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.
Search Pain in the English
Is it really correct to say such a thing as, “We are waiting on your mother,” when referring to the anticipation of the arrival of someone’s mother? It would seem to me that it would be more appropriate, if not more comfortable (at least for the lady), to “wait for your mother.”
One can wait on the corner, and one can wait on a table (if that is his profession), but does one really want to wait on his dinner?
It seems to me that the preposition “from” has been replaced by “on” when used in conjunction with the word “wait.”
It makes me cringe! Lately, I’ve heard it so often, I must look like a victim of St. Vitus Dance!
For instance: “We need to do everything we can prevention-wise.”
Other similar words: taxwise, money-wise, property-wise, food-wise
I realise there has been resistance to indiscriminate usage; the question is really about what constitutes “indiscriminate”?
Secondly, why the prejudice against what is a productive and concise suffix, when the alternative phrases are cumbersome and pretentious.
Can anyone tell me why the second ‘a’ in Canada and Canadian is pronounced differently?
I’m English/British and I and from England/Britain.
Surely it should either be Can-a-da & Can-a-dian or Can-ay-da & Can-ay-dian...
My guess is it has something to do with the French influence, but I would love to know for sure.
Here in the UK our language has been heavily influenced over the years, including by the French and it has always interested where these things start or change.
In my opinion, the greatest pain in the English language is the so-called Tenses.
Generation after generation, grammarians and linguists have been trying to use the term for describing how English Verb System works writing more and more wise books on the subject, without any visible results.
Millions of ESL/EFL learners find Tenses to be hopelessly tangled, confusing and totally incomprehensible. So do a great number of ESL/EFL teachers.
And it is no wonder, because describing English grammar as having only past and present is like trying to describe a car as having three wheels.
I think that English can do perfectly well without “Tenses” because it is a meaningless and therefore useless term.
From my local medical centre’s web page:-
“The carpark at xxxxxx Health & Wellness Centre is now limited to 180 minutes. Cars parked longer than this and not displaying an exemption permit will be infringed with a $65 parking fine. This is intended to keep the carpark free for patients and customers of the building only. Unauthorised parkers leaving their vehicles in our carpark all day will be infringed.”