18 posts tagged with language and Usage.
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Gay as a pejorative?

A gay 20-something that I know used the phrase "fuck this gay earth" in a tweet. I challenged him (as someone who came out in 1990) for his use of the word "gay" as a pejorative, and he said "it's an established meme, it's okay for me to use it that way". How do I combat this? [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Sep 10, 2016 - 37 answers

"Or no" or... no?

Lately I've started noticing the construction "or no" in places where I would have expected "or not". [more inside]
posted by Too-Ticky on Dec 13, 2014 - 17 answers

Why do anti-feminists use "female" rather than "woman"?

Anti-feminists seem to often use the word "female" in the noun form, in places where people would ordinarily just use "women." (I don't want to spend a lot of time hunting up evidence of this, but here are some examples. There's also this and this.) I'm curious to know how/why this became a thing -- for example, I've wondered if it has something to do with military or police usage, because those are the only places I've previously noticed women being referred to as females. Does anybody know?
posted by Susan PG on Sep 12, 2014 - 46 answers

Examples of background clues from vocabulary and/or usage?

When someone says head or latrine for bathroom its likely that they were in the military or around the military. A less common example,when someone says "avoid the near occasion" about something its likely that they are from a Roman Catholic background, I'd even say its use indicates a likelihood that they are or were a priest, seminarian, religious, in a kind of serious catholic family or school etc. Reckon is a common word and its being used once doesn't mean anything but when its use is pretty frequent it might be indicative of someone's having lived in the south east United States. When people say pop instead of soda or coke they likely are from somewhere roughly between Chicago and Denver, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Things like this interest me and I'm sure I know only a infinitesimal fraction of a percent of them. Do you have any like observations to share? [more inside]
posted by logonym on Jun 19, 2013 - 92 answers

Philately is to Stamps as ____ is to Rocks.

Stamp collecting is philately. Coin collecting falls under numismatics (perhaps as a subdivision). Rock collecting is not really geology in the same way as the above terms are used. Is there a similar term for rock collecting?
posted by Jahaza on Nov 3, 2012 - 7 answers

How different is different?

English language friends: Why do we use the word “different” when it doesn’t appear to be necessary? [more inside]
posted by bryon on Apr 17, 2012 - 18 answers

Grinds or Grounds?

Coffee grounds or coffee grinds? [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Oct 7, 2011 - 49 answers

Billions and billions

Given that Federal bailout monies are being tossed around to banks like sacks of rice from an aid truck, are there any emergent slang terms for one billion dollars? [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Jan 15, 2010 - 14 answers

Most all people don't know proper English, amirite?

"Most all" - it is wrong. Right? [more inside]
posted by ClarissaWAM on Jul 2, 2007 - 45 answers

Summoning LanguageHat

Wary vs. Leery- what is the distinction? [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas on Nov 27, 2006 - 16 answers

Correct Usage

So there has been an invasion of portuguese man of war jellyfish locally..... [more inside]
posted by sgobbare on Jul 29, 2006 - 16 answers

What is considered the usage and style manual?

Usage and Grammar: What is considered the usage and style manual? [more inside]
posted by frecklefaerie on Feb 26, 2006 - 26 answers

carrot & stick

St. Paddy's Day? Or St. Patty's Day? The latter makes me grind my teeth. But I'm seeing it more often. (Google calls it even, more or less.)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Mar 9, 2005 - 13 answers

Adapter / Adaptor

Language bigots: adapter or adaptor? [more inside]
posted by jnthnjng on Jan 7, 2005 - 28 answers

UK vs. American English - "different to/from/than"

UK versus American English usage question: In a recent post, the one on Chinese singing, I noticed that English speakers from England seem to use 'to' where most Americans would use 'from' or 'than.'
Example: "So 'bang' with a rising tone is different to 'bang' with a falling tone is different to 'bang' with a rising then falling tone."
Why is this, and how did this difference in usage originate?
posted by geekhorde on Sep 5, 2004 - 19 answers

Can genius be used as an adjective?

Can genius be used as adjective, as in this example from the BBC: "Send Dave your genius idea."? If so, why? [More Inside.] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 2, 2004 - 29 answers

Pirate Accents

You know the stereotypical pirate and/or salty sailor accent? What is that? Where does it come from? It sounds like it must be some kind of bastardised English accent, but it's fairly distinctive. Or is it something created and perpetuated by film and television?
posted by picea on Jun 29, 2004 - 9 answers

What's the difference between 'normalcy' and 'normality'?

Is there a difference (other than spelling) between "normalcy" and "normality"?
posted by casarkos on Jun 26, 2004 - 10 answers

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