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Profile: Aidan Howard
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User Name: Aidan Howard
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Joined: Thursday, July 16, 2015
Last Visit: Friday, October 13, 2017 4:46:13 AM
Number of Posts: 3
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: crystalline
Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017 4:44:08 AM
I feel that the synonyms should have included "diaphanous", not because its absence makes us look naive, but because its inclusion makes us look clever! And we all want that, don't we?!
Topic: beholden
Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2015 4:46:57 PM
The full understanding of "beholden (to)" is really obtained by an amalgamation of its classical use and its modern use. Beholden is the past participle of "to behold". Many words, known as "strong verbs", have a past participle ending in -en rather than -ed. Compare "spoken" with "walked", "written" with "dined". This verbal participle has the capacity to be used as an adjective, thus "the spoken word", "the unanswered question". It may be used attributively, as in the examples just given, or predicatively, as in "he is tall, he is rich, he is beholden". The verb "to behold", as an extension of "hold", meant to hold with the concurrent process of observing, thus to give value or recognition to by observing. This process is the same as with the words "to observe" (as in "to observe the Sabbath", in which we are not actually LOOKING at the Sabbath) and "to recognise" (as in "the Chair recognises John Pratt", in which we are not actually saying "Hi, I think that I know you"). So, "beholden (to)" in this classical sense implies the observation with respect. In modern language, the semantic meaning stretched to include the sense of owing somebody something, originally just that respect, but eventually also gratitude or loyalty, or even an expected subservience.
Topic: but for
Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2015 4:13:45 PM
The term "but for" has been used to mean "except for" or "notwithstanding" since pre-Shakespearean times. An Old English form "butan", meaning the same thing, had been used since the 12th century. You are quite within your rights to use "but for". We are often told that we are not to use "and" or "but" to commence a sentence. But this is true only when they are conjunctions. When they are adverbial or prepositional, in which "but" means "however", "notwithsatnding", et al., they are perfectly fine. And let us not forget that the Bible itself often has "And then it came to pass...".

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