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jayles the unwoven

Joined: June 3, 2014
Comments posted: 194
Votes received: 85

No user description provided.

Questions Submitted

Are proverbs dying?

June 30, 2014

subwait

June 24, 2014

Recent Comments

@HS You have not actually explained Jane Austen's use of 'family' - a "collective" noun - with a plural verb, which seems contrary to your opening post: 'Despite arguments to the contrary, "family" is a collective noun, and I don't care how many family members there might be, it therefore gets a singular verb.'

jayles the unwoven September 25, 2016, 2:05am

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I would also like your analysis of whether "family" is a collective or plural noun in the following extract taken from Pride & Prejudice, Chapter VI of Volume II (Chap. 29):
"...and it was but the other day that I recommended another young person, who was merely accidentally mentioned to me, and the family are quite delighted with her."

jayles the unwoven September 24, 2016, 11:55pm

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@HS So how can we tell that "cattle" is plural but "herd" is a "collective" noun?

jayles the unwoven September 24, 2016, 11:10pm

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@HS Could you please complete the following:
a) Quick! The police ___ coming!
b) The cattle ___ lowing, the baby awakes.

Please also explain how, in your world, we can tell which nouns are "collective" and which are not.

jayles the unwoven September 23, 2016, 5:03pm

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Suggestions:

"He assisted his boss with planning the project launch" OR
"He assisted his boss in planning the project launch"

drafting would be used for engineering drawings, a book or report, or a timetable or schedule. Planning is more general.

"That partner assisted the company with additional funds to finance the mall construction"
OR ...to finance the construction of the mall.

jayles the unwoven September 19, 2016, 5:05pm

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Whilst I agree that the term "indirect speech" has almost always been used in writing to refer to "reported speech", it has on occasion been used to refer to oblique or circuitous ways of addressing a topic. For instance, in some tome on Quakerism from 1808:

http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=bNQ3AAAAYAAJ...

and in Judson's Burmese-English dictionary 1893 "this speech is indirect and circuitous":

http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=LSEYAAAAYAAJ...

The question for you would be if the term "indirect speech" is not to be used for these types of polite roundabout ways of addressing a topic, what other terminology could be used?

jayles the unwoven June 20, 2016, 12:28am

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Whilst I agree that the term "indirect speech" has almost always been used in writing to refer to "reported speech", it has on occasion been used to refer to oblique or circuitous ways of addressing a topic. For instance, in some tome on Quakerism from 1808:

http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=bNQ3AAAAYAAJ...

and in Judson's Burmese-English dictionary 1893 "this speech is indirect and circuitous":

http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=LSEYAAAAYAAJ...

The question for you would be if the term "indirect speech" is not to be used for these types of polite roundabout ways of addressing a topic, what other terminology could be used?

jayles the unwoven June 20, 2016, 12:27am

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@HS "Calculus" is perhaps first encountered as some awful maths concept and formula at school, and seems to be the most common meaning. However, there are alternatives, including specialist meanings in dentistry and medicine, and also a more general meaning as follows:

"A decision-making method, especially one appropriate for a specialised realm. " (wiktionary)

"calculation; estimation or computation" (dictionary.com)


2008 December 16, “Cameron calls for bankers’ ‘day of reckoning’”, Financial Times:

The Tory leader refused to state how many financiers he thought should end up in jail, saying: “There is not some simple calculus."

If a Tory PM has used the word in this meaning, it must be okay, mustn't it?

jayles the unwoven May 10, 2016, 4:51pm

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Just to be clear: we are not discussing the "-ish" ending of words like abolish, punish, which comes from French.
"-ish" in the sense of "somewhat" is recorded in the OED as far back as 1894/1916
The alternative is to use the French version: "-esque" .
"Ish" has become a new standalone word in British English, meaning somewhat.

jayles the unwoven April 25, 2016, 8:12pm

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@Wheelye With so much international emailing, it is just a matter of avoiding ambiguity. In the same way it is better to avoid ambiguous date formats such as 03/04/2016 and always to spell out the month: March 4, 2016 or 4th March 2016. Similarly if one simply says "this Wednesday" or "Wednesday week" or in an email adds the day as "Wed 12th", then all is clear.

jayles the unwoven April 13, 2016, 9:28pm

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@HS there is some discussion on this topic here:

http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t11916.htm

the last two comments there attempt to distinguish the meaning of "not much choice" from "not much of a choice".

Certainly both phrases with or without "of" are in use.
If one searches the web for "that big of a deal" and similar phrases, their usage seems to have taken off in print since the 1980s, seemingly on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether this is because the "of" was edited out prior to that is not clear.

jayles the unwoven April 12, 2016, 2:17pm

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@Joan I would suggest:
thirty-two and thirty-two-hundredths percent
or
thirty-two and thirty-two hundredths percent

jayles the unwoven April 10, 2016, 11:42am

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@tori I think you will find "an HTML" is more common if you search the internet.
In some schools, especially in Northern Ireland, 'H' is pronounced "haitch", so some people write "a HTML".

jayles the unwoven April 8, 2016, 3:59am

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"A sentence that occurs within brackets in the course of another sentence does not generally have its first word capitalized just because it starts a sentence. The enclosed sentence may have a question mark or exclamation mark added, but not a period."
Eg
Alexander then conquered (who would have believed it?) most of the known world.

Parentheses are somewhat "jarring to the reader and best avoided where feasible" - as per West Michigan University

I would remove the parentheses from your alternative stand-alone sentence

jayles the unwoven April 5, 2016, 5:25pm

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1) Some adjectives are (by their very meaning) gradable, and some not. For instance it would hardly make sense to assert that seven were "more prime" than five. Or again, she is a "more born" pianist than I am. Sometimes it is just a bit illogical: this carpet is less wall-to-wall than that one. Could one say: practice is more key to success than theory. Well, I guess I would understand.
2) if one googles or ngrams "is key to", it does come up. Sometimes arguably just a journalistic shorthand for "is the key to". For example: "information sharing is key to effective ..."
3) This all harks back to the big ask: what do you mean by "right" and "wrong"; is it common usage, or possible but uncommon usage? The exact criteria will affect all answers to the original post.
"Spurs boss Harry Redknapp opted to rest many of his key players,"

jayles the unwoven March 20, 2016, 8:56pm

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Does anyone else have the impression that the -er ending for comparatives is slowly dying?
I have just heard the weather forecaster reading from a script say "more wet"; and in speech people here seem to be saying "more easy" or "more easier", or "more happy" and similar examples.

jayles the unwoven March 20, 2016, 1:08pm

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putting 2.0459% into legal terms:
a) two and four hundred fifty-nine tenthousandths percent

b) one could recast the numbers and words using per mille
or parts-per-million; but the end result would be no clearer to my mind

c) 2.00459% two and four hundred fifty-nine hundredthousandths percent

d) caveat: I am no lawyer and no experience of drafting

jayles the unwoven March 7, 2016, 9:57pm

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Two point zero four five nine percent

People here would say 'oh' instead of zero but in a legal document zero would seem more appropriate.
Again 0.45 might be 'zero point four five', although people might actually say 'nought'

jayles the unwoven March 2, 2016, 2:12pm

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