fmerton

Joined: November 5, 2010  (email not validated)

Number of comments posted: 40

Number of votes received: 74

No user description provided.

Recent Comments

Re: Word in question: Conversate  •  February 19, 2011, 9:12am  •  3 votes

I would not use the word "conversate," (mainly because the "-ate" is redundant), but I would not judge someone who does as stupid or sloppy or pretentious. People are different, and we need to learn

Re: i’s vs “i”s  •  February 16, 2011, 12:13pm  •  4 votes

I agree; what is the point of the quotation marks. (Rhetorical question so no question mark) (Incomplete sentence so no period)

Re: gifting vs. giving a gift  •  February 13, 2011, 2:29pm  •  0 vote

I need to add something to what I said: perhaps "gift" as a verb can refer to paying for something that is chosen and bought by the recipient whereas "give" can refer to the giver choosing and buying

Re: gifting vs. giving a gift  •  February 13, 2011, 7:57am  •  4 votes

I am reluctant to ever condemn an expression as "totally unnecessary." Usually if the language community invents something, there is a need, or at least a perceived use. With respect to "to gift,"

Re: cannot vs. can not  •  February 13, 2011, 7:44am  •  11 votes

Looks "uneducated" to whom?

Re: Signage  •  February 12, 2011, 9:53am  •  0 vote

Are we sure the person who is going to "signage" sacred areas is a native speaker? It strikes me as the sort of mistake a person who is transliterating from another language might make--keep in mind

Re: gifting vs. giving a gift  •  February 10, 2011, 4:05pm  •  4 votes

You do a service pointing out the danger of using "gift" as a verb. There are of course times when "gift" as a verb would be OK, but I would tread carefully. Most of the time it would come across as

Re: cannot vs. can not  •  February 10, 2011, 3:57pm  •  5 votes

Of course "can not" is fine. It has a stronger pulse than "cannot," so I prefer it.

Re: Use of “Referenced”  •  February 10, 2011, 3:45pm  •  1 vote

It is nothing more than your opinion that it is improper. I think I would probably not find myself using "reference" as a verb because as a verb it would be weak, but I think it is way too much to ca

Re: Smileys and other emoticons within parentheses  •  February 9, 2011, 11:02am  •  0 vote

I have yet to find myself in a situation where I felt the need, or even the temptation, to use an emoticon. Their most common use seems to be to try to put a polite note on a rude statement. Sor

Re: Whom are you?  •  February 9, 2011, 10:54am  •  0 vote

Are you serious? This is the 21st century. Thurber? I tell you what--I will remember what he says in case I ever have to talk to Gladstone.

Re: Does “Who knows” need a question mark?  •  February 9, 2011, 10:40am  •  1 vote

I think you are incorrect in telling me that I should have used "though" where I used "but." Your "correction" is not a correction but a change in the meaning. I said what I intended to say. Othe

Re: “Self-confessed”  •  February 9, 2011, 9:56am  •  2 votes

It is plain to me that the "self" in "self-confessed" is redundant. The above efforts to justify it don't address the simple fact that no one other than oneself can confess.

Re: Is there a gustative equivalent to the olfactory “malodour”?  •  February 9, 2011, 9:50am  •  2 votes

If there is a single word for anything with a bad flavor, I would suggest avoiding it, as I also suggest avoiding the word "malodour." "Bad taste," and "bad smell" do the job, and anything else smack

Re: Signage  •  February 9, 2011, 9:43am  •  0 vote

"Signage" as a plural for "sign" when we have the perfectly normal word "signs" available strikes me as about as far from clever as one can get--all the way to stupid. I think, though, that this ma

Re: Difference between “lying” and “misleading”  •  December 28, 2010, 6:28am  •  2 votes

---"To lie only requires that the speaker not tell the truth." I dunno; seems to me if a person thinks something is true, even though they are mistaken, saying what one thinks is not lying. The co

Re: Friendly - adjective and adverb?  •  December 26, 2010, 4:02pm  •  2 votes

I think, regardless of whether it is "right" or "wrong," the word "friendly" used as an adverb is awkward and "friendlily" can't even stand up for drunkenness. Therefore recast the sentence to avoid

Re: Difference between “lying” and “misleading”  •  December 26, 2010, 3:55pm  •  3 votes

Neither of has have really addressed the question---is it possible to lie without misleading. All we have said is that it is possible to mislead without lying. The initial question is, I think, ph

Re: subconscious vs unconscious  •  December 25, 2010, 9:40am  •  3 votes

If one sits quietly and watches oneself think, without trying to control the stream of thoughts, one can observe several things. First, the thoughts seem to be loosely---sometimes very loosely---conn

Re: Difference between “lying” and “misleading”  •  December 25, 2010, 9:24am  •  3 votes

The two words are synonyms, but "to mislead" is broader and includes "to lie" in its range. One can however mislead without telling an outright lie, such as by omitting pertinent details.

Re: What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling?  •  December 13, 2010, 3:13pm  •  1 vote

I dunno. To me a malapropism is a funny (in fact ridiculous) error based on an ignorant confusion of two similarly pronounced words. Certainly all of Mrs. Malaprop's errors were of that sort. Sti

Re: Why are some single objects plural?  •  December 13, 2010, 10:40am  •  0 vote

I am not quite sure you mean what you seem to be saying, but remember that a pair of scissors or a pair of pliers, etc., is only a single thing, and takes a singular verb. That you have to use a plur

Re: Over exaggeration  •  December 12, 2010, 4:58pm  •  0 vote

Jjaay--I don't see where exaggeration is analogous to infinity. Exaggerations are all over the field, from slight (the fish was ten cm.) to huge (the fish was a whale). Although there is a branch of

Re: Over exaggeration  •  December 12, 2010, 4:33pm  •  1 vote

Thanks for the praise: if one is going to insult (my intention), I think it can be more effective to try to be clever than to just call someone names. I don't think he would have responded to eithe

Re: Wet vs. Whet  •  December 9, 2010, 11:03am  •  1 vote

I just don't care about getting them right since I would hope I would never use either: they are both cliches.

Re: Everybody vs. Everyone  •  December 8, 2010, 5:20am  •  1 vote

I have to say I agree with Nonie--"everybody" seems to imply taking the group as a body while "everyone" puts more emphasis on taking the group as individuals. This is, however, a subtle difference,

Re: Why are some single objects plural?  •  December 7, 2010, 12:14pm  •  1 vote

There are several things that refer to a single object but take a plural construction, not just "pants" and "trousers." There are "scissors," "pliers," "shears," "tweezers," and no doubt others. T

Re: Over exaggeration  •  December 7, 2010, 11:57am  •  3 votes

The use of "fags" (don't be facetious--of course he means homosexuals--in fact he means effeminate homosexuals) and similar labels to describe smart people is a defense mechanism used by dumb male ado

Re: Using [sic]  •  December 7, 2010, 11:42am  •  0 vote

There are times when this cannot be avoided, but they are rare. About the only time I have actually used it is in undergraduate essays where some instructors insist on both absolutely correct grammar

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  December 5, 2010, 6:22am  •  0 vote

Modern dictionaries are "descriptive," not "prescriptive." Therefore they are not decisive, nor, in fact, even particularly useful, in making usage choices. That an option appears in a dictionary on

Re: Computer mouses or computer mice?  •  December 2, 2010, 1:50pm  •  0 vote

"Unless of course they are the sort of people who do not approve of prepositions at the end of sentences, when we do well to ignore them" --Stevens This sort of rule monger-er seems to me the major

Re: Computer mouses or computer mice?  •  November 29, 2010, 3:46am  •  0 vote

If we can survive with, "one sheep, two sheep," why can't we live with "one mouse, two mouse."

Re: “Ten Items or Less (Fewer?)”  •  November 27, 2010, 8:28am  •  1 vote

The English distinction between "mass nouns" (that take the "uncountable" adjectives such as "less" and "much") and the more common countable nouns that take "fewer" and "many" is a source of mischief

Re: Over exaggeration  •  November 27, 2010, 8:15am  •  1 vote

I agree with you that "hyperbole" is better than "over-exaggeration," (which, as many pointed out, seems redundant and in bad taste). Also, to me as to you, "hyperbole" implies (since it is seen as a

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  November 22, 2010, 3:05pm  •  0 vote

"Richie's" advice is right on. There is no need to label one's CV. In fact, so doing so is a minor fault on a document that needs to be as perfect as possible. I think "resume" is a French word

Re: Does “Who knows” need a question mark?  •  November 22, 2010, 2:40pm  •  8 votes

That we are breaking with unnecessary rules is cause for happiness, not sadness. Rules that achieve nothing except make pedants happy and allow people to consider themselves superior to others ("educ

Re: Does “Who knows” need a question mark?  •  November 19, 2010, 5:55am  •  1 vote

English is tending toward doing away with all the Victorian rules, and I think this includes the old rule that questions always require a question mark. If the sentence is obviously a question, then

Re: Use of obscure words like “ebulliate”  •  November 5, 2010, 12:56pm  •  1 vote

Use whatever word you need to use to best say what you want to say. Obviously words no one recognizes are rarely going to be best, but there will be times . . ..

Re: Whom are you?  •  November 5, 2010, 12:48pm  •  4 votes

"Whom are you" is worse than overcorrection. It is simply wrong. In most of its meanings, the verb "to be" does not take an object but a predicate nominative, and therefore nominative rather than ob

Re: Accepted spellings, punctuation, and capitalization of email  •  November 5, 2010, 12:38pm  •  0 vote

The rule I follow is to use capital letters and hyphens (and a lot of other things too) as little as possible. Therefore, "email." This is style choice rather than grammar--keep it simple.