Search found 7691 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: John, I had...
Replies: 1
Views: 25

Re: John, I had...

Yes to b), c) and d. No to a) — it sounds unidiomatic, I think because it violates the — admittedly often disregarded — convention whereby when you construct a list, you use similar verb forms and constructions for each of the items listed. Actually, a) is a bit of an edge case, to my mind: the sent...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:26 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: gave them a book and a notebook
Replies: 1
Views: 21

Re: gave them a book and a notebook

In both cases, your wording implies that you gave both of them a book and a notebook (though it should be noted that your second specimen sentence doesn't say how many individuals are encompassed by 'they' — it could be just two, or it it could be more than two. There is no way to tell without any c...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: epistemic closure
Replies: 2
Views: 42

Re: epistemic closure

In the political context that Ken describes, I think "nasty infection" hits the mark just right.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Library ladder
Replies: 3
Views: 104

Re: Library ladder

When I hear the term library ladder I picture a ladder (typically wooden) that is wide at the base and tapers towards the top. It is also designed to be slid along the shelves to wherever it is needed. What you have posted a picture of is not a ladder but a fixed staircase (i.e. it is permanently lo...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:10 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: To be determined to
Replies: 8
Views: 236

Re: To be determined to

I've hear that too in the States, Bonnie, and I had the same reaction as you. :)
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: To be determined to
Replies: 8
Views: 236

Re: To be determined to

There are quite a few I can think of: To go all out [for something] To go full-bore To go for it ("He saw his chance, and he went for it") To be {hell-bent / dead set} on [object or doing something] ("He was hell-bent on being the first in line") No doubt other contributors to this site will be able...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: have to lose
Replies: 1
Views: 92

Re: have to lose

Agreed. This connotation is brought into relief with supporting context:


Their start-up was woefully under-capitalized, and nobody knew what the hell they were doing. Once the market turned, their venture had to fail.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:28 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: BBC Radio 4 Extra : Many a Slip
Replies: 8
Views: 725

Re: BBC Radio 4 Extra : Many a Slip

I think what's being said here is all rooted in our agreement that it is not a good thing when people are discriminated against simply because of how they speak. But our responses to this state of affairs differ: You, Tony, feel that speakers of English should not have obstacles placed in the path o...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:45 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: want it new
Replies: 7
Views: 271

Re: want it new

But I still cannot quite understand why, no matter what the context, "I wanted my hands clean" sounds better as "I wanted clean hands", whereas "I wanted my head clear" seems to work perfectly okay in many contexts. I wonder if it could be something to do with the fact that with parts of our own bo...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:48 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: want it new
Replies: 7
Views: 271

Re: want it new

The first sounds absolutely fine and natural if you add the context: "I wanted my head clear for the meeting" The second still sounds a little strange even if you add appropriate context: "I wanted my hands clean for my meeting with the boss" I really am not sure why one works better than the other...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:27 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Babies' clothes
Replies: 6
Views: 280

Re: Babies' clothes

You'd be surprised how often I've done up half the buttons on a shirt and realised that they're out of alignment by 1 hole! :D
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:31 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Babies' clothes
Replies: 6
Views: 280

Re: Babies' clothes

I quote from Wikipedia: --------------------- An infant bodysuit is a garment designed to be worn by infants much like a T-shirt; they are distinguished from T-shirts by an extension below the waist, with snaps or Velcro that allow it to be closed over the crotch. The purpose of the opening at the c...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:04 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Swimming pool
Replies: 2
Views: 153

Re: Swimming pool

Similar to what you'll find on a staircase, they are handrails that belong to the pool ladder.
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:26 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Get off a plane
Replies: 4
Views: 267

Re: Get off a plane

You can also be denied boarding (when they don't let you get on the flight, for whatever reason), or forcibly deplaned (when the police come aboard and drag you off the plane). You get bumped {from / off} the flight when the airline has overbooked the seats.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:19 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: BBC Radio 4 Extra : Many a Slip
Replies: 8
Views: 725

Re: BBC Radio 4 Extra : Many a Slip

Well, we do still have a more-or-less standard pronunciation, insofar as what you might call 'BBC English' remains front and centre in Britain's broadcast media. But what we don't have any more is the kind of rigid rule that at one time barred anyone who didn't speak with Received Pronunciation from...