This is a forum to discuss the gray areas of the English language for which you would not find answers easily in dictionaries or other reference books. You can browse through the latest questions and comments below. If you have a question of your own, please submit it here.
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In primary school we learned that prisoners were hanged by the neck until dead, and not hung by the neck until dead. Paintings, coats, and Christmas stockings are “hung”, not people. They are “hanged”. Is this correct? I hear news reporters say “hung” all the time. Never “hanged”.
Could anybody tell me what these words above might mean or refer to? I’d be very, very grateful...
teletubbified, beefcakeosity, blubsome, hamburger junction, horseburger (do we really produce that kind of stuff??), jelly-bagging, rocktabulous, froogle, trammel-netter, woo-woo book, telangiectasia, truncus arteriosus. :-)))
It happened to me that I touched by accident the exhaust pipe of my motorbike when it was damn hot and got burnt.
Now, what would you say to questions like ‘What happened’? I always seem to carry over the pattern from Czech and look for a preposition such as ‘on’ or ‘by’ but it all sounds awful:
I got burnt ON/BY the exhaust pipe.
So I always end up resorting to either a long narrative or ‘It was the bike’...
Is it true for others that you lose all logic and sense after editing too much in one sitting? Hope I’m not alone!
I want to switch “from” to “by,” but then when I asked myself if you could really gain “by” something, I wasn’t too certain of my answer. Some reassurance or recommendations would be terrific! Thanks to all of you as always! ~s
“I gained expertise in effective communication as a project director in Ecuador and in Mexico, from negotiating in professional settings, meeting with my staff, and presenting to volunteers.”
What does this joke mean? “Utility knickers - one Yank, and they’re off.” I’ve heard it in the movie, Enigma by Michael Apted and have no idea what that refers to. There was nothing in the context that could help either. By the way, the story takes place during the World War II (if you haven’t seen the movie.)
Anyone got an idea about the way this expression originated?
eg, “I am so not going there.”
Others googled: I am so NOT looking forward to that! I am so not a man. I am SO not surprised. I am so not prepare[d] for this Exams. I am so totally dead. [sic]
There’s a discussion here
Is “I am so not prepared for this meeting” functionally equivalent to “I am unprepared for this meeting.”
Perhaps it’s a matter of informal (or slang) vs formal expression.