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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011 10:10:43 PM
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Last 10 Posts
Hanging and gibbeting
Friday, October 14, 2011 10:06:54 PM
Sounds like a gibbet is a T-like devices for hanging people, whereas a gallows is more like a Pi shape with two main beams supporting a beam across the top.
That is on the former (a gibbet) you're hung from the end of an arm, and on the latter (a gallows) you're hung from the beam across the top of two support posts.
So, it sounds like a hanging is any means of executing someone by stringing them up by the neck via gibbet, gallows, tree branch or what have you. A gibbeting would be a hanging by gibbet? Don't know if there's a word specific to hanging by gallows? I've usually just heard 'a hanging.'
Actually, it sounds like a gallows is a generic term for built structures for hangings and a gibbet is maybe a specific sub-type of gallows? So a gibbet is a type of gallows, but a gallows does not necessarily have to be a gibbet?
Friday, October 14, 2011 9:54:52 PM
"Ghoulishly haunted" is similarly overkilled; a contrast to the non-ghoulish hauntings with which we are all so familiar.
So, what you're saying is that the Martense mansion was haunted not by Casper but by one of those Japanese ghosts from The Grudge, right? ;)
Granted, I don't know whether many hauntings back in the day were considered benign or whether a haunting was
always a "
." But, if the house was haunted 'ghoulishly' it would certainly be differentiated from any more benign haunting. I don't know whether ghoulishly is 'overkill' in this case. A ghoulish flesh eating zombie on the other hand might be, since flesh eating is one of those defining characteristics of ghouls, right? Or am I mixing up my spirits again? A little vodka, a little gin, some peach schnapps and a bad case of the kobolds...?
Friday, October 14, 2011 9:43:46 PM
''No one outside the backwoods had believed these varying and conflicting stories, with
their incoherent, extravagant descriptions of the
; yet not a farmer or villager doubted that the Martense mansion was ghoulishly haunted.''
From Cry Horror! by HP Lovecraft, first chapter, page 2.
1) a typo (should have been half-glimpsed and been done with it, no further discussion).
2) an archaism, which HPL is known for loving in a big way
3) a literary affectation (intentional artistic bombast or flowery prose) and/or invented pseudo-archaism (sounding archaic without using an actual archaic word or phrase already in use; that is inventing new 'archaic'-sounding terms).
I don't know whether other poets of days gone by ever actually used hall-glimpsed as a colloquial or dialectical term in actual writing. It's possible. I've definitely seen some similar things from J. Sheridan Le Fanu in a few of his stories. One in particular adopts an affected Irish brogue style of writing. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if at some point Le Fanu has used something like 'hall-glimpsed' in one of his stories and Lovecraft had picked up on it and reused it in his own stories. He was big on reading and then imitating predecessorial authors like Dunsany, Blackwood, Machen, Bierce, Le Fanu, etc. in form, language and sometimes plot... I only know this because it's fresh in my mind, having recently getting into reading Lovecraft.
That said some editions of Lovecraft's book do in fact contain typographical or transcription errors. So that's not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
And, as others have said, HPL also had a penchant for the adjectivies or adjectivitis (piling on the adjectives above and beyond necessity for literary effect). He has occasionally been alternately lauded and criticized for it. Either as more descriptive and evocative than had he left them off or more pedantic and prolix for leaving them in. For now, it's kind of a dead heat. ;)
But, I must say that I rather enjoy his gloomy, dim, funebrial, dusky, morbid worlds peopled with monstrously illimitable colossi ready to drive someone to stark raving, face-peeling, inescapably soul rending madness... See what I mean?
The meaning of sever in this sentence : Please :)
Friday, October 14, 2011 9:34:04 PM
Other usages you will see are "he or she", "he/she", "s/he", or even just alternating "he" and "she" as each instance occurs in a longer piece of writing.
I've also seen (s)he... Although, maybe it should be [s]he, since square brackets, I think, usually denote text left out. *Shrug* Still I've seen it pretty frequently with parens (parentheses) instead.
The meaning of sever in this sentence : Please :)
Friday, October 14, 2011 9:29:28 PM
1- I prefer the people who serve me in stores or restaurants to be polite and friendly, even if they are not 100% sincere.======>
serve me to be polite
2- Whenever you see
driving badly, nine times out of ten
on the phone.
1: "people who serve me..." could be rephrased "people who provide a service to me..."
Not sure whether 5 words in red make sense together on their own out of context. If meant as a simplified version of that portion of the sentence: "I prefer the people who serve me to be polite," the same would still apply, "I prefer the people who provide a service to me to be polite" or "I prefer that the people providing services be polite to me."
2: As another had mentioned, one could certainly substitute in "[he or she is] on the phone."
However, 'they' is sometimes used as a generic, catch-all, gender-neutral word for someone that a person doesn't know. Such as, "whoever that driver was, they really didn't know how to drive."
I don't however know whether such a gender-neutral usage is technically grammatically correct or not. I just know that people do use it that way pretty frequently.
What is the difference?
Thursday, October 13, 2011 11:02:57 PM
Hi all freedelfians! Could you please explain to me the difference between such expressions as: from now on, from here on in, from here on out
. I will trully appreciate your help!
Informally / unofficially, they're more-or-less the same. There may be occasional differences based on context? Not sure.
"From now on" means pretty literally "from this moment forward" or "for all future moments."
"From here on in" I've generally heard used while in the middle of some action, meaning from this point, until the conclusion. Typical example would be a war movie where soldiers are in a plane part way into a bombing run and someone says "from here on in, it's lights off and radios silent," that is from this point in the mission until the end of the mission (or until we at least reach whatever the first destination is) 'something happens' or 'something shouldn't happen.' It seems to me like there is some concrete destination or goal, where between now and then something will be the case. Kind of a "from point A (the moment we're in now) to at least point B (at some definite but unspecified point in the future), X will definitely be the situation (lights/radios off), after that X may or may not still be the situation (may continue with lights/radios off to another target, or may turn lights / radio back on and head back to base)."
"From here on out" is I think more akin to the first one "from now on," as I don't think the contexts in which I've heard it used most frequently there is a given destination or end point at which time the situation may change. It's more like there's something going on already, but after this moment something will change and that change may persist indefinitely? Like (to use the military analogy again) "The government's been sponsoring our military campaign, but from here on out, we're on our own. They'll disavow all knowledge of the operation and if we get caught, they won't help us or even admit they knew of the operation." The situation will likely persist beyond the immediate scope of what's going on. E.g. the government will continue to disavow the mission even after the mission is over.
As opposed to "from here on in" which seems more time-limited. After the bombing run is successfully completed, the pilot might turn the lights and radio back on.
Just my very unofficial 2c.
And, true, some of these can be used spatially as well. Especially "from here on in." That's often used in terms of a destination. Kind of like "on this leg of the journey" or "during the remaining portion of the journey." For instance, the last portion of the trek to the summit of Mt. Everest. "From here on in is the most dangerous terrain on the mountain and from here on in we'll have to wear our oxygen masks at all times."
Though that could still be interpreted either spatially "while climbing between this point and that point geographically," or temporally "from the time we leave to the time we arrive," or both, I guess: "from the time we leave base camp to the time we reach the summit".
chow down on vs. chow down
Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:45:26 PM
Whether it's correct or not, I've always heard it being "chow down on" when referring to a specific item being consumed. Or "chow down" when there is not a specific object being chowed down ["on"].
The former being a transitive verb and the latter being intransitive. But, again, that's just the way I've vaguely heard it being used. May not be correct usage? It's a bit colloqial / slang-y anyway...
Are these sentences natural? October 12
Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:34:54 PM
1. Should be " She needs to travel back home as her health is not keeping well here." But it would be more normal, probably, to say " She needs to go back home as her health is suffering here.
Or, more simply:
She needs to [travel/return] home, as her health is [suffering/fading] here.
I guess travel would probably be better as it implies a long trip rather than simply returning down the road to her house here.
Are these sentences natural? October 12
Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:24:35 PM
3. Is common and natural, but to be perfectly correct (and maybe a little pedantic) it should be "With whom did they sign the agreement?"[/color]
Since it's perhaps a dangling participle, one could also rewrite the original as "Who were they with when they signed the agreement?"
That is, were they signing the agreement in someone's presence (as a witness) or were they signing the agreement with the other people as the other parties to the agreement (as a contract between two parties). Were the unspecified others witnesses or the other parties signing contract itself?
But, that's probably a more advanced question than they were asking.
P.S. 'whom' is probably more correct, but we Americans are lazy and I think a lot of us didn't learn the Queen's English. So, most of us colloquially get it wrong and just say 'who' for everything. ;) (Just sayin'...)
If someone actually managed to use 'whom' correctly in a sentence most people would probably guess they were A) from 'out of town' as it were B) an English professor or C) possibly pretentious / stuck up. Hehe. Maybe even all of the above... =o] Mostly kidding. A little not.
How do you say about legs when...
Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:20:10 PM
In any event, I'd probably go with splayed for the original inquiry, if they're looking for a single word for doing the splits on a landing. ;)
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