Search found 8133 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:43 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Bird brain
Replies: 0
Views: 87

Bird brain

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every sentence out of the bird’s mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried as best he could to change the bird’s attitude by consistently conversing with it using only...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:04 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: On time
Replies: 2
Views: 203

Re: On time

"X is {a strict timekeeper / a stickler for {being on time / punctuality} }"

"X is [quite] anal about {being on time / not being late / punctuality}"
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:57 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Forgiveness application?
Replies: 4
Views: 241

Re: Forgiveness application?

It seems to me that this would be a highly irregular procedure altogether. In countries that observe the principles of natural justice in their criminal prosecution system, if a serious traffic accident occurs (especially one that involves injury) there is a structured process which typically involv...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:10 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: to be worn
Replies: 2
Views: 235

Re: to be worn

Have you checked the price of hiking gear lately?
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:07 am
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Dealing with canvassers
Replies: 3
Views: 317

Re: Dealing with canvassers

Buy a few packets of those cheap sweets/candies that nobody buys for the pleasure of personally eating them -- things like tootsie rolls, strawberry laces, Refreshers, hard candies, blackjacks and milk duds. Stir them all together in a big tin or cardboard box. Half fill a foil cupcake holder with t...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:53 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Leave it to me
Replies: 2
Views: 224

Re: Leave it to me

Both are fine.

US/UK usage note:

US: "go open"

UK: "go and open"
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:59 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Make someone's stomach turn
Replies: 3
Views: 218

Re: Make someone's stomach turn

I suspect the writer was going for the "butterflies in the stomach" sense that Trolley mentioned but picked the wrong idiom to express it with.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:35 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Squeeze in
Replies: 6
Views: 511

Re: Squeeze in

Both those are fine.

You could also say "Everyone, {try to / try and} stand as {close / close together} {as possible / as you can}.

(One of the quirks of English is that the infinitive form "try to" can often be replaced by "try and". Don't ask me why.)
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:37 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: That's all you
Replies: 3
Views: 575

Re: That's all you

The situation is a little confusing, because it is not entirely clear from the way it is described whether the coworker was primarily addressing the speaker or the customer. If it is the customer, then I take it to mean "That's your problem, not ours", implying that the coworker was refusing to acce...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Hearing
Replies: 4
Views: 714

Re: Hearing

Both are fine. You could also say "He has trouble hearing", "He's hearing-impaired" or "He's deaf".

A person who can hear nothing at all can be described as being profoundly deaf.
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Out of my wheelhouse
Replies: 2
Views: 884

Re: Out of my wheelhouse

I knew I'd encountered a discussion about this previously on Wordwizard. Sure enough, when I searched for it, it turned out that Wordwizard's impresario of the OED — the doyen of dictionaries — the enchanter of etymons — the seer of lexicons — the sorcerer of encylopedias — our very own Ken Greenwal...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Health
Replies: 2
Views: 624

Re: Health

Those sentences are fine. You could also say "Please look after your health". Advice is one of those abstract nouns that often seems to need a singular form when its actual use is being referred to, but strangely doesn't have one. The standard substitute terms are "{A piece / a bit} of advice", or p...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Divorce
Replies: 3
Views: 610

Re: Divorce

It's a figurative extension of the primary meaning. So "My dentist divorced me" means "My dentist rejected/dropped me as a patient".
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:25 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Describing someone as fat
Replies: 7
Views: 813

Re: Describing someone as fat

There are not many interpersonal contexts I can think of in which it is necessary to point out or refer to someone's size, whether politely or impolitely. The legitimate contexts are those where a person's physical dimensions are of direct relevance to their needs, such as their health care, apparel...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:09 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Home address
Replies: 2
Views: 684

Re: Home address

You could call it a house sign, address sign, house address sign, number plaque or address plaque.

A shop sign, especially a freestanding one or one that protrudes from a building, can be described as a signboard.