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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Thursday, May 14, 2020 12:54:56 AM
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Last 10 Posts
Nelle Harper Lee (1926)
Tuesday, April 28, 2020 1:06:15 AM
Yet another inaccurate posting.
Harper Lee died over 4 yrs ago, Feb 2016, but this posting evidently was written prior to that date and never updated. Think TFD shouldn't be put out wrong or outdated information; it's pretty easy to just double-check dates and things like this on the internet....
Sue Taylor Grafton (1940)
Friday, April 24, 2020 3:19:09 AM
in December 2017. Her last published book on the 'alphabet series' was titled "Y," and per her family/estate there will be no "Z" title after all, Grafton did not want a ghostwriter nor did she leave a full manuscript to publish.
a duty of care
Sunday, April 5, 2020 1:33:59 AM
Jigneshbharati: Beyond the comments about the grammatical aspects of "a duty of care," at least in the US this is a term of art (ie a recognized word or phrase specific to a field of study or profession). In the US, professionals such as doctors, nurses, socialworkers, police officers, and others have an ethnical and/or legal responsibility to provide care and to act when presented with certain situations that they have expertise in. This is why the article in
you quoted from asks if the nurse has a 'duty of care' to try to save the person from railway line, the article is asking if this is one of a nurse's ethical or legal 'duties.' Which BTW, in the states I'm familiar with in the US, a nurse would not legally or ethically have "a duty of care" in that situation, though 'Good Samaritan laws" in some states would forgive a nurse for responding to that emergency and failing.
word choice: animate, mollify or mitigate
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 3:29:06 AM
Robjen: My opinion on your 3 examples ---
1) 'animates' probably works, as it means to enliven, so while Bob doesn't smile much, your sense of humor can help to animate (or enliven) his serious attitude. Not a perfect match to the structure of your sentence, but will work meaning=wise.
2) 'mollifies' doesn't work I think, as it means to placate or assuage. Bob not smiling can't be placated or assuaged by your sense of humor. 'Mollify' just isn't the right adjective for getting across a sensible thought in my opinion.
3) 'mitigates' might work I think, as it means to offset or lessen the intensity of something, as in: Bob doesn't smile much, but your sense of humor offsets (or lessens the intensity of or impact of) his serious attitude.
Others I'm sure will offer opinions, perhaps disagreeing with my offering.
act of congress
Saturday, November 30, 2019 1:15:09 AM
Have no idea if "act of Congress" is common or not in South Africa....but this an American idiom, where it originated and is still used from time to time. See phrase.com, yourdictionary.com, and just about every other dictionary or idiom collection for the country of origin.
Monday, November 25, 2019 12:58:41 AM
I've never heard this term before, but it's contained in several on-line dictionaries (e.g. Wiktionary, urbandictionary, Collins dictionary, etc.) so evidently it's an accepted term in American usage somewhere; my guess it's a southern or midwestern saying based on where pigs are grown for sale most. Whether it's a just a term or word, or instead of an idiom, can't say. Maybe someone more familiar with it can answer that point.
"Lincoln at the Bardo" is an excellent book
Sunday, September 29, 2019 2:54:53 AM
Just finished reading "Lincoln at the Bardo" ('bardo' is a Tibetan word for the transitional state of souls are after physical death) by George Saunders, a novel occurring in one day in which Abraham Lincoln buries then returns to visit (as in opens the coffin) his beloved son Willie. My undergrad degree was in literature and I've read a lot of unique books, plays, and other forms of writing, but this is the most unique. Readers on some book review sites have left very negative comments about the style it was written in, finding it very confusing or a little too out-there, but my reaction was that it was a great piece of writing.
Saunders mixed in imagined voices and conversations with annotated information from historians and biographers to form a one-of-its-kind blend. The book weaves together dozens of voices (literally) that touch on the spiritual; religiosity; death and what may be beyond this life for souls; the depth of human grief and loss; slavery and the pain of the Civil War for those who fought, those who lost soldiers, and those who were caught up and didn't understand; poverty; abuse; women's place in society; and many more questions that humans deal with today and dealt with in the 1800s. It does take a bit of patience and work to get the rhythm of what's unfolding, but I found it well worth the effort. I so recommend this book to anyone who loves reading and doesn't mind a challenge; you don't have to be an American to appreciate the themes.
Have others read this book, and if so, what were your opinions?
Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson, and Donald Trump and their problems....
Sunday, September 29, 2019 1:57:47 AM
So America's got Trump and his impeachment process et al.
The UK has Boris and his Brexit backfire and possible economic chaos and possible secession of Scotland after October 31st, his unconstitutional suspension of Parliament, members fleeing his sinking political boat/coalition.
Now Canada has Trudeau's brownface/blackface controversy, including multiple pictures and changing explanations, right in the middle of the PM's campaign.
First, wondering what Canadian members are thinking and hearing, how they currently see Trudeau's controversy affecting both the Prime Minister's election as well as the country's internal racial situation? I'm not equating Trudeau's brownface/blackface whatever-it-is (tone-deafness, immaturity well past the age of knowing better, a real blind spot when it comes to race, or whatever?) with the political/legal/ethical/moral mess that America has with Trump...but Trudeau had been a bright spot of decency in action and now he feels pretty sullied to this American. Am I overreacting or do Canadians and others feel similarly? Also, how did these photos not show up in his first campaign and how did he not vaccinate himself against them embarrassing him?
All of which has me wondering what others think about so many of our western democracies/republics all having such divisive scandals and politics at the same time? Is the pendulum of liberal democracy swinging, is this just a coincidental set of blips, or has the pendulum already swung?
What's going on with Boris and the Brexit?
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 1:55:04 AM
I admit since I'm not a UK citizen I haven't followed every detail of Brexit for the past 3 yrs, but the recent reportage I've seen about new PM Boris Johnson leaves me with two questions: what the heck is going in the UK about Brexit these days, and what do TFD members think about Boris' strategy (or it seems the past few days, the lack of strategy) regarding Brexit? What say you all?
American casual pronunciation
Sunday, April 28, 2019 12:51:27 AM
By 'casual' do you mean the use several times of contractions? The use of contractions (putting together a verb usually with "not" or "have" with an apostrophe to signal this combination) is very common in American speech (could've, isn't, didn't, would've, can't, etc.). The use of contractions does make the spoken language sound less formal, less precise as the contraction has a blurred sound to it. Besides this, the segment you linked to is spoken in a very rapid-fire manner. Americans are often said to speak rapidly (with certain regional exceptions like the deep south, Texas, etc.), but this recorded segment seems to be spoken unusually rapidly on purpose. There are regional accents across the United States, each usually affected to some degree by the ethnic group(s) that originally settled it e.g. the mid-west regional accent is at least partially based on early German or Polish settlers (depending on which part of the mid-west). As everyone knows, America is a melting pot of immigrants, each bringing not own languages and accents/way of speaking. There are other impacts on how regional accents/speech patterns occur, all of which make for different accents from different regions of the country. There is no real American accent, speech pattern, speed at which people speak, etc. There are some common language elements, including contractions, though even some contractions are absent from some regions or unique to some regions. And there are some parts of the country that tend to speak more formally (ie don't use contractions, don't blur/slur letter or word sounds, etc.), which include wealthier, highly educated areas of the country...but mostly Americans do speak informally, using contractions, word elisions (leaving out small, common words).
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