Search found 3022 matches

by Phil White
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: not six feet
Replies: 7
Views: 1640

Re: not six feet

With my natural dialect/ideolect, "six foot tall" is always acceptable. My grandfather (Bow-bells cockney) would never have said anything else. As far as the first three are concerned, we don't tend to negate an attributive adjectival phrase with "not", which is why a) sounds wrong. It would sound o...
by Phil White
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Grammar in: "go to school" vs "go to the school"
Replies: 11
Views: 2767

Re: Grammar in: "go to school" vs "go to the school"

It's an interesting one, but it is one of the many areas of language where you will seek in vain for hard and fast rules. I think the lack of things like "go to office" and "go to factory", as already mentioned, demonstrate as clearly as anything else the arbitrary nature of the construction. And ye...
by Phil White
Tue May 29, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Turns of a phrase
Replies: 1
Views: 875

Re: Turns of a phrase

Oh, very nice. I shall have to work a few of those in over the next few days.
by Phil White
Wed May 23, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: dangling modifier?
Replies: 6
Views: 1784

Re: dangling modifier?

"Modifier" can mean pretty well anything you want it to. In Navi's examples, it is the participle that dangles, and not anything you may find in your pyjamas. As a rule, the things that have the greatest tendency to dangle in English are participles. Prototypical examples include things like "boundi...
by Phil White
Wed May 23, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: dangling modifier?
Replies: 6
Views: 1784

Re: dangling modifier?

Strange. I was thinking about dangling modifiers for about 3 days just last week. The conclusion I came to was that they are a lot more problematic in writing than they are in speech and that native speakers have a fine awareness of when they can be misleading and when not. Generally, if there is on...
by Phil White
Wed May 23, 2018 12:57 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Titanic
Replies: 0
Views: 1165

Titanic

The Titanic did not sink.

It just decided to self-identify as a submarine.
by Phil White
Fri May 18, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: conservative kidney
Replies: 9
Views: 3602

Re: conservative kidney

You disappoint me, Bob. The Gower is half English! You are a mongrel!
by Phil White
Thu May 17, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: conservative kidney
Replies: 9
Views: 3602

Re: conservative kidney

Hi Eliza,

Bob, like slate and coal does not have ancestry. He was hewn from the bowels of the Welsh ground.

But he will undoubtedly tell you that when he comes back from the pit.

Welcome to the Clubhouse!
by Phil White
Wed May 16, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Flash Language
Replies: 3
Views: 1628

Re: Flash Language

So how many of those are still current in Aus, Woz?
by Phil White
Wed May 16, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Sad
Replies: 1
Views: 893

Re: Sad

That explains a lot...
by Phil White
Sun May 13, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Sideboards
Replies: 5
Views: 2537

Re: Sideboards

That is superb! Welcome back, WoZ!
by Phil White
Tue May 08, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Favourite dictionary ...
Replies: 5
Views: 2411

Re: Favourite dictionary ...

For many years, I relied on the two-volume Shorter Oxford and the three-volume Merriam-Webster. Around ten years back, I invested in the sixth edition of the Collins English Dictionary (complete and unabridged). At that time (around 2005), it was hugely refreshing. It was one of the first major dict...
by Phil White
Sat May 05, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: One who lives there entire life in one area
Replies: 3
Views: 1238

Re: One who lives there entire life in one area

Erik seems to have it about sewn up, although I feel that "native" is used in the sense you intend very frequently. If I say of someone "he's a native Londoner", it is unlikely that he was not born in London He is not currently living in London It is possible that one or other of those constraints i...
by Phil White
Fri May 04, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: to wear in cold weather
Replies: 5
Views: 1402

Re: to wear in cold weather

In your last examples, the passive infinitive suggests to me a concrete deadline by which something has to be done (or, alarmingly and perfectively, "has to have been done").

The passive infinitive seems to convey a sense of urgency.
by Phil White
Fri May 04, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Laughs last - complete phrase
Replies: 2
Views: 983

Re: Laughs last - complete phrase

I know the phrase as "he who laughs last laughs longest". But the proverb also exists as "he who laughs last laughs best" and "he who laughs last laughs loudest". Phrase Finder has this to say: This proverb originated in Tudor England but, for once, wasn't coined by Shakespeare. It is found in print...