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Joined: August 12, 2010
Comments posted: 733
Votes received: 92

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Questions Submitted

Five eggs is too many

July 1, 2013

Recent Comments

Amen brethren.
In an unguarded unthinking non-PC moment in the supermarket I automatically waved back to a small child instead of turning away PC-wise ... it's just not 1960 anymore. I have also noticed that "bitch" and "slut" have become highly offensive now whilst OMG is just commonplace. And nobody says "crikey" anymore.

jayles the greedy February 25, 2014, 5:38pm

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@WW suggests :
upon the soden (1550s)
and this does show up as such on google, although I couldn't quite get an exact date earlier than 1591.

jayles the greedy February 18, 2014, 5:25pm

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I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we googled? and texted?

jayles the greedy February 17, 2014, 9:00pm

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@WW Can't remember Dryden but didn't Donne go like:

What did we do till we googled?

For God's sake hold your tongue and let me google...

jayles the greedy February 17, 2014, 6:09pm

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@WW evidently failed to convert. How about:

jayles the greedy February 17, 2014, 1:43pm

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"All the sudden" comes up in the London Magazine from 1738 and "all of the sudden" in John Dryden.
Try googling the phrases.

jayles the greedy February 15, 2014, 1:59am

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@WW "saint valentines day" with no apostrophe comes up in Hamlet.
According to Ngram the possessive sans apostrophe has upticked since 1980.
Of course Warner Bros knew their etymology and thus since there remains an 'e' before the 's' there is nothing to elide. Or perhaps it just didn't look good in CAPS. Who knows. It is all just a spelling convention which wasn't really totaly accepted till the 1850's with the coming of compulsory boredom, or education for children.

jayles the greedy February 15, 2014, 1:52am

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Perhaps leaving off the apostrophe is because some people can't be bothered to find it on the keyboard. (This might also apply to commas.)

jayles the greedy February 14, 2014, 5:18pm

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"Bore" is listed in longmans and wiktionary as transitive/intransitive in its literal meaning, but only transitive in its metaphorical sense.
Thus "I am boring" (as a verb) means making a hole; but "I am boring " (as in tedious) is marked with "boring" as an adjective. [I guess because one cannot say "I bore" metaphorically without an object].
No issue with "bored" as the third form of the verb ususally picks up the transitive meaning of the verb, which here can be either.
Multo in parvo.

jayles the greedy February 12, 2014, 8:26pm

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Putting the following
_ADP_ whom , _ADP_ who
in to the Ngram viewer of usage in books shows that even in writing the use of whom has been declining, although for some reason it it not matched by a similar increase in who after a preposition, which seems to have upticked only recently.

I wonder whether Hemingway would today have written "Who the bell tolls for", or whether "To whom it may concern" will one day fall into disuse or remain as a fossil.

@Jasper: correct use of "whom" is the essence of non-dysfunctional relationships.

jayles the greedy February 12, 2014, 8:11pm

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@WW I tend to agree.My understanding of Ngram is that the incidence of 'shall' is declining on both sides of the Atlantic, and American usage is no more or less than Brit, in writing at least.

jayles the greedy February 7, 2014, 6:04pm

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Often it is hard to tell whether it is shall or will as it is only 'll. I do catch myself saying things like "Sh'we go?" "Washaweedoo?" - I guess I picked this up in childhood.
The legal use of shall with the second and third person is very similar to the same-rooted German word "soll": so maybe this is the original meaning.

jayles the greedy February 6, 2014, 6:45pm

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@HS perhaps you meant "the timely Stephen Fry" (as opposed to "late")

jayles the greedy January 30, 2014, 6:25pm

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It's quite interesting how we balk at "a made mistake", but not at "an easily-made mistake".
Which reminds me of finding a studente with an English grammar book entitled "Made Simple English" - I told her to throw that one away ( "English Made Simple" would have been fine).

jayles the greedy January 28, 2014, 5:55pm

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I seem (dimly) to recall teaching "less" vs "fewer", and disagreeing with the materials provided (Murphy/Hewings??). There are certainly bigger fish to fry when it comes to style, word-choice, and gettting the message across clearly, and whether the message is at all relevant and worthwhile.
Mr Gwynne must have been speaking "per caput" (thru his head - as in "per ardua ad astra" - hard-work will get you a Vauxhall).
De gerundivo non est disputandum.

jayles the greedy January 22, 2014, 7:54pm

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We do in fact take on board some non-English grammar when lifting 'foreign' phrases into English, like "al fresco", "literati" and so on.

jayles the greedy January 14, 2014, 10:23pm

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@WW I agree. If anyone asked what a determiner is, I'd just give them a list.
BTW in Hungarian, possession is done with noun endings not separate words.

jayles the greedy December 11, 2013, 1:53pm

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@WW perhaps I just meant "like an adjective" or "works like an adjective". One should remember that in Mandarin some "adjectives" work like verbs ; a bit like brown in ;
"brown bread", "the pies brown under the grill"; so sometimes even basic terminology doesn't get one far.

jayles the greedy December 10, 2013, 6:08pm

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jayles the greedy December 9, 2013, 10:32pm

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