He was killed; he got (himself) killed. It was sold; it got sold (possibly out from under me). What sort of semantic difference does using forms of "get" versus "be" in passive constructions convey? [more inside]
posted by kenko
on Sep 8, 2006 -
InaneQuestionFilter: When you abbreviate doctor, does it get a full-stop? ie. should it be Dr or Dr.? [more inside]
posted by ranglin
on Aug 29, 2006 -
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]
posted by JokingClown
on Aug 28, 2006 -
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]
posted by Frankieist
on Aug 10, 2006 -
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.
posted by satori101
on Jul 25, 2006 -
Are there any programming languages where the keywords/reserved words are in a language other than English? (ie; if, else, for)
posted by jacalata
on Jul 25, 2006 -
Is the 'th' sound native to any languages other than English?
posted by airguitar
on Jun 24, 2006 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Is there a word in English, a noun, that refers to a childless adult? Given the nature of English, there seems like there would be, but if there is, I can't think of it. If there isn't, why not? [more inside]
posted by sic
on Apr 9, 2005 -
Which statement is correct?
Does either of you recognize this person?
Do either of you recognize this person? [more inside]
posted by pelican
on Mar 19, 2005 -
What's the origin of the phrase "hunt you down like a dog?" I can seem to find the origins of other phrases involving dogs pretty easily but not this one.
posted by DyRE
on Feb 3, 2005 -
English language question: what is the difference between intern/internship and trainee/traineeship? [+] [more inside]
posted by elgilito
on Jan 28, 2005 -
Are there any websites written entirely in Jamaican English?
posted by reklaw
on Jan 7, 2005 -
"One is not amused..." Personal pronoun, or third person generalisation? [MI] [more inside]
posted by benzo8
on Nov 6, 2004 -
Cats have kittens, dogs have puppies, Geese have goslings, foxes have kits, goats have kids, people have kids. What do apes have?
posted by Miles Long
on Sep 1, 2004 -
What does "normative" mean? Is it a useful word? I only ever see it used in obscure, academic writing, which makes me suspect it's worthless. How is it different from "normal"? My dictionary says it means, "Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard: normative grammar." That sounds like "normal" to me, so why not just say "normal"? Can someone give me some clear sentences that use the word -- sentences that are not written in post-modern, complit speak? Can one use "normative" meaningfully in a sentence about real-world things, like butter, eggs or bricks?
posted by grumblebee
on May 21, 2004 -
ForeignLanguageFilter: What tools (if any?) are available on the Internet for translating materials that are not
prose into English? Specfically, I need an English translation for a song lyric I have only in French. Neither my pathetic high school slacker French nor the usual suspects
are producing anything useful... Any suggestions?
posted by JollyWanker
on Apr 26, 2004 -
What's the difference between the words "proffer" and "offer"? This has been driving me mad for some reason for a few days now. Every dictionary I consult basically seems to say that they mean the same thing. But surely there must be a difference, right?
posted by reklaw
on Apr 19, 2004 -
Could someone please explain what the phrase "bleeding deacons" means ?
posted by sgt.serenity
on Apr 14, 2004 -
A writer's question: how does British English read (and internally, silently sound) to Americans? [More inside.
] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Feb 22, 2004 -
Excuse me, but can anyone tell me: What exactly is the origin of the phrase Go piss up a rope
? I know it's present in the American South and Midwest, but did it originate elsewhere? Does the phrase occur in other countries? And how exactly does
one piss up a rope
? Does it mean Go climb a rope
(similar to Piss off!
), or literally Go urinate up a length of braided twine
? And, while we're at it, what the hell does the H
stand for in Jesus H Christ
? I've always wondered. [...a little more inside] [more inside]
posted by Shane
on Jan 19, 2004 -
Why do people misspell 'lose' as 'loose'? I was looking at this old entry
at waxy. All the info on the web seems to be of the 'haha, look how stupid people are' variety but I haven't found anything that tries to explain these mistakes away. Is it phonetics, usage, words that are an exception to a rule?
posted by vacapinta
on Dec 30, 2003 -
Ever say an uncommon word or phrase -- such as "doxology" or "round-a-bout" -- in a crowded room and hear it travel across the room to different conversations? This happens to me all the time, but I have no idea what the term for it is, or if there even is one. Any guesses? In a related question, what do you call a freudian slip that you hear instead of say? (For insteance someone says "hold my glass" and you hear "hold my ass".)
posted by woil
on Dec 24, 2003 -