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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009 6:47:05 PM
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Last 10 Posts
"first annual" vs. "inaugural"
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:35:43 PM
Personally, I fail to see the logic in stating that if subsequent annual events are not known to take place. That would obviate the expression "first annual", wouldn't it?
In other words, it would be moot for the expression to even exist if it based on the foreknowledge of there being future events.
I don't mean to get philosophical here, but life is filled with unknowns and, in my humble opinion, thinking this way would negate any sort of optimism. But I digress...
The expression "first annual" is precise in its usage here if there are future events planned (whether or not these are realized is neither here nor there). The term "inaugural" simply means 'that which occurs for the first time', whether it is a daily, weekly, or annual affair, etc. has no effect on its correctness here.
insensible or insensitive
Monday, October 12, 2009 10:28:03 PM
Interestingly, both words are derived from the same Latin root "insensibilis" and thus share the same meaning: unfeeling. Of course, there are times when certain words are used in pragmatically different ways; this means that there may be a circumstance or situation in which one word may be more used than others. Keep in mind, however, that this is arbitrary. Think of it as 'what is socially accepted' or 'traditional'.
Essentially, both words could be used to describe an unfeeling sentiment, whether it be literal or figurative.
: Marcus was
to Katharine's outpouring of emotion and left her standing alone in the doorway has he walked away.
: After hearing the news of the accident, Tom felt
to the pain attempting to eat away at his heart.
I recognize that the latter is not a common usage, but is used correctly nonetheless.
Is there any disagreement on this matter? A different perspective is welcome :)
Where is "prolixitysquared"?
Monday, October 12, 2009 10:11:59 PM
Hi Proli, I haven't posted that much here, but I have read a lot of the intelligent, thought-provoking, and amusing (and musings) posts here on TFD. Yours have always been at the vanguard, which have catalyzed the many members here. As a result, you have unassumingly sort of led the way, as it were. Personally, I, too, am relieved (and content) that you are well; I certainly hope that life has not dealt you any unwarranted unpleasantness?
It is nice to hear from you again, and I am looking forward to hearing more from you :)
Thursday, October 8, 2009 9:55:07 AM
In regards to your example of "1, 2, and 3":
It is interesting to note that in Spanish, for example, the formal practice here would be "1, 2 and 3" (no comma separating "2" or "and") Unfortunately, I do not know why this is. It could come down to a preference in a particular style, and therefore an adherence to it.
¿Directo o Índirecto?
Monday, September 28, 2009 7:54:09 PM
¡Muchas gracias, Valentina! Te lo agradezco. Yo también uso con mucha frecuencia el Diccionario de la RAE; en mi opinión, es la última palabra en cuanto al habla española. Había visto los del "Leísmo, Loísmo, y Laísmo" también, pero al igual me confundía con esos dos verbos precisos (golpear y pegar).
Looking For A Word
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 11:30:35 PM
How about: insurmountable, unconquerable?
¿Directo o Índirecto?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:05:05 PM
Necesito un poco de ayuda con lo siguiente: Con el verbo "Pegar" (Golpear) Mi pregunta es: ¿Qué tipo de pronombre se debe usar, el del complemento directo (lo) o índirecto (le)?
A) Mi hermano se enfadó con el dependiente por el mal servicio y
B) Mi hermano se enfadó con el dependiente por el mal servicio y
Si me podrían dirigir a un sitio de web en dónde haya una explicación clara de esto, se lo agradecería.
When can we omit the subject of a sentence?
Sunday, September 6, 2009 10:45:11 AM
If I am not mistaken (and I certainly could be), I believe that another circumstance in which the subject of a sentence is not required to be present would be within a sentence utilizing the
e.g.- The reports are handed in every Thursday.
(Who handed them in? Here, the subject is neither mentioned nor implied)
e.g. - The keys were left on the table.
(Again, who left the keys there?)
Thursday, July 2, 2009 1:30:53 AM
I just love word games, being a linguist and a BIG fan of words (both in English and Spanish). I can never get enough of challenging myself with learning new words or looking up words I do know, but TRULY understanding what they mean...but I digress.
Like you, I do not solve crossword puzzles, though admittedly, I have not really tried. What I do partake in are word games such as "jumble" from
(there you will find a number of different word games and they are all FREE!!)
From playing these words games I find that they challenge me in different ways: I have to think of possible letter combinations and think of what might the word be. In the end, I must concentrate and use my mental "rolo-dex" to solve the puzzles.
Likewise, I use these types of puzzles with my students in order to practice the spelling of new vocabulary words they learn in a given chapter. They become excited and engaged whenever they solve my "evil creations" via PowerPoint
Wednesday, July 1, 2009 6:28:18 PM
I am a high school Spanish teacher (as you can tell from my user name - no mystery there!), as such, I am regularly confronted with this vexing point of language: it is "alive" and constantly evolving. I believe this to be true for any language. I agree with how people currently speak and how the quality of it, whether composed of archaic words or out-dated expressions, has evolved: how our grandparents spoke, compared to our parents, compared to ourselves.
However, I also recognize that our society, modern and contemporary as it is, greatly benefits from technology and accessibility of said technology. For example, in my home office I have at my disposal many references that will ensure my consistent usage of various lexicons: on-line dictionaries, dictionary software, and the tried and true physical dictionaries. All of these will allow me to quickly and effectively use what is considered the "current standard" of my two languages (English and Spanish). Having these references at my disposal so readily permits me to maintain a constant lexicon and diction (the words available to me and HOW to use them, respectively). Others, too, will have similar references available to him or her, likewise maintaining a constant and current usage of vocabulary.
Of course, this doesn't mean that language will become stagnant and cease to change, evolve, and assimilate itself to current times. Every day there arises a need to create new words, and these words incorporate themselves into the modern lexicon, some more rapidly than others, and vice versa.
In the end, what I am suggesting is that because of the advent of technology (Internet, computers, dictionaries, etc.) spoken language will, to a certain degree, change more slowly than before. What's more, I believe language will be more prevalently constant/consistent.
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