Tuesday, November 27, 2012

English Language & Usage Weekly Newsletter

…Stack Exchange, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

English Language and Usage Newsletter
English Language and Usage Weekly Newsletter

Top new questions this week:

"I'm on the brew"

A conversation between two Scots: — What do you do for a living? — I'm on the brew. Assuming that I have the phrase right, what exactly does "on the brew" mean here? Based on the context, I …
*etymology *british-english *slang *scottish-english

Euphemism for "There's more than one way to skin a cat"

Growing up in the 80s, I ended up hearing/using this phrase a lot whenever I wanted to express that there was more than one way to do something: "there's more than one way to skin a cat." I have …
*phrases *euphemisms

Is "tidbits" Bowdlerized or original?

Our American English local paper insisted on changing a title from titbits to tidbits for a column on minor local events and stories. I, a British English speaker, have always pronounced and spelled …
*american-english *offensive-language *usage

What does a door do on its hinge?

In general sense of the language we would say that a door "opens" or "closes". But I am looking for a one-word answer(preferably) that would indicate its motion around the hinge. Does it swivel, …
*word-choice *single-word-requests *verbs

Is it correct to say "I write children books" (not possessive case)?

Although Children's books is what everybody says, I would like to understand why the genitive case is applied in such case. If I write books for children, children is an adjective here; not the …

What's the meaning of "stained with a blue bag" in this text?

In a story titled "Prelude" written by "Katherine Mansfield" I came across the following sentence in this paragraph: After tea Kezia wandered back to their own house. Slowly she walked up the …


What do you call the activities between actual work?

I've noticed that there are many cases where more time is spent on preparation and other things around the actual work that's intended to be done. For example, at school, very little time is spent …


Greatest hits from previous weeks:

What does 'Ibid' mean in reference/footnotes?

Every so often I read a book with footnotes, and I've seen them use Ibid. followed by page numbers - but I have no idea what this term means. At first I thought it was a reference to a classical …
*meaning *abbreviations *latin

What does "8/7c" stand for?

I just saw an update on Facebook saying: Watch Russell present LIVE at the 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards. Tonight at 8/7c on FOX. What does "8/7c" mean?
*american-english *time

Can you answer this?

"Accuse as" in comparison to "accuse of"

I stumbled upon this sentence: I accuse myself and others as having been irrational in the way we have been using statistics on a key notion of rationality. Is there a difference in …
*meaning *prepositions

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