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Profile: mister_moon
User Name: mister_moon
Forum Rank: Newbie
Gender: Male
Joined: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Last Visit: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 3:13:33 AM
Number of Posts: 32
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Prescriptivism
Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:26:28 AM
the seafood dinner...was delightful would emphasise that the dinner itself was delightful, ...was a delightful occasion emphasises that the whole time you spent there was delightful including not only the dinner but the company, the ambiance of the restaurant, and so on.

I think it is an interesting side-point that actually the phrases eat in a restaurant and eat at a restaurant do not really start to come into the language until the 1860's. Until the mid 1920's both phrases are used very sparsely, but in roughly equal measure. After this eat in... gains increasingly in popularity until the new century when the phrases start to come towards parity again.

However, once you say eat in [name of restaurant] you can't find it, eat at [name of restaurant] is the ONLY phrase used.
Topic: boyfriend/girlfriend
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:19:02 AM
The Google Books Ngram indeed gives a high hit rate for one of the girls relative to one of the boys, however it cannot be assumed that both are colloquial idioms, only that those words in that order appear in, I presume, that percentage of the books searched.

If, however, you put one of the boys into the OED online you get the following entry:
colloq. Members of a group sharing common (typically masculine) interests; one's (male) fellows or habitual companions. Esp. in one of the boys: one who belongs to such a group; spec. one who conforms to its interests or practices

Whilst if you put one of the girls into the OED you get the following:
No dictionary entries found for ‘one of the girls’.

The word order (meaning one specific girl out of a number of girls) appears in 27 given quotations. Typical of the entries given is
One of the girls, a long-waisted, brown-haired lovely in a black knit leotard...
T. Pynchon 'Crying of Lot 49 iii. 63' [1966].

Similarly, putting both phrases into The Free Dictionary one of the boys has an entry in Idioms, and one of the girls does not.
Topic: boyfriend/girlfriend
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012 7:59:15 AM
We don't use boyfriend or girlfriend in general to describe someone who is simply a friend of that sex.

One of the boys, however, can be used to a male of indeterminate age but an adult who is part of a larger group defining themselves by a common factor or pursuit with the 'male dominant' attitudes associated with it (e.g. work colleagues, males down the pub, people playing or watching local football etc). This usage is recorded from 1850 [J.G.Saxe - 'Address and Proceedings' " I am one of the boys!" (in OED)] . Confusingly, this term can be extended to a female who shares the same pursuit or job and is perceived to share the associated attitudes. This is seen by the males in the group as a kind of back-handed compliment.

Similarly, one of the girls is often used to describe a woman in an equivalent group with female dominant attitudes at work, or play. They may from time to time indulge themselves in a girl's night out sometimes down the pub, but more often to a local disco or nightclub. I can find no exact match for this phrase meaning one of a defined group, so non-native speakers will have to take my word for it existing. A similar phrase, "We are all girls together", can be found in the 'Syracuse Evening Herald' of New York from 1893 [OED]. It is not okay to describe any male as one of the girls, although as usual there is one exception to this - a particular type of homosexual (usually effeminate) often describe each other in a group as one of the girls.
Topic: I pilot.
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012 2:44:05 AM
I'm not sure what you are asking. I can find nothing on the term I Pilot apart from the probably unhelpful fact that it is the title of a song by The Kindness Kind. Everything else is either i-PILOT or iPILOT and refers to flight simulators.
Topic: Meaning of 'as it were'
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:19:16 AM
A good answer, leon. Succinct and meaningful.
Topic: omnishambles-new word
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:12:32 AM
Ah, leon, one senses you are wriggling a little. There is no evidence to support shambolic being a nonce word. Even if it had originally started out as a word coined for a particular and single occasion, it's continued general usage - at least informally - has lifted it out of that limited category.
Topic: pronunciation of "important"
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:58:25 AM
almostfreebird: Yes, chav is a derogatory term, that's what's import-unt about it.
Topic: It/They is/are here.
Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:13:32 AM
Spectacles (referring optically) are an example of a plural noun where no singular exists, other examples are trousers, pants, or underpants, as such you should use a plural pronoun (they/them) when referring to them.

As to usage by native speakers, while the term glasses would undoubtedly be No.1 in the hit parade, other terms (i.e. specs / spectacles or, indeed, pair of spectacles / glasses) are not quite ready to be thrown into the trough of archaisms. Angel
Topic: omnishambles-new word
Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 6:48:17 AM
I too am - according my loving family and my best friends - an insufferable pedant, however the term shambolic, although relatively recent, is reported by the OED to have been in use since at least 1958. It is recorded in such respectable sources as The Times newspaper and the Journal of the Royal Society of the Arts, which society was founded in 1754.

Your pedantry, leon, requires a modicum of updating to get it into the 20th century, while I fully understand, indeed share, any reluctance to leap too far forward into the 21st Angel.
Topic: Poll the parrot
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 3:43:27 PM
The earliest recorded use of Poll as a name for a parrot comes in Ben Jonson's play Every Man Out of his Humour [First acted: 1599 Pub.:1600]. The character, Fastidious Brisk, believing himself speaking to someone he cannot see, but that is actually a parrot, says "Would you speake to mee Sir?", to be answered by Carlo Buffone, "I, when he has recouered himselfe: poore Poll." [OED]. By the time Defoe published Robinson Crusoe in 1719 the term had been in use for over a century.