously, this sentence has two meanings simultaneously. Also like Schrödinger's cat, we can never know which one is true until we observe it. In other words, all the time that this sentence exists in a theoretical box, we cannot know what i...
by Phil White
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Flyers door to door
Replies: 4
Views: 288

Re: Flyers door to door

In the UK, we tend to use the word "leaflet" rather than flyer. People who deliver them are called "leafleters" or "leaflet distributors". Occasionally, you will also see "leafleteer".
by Phil White
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:52 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: It's a book
Replies: 1
Views: 258

Re: It's a book

The bottom of the barrel must surely be wearing out with that much scraping!
by Phil White
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Respect - Polite - Forgive
Replies: 6
Views: 365

Re: Respect - Polite - Forgive

I'm with Bob on this one. We like to be equally rude to everybody, especially Phil :) . I shall not comment on your customary imprecision in expression that renders that sentence ambiguous... Steven: what a charming concept! A fusion of respect and tolerance. As others have said, we have no single ...
by Phil White
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: relative clauses
Replies: 5
Views: 421

Re: relative clauses

In your sentence 1. "He was the scientist who had published a number of important articles, but we don't know exactly how many." is the part after the comma part of the defining clause? No. The "but" is a coordinating conjunction, so we have two main clauses. And do these make sense, 2. "Tom was th...
by Phil White
Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:32 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: relative clauses
Replies: 5
Views: 421

Re: relative clauses

There is a point at which "grammaticality" becomes rather irrelevant. The sentences are all so excruciatingly inelegant and cumbersome that no native speaker would produce them unless, as happens, they have "spoken themselves into a grammatical dead end". "He was the scientist who had published a nu...