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by Erik_Kowal
Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:45 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Age and experience
Replies: 0
Views: 40

Age and experience

Dorothy and Edna, two New York widows of advanced years, are talking. Dorothy: "That nice George Johnson asked me out for a date. I know you went out with him last week, so I wanted to ask you about him before I give him my answer." Edna: "Well, I'll tell you. He shows up at my apartment punctually ...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:40 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: doesn't often
Replies: 2
Views: 71

Re: doesn't often

I would take a) as likely meaning “He doesn't keep watching the movies he has acted in".

You can substitute the title of an actual movie to see this more clearly, e.g. "He doesn't often watch The Wizard of Oz".
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:41 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Quality
Replies: 2
Views: 107

Re: Quality

You're right. It is indeed redundant, for the reason you hinted at. Maybe Person B really meant criterion of quality (but misremembered the word), in which case the redundancy would be the result of a minor linguistic lapse. I don't know when the text you excerpted was written, but I agree with B's ...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Sep 25, 2021 3:15 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: both your cars
Replies: 7
Views: 198

Re: both your cars

I seem to remember mentioning on here before that I grew up, having been looked after for much of my early life by my Lancashire-born grandmam, thinking that my name was "daft bugger". For some reason, her favourite phrase when addressing me was "Eee, tha daft bugger". That's better than the situat...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Sep 25, 2021 3:01 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: both your cars
Replies: 7
Views: 198

Re: both your cars

This posting highlights the kind of problem that arises when too much meaning is expected (or intended) to be carried by grammatical structures alone. As Phil implies, the pragmatics of the situation comprise part of the meaning. It is the failure to take this into account that gives rise to so many...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:52 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: both your cars
Replies: 7
Views: 198

Re: both your cars

Bobinwales wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:41 pm Was "thou" a typing error?
I suspect the intention was to clarify that the "you" refers to an individual rather than two people collectively.
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:48 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Push
Replies: 4
Views: 148

Re: Push

You could also say something like "... shove the tasks {over to / onto} me."
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:40 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Something to chew on
Replies: 0
Views: 90

Something to chew on

Five cannibals get appointed as programmers in an IT company. During the welcoming ceremony their new boss tells them, "You're all part of our team now. You'll earn good money here, and you can go to the company canteen and have whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like it. So please don't trou...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:52 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: It Happened in Pisa
Replies: 10
Views: 403

Re: It Happened in Pisa

I would have paid good money for a ringside seat there, Tony. 😂 Simon clearly had what the Danes call ben i næsen ("bone in the nose"), meaning something like "courage, initiative and resilience in the face of authority or opposition". So did you and your other companion, inasmuch as you both follow...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:05 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: upset stomach vs. churning stomach
Replies: 1
Views: 86

Re: upset stomach vs. churning stomach

The term "upset stomach" is often used as a euphemism for diarrhoea. The term "churning stomach" is used much more rarely. Personally, I would take that to mean what you suggested unless the context made it clear that a different meaning was intended. One can also have "butterflies in one's stomach"...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:52 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: It Happened in Pisa
Replies: 10
Views: 403

Re: It Happened in Pisa

Speaking of queuing... In March/April 1979, during the tail end of the Brezhnev era, I went to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) on a student exchange visit with a bunch of other British students. One day, not very long before we were due to return to the UK, I went with some of the others to the Dom K...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:15 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Doors down
Replies: 4
Views: 206

Re: Doors down

Another possibility:

She lives two doors away.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 22, 2021 5:06 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: It Happened in Pisa
Replies: 10
Views: 403

Re: It Happened in Pisa

Bob, a web search for "one has to watch one's Pisan queues" brought up Phil's previous posting on Wordwizard as the sole hit, which corroborates his statement that he was recounting an actual event. So it looks like that's where the entry in your file must have come from. It's a shame that it hasn't...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:02 pm
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Articulated buses
Replies: 5
Views: 365

Re: Articulated buses

I have ridden them in airports and in Copenhagen and St Petersburg (the Russian one). They aren't suitable for routes with a combination of narrow streets, small intersections and tight turns, which is one reason that they were withdrawn in London.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 22, 2021 2:27 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: It Happened in Pisa
Replies: 10
Views: 403

Re: It Happened in Pisa

The chances are that if the person posting the joke doesn't remember reading it on the site, nor will almost anyone else. Phil probably remembers this one only because it was him who posted it the last time.