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Your ABCs or your ABC's? | English | Linguistics
You would only use an apostrophe if the ABCs belonged to somebody.
grammar  abcs  english  style  spelling  apostrophes  possesives  solution 
7 weeks ago by kme
'None Is' or 'None Are'? | Grammar Girl
tl;dr: Either one could be right, depending on whether you mean to say "not any of them are" (corrupted) or "not a single one of them is" (included in the cost).
grammar  english  writing  dammitbrain 
june 2019 by kme
GitHub - btford/write-good: Naive linter for English prose
Naive linter for English prose. Contribute to btford/write-good development by creating an account on GitHub.
english  language  grammar  writing  linter  stylechecker  nodejs  npm 
june 2019 by kme
How do I tell Python to convert integers into words - Stack Overflow
See also: (UNIX demo from 1982)
The inflect package can do this.
<code class="language-bash">$ pip install inflect</code>

and then:
<code class="language-python">>>>import inflect
>>>p = inflect.engine()
python  english  numbers  texttospeech  tts  solution 
may 2019 by kme
Dry Run « The Word Detective |
Beginning in the late 19th century, fire departments in the US began conducting practice sessions where engines were dispatched and hoses deployed, but water was not pumped, thus making the exercises literally “dry” runs. Public exhibitions and competitions between departments also typically centered on such “dry runs.” Conversely, a real run to a “working fire” where water was pumped was known as a “wet run.” In his posting to the ADS list, Doug Wilson found instances of this use of “dry run” dating back to 1893. Just when the term came into more general use meaning “practice session” is uncertain, but it seems to have been after “dry run” was widely used in the US Armed Services during World War II.
english  language  idiom  colloqualism  solution 
may 2019 by kme
About the WWP |
The Women Writers Project is a long-term research and publication project focusing on early women’s writing in English. We have been working since 1988 on building an electronic collection of rare and less familiar texts, and on researching the complex issues involved in representing early printed texts in digital form.
womenin  literature  english  language  corpusanalysis  repository 
february 2019 by kme
The Grammarphobia Blog: Far be it from me … |
A: The correct expression is, as you say, “far be it from me.” The Oxford English Dictionary says the phrase is “a form of deprecation” equal to “God forbid that (I, etc.).”
grammar  solution  english  idiom  colloquialism 
may 2018 by kme
"sneaky suspicion" v "sneaking suspicion" - Google Groups |
A "sneaking suspicion" is one that you arrive at in tiny increments...a "sneaky suspicion", if there is such a thing, is suspecting that someone is being sneaky....r
english  idiom  solution 
april 2018 by kme
Matthew Anderson on Twitter: "Things native English speakers know, but don't know we know:… "
It's from The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase by Mark Forsyth
english  language  nativespeakers 
january 2018 by kme
Go Ahead, Put that Preposition at the End! |
This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put. --Churchill

Those who lay down the universal principle that final prepositions are “inelegant” are unconsciously trying to deprive the English language of a valuable idiomatic resource, which has been used freely by all our greatest writers except those whose instinct for English idiom has been overpowered by notions of correctness derived from Latin standards.

The legitimacy of the prepositional ending in literary English must be uncompromisingly maintained; in respect of elegance or inelegance, every example must be judged not by any arbitrary rule, but on its own merits, according to the impression it makes on the feeling of educated English readers.
english  language  writing  style  grammar  solution 
january 2018 by kme inasmuch |
Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. --Matt. xxv. 45.
english  adverb 
january 2018 by kme
Broken in Firefox 50-something with uBlock (or for some other reason).
news  english  journalism  filtering  webapp 
may 2017 by kme
ethics - Co-authors request that others do not use "he" as a pronoun - is this reasonable? - Academia Stack Exchange

Using "they" as a singular instead of "he" or "she" is no more incorrect than using "you" as a singular instead of "thou", which thou happily dost every day.
english  pronouns  language  advice  writing 
january 2017 by kme
Language Log » Ask Language Log: "On point"
[(myl) It seems to me that MW judgment may be out of date on this one. The "on route" usage has become reasonably common in reputable texts:

Despite winning three singles matches with relative ease on route to the final, the Scot was beaten by the only top-20 player he faced. [Reuters wirestory printed in the NYT]
Penguins Hit Detour on Route to Finals [NYT headline]
From the South entrance station, curvy Route 41 provides great views and stopover points on route to the Valley. [Fodor's California 2009]

What's still an embarrassing error, in my opinion, is the hypercorrection en pointe for "on point". ]
language  english 
september 2016 by kme
What do you call the closing of a letter?
"Valediction" or "complimentary close" (German: „Abschiedsgruß“ or „Schlussformel“)
english  deutsch  language  opposites  dammitbrain  solution 
august 2016 by kme
The bee's knees - meaning and origin.
Nor is there any connection with another earlier phrase, 'a bee's knee'. In the 18th century this was used as a synonym for smallness, but has since disappeared from the language, replaced more recently by the less polite 'gnat's bollock':

Mrs. Townley Ward - Letters, June 1797 in N. & Q. "It cannot be as big as a bee's knee."

'Bee's knees' began to be used in early 20th century America. Initially, it was just a nonsense expression that denoted something that didn't have any meaningful existence - the kind of thing that a naive apprentice would be sent to the stores to ask for, like a 'sky-hook' or 'striped paint'. That meaning is apparent in a spoof report in the New Zealand newspaper The West Coast Times in August 1906, which listed the cargo carried by the SS Zealandia as 'a quantity of post holes, 3 bags of treacle and 7 cases of bees' knees'. The teasing wasn't restricted to the southern hemisphere. The US author Zane Grey's 1909 story, The Shortstop, has a city slicker teasing a yokel by questioning him about make-believe farm products:

"How's yer ham trees? Wal, dog-gone me! Why, over in Indianer our ham trees is sproutin' powerful. An' how about the bee's knees? Got any bee's knees this Spring?"
language  english  idiom 
april 2016 by kme
Acid test - meaning and origin.
Gold prospectors and dealers need to be able to distinguish gold from base metal. The original acid test was developed in the late 18th century and relied on nitric acid's ability to dissolve other metals more readily than gold. To confirm that a find was gold it was given 'the acid test'. A test sample was used to mark a touchstone and the degree to which it dissolved when the acid was added determined whether it was gold. Various other later tests also used acid and these are all called 'acid tests'.
idiom  english  language 
april 2016 by kme
Break a leg - meaning and origin.
The word 'break' has many meanings - the OED lists 57 distinct uses of it as a verb alone. That gives considerable scope for speculation over what is meant by this phrase. The most common interpretation of 'break' in this context is 'to deviate from a straight line', as in the cricketing term 'off break', to unstraighten the leg by bending at the knee, by bowing or curtseying.

There is a German saying 'Hals und Beinbruch', meaning 'break your neck and leg', which dates back to at least WWII as Luftwaffe slang, and is therefore earlier than any known English version. It may be that this is a corruption of the Hebrew blessing 'hatzlakha u-brakha', meaning 'success and blessing'.
idiom  english  german  language 
april 2016 by kme
Get down to brass tacks - meaning and origin.
Of the supposed explanations that don't have literal allusions, we can rule out links with any form of 'brass tax'. There have been taxes on brass at various times, but no one can find any connection with this phrase. 'Getting down to brass tax' appears to be just a misspelling. The expression is also often said to be an example of Cockney rhyming slang, meaning 'facts'. In the strange world of Cockney argot, 'tacks' does indeed rhyme with 'facts' (facks), but that's as far as it goes. Rhyming slang coinages from the 19th century are limited to the UK and Australia. The apparent US origin of the phrase discounts the rhyming slang origin.</blockquote
english  language  idiom  answered 
april 2016 by kme
Going to hell in a handbasket - meaning and origin.
Let's launch 'going to hell in a hovercraft' and see if that flies, so to speak.
idiom  language  english 
april 2016 by kme
The Ugly American Programmer
Consciously choosing to switch from Polish to English reminds me why I gave up Visual Basic for C#, as painful as that was. These languages do exactly the same things -- and the friction of choosing the minority language was severe. I found reams of code and answers in C# whenever I searched, and almost nothing at all in VB.NET. I spent so much time converting code into VB.NET and introducing new bugs and errors in the process, along with countless language-only forks. This eventually stopped making sense to me -- as it would to any good programmer.

Advocating the adoption of English as the de-facto standard language of software development is simple pragmatism, the most virtuous of all hacker traits. If that makes me an ugly American programmer, so be it.
uglyamerican  programming  english  collaboration  linguafranca  hacker  culture  theinternet 
april 2016 by kme
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