Search found 8119 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:09 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: calibrated – a Janus word?
Replies: 19
Views: 5601

Re: calibrated – a Janus word?

Dale is clearly busier in retirement than ever...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:05 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: foul-up ("in one foul swoop")
Replies: 4
Views: 5302

foul-up ("in one foul swoop")

I would describe a hawk pouncing on a defenceless pigeon as a two-fowl swoop.

Yes... Too, too foul.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Do the 'Naughties' come after the 90s?
Replies: 14
Views: 6104

Do the 'Naughties' come after the 90s?

Ken, I suggest we wait until after the US has adopted the metric system.

Bob, based on what you wrote, you are either now 58, or you will be born in 42 years' time. ...Now, what was the question? ;-)
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Jun 05, 2005 7:05 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Do the 'Naughties' come after the 90s?
Replies: 14
Views: 6104

Do the 'Naughties' come after the 90s?

I conducted a brief internet search to see what other people had come up with, since I remember this being a hot topic of debate at the turn of the millennium. Among the suggestions I found for 2000-2009 were the following: The aughts, oughts, naughts, noughts, aughties, oughties, naughties, naughty...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:59 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: welsh/welch on a bet
Replies: 11
Views: 13739

welsh/welch on a bet

Bob, would I be right to infer that the female equivalent of Taffy would be 'Taffeta' (or 'Dafydda' in Welsh)?
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:58 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: stand a chance
Replies: 9
Views: 3857

stand a chance

As they might put it in Russia, "My friend Banks not standing around here".
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:52 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: boo
Replies: 38
Views: 9174

boo

Beehive now, Edwin!
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:57 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Afrocentric and Eurocentric
Replies: 16
Views: 9987

Afrocentric and Eurocentric

Much time has eelapsed since then, and we now have the even more eelongated Queen Mary II.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Jun 03, 2005 8:31 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: THE
Replies: 26
Views: 8274

THE

It has the demontrative pronouns 'hic' for 'this' and 'ille' for 'that' which are (or were) used for emphasising an object or person.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Jun 03, 2005 6:40 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: stand a chance
Replies: 9
Views: 3857

stand a chance

Actually, that 1589 sense survives in a number of other expressions that are still in common currency, such as 'stand to gain', 'stand to acquire', 'stand to learn [something]', 'stand to win [something]' and 'stand to benefit', including some in the passive voice: "That hedge/Your hair/The presiden...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:29 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: 'In back of' vs.' behind'
Replies: 13
Views: 6651

'In back of' vs.' behind'

My wife has solicited opinions on this subject at her Kansas workplace, and writes: "I've asked my colleagues and they all agree that "in back of" has two meanings, depending on the objects in question, e.g. 'the ball is in back of the fence' means it is behind the fence, while 'the counter is in ba...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:10 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: THE
Replies: 26
Views: 8274

THE

If it comes to that, Russian manages quite well without either 'the' or a present-tense form of the verb 'to be'; "the car is white" becomes simply "car white". Depending on the context, the possessive pronoun too is often dropped where it would be used in English. So "My parents are pleased to see ...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:07 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: 'In back of' vs.' behind'
Replies: 13
Views: 6651

'In back of' vs.' behind'

My American wife has a different sense of this expression than you do, Russ. She says that: 1) 'In back of' means only 'at the rear of', and that she has never encountered it in any other connection than in descriptions of the spatial relationship of objects or areas to buildings; 2) She would use '...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:21 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: 'In back of' vs.' behind'
Replies: 13
Views: 6651

'In back of' vs.' behind'

Actually they say both. (Even Dale, I'm pretty sure). 'In back of' is generally (but not exclusively) used for describing spatial relationships: "The paint counter is in back of the store", whereas 'behind' covers the full spectrum of both concrete and abstract relationships: "The U.S. administratio...