Search found 2990 matches

by Phil White
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:19 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Glass thing
Replies: 4
Views: 994

Re: Glass thing

Tabletop. There you go. The transition is complete. Actually, there are some factors that play into how easily and quickly collocations become single words. In this case, we could contrast "table top" with "worktop" and "desktop". In the collocation "table top", each word appears to retain in full i...
by Phil White
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: answer to each question
Replies: 2
Views: 754

Re: answer to each question

Erik is, in his labyrinthine way, correct.

But it has to be said that your sentences are all not pretty...

Indeed, they are entirely unnatural.
by Phil White
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: you won't believe it
Replies: 4
Views: 928

Re: you won't believe it

I agree with both Erik's and Bonnie's comments. However, the use or otherwise of a comma suggests two different meanings. "She has so many dresses you wouldn't believe it." This implies an ellipted consequential subordinating conjunction "that". The number of dresses is so great that it stretches cr...
by Phil White
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:45 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: her husband Tom
Replies: 4
Views: 951

Re: her husband Tom

Pretty well every style guide and punctuation guide will tell you that only 2 and 4 are correct. Some will suggest that two nouns in apposition always need to be separated by a comma. Other, more enlightened, guides give information along the lines of "if an appositive is essential to the fully iden...
by Phil White
Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Grenades
Replies: 4
Views: 938

Re: Grenades

As far as I know, the US military use "fire in the hole" when a grenade is thrown into an enclosed space. The phrase actually predates military usage, coming from mining. Other than that, I have no military experience, but I seem to remember soldiers in war films simply shouting "grenade", either fo...
by Phil White
Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: everything somebody writes
Replies: 1
Views: 600

Re: everything somobody writes

Sentence 1 is extremely odd. Sentences 2 and 4 are good. Sentence 3 is problematic. The reason is not entirely transparent. "Somebody" isolates a single, but unidentified person. This makes the actual meaning of sentence 1 extremely bizarre. The first part of the sentence means "there is a particula...
by Phil White
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Mountains
Replies: 5
Views: 959

Re: Mountains

That particular platform is at the "Summit Lodge" at the top of the "Sea to Sky Gondola". The people who run the facility refer to the various platforms as "viewing platforms" and "viewing decks" in their advertising material.
by Phil White
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:20 am
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: BBC Radio 4 Extra : Many a Slip
Replies: 11
Views: 1872

Re: BBC Radio 4 Extra : Many a Slip

Hmmm, I missed the responses to this one. I revel in language. Always have done. I consider myself fortunate to have had the education I have had and to have the facility with language that I have. And yet, the more I consider the way in which language actually works, the more I understand that huge...
by Phil White
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:36 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: it is kind to...
Replies: 2
Views: 759

Re: it is kind to...

Your example a is odd. It is an unusual, but possible way to say b. For me, without further context or embellishment, sentence b (and a) would mean that I get a good feeling form helping (people). In other words, intuitively, they do not mean the same as your sentence c. Again, without a complete di...
by Phil White
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: epistemic closure
Replies: 6
Views: 1226

Re: epistemic closure

tony h wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:22 pm
I tend to think of it as "thinking inside the box". :)
Brownie points for that.
by Phil White
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Mountains
Replies: 5
Views: 959

Re: Mountains

I would agree with trolley. There is no specific name for a structure like that. I would call it a viewing platform.
by Phil White
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: the last thing we want
Replies: 2
Views: 1199

Re: the last thing we want

c and f are probably the most natural to me. a and d sound fine to me, but I probably wouldn't use them myself. b and e sound odd to me, but I may just be being fussy. Or maybe I am wanting to see the subjunctive, which sounds fine to me: The best thing that can happen is that he fall in love. The l...
by Phil White
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: To be determined to
Replies: 8
Views: 1177

Re: To be determined to

The link to the Word Detective reminded me - does anyone know how Even Morris is doing? Is he still alive? I sent a note by snail mail in January & didn't hear back. I'm still reading his archives & enjoying them very much. There has been no activity on his blog or on Twitter since Spring last year...
by Phil White
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:38 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: To be determined to
Replies: 8
Views: 1177

Re: To be determined to

As far as "hell bent for leather" is concerned, the mighty Ken had a good go at that one a few years back, and there are some even older discussions on the board if you search for them.
by Phil White
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:21 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Library ladder
Replies: 4
Views: 828

Re: Library ladder

Steven, you have made me very happy! As Erik says, what you show is a "spiral staircase". But it is not just any old staircase. It is THE spiral staircase in the single most beautiful room I have ever been in, namely the Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin. When I first visited T...