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Profile: Elvandil
User Name: Elvandil
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Occupation: Computer tech, tutor.
Interests: Computers, languages, philosophy, history, math, physics, Uh, "Everything".
Gender: None Specified
Home Page
Joined: Friday, December 05, 2014
Last Visit: Monday, May 08, 2017 3:34:19 PM
Number of Posts: 293
[0.04% of all post / 0.33 posts per day]
  Last 10 Posts
Topic: The uses and abuses of public spaces.
Posted: Monday, May 01, 2017 11:25:08 PM
rmberwin wrote:
I live in Glendale, CA, which has a large Armenian population. Today I attended the reopening of the central library, and there is now a sort of grotto, with murals on the walls, devoted to the Armenian genocide. Accompanying it is a stack of books labeled "The genocide collection". Let's say for the sake of argument that the genocide is beyond question. Is this an appropriate use of library space? Even if arguments cannot be made against the display, are there arguments for it? However, I could see the salience of a memorial to slavery, because that is specifically a part of American history.

It is rather peculiar that you even ask such a question. Whether it is "appropriate" is something decided by the library staff. And that you think something "American" should be there just speaks of your personal insularity, the attitude that makes Americans more ignorant of the rest of the world than the people of most any other nation.

Libraries cannot sustain themselves any longer by supplying reading materials alone, and the sterility of reading materials for education is finally being recognized. Libraries have become, thankfully even if necessarily, places for books, electronic media, discussions, meetings, debates, displays, socializing, and more. This is a great development and should be celebrated.

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: ...thank you in advance...
Posted: Sunday, April 30, 2017 5:47:51 AM
Personally, I find it disgusting and lazy. It implies, as said, that the person will automatically help. But more than that, it implies that the asker is too lazy or inconsiderate to actually come back and give thanks for any help given. It is an effort to avoid any work by putting all the messages in the same basket. There is also the idea that the person is so flighty that they may never come back at all (having posted the same question on multiple sites), making any effort given in their behalf wasted time.

It isn't a question of grammar at all and I find it very strange that anyone would think it one. It is a question of civility and respect. "Thanks' by definition, is the acknowledgement of a benefit received and of the being from whom it was received who made choices that redounded to one's benefit. That makes "in advance" absurd.

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: Can the comma be removed?
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2017 7:02:36 PM
Koh Elaine wrote:
I would like to introduce you to the Silver Card Programme, tailored specially for you.

Can the comma be removed? And why, please?


There are many long and scholarly works on the use of commas. I simplify them all by using them anywhere there would be a natural pause in speech, or anywhere failure to use them might lead to ambiguity. That seems to cover the cases (or bases, if you prefer).

"Throw the old man down the stairs his glasses."
"Throw the old man, down the stairs, his glasses."

(Neither of those is how I would put it, but if I did, I'd use the commas.)

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: I think I shouldn’t argue with him very much.
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2017 6:47:50 PM
Peter O'Connor - Dundalk wrote:
As a private music teacher I find my worse pupils are in fact primary teachers. You would NOT believe the stupid excuses they come up with when they haven't done their homework. Boo hoo! Brick wall

That is actually rather sad. I believe that my students tell me the whole truth the vast majority of the time. When a student tells me the straight truth, he or she is already halfway out of trouble. If your students are afraid of your response, they will lie. You need to make the truth primary and the offense secondary. Like all living things, there needs to be a reason to do something, and if the truth is accepted calmly and even rewarded, you will hear it much more often.

I admit that I'm never too happy to hear, "Sorry. I got too drunk last night and passed out before I had the chance". On the other hand, I also hate having my intelligence insulted by lame lies. My students also know that what they tell me will be kept in confidence and not reported to anyone else (unless, of course, they murdered someone or there is some other important reason).

Once, I had an angry student yelling at me: "I'm wasting my time lying to you! You always figure it out, anyway!"
I somehow felt I should mend my ways but didn't know how.

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: The gravity
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2017 6:40:57 PM
Joe Kim wrote:
When you refer to the pulling of the earth, gravity, do you ever use "the"?

1. I am falling because of (the) gravity.

It's fine either way. Adding "the" seems to particularize the force, almost making it refer to only that part of the gravity that is causing the falling. But since gravity has no boundaries and extends in all directions everywhere, I prefer to leave out "the" so that it is more universalized. But these are just "feelings" about the difference and most would likely say there was none.

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: My quotation of the day
Posted: Sunday, October 16, 2016 3:15:06 PM
Dynamina wrote:
Romany wrote:

Wolsey, as one can see by the dates, did not speak Modern English. He was also an extremely erudite, cultured and educated man, so he would never have expressed himself as crudely as this.
George Will is a contemporary American. It was he who said this so, if you like it and want to use it, Monamagda, make sure you don't attribute to Wolsey but correctly assign it to Will.

A quick google search attributes this quote to Wolsey and nobody else.
It is only fair to both Wolsey and Will (and Monamagda) to provide a reliable source for the alternate idea if there is one.

The diction in the quote is, as you say, far too crude for the Cardinal. However, he did, in fact, speak "modern" English, at least to the extent that Shakespeare did. After all, Shakespeare was born only 30 years after the Cardinal died, a long time from Chaucer.

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: What the Frig Did They Think Would Happen?
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 3:36:38 AM
pedro wrote:

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

― Albert Einstein

Probably an exaggeration,but we depend on them enough to at least be polite to them.

If you knew anything at all about Einstein, you would know that he never said any such thing, and such a statement is nothing like anything he ever would have said. Mr. Einstein did not go around making random statements of fact about subjects he knew nothing about. Besides the fact that the statement is not true, the phrase appears in nothing Einstein ever wrote or any recorded conversations and only appeared for the first time in 1994 (Einstein died in 1955).

Making attributions to famous people is a common ruse to make a point, but the facts can be checked easily. It is quite obviously not something he would say even on first reading.

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: New word for your vocabulary
Posted: Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:28:01 PM
TheParser wrote:

Dear Fellow Learners:

Here is a nice word to add to your vocabulary. It is often used in American English. It is outlier.

Google defines it like this: "A person or thing that differs from other members of that group." (It also has a meaning in mathematics, but we are NOT discussing that meaning here.)

1. If you live to be 100 years old, you will be an outlier. (That is, most human beings do not live to 100. So you will be an exception.)

2. The United States is an outlier among democracies when it comes to free speech. That is to say, the United States permits much more freedom of speech than most other democracies do.

a. This example comes from It gives MANY examples. Please do read it when you find time.

3. Most of the forums at this website are filled with informative, interesting, and helpful comments. For example: the "Grammar" forum, the "Literature" forum, the "Medicine" forum, etc. One forum, however, is usually filled with name-calling (posters insult one another). That forum is an outlier.


P.S. Whenever I find time in the future, I shall try to recommend more words for your vocabulary. Have a nice day!

Is there really an English speaker above the age of 5 who does not know this word?
How about some words that people might not actually know ("uitlander" would have been good)?

"Not a teacher" is an incredible understatement.

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: OK! OK! OK! I heard you!
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:57:34 PM
Romany wrote:

Drago -

To me the person who continually warns us about something is irritating, or fussy, but is not what I would call a nag.

To me the term has much more negative connotations.

I see nagging as someone who goes on and on about your flaws, or inadequacies; coming at it from all angles; bringing it into every conversation: - "Oh gooday, Alice - though how you got through that front gate I don't know, Chris keeps promising to do it...."

Whereas the person who repeats "Wrap up warm" or "Watch out for cars" is being loving. Irritating but loving. Nagging is ill-willed.

But either way, I guess, it's given rise to all those jokes along the lines of when a woman does it, it's nagging but when a man does it, it's called keeping on the ball.

Ashwin Joshi -

Thank you for that. Because of Kipling, I'd always assumed it was 'Ka'a'

Sorry, but I have never considered the contents of a "nag" to be especially negative. In fact, the contents are somewhat irrelevant. Reminding someone to put on a coat or not to miss an appointment is nagging if repeated unnecessarily. That is the essence of the nag to me, that something is repeated when a normal human brain will have absorbed the message the first or second time it was delivered. It is an unneeded reminder delivered repetitively as if cognitive ease with the idea could be achieved by means resembling Chinese Water Torture.

There is also an element of condescension, of treating someone like a child, such as in saying, "Watch out for cars," as though the nag's recipient, absent that essential prod, would have marched unflinchingly into rush-hour traffic.

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun
Topic: Blood sugar levels
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 8:08:03 AM
Yes, bad health advice is everywhere. Just because a sentence is grammatically correct and seems to make sense doesn't make it true (though I saw a Trump supporter on TV the other day who said, "I saw it on the internet so it has to be true!" The illiterate seem to hold the printed word is somewhat too high an esteem).

Good advice, though. When I really need that chocolate bar, I even start walking before I swallow the first bite.

Nearly everyone over 50 in the US has high blood sugar (it would be more, but the US pressured the WHO to raise the "normal" level from 70-100 mg/dl to 80-110 mg/dl so fewer of our fat asses would be prediabetic).

(議思不の界世) pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo sɹǝpuoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝuo sı ǝpoɔıun

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