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jayles

Joined: August 12, 2010
Comments posted: 737
Votes received: 103

No user description provided.

Questions Submitted

Five eggs is too many

June 30, 2013

Recent Comments

@HS Those "harried souls" must be proud to see you have your own well-founded views despite (!) their teachings. Perhaps the real question is why did those "harried souls" teach that collective nouns must take a singular verb? Whence came this wisdom of the ancients?
Although to be fair I cannot imagine either of us standing up in class and asking:
"Please Sir, where did you get all this bollocks from Sir?"

jayles May 11, 2014, 9:11pm

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"At school I was taught ....." (HS)

One should not believe everything one is taught at school. Knowing what is worth knowing and what is bollocks is all that matters.

“My education was interrupted only by my schooling” - Winston

"Schools have not necessarily much to do with education...they are mainly institutions of control where certain basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school." ~ Winston Churchill

jayles May 11, 2014, 5:58pm

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So that makes it all pretty easy; all one needs is a sound knowledge of the GVS, a smaltering of Latin-ing, a soupcon of medaeval French and Bob is indeed to goodness your uncle. It is but a small "en-devoir" or endeavour or endeavor or whatever.
However sins enii olternativ speling sistem wud luk vaastlii diferent and distroi backwerds kompatibiliti chaenjing wud not bii werth it.

jayles May 11, 2014, 1:52pm

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@HS "She had less family responsibilities" : one might (with a stretch) construe this as meaning the responsibilities were similar in number but less onerous; it is perhaps just a bit vaguer than "fewer responsibilities", although I wouldn't care to argue the toss.

"She had less responsibilities" does get several hits on google.

Whether one approves is one's own problem.

jayles May 9, 2014, 12:51am

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My take on it is that "fewer" + uncountable noun is nonsensical, as "fewer" implies countable number.

jayles May 8, 2014, 7:37pm

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BTW I suppose you guys realise you can upvote your own comments! ;=))

jayles May 8, 2014, 4:53pm

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I would suggest that proficient English readers do not read by sounding out each syllable to understand the word; each word becomes a sort of symbol pretty much like Chinese, so whether it is orthographic or not becomes irrelevant to the reading process; it just needs to be consistent and familiar.
Spelling is an issue when we're learning to read and write and in an ESOL context; for most of us we are past it (or very much past it).

jayles May 8, 2014, 4:52pm

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less means smaller (in size or number); fewer = smaller in number.
a) Her troubles were fewer than her husband's.
b) Her troubles were less than her husband's.
Doesn't really come up much though.

jayles May 5, 2014, 2:18pm

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If "fewer is more" means something other than "less is more", then we have a semantic distinction, but it's very small.

Is "few" is the result of Viking "package tours" ?

jayles May 5, 2014, 2:52am

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Few is more

jayles May 4, 2014, 8:33pm

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Never in the history of humane endeavour have so many owed so much to so less.

There were, apparently, a less people there

jayles May 4, 2014, 8:32pm

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I've seen it suggested that the past-simple<-present-perfect substitution is colloquial, non-formal and more common among 'less-educated' Americans.

The following ngram suggests that "have you ever" is twice as common as "did you ever" in US writing:
did you ever:eng_gb_2012,did you ever:eng_us_2012,have you ever:eng_gb_2012,have you ever:eng_us_2012

This ngram suggests that in US writing "did you forget already" is much much less common than have...
Did you forget already:eng_gb_2012,Did you forget already:eng_us_,Have you forgotten already:eng_gb_2012,Have you forgotten already:eng_us_2012,Have you forgot already

jayles April 29, 2014, 5:32pm

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Murphy also notes the well-known Americanism: sentences like:
"Did you finish your homework yet?"
Is this too an example of something borrowed from some earlier form of English?

jayles April 28, 2014, 8:25pm

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I do remember the teacher in primary school (England 1950's) forbidding us to use the word 'get' in writing because it was a "horrible" word. Given that kind of indoctrination it is not surprising if some people retain a less-than-empirical outlook on word choices.
BTW in Murphy's grammar book 'gotten' is simply marked as "American", so again it is hardly surprising if people think that is the end of the story. I certainly did for many years.

jayles April 28, 2014, 12:55pm

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@WW by "practical purposes" I meant outside the classroom, like submitting your CV in English or answering business emails.

jayles April 25, 2014, 12:06pm

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I agree that spelling is not the major issue for non-native speakers; after all, the common end-use writing situations (business emails, reports, and academic essays) are all covered by spell-checkers. On the other hand, business telephone conversations put enormous pressure on clear-enough pronunciation (and listening and everything else too).
Like Russian, English stress is hard to predict (although often last-but-two on longer words). Aural learning the only way to go.

EF= Entertainment First ??

jayles April 23, 2014, 3:30pm

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"daemon" is often used with this spelling when referring to a piece of software that is permanently running on the server, for instance as a channel to a database. Spelt without the lig here:
http://www.heliohost.org/home/features/database...

jayles April 22, 2014, 5:59pm

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Curious how looker(s)-on was overtaken by onlooker(s) toward the end of 19th year-hundred.
Also the difference in meaning between passers-by and by-passers (ie people who take the bypass), and the following:
urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=holder-upper
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/upholder

jayles April 19, 2014, 9:22pm

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dictionary.reference.com/browse/warmerupper
dictionary.reference.com/browse/cheererupper

jayles April 19, 2014, 9:13am

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@WW "putter-onner" , putter-inner, taker-outer, leaver-outer, - all several have hits on google

urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=leader-onner
urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=picker-onner
urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=checker-upper-onner
urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Awayer
www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pusher-awayer

jayles April 19, 2014, 9:02am

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