Search found 3069 matches

by Phil White
Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:35 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: should
Replies: 7
Views: 1679

should

I was toying with the idea that the concept of obligation contained in "should" might somehow be related to the massive helpings of guilt that big sisters appear to be able to ladle out when they "scold" their little brother even when the latter is rapidly approaching 50. I suspect that Grimm would ...
by Phil White
Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:40 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Blair Arrives for Bush Talks
Replies: 7
Views: 2150

Blair Arrives for Bush Talks

I am merely quoting those at Sky news who perpetrated the headline.

Grammatically, it's dubious at the least, but many, if not most, headlines are. Your suggestion would be more normal.
by Phil White
Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:36 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Pullet surprise
Replies: 10
Views: 3039

Pullet surprise

Apparently, this is a term coined by Gyles Brandreth and used by presumably-less-than-serious linguists. It is also more rarely termed an "oronym". It is a magnificently self-referential term for a phrase misinterpreted with humourous results ("Pulitzer Prize"). A new one on me. Just wanted to share...
by Phil White
Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:18 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: should
Replies: 7
Views: 1679

should

You are probably correct. The etymology offered by Grimm and generally accepted is the one you quote from Duden. I noticed a semantic correlation between "Soll" and "Zoll" when I was a student and I seem to remember discussing the issue all those years ago with my Medieval Studies tutor. He said (or...
by Phil White
Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:27 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: should
Replies: 7
Views: 1679

should

There's a relatively simple answer and a more complex one. In one of its several primary meanings, "should" expresses obligation ("I suppose I should speak to my sister some time this year"). Etymologically, this is the root meaning of "should", and it comes in pretty direct line from the Germanic r...
by Phil White
Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:53 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: boo
Replies: 38
Views: 6814

boo

Sandy, With all due respect, it seems that your citations from David Crystal and Andrew Dalby are fully in harmony with what both Erik and I wrote, namely that French was the dominant written language for a considerable period due to its primacy in administration and law (I would disagree with respe...
by Phil White
Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:54 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Conflict v Confliction
Replies: 14
Views: 8747

Conflict v Confliction

I was gobsmacked by how often it comes up. One interesting one, though, was "potential confliction" in the context of air traffic control, which seems to make sense. "Potential conflict" in that context actually sounds wrong.
by Phil White
Tue Jun 14, 2005 4:17 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: The meaning/context of "confliction"
Replies: 3
Views: 1990

The meaning/context of "confliction"

Dangolberry, Due to the initial cross-posting, this is being discussed in two places, but here's a slight correction to what you said. The derivational morpheme -tion , along with -ion and -sion can only be applied to a verb in order to change it to a noun (radiate/radiation, dictate/dictation). Thu...
by Phil White
Tue Jun 14, 2005 3:54 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Conflict v Confliction
Replies: 14
Views: 8747

Conflict v Confliction

Shelley, The original post suggested that the term was being used synonymously with "conflict", and the dictionaries suggest that there is a fine distinction. I suggested that if the dictionaries' definitions are correct, then it is incorrect to use the terms synonymously with each other. But I did ...
by Phil White
Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:21 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Most words query / Eskimo words for snow
Replies: 34
Views: 14847

Most words query / Eskimo words for snow

- The hill in front of the church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave - The hill behind the church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave - The hill to the North of ...
by Phil White
Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:43 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Most words query / Eskimo words for snow
Replies: 34
Views: 14847

Most words query / Eskimo words for snow

Hans Jörg, I actually added "as understood today" quite late in drafting my reply. Certainly in the UK, we tend to associate the word with crofts on the Scottish islands, which is heavily contextual. You are quite right that "Kleinbauer" ("smallholder"), or perhaps "Kleinpächter" ("small tenant farm...
by Phil White
Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:29 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Most words query / Eskimo words for snow
Replies: 34
Views: 14847

Most words query / Eskimo words for snow

The "Eskimo words for 'snow'" tale is another language myth. R.L. Trask has this to say: Those Eskimo words for 'snow'. By a comical series of events, the legend has grown up that the Eskimo languages have vast numbers of words for different kinds of snow. In fact, the several dialects of the two Es...
by Phil White
Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:38 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: in-laws
Replies: 8
Views: 3194

in-laws

The Bloomsbury Good Word Guide: Difficulties often arise with the plurals of compound nouns. The general rule is that when the qualifying word is an adjective then the noun is made plural: courts martial , poets laureate , although in less formal usage, the second word is made plural: poet laureates...
by Phil White
Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:24 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: in-laws
Replies: 8
Views: 3194

in-laws

Ah! Kicks-off, spoonsful, cocksup, ballsesup??? I'll open my mouth before researching this one. This is more nonsense from those who tried to apply Latin-derived grammar to English. The idea was that only the noun part of a compound noun could be pluralized, not the adjectival/prepositional part. Wi...
by Phil White
Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:04 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Conflict v Confliction
Replies: 14
Views: 8747

Conflict v Confliction

The Webster's Unabridged gives confliction : the process of conflicting or state of being in conflict. The Shorter OED gives (under "conflict") confliction : the action of conflicting; state of conflict. By these definitions, your friend's use would be incorrect. I've never heard the term and I'm no...