Search found 8319 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:09 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Cork
Replies: 2
Views: 444

Re: Cork

"Put a cork in it!" and "Put a sock in it!" are both heard.

Neither injunction is particularly polite.

The contributors to Wordwizard are too suffused with radiant gentility to allow such vulgar expressions past their lips.
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:21 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: tenses
Replies: 2
Views: 452

Re: tenses

trolley wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:07 am
I should point out that I have been accused, many times, of assuming too much.
I assume that most of us have been accused of that.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:23 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: A prisoner that receives capital punishment
Replies: 2
Views: 470

Re: A prisoner that receives capital punishment

Generically, they are trained killers or executioners.

Specifically, they comprise a firing squad.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:50 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Sense and Taste
Replies: 4
Views: 598

Re: Sense and Taste

Experience and observation have both taught me that unsolicited commenting on either attire or general appearance is a minefield. Now I avoid it unless I am absolutely sure it will be well received.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:04 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Sense and Taste
Replies: 4
Views: 598

Re: Sense and Taste

Yes to 1). It is probably the most idiomatic way of expressing this idea. You can tweak 2) in a variety of ways: She {lacks / doesn't have} good taste in clothes. She has poor taste in clothes . Without any context to modify the interpretation of all these variants, they would normally imply that th...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:04 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Pipe break
Replies: 4
Views: 630

Re: Pipe break

Pipe break might be more formally expressed as pipe breakage.

I think that makes it easier to interpret.

To my mind, pipe break has a sort of limbo existence in which "break" hovers between verb and noun.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:00 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: when he was fouled
Replies: 1
Views: 387

Re: when he was fouled

No. There is no clue given that you were also fouled, and all the focus in the main sentence is on your anger at Tom being fouled.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:38 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Moms now and then
Replies: 2
Views: 537

Re: Moms now and then

The graphic appears to be making fun of the phenomena of helicopter parenting, parental wokeness, together with preoccupations with building up children's self-esteem and the avoidance of harsh punishments and junk food. In other words, it is lampooning the attitudes embedded in present-day bourgeoi...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:08 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Bars at a border
Replies: 6
Views: 1212

Re: Bars at a border

I too would call them posts. They are too slender and too densely packed to match my conception of a typical column.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:03 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: where he works
Replies: 2
Views: 588

Re: where he works

It is unlikely to be understood in that way. For that interpretation, "John knows his workplace" would be far preferable.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:06 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: which team/the team
Replies: 2
Views: 1304

Re: which team/the team

2) and 4) are not wrong, exactly, but they are rather sloppily phrased. 4) could be parsed (perversely) as meaning that football teams receive support from the entire social class you belong to.
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:37 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings Archive
Topic: where the monkey put the nuts
Replies: 5
Views: 5613

Re: where the monkey put the nuts

Some interesting wrinkles relating to the word jam are described in this Wikipedia article.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:06 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: ** Toast
Replies: 0
Views: 1548

** Toast

John O’Reilly hoisted his beer and said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life between the legs of me wife!" That won him the top prize at the pub for the night's best toast. He went home and told his wife Mary, "I won the prize for the best toast of the night!" She said, "Aye, did you now? And wh...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:36 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Ever
Replies: 2
Views: 1609

Re: Ever

Here, it is an emphatic intensifier indicating that what is being described is the opposite of what seems to the speaker to be logical, desirable, or anticipated on the basis of common sense. Tim Kaine is — technically speaking — incorrect. Slavery in the United States was inherited from the days of...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:57 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Sand?
Replies: 5
Views: 2738

Re: Sand?

The Wiktionary etymology traces it back to Proto-Indo-European *sámh₂dʰos. That is so far back that it is likely to be impossible to resolve the ultimate origin any further (if there is one).