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Joined: September 4, 2004  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 16
Votes received: 39

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Recent Comments

I think most English-speakers would hardly recognize a distinction between AT and IN in this context, verb or no.

davidlrattigan October 29, 2004, 11:47pm

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A COUPLE X is everyday North-American English, but wouldn't generally be acceptable in a formal context. It's hardly used in Britain at all, although I've used it myself a couple times. ;)

davidlrattigan October 29, 2004, 11:45pm

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Certainly LUX'S.

davidlrattigan October 27, 2004, 9:29am

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All of them.

davidlrattigan October 23, 2004, 10:58pm

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I think you're right. It's hard to expound on the meaning of idioms when they're considered abstractly, outside a particular context.

I was thinking of it by analogy to "when the shit hits the fan", but I think that was misleading.

davidlrattigan October 18, 2004, 7:21am

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Usually "when the rubber hits the road" refers to the moment when something happens to make a situation become volatile.

For example, if I accidentally spilled coffee all over my mom's favourite rug, I'd say, "When Mom gets home, the rubber'll really hit the road!", i.e. she'll find out and get mad.

Presumably the metaphor is something to do with car tyres -- perhaps the friction/heat caused by the rubber when a car sets off on the road?

davidlrattigan October 16, 2004, 11:38pm

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It was a joke, a combination of two words beginning and ending fu- and -ff consecutively.

I'm afraid I'll probably have to leave you to work it out. :D

davidlrattigan October 1, 2004, 11:08pm

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I'd probably tell you to fuff.


(Just teasing.)

davidlrattigan October 1, 2004, 8:08am

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What you call "proper English" is just one variant of the English language. There is nothing linguistically inferior about a language form simply because it isn't widespread or isn't acceptable in particular social contexts.

Conversations about what's appropriate in what we call "standard English" can take place without denigrating non-standard variants of English, and without making value judgments.

Any trained linguist will tell you the same.

davidlrattigan September 22, 2004, 7:21am

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Eurgh. No, that's not what I meant. CAN I and MAY I have long overlapped in English usage as a means of requesting permission. It was GET that I was suggesting would confuse an Englishman, which in that particular context would sound like FETCH FOR MYSELF.

davidlrattigan September 21, 2004, 10:08pm

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SAVOURY is perfectly acceptable in the UK.

GENRE is inappropriate in this context, however. It tends to be used of works of literature or film, for example, rather than food groups, say. A better sentence would be FOR SAVOURIES, PIZZA WAS THE BEST THING THEY HAD.

davidlrattigan September 21, 2004, 12:05pm

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There is nothing "lazy" or "bad" about I SAYS. As Ben notes, it's just a variant of I SAID.

davidlrattigan September 21, 2004, 12:02pm

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Nick, I don't think the problem with CAN I GET is that it's rude, but that it isn't understood everywhere. Certainly in Britain CAN I GET would be interpreted CAN I FETCH FOR MYSELF, which in a restaurant would seem a rather odd request to English ears.

davidlrattigan September 21, 2004, 11:59am

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THE CHANCES OF rather than THE CHANCES FOR; and MY is probably redundant, depending on the context.

Other than that, it sounds perfectly adequate English.

davidlrattigan September 20, 2004, 3:26am

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My guess is that the similarity to IRRESPECTIVE, which means much the same thing, is the reason IRREGARDLESS slips out.

davidlrattigan September 5, 2004, 11:30am

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BTW, was "mutilation" intended as a value judgment?

davidlrattigan September 4, 2004, 1:31pm

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