Search found 3580 matches

by Phil White
Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:23 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Dodge to be
Replies: 5
Views: 4332

Re: Dodge to be

Is it just me, or does using "doctor" (change in order to deceive) in a statement about something medical seem to somehow detract from the statement? I immediately thought there was some (attempt at) humour injected in there and questioned how serious the statement was. For some reason, I would not...
by Phil White
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:52 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: fairly shook
Replies: 1
Views: 3152

Re: fairly shook

a) is fine, but b) makes no sense to me. As far as the meaning is concerned, it is not easy to pin down. The closest I can get is something like "literally": The walls fairly/literally shook. He fairly/literally screamed with delight. Historically, I think the meaning is something like "in the prope...
by Phil White
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:43 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: rather
Replies: 1
Views: 3117

Re: rather

It depends how the sentence is delivered. This usage of "rather" is often very complex. In many cases, it is a heavily understated way of saying that the apples are extremely tasty. This applies, for instance, when the adjective has a positive connotation, as in this case. Depending on context, it c...
by Phil White
Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:56 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Alexander-esque moment
Replies: 4
Views: 4273

Re: Alexander-esque moment

The quote you have given is from an article entitled "Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". That is the title of a 1982 children's book by author Judith Viorst. Disney has now made a film with the same name. In both the book and the film, the title character, Alexander, suffe...
by Phil White
Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:11 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Reply and Response
Replies: 6
Views: 5456

Re: Reply and Response

Erik_Kowal wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:04 am I suspect my general outlook in this regard is shared by most of those who have spent time answering questions on forums like this one. We don't do it for the thanks, but because we enjoy it.
Speak for yourself. I do it for the fame and glory.
by Phil White
Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:10 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: anyone
Replies: 6
Views: 5429

Re: anyone

It is a song lyric. It is there because it sounds good and fits the metre of the song. The whole of the first verse is It's not unusual to be loved by anyone It's not unusual to have fun with anyone But when I see you hanging about with anyone It's not unusual to see me cry, I wanna die My guess is ...
by Phil White
Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: That light-bulb moment
Replies: 1
Views: 2602

Re: That light-bulb moment

Someone talking about me?
Image
by Phil White
Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: comma
Replies: 2
Views: 3828

Re: comma

If you intend the sentence to have the meaning you indicate in b, the phrasing you use in b would seem to be ideal to me. If you intend to say that you bought 20 items, some of which were books and some notebooks (which sounds to me to be a rather peculiar thing to want to say), I think you would sa...
by Phil White
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:23 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: against global warming
Replies: 4
Views: 4263

Re: against global warming

I don't think you can really use "against" in the context of an established or claimed state of affairs or event. "*He is against the expanding universe." "*He is against the resurrection of the body." "*He is against the Great Flood." "*He is against evolution." These are things that you believe ha...
by Phil White
Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:50 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: thanking my teachers
Replies: 3
Views: 3728

Re: thanking my teachers

Can I use the first one even if I don't have any teachers now and want to thank those who were my teachers in the past? Nobody ever stops having teachers. Context, context, context. If it is clear that you are 59 and no longer in full-time education, "teachers" probably refers to the teachers you h...
by Phil White
Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:33 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Only ever
Replies: 11
Views: 5691

Re: Only ever

Given all that, it's a wonder the world hasn't descended into a seething cauldron of misunderstanding, suspicion, violent conflict and competing visions.... Oh, wait... That is an excellent point. The default expectation with which we approach daily life is that language is a reasonably precise too...
by Phil White
Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: probably the most unhealthy thing
Replies: 7
Views: 4776

Re: probably the most unhealthy thing

We are claiming that the writer did not say what she meant to say. On the contrary. She said what she meant to say. We also understood what she meant to say. Communication was successful. Adherence to grammatical conventions may have left a little to be desired. It is all a matter of perspective. I...
by Phil White
Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:38 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Only ever
Replies: 11
Views: 5691

Re: Only ever

The answer to the original question, given the original 4 alternatives, is that only sentence c is strictly true, but that I meant to convey the meaning of sentence d. If my dog gets a dose of the trots, I trot off to the supermarket and buy eggs. She then has rice and poached eggs for a couple of d...
by Phil White
Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:03 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Only ever
Replies: 11
Views: 5691

Re: Only ever

Not the point of the exercise, but good fun nevertheless.
by Phil White
Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: probably the most unhealthy thing
Replies: 7
Views: 4776

Re: probably the most unhealthy thing

Navi, I just posted another sentence that is theoretically ambiguous here. Perhaps it contributes to the conversation.