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Joined: June 19, 2011
Comments posted: 616
Votes received: 345

Native English speaker. Conversant in German, Russian, Spanish, and Anglo-Saxon.

Ferþu Hal!

I hav a pilot's license (SEL certificate); I'm a certified diver (NAUI); I'v skydived and was qualified as a paratrooper in the Army (Airborne!); I was a soldier (MI, Armor, Engineer).

I workt for a corporation, was a law enforcement officer, and a business owner.

Bachelor's in Finance; minor in Economics Masters of Aeronautical Sciences

Strong backer of English spelling reform.


Now I'v written my first novel [ ] and I'm working on others.

Questions Submitted

What can I do besides...

October 8, 2011

Recent Comments

@astudent ... Maybe you should at least read the title ... "on the morrow" is ok ... but what we're talking about here is "on TOmorrow" which is not ok.

AnWulf March 11, 2013, 5:14am

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I would take "Newcastle beat Chelsea" as a past tense.

Noting 'they', 'them', or 'their' as a genderless singular as a long, long history. Thus, putting them to a collectiv noun that is singular is not out of place.

team is
teams are

band is
bands are

government is
governments are

AnWulf March 11, 2013, 5:12am

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Let's write with a few Latinates as we can. I'll note old words and put the Latinate in ( ) when I think you likely don't know the word. The gemean (common) lines that the Latin/French upholders (apologists/supporters) giv are:

1. The Norman-French Takeover didn't truly hav "much" inflow (influence) on English.

This is — eath-seen — bunk. The Takeover by Lucky Bill the Bastard had a mickle (enormous) outcome on the English tung. In the time following the Takeover, the Anglo-French two-tungness (diglossia) was open and unhidden with French taking over the “higher” notes (usages) by becoming the tung of rikedom (gov't) and of law. Eke to that that Lucky Bill bestedded the head of the church in England with a Frenchman and afterwards work on oversetting the Bible into English was stoppt. Thus was set the mindset that higher and better tungs were French and Latin while English was for the churl-folk.
Slowly it began to giv way to a hidden diglossia, as can be seen in the unfolding of the Middle English “high style” – the words noted by the word-sowers (OE wordsāwere, 'rhetoricians') of the Middle Ages to bewrite (describe) the writing way (literary style) deem'd right for ernest and high works. This enker (particular) way of writing can be found in English from about 1350 onwards, and in the fifteenth and early sixteenth hundred-years (centuries) it bloom'd into a truly showy, Latinate shape call'd 'aureate'.

2. Saxon (English) lackt the wordstock for … blah, blah, blah. Again, utter bunk. The Saxons had a rich wordstock and many words for things like lore (science), tungolcraft (astronomy), and many others.

3. Latin was the tung of science and French was the tung of culture … Yes and no. Latin was the gemean tung for science but other Teutonish tungs weren't flooded with Latinates. The flood of Latinates had little to nothing to do with Latin being noted for science. French as seen as the tung of culture by the French begotten athels (nobles) after the Takeover and later when the royalty fled to France (where else?) during the Cromwell years. The "Restoration" of the French begotten athels brought yet another flood of Latinates. And again, the other Teutonish tungs are not overloaded and belorded by Latinates to the depth that English is. As odd that it is, some of the Latinates in other Teutonish tungs hav come from English!

AnWulf March 8, 2013, 9:43am

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Anent -ise; the Oxford Dict. Online clearly says that the -ise is from French:

The alternative spelling -ise (reflecting a French influence) is in common use, especially in British English. -

For that matter, the French inflow (influence) on spelling in English is strong and is the root of many odd and unfonetic spellings. If you want to note the French rooted spelling of colour (Middle English (as colo(u)r): from Old French colour (noun) …,for a Latin word, meh. But it's truly sad when you put it on an Anglo-rooted word like neighbor or harbor. Whenever you note the -our for these words, you might as well find the nearest Frenchman, get down on bended knee, and put a big kiss on his arse and thank him for teaching the dumb Saxons how to spell.

A deal of Anglish should be to root out some of the worst of the French spellings but that is even tuffer than trying to root out some of the French words.

AnWulf March 8, 2013, 9:30am

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addyatg! Welcome back. I see that you made it thru DLI. I'v been dealing with a few Persian friends and they too are trying to "un-arab" their tung … Like noting 'dorood' insted of 'salaam' and 'naam' insted of 'esm'.

Sorry about being away for so long but good to see that thred is still alive. I don't want to get between W.W. and Gallitrot but I will say that I'm with Gallitrot ... for me there is no notherness between haughty and supercilious. Supercilious is a snob word that ... thankfully ... I seldom see.

Oh, and don't get bent out of shape about haughty (from haught+y) ... While the "conventional wisdom" is that it is: haught - c.1400, haute, from O.Fr. haut (11c.) from L. altus "high"; with initial h- by influence of Frankish hoh "high". ... I can as eathly say that it is the other way. My guess is that maybe the 't' might hav come from altus otherwise this looks a lot like O. Fris hach and Goth. hauhs. So haut is likely at worse a blend of Frankish hoh and Latin altus.

AnWulf March 8, 2013, 8:50am

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I'v been offline for a while and won't be back online for about a week after this. I don't know about the "hunt and peck" typists, but I'v been typing since high school and hitting the 'z' key is as easy as hitting the 's' key for me so I don't think that is a big reason for it.

To me, the -ise rather than -ize is a step backward from a more fonetic and better spelling way. I guess what gets me on this one is that the -ize spelling was the standard even in BrE ... Heck, even the OED givs preference to the -ize. Somehow, this has become a BrE vs AmE thing when it truly isn't.

And yes, adding the 'c' to scissors was one of those odd "reforms" ... as was changing ake to ache on the mistaken belief that the word was rooted in Greek (it's not).

Spelling in English is an embarrassment and it's wrong to try to blame the education system. The teachers didn't come up with this crazy system. There are 561 spellings in an abridg'd dictionary for the 40 common sounds of English, or about 14 per sound. If we take only the 10,000 most common words, as found in a sample of 100,000, there are still 361 different spellings, or 9 per sound. … In an abridg'd dictionary there are 43 spellings for "schwa". (Dewey, 971; 8, 110-1)

Though the rough cough and hiccough plough me through,
O'er life's dark lough I ought my way pursue.
— 1842, Horace Mann, first Commissioner of Education of Massachusetts, publish'd this to show the problems in relations of spellings to sounds in English.
... That's eight ways to say the -ough. That means there are eight to the eighth power ways (64,000) one could say this couplet.

AnWulf January 11, 2013, 3:35am

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Quick answer since I'm on borrow'd time ... I spend a lot of time outside of the US in Latin America ... I also spend a lot of time tutoring folks who want to learn English. I hav known folks who hav given up on learning English owing to the spelling. A few odd ones here and there aren't bad ... but English has a lot ... and I mean a lot of contradictory spellings.

Also, study after study has shown that illiteracy among nativ English speakers is higher than among those whose spellings are more fonetic. English spelling is always cited as one of the reasons for this high illiteracy rate. English speakers waste time and brain cells in order to memorize odd spellings.

Spelling reform has been push´d by many in the US, England, and Australia so it isn't a US thing, tho the US seems to be more open to the more fonetic spellings than others. BTW, many of my "weird" spellings were once as mainstream as the unfonetic ones. Island was iland til some reformer wanted to link it to Latin (it doesn't come from Latin so that was a mistake as well). When Johnson publish'd his dictionary, the spelling he choose were ones that he like'd rather than ones rooted on fonetics.

AnWulf November 27, 2012, 1:11am

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@Warsaw Will ... Why do you like to -ise rather than -ize? Why go against the more fonetic spelling? ... Ísn't English spelling bad enuff without adding more unfonetic spellings? Two of the the stronger spelling reform organizations aren't in the US ... They're in England and Australia ... yet the Brits are the most resistant to spelling reform and, in the case of -ise, are actually going the opposit way.

AnWulf November 2, 2012, 2:55am

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@Jayles ... now you're getting into the geist of things!

The word for revenge/avenge/damage/destroy is wreak:

Strait is said to come from French < Latin strictus. OTOH straight is from OE.

Harass has a Germanic root: early 17th century: from French harasser, from harer 'set a dog on', from Germanic hare, a cry urging a dog to attack. There is also always "bother" (Anglo-Irish).

rede (as a verb) means to giv advice.

Bield is fetching but one can say enbolden (or inbolden is an old spelling if yu don't like the en-) as well as hearten, enhearten/inhearten, or even inheart for encourage.

Deal is good ... and often noted. "He signed a deal with ... "

Earlier I was working on a story and needed a word for "consensus" ... I think samentale (of the same tale) might work here. So I wrote, "the samentale was ... " meaning the "the consensus was ... ".

AnWulf October 2, 2012, 11:53am

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The usage is "it's not just me who ... "

This goes back to the the "it's me" or "it's I" controversy. Arguments has been put forth to support both so it hinges on where you fall in that debate. However, in usage, "it's me" is king:

As for the verb, here, it is "thinks" ... It's not just me who thinks ...
However, one can say ... It's not just us who think ...

It's best not to wrap yourself around the axle about it ... Learn them as set phrases.

AnWulf October 1, 2012, 1:15pm

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Speaking of French words that are wontedly said to be from French ... Here is a sunder one for mince. Most etyms say that it only comes from the French and that the French word comes from vulgar Latin:

From Middle English mincen, minsen; partly from Old English minsian (“to make less, make smaller, diminish”), from Proto-Germanic *minnisōnan (“to make less”); partly from Old French mincer, mincier (“to cut into small pieces”), from mince (“slender, slight, puny”), of Germanic origin, from Frankish*minsto, *minnisto, superlative of *min, *minn (“small, less”), from Proto-Germanic *minniz (“less”); both from Proto-Indo-European *(e)mey- (“small, little”). Cognate with Old Saxon minsōn (“to make less, make smaller”), Gothic

AnWulf September 30, 2012, 1:47pm

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@Ængelfolc ... Passion, when first brought into English, was mostly noted in the religious witt. It is in a land charter turning some land over to the church:

ðaet Eghwilc messepriost gesinge fore Osuulfes sawle twa messan, twa fore Beornðryðe sawle; and aeghwilc diacon arede twa ***passione*** fore his sawle, twa for hire; — that Every mass-priest recites for Oswulf's soul two masses, two for Beornthryth's soul; and every deacon reads two passions for his soul, two for hers. - Oswulf's Charters, c805

None the less, the ord (point) is that "passion" did not come to English in Middle English thru French ... It came into OE thru Latin. Therefore, it goes on the fore-1066 list.

AnWulf September 30, 2012, 11:25am

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Another good word: Bogglish - to be uncertain, doubtful, wavering, or a wee bit skittish about something.

AnWulf September 30, 2012, 8:56am

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"I saw "sell-by-date" in U.S. supermarkets all the time." ... True! ... Right before I had put that up I had redd a writ on the BBC website that claim that "sell-by date" was a Britishism that was now being seen in the States. However, after I wrote the abuv, I did my own kenseek (research) and ... noting the same way and kenbits (data) that the BBC noted ... that "sell-by date" show'd up in AmEn abut 10 years before it did in BrEn. I check'd the other words that the BBC said were Britisihisms and the same ... the were in AmEn before. Bad kenseek on the part of the BBC.

Nonetheless, "sell-by" is much better and unbecloudier than "expiration".

"New" old words:
forward/foreward ... meaning a contract or agreement (ward here in the witt of guard)
samentale ... agreement (of the same tale)

AnWulf September 30, 2012, 4:13am

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@jayles ... If you're talking about financial investments, then let's start with gelt (money).

gelt +hood, ship, or ness for finances (noun)
My gelthood isn't in good shape right now.

To invest money ... ingelt? Thus a financial investment would be ingelthood or ingelting.

One wontedly buys into an investment ... maybe ... inbuy? Which might be more bending. Fb ... I can't ingelt for that I'm broke, but I can inbuy time. (put in time). Or I can't inbuy gelt, but I can inbuy time. Gewiss, here one can say "put in" ... I can't put in gelt, but I can put in time.

If one is investing in a siege, then the word is beset.

Just a few thoughts to chew on.

AnWulf September 27, 2012, 10:07pm

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Jasper is right ... As someone who has learn'd Russian, German, and Spanish, I hav a little insight. They all hav their own grammar rules which hav nothing to do with English. Russian is a strongly declined tung ... word order is not needed to show how a word is being noted (direct object, indirect object, asf) owing to the word endings. German has strict word order that is sunder than English in a relativ clause. Oddly enuff, in many ways, Spanish is nearer to English even tho it is a Romance tung. It has a progressiv tense (-ing in English). They all hav grammar rules that do not correspond with English ... and vice versa ... English has grammar rules which do not correspond with others as well.

AnWulf September 27, 2012, 7:31pm

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Americans use "expiration date" for the British sell-by date - the date by which supermarket food must be sold. But sell-by date is increasingly used in the US in a figurative sense. Eg "That idea is well past its sell-by date." ... Sell-by is better than "expiration"! Even tho "use" is a Latinate, I often hear (and say) use-by date for medicines.

AnWulf September 27, 2012, 6:09pm

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The ban against noting they, them, their in the singular was another of those grammarian made-up rules that didn't fit the tung as it was and is but as they wanted (and many still want) it to be. Noting them in the singular has been about for for a hella long time (since Middle English):

And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame,
***They*** wol come up … Chaucer, "The Pardoner's Prolog"

AnWulf September 27, 2012, 2:28am

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@Manda - overall, no. See

Giv us the sentence and then we can tell.

AnWulf September 27, 2012, 2:14am

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Jobseeker allowance is a bettering over "unemployment insurance" ... Hmm, I don't think "wage" would be a good bestead for "allowance" here ... maybe "mete" from OE mete (meaning meal ... or meat) or as a noun from the verb mete (from OE metan - to measure out). Or "meten" as a noun from the -en afterfast (like "a burden" from to bear). It would be a good play on words with like-sounding "meat"! lol ... the "jobseeker mete(n)"

With fewer folks studying Latin ... I think that, outside of academia or burocratese, word-making is falling back to the AGT roots. Haplessly, still too many words are struck by those academics or burocrats.

My way for abiding Latinates is:
1. Was it in the tung pre-1066? ... If I find it in B-T, Clark's Concise A-S, or the Univ. of Toronto's wordstock, then it is good to go. Thus we find many words to inhold words like passion and press.
2. Is it found in widespread noting other Germanic tungs? ... Bus and family are good byspels of this.
3. Is it short, fremful (useful), and not eathly besteaded by an AGT? ... prey

Greek rooted words don't bother me as much. Many of them are church words (the New Testament was first written in Greek) that were Latinized a bit. The Greeks didn't take over Britain nor were in widespread fighting with the Germanic folk as were the Romans. Greek as many of the consonant clusters of English ... like "th". Sometimes I think Greek is nearer to English than Latin. That doesn't mean that words like gynotikolobomassophile (woman-earlobe-nibble-lover) don't trip up the tung, but words like problem, throne, asf are good to go for me.

AnWulf September 27, 2012, 1:23am

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