Warsaw Will

Joined: December 3, 2010

Number of comments posted: 1025

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: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”

@HS - Why on earth anyone would want to avoid perfectly good...

on: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”

@Hairy Scot - Yes, when we want to be more formal or use mor...

on: Rules for -ise and -ize

Sorry, but this is one of the things I love about English: t...

on: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”

@joelackey92 - to back up Thomas Smith, there is absolutely ...

on: Colon and semicolon in a single sentence

@Intuit Flow - I think your colon is OK, but not the semicol...

on: One of the most...

@Jasper - except few would consider either of your examples ...

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

@Hairy Scot - touché...

on: One of the most...

I think this graph says it all really: http://books.google.c...

on: “as long as” vs. “so long as”

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage, th...

on: Plural of name ending in Y

For anyone who thinks anonymous might be right, try googling...

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

@semiotek - I agree that what you say is the answer to the o...

on: “as long as” vs. “so long as”

As nearly everyone has already said, when they mean "provid...

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

@Sbee - I know it's not what you asked, but the more I think...

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

@Dyske - OK, but I think Gregg's child should come first in...

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

No. "Mine" is only used on its own, not before a noun: “I...

on: You’ve got another think/thing coming

@Traduttore and Bill S - I'm sure you're right.It's just tha...

on: Preferred forms

Hi again. Oxford Dictionaries put "et" first, so I'm not sur...

on: Preferred forms

A propos of nothing and one for British contributors. I thin...

on: Preferred forms

@Skeeter Lewis - re half-tones - there's a scene in an episo...

on: Preferred forms

Up until the 70s, BBC English more or less meant RP, and so ...

on: Preferred forms

@Skeeter Lewis. I would say you're being a wee bit restricti...

on: Big fish, small pond

A bit late perhaps, but I'm with pain, porsche and Hamlet o...

on: Preferred forms

@Hairy Scot - It is to my deep regret that I don't have a Sc...

on: Preferred forms

How about "oo" in poor. My phonetics trainer (London) insist...

on: Preferred forms

@HS - saying "an 'otel" or "an 'istoric" at least has some s...

on: Preferred forms

It could be argued that Americans who pronounce herb without...

on: Misplaced clauses?

@Thredder - Good point. I think it's because they've added s...

on: Someone else’s

@mike storer - I agree with you, whoever would? I'd simply c...

on: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?

@Percy I’m glad that that’s all you’re sceptical about, as ...

on: Misplaced clauses?

I don't have any hard-core linguistics books, but a couple o...

on: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?

@Percy 1. I've conceded at least twice that gardyloo is pro...

on: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?

@Percy - I was joking about you being Northumbrian. For much...

on: Misplaced clauses?

Something seems to have gone wrong with my organisation of i...

on: Misplaced clauses?

I wouldn't say this is about misplaced clauses in the sense ...

on: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?

@Percy, with a famous Northumbrian name like yours, I'm surp...

on: Preferred forms

While we're on the subject, can some of you Americans tell u...

on: Preferred forms

Three of these seem to be simply a difference between Britis...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

WRT - another one I had to look up! Happy New Year :)...

on: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?

Hi jayles, you're quite possibly right, according to Etymolo...

on: intend on doing?

And Happy New Year, everyone....

on: intend on doing?

Seconded, or rather, thirded (sic)...

on: intend on doing?

New Fowler's calls it non-standard informal American usage. ...

on: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?

When I was young, loo was pretty upper-class, but then got u...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

@By and large, at this moment of time, once you've drilled d...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

@Hairy Scot - Hi. I don't think "different to" falls into yo...

on: hanged vs. hung

@Hairy Scot - I hope you're not boasting! :)...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

@Hairy Scot - so you like Stan's graphs, but not his conclus...

on: hanged vs. hung

@Mature Lady -the answer is simple - don't! Why should any o...

on: gifting vs. giving a gift

re: seldomly - it's in at least a couple of dictionaries: h...

on: gifting vs. giving a gift

I think this is mainly an American issue, but if I can just ...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

@ Skeeter Lewis - I must say I do enjoy our sword-crossing s...

on: concerning

@Jasper - in its most common use, concerning is indeed a pre...

on: who vs. whom

@RFMacG - As a Scot, I really shouldn't have missed out your...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

@Skeeter Lewis - I have no problem with starting sentences w...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

Memo to self - I must control this urge to begin every sente...

on: concerning

@Denkof Zwemmen - Any chance of some examples?...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

Erratum - that New Fowler's quote should of course have rea...

on: Correct preposition following different? Redux

@Skeeter Lewis - well here's one educated Brit that doesn't...

on: who vs. whom

@RFG - I presume you're playing with the rules with your def...

on: Hey

@Katie - "What's up?" is an interesting one for me,as in Br...

on: who vs. whom

There seems to have been one seem too many there....

on: who vs. whom

@Hairy Scot - I accept that there has been a problem with gr...

on: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”

A bit more on pronunciation: Edinburgh J - Many, perhaps...

on: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”

@Hairy Scot - Menzies - I'm of the old school here, and pron...

on: who vs. whom

@Hairy Scot - "It is a source of puzzlement to me that so ma...

on: Pled versus pleaded

@Skeeter Lewis - I totally agree with you as far as England ...

on: who vs. whom

@Hairy Scot - to take your last point first. When have I ev...

on: Resume, resumé, or résumé?

@Twain's Tapeworms. 1. We presumably capitalise CV because ...

on: who vs. whom

Sorry, silly misuse of copy and paste in that last one - I m...

on: who vs. whom

@Robbert Forbes MacGregor - yes, that's the rule that's ofte...

on: “Much More Ready”

@porsche - speaking for myself, because I'm technologically ...

on: “Much More Ready”

@D.A.W I wasn't trying to take the glory away from the US, b...

on: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”

What about the long 'o' in the first syllable of Kosovo, whi...

on: “Much More Ready”

@D.A.W. - The word aerodrome is not used so much nowadays i...

on: “Much More Ready”

@DAW - as a fan of logic, you will have no doubt noticed a s...

on: “Much More Ready”

"The principal thinks Sally is more competent than any other...

on: Resume, resumé, or résumé?

While American dictionaries mainly list résumé as the main s...

on: who vs. whom

@Jiva - the fact that "whom" is correct in formal language d...

on: Steak - correct pronunciation

I'm not sure you can make a general rule for steak, break et...

on: “I’m just saying”

@Brus - Yes, that is one definition of judgemental, but I th...

on: “I’m just saying”

@Brus - on my keyboard (US) - apostrophe and then the lette...

on: Hey

Interesting stuff Dave, which made me decide to check with E...

on: It is you who are/is ...

@Brus - I know it's perfectly correct, but "It is I who am w...

on: It is you who are/is ...

@Brus - It's a bit late in the day, but I'm with donnahansen...

on: “I’m just saying”

@jf - Don't most of us have times when we are not really su...

on: “It is what it is”

@providencejim - Hi. In the news today: Roberto Mancini s...

on: “It is what it is”

@providencejim - Sorry, I hadn't noticed you'd already place...

on: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”

@Ingebiorg Nordén - And the interesting thing with your exam...

on: “It is what it is”

@hot diggedy dayum - this sort of comment would be more at h...

on: and so...

@Hal121205 - If you're so concerned about extraneous languag...

on: who vs. whom

Yes, we'd normally use whom after a preposition, but a lot o...

on: He and I, me and him

Hi Jaxagirl - Just to defend the Queen, not that I'm a great...

on: He and I, me and him

@Jaxagirl - Thanks for adding a word to my vocabulary. I tak...

on: “He gave it to Michelle and I”

@Skeeter Lewis - and to complete the trilogy - object form -...

on: my being vs me being

"She doesn't like me smoking in the house" "She doesn't lik...

on: tailorable

Don't we already frequently use 'tailor-made' for plenty of ...

on: Where used you to live?

@SpeakEnglandveryDelicious - in TEFL we teach the following:...

on: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”

In my experience (British English), it's usually pronounced ...

on: Rules for -ise and -ize

@AnWulf - I take your point about the spelling system, and a...

on: Where used you to live?

@Percy - re: "do I ought". I think we only have a choice bet...

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