Search found 3012 matches

by Phil White
Mon May 30, 2005 3:09 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: slick mile
Replies: 8
Views: 1696

slick mile

I would personally read the unpunctuated original as "a dirt-track one mile long which was both pretty dry and slick". I don't think that "slick mile" forms a collocation here.
by Phil White
Mon May 30, 2005 8:03 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: amend or emend
Replies: 9
Views: 4307

amend or emend

Partridge goes along with the idea that emend(ation) is restricted to the correction of the text of a book. Fowler is a little more restrictive: emend(ation) The words are now confined strictly to the conjectural correction of errors in manuscripts... (my emphasis) While not being quite that restric...
by Phil White
Wed May 25, 2005 11:37 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: King James and UK vs US English
Replies: 6
Views: 2480

King James and UK vs US English

William, I'm not aware of the extent to which there are different versions of the King James currently availble with explicitly "US" or "UK" orthography. What I can say is that there has been a large number of different variants of the translation printed over the years. The original version publish...
by Phil White
Tue May 24, 2005 6:06 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: transparent
Replies: 4
Views: 1353

transparent

It seems to me that this term is used in two diametrically opposite ways. A couple of examples at random: This component allows PageRecall to be integrated with document management systems and makes the process of protecting documents transparent to users. http://www.validate.com.au/pagerecall.htm I...
by Phil White
Tue May 24, 2005 9:03 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: peaceable vs peaceful
Replies: 4
Views: 3640

peaceable vs peaceful

Irrespective of the difference in meanings, I feel you were right to choose the adjective "peaceable" as the "most approipriate" adjective associated with "peaceably". There are many nouns, adjectives and adverbs related morphologically to the word "peace" (although only one verb as far as I can see...
by Phil White
Mon May 23, 2005 1:17 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: hamlet
Replies: 6
Views: 1503

hamlet

Hamlet, son of Piglet?
by Phil White
Sun May 22, 2005 9:48 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Base 36
Replies: 14
Views: 11097

Base 36

The correct term describing base 16 in German is in fact "sedezimal", although in programming manuals, you often see simply "hex", presumably from the influence of English. There's a general tendency in German to be a little more "careful" with Latin- and Greek-derived words than we are in English, ...
by Phil White
Fri May 20, 2005 5:48 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: down to
Replies: 6
Views: 1784

down to

I'm only guessing, but I suspect that its origins are in a contraction of "put down to/as" in the sense of entering in a list. I can't trace any etymological references to "put down to", but I would not be surprised if it goes back a long way, perhaps in the realms of bookkeeping, which would serend...
by Phil White
Wed May 18, 2005 9:14 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: bailiwick
Replies: 13
Views: 3064

bailiwick

Hans Jörg,

Most etymologists see "way" as coming from the Germanic root "weg", and its use in Old English predates most Romance influence. Of course, the Romance and Germanic "via" and "weg" are related further down the line.
by Phil White
Tue May 17, 2005 9:25 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Item 2
Replies: 22
Views: 5750

Item 2

Ah, I see! When we subscribe to your point of view, then and only then will you see fit to come down to our level to discuss issues with us (although discussion may become somewhat dull, because we would all agree with each other). Louis, you have enlivened discussion of a number of issues on this f...
by Phil White
Tue May 17, 2005 5:00 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: bailiwick
Replies: 13
Views: 3064

bailiwick

Edwin Ashworth wrote: A D Phil?
Undoubtedly preferable to going through life as the famous Dr. White.
by Phil White
Tue May 17, 2005 2:33 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: bailiwick
Replies: 13
Views: 3064

bailiwick

Odd and interesting one that. I would guess it's rare that an old simple two-root NN compound joins a Germanic root to a Romance root. I can only think of "carriageway" and possibly "poorhouse" off-hand. NN compounds from two Germanic roots are, however, very common and were often compounds in the o...
by Phil White
Tue May 17, 2005 1:25 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: cheeping vs chirping
Replies: 6
Views: 2055

cheeping vs chirping

My gut reaction tells me that I would possibly tend to use cheeping for young birds and chicks and chirping for adult birds (of the small, singing variety, rather than, say, condors, emus or crows). Merriam-Webster appears to bear that out: Cheep 1: to utter faint, shrill sounds, esp. of a young bir...
by Phil White
Mon May 16, 2005 3:30 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Dr. as an accounting abbreviation
Replies: 1
Views: 2082

Dr. as an accounting abbreviation

Originally, the two sides of an account in double-entry bookkeeping were referred to as the "debtor side" and the "creditor side". "Dr." and "Cr." are abbreviations of these. The two sides are now generally referred to as the "debit side" and "credit side". You'll find some references to old account...
by Phil White
Mon May 16, 2005 2:42 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: toward/towards
Replies: 21
Views: 8286

toward/towards

I rather wish I hadn't started this. It's had me re-checking all the sources I've checked over the past fifteen years or so, re-trawling the Web and leaving me a) no wiser b) with one of those awful gut-wrenching feelings where both words appear wrong in any context and I'm not at all sure whether t...