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by Erik_Kowal
Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:38 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: At play
Replies: 5
Views: 148

Re: At play

When I Googled the phrase "sick minds at play" (in quotation marks), my search returned 16 hits, two of which were the same comment relating to the same story that Steven posted about above. There were also a couple of other duplicates. Make of that what you will, but I consider that the result of m...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:40 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: At play
Replies: 5
Views: 148

Re: At play

This is the news story from which the photo is taken: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53648638 To my mind, "some sick minds at play" represents an outlier in terms of the usage of "at play". It is more usual to see it being employed to describe or reference an influence, process, phenomenon ...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:39 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: with
Replies: 2
Views: 86

Re: with

Once again, you have presented some ambiguous sentences which you have constructed to be ambiguous and asked for confirmation that they are ambiguous.

It may not surprise you if I unambiguously tell you that yes, they are ambiguous. :roll:
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:52 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: rather do this job
Replies: 2
Views: 185

Re: rather do this job

Only b) and c).

It's interesting that the verb "do" works in the past tense in c), but not in the present tense in a).
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:14 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Miles
Replies: 3
Views: 264

Re: Miles

The miles being referred to are so-called air miles (also known as frequent-flyer miles ). These are credits awarded by some airlines to passengers when they fly with them. The credits can be redeemed as full or partial payment for further flights once enough qualifying credits have been collected. ...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:25 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Awkward spot
Replies: 2
Views: 276

Re: Awkward spot

Yes. The implied point is that the sister of the ex-boyfriend will be forced to take sides if Person A keeps complaining about the ex, with likely adverse effects on her business relationship with Person A.
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:29 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: which Paul are we talking about?
Replies: 1
Views: 191

Re: which Paul are we talking about?

You should use 2), which is pretty unambiguous. 1) could be parsed as meaning that Sally was wearing a black jacket while dancing with Paul, whereas she was not wearing a blue jacket while dancing with Paul. It is also unclear whether the second mention of Paul in this version of the sentence relate...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:05 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: judging by what he said
Replies: 1
Views: 204

Re: judging by what he said

All OK. Only difference is the extent of certainty. The "should" and "ought" versions suggest slightly less of it than the other two.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:45 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Ballsy
Replies: 4
Views: 369

Re: Ballsy

Breakfast seems to have burst into flames. Worse still, the flames appear to be the only edible thing on the table. If you wanted a drink, you'd either have to swig it from the bottle or lap it up from the saucer. Whether you're ballsy or not, your girlfriend would also have to be similarly ballsy t...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:23 am
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Rant
Replies: 6
Views: 776

Re: Rant

Going back to Phil's rant, there's one further aspect of the lifecycle of a product which ought in principle to be considered when assessing and comparing the ethical and environmental implications of a particular purchase decision. This is the issue of how the item will be disposed of when its orig...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:07 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Cover it with a laugh
Replies: 3
Views: 327

Re: Cover it with a laugh

I will hazard a guess that "on the low" is being used to mean "in a low-level manner", i.e. subtly or insidiously. In essence, the meme is referring to a type of what is often nowadays termed "micro-aggressions", e.g. when white people cross the street to avoid passing a black person coming from the...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:19 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Linger
Replies: 3
Views: 499

Re: Linger

Stevenloan wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:45 pm
1. Could you please spend a couple of more minutes for with me?
Everything else is fine, except that no question mark is needed in 2) because you have framed your preamble as a statement of opinion, not as a question.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:07 am
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Rant
Replies: 6
Views: 776

Re: Rant

All the cans, jars, bottles, or other type of food container must be cleaned prior to being put out for pick up. Our recyclables are immaculate. I too clean the recyclables in my household, but without using more than a tiny amount of additional water. The way I do this is by allocating a small amo...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:27 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Rant
Replies: 6
Views: 776

Re: Rant

It's in the nature of our globalized capitalist economic system for the efficiency and manner of operation of supply chains to be substantially opaque, even for the individual links in those chains. The stages of supply of the consumer items you have focused on are among the last in the sequence of ...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:10 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Food
Replies: 4
Views: 559

Re: Food

The food has {spoiled / gone off / deteriorated / started to decay}

The food is {off / past its best / no longer edible / going rotten / rank}

The food smells {off / bad / rank / foul}