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Bairn

Is the word "bairn" a singular noun, a plural noun or both ? If it is both is it then pronounced differently in the two uses ? Carl Alex Friis Nielsen Love Me - take me as I think...

Possessive Case And Plural

Hello, A brazilian friend of mine just took a test and she thinks that something is wrong with the answer. "Consider a large university library. Tens of thousands of books, periodicals...

Please Help Me With This Dicikinson Poem

Hi, I was given the follwing Dicikinson poem to translate: I gave myself to him, And took himself for pay. The solemn contract of a life Was ratified this way The value might disappoint...

Fred Dibnah's Accent

Anybody who didn't shed a tear during Fred's last programme, please leave the room. I was familiar with the Notlob "work" vowel: a leaking hosepipe "joost squt all over me leg...

(OT) Nathalie The Destroyer

A year and a half or so ago I showed a video clip at my Web site of my great granddaughter and granddaughter having fun with stuffed animals. Some AUE readers found them interesting...

Casting Couch Session

Let me ask a question about the following. Coogan, Sr., insisted on a casting couch session before choosing Joan from 150 girls who wanted the part. [link] What do you think "casting...

Anglicism/Gallicism

I've seen many books in libraries that deal with the topic of anglicisms and the general thrust of these books is how the anglicisms are polluting the native language. Invariably...

Newspaper Puns Wanted

Hi all. I hope some of you will help me out with this: I am a student of English in Denmark, and I have to write a short paper about a linguistic topic (the main purpose of the...

What Do You Call The Prisoners' Counting...

Well, they're not exlusive to prisoners, but you see them often in tails of prisoners using them in solitary confinement to count the days; 1, 2, 3, 4 vertical scratches on the...

Awhile/A While

Which is correct? - I did that awhile ago. - I did that a while ago.

Why Do Americans Say, "I

Why do Americans say, "I could care less." ? Surely, they should, instead, be saying, "I couldn't care less."

Totty Vs. Minge

I had always understood "totty" to be a simile for "minge", i.e. not gender neutral, cf. lavatories in "Men Behaving Badly" being marked "Blokes" and "Totty". I discover in the...

Intrusive "R" In Coastal South

I was watching "Paula's Home Cooking" the other day on the Food Channel, and when she said the word "spatula", she ended it with an "r", like a Boston or New York "r", "spatulur...

Bloke

Is the word 'bloke' demeaning?

-A-Licious

Hi -a-licious seems to be some kind of productive suffix. What does it mean? Examples are: babe-a-licious font-a-licious gadget-a-licious Pope-a-licious pose-a-licious smell-a...

Spinning

To spin I spin we spin you spin you spin he spins she spins they spin it spins But, is the past tense spun or span? "Jenny span the wool at the spinning wheel", or "Jenny spun...

How Big Is A Tot?

The answer to this question seems to be very complex and to depend on the place and the point in history that you ask the question. 'Way back, when I was a National Serviceman...

Using The Word Discernable In A Sentence

Am I using the word 'discernable' correctly here: "the property of the fund must be identifable. If the property is mixed up with other property so that the property that makes...

Correct Paragraph Usage

Hi, I'm writing about three different characters. When I'm making a point and comparing the situation among the three characters, can I start a new paragraph once it starts getting...

Etymology Of Dolly (Platform)

According to Richard Weiner who pinch-hit some years ago for William Safire in the NY Times, "The probable origin {of "dolly" to mean platform} is not a child's word for a small...

Literary Device Used Frequently In "The...

Hi all, I just finished "The Da Vinci Code" and enjoyed it. However, speaking as a layman, I noticed that the author frequently used a literary device whose name I'm seeking. Basically...

Burberry Baseball Caps On Yobs?

The current Guardian Steve Bell cartoon is nominally about "yob" culture in the UK. One of the characters appears to be wearing a plaid baseball cap under his hood. Is this an...

Communication Problem... Two Versions...

In the following two passages, which one do you think is more clear with respect to communication. Multiple languages is also problematic in that it creates huge political issues...

Meaning Of Substance And Commercial Reality

hello if say a business is said to incur a debt when, by its choice, it does or neglects to do something which, as a matter of substance and commercial reality, renders it liable...

"Deathless Prose"

Can someone tell me what this expression means?
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