jayles the unwoven

Joined: June 3, 2014

Number of comments posted: 147

Number of votes received: 61

No user description provided.

Recent Comments

Re: “This Wednesday” vs. “Next Wednesday”  •  October 8, 2015, 8:31pm  •  0 vote

The main point is "next Wednesday" is ambigous; it just comes down to who is using it. If someone does use it, one needs to clarify: "this Wednesday" or "Wednesday week" ?

Re: Has someone decided that some prepositions and conjunctions are no longer required?  •  October 8, 2015, 3:09pm  •  0 vote

US date format is commonly month_day_year, written as June 6, 1944. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_and_time_notation_in_the_United_States

Re: If anyone else were...  •  October 5, 2015, 4:53pm  •  1 vote


Re: On Tomorrow  •  October 5, 2015, 4:40pm  •  0 vote

@Byron: Over the centuries a form of "standard" Enlglish has come about, used by government, business and education so that all may communicate clearly. This does not mean that any one dialect is wron

Re: If anyone else were...  •  October 5, 2015, 4:23pm  •  0 vote

".. if he was to be re-eligible,.." Pennsylvania. Constitutional Convention - ‎1837 " .. if he was to decide at once.." Parliamentary Debates: Official Report :Volume 39 - 1819 "..if he were to tak

Re: Why do we have “formal” English?  •  September 22, 2015, 8:56pm  •  0 vote

This site seems to go for one-sentence paragraphs much of the time: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11517471 Either this comes from AFP or someone is deliberatel

Re: “This is she” vs. “This is her”  •  September 17, 2015, 5:01pm  •  1 vote

The Hungarian word "ing" translates as "shirt" in English. However, calling the "-ing" form of the verb the "shirt" form is not well understood; nor does it prove the existence of an Ugric substrate i

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 20, 2015, 6:44pm  •  0 vote

@WW agreed it is the usage which is the issue. I sometimes wonder whether we would not be better off focussing on a decision tree (like a flowchart). For instance: 1) Active or Passive? 2) Present

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 19, 2015, 10:42pm  •  0 vote

F) The Truth about "Will": AFAIK "will" is a normal verb - "I am willing", "as God wills" etc. The reason you don't often see it with an 's' is that it is normally in optative mood, (which looks like

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 19, 2015, 6:52pm  •  0 vote

E) There is a world of difference between the needs of West European students and the needs of, say, SE Asian students. A Romance language speaker starts with a good knowledge of about ten thousand En

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 19, 2015, 5:41pm  •  0 vote

English verbs look pretty simple when compared to all those endings in French, or other inflected languages like Russian, Hungarian, or Armenian, so I've always been amazed at the amount of time and

Re: Pronunciation of the second ‘a’ in Canada and Canadian  •  August 18, 2015, 7:11am  •  1 vote

Many borrowed words in English which do not end in -ation or -sion are stressed on the antepenultimate syllable: this pattern is evident in Canada -> Canadian, photograph-photographer and so on.

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 15, 2015, 7:46pm  •  0 vote

@LK Re your (1): After TEFL-ing twenty years in various countries, I often ignore the course book itself and just work intensively from the listenings provided or from a graded CD such as: http://

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 14, 2015, 9:42pm  •  0 vote

@LK your comments reminded me of a student from Eastern Europe whose English was almost indistinguishable from a native speaker, and who never made a mistake with English verbal structures. I was inde

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 14, 2015, 12:50pm  •  0 vote

1) I do not agree that cleaning up the terminology will automatically make it that much easier for students. The usage and meaning of English verbal structures is not straightforward and therein lies

Re: Why do we have “formal” English?  •  August 13, 2015, 9:21pm  •  0 vote

@WW model English : enjoy! http://gg.govt.nz/sites/all/files/u2/leaders3_201302151006.pdf

Re: Why do we have “formal” English?  •  August 12, 2015, 6:48am  •  0 vote

Sometimes I think that all the things I today forbid in formal writing will some day be considered perfectly acceptable by the generations to come. "Pretty" will be rehabilitated, contractions everywh

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 12, 2015, 6:29am  •  0 vote

@LK Many English teachers would agree with much of what you say. In practice though, course books often dictate the terminology and syllabus used.

Re: “escaped prison” or “escaped from prison”?  •  August 10, 2015, 12:40am  •  5 votes

In British English, it is commonplace to use "escaped prison" where it means "avoided a prison sentence". Examples of "escaped prison" referring to unauthorized exiting of the building are rare in Bri

Re: How does one debate a person?  •  August 10, 2015, 12:01am  •  1 vote


Re: have a knowledge of  •  August 8, 2015, 11:29pm  •  0 vote

Macmillan: "Knowledge is sometimes used with a, but only in the pattern a knowledge of something (or a good/deep/thorough etc knowledge of something):" 1 Kings 9:27 KJV: .. shipmen that had knowled

Re: English can do perfectly well without “Tenses”  •  August 7, 2015, 7:31pm  •  2 votes

The use of verbal structures in English has indeed evolved into something argueably too finely nuanced or just plain quirky. It was not a case of intelligent design! However, we do need to give each s

Re: Obj of Prep + Gerund  •  August 5, 2015, 8:30am  •  0 vote

@WW Thanks. I do agree that possessive+gerund as subject is somewhat more palatable. Oddly I am happy with "His smoking annoyed her." But adding in "in the house" seems to make it sound slightly un

Re: Obj of Prep + Gerund  •  August 5, 2015, 12:29am  •  0 vote

1) if one googles "stand him crying", the phrase "I can't stand him crying" comes up as not unusual, even in print, although it does not seem to come up on Ngram; whereas "stand his crying does".

Re: How important is it to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in writing these days?  •  July 23, 2015, 8:54pm  •  0 vote

Most international students need written English for business or academic purposes; what is acceptable means what is acceptable in those contexts. This means what is in the writing guides at uni, or r

Re: “I’ve lived many years in Kentucky.”  •  July 20, 2015, 4:55pm  •  0 vote

@WW Thanks for your research. Whilst commas are generally used to show how the sentence is to be read, there are some disparate views on the detail: 1) British vs American usage - see:

Re: Unusual use of “infringed”?  •  July 18, 2015, 11:23pm  •  1 vote

One usually infringes a right or upon a freedom, as in "the right to bare arms shall not be infringed". What seems to have happened here is a back formation from the phrase "parking infringement". The

Re: “I’ve lived many years in Kentucky.”  •  July 15, 2015, 1:41pm  •  1 vote

@WW utterly agree with you re passive. One would hope the examiners do too. IELTS marking scheme does mention "good control over punctuation". What exactly they mean by this - especially comma usa

Re: “I’ve lived many years in Kentucky.”  •  July 14, 2015, 6:08pm  •  0 vote

@WW Thanks - I found this topic difficult to google. It does seem that we can sometimes drop "for" with time-duration expressions where the meaning is clear from the word-order. Re "however": this

Re: “I’ve lived many years in Kentucky.”  •  July 13, 2015, 6:37pm  •  0 vote

More grist: 1) "He searched five years for his estranged daughter." 2) "He sought five years his estranged daughter." 3) "I was two years buiding a trimaran." 4) "Seven years I studied Latin." 5

Re: How important is it to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in writing these days?  •  July 2, 2015, 4:26pm  •  0 vote

The important thing to grasp is that punctuation converts to form part of an audio file in your head: listen to the voice in your head as you read this. So the question becomes: how does one pr

Re: Could I use both a colon and semicolon in a sentence?  •  July 2, 2015, 4:00pm  •  0 vote

My understanding is that in the Middle Ages, European people generally read everything aloud; punctuation was introduced to help them do that and we have kept it because we read "aloud" in our head. N

Re: Is “leverage” a verb?  •  July 2, 2015, 3:32pm  •  0 vote

"-age" is a "suffix typically forming mass or abstract nouns from various parts of speech, occurring originally in loanwords from French (voyage; courage) and productive in English with the meanings “

Re: “In the long term”  •  June 11, 2015, 10:56pm  •  0 vote


Re: Apostrophes  •  June 10, 2015, 3:11pm  •  0 vote

I dont see why we need apostrophes at all: after all we manage to understand speech without them - and somehow get by without making making an explicit distinction between genitive singular and plural

Re: Could I use both a colon and semicolon in a sentence?  •  June 2, 2015, 9:56pm  •  2 votes

Punctuation is very much a convention of signals which guide the reader as to how the sentence is to be read and construed. One might consider a comma as a one-beat pause, a semi-colon as two, a colon

Re: How important is it to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in writing these days?  •  June 2, 2015, 5:32pm  •  1 vote

Just to make it clear: when reading slowly many people are actually "reading aloud in their head"; (if not, then one is technically "skimming"); either way if one cannot read a text out loud correctly

Re: Is “painstaking” pronounced the same in Britain as here, as “pain-staking”?  •  June 2, 2015, 4:13pm  •  2 votes

Where is "here"?

Re: How important is it to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in writing these days?  •  June 2, 2015, 4:10pm  •  0 vote

The purpose of punctuation is to make it clear how to read the text aloud; sometimes this affects the meaning. So the comma in your sentence after "Every morning" indicates a pause (with a downwar

Re: Social vs Societal  •  April 3, 2015, 10:03pm  •  0 vote

@WW Quite right my dear fellow! I just have a couple of quick questions for you: 1) Do you advise your students NOT to start a sentence with "but" when writing in an English exam? 2) Do you adv

Re: Opposition to “pretty”  •  March 21, 2015, 6:34pm  •  0 vote

Maybe because the meaning can be unclear - "very" or "somewhat" ? Deeming "pretty" as informal seems to predate the wave of political correctness so I wonder wherher it was just some post-Victorian

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  March 5, 2015, 11:57am  •  0 vote

@WW My thesis would be that modal verbs in English are used in much the same way as they are in German, Dutch and languages like Frisian. Thus in German the past subjunctive "must", "could", "might",

Re: issue as problem  •  March 4, 2015, 1:06am  •  1 vote

My understanding is that the widespread use of "issue" to supplant "problem" stems from a desire to be more positive, particularly when broaching a topic with your boss. "Issue" has become just anothe

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  March 3, 2015, 2:05pm  •  0 vote

Actually the subjunctive is around quite a bit even though it is unmarked. Modal verbs have a 'real' past tense in reported speech: "She said she would do it" Modal verbs also use the past subjunc

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  March 3, 2015, 1:46pm  •  0 vote

@WW but why not "a ten-days' tour", "a four-hours' trip" ? Anything beyond "because that's not what people say" ?

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  March 2, 2015, 9:21pm  •  0 vote

One would need to distinguish between "non-semantic" vs "idioms & collocations" vs "meaningful but seldom used" ; thus: "a glass of wine" is partitive; "a wine's glass" hard to construe; "the ca

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 28, 2015, 5:15pm  •  0 vote

@WW I would lump your examples Groups...Descriptions together as partitive/compositional. As you may have guessed by now, this all arises when some non-native speaker innocently asks the question:

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  February 27, 2015, 12:25pm  •  0 vote

She would have died there and then, were it not for the sudden arrival of the medics

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 26, 2015, 7:21pm  •  0 vote

@HS You see, I keep my posts undetailed and uninteresting, just so that WW may shine

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 26, 2015, 2:06pm  •  0 vote

@WW agreed, "fossilized" was the wrong word. You're absolutely spot on in saying that "when we took 'de' from French, we took on a lot more than possession and partitives", and this is the root of t

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 25, 2015, 9:07pm  •  0 vote

"a body of evidence",, "a can of beer", "a mass of documents" = partitives; hence we cannot use a genitive (not "a document's mass). This leaves us with expressions like "a man of culture and sensi

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 25, 2015, 8:34pm  •  0 vote

errata: "the lions' slaughter" -> not clear whether the lions died or they killed a lot of anmals

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 24, 2015, 10:14pm  •  0 vote

A few more idiomatic items: "the sweet smell of success" vs "success's sweet smell" "the stench of failure" vs "failure's stench" (but: "failure's foul stench") "the state of the nation" vs "the n

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 24, 2015, 9:42pm  •  0 vote

Re 4) objective/subjective genitives: this really only comes into play if the verb-from-the-noun is possibly transitive; thus: "Tom's death" -> die is intransitive therefore Tom is the do-er and he i

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 24, 2015, 5:32am  •  0 vote

No hard and fast rule here, but as general guidelines I would suggest: 1) be wary of genitives to indicate composition, : "a book of leather" not "leather's book"; 2) attributes seem to be more i

Re: He was sat  •  February 10, 2015, 7:57pm  •  0 vote

@WW Thanks: I never realized that "Magna Carta" was a Southener thing; and I always thought of "Swing" as a music genre. "He was sat" is hard to explain grammatically; just idiomatic. One of the

Re: He was sat  •  February 9, 2015, 7:50pm  •  0 vote

1393, 1489, 1936, the North beyond Edgware was ever non-conformist

Re: Is “leverage” a verb?  •  January 30, 2015, 2:08pm  •  5 votes

From a grammatical standpoint one can use any noun as a verb if the meaning is clear in context; whether it is good style is another matter. Thus one can "pen" a letter and so on. The exception to

Re: “nervous to perform” or “nervous of performing”?  •  January 22, 2015, 6:18pm  •  1 vote

I would have written: She's nervous about performing... or (with a different meaning) : She's too nervous to perform

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  December 30, 2014, 2:29pm  •  0 vote

Another example of where phrase/context/meaning may be at odds is "How are you?". This is often more politeness rather than a real enquiry. Answering with anything other than "fine" or "good" may not

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  December 30, 2014, 1:52pm  •  0 vote

One way of looking at English is to view it as a collection of patterns, collocations, phrases and idioms, from which if needed we may identify some 'rules'. However there is also the matter of regis

Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 22, 2014, 9:03pm  •  0 vote

Ah I meant before 1840.

Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 22, 2014, 8:55pm  •  0 vote


Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 21, 2014, 1:40pm  •  0 vote

@WW thank you; most interesting. I am not sure how representative the verb "come" is. Here are some others that show contrary patterns of usage: http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=wiil

Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 21, 2014, 2:30am  •  0 vote

Just trying to get a handle on when present continuous became so widespread in English and began to be used instead of will/shall Taking "comes" vs "is coming" as an example, and beginning with Cha

Re: issue as problem  •  December 19, 2014, 5:28pm  •  1 vote

OOPS meant to post: http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=she+has+issues%2C+he+has+issues%2C+you+have+issues&case_insensitive=on&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&di

Re: issue as problem  •  December 19, 2014, 5:26pm  •  0 vote


Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 18, 2014, 6:55pm  •  0 vote


Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 18, 2014, 1:57am  •  0 vote

One must strive to imitate the language of the Bronte sisters and others of that ilk. Using a dialect is more likely to be credible. Use the "thou" forms instead of "you" when addressing one family

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  December 17, 2014, 2:05pm  •  1 vote

Just to explain the meaning of the grammatical term "relative clause": As you may know, Santa is spending this Xmas down-under visiting relatives, leaving the prezzie handout to DHL. Unfortunately

Re: “Anglish”  •  December 17, 2014, 12:42pm  •  1 vote


Re: “Anglish”  •  December 17, 2014, 12:33pm  •  1 vote

"Because back in the 1840s, around 80 percent of people living in Wales were Welsh speakers, many of them spoke no English at all. Fast forward to the recent 2011 census and that number has dropped to

Re: “Anglish”  •  December 17, 2014, 12:26pm  •  1 vote

http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/6362-lamont.htm My next question would be: how much did the post-1847 drive to teach English to Welsh children in schools contribute to the much-more-

Re: “Anglish”  •  December 16, 2014, 10:40pm  •  1 vote


Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 12, 2014, 11:10pm  •  0 vote

"deviation" + "railway" shows up quite easily on Google

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 11, 2014, 6:09pm  •  1 vote

I never understood why the French for 'detour' is 'deviation' on all the roadworks

Re: “Anglish”  •  December 7, 2014, 6:43pm  •  1 vote

So what did they use in Middle English for "decide"? "Choose" is not quite the same thing. "betake" seems little used in books (after 1500) "slit" (cf schliessen, entschliessen) does not seem to

Re: “Anglish”  •  December 3, 2014, 9:19pm  •  1 vote


Re: “Anglish”  •  December 3, 2014, 3:33am  •  1 vote

One of the odd grammatical things about modern English is the way we use : want. Eg: I want her to come Oddly, if one puts this phrase into Ngrams it does not show up before 1804 http://books.g

Re: “Anglish”  •  December 2, 2014, 7:52pm  •  1 vote

No need to cloud the meaning with "pedophile" when foot-lover would do instead.

Re: “Watching on”?  •  December 1, 2014, 10:04pm  •  0 vote


Re: “Anglish”  •  November 25, 2014, 2:07am  •  2 votes

@HS Given our diverse genetic genes, and the otherness of our upbringing and sundry experiences, and the on-flow on our mindset and thinking, it is hardly likely we shall see eye to eye on this. To lo

Re: “Anglish”  •  November 24, 2014, 6:03pm  •  0 vote

oops 'vendor' instead of 'seller'

Re: “Anglish”  •  November 24, 2014, 6:01pm  •  1 vote

@HS Why is this thread here? Well it has lead me to consider the roots of modern English; to become much more aware of the influences on modern English lexis; the 'snob' value of using 'rapidly' inst

Re: Evolution of Exactly the Same  •  November 17, 2014, 1:16pm  •  0 vote


Re: Why so many different spellings for some Arabic terms?  •  October 19, 2014, 6:30pm  •  0 vote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_alphabet#Vowel_omission My understanding is that Arabic is usually written without vowels, rthr lk ths.

Re: What words were used to refer specifically to males before “man” did?  •  October 19, 2014, 6:25pm  •  1 vote

'Wer' still survives in 'world': world (n.) Old English woruld, worold "human existence, the affairs of life," also "a long period of time," also "the human race, mankind, humanity," a word p

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 27, 2014, 7:03pm  •  0 vote

Bewildered by English mores (or hating the class system), in the early seventies I took a PanAm flight from Heathrow, never to return to Blighty - apart from a brief sojurn there in the early nineties

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 27, 2014, 2:57pm  •  0 vote

if one Ngrams the following: [no - show]:eng_us_2012,[no - show]:eng_gb_2012 it becomes evident that "no-show" was originally a US phrase. It was one of the many phrases I had to get used to wh

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 26, 2014, 7:36pm  •  0 vote

"WAIT HERE UNTIL RED LIGHT SHOWS." Was this in the USA? In my experience US usage of "show" differs slightly from UK. "He never showed" vs "He never showed up" "The chef was a no-show" vs "The c

Re: “The plants were withered” Adjective or passive?  •  September 24, 2014, 1:18pm  •  0 vote

When adding -able to a verb, the meaning seems to include a passive element: fixable -> able to be fixed; doable -> able to be done, and so forth. There are two exceptions : "variable" and "changeab

Re: Why ‘an’ in front of an ‘h’-word?  •  September 22, 2014, 7:29pm  •  0 vote

I guess it is 'Strine or Kiwi then. They do not seem to say 'an Hotel' here, though; so it's not generalized. And maybe it's just the newsreaders for emphasis in phrases such as 'an HHistoric win for

Re: Why ‘an’ in front of an ‘h’-word?  •  September 21, 2014, 11:27pm  •  1 vote

Newsreaders where I am at the moment consistently say "an Historic", aspirating the 'H" quite clearly.

Re: “Anglish”  •  September 12, 2014, 8:57pm  •  1 vote

@AnWulf Thank you for this: it is refreshing to climb out of the latinate ruts of today's English. That said, my understanding is that "pithy" stems from c 1520 not earlier? And I seem to recall e

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 1, 2014, 4:40pm  •  0 vote

Hungarians who learn English "tend to avoid using the English passive voice" : believe me it does NOT make for plain and simple English. http://www.acta.sapientia.ro/acta-philo/C2-2/philo22-9.pdf

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 1, 2014, 3:50pm  •  0 vote

One way of writing simple, plain English is to make the topic of the paragraph the subject of the sentence. Thus : Eggs. Eggs are eaten the world over. They are fried, boiled, scrambled, poached

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 31, 2014, 8:03pm  •  0 vote

@WW well-done! It is of necessity long and detailed because the usage is Whilst Euro-languages are often similar to English, a common error for Chinese speakers is to insert "but" at the start of

Re: P & K  •  August 26, 2014, 2:20pm  •  2 votes

@red Unfortunately you are a thousand years too late my friend. In those days English was pronounced pretty much as spelt; however around the time when printing began, spellings fossilized but pronunc

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 19, 2014, 3:31pm  •  0 vote

@WW Thanks, that's better. An "A" pass in CAE was/is equivalent to "C" in CPE (and FCE-A = CAE-C), but I haven't checked this recently. Indeed parts of CAE are very useful for IELTS too.

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 18, 2014, 8:33pm  •  0 vote

So, as a rule of thumb, we can safely use "whereas/while" to begin a trailing contrast clause; and "while" at the beginning of a sentence instead of "although". But "whereas" at the start of a s

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