Search found 3271 matches

by Phil White
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:13 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Shortie
Replies: 5
Views: 74

Re: Shortie

Yes, it is odd. There is no common, generic, colloquial term for tall people. Without resorting to some of the rather obscure metaphors and references Tony suggests, you only really have "tall people".
by Phil White
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:41 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: inversion
Replies: 14
Views: 527

Re: inversion

I spent quite a time doing some searches through the British National Corpus to try to substantiate my hypotheses. The BNC is a corpus of more than 100 million words of written and spoken text from a vast variety of sources, including newspapers, academic journals, fiction, screenplays and transcrip...
by Phil White
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: inversion
Replies: 14
Views: 527

Re: inversion

Thanks. It was fun. I did some extensive corpus analysis yesterday and the results bear out what I suggested above. They also suggest that the issue with "come" is a little more complex. I shall organize the findings and post them in the next few days. The advantage of corpus analysis is that it giv...
by Phil White
Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:42 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: inversion
Replies: 14
Views: 527

Re: inversion

This is very hard to get a grip on. I'd like to test a few other sentences, and then I'll quit. I think we have two problems. First: where can one use inversion? Second: when does one have to use inversion? azz, your second question is easy to answer: Never ... except when it is mandatory. Your fir...
by Phil White
Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: inversion
Replies: 14
Views: 527

Re: inversion

Tony, your point in the above post is about the fronting of the adverbial "in the distance", with which I take no issue. Your points are all valid. What I dislike is the inversion of the subject and verb in azz's original sentences ("moved a cloud"). A far, far longer post on which I have been worki...
by Phil White
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:23 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: inversion
Replies: 14
Views: 527

Re: inversion

Your feeling is correct. Your sentence 5 is, of course, absolutely normal, but if you front the locative phrase like that, it would be normal to place a comma between it and the subject. Indeed, if you front any phrase or clause before an uninverted statement, it would be normal to place a comma, as...
by Phil White
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:44 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: again
Replies: 3
Views: 134

Re: again

Yes, as Bob says.

Nice spot, trolley, I missed that one.

With the comma before "again", it suggests that he is constantly putting things right and will do so this time, and probably also in the future.
by Phil White
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Paedophile
Replies: 2
Views: 141

Re: Paedophile

The practice is referred to as "chemical castration".

It is used in some countries on sex offenders (not just paedophiles), but is still extremely controversial in most countries.
by Phil White
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:28 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Hades
Replies: 5
Views: 216

Re: Hades

I would guess that it is something that was originally a " minced oath " for "what the hell", although I can find no early occurrences of it. However, since "hell" is nowhere near as offensive as it was, say, a hundred years ago, "what the Hades" now merely sounds pretentious. "What the heck" is a m...
by Phil White
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: inversion
Replies: 14
Views: 527

Re: inversion

Still doesn't really work for me, Tony. The fronting of the locative expression, combined with the inversion, put massive emphasis on the fronted noun. In sentences a and b, the utterance is "about" the room. That's what the fronting and inversion do. likewise, in sentences e and f, the utterance is...
by Phil White
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: inversion
Replies: 14
Views: 527

Re: inversion

None of them follow the standard conventions of syntax. In very rare circumstances, a and b and e and f may conceivably be used as rhetorical devices, but the scenario must have been prepared beforehand (i.e. such sentences could only follow a focus on the room/basketball. I cannot conceive of any c...
by Phil White
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:13 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: compared to
Replies: 1
Views: 103

Re: compared to

Many people still insist on "compared with" in preference to "compared to". I always prefer it myself, but "compared to" has become widespread and probably more common than "compared with". Sentences a and c work, but, without further context could easily mean that although Tom worked harder than y...
by Phil White
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Addicted to exercising
Replies: 8
Views: 339

Re: Addicted to exercising

"Bonkers" is very mild. You can get away with it in most situations. It is less offensive than, say, "crazy" or "nuts".

As far as your original question is concerned, I can only think of "fitness freak", which is not offensive: "I'm a bit of a fitness freak."
by Phil White
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: recuse
Replies: 3
Views: 325

Re: recuse

OED: QED
by Phil White
Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: recuse
Replies: 3
Views: 325

Re: recuse

As far as I am aware, the correct usage is reflexive: "The judge should recuse himself."

The transitive use is very rare and means that a person challenges a judge to stand down: "He recused the judge."