Search found 2949 matches

by Phil White
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:16 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: talked to him first
Replies: 3
Views: 339

Re: talked to him first

Admirably thunk, good man.
by Phil White
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:10 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: as regards
Replies: 1
Views: 208

Re: as regards

Sentence 5 is simply incorrect however you try to read it. Sentence 3 can only refer to the particular law that covers John's misdemeanor. The remainder are all ambiguous, probably slightly favouring the interpretation "the law covering John's misdemeanor". Simply reversing the order of the sentence...
by Phil White
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:00 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: each/every/all
Replies: 1
Views: 215

Re: each/every/all

In theory, sentences 1 and 4 require your reading a) and all the rest require your reading b).

That said, I would very much expect most people to understand all the sentences as your reading b).

The distinction between "each" and "every" has never been well upheld in spoken English.
by Phil White
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: talked to him first
Replies: 3
Views: 339

Re: talked to him first

Yes and yes. The ambiguity of the second sentence does not arise in spoken English, as the meanings would be intonated differently. As far as your first sentence is concerned, I think you are scraping the barrel for ambiguity here. Yes, it is ambiguous, but only to the extent that virtually any temp...
by Phil White
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: it is worth
Replies: 3
Views: 362

Re: it is worth

This use of "it" can be analyzed in a couple of different ways. One way is to see "it" as an anticipatory subject. This reading allows the sentence to be read as "that movie is worth seeing". The other way is to see it as an empty subject. I believe Quirk et al also call this a "prop" subject. It is...
by Phil White
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: first learning of their mistake
Replies: 2
Views: 309

Re: first learning of their mistake

Sentence a does not work as you have it. It needs to read "On first learning ...".

The sentences then have the meanings you originally proposed.

As far as your suggestions c, d and e are concerned, the answer to all of them is probably no.
by Phil White
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: tinfoil hat
Replies: 9
Views: 1546

Re: tinfoil hat

I've never heard it this side of the pond.

I do rather like it.
by Phil White
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:52 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath
Replies: 5
Views: 448

Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

"I am loth/loath to lend him any more money." Both spellings are accepted in most dictionaries, and "loath" seems vastly more common in the US, whereas it is only very significantly more common in the UK. For no reason other than idle curiosity, which spelling would you use? Personally, I have alway...
by Phil White
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: in any event
Replies: 2
Views: 316

Re: in any event

Yes, along with a host of other alternatives, such as "whatever we do", "either way" (which does not scope to only two alternatives in colloquial English), "whatever happens", and so on. Some, such as your sentences c and d, are more formal and sound a little out of register compared with the rest o...
by Phil White
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: anyone who likes him
Replies: 9
Views: 520

Re: anyone who likes him

Yes, Tony. I hit on that one when I began applying a test. I am still struggling with a comprehensible formulation of my thinking, but I shall try. The various "any..." words all have a fundamental meaning of "a random exemplar from a given set". If the set is not explicitly specified, then the set ...
by Phil White
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: anyone who likes him
Replies: 9
Views: 520

Re: anyone who likes him

Yes, Erik is on the money.

It is very odd. Tony correctly identified that your first three examples are acceptable and normal, despite the negative.

I shall devote a few brain cells to this the next time Sheba and I are out chasing squirrels.
by Phil White
Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:13 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Grammar
Replies: 4
Views: 448

Re: Grammar

If it was last Monday, it was probably a depressed Scouser wandering aimlessly around South Wales.
by Phil White
Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:06 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: afraid to/afraid of
Replies: 6
Views: 514

Re: afraid to/afraid of

Yes. Trolley and Tony are right.

This actually makes sentence 3 extremely bizarre, namely that it was my intention to wake her by closing the window. The sentence cries out for further explanation:

"I was afraid to wake her up by closing the window, so I woke her up by vacuuming the duvet instead."
by Phil White
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: prepared to / willing to
Replies: 9
Views: 644

Re: prepared to / willing to

I had been waiting for a little more discussion before declaring my own position. The background to the question is a complaint from a customer about a translation done by a colleague of mine. One of the many changes made by the customer, who was not a native speaker, was "prepared" to "willing" in ...
by Phil White
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:16 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Bizarre photo
Replies: 2
Views: 504

Bizarre photo

Every month I translate a column about securing loads on trucks. Accident reports or reports from inspections and so on. Just before Christmas, they publish some of the more humorous and bizarre ones. I just got the Christmas specials from December to translate (yes, I know). The picture for this on...