Search found 3343 matches

by Phil White
Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:06 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Clothes hanger
Replies: 13
Views: 5132

Re: Clothes hanger

I have long held a theory that the rings around Saturn are comprised of lost socks. The strange thing is that it appears to be a fundamental law of the universe that, however many pairs of socks you buy and however many socks you lose, you will always possess an odd number of socks. I personally be...
by Phil White
Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: in which
Replies: 4
Views: 126

Re: in which

Indeed. That may well be the reason we feel uncomfortable about it. "It was a terrible accident, but nobody was hurt" would be very odd, but again, not entirely unthinkable, particularly if you qualify the second part: "it was a terrible accident, but, miraculously, nobody was hurt".
by Phil White
Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: in which
Replies: 4
Views: 126

Re: in which

It strikes me that the problem with the sentences is logical and not grammatical. A relative clause qualifies a noun phrase by adding further information about the noun phrase. In your example, the information is in fact non-information, and the negative formulation adds to the overwhelming sense of...
by Phil White
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Bloody
Replies: 5
Views: 115

Re: Bloody

Erik is, of course, correct. But there are less forceful expletives that could be used, which would be regarded as less rude, if not exactly polite. E.g. "damned showoff".
by Phil White
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:08 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Glass thing
Replies: 3
Views: 200

Re: Glass thing

That particular type - with a stand that allows it to be tilted - is a "cheval mirror", but "full-length mirror" and "freestanding mirror" are fine.
by Phil White
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Perdaughter
Replies: 4
Views: 354

Re: Perdaughter

Bobinwales wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:25 pm
Any comments?
BARF!!!
by Phil White
Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:59 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Wizards on Mann
Replies: 1
Views: 208

Re: Wizards on Mann

Buy him one from me! I'll pay you back when you make it up to Merseyside!

Good to see you looking well, WoZ! Come back soon!
by Phil White
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:18 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: didn't like him for
Replies: 3
Views: 325

Re: didn't like him for

We are back to what I described in one of your recent posts as Schrödinger's cat. Of course your meaning 2 is possible: "I didn't like him for talking curtly to my husband. I liked him for his curly hair." The sentence is only ambiguous in a purely theoretical world. The moment a native speaker come...
by Phil White
Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:45 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Technology
Replies: 4
Views: 314

Re: Technology

When I worked for a big industrial company, our resident IT specialist was just called "Jesus". He was Spanish and his name was indeed Jesus. He pottered around with long hair, wearing sandals. We called on him as our only salvation in time of need. In our department, we had stickers on our keyboard...
by Phil White
Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:27 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Technology
Replies: 4
Views: 314

Re: Technology

Colloquially, we would usually call such a person a "geek". I have the feeling that the meaning of this has changed over the past 15 years or so. Originally, it tended to be negative and refer to people who were only interested in technology and didn't have much of a social life. Nowadays, it is far...
by Phil White
Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:26 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: which came out in 1973
Replies: 2
Views: 246

Re: which came out in 1973

It is unproblematic. I would understand the qualification "in 1973" in exactly the the same way as in "the Battle of Hastings in 1066". It is not necessary to say "the Battle of Hastings, which took place in 1066". It is simply a prepositional phrase used as an adjectival qualification. Compare a se...
by Phil White
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:06 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Fire or sack someone
Replies: 5
Views: 471

Re: Fire or sack someone

Erik's list is pretty exhaustive, but there are also a huge number of slang expressions such as "He has been given the boot", "he has been given the heave-ho", and countless others. I also recently heard the very tongue-in-cheek "I have been downsized". This is a sarcastic reference to the way in wh...
by Phil White
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: verb agreement
Replies: 2
Views: 378

Re: verb agreement

Number 4 grates a little on my ears, and I would change it if proofing a text, but the others are fine. Have a look at the several discussions on this board about "synesis" or "constructio ad sensum". One thing that we did establish is that we in the UK use constructions in which the verb does not a...
by Phil White
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: keep on keeping on
Replies: 5
Views: 24206

Re: keep on keeping on

Hello wherrmann , and welcome! Pretty well all the early references I can find are from the early 20th century, which would put the expression in the timeframe you suggest. However, the very earliest occurrence I can uncover is from 1846: "Keep on keeping on," as the bricklayer's labourer said, and ...
by Phil White
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Raip?
Replies: 1
Views: 387

Re: Raip?

My guess is a typo for "raps out a couple of winners".

Somewhat unfortunate.