Warsaw Will

Joined: December 3, 2010

Number of comments posted: 1288

Number of votes received: 514

I'm a TEFL teacher working in Poland. I have a blog - Random Idea English - where I do some grammar stuff for advanced students and have the occasional rant against pedantry.

Questions Submitted

fewer / less

Natural as an adverb

tonne vs ton

Tell About

“reach out”

Recent Comments

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  February 27, 2015, 5:18am  •  0 vote

As you correctly say, there is no 'was' in subjunctive past. The real question though, is whether it is necessary to use a separate subjunctive form after 'if' for unreal conditionals for what amo

Re: ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  •  February 26, 2015, 9:28am  •  1 vote

@jayles - I don't really know why you consider "a sense of pride" and "a feeling of despair" hard to explain or fossilised expressions - to me 'of' is absolutely natural here, and I can't see any oth

Re: Why do sports teams take a definite article?  •  February 26, 2015, 7:45am  •  0 vote

It simply comes from the colour strips or kits (AmE - uniforms) they wear. Here in Poland the national team is known as the Biało-Czerwoni (the White-Reds), the colours of the national flag and of the

Re: Why do sports teams take a definite article?  •  February 24, 2015, 6:30am  •  0 vote

As I ended up by saying, I think it's probably more about culture and tradition than linguistics, and you'd probably need to go back to the early history of American football, basketball and baseball

Re: Why do sports teams take a definite article?  •  February 23, 2015, 9:48am  •  1 vote

American team names often include plural nouns, which would seem to lend themselves to the use of the definite article - The Yankees, for example. Animal names seem to be particularly common, and no d

Re: He was sat  •  February 10, 2015, 7:18am  •  0 vote

@jayles - Southerners could also get quite uppity - 1215, 1481, 1830. OK, 1936 was pretty easy to get, but I had to look quite hard for the other two. And the common thread? Taxes (and especially

Re: He was sat  •  February 9, 2015, 12:39pm  •  0 vote

@hank faenrich - 'worse', 'shameful'? What specifically is bad or shameful about it? That an idiom that was apparently fine in Northern dialect is now gaining ground in that other dialect known as St

Re: “Thanks for that”  •  January 8, 2015, 9:26am  •  1 vote

As this is mainly conversational, this will be a very difficult one to prove either way, but I would have though that both uses have been around for quite a long time. At the British National Corp

Re: gifting vs. giving a gift  •  January 8, 2015, 2:33am  •  0 vote

Here's an example of a peculiarly British use of 'gift' as a verb, escaping from the sports pages to politics - 'She' is Teresa May, the British Home Secretary, Nigel Farage is the leader of the anti

Re: “Rack” or “Wrack”?  •  January 4, 2015, 5:25am  •  1 vote

@HS - Americans seem to go for 'Wrack and ruin', British online dictionaries for 'rack and ruin', with 'wrack' as a variant. This is the case at Oxford, Cambridge, Macmillan, Longman and Chambers. Onl

Re: “Rack” or “Wrack”?  •  January 2, 2015, 7:40pm  •  0 vote

According to Oxford Online, both are acceptable, wrack being a less frequent variation of the verb rack, in the meaning of 'cause extreme pain, anguish, or distress', and in a usage note they say:

Re: “Thank you for reverting to us”  •  January 2, 2015, 3:26pm  •  0 vote

I'd certainly never heard this before. Oxford Concise has nothing in the sense of reply, but funnily enough Oxford Advanced Learner's does - calling it Indian English and rather formal, giving the exa

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  December 30, 2014, 10:50am  •  0 vote

Thanks, HS

Re: “Watching on”?  •  December 26, 2014, 6:32pm  •  0 vote

From 1845 - http://books.google.pl/books?id=NBQNAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA4&dq=%22Nella+too+was+glad+to+be+spared+all+speech,+and+the+cousins+watched+on+in+silence%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zO-dVLGQK4X_UuOegbgL&ved=0CB8Q

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  December 26, 2014, 7:22am  •  2 votes

I've noticed that one Kernel Sanders thinks I'm 'too obsessed with specialist book definitions and don't pay enough attention to actual use', and that I should trust what occurs in specific instances.

Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 21, 2014, 10:34am  •  0 vote

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=coming+tomorrow%2Ccomes+tomorrow%2Cwill+come+tomorrow&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ccoming%20tomorrow%3B%2C

Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 21, 2014, 10:31am  •  0 vote

According to David Crystal, in 'The Stories of English', present continuous (with present reference) started being used in the Middle English period, at much the same time as the auxiliaries started t

Re: Friendly - adjective and adverb?  •  December 20, 2014, 12:29pm  •  1 vote

I have to agree with the majority of native speakers on this thread, 'friendlily', even though listed by Oxford and Merriam-Webster, sounds awkward, and I have no problems with 'in friendly way', 'in

Re: issue as problem  •  December 20, 2014, 3:10am  •  0 vote

@jayles - good choice of parameters - to which I'd add - http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=she+has+an+issue%2Che+has+an+issue%2Cyou+have+an+issue&case_insensitive=on&year_start=1800&year_en

Re: issue as problem  •  December 19, 2014, 3:55pm  •  1 vote

I don't think the way people use it today, it is totally synonymous with problem, or at least only in certain contexts. Sure "Do you have an issue with that?" has to a certain extent replaced "Do you

Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 18, 2014, 3:13pm  •  0 vote

@jayles - You're no doubt right about 'will' and 'shall' instead of present continuous with future meaning, but I'm not so sure about 'here comes': Charlotte Bronté - Jane Eyre is coming 1 - Te

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  December 17, 2014, 5:34pm  •  1 vote

It's not well known that Santa has several brothers. There's a younger brother who is always giving into him, and so is known by the rest of the family as Concession Claus. Another brother has so

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  December 16, 2014, 4:36pm  •  0 vote

@Harrycastle, belatedly - "In the French language, for example, the present perfect doesn't exist - rather they use a simple present. i.e. I have = j'ai and I have got = j'ai." This is a double wha

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 13, 2014, 5:11pm  •  0 vote

http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/deviation

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 13, 2014, 5:09pm  •  0 vote

@jayles - "I never understood why the French for 'detour' is 'deviation' on all the roadworks". French has two words - détour and déviation; 'taking the scenic route', for example, would be 'fai

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 11, 2014, 2:38pm  •  1 vote

Ah. The forgotten beauty of 'Road works ahead'.

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 10, 2014, 1:59pm  •  0 vote

@HS - and please keep feeding me these little titbits to research. These little oddities are grist to the mill as far as I'm concerned, and as I neither pay much attention to sports pages nor live in

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 9, 2014, 4:00pm  •  1 vote

In fact, it turns out to be quite a bit older than that: "This overpass built at a cost of $507,000 completes the three-laning of Highway U. S. 30 from the city of Cheyenne east to the Nebraska sta

Re: 3 Laning?  •  December 9, 2014, 3:47pm  •  1 vote

I don't really see the problem. It's succinct and tells you exactly what's happening in a more precise way than "Road widening in progress" or "Motorway upgrade in progress" or some such thing. Also

Re: Victorian Era English  •  December 8, 2014, 2:39pm  •  0 vote

You could start with OneLook.com, which checks the word in a lot of dictionaries. It found definitions for 6 out of 9 words I found from a collection of curious Victorian words and sayings at http://w

Re: deliberately mispelled (sp!)  •  December 6, 2014, 1:54pm  •  1 vote

Deliberate misspelling is usually done for effect, innit? - I would imagine signalling that it is deliberate would rather spoil that effect. Cos (sp!) it wouldn't be very kool (sp!) if yer (sp!) had

Re: “Watching on”?  •  December 6, 2014, 10:31am  •  0 vote

http://random-idea-english.blogspot.com/2014/12/watching-on-as-expression-takes-root.html

Re: “Watching on”?  •  December 6, 2014, 10:31am  •  1 vote

Thanks HS for putting me on to this. I've now done a bit of research, which I've posted on my blog, and this this is how I conclude: "The expression 'look on', as in 'watch from a distance', goes b

Re: “Watching on”?  •  December 2, 2014, 5:22pm  •  0 vote

Correction - 'watched on_ADV'

Re: “Watching on”?  •  December 2, 2014, 5:21pm  •  2 votes

I'm afraid the results at Ngram don't really tell us anything, because in most of the examples 'on' is simply a preposition: "how much violence they watched on television". "Tell me,is there anyth

Re: Plaque for family home  •  November 29, 2014, 5:27pm  •  0 vote

Marking plurals of nouns ending in vowels,especially of foreign origin was, of course, one of the original functions of the apostrophe: 'Comma's and points they set exactly right' - Alexander Pope

Re: me vs. myself  •  November 21, 2014, 6:47am  •  0 vote

"There were Tom, Dick, Harry and myself" - of course whether we should use an object pronoun after 'be' is a different question, discussed in some detail on other threads.

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  November 20, 2014, 3:16pm  •  0 vote

Oh, no it's not!

Re: me vs. myself  •  November 20, 2014, 3:11pm  •  0 vote

@Maekong Mike - "Me is a subject pronoun. Myself is reflexive" - Well, yes, "myself" is reflexive, but that's only a half the story: "myself" etc are also emphatic pronouns: "I did it all myself"

Re: Evolution of Exactly the Same  •  November 16, 2014, 3:17pm  •  1 vote

@vmoll - I seem to be missing something here. Up until you there had only been two commenters on this thread, Skeeter Lewis and me, neither of whom have expressed the slightest bit of rage. As to

Re: Evolution of Exactly the Same  •  October 31, 2014, 8:42pm  •  0 vote

@Skeeter Lewis - that's possible for the duke, but unlikely for 'the same exact time', I would have thought. But I grant you that in many cases 'exact' could be taken to mean 'precise', such as t

Re: Evolution of Exactly the Same  •  October 31, 2014, 6:50am  •  0 vote

Judging by Ngram, 'the exact same' started being used more often around 1970, as did to a much lesser extent 'the same exact', but 'exactly the same' is still by far the most common. The Ngram figure

Re: What words were used to refer specifically to males before “man” did?  •  October 19, 2014, 4:43am  •  1 vote

Here's a link to the entry for 'wer' in the Bosworth -Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, which has several definitions: I. a man, a male person II. a man, a male that has reached man's estate III.

Re: Why so many different spellings for some Arabic terms?  •  October 19, 2014, 4:14am  •  1 vote

Lets get the easy one out of the way first - Ayatollah is Persian, Ayatullah is Arabic,: Persian: آيت‌الله‎ ayatollah from Arabic: آية الله‎, āyatu allah (Wikipedia) As for the Lebanese group,

Re: What words were used to refer specifically to males before “man” did?  •  October 19, 2014, 3:23am  •  0 vote

From Etymonline - 'Old English man, mann "human being, person (male or female)' From Oxford Online (usage note) 'Traditionally the word man has been used to refer not only to adult males but

Re: Selfie  •  October 8, 2014, 6:46am  •  0 vote

The day people stop inventing new words: that's the day we should start worrying about the state of English. But of course they won't, because people are creative with language, especially young peopl

Re: that vs. if and whether  •  October 5, 2014, 2:17pm  •  0 vote

Re: Banjo's spelling idea - In most words starting "ec", a single c is followed by a consonant, "eclaire, eclectic, eclipse, ecstatic, ectoderm, ectoplasms, eczema" - all with a short e as in "be

Re: that vs. if and whether  •  October 5, 2014, 12:28pm  •  0 vote

@Olivia Queen - "Using whether is far more common" - Here, Grammar-Monster was only referring to "whether/if ... or ..." constructions, as in "She didn't know whether to stay or go". In normal

Re: Assist in or assist with  •  October 3, 2014, 5:54pm  •  0 vote

Incidentally, I somewhat disagree with those earlier commentors who see a difference in meaning between the two, or say that 'in' is followed by a verb, and 'with' by a noun. Both 'in' and 'with'

Re: Assist in or assist with  •  October 3, 2014, 5:06pm  •  0 vote

Sorry, that Ngram address didn't work. Go to http://books.google.com/ngrams and enter: assist in the *,assist with the *

Re: Assist in or assist with  •  October 3, 2014, 5:01pm  •  1 vote

@MD - Both are correct, but "assist in" seems to be the most popular. Learner's dictionaries, for example, allow both, but most of the examples they seem to give are with 'assist in'. Incidentally, l

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 28, 2014, 4:55am  •  0 vote

@jayles - Fair enough. In history classes at university we had a lot of discussion as to whether certain changes that took place in the UK after WWII, such as the rise of consumerism and the new

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 27, 2014, 6:31pm  •  0 vote

According to that Ngram, 'no-show' started to take off in Britain in about 1970, which means it's been around here all of my working life, and about the same time as quite a lot of words that origina

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 27, 2014, 2:46am  •  0 vote

@jayles - incidentally, while I agree that 'show' to mean 'show up' is mainly American English (and is shown as such in, for example, the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary), I don't think that the

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 26, 2014, 8:24pm  •  0 vote

@jayles - It's a standard road sign in the UK, approved by the Department of Transport, and often used at road works - http://www.google.com/search?q=%22when+red+light+shows%22&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 26, 2014, 5:37am  •  0 vote

And it's not particularly new: "The rain poured down, and never a light showed" - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, 1899 "Close to the top of the staircase, however, there opened a door, through wh

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 26, 2014, 5:01am  •  0 vote

@Skeeter Lewis - what's wrong with intransitive 'show'? From various dictionaries: Fear showed in his eyes. She tried not to let her disappointment show. She's nearly forty now.And it shows.

Re: “The plants were withered” Adjective or passive?  •  September 24, 2014, 3:13pm  •  0 vote

The only one I can think of is 'breakable' - where the active (ergative) meaning - it can easily break - is just as likely as the passive one - can easily be broken. But I can't find any other ergativ

Re: Why ‘an’ in front of an ‘h’-word?  •  September 23, 2014, 1:56pm  •  0 vote

@jayles - I think quite a few Brits do it as well. At the British National Corpus it's 159 'an historic' to 126 'a historic', but of course pronunciation doesn't come into play there. Funnily enough I

Re: Why ‘an’ in front of an ‘h’-word?  •  September 22, 2014, 4:42pm  •  0 vote

Couldn't resist it - I wrote this three years or so ago - http://random-idea-english.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-i-ngrammed-historic-occasion.html

Re: Everybody vs. Everyone  •  September 9, 2014, 6:49am  •  0 vote

I've just noticed this from dogreed way back in 2010: ' The words "everyone" and "everybody" are not entirely interchangeable. For example, the phrase "God bless us, everyone" is generally taken to

Re: When did contacting someone become reaching out?  •  September 3, 2014, 4:37pm  •  0 vote

@Phil Woodford - that sounds pretty much like this definition from Oxford Dictionaries Online: "(chiefly North American) Seek to establish communication with someone, with the aim of offering or ob

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  September 1, 2014, 2:31pm  •  1 vote

@Sophie - I'm all for simpler English, but the passive should be regarded in the same way as any other construction - not get the blanket (and unthinking) disapproval it does in certain quarters.

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 31, 2014, 7:24am  •  0 vote

@jayles - I've finally finished my (rather long and detailed) take on 'while' and 'whereas', and concession in general: http://random-idea-english.blogspot.com/2014/08/exploring-concession-and-cont

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 19, 2014, 11:37am  •  0 vote

Yes, I'd go along with your first paragraph. I think the 'inasmuch as' meaning of 'whereas' is specific to legal English, and I've ignored it. It seems that 'whereas' is the most restricted, and shou

Re: Can every letter be used as a silent letter?  •  August 19, 2014, 11:04am  •  0 vote

You were doing so well until you got to Q - Colquhoun Ok, but Mosquito and Tequila? I don't think a K sound quite counts as silent. But you know what they say about pride! As for your Vs, do fami

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 18, 2014, 11:42am  •  0 vote

At last I've found at least one source that suggests that 'while' can be used in either position for contrast, but only in first position when used concessively : the OALD: used to contrast two thi

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 18, 2014, 10:12am  •  0 vote

So it didn't really work - but you can get the gist - Contrast in first position - Dictionaries 2, The Guardian 6, The Telegraph 0 etc So for example, at the Guardian there were 31 definite contras

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 18, 2014, 10:06am  •  0 vote

OK, thanks. As I understand it, IELTS Level 7 is about the same as CAE, so 8.5 must be pretty well Proficiency. Incidentally, although there's quite a bit on while / whereas in Quirk et al - The Co

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 16, 2014, 5:09pm  •  0 vote

@jayles - sorry, you've lost me there. What are EAP and GRA? And trailing (contrast) clauses? I've tried googling all three, but without any success.

Re: “This is she” vs. “This is her”  •  August 15, 2014, 6:03am  •  0 vote

A bit off topic, but never mind. The literal translation of 'soy yo' may well be 'I am I', but that is meaningless in English and an idiomatic translation would be something more like 'it's me'. From

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 12, 2014, 11:04am  •  0 vote

@jayles - and I thank you. Sometime ago I started a post on contrast and concession. This might just goad me into doing a bit more research and finishing it. Just a thought, but it occurs to me tha

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 11, 2014, 1:16pm  •  0 vote

Let's agree on that. I've looked at example sentences from a dozen or so dictionaries, and I can't find much in the way of 'whereas' with a concessionary meaning starting a main clause either, althoug

Re: attorneys general vs. attorney generals  •  August 9, 2014, 8:05pm  •  0 vote

@Hairy - I've only just seen your comment, and sorry, only three years late, but I have to disagree - It's major generals, not majors general, and general is a noun here, it's not an adjective - if a

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 9, 2014, 7:34pm  •  0 vote

@jayles: I don't quite agree: 1. Not necessarily - "While roses are red, violets are blue" expresses a simple contrast, and could just as well be written "Roses are red, but violets are blue." T

Re: While vs Whilst vs Whereas  •  August 9, 2014, 9:29am  •  0 vote

As regards 'whilst', in British English it is just a substitute for 'while', so is always possible instead of 'while', although sometimes seen as a bit formal or literary. It is hardly ever used, howe

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  August 8, 2014, 2:27pm  •  1 vote

@looloo - there was a type of cheap café in Britain in the fifties and sixties, serving things like fried food more than coffee, as far as I remenber, which were indeed known by many people as 'kayfs'

Re: troops vs soldiers  •  August 4, 2014, 2:59pm  •  0 vote

"a great number of the troops were killed and wounded" "The militia hung upon their rear; and many of the regular troops were killed and wounded." "in which many of the provincials, and more of the

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  August 3, 2014, 4:42am  •  0 vote

Just to clarify something - not all these verbs are ergative verbs, one test for which is to interpose 'and so' between the transitive version and the intransitive one: 'Little Johnny broke the win

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  August 1, 2014, 2:47pm  •  0 vote

@Jasper - I'm sorry about your name ; I think I also confused you with jayles once - I get a bit muddled with all these Js (That's no excuse, though!). Incidentally, the whole book is online, il

Re: Are proverbs dying?  •  August 1, 2014, 1:11pm  •  0 vote

@Rdavis202 - 'Cats and dogs' - that surprises me too. It's in lots of EFL course books, but I've always found it a bit artificial, and tell my students we're probably more likely to say something like

Re: obstinacy vs. obstinancy  •  August 1, 2014, 1:03pm  •  0 vote

"Obstinancy"is certainly in the OED, at least according to Wiktionary, but is listed as 'rare', and it is not listed in Oxford Online. In fact it is only listed in two of the many online dictionaries

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  August 1, 2014, 12:19pm  •  0 vote

"The situation was transformed into something quite different." - this is fine when we know that there was an agent who/which transformed the situation, but situations have a habit of changing under

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  August 1, 2014, 11:51am  •  0 vote

"Now we all know who is the agent that increases taxes" - something not quite right there: "Now we all know who it is that increases taxes, who the agent is"

Re: What’s happening to the Passive?  •  August 1, 2014, 11:48am  •  2 votes

First, jayles is right that there is a lot of antipathy to the passive from people who really should know better, especially in American writing schools - their reason being that they see it as 'wimpy

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 20, 2014, 9:54am  •  0 vote

@Jason - I must confess I hadn't read your final concessionary paragraph until now. So sorry about that.

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 20, 2014, 9:50am  •  0 vote

@Skeeter Lewis - I sort of gathered after I posted - sorry. And I agree with you that both sides should take a step back. I was rather taken aback by Jason's 'I don't care' and 'spout off ESL' comment

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 20, 2014, 7:01am  •  0 vote

@Skeeter Lewis - As we are often on opposite sides in these dicussions, I took your comment at face value. But I'm now beginning to wonder if your comment wasn't perhaps meant to be ironic, in which c

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 20, 2014, 6:47am  •  0 vote

"It's true - dear old Will does try to bludgeon us to death with his tolerance." - so a mere one person standing up for a different view to the one held (and oft repeated) by the majority (which now s

Re: When did contacting someone become reaching out?  •  July 20, 2014, 6:24am  •  0 vote

Beat you to it HS - http://painintheenglish.com/case/5118 - apparently it's quite common in something close to your ex-line of business - tech companies.

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 18, 2014, 8:34am  •  0 vote

One swallow doesn't make a summer!

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 18, 2014, 8:31am  •  1 vote

Wow! Someone got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. But I'll ignore all the negative stuff and try and answer some of your points: I'm sorry you think that some arbitrary rules that hardly

Re: Who/whom, copular verbs, and the infinitive  •  July 17, 2014, 7:30pm  •  1 vote

“Whom did he want to meet?” - Does anyone actually say that? Conversationally? Apart from in radio dramas, etc. I have very grave doubts about your opening premise, beloved by certain grammar sites

Re: Are proverbs dying?  •  July 4, 2014, 8:09pm  •  0 vote

@Jasper - on Ngram, 'count your chickens' is soaring, and 'your eggs in one basket' is holding steady, if fluctuating a bit - http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=count+your+chickens%2Cyour+e

Re: Are proverbs dying?  •  July 4, 2014, 8:04pm  •  0 vote

@jayles (the un-nothing this time) - Ngram links with asterisks don't work on PITE. @HS - Re kettle, that would have been my hunch too, but it doesn't even show up in the Ngram British books sele

Re: Are proverbs dying?  •  July 3, 2014, 4:23pm  •  0 vote

"A watched pot never boils" is still pretty active on Ngram, especially if you shorten it to "A watched pot". Milton Friedman may have used "There's no such thing as a free lunch" for the title of one

Re: Are proverbs dying?  •  July 2, 2014, 2:49pm  •  0 vote

One small thought: You'll find a lot more for "beggars can't be choosers" than "beggars can not be choosers". Both seem quite popular on Facebook and Twitter - actual counts (front-page figure in b

Re: Putative (-ly) vs. Supposed (-ly) vs. Ostensible (-y)  •  June 29, 2014, 11:08am  •  0 vote

@jayles - Or that the mother knows something the ostensible father doesn't: "It is not entirely clear why this fascinates Stephen except that if his ostensible father Simon Dedalus was a cuckold, p

Re: Use my brain or brains?  •  June 28, 2014, 7:14pm  •  0 vote

@jayles - "Perhaps that explains why "brains" in the plural is increasingly used when referring to women" According to Ngram, the increase since 1970 has been less than 100% and the current level i

Re: Putative (-ly) vs. Supposed (-ly) vs. Ostensible (-y)  •  June 26, 2014, 2:32pm  •  0 vote

There does seem to be a key difference between 'putative' and the other two: if something is putative, it is generally believed, but not usually openly stated (yet), as far as I can see. Whereas the o

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