Tuesday, September 04, 2012

English Language & Usage Weekly Newsletter, Tues Sept

Hello all, I found this newsletter while I was looking for something else and subscribed to it because I thought readers might find it interesting and helpful. If you register, you can post questions too. Someone posts an answer, perhaps someone else does as well. Then subscribers vote on how useful and helpful the answers are and which one is best. This is an example of "crowdsourcing," 

English Language and Usage Newsletter
English Language and Usage Weekly Newsletter

Top new questions this week:

How many syllables are in the word 'hour'?

Does the word 'hour' have 1 or 2 syllables?

crisscross, dillydally, riffraff, etc

Some English words only differ in their vowels: crisscross, dillydally, riffraff, etc. Is there a name for them?

What term describes enjambment alluding to a taboo word?

In the schoolyard rhyme "Miss Susie" the taboo word is spoken aloud, so I'm not sure that it qualifies as a mind rhyme. Likewise, in the case of a subverted rhyme the expected word isn't spoken. I …
*single-word-requests *offensive-language *poetry

Name for type of adjective such as "porcine"

Is there a specific name for adjectives such as porcine that are special forms of words meaning "relating to" some other thing? They are often: based on classical words and end in 'al' and 'ine' can …

Can I "make up for someone"?

I have a question about the phrase "make up for". You can make up for the loss, the delay or someone's mistake, right? I used to think you can also "make (this/it) up for someone", meaning that you …

What to call the best student in a class?

Is there a word in English to qualify the highest-ranked student in a class in a year? We are talking here about higher education, especially in the context of curricula that keep a given set of …

What does 'It's one thing to dance like Fred Astaire, but Ginger Rogers did it backwards' mean as a metaphor to John Roberts' ruling?

There was the following sentence in June 29 issue of Time magazine titled "Roberts Rules: What the health care decision means for the country" dealing with Chief Justice of Supreme Court, John …
*expressions *american-english

Is "yay or nay" an acceptable alternative to "yea or nay"?

Is "yay or nay" an acceptable alternative to "yea or nay"? I have seen it several times in recent weeks, enough to make me wonder whether it is an emerging usage or just a common typo.
*expressions *eggcorn
asked by mmyers 17 votes
answered by nohat 15 votes

New blog post:

Writing Good 'Meaning' Questions

by mahnax on Sep 3
On any Stack Exchange site, a question must be tagged. Here at EL&U, our most popular tag is the meaning tag, with over 2700 questions filed as such. Unfortunately, this tag is often misused, and …

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