Search found 3580 matches

by Phil White
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:51 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: absent
Replies: 2
Views: 571

Re: absent

I'm not entirely sure that I would call it "standard", but you certainly hear it and see it. A quick look at Google Ngram suggests that it quite suddenly became more popular in the 2000s. I can find very few examples of the usage prior to the 1990s.

For myself, I would not use it.
by Phil White
Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:40 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Probably
Replies: 2
Views: 640

Re: Probably

Many sites for learning English only teach you "rules of thumb", which will generally be correct and are good starting points for people learning a language. In many cases, however, native speakers use formulations that do not correspond to these rules of thumb. In the case of "probably", the normal...
by Phil White
Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:07 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: and other things
Replies: 1
Views: 553

Re: and other things

If it is the speaker's intention to be ambiguous, then he or she has succeeded with both sentences.

If the intention is to be unambiguous, different formulations would be needed, similar to the ones you suggest.
by Phil White
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:02 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: who is he
Replies: 1
Views: 640

Re: who is he

Your suggestions: Why would I talk to someone like him? Why would anyone talk to someone like him? work perfectly well and are probably what people might say. Your sentence 1) is correct, but very formal. The other two are extremely odd. Another formal alternative would be: "Who is he for me to talk...
by Phil White
Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:16 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: House bridge
Replies: 5
Views: 1054

Re: House bridge

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the term "skywalk" as "a usually enclosed aerial walkway connecting two buildings", which would seem to be appropriate, but I associate a "skywalk" or "skyway" with something far higher, and the terms can sometimes refer to enclosed glass bridges over natural f...
by Phil White
Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:44 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: a woman's beautiful voice
Replies: 1
Views: 618

Re: a woman's beautiful voice

Your intuition is largely correct. Sentence a) is perfectly okay in the intended meaning. Sentence b) is unusual, but not for the reason you suggest. In essence, the context is that you are hearing something. The adjectival qualifiers that qualify what you are hearing (the voice) are unlikely to ref...
by Phil White
Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:37 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Goodbye and Good Riddance!
Replies: 1
Views: 852

Re: Goodbye and Good Riddance!

May I conjoin my wishes for a far more rewarding 2021 with those of Bob.

Having said that, 2020 was a year in which I discovered that I have a true friend other than Sheba on whom I can rely. That at least is a good memory of 2020 that I shall take with me.
by Phil White
Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:17 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: couple months!
Replies: 5
Views: 1004

Re: couple months!

Has anyone else noticed a lot of typos in online news articles in the last year or so? To suggest they are typos is generous. A typo is when you get your mingers fuddled on a keyboard. What you are seeing is, in my profoundly humble opinion, sheer ignorance of the spelling and grammar conventions o...
by Phil White
Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:55 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: couple months!
Replies: 5
Views: 1004

Re: couple months!

Of course, I could be talking through my hat. You certainly wear your hat in an odd place. I think Erik is right. I would always associate "a couple months" with American usage. I don't think it's been adopted by British speakers to any great extent. The online Collins has this to say: 1. quantifie...
by Phil White
Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:30 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: the good and bad
Replies: 1
Views: 662

Re: the good and bad

There is an idiom in English: "What's the good of doing something?". The idiom is invariably used as a rhetorical question and carries the meaning "There is no point in doing something": "What's the good of voting? The government always wins.". It is not a question that expects an answer enumerating...
by Phil White
Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:00 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: fell twice
Replies: 3
Views: 914

Re: fell twice

I have a round piece of wood approximately 5 feet long. Its diameter is about an inch or so. Is this a) a broom handle b) a rake handle Only when I actually screw a broom head or a rake head to the handle does the piece of wood actually become a broom handle or a rake handle. Up to that point, it is...
by Phil White
Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:59 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Racquet/Racket
Replies: 3
Views: 768

Re: Racquet/Racket

I have the same sense as trolley. I would use the "racquet" spelling for the sporting equipment and "racket" other stuff. The Merriam-Webster gives "racquet" as a variant of "racket" in the meaning of the sports equipment, which usually indicates that "racket" is US usage and "racquet" is UK (and Ca...
by Phil White
Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:26 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: A Christmas message
Replies: 2
Views: 742

A Christmas message

With absolute predictability, Christmas has once again crept up on us and taken us by surprise. Despite everything, or perhaps precisely because of everything that has been going on, this year seems to have flown by. It has been a strange year, and I sincerely hope that this Christmas message finds ...
by Phil White
Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:42 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: dated two women
Replies: 2
Views: 817

Re: dated two women

It could, of course, also mean that he dated two women in New York, both of whom subsequently moved to Los Angeles, where he continued dating them. And, of course, it could mean that he dated one woman in New York whenever she was not in prison for possession of cocaine and another woman in Los Ange...
by Phil White
Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:08 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: safe place
Replies: 3
Views: 1012

Re: safe place

Yes, that perhaps gets us closer. In the phrase "safe from the storm", it is not (so much) the place itself that is safe from the storm; rather is is a place where people can be safe from the storm. In the phrase "safe for business", this does not pertain in quite the same way. That may go a little ...