A general question about the etymology/evolution of profanity as it is generally used in the English language. [more inside]
InaneQuestionFilter: When you abbreviate doctor, does it get a full-stop? ie. should it be Dr or Dr.? [more inside]
I am looking for flashcards on three specific subjects. I've looked online and haven't had much luck. The first I don't really need help finding, "beginning spanish words". The other two have been more difficult. [more inside]
Lately, much to my annoyance, I've encountered many examples of this kind of sentence: "Customers like their hamburgers to taste like, well, hamburgers." "The album `The Allman Brother's Band' by, um, the Allman Brothers is one of my favorites." "Dorothy has red shoes, a dog named Toto, and is from, wait for it, Kansas." My questions: is there a name for the "well" "um" and the "wait for it" in these sentences? Is there a literary term for this sort of thing? Am I wrong that this is a growing trend?
Will an Oxford Seminars course on teaching English abroad translate into a job? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend websites that would be useful for Chinese people wanting to learn English? [more inside]
Help needed with Italian to English translation. I emailed an restaurant in Italy to ask for a reseravation in Italian (cut and paste from a phrasefinder) - they have emailed back to confirm booking (that bit I understand) but have run the next bit through babelfish and still don't understand what they mean... [more inside]
Parlez-Vous Français? I need a french to english translation. I love this short film and find it fun to watch but I think it would be even funnier for me if I knew what was going on. [more inside]
I was wondering if there are any non-Indo-European languages which would sound like gibberish, albeit English-like gibberish, to a native English speaker. [more inside]
My girlfriend is Korean, and has been living in the US since 2000. Her English is fairly good, but she still makes a few grammatical errors on a regular basis, especially when writing. Can anyone recommend a good, and probably more importantly interesting to read, book on English grammar she could use to get better? [more inside]
So there has been an invasion of portuguese man of war jellyfish locally..... [more inside]
Pimp my freshman composition class: what essays would you put on the syllabus? [more inside]
What word am I thinking of? There's a word that means something like, "an object that compels you to want to eat or lick it, even though the object is in fact not edible or meant to be licked". If it helps at all, I believe I've seen this word used to describe the new Macbook and its resemblance to an oversized piece of Chiclet gum. And btw, "pica" is not the word.
Are there any programming languages where the keywords/reserved words are in a language other than English? (ie; if, else, for)
Can you recommend a program on DVD or PC for learning English as a second language? [more inside]
Is there a term for when people go by a single name like Madonna or Cher? [more inside]
Next year I'm teaching a course on science and literature after 1945. What should I put on the syllabus? [more inside]
Is the 'th' sound native to any languages other than English?
Know any rare English prepositions? [more inside]
Help me find a long lost Flash movie....Learn English. I am a Lion. I eat you! I am eating you! I ate you! [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
Help us figure out how to spend 9 months to a year in France. [more inside]
Did "based on" beget "based off of"? [more inside]
I'm looking for an English translation of Borges online. [more inside]
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]
In English, we have words like mercurial, martial, jovial, and saturnine... [more inside]
What are the 500 most commonly used words in the English language ? Where can I get such a list ? [more inside]
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.
How can I convert a modern English speech into Shakespearean English, quickly and easily? [more inside]
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.
What does English sound like? [more inside]
Help me find an interlinear NIV Greek-English Old Testament. [more inside]
Anyone (non-Japanese-speaking, not based in Japan) have experience buying from Amazon.co.jp? [more inside]
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.
Where do apeshit and batshit come from? [more inside]
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?
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]
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]
How to teach my child a foreign language (English)? [more inside]
Why does one not use the word "one" more often when refering to people in general? [more inside]
The online version of the OED (subscription required) uses an ASCII version of IPA, and I can't figure it out. [more inside]
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?
What is the History of English Language Capitalization? [more inside]
What sorts of English-speaking jobs are available in Germany? [more inside]
How do I find a non-teaching job in Japan? [more inside]
Why is American English so different from British English? [more inside]
How can I say "to skull a beer" in American English? It means to drink a whole lot of beer in one gulp.