Search found 8402 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:33 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: against global warming
Replies: 4
Views: 548

Re: against global warming

I think your husband's comment falls into the category we could term "loose speech". As Phil White has recently pointed out in his posting titled Only ever, sometimes an utterance has connotations for the utterer that cause it to mean what the utterer intended it to mean rather than what the words o...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:18 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: A question of interpretation
Replies: 0
Views: 423

A question of interpretation

I ran across some amusing anecdotes in this account of life as an interpreter in the London Review of Books, as well as some equally amusing descriptions in the comments below the feature article. Here are a couple of them: ------ Lynn Visson’s account of her work as a UN interpreter reminded me of ...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:59 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: 10th grade
Replies: 5
Views: 529

Re: 10th grade

Trolley: Perhaps "attended school only {till / as far as} 10th grade"?
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:57 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: against global warming
Replies: 4
Views: 548

Re: against global warming

Please supply the context. Without context, your question is impossible to answer definitively.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:19 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Awfully steep
Replies: 3
Views: 415

Re: Awfully steep

1. What are your fees?

2. That’s awfully steep, isn’t it?

3.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:54 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Only ever
Replies: 11
Views: 1044

Re: Only ever

The deliberate exploitation of the shortcomings of language as our primary means of communication foments a very deep uncertainty and unease, which is, in many cases, the very purpose of the communication. Not that this is anything new, though. We are just far more widely exposed to it than we used...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:05 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Only ever
Replies: 11
Views: 1044

Re: Only ever

In other words, we cannot even rely on the truth or otherwise of an interpretation to establish the "meaning" of an utterance. Fascinating thing, language, innit? It's as fascinating as the people who use it. The gap between what is said and what is actually meant has its counterpart in the gap in ...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:21 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Only ever
Replies: 11
Views: 1044

Re: Only ever

Latest from the Wirral Globe: I'M A SHELL-OUT, ADMITS POTTY POOCH-LOVING PENSIONER A local sheepdog owner has admitted he usually feeds his dog a dozen eggs a day. "People tell me I'm being eggstravagant," said pipe-smoking Phil White (87⅔), from Wallasey. "I must be spending at least £1.50 a day on...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Only ever
Replies: 11
Views: 1044

Re: Only ever

h. I only buy eggs for my dog, because after you persuaded me to buy saveloys for her (having told me how much your schnauzer loves them) she was violently sick.
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:43 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Only ever
Replies: 11
Views: 1044

Re: Only ever

e. I only buy eggs for my dog, never for my neighbour's dog.
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:52 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: probably the most unhealthy thing
Replies: 7
Views: 764

Re: probably the most unhealthy thing

What trolley said.

To express the intended meaning you mentioned, Navi, you would have to write something like:

“As soon as we sat down, she would choose what was probably the most unhealthy dessert on the menu."
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:40 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Millions
Replies: 5
Views: 551

Re: Millions

Adding 'people' might make it easier for some non-native speakers to understand, but the way Pompeo expressed the idea is perfectly idiomatic.

It also sounds as natural as any statement could that conveys the desire for Trump to make a full recovery.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:34 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: TMI
Replies: 0
Views: 481

TMI

A young naval officer was doing his physical workout on deck when an old seadog of Scots descent stepped out of the bridge to light his pipe in the fresh air. Observing the effort and speed which the other fellow was putting into his press-ups, he tapped the youngster on the shoulder and said, “I th...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:30 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: for something he didn't do
Replies: 2
Views: 435

Re: for something he didn't do

An additional possible meaning/implication with 3) is "He accused me of doing something which someone else had actually done". Context usually makes the intended meaning clear. Finally, Navi, I have no idea how you could possibly infer so much (even in general terms) in the explanation you supplied ...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: LIDS
Replies: 8
Views: 1149

Re: LIDS

It seems like the most plausible explanation so far, but I'm still not convinced. The generally brash tone doesn't seem consistent with B's use of specialized political jargon unless both A and B are Washington insiders who regularly use the term. Which doesn't seem all that likely, given the troubl...