The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Profile: thar
User Name: thar
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: None Specified
Joined: Thursday, July 8, 2010
Last Visit: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 6:31:12 AM
Number of Posts: 21,155
[2.18% of all post / 6.07 posts per day]
  Last 10 Posts
Topic: would like
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 6:26:03 AM
This is hypothetical

The first is a possibility
If one of the updates executed and the other didn't that would leave the database in an incorrect state.

The second is a wished-for hypothetical situation that is not possible.
If we were able to control the system we would like to make an ironclad guarantee that it will all go perfectly. But we can't, because you cannot create a system that makes zero mistakes.
Topic: [stay open until] and [open until]
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 6:13:58 AM
They are correct.

The verb 'to open' is a dynamic verb, a single event. It opens at 7 in the morning and closes at 10 in the evening.

In between those times it is open. That is its state, an adjective.
After ten it is closed.

If that time is later than other shops, or later than you might expect, then it stays open till then.

what time is it open till?
What time do the shops close?
Topic: to call at ... (a station)
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 6:01:42 AM
"The next train is the twelve oh eight to Portsmouth Harbour calling at Haslemere, Liphook, Liss, Petersfield, Rowlands Castle, Havant, Portsmouth & Southse, and arriving at Portsmouth Harbour at fourteen ten."

Topic: [indigently] or [immensely]
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 5:56:22 AM
Make sure you don't mix up indigent (homeless) and indulgent (generous)

Enjoy immensely - enjoy a lot. Yes, that is a common collocation

enjoy spoiling yourself - I will say that you could say that in some circumstances but it is a bit more literary style, playing with expectations and the meaning of words - how you ate it or enjoyed it was in a (self)-indulgent manner. It could possibly pass with 1 or 2 (if the reader automatically makes it into self-indulgently)) but definitely not with 3

But I suspect English test examiners would not like indulgently - which means generously - to be used as an adverb to describe how you enjoyed something. So I will have to go with your friends here for 1 and 2, but they are definitely wrong for 3

I ate it
definitely not immensely, that is wrong
indulgently - not that is not really correct either.
Neither looks correct to me

I enjoyed it immensely

I liked it immensely

there really is no room for indulgently here.
And no answer to 1
Topic: a sequence of several such operations
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 4:36:26 AM
no, a sequence means they are one after another - to be done in the correct order (1,2,3 not 2,3,1 or 1,3,2 etc)

you can have a sequence of three, of several, of hundreds, of thousands of operations, or even more for a complex computing process.

Here it is several operations. That is a bit vague, but it definitely means it is quite a low number - there are not dozens, scores or hundreds of operations.


a particular order in which related things follow each other.

It is about the controlled order. It is nothing to do with how many there are in the sequence.


more than two but not many.
"the author of several books"
Topic: Grammarly corrections
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:48:24 PM
To be fair, writing algorithms that can understand and accurately correct human language -any language, but especially English where so many words can be a verb, noun or adjective depending on the context and meaning - is one hell of a difficult task!

I don't know anything about the programme - although I have been seeing lots of ads for it recently in my online viewing - but it it the name that is off-putting to me. You would have though when marketing a programme to help people correct their English you could come up with a name that doesn't scream 'beginner's mistake!' Whistle
Topic: Traditional dishes
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:29:04 PM
Once upon a time, the people of my country were so hungry that when they found a Greenland shark that had been dead for months, rotten and buried in the sand, they ate it. Which was a very stupid thing to do, because they knew that Greenland shark is very poisonous to eat. But they didn't die!
(Whistle just kidding)
Tweak the recipe a little - it turns out being beheaded, buried for months in the sand and compressed with rocks drives out the poison from the shark.
So there you are. Hákarl - available at all good shops, and bad ones as well.

It makes me laugh sometimes that people are so keen to eat authentic 'peasant food'. No insult to any 'peasants' who have ever lived - they do their best to generate tasty food from the meagre resources they have - but by definition it is what the poorest section of society can afford in order not to starve!

Not everyone is a fan of hákarl, although many people like it. Best in small quantities - eaten on skewers, and washed down with lots of alcohol.
The hákarl is the pale cubes in the bowl.

Much more common - you eat it at feasts an celebrations and in restaurants, is boiled sheep's head.

As a heads up, upon first encountering hákarl, one should expect a full-on assault on the nostrils from a putrid smell that is reminiscent of rotten cheese mixed with ammonia. If one survives the gag-inducing smell, he or she may feel brave enough to try and sample this fermented shark flesh.

This is highly discouraged for outsiders, however, if one dares to be so bold, he or she must be sure to prepare to torture the taste buds by consuming what is perhaps the most unimaginable, rancid thing on planet earth.

Kæstur Hákarl, or hákarl for short, is prepared through a time-honored process. The same process used in Viking times is still used today.

First, the shark is beheaded.

Then, to eliminate poisons, such as trimethylamine oxide and uric acid (a compound found in urine), a shallow hole is dug in the sand and the hákarl is placed in it with stones, sand, and gravel placed on top. The pressure of the stones causes liquids to seep out over a period of 6-12 weeks, a time frame that allows the shark to ferment properly.

After this, the fermented shark - which is 24 feet long on average - is taken out of the ground, cut into long pieces and hung up to dry for several months.

Many hákarl preparers claim they know the meat is ready just by the smell and once a characteristic dry, brown crust forms. When the time is right, the pieces are taken down, the crust is removed and the meat is cut into slices and served and enjoyed by many.

Today to get hákarl, you don't need to bury your own shark, it can be purchased as a prepared food in Icelandic grocery stores.

This being the medical section, I though you were looking for traditional medicines. So here is the less serious answer to that question. Iceland had prohibition (ban on sale of alcohol), in the same way as the US, but there was an exception for spirits prescribed for medical conditions. It was amazing how many illnesses could be cured with the judicious use of alcohol! Doctors, as members of the community, acted to subvert the entire system. Eventually the ban was lifted on wine (Spain threatened to stop importing Icelandic fish unless Icelnd accepted Spanish wine, so it was actually economic blackmail that ended prohibition) then later, spirits and low alcohol beer. Full strenght beer was still banned so bars just sold low strength beer with spirits in! Finally full strength beer became legal only in 1989.

Topic: as follows
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 7:07:31 PM
In the way that follows - in the way that I am about to explain.

It is nothing to do with what that includes.

The items are as follows:

There are multiple items and they are given in the list that follows this sentence.

The plan is as follows:
The plan is to scale the wall at night and then dig a tunnel under the barber wire, and....

It is the explanation of the plan that follows this sentence.

If it were a simple subject-verb there would be no 'as'.

The list follows.

But you don't say that.

'As follows' is the phrase you use. 'Follows' is not a normal subject-verb cluase. It is an idiom and the subject is not there in words - it has been dropped to make a short idiom.
Topic: to a close
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:36:05 PM
This is close with a z sound (/kləʊz/) - like the verb to close (the opposite of to open).

Not like the adjective close (/kləʊs/), opposite of distant
Topic: In bile
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:24:17 PM
Well, I guess now you know because it had no article!

More seriously - it is a liquid, so that is a mass noun
-some water, some milk, some wine, some blood, some urine.

There is no countable 'one bile, two biles'. Just more bile! It can be measure in units - 1 ml of bile, 10ml of bile - but the substance itself is not countable.

(In classical Greek and old western European ideas of medicine there were two types of bile in the four humors of the body, but that is not medically accurate.)

With countable nouns, if you have more, the number increases - one book, two books, many books.

In mass nouns (uncountable nouns) you have more stuff, but it is the same stuff. Some water, more water, too much water.

Where you see these nouns as plurals, it is because they are different types of something.
Wine is an uncountable substance - drink some wine, drink a lot of wine.

When it is different substances, then you can see plural 'wines', but this is not more of the same substance.
Eg if you buy a bottle of French wine and a bottle of Italian wine, those are two different wines. So that is plural, but it is not the same thing as increasing the amount. It is making a different category of wine.

Since bile is just bile, that doesn't apply there.

Does that help?
I hope the wines example helped rather that confused the issue.