Warsaw Will

Joined: December 3, 2010

Number of comments posted: 1028

Number of votes received: 355

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

Natural as an adverb

In his entry on ‘try and do’, Fowler calls it “an idiom that...

apostrophe with expressions of distance or time

I imagine everyone uses an apostrophe with expressions of di...

tonne vs ton

I’m all for the metric system, and I’m sure a lot of British...

Tell About

On ESL websites I sometimes see instructions to students of ...

“reach out”

I’m not usually a peever, but I do make an exception for bus...

Fit as a butcher’s dog

Has anybody come across the idiom “Fit as a butcher’s dog”, ...

You’ve got another think/thing coming

If you’re over a certain age, you will probably be familiar ...

When “one of” many things is itself plural

There are all sorts of things I believed in then which I don...

Recent Comments

on: cannot vs. can not

@Emera - cannot, can not, can't are all use for both "not al...

on: all _____ sudden

@jayles - I should have put a smiley after 'nice try'. I did...

on: Does “Who knows” need a question mark?

@Matt K - rhetorical questions are still questions: What ...

on: Two Weeks Notice

@jayles - if you look for these expressions in Google Books,...

on: all _____ sudden

Correction - Burnet's book was published in 1724...

on: all _____ sudden

@jayles: nice try London Magazine 1738 - unfortunately Go...

on: Two Weeks Notice

@jayles - even the people at Warner Bros who decided on the ...

on: Two Weeks Notice

And Happy Valentine's Day to you too Paula. But to the b...

on: “You have two choices”

@Moonwaves - Of course "to have Hobson's choice" does have t...

on: “You have two choices”

@Moonwaves - I suggest that you have a look at the quotes fr...

on: who vs. whom

@Jasper - the survey just counted the number of instances, n...

on: who vs. whom

All of us whom-disdainers have apparently been getting it wr...

on: Horizontal Stripes?

I think this was only ever a convention in certain areas, su...

on: Computer mouses or computer mice?

@jayles - as long as it means 'full of' - here's a list of ...

on: Computer mouses or computer mice?

@Brus -Yes, I think it is indeed. What's more, you have intr...

on: One of the most...

Incidentally, there's been one structure that has been bothe...

on: tonne vs ton

@Chris B - My impression is that official (green) government...

on: “This is she” vs. “This is her”

P.S. - EFL teaching also recognises that English has differe...

on: “This is she” vs. “This is her”

@Nana - OK, I'd like to respond to this by commenting on Chr...

on: “This is she” vs. “This is her”

@TEAS grammar tutor - so I'm all the happier that I teach EF...

on: “by the time”

It's perhaps also worth noting what happens when we use 'by ...

on: One of the most...

It's not that hard: A film director makes ten films. His fir...

on: Shall have done?

@jayles - OALD marks shall as (especially British English). ...

on: On Tomorrow

@momofthree1999 - Maybe not in your part of the South, but c...

on: “The plants were withered” Adjective or passive?

'Cooked' was perhaps a bad example - 'a cooked omelette' and...

on: “The plants were withered” Adjective or passive?

@jayles - Not so strange really, because 'a made mistake' ad...

on: Littler

I'm not sure why it should be thought ungrammatical, just un...

on: Shall have done?

@jayles - I think there are two separate things here: 1. ...

on: Pled versus pleaded

@Jasper - I started off by intending to give thou, thee etc ...

on: Pled versus pleaded

@Mraff - at the moment, snuck is considered 'informal' and '...

on: tonne vs ton

@Chris B - I imagine the Netherlands has been metric for abo...

on: “The plants were withered” Adjective or passive?

@Jasper - it happens to us all from time to time....

on: “I’m just saying”

@Pee Wee - well you obviously despise me then, as I used it ...

on: “The plants were withered” Adjective or passive?

@Jasper - of course bored is normally an adjective, but it c...

on: Pronunciation of “often”

Of course RP has always been a minority dialect, but to see ...

on: Pronunciation of “often”

@John Gibson - one or two, just like most other consonants ...

on: Might could

@Meade - to be pedantic - Scottish-Irish please. We Scots ar...

on: tonne vs ton

@Jasper - hoist with my own petard, you mean. Of course I ag...

on: Pronunciation of “gill”

@Hairy Scot - is there perhaps a word missing after 'erstwhi...

on: “The plants were withered” Adjective or passive?

@Jasper - in jayles's example maybe, but not in David L's. T...

on: Pronunciation of “often”

@AnWulf - I think many people say it both ways without reali...

on: Pronunciation of “often”

Hi Skeeter - one reason I'm not so sure about the spelling a...

on: Charade you are!!

As for the meaning, it's pretty obvious, as porsche and othe...

on: Pronunciation of “often”

@Skeeter Lewis - Fowler disliked a lot of things which are n...

on: Plural of name ending in Y

@Therese - for example?...

on: Proper use of st, nd, rd, and th — ordinal indicators

@judith and Brittany - The current Sundance Film Festival in...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

I've now put together a post with examples of 'different to'...

on: “hone in” vs. “home in”

@Jasper - He says - 'This is because “first” is one of the ...

on: “hone in” vs. “home in”

@HS - I realise that, and was trying to be a bit tongue in c...

on: “hone in” vs. “home in”

Three and a bit years too late, but I've just noticed this f...

on: Pronunciation of “often”

In the US, both Merriam-Webster and American Heritage dictio...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

@HS - this might interest you, from the Oxford Dictionaries ...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

No, Google doesn't have the originals; they are all in unive...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

Yes, at least they come from contemporary documents; everyth...

on: On Tomorrow

http://random-idea-english.blogspot.com/2014/01/random-thoug...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

"Numerous commentators have condemned different than in spit...

on: Modal Remoteness & Tense

OK, the conditional's probably OK as it refers to a possible...

on: On Tomorrow

I was a bit sceptical about jayles Ngram idea, after all the...

on: Fora vs Forums

@jayles - Of course we do, but we don't make a rule of it. ...

on: Fora vs Forums

Damn! Sonate....

on: Fora vs Forums

@My Two Cents - so presumably: Beethoven wrote five piano...

on: “Bring” vs. “Take” differences in UK and American English

OK, so here's my take on it (for learners) http://random-...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

I just love this one, where think is absolutely crucial: ...

on: cannot vs. can not

Well nigh impossible, but not completely: "Can't it wait ...

on: cannot vs. can not

@Thredder -There is a theoretically possible difference yes...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Traduttore - Sure, leave out all the spaces, plus signs et...

on: Pled versus pleaded

@Jeff J - "In short, here in the UK the past tense of plead ...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Traduttore - Yes please, go on, I'm collecting them....

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

It was certainly playing in New York in February 1909, but u...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Traduttore - OK, I've found this from A Deal In Ducks by Gu...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Traduttore - a lawn with no flowers would probably just be ...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Traduttore - thanks for the 'guess' thing; I've updated my ...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Traduttore - that's a lot to take in quickly, so I'll have ...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@_Shorty - As it was me who originally put the question, I t...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@_Shorty - Can you be more specific; the only hit I can fin...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@_Shorty - that looks convincing at first, but the devil is ...

on: Assist in or assist with

@Elena Dolnova - the grammatical functions are different: ...

on: Just because..., (it) doesn’t mean...

All three are fine except for the comma in the middle one, a...

on: Possessive with acromyms ending in S

@Harry Boscoe - now you're talking. Here are some non-govern...

on: Possessive with acromyms ending in S

@Harry Boscoe - As far as I know, your examples all refer to...

on: “Based out of”: Why?

Hi, Jim - firstly, like = said is usually thought to be of a...

on: Selfie

"Selfies of 2013 – the best, worst and most revealing" - The...

on: Selfie

"David Cameron and Danish PM brush off criticism of Mandela ...

on: “Based out of”: Why?

@Buzzbuzz10 - well that second part rules me well out, by a ...

on: “Based out of”: Why?

@jayles - OTT is pretty old hat now, I think, although I had...

on: “Based out of”: Why?

@Buzzbuzz10 - I'm not really aware of these new meanings of ...

on: “as long as” vs. “so long as”

@Tanvir - I'm not with you, could you give us an example?...

on: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive

@jayles - I do agree with you about keeping terminology to a...

on: “You have two choices”

Hi HS, I presume you are simply expressing a dislike of the ...

on: pre-order

I don't know about pre-book, although It seems to simply mea...

on: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive

@jayles - I agree with you about terminology when teaching f...

on: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive

@Syed Usman - " 'My' is not a possessive pronoun, 'My' is a ...

on: “Based out of”: Why?

@jayles - by colonial, I assume you mean American. Its curre...

on: “Based out of”: Why?

Hi Jim, I confess to the last one occasionally, but this may...

on: “It is I” vs. “It is me”

@jayles - Neither. I think you're trying to force an answer...

on: “Based out of”: Why?

Hi Jim. Try Googling it the other way round, i.e. for "pre-p...

on: Modal Remoteness & Tense

@Jasper - I wouldn't think so much about which goes with whi...

on: Modal Remoteness & Tense

@Jasper (1) "If it were ever mentioned, which happened ver...

on: “Based out of”: Why?

@providencejim - I think you're right about ''based out of' ...

on: Selfie

Come on. Up to speed, you two; selfie is so last month. This...

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