Search found 8320 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:53 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: last night
Replies: 2
Views: 350

Re: last night

Your presumption is correct.

The sentence will only be ambiguous to someone who is deliberately imposing a perversely implausible interpretation on it, in which case the ambiguity can be said to be contrived rather than real.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:50 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: A hustle
Replies: 6
Views: 762

Re: A hustle

According to a Google reverse image search, the couple in the photo are two American actors, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. They are currently married to each other. Blake Lively's best known role is probably as a socialite in the TV series Gossip Girl. According to Wikipedia, Reynolds is an entrep...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:03 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Take business elsewhere
Replies: 2
Views: 406

Re: Take business elsewhere

It can be used in any establishment where goods or services are exchanged for payment. That includes hospitals in countries like the USA which lack a free health service, with the caveat that sometimes a prospective patient is in no condition to shop around for health care.
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:26 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: A customer
Replies: 3
Views: 486

Re: A customer

You could call them a regular, a regular customer / patron, (more rarely) an habitué or (jocularly) a frequent flyer.

They could also be described as a familiar face, frequenter or even haunter.
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:18 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Fly around / cut someone off
Replies: 2
Views: 459

Re: Fly around / cut someone off

"Flying around" is being used figuratively to mean "speeding around". In the context of driving, to cut someone off means to abruptly cut in in front of them, often forcing that person to brake to avoid rear-ending the perp. When I looked it up, I discovered that the Mercedes C63 AMG is a powerful s...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:09 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: another group
Replies: 2
Views: 414

Re: another group

I read it differently. The group of 600 mentioned in 2) seems more likely to me than the one mentioned in 1) to be an additional set of 600. In both 1) and 2), a comma would help to disambiguate the meaning. But it would be simpler (and more elegant) just to reword the tail end of the sentence: "......
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:34 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: where he works part II
Replies: 2
Views: 437

Re: where he works part II

a) is missing a final "at": She knows the place her cousin works at . Without that "at", "works" would imply a venue that is habitually frequented for commercial purposes by the cousin. Without any explanatory context, it would easily be taken to imply that the cousin is a street prostitute. With th...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:15 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: scared shitless
Replies: 4
Views: 983

Re: scared shitless

Attaboy! :D
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:29 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: A deceased fish
Replies: 6
Views: 814

Re: A deceased fish

Bonnie, thanks in the first instance for the correction regarding the flyswatter that was really a fish net. As you may have guessed, I have never kept fish, otherwise I would probably have identified it correctly. :) Interesting that this photo brought up the reluctance of your children to discuss ...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:07 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: scared shitless
Replies: 4
Views: 983

Re: scared shitless

I located the article in The Guardian you quoted from, Ken, and I noted that the chief topic was the question of whether a bunch of rats were prepared to abandon a stinking shit, or whether they would choose to go down with it.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:58 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: A deceased fish
Replies: 6
Views: 814

Re: A deceased fish

I find this photo simultaneously funny, sad and incongruous. The situation is sad overall: the fish is dead, and the girl is visibly upset. She has also specifically asked her mother to record the moment, underscoring the posthumous significance of the fish to her. However, she is using a flyswatter...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:30 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Easy-peasy
Replies: 5
Views: 793

Re: Easy-peasy

It is British, but Trolley is just down the road from you in British Columbia. :)
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:13 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Easy-peasy
Replies: 5
Views: 793

Re: Easy-peasy

That depends rather on the exact phrasing and intonation. "That's easy-peasy!" could be taken to mean "That problem is so easy that any idiot could work it out", whereas "For you , that's easy-peasy!" would imply "You're so smart that you made solving that look easy (when other people would have str...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:14 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Tom and Sally.... them
Replies: 1
Views: 383

Re: Tom and Sally.... them

This type of construction is the spoken equivalent of a written heading that specifies a topic which is about to be raised.

It occurs frequently in speech, but is uncommon in written English the way it is formatted here, except when speech is reported or transcribed verbatim.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:59 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Doofus-dolt
Replies: 3
Views: 549

Re: Doofus-dolt

"Doofus-dolt" is the coinage of the writer of the paragraph you quoted. Both doofus and dolt are terms for a fool, but on my opinion they imply different kinds of stupidity. To me, the Americanism doofus implies a naïve simpleton, or else someone whose lack of intelligence or common sense causes the...