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Profile: coag
User Name: coag
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Interests: English language
Gender: Male
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Joined: Saturday, March 27, 2010
Last Visit: Saturday, November 17, 2018 1:24:01 PM
Number of Posts: 1,094
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Is there an English word with "krag" root?
Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2018 1:24:00 PM
While searching the Internet about the topic of a recent TFD thread, I learned that "collar" is "kraga" in Icelandic and "der Kragen" in German. It's "kragna" in Croatian and Serbian.

I assume "krag" is a Germanic root, and my question is: is there an English word with this root?
Topic: Console, meaning
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 6:13:20 PM
Thank you very much for your responses, guys.
Topic: Console, meaning
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 3:58:01 PM
Hello all,

What does "console" mean in the following sentence:
'Don Balon called Dembélé “Sad, apathetic, unwilling and excessively individualistic”, suggest he goes to bed in the wee hours, a devotee of “the console and fast food”.'
(The Guardian)
Topic: clavicle
Posted: Monday, November 12, 2018 12:44:46 PM
clavicle (n.)

"collarbone," 1610s, from Middle French clavicule "collarbone" (16c.), also "small key," from Medieval Latin clavicula "collarbone" (used c. 980 in a translation of Avicenna), special use of classical Latin clavicula, literally "small key, bolt," diminutive of clavis "key" (from PIE root *klau- "hook"); in the anatomical sense a loan-translation of Greek kleis "key, collarbone," which is from the same PIE source. So called supposedly from its function as the "fastener" of the shoulder. Related: Clavicular.

"Key bone" is the literal translation of what is used in Croatian and Serbian.

I was currious about which languages use the Latin "key" in "clavicle" and which languages use their own "key".

Not surprisingly:
English: clavicle
French: clavicule
Spanish: clavícula
Italian: clavicola

Some of the languages in the other group:
Croatian, Serbian: ključna kost
Russian: ключица
German: Schlüsselbein
Swedish: nyckelben
Topic: thought vs. had thought
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 1:39:15 PM
Thank you very much for your explanations, thar.

Sentence 2 is a simplified version of another sentence. I wanted to know if there's something in sentence 2 what necessitates the use of the past perfect.

Here is the context (my emphasis added).

"So they went west, Pat and Dick, back to the nowhere they had sought to escape. It was hard on Pat; she was in her third trimester, and discovering the lot of a candidate's wife. The Quaker ladies never had thought she was good enough for Dick, and the matrons of San Marino sneered at her sense of fashion. 'We were the rawest of amateurs', Pat remembered.'Our friends were sympathetic but dubious, and the real politicians were scornful'"

The Quaker ladies thinking of Pat not being good enough for Dick, occurred at the same time as the San Marino matrons sneering at Pat's sense of fashion. I didn't understand why the past perfect was used to describe what the Quaker ladies thought and simple past was used to described what the San Marino matrons did.

Your comment about someone proved being wrong, makes sense as an explanation for the use of the past perfect in the quotation. The writer probably wanted to say that the Quaker ladies were wrong-- Pat and Dick spent the rest of their lives together.
Topic: thought vs. had thought
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 2:53:22 AM
Hello all,

Which of the sentences below is natural, with respect to the tense of think? Are both sentences acceptable?
1) I never thought he was the right man for her.
2) I never had thought he was the right man for her.

Topic: Cancer or a cancer
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 2:10:23 AM
Jigneshbharati wrote:
Advanced cancers are more difficult to treat.
In the above example "cancer" is listed as count noun

Hello Jigneshbharati,

English nouns often can be used both in the uncountable and countable sense.

If you want to say that a person suffers from a disease called cancer, you have to use "cancer" in the uncountable sense, that is, you should say, for example: He has cancer, not he has a cancer. This is my understanding of what thar said. See also the Webster examples for the uncountable meaning of "cancer".

In Webster's example: Advanced cancers are more difficult to treat,
"cancer" is used in the countable sense. Notice that this example does not say that someone is sick, this example says something about the curability of all types of cancer. This might be one of the reasons that plural of "cancer" is permitted.

If you want to think more about the use of articles with "cancer", here are a couple more examples that I found in the meantime.


Find out what a rare cancer is, and how you might feel about having a rare cancer.


Rare cancers affect a very small number of people. A cancer might also be considered rare if it starts in an unusual place in the body. Or if the cancer is an unusual type and needs special treatment.
(Cancer Research UK, my emphasis added)

Kevin Kline stars in this story of a middle-aged man who finds out that he has terminal cancer and decides to correct his relationships with estranged family members.

Introducing these dates to publically disclosed information further increases the likelihood that an individual can be identified, particularly if that person has a rare cancer.

The use of articles with "cancer", in the last two examples, seems contradictory. One example uses "he has terminal cancer", the other example uses "he (person) has a rare cancer".
Topic: Cancer or a cancer
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 1:34:11 AM
thar wrote:
The stranger question is how anyone ever saw a crab in that collection of stars!

For that little that I had tried, I could never recognize any of those constellations. To me, it seems as a loose, almost free, association of creatures with groups of stars. It reminds me of Turkish-coffee reading.

Topic: Cancer or a cancer
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2018 2:54:10 PM
Two more examples of the use of "cancer", which might be interesting to English learners.

1) Advanced cancers are more difficult to treat.
2) I'm a Taurus, but my best friend is a Cancer.
Topic: Cancer or a cancer
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2018 12:56:38 PM
Orson Burleigh wrote:
'A cancer' is sometimes used metaphorically to describe potentially serious political, social, or behavioral trends, patterns of action, movements, or occurrences. Some people of a certain age will remember White House Counsel John Dean's warning to then U.S. President Richard Nixon: 'There is a cancer growing on the presidency.'

This is a nice example of this use of "cancer". Thanks for that, Orson.

Merriam-Webster also gives a nice example:
the cancer of hidden resentment — Irish Digest

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