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Profile: RuthP
User Name: RuthP
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Last Visit: Monday, September 17, 2018 9:40:54 PM
Number of Posts: 5,066
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: has/possesses
Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 9:35:00 PM
Carmenex wrote:
Hi, I would please ask you if the expressions in bold are correct and if you would make any other changes in the following:
She has/possesses (a?) fluent and proficient command of the written and/(as well as) oral language used on a daily basis in the work environment, at conferences and in international publications.

Any of your word choices will work. Stylistically, I suggest sticking with (using) the shorter words. People have a tendency to use longer words when they wish to sound more formal. It is not necessary, and can even interfere with smooth reading and good communication. (But, that is my preference. Other people may believe differently.)
Topic: An enzyme encoded
Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 9:26:23 PM
Jigneshbharati wrote:
Reverse transcriptase, also called RNA-directed DNA polymerase, an enzyme encoded from the genetic material of retroviruses that catalyzes the transcription of retrovirus RNA (ribonucleic acid) into DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
Reverse transcriptase | enzyme
Why do we need indefinite article "an" in "an enzyme encoded from..." and not the definite article "the"?
An: one of many , we haven't identified

You are correct that the sentence is speaking about reverse transcriptase, which is one kind of enzyme.
Let me try to expand the sentence you quoted. It is, as it is written, a very long sentence. Its structure is not simple. It assumes a fairly advanced level of education. A native English speaker might expect to find this sentence in an introductory college text, or possibly an advanced level high school textbook.

Reverse transcriptase, also called RNA-directed DNA polymerase, an enzyme encoded from the genetic material of retroviruses that catalyzes the transcription of retrovirus RNA (ribonucleic acid) into DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
Reverse transcriptase, which is also called RNA-directed DNA polymerase, is an enzyme (a type of enzyme). It (reverse transcriptase) is encoded from the genetic material of retroviruses. It (reverse transcriptase) catalyzes the transcription of retrovirus RNA (ribonucleic acid) into DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).

In each of the places I used "it", one could substitute "the enzyme". In those places, the writer is being specific about which enzyme. In the first part, however, she is just classifying reverse transcriptase as an enzyme, some kind of enzyme. The writer then goes on to specify what kind of enzyme the enzyme named reverse transcriptase is.
Topic: not home
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 5:00:56 PM
NKM wrote:
leonAzul wrote:
Koh Elaine wrote:
The man had invited the girl and other mutual friends to his house in Pasir Ris as his parents were not home.

Shouldn't it be "not at home" instead?

As it is makes better sense. As I understand it, the man would have liked to have had his parents meet his friends, but his parents were not home, so he invited them to his own house.

The phrase "at home" would suggest that the man shared the same residence with his parents in this context.


I agree that "not home" is perfectly natural (without the "at") for this use.

I also agree with the inference that "his house" refers to the house where he lives with his parents.

I submit, however, that the man did not necessarily want his parents to meet his friends. Rather, I suspect he was taking advantage of his parents' absence, enjoying the opportunity to participate in some clandestine or "unauthorized" activities with his friends.

The ancient adage is: "While the cat's away, the mice will play."

This was my first thought as well, though either interpretation is possible: A (somewhat older?) young man, living on his own, wishing to introduce friends to his parents. In this case, the parents reside in a separate location. Or, a (somewhat younger, perhaps not fully adult?) young man, residing with his parents. In this case it suggests a party without parental / adult supervision (or interference, as the young man would likely think).
Topic: in/on behalf of
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 4:50:31 PM
It is particularly interesting to me, as a native AE speaker, that there are two orders of magnitude more AE examples than BE. The use of "in" in this way is completely unfamiliar to me. I agree with ozok about what the different meanings should be, were I to be comfortable with the use of "in". I cannot, however, say I've ever seen it and had I seen it, I rather suspect I would have taken it as a mistaken / misused replacement for, or a typo of "on".
Topic: Is 'otherwise' redundant?
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 10:16:28 PM
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
That sounds very gory! (Bodies in waste bins!)

I don't think that "otherwise" is redundant. You can't bring a body out of an empty bin (unless you are a magician).

I would prefer "at around 2am".
Informally, in conversation I may use "He took the call around 2am."

Are you sure this was a body? I mean, perhaps he's just off his meds. He took his clothing off, crawled in the bin, and went to sleep. Think
Topic: would/used to
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 10:11:36 PM
D00M wrote:
Thank you very much both.

Is a "used to" implied before "leave" in the following?

She often used to buy things and then (used to) leave them in the shop.

What NKM said is exactly correct. It would not be unusual, however, to see it written this way:
She often used to buy things and then would (then) leave them in the shop. The use of "then" is completely optional and changes nothing.
Topic: Which reads better: was or were?
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 10:03:36 PM
Parpar1836 wrote:
Let me apologize in advance for posting a topic that has been quite well answered in previous posts. I'm in a hurry, so am taking a shortcut.

Which of these sentences is grammatically better? Which makes more sense?

None of the valuables, so far as I can tell, was insured.

None of the valuables, so far as I can tell, were insured.


It depends upon what you are emphasizing. In this case, "none" is being used as "not any (of the valuables)" and plural is most appropriate. If you use it as a substitute for "not one" or "no one", then singular is the verb you choose.

So, close to your example, if you wished to emphasize the not-a-single-one aspect, then you'd say "None of the valuables (at all) was recovered." As you can probably see, this kind of emphasis doesn't work with your original sentence, in which the "so far as I can tell" adds an element of doubt. That element causes the sentence to consider all of the valuables together.

Whew! How's that for a lot more than you probably wanted to know?
Topic: Sink or drain
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 9:55:56 PM
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Yes - that's the drain or 'plug-hole' (the dictionary shows it as a single word now).
I think the more formal word is 'drain'.

plughole n
a hole, esp in a bath, basin, or sink, through which waste water drains and which can be closed with a plug
Collins English Dictionary

plughole - a hole into which a plug fits (especially a hole where water drains away) Farlex Thesaurus (American)

"Plughole" is not in use in AE. In context, it would be understood, but I'd lay money that if someone here went to write it down it would be as two separate words.
Topic: Mr vs Dr
Posted: Monday, September 10, 2018 10:08:51 PM
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Thanks Ruth - I did read your answer last light, but was in too much of a rush to reply properly.

Some of the 'conventions' are the same here. Anyone who has a doctorate is a doctor.
However, if you asked "What does your husband do?" and received the reply "He's a doctor", it would be automatically assumed he was an MD in General Practice. If he happened to be a surgeon or Doctor of Physiotherapy, the replies would be "He's a surgeon" or "He's a physio."
It's the same here. Aside from medical doctors (MD, DO), the title "doctor" is generally used only authorship of professional publications, at professional conferences, and on a university campus. On campus, it is perfectly acceptable to address a professor with a PhD as "Doctor So-and-so". When I was young, it was considered the most appropriate address. Now, I think "Professor" is more common, in part because you are less sure the instructor has gone all the way to a PhD.

I do know a Jesuit (DD LLD) who is known as "Doctor" - however, that is a little different, as "DD" is a conferred title like "Professor". If he were just an LLD, he would not usually be addressed as 'Doctor'.

"The degree is a higher doctorate conferred by universities upon a religious scholar of standing and distinction for accomplishments beyond the PhD level.
Typically, the candidate will submit a collection of work which has been previously published in a peer-reviewed context. The university then assembles a committee of academics both internal and external who review the work submitted and decide on whether the candidate deserves the doctorate based on the submission. Most universities restrict candidacy to graduates or academic staff of several years' standing."

I believe Catholic bishops are all awarded the title DD by the church (not by a university) but they would rarely be addressed as "Doctor"
Completely out of my bailiwick. I know religion departments at universities grant degrees of some kind. I don't know whether an institution must be religiously based to do so. And I have zero idea what it would mean in a church setting.

I've never heard of a nurse who had a doctorate, though I imagine the same would apply ("Dr John Doe PHD" as an author but "John Doe, your nurse" to a patient).
As a title, again, "Dr." would only be used for professional publication or presentation, and would be followed by the field. On a name tag (for example) in her hospital, she might be "Jane Doe, RN, FNP (or some other NP letter-salad), MSc, PhD". So, the degree may get in there, but she's not "Dr. Jane Doe, whatever"

Nursing training is a completely different set of courses from medical training (to be a doctor). It is intensely hands-on practical and is (or at least was when I was engaged to a nurse for a couple of years) done in a hospital, not a college or university.
It seems to be more like a traditional apprenticeship with a couple of hours a day (or a day a week) desk-study.
I agree: nursing is a completely different specialty from medicine. They relate; they both care for the patient; but, they are not the same. Yours sounds like our old, "three-year" programs, which were hospital-based. They are pretty much gone; I don't know of a single one in my state or the surrounding ones.

Now, there are two ways to come to the basic RN: Associate Degree, which is two years of program, but practically it takes three years, as the non-program requirements--from distributionals like English and Social Sciences, to the science courses, like Micro and A&P (and math), really take about another year. It's theoretically possible to do them at the same time, but the program requirements in terms of both class time and practicum are just too large to make that realistic. Then there is the Bachelor's degree: BSN or RNBS. (Like DMD and DDS for dentists, they are the same thing. Different institutions use different degree names.) This is a four year undergraduate degree. It carries a greater academic work load; the practicum is about the same as for the Associate's. Some RNs with Associate degrees come back once they are working. A lot of hospitals will either help pay or will reimburse part at the end. For someone with an RN, this represents additional academic work to get the BS part of everything. All MSN and PhD programs are advanced, academic training and may not be entered without an RN and Bachelors.

Advanced degrees open doors into health care management, home health care, teaching, and Nurse Practitioner positions, though all NPs take specific, practitioner course work. NPs and PAs (Physician Assistants) are called "tertiary practitioners". I have no idea where that term came from; are MDs primary practitioners(?) (who's secondary?) or are they quaternary(?); oh well. They (tertiary) are limited medical practitioners. Rules and restrictions vary from one state to another. In most, they have limited prescribing ability (no narcotics, but OK for antibiotics, or adjusting diabetes meds, or dealing with asthma). In some states, they must practice in a doctor's office, "under the direction" (whatever that means). In others, they may have their own office, and must simply have an "established consultative relationship" with an MD or DO. They may function as the primary care provider for a patient, who will see the NP or PA, and be referred to specialists as needed.

Dentistry is rather different. My local dental practice consists of:

Heather C--- BDS BSC
Bethan R--- BDS
Karen - Fully trained Dental Nurse (can assist in operations, use the X-ray machine, give injections etc)
Sacha - Dental Nurse (seems to do more the after-care. Dental Hygienist work, and so on)
Shauna - the manager (the least medically trained of the lot.
None of them would be called a doctor - though you might find a dental doctor in a specialist hospital or dental wing of a general hospital.
It looks from the degrees as if your dentists practice with a BS-type degree? (It's so hard to know across different systems.) Do these folks do surgery? Theoretically, all DDS/DMDs can do surgery. In practice, most limit that to simple tooth extractions and refer patients on to oral surgeons (who will also likely be DMD/DDSs, although maxillofacial surgeons may be MD/DOs) for things like digging out impacted teeth or cutting out bone infection or doing dental implants. Lord, whoever knew it was this complicated? I never thought about most of this before.

Unlike the USA (as I experienced a few years ago) a dentist would never prescribe antibiotics or drugs - except the locally administered anaesthetics needed for the hour or two of treatment. When I went to the dentist in Florida, he said there was an infection and prescribed antibiotics which caused quite a nasty reaction. Here, the dentist would have contacted my doctor (who would have known which antibiotics to avoid) and told the doctor that I needed a prescription for them.
Well, at least in your health system it's likely all your providers could see your record without having to request faxes or mail packets of documents. Here, although it is starting to improve, records are all over the place and by and large, it is the patient who must check and make sure everything needed is known. This is, of course, reasonably and logically not possible for many who are medically naive or so old and/or sick they are frail. Don't even get me started!

On the subjects of physiotherapy or nutrition etc, I would definitely prefer to be treated by someone who had done their training in that field, rather than go to a doctor.
My experience is that doctors are not trained in nutrition, pharmacy or physiotherapy at all.
Oh yes! That's what I say, too. Doctors would give much better care if they would lean much more heavily on all the ancillary professions.
Topic: Mr vs Dr
Posted: Monday, September 10, 2018 9:20:06 PM
srirr wrote:

. . . (apropos of the link on ellipsis on the TFD front page today)

*EDITED TO ADD: My father was a professor. He had also completed his PhD. He was addressed as Dr MPS and he often wrote himself Prof (Dr) MPS. No one could ever dare to address him Mr MPS. This was supposed to be insulting. Shame on you

This is reminiscent of German, where titles are very important. It is "Herr Doktor Professor Schmidt". And further, his wife is "Frau Doktor Professor Schmidt" even when she has no degree of her own. This is probably dying out, but it was true when I learned German. It hews back to the original use of "Frau" (and Mrs.) to mean "the wife of". When I was a kid, there were still a lot of women who signed their checks "Mrs. John Smith".

When my mother was still active on state panels, she always insisted on being listed in programs and on the name plaque that sat in front of her at a conference as "Dr." (She had a PhD.) When giving her the floor to speak, she would be addressed as "Dr. So-and-so". This was (1960s - 1980s) still a tough time to be taken seriously if one was female. She felt one had to do whatever was necessary to force people to realize one was competent. (And, that check-signing bit drove her nuts.)

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