I'm looking for an essay I read in a collection of critical essays on the origins of literary genres - its thesis was that since the gothic tradition often reversed or undermined mainstream Victorian ideals, it could be seen as a sublimated response to colonial guilt that couldn't be expressed in public. The argument tied it into the practice of keeping looted Egyptian mummies in parlors and the first sprouts of Gothic arriving from the idea of something old and dead and foreign in your home that might be out for revenge. Ring any bells?
In Ben Yagoda's The Sound On the Page, p.62, the following is written: "A nonstandard gerund at the end of sentences is an Elmore Leonard trademark. ('Today he watched from the wicker chair, the green shirt on the stick figure walking toward the road in the rain, still in the yard when Terry called to him.') So, what is he referring to as a "nonstandard gerund"? I don't see anything working gerundively.
My partner and I have decided to move back to Ohio to be closer to family. I don't have a network related to my field in Ohio and I'm also not certain I'm applying to the right kind of jobs because of my background. Snowflakes inside! [more inside]
Can you offer some names for this line of discursive reasoning that goes "only the strongest is strong at all" or "only the most pretty people are pretty." So far I can think of two: No True Scottsman and the various ways of saying "might makes right" but I have a tip of the tongue feeling there are a lot of these.
I cannot remember this book and it is driving me crazy. When I was in France I was starving for English language books, and so came upon a relatively dense English novel about a young gentleman making his way in the world. It's not David Copperfield, but in a similar vein. The book was not an immediately recognizable to me at the time (I'm guessing it's a lesser work), but it's by a very well known English novelist, I'm thinking 18th or 19th century. [more inside]
If you "feed"'someone, you've given them food. Is there a word for what you've done if you gave them something to drink? We can only think of "serve" which is too general.
Are there any management courses or training programs geared towards a supervisor managing ESL employees with not-great English skills? Are there tactful methods of encouraging ESL improvement without singling out said employees? Employees are very educated white-collar professionals, no complaints there, but poor ESL skills are causing difficulty in communicating with the larger company. Also: aforementioned supervisor is a loved one whose frustration has started manifesting in some solidly racist rhetoric. Help. [more inside]
What gift can I offer my anglophile 13-year-old niece ? [more inside]
I’ve been a lifelong reader and writer. I’m realizing while doing more writing (and in particular editing my own writing) that I need better resources and suggestions for learning English grammar. I've been told by some editors that I make mistakes and I’d love to have a better sense of how to polish what I write and deal with the little bits of grammatical inaccuracies that sprout up in finished pieces. [more inside]
I have recently become very interested in Taoism. Overwhelmed by the choices to read about it in English. Any must read recommendation on it in English will be really deeply appreciated.
My little brother, who, by all accounts, is brilliant at math, science, and especially computer engineering, has struggled with English classes his whole life. He is struggling in college and is falling behind. More details within. [more inside]
Hi, I am working on a story and I have a sentence that says, "Please give them the food packets." Can anyone tell me if that is second person point of view or if it's third person point of view. Thanks in advance.
I'm looking for more games to play in my weekly English tuition classes. The class is for working-class children in a multilingual country (Malaysia), so they have some proficiency that is age-appropriate, but they're very used to codeswitching, so I'm trying to get them to be more able to express themselves comfortably in one language as needed. Right now they have played Boggle (which is tabletop) but especially enjoyed Heads Up. Anyone has recommendations for similar party games on Android (that is free or cheap) that would help them in English? [more inside]
What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of certain languages? I'm most interested in English and French but if you have knowledge of another that would also be fascinating! [more inside]
I've said and written 'spicket' my entire life and only this morning discovered it was non-standard. Some dictionaries give a cursory redirect to 'spigot'; some don't even list the 'ck' variant. The apparent root of 'spigot' [Latin spica] would seem to obviate this discussion, but the change from /k/ to /g/ had taken place at least by 1590 (both forms co-existed for a while). When did 'spicket' become non-standard, and why has that /k/ persisted to the present day? [more inside]
Is there any sort of dictionary or text corpora that outline which of a number of synonyms are the most universally understood by other language speakers or the least colloquial? [more inside]
I’m looking for recommendations for conventional short stories that are reasonably easy to read and have some literary merit. When I say “conventional”, I mean stories that have a distinct plot, with recognizable characters, and some kind of clear resolution at the end. [more inside]
I'm looking for my cousin, who would like to come here for 2 months or so and study English. I was hoping to find a program that would put her with a family here (I don't really have the space or lifestyle for it). And of course, I need the program to be reputable and safe :) I imagine this sort of thing HAS to exist. Do you know of one?
Objective: Career change to technical writing. Obstacles: My current demanding job. Needing to relocate to place that actually has technical writing jobs. **Please help me determine the feasibility of my plan to relocate and change my career. Details inside.** [more inside]
I have volunteered to help out with a thing, and now I have a (short) bit of text that I am hoping someone can translate from English into Portuguese for me. [more inside]
I'm trying to find a quote that fits a romantic (but not overly saccharine) mood that basically says "I do this because of my love for you, I believe in it because you believe in it, I stand by your side against adversity because I know I am with you."
In words like normcore, krishnacore, and all the words on this list, what do you think the meaning of the suffix -core is? What do you think people are trying to signify by adding -core to the end of words? Also, can you think of other examples of words that end in -core? [more inside]
I recall having seen something on TV maybe a decade or two ago in which a female character (or a male with a very high-pitched voice) was reciting the line, "O to be in England now that April's there[...]" several times with a very exaggerated/attempted British accent ("Eauuuugh to be in EEEEEEEEEEngland..."). I don't remember much more, and all my Google searches turn up is the actual poem that the line is from. I'd like to find this again; does it ring a bell to anyone? [more inside]
I volunteer as an English tutor for school age children in the UK. I have recently started work with a pupil who has serious problems with reading comprehension. What can I do? [more inside]
My friends are are debating the appropriate use of an apostrophe in light of nouns ending in "s". I am many years away from my grammar classes and a bit unsure. Test sentence inside the fold. [more inside]
Is there a good/functional Russian-English dictionary for the iOS Kindle app? Or any other iOS e-reader? [more inside]
What things can I do that actually pay a living wage? [more inside]
Walking 'abreast' means walking side-by-side. What equivalent word means walking single-file? [more inside]
When did people start saying "a training" to mean "a training session/workshop/meeting/program/etc"? What dialect of English did training-as-a-noun originate in? How did it spread?
I've most often seen the first proposition of the Tractatus quoted as "The world is that which is the case." (The 2014 film and the line in the chorus from The New Pornographers' Chump Change, eg.) But Ogden translates it as "The world is everything that is the case," and Pears/McGuiness as "The world is all that is the case." Is there an important difference here? Asking cuz potential tattoo.
Bemused: I do not think it means what you think it means. So what word does? [more inside]
Seeking novels that have been "translated" from British English to American English. [more inside]
What is the proper translation of the words balance and autonomy? [more inside]
Hello, I'll pass the paper-based TOEFL in a few months and I'm almost fluent in English so my main objective is to get a perfect or near-perfect score. I have learned English through immersion so I think that my main weakness is grammar mistake identification. Can you recommend me a book or some other resource to help me prepare for the test? Would the books aiming at preparing the internet-based be appropriate for the paper-based test? Thank you!
I'm creating a short story unit for my grade 12 students and so I'm looking for 5 or 6 good, suspenseful ones that will (hopefully) really pique their interest--even the ones who hate reading. [more inside]
I am from China and my first language is Mandarin Chinese. I also speak excellent English. My SO is an American. I just moved to Austin,TX, USA. I am trying to become an interpreter for Mandarin/English. I have a bachelor's degree in English language from my university in China and I worked as a full time interpreter in a UN wetland protection project in china in 2014. Could you please help me find more info (websites, books etc.) about how to get certified as an interpreter and a translator between Chinese and English in Austin? How and where can I find work? Thanks
I've volunteered to translate a few talks, from English to Spanish, so the translation can be included in video as subtitles. I was just given the audio to work with. I've only ever done text-to-text translation before, so I have no idea how to start on working with audio-to-subtitles. Please help. [more inside]
Is it possible to hear a glottal stop at the beginning of an utterance? [more inside]
Sometimes, on restaurant menus or in other media that I'm not recalling at the moment, the text styling will reflect the meaning of the word. Examples off the top of my head: sizzling, hot, chilly. Here's an example in an advertisement. What would you call this phenomenon? The most apt description I can come up with is visual onomatopoeia, but is there a better word for this?
I want a plain text file listing the English words for number 1-100 (ideally, one per line any delimiter will be fine, I can fix that). One, Two, ..., One Hundred. It's got to be somewhere on this great internet. Can AskMe find it fast?
Lately I've started noticing the construction "or no" in places where I would have expected "or not". [more inside]
What is the difference in English between  "The flowers are white" and  "The flowers are white in colour"? Scientific texts (such as botanical descriptions) seem to prefer  and add "in colour" after the colour name though it is redundant. Form  wins the Google fight by a large margin and the Ngram for "white in color" shows a downward trend since the 1920s. Is it now OK to drop the "in colour" in contemporary (scientific) texts?
In the past, I've seen that sometimes English is interspersed with another language on certain websites. This site, however, has English titles to their posts, but most everything else is in Dutch. Why? [more inside]
I'd like to read stories in English with my daughter. [more inside]
In a Swords and Sorcery middle grade children's book set in the medieval times I want to give a feeling of old English without the dense cryptic reality of old English. What makes for a good balance of thee and thous, doth and dosts? [more inside]
In other words, I'm looking for a list of adjectives that could complete the sentence "I am feeling __." This is actually a fairly extensive group of adjectives, and I'm wondering whether this type of adjective is identified formally as a certain type of adjective (which would make it easier to find the set) or whether anyone has assembled such a list.
I have seen the phrase "dwarf bravery" on japanese shirts a lot. What the hell concept is being mistranslated here? Does whatever japanese word or words this originates from have a real english equivalent?
Where can I find Indian movies with decent English subtitles to stream or download? [more inside]
I need a book on the different varieties of English, their spellings, grammar and punctuation and some info on vocabulary differences, too. But I'm having trouble finding one. [more inside]
Is the term "help seeking" one word or two? If it is two words, should it be hyphenated when it's not serving as a compound adjective? [more inside]