Search found 7627 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:40 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Can't be arsed
Replies: 2
Views: 41

Re: Can't be arsed

I don't know if there's a definitive answer to your question, but the explanation you suggested that to me rings truest is this: "He’s just too lazy to get up off his arse". I'm almost certain it isn't Cockney rhyming slang, which typically uses a euphemistic or obscuring rhyming word or expression ...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: consorting in government departments
Replies: 2
Views: 48

Re: consorting in government departments

Not really. If we take the most applicable definition of the verb 'consort (with)' supplied by oxforddictionaries.com , Habitually associate with (someone), typically with the disapproval of others. ‘you chose to consort with the enemy’ then your tax official's involvement with her colleague is irre...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:47 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: currently sat
Replies: 15
Views: 427

Re: currently sat

They don't seem to be the same thing to me. These just appear to be a regular past participle used adjectivally in exactly the same way as "I was tired/exhausted/doubled up in pain", or simply "his body was twisted (with pain)". The original "stood" and "sat" examples seem to be of an entirely diff...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:08 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: currently sat
Replies: 15
Views: 427

Re: currently sat

Apart from "I was sat/stood", which have already been given, I can only think of one other body position that allows this construction: "I was knelt (at the altar)." Consider also stooped (over), bent (over), squatted (over / on), crouched (over / on) : "I saw him in the playground yesterday aftern...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Clothes rack
Replies: 2
Views: 158

Re: Clothes rack

Having looked at what comes up on Google Images when I input various permutations of possible terms, the best matches I found for the objects depicted in your photos were with {extendable / expandable / expanding} clothes {airer / dryer}.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:33 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: currently sat
Replies: 15
Views: 427

Re: currently sat

It's perhaps more the sense of a lack of intention to do anything else, or deliberate passivity, rather than a sense of purpose or making a statement. What's being conveyed, it seems to me, is the attitude of an onlooker, or of a person who doesn't want to be involved in something that's happening i...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:52 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: currently sat
Replies: 15
Views: 427

Re: currently sat

As Bob says, it's a very common colloquial usage in English (albeit not in American English — as far as I'm aware, it's largely restricted to the British Isles). It's not 'bad English', however. It's merely English in a different register of formality and intimacy than the academic style of English ...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:42 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: tinfoil hat
Replies: 9
Views: 1124

Re: tinfoil hat

tony h wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:35 am
Ok, I looked up "Paul Revere and the Raiders" but what is the connection to tinfoil or tricorn hat?
Tony, do an image search on them and your question will be at least partially answered.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: milquetoast
Replies: 1
Views: 268

Re: milquetoast

Maybe, if the spelling was changed to 'tresparsing'.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:53 am
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Bizarre photo
Replies: 2
Views: 246

Re: Bizarre photo

Thanks Tony, that was a good story nicely told. :)
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Curtain
Replies: 3
Views: 92

Re: Curtain

Depending on what aspect of it you want to emphasize, you could call it a bed canopy, bed curtain, lace curtain, princess curtain or mosquito net.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: ask someone
Replies: 1
Views: 74

Re: ask someone

The way that you would normally interpret this expression (i.e. in line with your last sentence) is correct.

The answer to both your questions is therefore 'no'.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: it is worth
Replies: 3
Views: 198

Re: it is worth

Compare these with "It is {worth [making] the effort} / [taking] the trouble} to see that movie". My sense is that the problem you are having centres on the omission of the unstated but implicitly understood elements that I have explicitly included in the sentence above. Your 6) is not idiomatic: *I...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:46 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath
Replies: 5
Views: 264

Re: Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

I spell the adjective loth, though like Phil, I've also seen it spelled loath. However, I have no particular feeling of attachment to loth. The online Merriam-Webster describes it as "[a] less common spelling of LOTH", and most of the other dictionaries I looked at take a similar view. (The not unre...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:37 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Ground Zero
Replies: 2
Views: 113

Re: Ground Zero

Wikipedia's article on Ground Zero says the following: "In terms of nuclear explosions and other large bombs, the term "ground zero" (also known as "surface zero"[1]) describes the point on the Earth's surface closest to a detonation.[2] In the case of an explosion above the ground, ground zero ref...