Search found 3580 matches

by Phil White
Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:07 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: had to not
Replies: 1
Views: 2043

Re: had to not

Much the same applies as I wrote in response to your previous post. The auxiliary form "have to", meaning "must" only allows one form of negation ("do/did not have to") and this has the conventionalized meaning "to be under no obligation to...". Negating the infinitive verb "send" in your first sent...
by Phil White
Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: the devil, he may take you
Replies: 9
Views: 3314

Re: the devil, he may take you

The lyric you reproduce for "Whiskey in the Jar" is the one used famously by Thin Lizzy and on most subsequent recordings. There are many different variants of the lyrics, and most traditional Irish versions, including that of the Dubliners use a lyric similar to this for those two lines: I first pr...
by Phil White
Sat Nov 28, 2020 7:54 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: not letting
Replies: 3
Views: 2807

Re: not letting

If the person you are talking to is facing you and pointing a can of pepper spray in your face, the meaning is not ambiguous. If the person is merely standing in the door with their back to you and you politely tap them on the shoulder, the meaning is not ambiguous. I can think of no context outside...
by Phil White
Sat Nov 28, 2020 7:39 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: not going to let
Replies: 2
Views: 2332

Re: not going to let

Think of it like this: "(be) going to" is a way of expressing future time in English. With an inanimate subject, it is synonymous with the future "will": It's going to rain this afternoon. It will rain this afternoon. With an animate subject, it has the sense of intention (with future impact), but a...
by Phil White
Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:13 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings Archive
Topic: hospital corners
Replies: 18
Views: 5871

Re: hospital corners

What is worse, Erik, posting instructions on folding hospital corners or (presumably) reading the post and then posting the link in order to moan about the person who posted it in the first place?

What worries me is how you found it in the first place...
by Phil White
Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:32 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Rudi Giuliani
Replies: 1
Views: 1857

Rudi Giuliani

Watching Rudi Giuliani's hair dye failure on TV tonight reminded me of something ...

Giuliani took it straight from the screenplay of Death in Venice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deUVrtC5_So

What a wonderful film that was!
by Phil White
Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Run a red light
Replies: 5
Views: 3488

Re: Run a red light

I think Steven probably meant to write "are you sick of life?" in 2. I think it would be more normal to say "are you tired of life?" or "are you tired of living?", and that could well be appropriate in such a situation. For me, I would probably drive up the road a little, then stop and light up a pi...
by Phil White
Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:58 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: too good
Replies: 5
Views: 3710

Re: too good

For me as a Brit, "too good of a person" is simply too much of a good thing.
by Phil White
Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: too good
Replies: 5
Views: 3710

Re: too good

The only way of using the construction that I can think of is in the singular:
"He is too good a person to do something like that."

Logically, the construction should also work in the plural as well, but it doesn't.
by Phil White
Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Roger
Replies: 6
Views: 4440

Re: Roger

I for one would certainly never roger a family member...
by Phil White
Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Absent-minded
Replies: 5
Views: 3743

Re: Absent-minded

"Forgettery" has been an established part of my own vocabulary since I first heard it about 15 years ago, but I would only ever use it as part of a humorous comment.

If you intend to use it as a joke, sentence 1 is fine. If you intend it as a serious comment, sentence 2 is better.
by Phil White
Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: the chances of
Replies: 1
Views: 2963

Re: the chances of

In speech, and in most informal writing, we would almost certainly employ some form of ellipsis: The chances of A happening are greater than all the rest combined. The chances of A happening are greater than those of all the rest combined. Pretty well anything that is more grammatically complete sou...
by Phil White
Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Now and again.
Replies: 3
Views: 2666

Re: Now and again.

Bobinwales wrote: Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:46 pm Trump supporters are complaining that people are dressing up as elks to taunt them after the election result.
Don't pay any attention, it is fake gnus.
That may have been the most groanworthy of all the posts I have ever seen on Wordwizard. Well done, Bob!
by Phil White
Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Muffler vs Scarf
Replies: 3
Views: 3549

Re: Muffler vs Scarf

As Erik said, "muffler" is very much an American term. You will very rarely hear it in the UK and most people would not understand it. For us, the only word is a "scarf".
by Phil White
Fri Nov 06, 2020 3:33 pm
Forum: Welcome to the Clubhouse
Topic: Recent site outage
Replies: 1
Views: 3504

Recent site outage

Recent updates to the servers with our host led to problems with the Wordwizard site, with none of you being able to post anything. I have now upgraded the board software, but have not yet got round to updating the style. I hope to get things back to normal in a few days, but until then everything s...