Joined: October 20, 2005

Number of comments posted: 670

Number of votes received: 1580

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Recent Comments

Re: What does “Curb your dog” mean?  •  March 16, 2014, 8:51pm  •  5 votes

Wow, I can't believe no one got this right. Those "curb your dog" signs have only one meaning. They are legal reminders to dog walkers that when your dog pees or poops, it must do so in the street n

Re: “You have two choices”  •  March 7, 2014, 7:50pm  •  0 vote

Anwulf's explanation is simple,clear, and correct; "...two choices" means exactly two, while "...have a choice" can mean two or more. @Will, I think you may have missed part of Moonwaves' point. Whi

Re: troops vs soldiers  •  February 19, 2014, 8:33pm  •  0 vote

Skeeter, that's very interesting and informative. I was not aware that cohort could also be a group. But, I must take issue with your part of your comment. Referring to a single person as a cohort

Re: “Based out of”: Why?  •  January 19, 2014, 6:32pm  •  1 vote

As was already mentioned, pre-planning makes perfect sense as "...planning before it's normally considered necessary." The fact that all planning is done in advance is irrelevant. Yes, all pre-plann

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  June 27, 2013, 3:55pm  •  0 vote

Will, regarding "An e acute is normally pronounced quite short in French (e as in bed) rather than ay (as in ray)", I'm afraid I must disagree. The "-ay" in English is a diphthong, starting with a sh

Re: Same difference  •  June 27, 2013, 3:36pm  •  0 vote

Oh, and as for "I could care less", I don't think it means that you do actually care a little. I've always understood it to be a sarcastic utterance, and as such, correctly meaning the same thing as

Re: Same difference  •  June 27, 2013, 3:22pm  •  2 votes

I can certainly see why some might find the oxymoron "same difference" irritating, but I have to agree with Will; it does make a certain kind of sense. "Same difference" does not mean that two things

Re: He was sat  •  May 24, 2013, 6:24pm  •  0 vote

Also, Brus, I'm a little confused about your objection to "you lot sat there in the corner". I certainly understand your objection to "was sat", but are you claiming that just plain "sat" can only be

Re: He was sat  •  May 24, 2013, 6:15pm  •  0 vote

@Brus, re: "I say 'sit' has a past participle active "sitting" and passive "seated"." Sorry, but I must disagree. "Sitting" is not the past participle of "sit". It is the present participle. "...W

Re: He was sat  •  May 23, 2013, 4:36pm  •  0 vote

And now, to address the topic at hand, sure, "was sat" may be an idiom; it may sound odd, and it might even be used incorrectly, but how could it possibly be ungrammatical? "Seated" is a different ve

Re: He was sat  •  May 23, 2013, 3:49pm  •  0 vote

No, Brus, you claimed that Tessa said that "I like to watch (him) sat at a stool" is perfectly correct grammatically, which is not what she said :) Go back and read your own post.

Re: Had he breakfast this morning?  •  May 23, 2013, 3:34pm  •  0 vote

While I would say "did he have breakfast?", if the "have" version is also correct, then it would be "has he had breakfast?", not "had he had breakfast?" The "had he had" version would be, er, the pa

Re: He was sat  •  May 23, 2013, 3:15pm  •  0 vote

Brus, I think you missed my point. Yes, we are talking about the same post. Yes, Tessa did say "Both of these are perfectly correct grammatically", but Tessa never said anything about "I like to wat

Re: He was sat  •  May 21, 2013, 3:27pm  •  0 vote

Brus, I think your criticism of Tessa is misplaced. Tessa did not claim that "...'I like to watch (him) sat at a stool' is "perfectly correct grammatically"..." Actually, it was Will. Well, he didn

Re: Comma before “respectively”?  •  April 22, 2013, 10:55am  •  6 votes

Sorry Bolle, but you are completely incorrect. "Trawling" is fishing by dragging a net along the sea bottom. "Trolling" is fishing by moving or dragging a fishing line with hook and/or bait.

Re: Apostrophes  •  April 10, 2013, 2:29pm  •  2 votes

Erin, Will, regarding: "...the standard rule for when two people own an OBJECT is one apostrophe..." This is true, but incomplete. Your confusion is arising because you're simply not considerin

Re: -ic vs -ical  •  March 26, 2013, 2:07pm  •  0 vote

While there may be some overlap, I think of comic as meaning "of or relating to comedy" and comical as "in a comic manner", i.e., funny. I think this is often the case with -ic vs. -ical. Wow, glad

Re: Difference between “bad” and “poor”  •  March 26, 2013, 1:43pm  •  0 vote

I think of bad as being, well, the opposite of good (at least for this discussion). I tend to think of poor as meaning something more like ill-suited or prehaps lacking. I would suggest that even wh

Re: Defining a proper noun  •  March 3, 2013, 11:09am  •  0 vote

You know Will, I was just about to click "report abuse", just like I did for the designer fasion spam a few posts up. But, after seeing your funny quotes from the site, I thought, better to leave it

Re: “all but” - I hate that expression!  •  February 27, 2013, 3:25pm  •  1 vote

Boy, I hope I don't regret this, but let me weigh in as well. D. A. Wood, I think you missed Warsaw Will's point. The simple past tense is used to describe general truths, ongoing states or repetiti

Re: misnomer  •  February 16, 2013, 2:49pm  •  1 vote

I would say it's a matter of intent. It was your comment, so what was your true intent? Did you mean that people often think that blues is simple music (describing the music as simple)? Or did you

Re: “and yet”  •  January 23, 2013, 2:10pm  •  14 votes

"And yet" is no worse than "and then", "and so", "and still", etc., etc. In most cases, the "and" can be removed and the sentence is still clear, but that doesn't mean that the "and" is wrong or even

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  January 20, 2013, 7:08pm  •  3 votes

@Warsaw Will, I agree with almost all that you said, except for one thing. You said that the original sentence is not very clear. I disagree. Every version put forth so far has a very specific mean

Re: “as long as” vs. “so long as”  •  January 9, 2013, 1:06pm  •  2 votes

Regarding: "...as "adjective" as - is a comparison so "adjective" as - does not make sense..." and to all others who suggest that using "so" in the comparative, non-conditional sense is somehow

Re: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”  •  December 22, 2012, 11:09pm  •  1 vote

I can venture a guess about defense and offense. The accent on the first syllable is typically reserved for sports references and often when "defense" is referring to the actual collection of players

Re: who vs. whom  •  December 22, 2012, 4:27pm  •  0 vote

Not quite the jovial mea culpa I was expecting, well, hoping for:)

Re: who vs. whom  •  December 22, 2012, 2:43pm  •  0 vote

Re: "Finally, what is it that makes you and those who think like you believe that you are correct and those who think otherwise wrong?" Kettle, meet pot. (sorry, I just couldn't resist:)

Re: “Much More Ready”  •  December 20, 2012, 6:23pm  •  0 vote

I'm surprised no one has offered an explanation as to why vacuum tubes are called valves. Well, it's because they behave just like valves. In a vacuum tube triode, a small voltage applied to the gri

Re: affectatious  •  December 20, 2012, 11:03am  •  1 vote

"Affectatious" serves another useful purpose; it isn't ambiguous like "affected".

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  December 20, 2012, 10:55am  •  2 votes

Hairy, spoken like a man who isn't old enough to have ever typed one on a mechanical typewriter:)

Re: replaced by or replaced with  •  November 22, 2012, 3:42pm  •  2 votes

Re: "...so It looks to me as if "with" goes better with active clauses and "by" with passive clauses...", I'm not sure that really tells the whole story, but it certainly seems on the right track. I'

Re: Verb-tense agreement for a quote that is still true  •  November 5, 2012, 12:13pm  •  0 vote

I'm not sure I agree with the notion that the backshift is optional with situations that have not changed (I assume that by "not changed" we're talking about situations that are still true today). I

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  November 4, 2012, 4:22pm  •  2 votes

I have to smile after reading comments suggesting that a misspelled "re/ésume/é" could cause one's re/ésume/é to be discarded. The word "re/ésume/é" doesn't appear anywhere in my "re/ésume/é" and I c

Re: “who she was” vs. “what she was”  •  November 1, 2012, 8:14pm  •  1 vote

I would agree with Will. Let me add that I would reserve 'who' only for times when identity is the issue. 'What' would be used for attributes, etc. To me, ...not who she was... means she underwent

Re: Exact same  •  October 28, 2012, 12:23pm  •  1 vote

Unthawed, wow, that's a good one. Tell you the truth, it only partly bothers me. If one says something is unthawed, meaning it is presently frozen but is expected to be thawed, then I would say "unt

Re: American versus British question  •  October 23, 2012, 1:16pm  •  1 vote

For the original author (hint: it's not John Cleese), plus several alternate versions and two American rebuttals, see: http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/revocation.asp

Re: Why “behead” and not “dehead” or “unhead”?  •  October 22, 2012, 1:50pm  •  2 votes

@Mikesheehan, bereave and beshear are not privative examples of be-; they are both intensive examples. If beshear were privative, it would mean to put hair back on; If bereave were, it would mean, o

Re: “He gave it to Michelle and I”  •  October 22, 2012, 11:45am  •  1 vote

Will, I assume that was just a careless typo, but "it" isn't a preposition. It is the direct object. "Michelle and me" are the indirect objects. I'm not quite sure why you chose to give "ownership"

Re: Complete Sentence  •  October 15, 2012, 10:06am  •  0 vote

Actually, in the original sentence, clearly "the years", as the subject of the sentence, are doing the delivering; however, "their" in "their promise" refers to the Oslo Accords. This is more a matte

Re: You’ve got another think/thing coming  •  October 2, 2012, 1:34pm  •  0 vote

Will, you compared "got another think..." with "YOU got another thing...". You should make the comparison fairer by taking out the "you" in the second version. "Think" still outnumbers "thing", but

Re: “get in contact”  •  September 24, 2012, 12:56pm  •  0 vote

Joelackey92, I would suggest that "get in contact" does not mean that you never were in contact to begin with; it simply means that you are not currently in contact. You may have been in contact befo

Re: Substantial vs. substantive  •  September 16, 2012, 8:00pm  •  2 votes

Curriculae, Cassie? Curricula is already plural, the plural of curriculum.

Re: “It is what it is”  •  August 27, 2012, 1:44pm  •  3 votes

I am curious. For those of you who seem to have an issue with this, what about the old and familiar saying, "what's done is done"? Surely the meaning of this adage is clear, yes? If you think about

Re: “and” or “but” followed by a comma  •  August 16, 2012, 10:15am  •  1 vote

No Jasper, born and bred in New York, US of A.

Re: Pet names and capitalization.  •  August 15, 2012, 9:11am  •  1 vote

Same with mom and dad, etc., they're capitalized as "names", but not when describing family position. With capital: "let me ask Dad", Without capital: "let me ask my dad".

Re: “and” or “but” followed by a comma  •  August 15, 2012, 9:03am  •  1 vote

Actually, providencejim, when I was in school (loooong ago), I was taught that "but" also should always be preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma. Times have changed though. No one does thi

Re: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?  •  August 14, 2012, 2:30pm  •  2 votes

Also, irregular plurals, irregular verbs, etc., are usually [always?] ancient words whose forms have been passed down for generations, possibly from our language's early origins. New words rarely [ne

Re: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?  •  August 14, 2012, 2:10pm  •  2 votes

Goofy, allow me to take up the gauntlet on your behalf. Frank35, in "we saw some sheep", the word "sheep" is an irregular plural. On the other hand, in "we have some LEGO", the word LEGO is not plur

Re: From which part of England do people pronounce the vowel “u” in a similar way to the French “u”?  •  July 19, 2012, 9:20am  •  1 vote

Do you really mean the French 'u'? the French 'u' doesn't really sound quite like 'oo' (as in fool or drool). I don't think the French 'u' phoneme really exists in any dialect of English that I'm aw

Re: Latest vs. Newest  •  July 18, 2012, 11:38am  •  1 vote

D A Wood, the word "latest" means "the most recent". The word "late" has quite a number of definitions, including recent. Why are you cherry-picking your definitions? In any case, in no way could "

Re: obliged or obligated?  •  July 18, 2012, 10:00am  •  5 votes

Regarding: "I wonder whether too many comments here are pedontic?" I am curious. Are you suggesting that many of those posting have put their feet in their mouths?

Re: Molotov Cocktails  •  July 11, 2012, 3:27pm  •  4 votes

Don't be silly. Of course all Americans know what petrol is, unless they've been hiding under a rock, never watched TV, been to the movies, or read a newspaper. We likely wouldn't have been exposed

Re: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?  •  June 28, 2012, 2:54pm  •  2 votes

Wikipedia notwithstanding, most of the dictionaries and other sources I have checked say that the word itself is the backronym. Some suggest that either the word or the phrase could both be considere

Re: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?  •  June 27, 2012, 8:51pm  •  5 votes

Um, yes it is. A backronym is created when a phrase is written after the fact to align with an already existing word. The word is the etymology for the phrase, not the other way around. I agree tha

Re: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?  •  June 27, 2012, 8:44am  •  1 vote

Goofy, perhaps tip is not an acronym, but definitely a backronym. By the way, I've also heard it as "to insure perfection".

Re: “Live local.” Is it a complete sentence?  •  June 22, 2012, 7:46am  •  0 vote

Yes, it's a complete sentence. It's an imperative, urging you to, perhaps, participate in matters relevant to your local community and/or stimulate your local economy. I don't know your context, but

Re: Adverbial scope of ‘tomorrow’  •  June 8, 2012, 7:30am  •  0 vote

Both are grammatically correct. Both mean pretty much the same thing. If anything, there might be a small difference of emphasis: "When are you working?" "I have to work tomorrow." "What are

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  May 26, 2012, 12:22pm  •  0 vote

Brus, I haven't spent as much time as you in the UK, but numerous sources confirm that collective nouns, specifically in the UK, are often treated as plural, even when their construction is obviously

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  May 25, 2012, 3:10pm  •  0 vote

D A Wood, "headquarters" is considered to be a plural noun with both plural and singular construction considered correct; but the plural construction is more common. I wouldn't say it's a collective

Re: “I says”  •  May 25, 2012, 1:32pm  •  2 votes

Daviderattigan, you said that "There is nothing linguistically inferior about a language form simply because it isn't ... acceptable in particular social contexts." Actually, if a particular manner

Re: Substantial vs. substantive  •  May 24, 2012, 5:32am  •  2 votes

... "It should be noted that pages 7 and 8 are substantively blank." ... Wow, for the life of me, I can't even imagine what that means. Does the blankness of pages 7 and 8 have great importance?

Re: “As per ....”?  •  May 24, 2012, 5:05am  •  5 votes

I have no problem with "per" meaning "according to" or "for each", etc. It's the "as" that bothers me. In nearly every case, "as per" can be replaced by simply "per". "As per" is worse than redunda

Re: Impact as a noun  •  May 19, 2012, 8:38pm  •  0 vote

Marina, I know some others might share your opinion about gifted, but I don't really understand the objection. For a more detailed discussion specifically about "gifted", see: http://painintheengl

Re: Why “behead” and not “dehead” or “unhead”?  •  May 3, 2012, 4:03pm  •  1 vote

re: "Y'all are looking at the wrong part" Really? All of us, Anwulf? If I'm not mistaken, I said the same thing two years ago. Gee, how come I didn't get any votes?

Re: “Fine” as a complete sentence  •  April 15, 2012, 4:29pm  •  0 vote

Let me make another suggestion. Many one word utterances may be frequently seen in writing. On the one hand, lexicographically, they may be sentences, specifically, beginning with capitals and endin

Re: I’ve no idea  •  April 15, 2012, 4:18pm  •  4 votes

While there's mostly nothing wrong with using "I've" as mentioned, even when not common, I can suggest a reason why there may be a problem in some cases like "I've to go". The verb "must" is a defect

Re: Weird name  •  April 11, 2012, 11:50pm  •  0 vote

I think that speedwell's and soiducked's responses pretty much cover it. The wearer of the gimp mask is in the submissive role, usually restrained somehow, I suppose metaphorically as if lame or crip

Re: Inch vs. Inches  •  April 9, 2012, 5:54pm  •  1 vote

To Tolken and Ursus, Regarding fractions and decimal numbers, neither one is fundamentally more or less accurate than the other. Also, any number that can be represented by one can be represented

Re: -age words  •  March 26, 2012, 9:59pm  •  0 vote

Miles, you're on the right track, but I would suggest that sewerage means the carriage of effluents, that is, the process itself or prehaps the infrastructure in the abstract, not the actual pipes, et

Re: A Somewhat Intricate Sentence  •  March 21, 2012, 5:34pm  •  0 vote

If you don't mind waxing a little less poetic, you might want to consider the less yoda-esque, "And the 'little bastard' would go upstairs to his room -- back to his beloved stories of lonely wolves..

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  March 21, 2012, 4:30pm  •  2 votes

Brus, if I may suggest, using "which" instead of "that" really doesn't clear up any ambiguity suggesting that the Air Force has lost a beach. Instead, I would suggest the following phrasing: "the ca

Re: He was sat  •  February 27, 2012, 10:54am  •  2 votes

Brus, thank you. Peccable. What a wonderful word. I put it right up there with ruth (contrasted to ruthless of course).

Re: that vs. if and whether  •  February 27, 2012, 10:46am  •  0 vote

The notion that the single "c" requires an "ee-" pronunciation is not a standard English pronunciation rule. In the variants of econo... ecolo... etc, the first e may often be pronounced with many op

Re: “Literally” in spoken conversation  •  February 23, 2012, 11:16am  •  1 vote

I'm not sure I really understand your colleague's complaint. If one uses "literally" in contrast to "figuratively" or "metaphorically", then I would think that the common use for it in place of actua

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  February 23, 2012, 9:58am  •  2 votes

Hairy Scot, to be honest, I'm a little confused by your original question. From my perspective, a shithouse, non-euphemistically, can only be thought of as an outhouse, a small stand-alone building.

Re: Over exaggeration  •  February 19, 2012, 8:40pm  •  1 vote

It seems to me that those opposed to over-exaggeration are all commiting the same logical fallacy. While not always stated exactly this way, I suspect all the arguments against are various versions

Re: Had he breakfast this morning?  •  January 13, 2012, 1:28pm  •  0 vote

Compare the French question constructions of either inverting subject and verb, or preceding sentence with "est-ce que". Usually either is correct.

Re: Use of article (a/the) when there are multiple modifiers  •  January 13, 2012, 1:21pm  •  2 votes

In "The black and the white dresses were very becoming", using multiple articles makes it clear that there are black dresses and there are white dresses, not individual dresses that are black and whit

Re: ye, yer, yers  •  December 27, 2011, 2:22pm  •  1 vote

Ok, while we're at it, how about "we"? I think there should be separate words for "we" that mean "they and I, but not YOU", and "you and I but not they", and "all of us". Come on now. surely, none

Re: Word in question: Conversate  •  December 25, 2011, 8:09am  •  0 vote

And AnWulf, usually, those who make such a claim don't fully appreciate the claim's ambiguity. More often, they mean the particular collegiate dictionary they have on their particular shelf, never ev

Re: Isn’t the word “feminism” itself gender-biased?  •  December 21, 2011, 9:12pm  •  0 vote

PS - while I would certainly accept that some have used African-American to mean 'descended from "black" slaves in the United States', it would be counterfactual to suggest that this is the sole or ev

Re: Isn’t the word “feminism” itself gender-biased?  •  December 21, 2011, 8:45pm  •  0 vote

Sigurd, re: "... ‘African-American’ (hyphenated), which may also be written ‘Afro-American’... it’s better to just use the all-encompassing term ‘black’ instead of trying to be ‘politically correct

Re: Really happy or real happy  •  December 16, 2011, 5:29pm  •  0 vote

Loud, soft, quick, slow, fast (I guess there isn't a "fastly"), I'm sure there are more. All of these are frequently used adverbially (sometimes in combination with real, too!)

Re: Exact same  •  December 15, 2011, 6:16pm  •  0 vote

Will, surely, it was clear that I was offering off-hand speculation as to an alternate way of parsing, yes?

Re: ...ward/s and un...worthy  •  December 4, 2011, 12:57pm  •  0 vote


Re: ...ward/s and un...worthy  •  December 4, 2011, 12:56pm  •  0 vote

This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine labors over whether her new boyfriend is "spongeworthy". Also, Sigurd, I'm with you on this one; if English were resetricted only to words that

Re: “hone in” vs. “home in”  •  November 19, 2011, 1:51pm  •  0 vote

You know, I used to think of "hone in on" as some kind of metaphor, comparing the convergence of several possible paths on a single locus, with the sharpening of a blade, the thicker metal tapering to

Re: Texted  •  November 16, 2011, 1:59pm  •  7 votes

Personally, I have to weigh in with the text-ed (two syllables) set. I can't imagine why anyone would suggest otherwise. That being said, let me make a suggestion. I don't see anything wrong with s

Re: Complete Sentence  •  November 16, 2011, 1:48pm  •  2 votes

Ah, the ole' "empty set is a subset of every set" routine. Very clever, Mastermind. I like it.

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  November 16, 2011, 1:34pm  •  6 votes

Ok, this really shouldn't be all that hard to understand. While both words have more than one meaning, let's compare "to have" meaning "to possess", with "to get", meaning "to receive". "Got" is the

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 12, 2011, 12:40pm  •  0 vote

Regarding: "...I side with those linguists who think that the measure of what is correct is what is 'well-formed': what is acceptable to the majority of educated speakers..." If many of the post

Re: “8 inches is” or “8 inches are”  •  November 12, 2011, 12:29pm  •  1 vote

I agree, Will. The UK notion of group nouns is completely different from the general notion of uncountable / mass nouns.

Re: eg, e.g., or eg.  •  November 11, 2011, 4:03pm  •  3 votes

I'n not saying it's wrong, but I have never seen eg without the dots and I would never write it that way. As for U.S., I think that in many cases you do not see the dots any more.

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 11, 2011, 3:56pm  •  1 vote

@JJMB, "Tense" is often used to represent any combination of tense, aspect, and mood. Furthermore, there is a past, present, and future subjunctive. Still, I'll be happy to cede the point, athough t

Re: “enamored with” and “enamored by”  •  November 11, 2011, 2:33pm  •  6 votes

Interesting to note, the verb, to enamor, means to inspire or inflame with love. All the sources I've examined say that it's usually used in the passive form, as mentioned above. Now, think about

Re: Correct way to omit words?  •  November 11, 2011, 10:55am  •  1 vote

Without getting into a debate as to whether or not "why" is a complete sentence, I would say that "Why the question?", etc., works as a shortened form, specifically because just plain "Why?" stands on

Re: God only knew  •  November 11, 2011, 10:25am  •  4 votes

Even if your prose is in the past tense, not everything the narrator says must be cast that way. For example, in: "God only knows what John was thinking when he decided to rob the bank." clearl

Re: “My writing books” or “Me writing books”?  •  November 11, 2011, 9:49am  •  0 vote

I must say, Goofy, Warsaw Will makes an interesting point. The problem with replacing: "My writing books proves I am an entrepreneur." with: *My composition books proves I am an entreprene

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 9, 2011, 3:20pm  •  1 vote

@Mediator, while JJMBallentine already touched on this, regarding: "The verb 'to be' is, I think, the only verb in English that retains a subjunctive, and that subjunctive is 'were' not 'was'."

Re: Heaven or heaven?  •  November 7, 2011, 12:05pm  •  22 votes

There seems to be a bit of a misconception here. Simply being a place doesn't make something a proper noun. It must be a specific, preferably unique place to be considered a proper noun. The city,

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