Submitted by lenga  •  February 2, 2006

Are there diffferent types of latin?

Why are latin expressions written differently in English and in French? Example: “ne plus ultra” in English is “nec plus ultra” in French.

Submitted by penelope  •  February 1, 2006

Is ‘love’ continuous or not?

A TV ad about a food company uses the phrase: I’m loving it! how can I explain the use of the verb ‘I love’ in the Present Continuous? According to the British English Grammar, some verbs such as ‘I love’ have no continuous form.

Submitted by andrew3  •  January 28, 2006

The use of “hey” in place of “hello”.

I never paid this much attention until my dad mentioned today that it’s never sounded right to him when people say “hey” instead of “hi” or “hello”. I’ve been using it this way for at least 20 years, but I looked it up in various dictionaries and haven’t yet found a definition consistent with this usage. Most references just define it as “an interjection used to call attention” or something similar and leave it at that. Any thoughts or references that might shed some light?

Submitted by bill  •  January 15, 2006

Perfect Storm

Does a phrase exist (english or other) that describes a situation in which something that normally would not occur takes place, solely because the circumstances surrounding it (themselves possible anomolies) make it possible.

Example: A “perfect storm” can take place because wind speeds reach the correct speed at the correct moment, water temperatures are at the right temperature at the correct time, etc., etc.

Submitted by alinadeem  •  January 10, 2006

As wet as ?

as dry as a bone as cold as ice as sick as a dog as wet as ??? a fish? water? what’s right?

Submitted by brian  •  January 7, 2006

If or not

Both “if” and “whether” can introduce a subordinate clause: “I was wondering if you would come” and “I was wondering whether you would come”. However, the phrase “whether or not”, as in “I was wondering whether or not you would come” is okay, but “if or not” in the same context seems not okay - google searches bring up 100 million hits for the first phrase, but just 15,000 for the second. This came up in a class I was in, and I was surprised because I do use “if or not” in informal speech; why are these two phrases different? In both cases the “or not” is redundant, if you think about it.

Submitted by andrew2  •  January 7, 2006

your call will be answered in the order it was received

I hear this all the time while in a hold queue on the phone, but it sounds like bad English to me. I would prefer “...in the order in which it was received”, although that does sound a little overwrought. I just can’t think of anything better. What do you experts say?

Submitted by jamesrigg  •  January 6, 2006

Discussion forum

Am I not right in thinking that the phrase “discussion forum”, as often used to refer to bulletin boards on websites, is a tautology?

Submitted by elfparade  •  January 2, 2006

I/Me function in brackets.

I recently came across a construction about which I’m unsure, as the construction makes the functions of the individual parts a bit unclear.

The sentence is, “Social players (and even me!) would be interested to know people’s birthdays.”

I contended that the text within the parentheses should be corrected to “(and even I)” considering one would not say “Me would be interested.” However, I was told that, in the above sentence, “and even me” functions like “you and me.”

I don’t see how that applies. Which is the correct construction, and why?

Submitted by jon  •  January 2, 2006

Pronunciation: aunt

I’m not sure if we can ask pronunciation questions here. Well, I’d like to know the correct way to pronounce “aunt,” whether it’s closer to “ant” or “ont.” When you answer, please say where you’re from. I’m curious if it’s an American vs British English thing.

In Western Canada we say “ant.”

Submitted by jon  •  December 29, 2005

a couple

I can’t figure out which of the following is correct. It makes sense that “couple” would be singular, but it looks wrong in this sentence. What would you do?

There is a couple who (is/are) leaning on the wall of a building.

Submitted by m56  •  December 19, 2005

Using “would”

Below, is the speaker B sure of who the person is? If so, why not say “That is Julia Roberts”?

A: Who’s that woman over there?

B: That would be Julia Roberts.

Submitted by Dyske  •  December 18, 2005

First Generation vs. Second Generation

When speaking of American people with respect to immigration, I had always assumed that “First Generation” meant the people who were born elsewhere and immigrated to this country. “Second Generation” in this sense means those who were born in the US from these “First Generation” parents.

But recently I started hearing people use them the other way around. They call those who were born in the US, “First Generation”, because they are the first generation to be born in this country. Which is correct?

Submitted by mariskova  •  December 16, 2005

Live or Living

If I come from country A, but currently I am in country B (for 5-10 years/study or job assignment) what tenses do I use for this sentence (situation: when I have to introduce myself)? -I live in B -I am living in B

Submitted by gandalf  •  December 14, 2005

____ and he?

Just now someone asked me if it was proper, in her essay about Prospero, to say that “He and Ariel . . .” Her question was about whether to use ‘he’ or ‘him’, but it made me wonder. In formal writing I might intuitively switch the order to “Ariel and he . . .” to parallel “___ and I”, but is it actually any more formal?

In less formal writing, I prefer to ignore the I rule altogether and list whoever comes to mind first or is most important. It’s a silly rule anyway. ^_^

Submitted by m56  •  December 12, 2005

“to be doing”

Do you use both these in your variant?

“What does he want us to do when the boss arrives?” (action can begin at the moment the woman arrives)

“What does he want us to be doing when the boss arrives?” (action must begin before the woman arrives)

Submitted by gargeug  •  December 8, 2005

Charade you are!!

I have heard the expression “Ha Ha, charade you are” in the pink floyd song pigs, and also in a southpark episode. In the episode cartman used it like you would use the phrase “touchee” in an argument. Does anyone have any input as to what this phrase means and an example of using it.

Submitted by donnieantonini  •  December 6, 2005

Might could

There’s an expression from the Southern United States that has always bugged me and it is “might could” which means may be willing and/or able to do something in the future. It is used like this:

“Are you going to do it?” “I’m not sure but I might could.”

Despite being bad grammar and redundant, my question is what is the correct response? Both the phrases, “I’m not sure but I might.” or “I’m not sure but I could.” just sound strange to me. Is the only way to use a longer phrase like, “I’m not sure but I might be willing to do it later.”

Submitted by joannaceleftheriou  •  December 4, 2005

Much different

Since returning to the US, the phrase “much different” has come to my attention by grating on my ear. The way I see it, different is not a comparative adjective like “better” or “taller” and you can’t use “much.” “Really” and “very” only. Comments?

Submitted by saul  •  December 1, 2005

Me vs. I

They have provided no evidence of contacting either Joseph or I.

Did I use “I” correctly?

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