Search found 3286 matches

by Phil White
Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:15 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Although considered
Replies: 1
Views: 78

Re: Although considered

This is an interesting one. The simple and quick answers are that the sentence is, to my ears, grammatical, the subject of the subordinate clause is "the daffodil" and the grammatical subject of the main clause is "it". But the sentence is complex on several levels, and there are some who would doub...
by Phil White
Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:17 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: and vs. or
Replies: 4
Views: 153

Re: and vs. or

I am sure Phil could give you a technical analysis. Here is my lay view. Both are fine. c seems to refer to the group whereas d seems to refer to the people in the group. Phil has been out of the loop for a few days. This whole thing with "and" and "or" is an odd one. When translating from German, ...
by Phil White
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:59 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Overton window
Replies: 1
Views: 58

Re: Overton window

Strangely, I found myself explaining the term at length to a friend a couple of days ago. I've only noticed it being used among political geeks for about 5 years or so, although the term is older. While the term highlights a real phenomenon, it is hardly rocket science. And yet political activists h...
by Phil White
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: if anything
Replies: 1
Views: 127

Re: if anything

Yes and yes, although I think it is far more common to front "if anything" in most cases.
by Phil White
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:29 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Handle maintenance
Replies: 5
Views: 362

Re: Handle maintenance

"Maintenance engineer" is also used over here (for the person who actually does the work). "Facility manager" is occasionally used for a person who arranges for tradespeople to do the necessary jobs.
by Phil White
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:53 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: before everybody saw
Replies: 3
Views: 1023

Re: before everybody saw

I think I read somewhere (maybe in The Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language by Quirk et al., ) that there was a difference between: a) I saw him before he saw me. and: b) I had seen him before he had seen me. I think they said that in the second case the chances that he did not see me at a...
by Phil White
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:40 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: before everybody saw
Replies: 3
Views: 1023

Re: before everybody saw

You have a mistake in sentences 3 and 4. I assume you meant "every one of us". Otherwise, sentences 2 and 4 are correct. It took me a while before I realized why you were asking what appeared to be such an elementary question. In your two sentences, the events in the "before" clauses never actually ...
by Phil White
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:05 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: how is it possible
Replies: 1
Views: 927

Re: how is it possible

1-4 are all okay, but I would always prefer something different, at least in speech (see below). 5 is probably grammatically sound, but it seems very peculiar to me, probably because the negative "should" almost carries the meaning of a negative injunction ("young people shouldn't start smoking"). I...
by Phil White
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: how much
Replies: 1
Views: 915

Re: how much

There is a myth among wannabe grammarians that you must not end a sentence with a preposition in English. This is, and always has been, a preposterous myth, but you will still hear it touted as gospel truth. Your sentence (a) is perfectly okay and would be absolutely normal. Your sentence (b) sounds...
by Phil White
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:24 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: it was Ken, not Steve
Replies: 1
Views: 1077

Re: it was Ken, not Steve

For the intended meaning, you need the comma, as you rightly surmise.

And, as you surmise, it may be possible to build an obscure scenario in which the version without the comma may just about work.
by Phil White
Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:49 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Whitear
Replies: 0
Views: 724

Whitear

Pottering around on Wikipedia (as one does), I came across this joyous piece of folk etymology: The songbird wheatear or white-ear is a back-formation from Middle English whit-ers "white arse", referring to the prominent white rump found in most species. Although both white and arse are common in Mo...
by Phil White
Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:48 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: When do words lose their meaning?
Replies: 3
Views: 1073

Re: When do words lose their meaning?

It is moot whether any word ending in "-ism" or its partner "-ist" ever had any coherent, reliable meaning to lose in the first place. They are all terms used to conveniently pigeonhole people, whether it be on the basis of political affiliation or on the basis of their (perceived) philosophy or, in...
by Phil White
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:57 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: had/got to/made
Replies: 1
Views: 733

Re: had/got to/made

2 and 3 are certainly fine. 1 suggests rather more forceful coercion than you indicate in your scenario.
by Phil White
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: got his leg broken
Replies: 1
Views: 714

Re: got his leg broken

Only 3 works. "to get oneself/something belonging to oneself xxxed" generally means that by clumsy or stupid behaviour, you cause someone else to do something unwanted to you (kill/arrest/demote). It is therefore entirely appropriate in 3, but not in 1, because nobody else broke his leg. It would, h...
by Phil White
Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:24 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: for five days
Replies: 1
Views: 701

Re: for five days

None are unambiguous. "For" tends to suggest a consecutive period, but not necessarily. It could also mean two consecutive periods of five days. "On" suggests non-consecutive days (possibly recurring - i.e. every Monday). The omission of any preposition is only really a spoken phenomenon and is uncl...