Search found 3603 matches

by Phil White
Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:57 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: The Duke of Edinburgh
Replies: 3
Views: 179

The Duke of Edinburgh

On the day of his death, the media in the UK is tying itself in knots trying to avoid any suggestion that Prince Philip might have been a racist and a bigot. Instead, he was "gaffe-prone" or a "colourful character". Perhaps that should be a "character of colour"... If there is anyone out there I hav...
by Phil White
Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:52 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Juice
Replies: 5
Views: 261

Re: Juice

My feeling is that "juice" is used by many people (in the UK) for petrol in a car. It is also used by electricians and tradespeople to mean electricity ("turn on the juice", etc.). I don't think I often hear it among ordinary folks so much in reference to electricity, and I personally find it very s...
by Phil White
Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: whoever
Replies: 3
Views: 230

Re: whoever

I can't see anything wrong with Bob's answer.
by Phil White
Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:45 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: emphasis
Replies: 2
Views: 126

Re: emphasis

Either form can have either meaning, and I cannot see any way of stressing the utterance that would make the precise meaning clear. As Erik says, it is only pragmatics that might reveal the meaning. But perhaps there is nothing in the discourse or situation that disambiguates the meaning. In that ca...
by Phil White
Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:38 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: neither
Replies: 2
Views: 177

Re: neither

Erik is spot on. Some simpler examples: I'm not deaf; neither am I stupid. I'm not deaf; nor am I stupid. It's not in the kitchen; neither is it in the lounge. The construction is often used over two sentences. I chose to use a semicolon instead. I could also have used a dash. Whatever punctuation I...
by Phil White
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:51 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: in case
Replies: 1
Views: 137

Re: in case

They seem okay to me.
by Phil White
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:50 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: comma
Replies: 1
Views: 98

Re: comma

That is correct, but I would add what I always say whenever you try to use punctuation to distinguish different meanings: Punctuation is at best a poor reflection of spoken intonation and rhythms, not the other way round. It is the pause in speech that conveys the difference in meaning. The comma is...
by Phil White
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:53 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Hold a candle
Replies: 3
Views: 241

Re: Hold a candle

It would never be natural to say that Frank Lampard is/was a good footballer :o :o . That aside, your suggestion is perfectly okay. That is exactly the way the idiom is used. It certainly is a very odd idiom. Ken had a little to say about it a very long time ago: http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/vie...
by Phil White
Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:45 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: which I didn't know
Replies: 3
Views: 844

Re: which I didn't know

This is an example of a concept that, in theory at least, demands somewhat complex syntactical structures if we are to express it with the formal accuracy expected, say, in academic writing. Many of your questions raise similar issues. If we want to express such concepts in speech, where we have no ...
by Phil White
Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:21 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: more of a comedy
Replies: 6
Views: 701

Re: more of a comedy

Odd one. It seems to me that the use of "of" in this construction is more the result of considerations of prosody than anything else.

"More of" rolls off the tongue more easily in speech.
by Phil White
Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:01 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Alive alive o
Replies: 3
Views: 1438

Re: Alive alive o

I just read Erik's post and thought to myself "at least life can't get any worse now.

It just did.

Where did you dredge that one up from, Bob?
by Phil White
Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:12 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: at the post office part II
Replies: 3
Views: 788

Re: at the post office part II

Which is, without putting too fine a point on it, where many surnames come from. Miller, Thatcher, Carpenter ... I do wonder why we never had a bigger steel industry in this country, given the number of Smiths we have. And then there's Southampton's Austrian manager Hasenhüttl, which is Austrian dia...
by Phil White
Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: at the post office part II
Replies: 3
Views: 788

Re: at the post office part II

Only 1 is ever likely to be said by a native speaker. It would usually mean "the guy called Tom who works at the Post Office - you know, the tall one with the big nose - told me ...". In other words, it identifies a specific "Tom" from among several that the speaker and listen might know. If any oth...
by Phil White
Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:32 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Slew hole
Replies: 5
Views: 1041

Re: Slew hole

I'll add my name to the list of those who have never seen it. I think trolley is right. Merriam-Webster gives "slew" as an alternative spelling of "slough" in the sense of "a place of deep mud" or a "swamp". Having said that, I don't see the expression "slough hole" being used either. But as trolley...
by Phil White
Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:34 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: toxic
Replies: 1
Views: 482

Re: toxic

Your questions are more philosophical than linguistic. In women's studies, "toxic masculinity" has long been used, primarily referring to the prevailing understanding of "macho" masculinity. More recently, the term is being used outside of academia, particularly in the US. Its meaning seems to vary ...