Is the definition of 'terror' as 'Violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes' a recent development, or a regional variation? [more inside]
posted by beniamino
on Jun 11, 2006 -
Okay, I have realised that for my English Literature exam on Monday I have spent most of my time revising Blake (1/2 of the exam) and next to no time with Hamlet (the other 1/2 of the exam) learning quotes, key themes etc - we have read the play in class twice, the last time being about 4 weeks ago. Any help to make this exam go as painlessly as possible? I realise I may already be a lost cause. [more inside]
posted by philsi
on Jun 8, 2006 -
Bookworm MeFites: I'm looking for novels, short stories, and plays by white authors where their non-white characters speak in a dialect. For instance, the slave Jim in Twain's Huckleberry Finn
. [more inside]
posted by rossination
on May 25, 2006 -
I'm looking for a jokey piece on the Internet which is a treatise on how to reform English which gradually changes into German as you read. [more inside]
posted by dydecker
on Apr 27, 2006 -
What are the 500 most commonly used words in the English language ? Where can I get such a list ? [more inside]
posted by inquisitive
on Apr 24, 2006 -
Does anyone know where I can find a list online of 500-1000 most common spanish words or phrases, along with their meanings? I searched a bit and found quite a few that had 50 or a 100 approximately, but I want more. I have a Spanish to English dictionary, but I want to print out a quick reference sheet. The list can be words or phrases, it doesnt matter too much.
posted by JokingClown
on Apr 24, 2006 -
Is it just me, or has the verbal crutch "I mean" (used as a conjunction rather than a correction) really flooded into American English recently? Last night I was listening to a radio show and nearly all the callers were doing it. My wife does it. My friends do it. I have to stop myself from doing it. Is this at all new? When did it start? I really don't remember hearing this (or doing this) 10-20 years ago.
posted by rolypolyman
on Apr 15, 2006 -
Thanks to a derail in this thread
, I have learned that Merriam-Webster now believes that "literally" also means "virtually."
This has shaken me to the core, and seems to be evidence of the English language being irrevocably broken. I beg you to ease my soul and prove this isn't true by giving me evidence of other English words that, over time, have come to mean their own antonyms.
posted by Faint of Butt
on Mar 28, 2006 -
In America, there's a trend towards making the English language more gender-neutral. However, it seems that English is already one of the world's more androgynous languages. Is there an effort to make other languages more gender-neutral, or is it just American English?
posted by Afroblanco
on Mar 17, 2006 -
While abroad last fall, I had really awesome sandwhiches. It seemed like every pub we ate in had a brie-and-bacon-on-some-sort-of-bread available. Now that I'm back in the states, I want to know where to find English bacon, or how to substitute for it. [more inside]
posted by Medieval Maven
on Mar 16, 2006 -
I am to be the best man at a wedding of a German and Italian (the bride). I have been asked by the couple to speak in English on the day. Most people attending should be able to understand some English but unfortunately there will still be a number who will not understand.
Any clever ideas on how to bridge the language barrier?
German humour and Italian humour - what are they? Are they compatible? How could I work them together?
As I am British, I don't know the different customs and practices at Italian weddings and German weddings. What are the things I should really make a point of doing and not doing? Are there some finer touches that would really go down well? [more inside]
posted by BritishBestMan
on Mar 7, 2006 -
What does the Japanese writing on these two
packages mean (in English)?
posted by onshi
on Feb 7, 2006 -
Why does one not use the word "one" more often when refering to people in general? [more inside]
posted by Jase_B
on Jan 10, 2006 -
The online version of the OED (subscription required) uses an ASCII version of IPA, and I can't figure it out. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee
on Jan 8, 2006 -
It's been six years. Do you have, or does anyone you know use a term, in conversation, comparable to 'the nineties' or 'the eighties
' for this decade?
posted by airguitar
on Jan 2, 2006 -
How can I say "to skull a beer" in American English? It means to drink a whole lot of beer in one gulp.
posted by dydecker
on Dec 13, 2005 -
A friend of mine would like to buy an electronic Japanese-English dictionary. What model do you recommend? [more inside]
posted by teem
on Dec 3, 2005 -
How difficult would it be for a married couple (1 german, 1 english) currently living in london - to move to live and work in US - for example to san francisco [more inside]
posted by Svea
on Nov 25, 2005 -
What's the deal with expressing ownership on names that end in 's'? If I had a buddy named 'Loveless' and wanted to talk about his pet dog, I would write "Loveless' pet dog". But I would clearly pronounce
the exact same sentence like "Lovelesses pet dog". Doesn't that suck?
posted by fucker
on Nov 23, 2005 -
There seems to be a consensus
on how Chaucer and his contemporaries sounded. What I'd like is a summary (or links, or pointers to resources) of how
we know how Middle English speakers sounded.
posted by everichon
on Oct 10, 2005 -
Help me find a gift for my 55 yr. old mother that will help her begin to wonder of her own thoughts and wishes, and think that just maybe she could be a force of her very own in this world.
posted by anonymous
on Sep 27, 2005 -
What words do people use that consistently make you cringe and wonder if they understand what they are saying? [more inside]
posted by Invoke
on Sep 11, 2005 -
I'm trying to figure out the proper capitalization rules for acronyms.
posted by cm
on Aug 24, 2005 -
When Americans talk about things like bands and sports teams they use the singular but when people in the UK/Ireland do so they use the plural. Who's right? [more inside]
posted by daveirl
on Aug 11, 2005 -
I'm reading Princesses
, by Flora Fraser (which, OT, is a bit too much like school to be really enjoyable) and am interested in a term I don't understand. [more inside]
posted by SashaPT
on Jul 25, 2005 -
Can anyone recommend a dictionary or guide to 17th-century English that would help my teenage daughter understand the words she comes across when reading Milton and the boys?
posted by GoatCactus
on Jul 20, 2005 -
Why do Americans use the expression "I could care less"
Surely it's "I could NOT care less"
posted by johnny7
on Jun 10, 2005 -
A smart Venezuelan acquaintance is looking for fiction to help improve his understanding of current American idioms and slang. [more inside]
posted by mediareport
on Jun 5, 2005 -
I'm pretty verbose, but I don't think my vocabulary has grown much in years. And I'd like to build it up. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee
on May 18, 2005 -