Search found 8116 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:26 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Husky and Hoarse
Replies: 7
Views: 3255

Re: Husky and Hoarse

Husky:

Image


Hoarse:

Image
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:57 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Be careful!
Replies: 4
Views: 2948

Re: Be careful!

2), though 3) is OK as well.

1) sounds rather aggressive. Use with care.

Alternatively:

"Watch out!"

"Hey! Pay attention!"

"Mind {what you're doing / where you're going / where you're riding} !"
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:36 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Royal pain
Replies: 5
Views: 3759

Re: Royal pain

In British English, the declaration "He/she's [being] a royal pain in the arse!" is quite commonly heard as a way of describing a person who is being obstructive or who is making a nuisance of themselves in some other way.
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:09 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: On the fly
Replies: 11
Views: 3374

Re: On the fly

According to the online Merriam-Webster, the space over a theatre stage where scenery and equipment can be hung is known as "the flies", which means there are two possible connections with the stage. I don't know how significant it is that "the flies" is plural, though. The same source gives the fol...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:02 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Heaven or Hell?
Replies: 0
Views: 1721

Heaven or Hell?

A politician dies and ends up standing before the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter looks at him for a second, flicks through his book, and finds his name. "So, you're a politician..." "Well, yes... Is that a problem?" "Oh no, no problem. But we've recently adopted a new system for people in your line of wo...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:27 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: On the fly
Replies: 11
Views: 3374

Re: On the fly

I haven't heard this usage of "on the fly" before. For me, the usual meaning is something like "done spontaneously or without preparation, improvised in the moment". If I was a waiter, I would consider a customer who said this to me to be presumptuous. Unless there were exceptional reasons for letti...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:31 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Prison person
Replies: 4
Views: 2340

Re: Prison person

The official term is recidivist.

You could also call them a habitual offender or habitual criminal, though those descriptors do not necessarily imply that they are constantly in and out of jail.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Dead zone
Replies: 3
Views: 2234

Re: Dead zone

Yes, I do. I might also say "There's no [phone] signal". I suspect that the term "dead zone" in this context is an extension of its common use to describe bodies of water subjected to eutrophication, such as the Gulf of Mexico, where the hypoxic conditions have led to the death of most aquatic life.
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:47 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: I was supposed to teach
Replies: 4
Views: 2605

Re: I was supposed to teach

They are all grammatically correct, but only d) sounds natural. The others strike me as being somewhat stilted.

a) sounds especially strange because it includes the phrase "to teach to golf" where I think a native speaker would prefer "to teach golfing to" or "to teach how to play golf".
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:29 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Violin, viola.
Replies: 7
Views: 5449

Re: Violin, viola.

There is no 'correct' or 'incorrect' here. Both are in widespread use, which legitimizes them both as standard pronunciations. There are many other words with multiple standard pronunciations, such as controversy: you will hear both CONtroversy and conTROversy, COMparable and comPARable, and often w...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:58 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Fall asleep quickly
Replies: 3
Views: 2165

Re: Fall asleep quickly

I can't think of a specific term for such a person, but you can say of someone who has fallen asleep very rapidly that they were "out like a light".
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Crashing
Replies: 3
Views: 2225

Re: Crashing

In this context, crashing is a shortened form of gatecrashing.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: make sense of
Replies: 4
Views: 2439

Re: make sense of

5b) and 5c) are fine. 5a) uses the strangely applied verb 'accepted' where it would be preferable to write 'agreed' or perhaps 'consented'. 'Accepted' is not exactly wrong here, but it raises a question in the reader's mind about what kind of pressure, inducement or encouragement was needed to get t...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:55 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: make sense of
Replies: 4
Views: 2439

Re: make sense of

The only one of those that is not barbarous is 1). 2) and 3) make a peculiarly unnatural use of the passive voice. 4) and 5) include the phrase "stepped up to" in a weird context. Normally, when you "step up to" something, it's a significant obligation or responsibility of some kind, such as taking ...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Having Drinking
Replies: 6
Views: 2881

Re: Having Drinking

To my ear, they're equally normal and acceptable.

The 'drinking' formulation would be preferable if you wanted to be specific about what she had intended to do. If she's 'having coffee', she might actually have ordered a cup of tea. That said, this is a trivial distinction. :)