Warsaw Will

Joined: December 3, 2010

Number of comments posted: 1035

Number of votes received: 356

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: You’ve got another think/thing coming

Oops - a wayward double negative - the second sentence shoul...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Rob Schmidt - obviously a lot of people are quite happy wit...

on: “I’m just saying”

@Brus - well, we can certainly agree on the strange nature o...

on: “I’m just saying”

Sorry, went a bid mad on typos there....

on: “I’m just saying”

@Brus - of course we teach our students about formality, but...

on: Adverbs better avoided?

" I had another writer who tried to eliminate all passive us...

on: “I’m just saying”

@Brus - ah, it's sparring time again. I'm afraid it's a shib...

on: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?

@Capitan Typo - in the spirit of the goodwill you have so ge...

on: Do’s and Don’t's

@copy editor - there's a whole English-speaking world outsid...

on: If ... were/was

@ChrisB - I'm an English teacher (TEFL) and I'd never even h...

on: Hi all vs. Hi everybody

From a British perspective, I think 'Hi everyone', but 'Dear...

on: Do’s and Don’t's

@Chris B - Thank for the compliment. Well, you're the first ...

on: If ... were/was

@dave - sorry but I don't agree. I'm British and I often say...

on: If ... were/was

@jayles - I think Northern English dialect use of 'were', as...

on: Do’s and Don’t's

Perhaps it's time to blow my own trumpet - http://random-ide...

on: “further” vs. “farther”

@bubbha - and a lot of American commentators will swear blin...

on: Try and

@Chris B - it probably depends on who the people are. I'm no...

on: Try and

@DC Howard - I don't want to knock you, because I broadly ag...

on: why does english have capital letters?

@aragond - I'm used to grammar lectures on this forum, but f...

on: Resume, resumé, or résumé?

On my keyboard (no separate numerical pad) , there is a ^ si...

on: Resume, resumé, or résumé?

Hi Brus, I wasn't feeling particularly grumpy; I was trying ...

on: cannot vs. can not

@Abootty - I don't know where you got that one from, as 'can...

on: Resume, resumé, or résumé?

I wonder why some of you seem to think you know better than ...

on: Pled versus pleaded

It's certainly true that the majority of one syllable -ead /...

on: “in regards to”

Yes, "as regards something/somebody" and "in/with/regard to ...

on: “There can be only one” or “there can only be one”?

I agree that adverbs normally go after "be" when there is no...

on: cannot vs. can not

@nadibes - The problem for me is that your example "I was go...

on: “There can be only one” or “there can only be one”?

There's a slight but well-known conflict with 'only', as pur...

on: anything vs. everything

@Felix - in this context, I'd say none....

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

Porsche is of course right that intonation doesn't necessari...

on: Chary

A troll that has an orange traffic light warning from Web of...

on: Capitalization of dog breeds

I don't claim to be any expert on dog breeds, but judging by...

on: Capitalization of dog breeds

On their website, the Kennel Club (the authority in Britain)...

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

Sorry to hear of your problems. All the best....

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

@Brittany - Sorry if I overreacted a bit. I probably read to...

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

Come to think of it, forgive a Brit's ignorance, but what is...

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

@Brittany - It's just a different logic. For me the way you ...

on: Fora vs Forums

As someone said way back in this thread, usage is the key,an...

on: Table of Content vs Table of Contents

@Aeomer - sorry to be a bit obtuse, but could you explain? ...

on: Plural of Yes

@Chris B - Good one! That took me a second or two to work ou...

on: Plural of Yes

'Yes' can be a countable noun - "I'll take that as a yes, th...

on: have gone to

@Hairy Scot - we wouldn't normally use a present simple with...

on: Skilled or skilful?

@calvin mpilo - A skilful person is someone who is good at d...

on: Five eggs is too many

I answered in the spirit of the question, but actually, I do...

on: have gone to

@roland_butter - There are also a couple of other useful web...

on: have gone to

I would say that your follow-up example is OK, "always" bein...

on: Five eggs is too many

@Skeeter Lewis - you pipped me at the post. I hadn't seen yo...

on: have gone to

As you point out, the verb 'go' has two different past parti...

on: Five eggs is too many

Unlike Tim33 and Jasper, I have no problem with 'five eggs i...

on: Chary

There are certainly some restrictions on adjective position....

on: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”

@Kernel Sanders - I'm afraid I have to disagree with you abo...

on: I’ve vs I’ve got

@HS - I've just come across a webpage from the Arts Departme...

on: “Ten Items or Less (Fewer?)”

@Paul Newcomb - Stephen Fry's paean to the wonders of the En...

on: Someone else’s

Two more exceptions like passers-by - hangers-on and runners...

on: When is a bridge not an overbridge?

@HS - as to common use, you maybe answered your own question...

on: Someone else’s

Sorry, that should read - And where the S goes doesn't depen...

on: Someone else’s

There seem to be two completely different questions here - s...

on: I’ve vs I’ve got

@Hairy Scot - I think your reference to your own question is...

on: When is a bridge not an overbridge?

These terms seem to be British, but I (a Brit) hadn't heard ...

on: “reach out”

Here's an example of the more traditional use of 'reach out'...

on: Fit as a butcher’s dog

@SinTax'ed Enough - I take your point about it being a simil...

on: optimiSe or optimiZe ?

@Mahesh - sure we are in the 21st century, and communication...

on: One of the most...

@Nemo - I generally agree with you (I think), but not with "...

on: I’ve vs I’ve got

In British English, at least, the 'got' versions are more co...

on: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?

Hi Chris B - Probably only on TV comedy programmes, to be ho...

on: Past tense of “text”

@Really?? - while agreeing with your grammatical conclusions...

on: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?

@Capitan Typo - What is the job of a dictionary if not to te...

on: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?

@Captain Typo - I generally like your favourite saying, but ...

on: Pled versus pleaded

@AnWulf - good to see you doing your bit for international u...

on: “reach out”

@Blokin' Smunts - Sorry if you think that definition is a bi...

on: When did we start pluralizing prepositions?

@fbf - Was that meant to be answering my question to RichT, ...

on: When did we start pluralizing prepositions?

@RichT - could you perhaps give us an example of either afte...

on: Pled versus pleaded

@Limey Pat - firstly, there's nothing wrong with a bit of re...

on: Is ‘love’ continuous or not?

And as another English teacher, I beg to differ. From Swan's...

on: On Tomorrow

Even though, according to one commenter, the soda /pop thing...

on: Mileage for kilometers

Except kilometrage doesn't seem to be in most dictionaries. ...

on: “my bad”

Corrections: It then got taken up by streetball players fol...

on: “my bad”

It looks like it started in the seventies, probably first am...

on: Exact same

Just a thought on colours - going back to earlier comments. ...

on: Exact same

@Shirley Young - except same doesn't mean similar - these ar...

on: “This is she” vs. “This is her”

@Brus - My problem (one of them at least) is that neither 'I...

on: “This is she” vs. “This is her”

@Brus - Perhaps 'This is me (in the photo)' or 'This is us'....

on: “This is she” vs. “This is her”

@P - I think you just answered your own question. But as som...

on: O’clock

@Skeeter Lewis (belatedly) - Well remembered (nearly) - "Bea...

on: Same difference

@suitjackets - I don't think you were the only one. :)) I...

on: Same difference

@suitjackets - sorry, but I think you're over-analysing a ve...

on: Same difference

There's a fairly level-headed discussion of "could care less...

on: “graduated high school” or “graduated from high school”?

@providencejim - Yes, I nearly linked to that one myself; it...

on: “graduated high school” or “graduated from high school”?

Oops! - university, vice versa...

on: “graduated high school” or “graduated from high school”?

@wes - that only makes sense if you don't pronounce the H - ...

on: Pled versus pleaded

Go back to the Anglish page? You must be joking! That page i...

on: He was sat

@Brus - OK, I apologise, "despise" was too strong a word and...

on: He was sat

@porsche - from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary for...

on: A quote within a quote within a quote

This page on "MLA Formatting Quotations" at the Purdue Onlin...

on: Same difference

@J.Alexandre - and then there's the saying - "The more thing...

on: Same difference

@ J.Alexandre - Thanks for your reply, which was rather more...

on: He was sat

@porsche - A couple of things - 'As in all the other example...

on: He was sat

@Brus - I'd love to be at the job interview where someone sa...

on: Same difference

First of all it's an idiom, so it doesn't really need much j...

on: your call will be answered in the order it was received

@Brus - what you are referring to is "singular they", and ma...

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