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D. A. Wood

Joined: November 7, 2011
Comments posted: 258
Votes received: 69

No user description provided.

Questions Submitted

Latest vs. Newest

July 15, 2012

Molotov Cocktails

July 8, 2012

“Much More Ready”

July 8, 2012

Recent Comments

Someone diagreed with the affirmative, comparative, and superlative trio ot
few, less, least. I will show you an example taken from wartime in England when foodstuffs were hard to get.
1. Mrs. Jones only had a few mashed potatoes to feed her family.
2. Mrs. Smith had even less mashed potatoes to feed her family.
3. Mrs. Brown has the least mashed potatoes to feed her family.
So, Mr. Brown went out and stole a loaf of bread, but he was caught, convicted, and promptly hanged. After that, his children really went hungry..

D. A. Wood December 14, 2012, 1:10pm

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@tdcherry: That is beside the point. Bertrand Russell was clearly writing about shaving faces, and not about shaving anything else.
We can see that from the point that Russell wrote about the kinds of shaves that men can/could get in barber shops.
Also, as I have mentioned before that Russell clearly implied that the barber was a man. The suggestion that maybe the barber was a woman was created merely as a joke, and that;s all. So, please discard that notion.
The baber was a man, and everyojne in the village who needed a shave was a man.

D. A. Wood December 14, 2012, 1:01pm

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Thank you, Warsaw Will,

Yes, all of these are quite correct: American English, American Literature, American Embassy, American Consulate, American Airlines, American Language, American Medical Association, American Broadcasting Company, the American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, and the Radio Corporation of America.
So many times we hear of people who were glad to accept help from the American Marshall Plan following World War II, but now they (or their descendents) want to object to the adjective "American".
Dale A. Wood
in the United States of America.

D. A. Wood October 16, 2012, 10:01am

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Résumé contains letters that are not in the English alphabet.
You might not believe it, but these all differ somewhat: the alphabets in English, French, German (with the umlauts), the Nordic languages (with slashes through letters, and often with umlauts, too), Spanish, Dutch, etc.
In Spanish "ll" is often treated as a separate letter, and there is the "n" with a tilde over it. In Dutch, "ij" is often treated as a separate letter, and you could get typewriters with "ij" on its own key. How about keyboards for computers?

D. A. Wood September 28, 2012, 3:36am

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We often just use the number sign # in North America. Why not?

D. A. Wood September 28, 2012, 3:23am

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In the study of electricity, the words "electric" and "electrical" are often completely interchangeable. Otherwise, sometimes one of these is customary to use, e.g.
"electrical engineer" and "electric motor".

D. A. Wood September 28, 2012, 3:21am

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You don't get it about the common rules of grammar among the Indo-European languages:
Singular vs. plural: nouns and pronouns.
Tenses of verbs: past, present, future, past perfect, present perfect, future perfect.
Masculine, feminine, and neuter pronouns.
English does not have many of the grammar rules of the other Indo-European languages because English has been simplified to a certain degree, and wisely so:
No masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns.
Many simplifications in verb conjugation as compared with Russian, Polish, Czech, etc.
NOW, so many of you Scots, English, and Irishmen want to dispose of singular and plural, and you want to dispos of {a, an, the}. Now, you want to change English into Chinese, which doesn't have singular and plural, just like "Confucius say, man who live in glass house hang lot of curtain," with these elements removed.

I am now going to drop out of this discussion because it has too many argumentative weenies in it.

D. A. Wood September 28, 2012, 3:14am

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So you are unable to recognize the existence of language families and you refuse to acknowledge their existence? How quaint!
You are also unwilling to concede anything towards ease of translation from one language to another? That is what I meant by having your nose stuck up 120 kilometers in the air.

D. A. Wood September 27, 2012, 12:49pm

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As I have mentioned before, English does not exist in a vacuum, entirely free to make up its own rules as it goes along. English is a member of the Indo-European family of languages, and English grammar needs to correspond with that of most of these other languages: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Sanskrit, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Swedish, Serbian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Ukrainian. These languages all have singular and plural pronouns, and verbs, too.

Otherwise, if you want to go around with your nose stuck up 120 kilometers in the air, I guess that we cannot throw you into the dungeon for than, yet. Could we arrange for that power to be given back to Q.E. II and the Duke of Edinburgh?

D. A. Wood September 27, 2012, 5:50am

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“Your teenagers are more at risk while on their restricted licences.”?
Now, let's drop that unnecessary word "your".
“Teenagers are more at risk while (driving?) on their restricted licences.”?

I am also bothered by those people who make an assumption that a "license" is a "driver's license". Why? Look at the following:
{business license, dog license, electrician's license, firearms license, fishing license, hunting license, pilot's license, plumber's license, railroad engineer's license}.

D. A. Wood September 27, 2012, 12:10am

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Going back to the original line at the top of this section:
“Your teen is more at risk while on their restricted licence.”
Why not “Your teenagers are more at risk while on their restricted licences.”?
The answer to the question: Sheer intellectual laziness.

D. A. Wood September 26, 2012, 11:41pm

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These has been heard many times from news and "public affairs" TV programs in the U.S.A.:
"Your child .... them...." and "Your child .... their...."
The speakers were supposed to be college-educated professionals.
Hence, why not these instead: "Your children .... them...." and "Your children .... their...." ?? These are grammatically elegent.
Then, the possibility of the singular ("child") is subsumed withing the plural ("children") as a special case. ("Lightning strikes!")
However, all of this presumes the intelligence to think ahead and plan ahead about what one will say before one says it.
Is that positively backbreaking work?

D. A. Wood September 26, 2012, 11:37pm

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In American dictionaries, in the pronunciations, there is often a primary stress marked on one syllable and then a secondary stress marked on another syllable - usually later on in the word. This is difficult to do with this kind of a simple word processor, so in American English, we type MAN-di-TOR-ee, STA-tis-TICS, AS-tro-NAU-tics, EC-o-NOM-ics, and A-pos-TRO-phee.

LOL, here is hard one for you: magnetohydrodynamics.
I count at least four stressed syllables in this one, with the rest being unstressed. Remember that in American English, and in Canadian English, too, "stressed syllables" includes strong stresses and secondary stresses, too.

I gave up on some of these discussions because of argumentative twerps there. I wrote things like "North American English", and then they made all sorts of rude comments. They could not grasp it automatically that North American English means that which is spoken in the United States and Canada, and thus it excludes the English of Belize, Jamaica, Granada, Guyana, Trinidad, the Falkland Islands, and those other places south of here, so they argued about it. As for the language of the Bahamas, is quite similar to the English of Jamaica, Granada, etc., and rather unlike that of Florida.

If you want to compare the spoken English of Ontario and Manitoba with that of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota -- there isn't any. Our good friends the Canadians smuggled some Americans out of Tehran in 1978 - 79. They just gave the Americans Canadian passports and told everyone that they were Canadians who were going out of the country, and the Iranians were completely fooled. That's North American English!


D. A. Wood September 26, 2012, 12:41pm

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There are many people, including foreigners and not, who do not understand how English "slides" letters from one syllable to another when forming compound words and when adding suffixes and prefixes. From my studies, I know that in German that is never done when forming compound words, and probably not in the other two cases, either.
In English, we take reg-u-late, then drop the "e", the add "ory", do a little bit of shifting, and then get "reg-u-la-tor-ee". Sometimes, a consonant even gets assigned to two different syllables, and we can even go for this: "reg-gu-la-tor-ee", though this is rather uncommon. (In Spanish, they do it all the time.)

In English, "e-lec-tric" becomes "e-lex-tri-cal", "phys-ics" becomes "phys-i-cal", and "ob-serve" becomes "ob-ser-va-tor-ee". That silent "e" disappeared, and then the "a" got glued right onto the "v".

My opinion is that if foreigners cannot manage this when they try to speak English, they they should quit and just stick to whatever their native languages are.

I figured that I would speak German with a horrid American accent. However, when I met some German tourists visiting here and I spoke their language with them, they complimented me on how well I did. It is possible that they were just being polite to me, but I will never know.

An American whom I knew majored in German in college here, but he also studied in Germany for a year. When he asked them how to express his father's occupation on his college and visa forms, they told him that "chemical engineer" was just fine with them. Given my profession, I am fond of "Elektrotecniker", but I think that "electrical engineer" or "Elektroingenieur" would be all right, too.

D. A. Wood September 26, 2012, 12:37pm

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I agree that the word "mandate" usually has equal stresses on its two syllables, as unusual at that is in English.

However, it might make a difference depending on whether:
1. Mandate is a noun, or
2. Mandate is a verb.
I emphasize that I really mean "might". You think about it.

D. A. Wood September 26, 2012, 11:48am

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It is really reh-gu-la-tor-ee, with no particulatory emphasis on any syllable that I can perceive. An example of its use: The FCC is the regulatory agency for telecommunications in the United States.
Also, it sounds to me that man-duh-tor-ee does not have particular emphasis on any syllable. Perhaps this is also true for other words that came from French.

In contrast, I have heard French people (in interviews, etc.) say "economic" without any emphasis on the syllables, but in English, it is EC-o-nom-ic.
There are also people from Continental Europe who insist on writing "economy" when what they really mean is "economics".
This is difficult to fathom because of all of the other such words in English that end in "ics", such as aerodynamics, electromagnetics, hydraulics, linguistics, mathematics, mechanics, optics, physics, statics, statistics,... and economics.
So many people clearly do not learn that words in English come in families and what those families are. They must "learn" words one at a time.
German also has words that come in families, and once you learn the families, that is very helpful.

D. A. Wood September 25, 2012, 7:17am

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How many hundreds of dictionaries have you read?

D. A. Wood August 12, 2012, 10:17am

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"Ensure" is never used in American English.
It is considered to be one of those British peculiarities, just like the Brit. Eng. words "flat", "boot", "bonnet", "gearbox", and "Cheerio!"

D. A. Wood August 12, 2012, 10:14am

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You people of the British Isles forget so easily that if you hadn't had a HUGE (and I mean HUGE) amount of help from the Americans and the Canadians, you would still have jack-booted Nazis marching your streets every day and living in Buckingham Palace?
Then you want to make rude remarks about the so-called "boorish" Americans who saved your A$$es from Nazi domination?

That's a huge difference between the Canadians and the Europeans.
When we help the Canadians, the Canadians say "thank you" and then they do everything that they can to help us.This has happened countless times between Canadians and Americans, and we are genuine neighbors in North America.

On the other hand, most of the British and French looks for any opportunity to show us their butts and stick out their tongues at us.

D. A. Wood August 12, 2012, 10:04am

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A comment from above:
"I'll return this report to you on tomorrow." Adverbs can not be the object of a preposition.

Your problem is that in English "tomorrow" is either noun or an adverb. See this Web site that presents results from multiple dictionaries and it is clearly labeled:
Hence. "tomorrow" is a valid object for a preposition. Why not?
Perhaps saying "on tomorrow" is merely an emphatic way of saying "tomorrow" (the adverb). Has that ever occured to you? English often has empatic expressions for ideas. We even have the "emphatic mood" for verbs, and many other languages do not have this feature.

Back to "tomorrow". In German the noun and the adverb are clearly distinguishable because in German, all nouns are capitalized, and also nouns take articles. Therefore, "morgen" is an adverb, but "der Morgen" and "ein Morgen" are nouns. However, it is confusing because "morgen" means tomorow or morning, and "Morgen" means "morning", but "Morgen ist auch noch ein Tag," means
"Tomorrow is another day." --------- (Scarlett O'Hara ?)
They get around all of this because there are a lots of idiomatic phrases.
"Morgen" is also the first part of a lot of compound nouns in which it usually means "morning".
"morgens" is an adverb that refers to things that happen every morning, or nearly so, and in "Morgens fahre ich nach Arbeit", which means, "Every morning,I drive to work."

German has a lot of these time advebs that end in "s" for habitual actions, such as:
nachmittags, nachts, sommers, winters, montags, freitags,
"Nachmittags" means "every afternoon". An example sentence would be:
"Winters fahre ich nach Osterreich furs Schnee und Schii," means
"Every winter I go to Austria for the snow and the skiing."

D. A. Wood August 12, 2012, 9:40am

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