Search found 8748 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:48 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: I don't know
Replies: 2
Views: 1361

Re: I don't know

They could be, but they both convey a slightly dismissive tone which makes them more equivalent to “I don't know, and I don't care".
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Sep 05, 2021 3:13 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: One step ahead
Replies: 2
Views: 1254

One step ahead

A man who has just died is delivered to the mortuary wearing an expensive and expertly tailored black suit. The mortician comments to the widow that her late husband already looks good in his black suit, but asks her to confirm that this is indeed how she wants the body to be dressed. The widow repl...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Sep 04, 2021 3:25 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: No time like the precedent
Replies: 0
Views: 1242

No time like the precedent

A woman takes her 16-year-old daughter to the doctor. “Well, Mrs Jones, what seems to be the problem?” The mother says, “It’s my daughter, Debbie. She keeps getting these cravings, she’s putting on weight, and she's sick most mornings.” The doctor examines Debbie thoroughly. He turns to the mother a...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:49 am
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Flat tire / a puncture
Replies: 4
Views: 1797

Re: Flat tire / a puncture

And some cars have a skinny "space-saver" spare wheel which is intended as a stopgap that will enable you to drive to a place where your original tyre can be replaced or repaired.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:10 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: throughout her life
Replies: 4
Views: 1849

Re: throughout her life

You could double-front like this:

For the {rest / remainder} of her life {after / following} her father's death, she studied dead languages
.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:34 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: boulter
Replies: 4
Views: 2214

Re: boulter

I've only seen the word (bolt/bolting/bolted) without the 'u'. The 'u' spelling would be the British one, right? Only as an archaism. Nowadays "bolt" is the standard British English spelling. The online Merriam-Webster does not list the flour-sieving connection under ”boulter" (though Collins does)...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Aug 30, 2021 1:55 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: at any price
Replies: 1
Views: 1839

Re: at any price

I think this speaker's problems extend far beyond questions of rhetorical emphasis. Any normal recipient of their message would immediately want them to explain how they could cause the death of other people by continuing to live. They would also want to know how the speaker's death could possibly i...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:36 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Hold out
Replies: 2
Views: 2074

Re: Hold out

Yes.

Or, with a slight variation in wording:

"Dave does not know how much longer he can hold out, given his current financial hardship."

The "current" is arguably superfluous.
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Aug 28, 2021 11:32 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Zodiac
Replies: 7
Views: 4097

Re: Zodiac

From this it is absolutely clear that the unit of a Zodiac , comprising Aries, Taurus etc) would only make sense if it was a year. Where I presume your 12 year usage comes from is what I know as the Chinese Zodiac which is a 12 year cycle named by animals Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Hors...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Aug 28, 2021 11:46 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: whoever
Replies: 2
Views: 2543

Re: whoever

3) and 4) are both incorrect. I can't think of a situation where you could use a naked "who" as the grammatical subject of a subject clause. (But " Those who ..." is possible: "Those who wrote the gospels were capable of speaking and writing Greek.“ This is because the "those who" combination invoke...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Aug 28, 2021 6:46 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Worth living in
Replies: 4
Views: 3050

Re: Worth living in

Of course, the extent to which any country deserves the description "great" is questionable.

When you have to define exactly what that term means, such claims are liable to fall apart once the historical details and current realities pertaining to any given country are scrutinised and evaluated.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:59 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Worth living in
Replies: 4
Views: 3050

Re: Worth living in

Yes.

Even more idiomatic than "beyond a doubt" are the variants "beyond doubt" and "beyond any doubt".
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:00 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: I might be dead
Replies: 7
Views: 4047

Re: I might be dead

3) and 4) are syntactically correct, but not something a native speaker would say.

1) is the better of the two remaining sentences, though it would be more idiomatic if you substituted “by now" for just "now":

If he hadn't helped me, I might be dead by now.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Aug 25, 2021 11:44 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: behind which
Replies: 1
Views: 3067

Re: behind which

They all make syntactic sense, but only a) and c) sound ‘normal'. The other two sound stilted and pedantic.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:10 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: In vino veritas
Replies: 0
Views: 3329

In vino veritas

An old woman is sitting on the porch with her husband, sipping a glass of wine. "I love you so much," she says. "In fact, I doubt I could live without you. I don't want to even try to get through a single day without you." The husband is almost speechless. "Is that you talking, or the wine?" he asks...