Submitted by goossun  •  April 29, 2004


What’s “semtex”? It’s here in a song by Roger Waters.

Submitted by goossun  •  April 28, 2004


What does “gerontophile” means?

Submitted by carrie  •  April 27, 2004

What does this mean?: “IF only she were mine”

If your boyfriend leaves a testimonial on the web that says “Oh so beautiful!! If only she were mine :-) ”

Is that mean... I am not his, or wish that I will be his forever. Very confused! Bascially, I am his girlfriend now.

Submitted by goossun  •  April 26, 2004

English schools

I had a talk to Speedwell on finding a good English school in NYC. Then I thought we could discuss this issue broadly, meaning sharing our knowledge on the schools and more importantly on the different method each of us might know. For instance, I’m learning Danish now and I go to a school whose method was taken and adapted from an American method used in Korea to teach the Korean soldiers English. It’s a totally brain-wash method based on military attitude, but it works. It really does. It’s thus, don’t worry what it means, just keep repeating with correct accent and you’ll get it; and you’ll understand what it means later. It must first sound correct! And you should tune-in to be able to hear and understand the very native speakers. Unfortunately Americans don’t teach English in Korea anymore, otherwise I know which school to go to!

Submitted by goossun  •  April 23, 2004

Following the Joe

After the last post, I was thinking where is “Jack ass” coming from. Who’s the “Jack” in this case?

Submitted by goossun  •  April 19, 2004

Who’s this Joe?

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?

Submitted by goossun  •  April 19, 2004


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.

Submitted by goossun  •  April 14, 2004


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”.

Submitted by Dyske  •  April 2, 2004

There is no such a thing as...

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?

Submitted by derek  •  March 12, 2004

Pet Peeves

Where did the expression “pet peeve” come from?

Submitted by goossun  •  February 26, 2004

More than a pain in the English!

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?

Submitted by goossun  •  February 17, 2004


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.

Submitted by goossun  •  February 16, 2004

Weird name

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?

Submitted by goossun  •  February 10, 2004


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?

Submitted by max2  •  January 30, 2004

Already or all ready?

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?

Submitted by max  •  January 24, 2004

Who reads thrillers?

I occasionally found an expression “humid thriller”. Maybe, by any chance, someone knows what it means.

Submitted by max  •  January 24, 2004


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.

Submitted by nancy  •  January 7, 2004

Ann Brashares

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?

Submitted by andy  •  December 21, 2003

“Me neither.” or “Me either”

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?

Submitted by Dyske  •  October 23, 2003

At least, at the least

“At least” and “at the least”, are they identical? Or, do they have different connotations? Or, do they depend on contexts?

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