Search found 8743 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Thu Sep 30, 2021 3:57 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Porkers
Replies: 0
Views: 221

Porkers

An arable farmer had five sows that he had only recently bought to rear as a sideline. A few months later an unexpected repair bill for his seed drill meant he needed to raise some cash in a hurry, so reluctantly he decided to resell the pigs at the county fair and forget about the sideline for a wh...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:04 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: needs a wife
Replies: 3
Views: 416

Re: needs a wife

Not so fast...

3a) A polygamous man wants one of his wives to cease her drinking.

3b) In order to {enable him to stop / discourage him from} drinking, a man needs a wife.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:57 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: need some time
Replies: 2
Views: 357

Re: need some time

5) seems awkward but would be accepted in speech.

"Can opener" doesn't need a hyphen.

The remaining four sentences appear fine to me.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:26 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Couldn't give any less of
Replies: 5
Views: 582

Re: Couldn't give any less of

It is my strong impression that the taboos around swearing have been steadily eroding over the past few decades, at least in Britain and the United States. (In some countries, such as Australia, they were never very strong in the first place.) Social media is full of expletives, and they also freque...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:42 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Bad timing
Replies: 0
Views: 269

Bad timing

A rural yokel asked his friend who had gone to live in the big city for some advice on talking romantic-like. The friend thought for a few moments. "Tell her, "Whenever I look at you, time stands still"." The next day, the yokel saw his friend again. This time he was sporting a black eye. He complai...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:45 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Age and experience
Replies: 0
Views: 264

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: 453

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: 455

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: 825

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: 825

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: 825

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: 674

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: 407

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: 1352

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: 469

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"...