I’ve read it here: “and the president (Bush, of course) kind of, as he’s inclined to do, says ‘Nice try, but that isn’t gonna sell Joe Public. That isn’t gonna convince Joe Public,’ says Woodward.” Is “Joe Public” just an indirect reference to the public or this Joe has some more to do with some specific “Joeish” thing?
After the last post, I was thinking where is “Jack ass” coming from. Who’s the “Jack” in this case?
I just wonder how does one say this phrase: “Let me know the 411″. Do we say “Let me know the four-one-one” or “Let me know the four-hundred-eleven” or what? Note: I know that 411 is information number, just don’t know how one says it.
Which one is correct: “I sent a SMS” or “I sent an SMS”? Do we pronounce the letter S, “ess” or what? I also wonder if it is correct to say “I took an Xray photo” or “... a Xray photo”.
I was under the impression that this is wrong, that you do not say, “no such a thing”, that the proper way is “no such thing as.” But, I recently came across a few instances of this used by professional writers with the article ‘a’. Does this mean you could technically have the article?
I’ve read this “old gag” in an Interview with Hitchcock and did not have a damn clue what it could be. Can anybody help? Hitch says: “A for ism, B for brooks, C for Ilander, D for dumb, F for vessence, H for pension, I for Novello, J for orange, K f’rancis, L for leather, M fa size, I’ve forgotten what N’s for. O for the wings of dove. P for relief. Q for food. R fuh mo! S for you. T for two. U fa films. V va la France. W. I can’t remember W. X for breakfast. Y for God’s sake. And Z f’r winds.” I actually get the M, P, T and Y. But what are the rest referring to?
What’s the difference between “irrepresentablity” and “unrepresentablity”? I saw these two in a translation of Jacques Derrida’s and he has a very careful language. So he must meant two different things.
Does anybody possibly know what Gimp means? I’m talking about the creature in Pulp Fiction at the Mason-Dixie Pawshop, The wo/man dressed in black leather bondage gear. S/he’s called Gimp. Remember? Is it a nick name or what?
Why is, in some of the English texts of the last century, the word, PEOPLE capitalized and written as PEOPLES? Just wonder when it became a single word without a plural form? I mean we write: “People are stupid.” But you can’t say today: “PeopleS are nice.” Right? Any idea?
It seems to make more sense to spell the phrase “all ready” in two words. The other, “already”, seems to be a contraction that should be used in informal speech. Is “all ready” more correct?
I occasionally found an expression “humid thriller”. Maybe, by any chance, someone knows what it means.
I’m wondering why people write “men’s bathroom” and use possesive form here and “ladies bathroom” and use just plural noun without apostrophe. If “ladies’ room” (with apostrophe) is correct then why the apostrophe is so often omitted. I don’t think that it’s about laziness because if it were then everyone would write “mens bathroom” which is uncommon.
I ran across this expression in a novel by A. Brashares, “The cat...MADE MUFFINS on her stomach and curled in for a long stay.” What does “made muffins” mean?
Speaker A: I don’t like going to the beach when it is cold outside. Speaker B: Me neither.
According to an english grammar website, speaker B is wrong. “me neither” should be changed to “neither do I” or “me either”
I see “me neither” used most frequently on the web. But I think I hear people use “me either” more frequently in speech. Which is correct? Why?
“At least” and “at the least”, are they identical? Or, do they have different connotations? Or, do they depend on contexts?
This is not exactly a language thing but when you say “Shame on you!”, you brush your index finger against the other. What does that mean? Where did it come from? What does that symbolize?
Which one is correct?
Either he or I am a fool.
Either he or I is a fool
Although my husband, who is French, has spent more than twenty years in the U.S., he still sometimes asks for clarification of obscure linguistic issues. One that I have found to be especially elusive is “doofus.” What is the exact difference, my husband wondered, between a doofus and an idiot? It seems to me that “idiot” can be used to describe any old bonehead, but that a doofus is always male, white, fat, AND stupid. I would be interested in others’ points of view on this topic.
While we are at this racial slur thing: I was told that “He is a Jew” sounds offensive, but “He is Jewish” does not, because the former sounds like a Nazi trying to identify Jews from the rest, which is odd because he would not be speaking English in the first place. To make the matter more confusing, I was told that “They are Jews” is not offensive. Singular is offensive but plural isn’t? You would probably say, “He is American” instead of “He is an American”, but either way it does not sound offensive.