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Joined: April 28, 2004  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 11
Votes received: 19

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Recent Comments

"Flatten" usually means "make flat" or "knock down".
It rarely means "become flat", though I could (barely) imagine describing a musical note as flattening if it became lower.

But I'd never use "flatten" to mean "go flat". A tyre goes flat, but it doesn't flatten.

"I liked him within a minute" seems wrong, but for a different reason -- liking isn't a transition. All your other examples seem both okay and unrelated to the flattening question (except that "ripping his script up" would be better as "ripping up his script").

mpt October 16, 2005, 12:09pm

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I think pixel8's five is as many as you can get. But this reminds me of the ten hads. James, while John had had "had", had had "had had". "Had had" had had the approval of the grammar teacher.

mpt September 25, 2005, 6:27am

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Yes, "all of a sudden" is the usual form.

mpt September 21, 2005, 2:20pm

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A "…" is called an ellipsis.

A few people write like this … with ellipses between each clause … I find this quite annoying … It suggests that the writer was too lazy to make proper sentences. And it makes reading more difficult, because you can't tell at a glance where each idea finishes.

mpt September 21, 2005, 2:12pm

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Google is your friend! It will tell you that:
* a "hamburger junction" is the English word for a through-about, which is some kind of roundabout
* "jelly-bagging" is eating drugged jelly
* a "trammel-netter" is a kind of Indian fishing boat
* a "woo-woo book" is a New-Age-type book (about auras or chakras or reincarnation or energy fields or UFOs or whatever)
* "telangiectasia" and "truncus arteriosus" are problems with blood vessels.

It will also tell you that all these words came from The Guardian newspaper < Guardian writers are the sort of people who are likely to make up words on the spot, assuming that you'll be able to work out the meaning of agglomerations like "beefcakeosity" by yourself.

mpt September 20, 2005, 3:48pm

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They're not quite the same. "Anytime" means "at any time". So "at anytime" would mean "at at any time", which doesn't make sense.

Furthermore, "anytime" is usually at the end of a sentence (like in your examples), not the beginning. So you could say
"At any time, you can remove a buddy from the buddy list by dragging it to the Trash". But if you said "Anytime, you can remove a buddy from the buddy list by dragging it to the Trash", it would sound very informal.

mpt September 20, 2005, 3:16pm

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Probably the most famous example is the slogan "Think different".

mpt September 19, 2004, 4:45am

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"ir-" only ever happens before "r", but that doesn't mean all words starting with "r" must be negated using "ir-".

Examples negated with "un-" include unrecognizable, unrecommendable, unrecordable, unreliable, unremarkable, unrentable, unrepealable, unresolvable, unsaleable, and unsatisfiable.

mpt May 11, 2004, 7:16am

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"Oddness" is the quality of being odd. For example: "The oddness of his appearance makes him easy to spot." It's not very common in speech; "strangeness" means the same thing and is more common.

An "oddity" is a particular *thing* that is odd. You wouldn't use it when talking about people, though. (You might say "He's an odd one" instead, but that's a bit formal.) Again, it's not very common in speech.

They're not adjectives, they're nouns (which I'm sure is what speedwell meant).

(Boring stuff: Normally "-ity" (which comes from Latin) gets attached to words that come from Latin, French, and so on. "-ness" (which comes from Old English) gets added to words that came from Old English. "Odd" is strange because it works with both -ity and -ness.)

mpt May 11, 2004, 7:05am

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Made by a company called "Explosia". Heh.

mpt April 30, 2004, 7:15am

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"Synechdochic use for 'person' (as in head count) is first attested 1535; of cattle, etc., in this sense from 1513." --

mpt April 28, 2004, 6:35am

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