When I lived in Canada (I’m Australian) I noticed a common phrase used by interviewers and reporters was “could you speak to that” used in the sense of “Prime minister I believe you have discussed changes to the immigration policy... could you speak to that?” I found it a little uncomfortable and wondered if it was a new journalistic lingo phrase or a perfectly correct Canadian expression. Could any Canadians speak to that? : )
As nasty as it sounds, for a translation I just need to know what the word is for the shooting into head of an executed person after being shot by the fire squad. Is it a head shot? Or there is a military jargon for it?
I have always said “I feel nauseous”. My daughter found out that we are supposed to say “nauseated” because nauseous means that we are making others nauseous! I have never heard anyone say they feel nauseated so has the rule changed through common usage?
What does “tooing and frowing” mean? And why these words cannot be found in any dictionary (at least in those I looked at?) Is it a corruption of “to and fro?” Is “frowing” a word and could it be used separately and if so would it mean differently than that of the phrase?
If Hillary Clinton is elected as the president of the US, what should Bill Clinton be called? I’ve seen both “first husband” and “first gentleman.” Wikipedia seems to think that it should be the latter.
“Do’s and Don’t's” is a popular phrase, but the punctuation of it seem to vary for “don’t's”. What should it be?
I suppose these questions are frequently preceded by an argument between one regarded as a pedant and another who is one secretly. I’m the pedant. Are these words pronounced so similarly as to be only identifiable by their context? For instance ‘a dentist works orally’ or ‘I am to give an oral presentation.’ This can lead to ambiguity (if they are pronounced the same): ‘I can only learn a language aurally/orally.’
While waiting for the subway to arrive, I noticed this mysterious symbol between “PRINCE” and “ST.” This is not a mistake of any kind. All of the signs at the station had this little triangle, and whoever created these signs put a significant amount of effort in inserting it. (Just look at how it is tiled.) Obviously this was something important for the artist who created this mosaic sign. What could it mean? It could not be a dash. Firstly, a dash would be inappropriate for this context. Secondly, if it were meant as a dash, it would have been much easier to draw a straight line out of these square tiles (instead of a triangle).
(FYI: This is New York City.)
I constantly see apostrophes used in ways I believe are incorrect. I am wondering anyone can confirm for me, though. For example, I often see “Temperatures will reach the high 90′s today...”
Aren’t apostrophes only used to show possession or in contractions? For example, “This sweet ride isn’t (cont.) mine; it’s (cont) Jessica’s (poss).”
Also, how would I word something to the effect that everyone is coming to the house that my husband, Mike, and I own?
“Everyone is coming to Mike’s and my house.”?
What is the consensus on using words like “therefore” and “thus” as conjunctions (i.e. to connect two sentences), such as:
“I ate a burger, therefore/thus I am full.”
Or, can they not be used as conjunctions, and does a “real” conjunction or a semicolon need to be inserted?
“I ate a burger, and therefore/thus I am full.” “I ate a burger; therefore/thus I am full.”
Is this correct? As in “in response to some of the most problematic issues of nowadays business”? To me it sounds strange, although it seems to have a couple hundred entries in Google. I’d opt for “today’s business”.
I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that this question will be answered without any attacks on a person’s personal beliefs. Can it happen?
When carrying more than one book entitled, “Book of Mormon,” do you say you have three “Books of Mormon?” This has been a bit of a joke among people of the LDS faith, as some people are very insistent that “books” must be used. The book is made up of many sections called “books” (similar to how the Bible is set up), and Mormon is said to be the editor who compiled and abrigded the book (hence the title). Based on that, I could see how someone could think of it as a collection of books edited by Mormon, and decide that “books” makes the most sense. Personally, I see “Book of Mormon” as a title that is handled like a complete unit, and so the plural would be Book of Mormons - which still sounds funny.
So, is there any set way to pluralize a title with the word book in it? Like “Books of the Dead” compared to “Book of the Deads?”
Can anyone explain why the short forms or the nicknames for Robert and Richard are Bob and Dick?
a) a program that is open source b) an open source program
(b) sounds right because “open source” is in fact a whole adjective. It is neither “open” nor “source”. So the construct in (b) is just like “a blue book”.
a) the machine that is spinning around b) the spinning around machine
Somehow, (b) doesn’t look right for me, because the base adjective is only “spinning”. Is it just my feeling, or is it indeed wrong? If wrong, is there a way to somehow “correct” it?
Thanks a lot.
There wasn’t a clause left in the sole agency contract that wasn’t a source of conflict.
The author of a book I am editing refuses to change the above sentence to: Every clause left in the sole agency contract was a source of conflict.
His reason is this is “a literary device to accentuate [my point]” . I think it is bad English to use the same word twice in one sentence. Am I being pedantic?
When we say, “Don’t mind if I do,” what is the subject we are omitting? Is it:
I don’t mind if I do.
You don’t mind if I do.
I read this sentence and I felt kind of weird about it:
The suppliers imposed us to absorb price increase.
I won’t say that it’s wrong to use IMPOSE in that sentence, neither that ABSORB cannot be used like that, but wouldn’t it sound better, and maybe even clearer to use one of the following alternatives? 1. The suppliers forced us to accept price increase. 2. The suppliers made us accept price increase. 3. The suppliers left us no choice but to accept price increase. 4. The suppliers left us no choice but to deal with price increase. 5. The suppliers imposed price increase on us and we were forced to accept it. 6. The suppliers imposed price increase on us and we were forced to deal with it. 7. The suppliers imposed price increase on us and we could do nothing about it.
Any opinion appreciated...
I was wondering if it is alright to use merchandises as a word. I am reading a report where the author uses it frequently, e.g. delivery of merchandises. I think it should be delivery of merchandise rather than merchandises.
My children frequently say they did something, or someone else did something “on accident,” where I would say “by accident.” The “on” version not only sounds wrong to me, but it makes no semantic sense (what about the normal meaning of “on” could make it appropriate here?), but despite my having corrected them many times, they persist in this usage, which suggests it is entrenched in their subculture (Southern California Public Schools). I also came across the “on accident” form on the web recently. Is this idiom taking over? Would anyone care to defend it, or to suggest how it might have originated?
Also, as a college teacher in Southern California I have noticed a construction that might be related in quite a few student essays. This is “study on,” where I would just write “study.” For example: “Galileo studied on astronomy for many years.” Admittedly, this almost always occurs in essays that are poorly written in all sorts of other respects, but it is clearly not a simple mistake, as it occurs quite frequently, sometimes several times in the same paper. Clearly it is done intentionally. (Perhaps it is worth adding that many of my students are Hispanic and bilingual in Spanish and English. Could it be that “study on” reflects some construction or idiom in Spanish? Could that be the case for “on accident” too?)
Let us say I received a box of apples from Joe Jones, Ltd.
Would I write:
“Joe Jones, Ltd., sent a box of apples.” or
“Joes Jones, Ltd. sent a box of apples.”?
Notice that the first example has one more comma.