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Total seems to be more number-transparent than "lot" and "rest" and even "number". It has about the same "weight" as "number".

Take "group" as an example of a normal grouping noun A group of candidates is standing.
A group is standing.
"Total" is different
A total of six candidates are standing.
*A total is standing.
*A total are standing.
But it is fine to say
The rest of the candidates are standing.
The rest are standing
A whole lot of candidates are running.
The whole lot appeared.
A number of Socialists are standing.
A number are standing this year.
In fact "total" may be a worse grouping noun than "number". A total of six candidates is standing.
The total is two more than last year.
Here total does not refer to the collection of candidates, but to the numerical aspect of the total. Perhaps the units are conceptually carried along though.
There is something strange about this grouping noun "total".

Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also.
Did that cause offense? I don't see how, I was searching for a metaphor you might readily understand. Did I get the baseball strategy wrong?

Hmm possibly. A particularly gifted runner might bunt for a base hit in that situation, planning to steal second, particularly if the score is tied.

Jeez! I looked up the baseball definition of 'bunt' in COD 10:

bunt3 /bVnt/
· v.

1 Baseball (of a batter) gently tap (a pitched ball) so that it does notroll beyond the infield.
and am lost. Do I now take it that to call an American a "bunter" is a fairly serious insult? Here, it's a reference to Billy Bunter, who was a fat, greedy little pig of a public (read private) schoolboy whose secret passion was food hampers whose contents were eaten in the dorm at midnight, and who shouted "yarough" when disciplined. Hardly a mortal insult.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Quiet part of Hertfordshire
England
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Jeez! I looked up the baseball definition of 'bunt' in COD 10: bunt3 /bVnt/ · v. 1 Baseball (of a ... and am lost. Do I now take it that to call an American a "bunter" is a fairly serious insult?

No, it just doesn't make any sense, unless he plays baseball; in the latter case it's merely descriptive. Maybe what you're missing is that bunting is a deliberate tactic*. The idea is to force the fielders to run towards the ball, rather than letting it come to them. This takes time; enough time, if you're successful, to keep them from throwing out another runner (sacrifice bunt) or, if you happen to be very fast, perhaps even enough to keep them from throwing *you out (bunt for a base hit).
Hmm possibly. A particularly gifted runner might bunt for ... planning to steal second, particularly if the score is tied.

Jeez! I looked up the baseball definition of 'bunt' in COD 10: bunt3 /bVnt/ · v. 1 Baseball (of a ... and am lost. Do I now take it that to call an American a "bunter" is a fairly serious insult?

A bunt is a strategic play. You would not call a baseball player a bunter just because he is able to successfully bunt where the strategy of the game calls for it. Some players are good bunters because they are able to do it well. Actually, it's a rather difficult thing to do. A pitched ball travels at somewhere between 70mph and 100mph. The batter must change his stance and meet the ball with a dead bat and propel the ball with some accuracy.
The bunt is usually employed when the batter wishes to advance a runner already on base so that the base runner is in a better scoring position. Sometimes the batter bunts just to get on base himself.

In many cases, the bunt is a sacrifice play. The batter expects to be thrown out, but bunts to advance another runner.
Here, it's a reference to Billy Bunter, who was a
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You are safe on this one, you would only get a confused look. A bunt is an intentional action, not the result of swinging hard and having the ball move forward only a few feet.
The batter changes his stance and places the bat in front with no swing at all, intending the ball will hit the bat and dribble ten or fifteen feet forward. This will place it a medium distance away from all of the infielders and fast runner may make it to first base safely with a well placed bunt. A medium runner may be out, but any runners already on base can advance.
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hmm possibly. A particularly gifted runner might bunt for ... planning to steal second, particularly if the score is tied.

Jeez! I looked up the baseball definition of 'bunt' in COD 10: bunt3 /bVnt/ · v. 1 Baseball (of a ... and am lost. Do I now take it that to call an American a "bunter" is a fairly serious insult?

Nope. (And Carmen didn't call Eric a bunter, either.) I can't tell why Eric performed a non-hypocoristic plonk, but maybe he's explained already.
Now I gather that in some dialects of British English, calling someone a "silly bunt" would be an insult.
Here, it's a reference to Billy Bunter, who was a fat, greedy little pig of a public (read private) schoolboy whose secret passion was food hampers whose contents were eaten in the dorm at midnight, and who shouted "yarough" when disciplined. Hardly a mortal insult.

Was the pronunciation of "yarough" known?

Jerry Friedman
It's yaroo, not yarough. His other catchphrase was, "Oh crikey". m.
Jeez! I looked up the baseball definition of 'bunt' in ... call an American a "bunter" is a fairly serious insult?

Nope. (And Carmen didn't call Eric a bunter, either.) I can't tell why Eric performed a non-hypocoristic plonk, but maybe he's explained already.

He didn't perform any plonk. In fact, he wrote, in effect, that such plonk would have been incoherently and delusionally silly, or words to that effect. He just announced that he would stop reading certain posts.
Now I gather that in some dialects of British English, calling someone a "silly bunt" would be an insult.

True not only now, but even before now.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Now I gather that in some dialects of British English, calling someone a "silly bunt" would be an insult.

That's a direct quote from the Monty Python travel agent sketch with the man who couldn't pronounce the letter C, so he replaced it with the letter B. There is quite a variety of versions as it was done live in different formats. Here's one version (sadly missing Keeble Bollege Oxford). The line you want is at the end:

Mr. Bounder: Anyway, ehm, you're interested in one of our holidays, are you?
Mr. Smoketoomuch: Yes, that's right. I saw your advert in the blassified ads.
Mr. Bounder: The what?
Mr. Smoketoomuch: In The Times Blassified Ads.
Mr. Bounder: Ah, The Times Classified Ads.
Mr. Smoketoomuch: Yes, that's right. I'm afraid I have a speech impediment. I can't pronounce the letter B.
Mr. Bounder: Uh, C.
Mr. Smoketoomuch: Yes, that's right, B. It's all due to a trauma I suffered when I was a sboolboy. I was attacked by a Siamese bat.

Mr. Bounder: Uh, ah, a Siamese cat.
Mr. Smoketoomuch: No, a Siamese bat. They're more dangerous.

Mr. Bounder: Listen...can you say the letter K?
Mr. Smoketoomuch: Oh, yes. Khaki, kettle, Kipling, Khomeini, Kellog's Born Flakes.
Mr. Bounder: Well, why don't you say the letter K instead of the letter C?
Mr. Smoketoomuch: What, you mean, pronounce "blassified" with a K?

Mr. Bounder: Yes, absolutely!
Mr. Smoketoomuch: Klassified!
Mr. Bounder: Good!
Mr. Smoketoomuch: Oh, it's very good! I never thought of that before. What a silly bunt.
Here, it's a reference to Billy Bunter, who was a ... and who shouted "yarough" when disciplined. Hardly a mortal insult.

Was the pronunciation of "yarough" known?

Ya-roo. I would have spelt it more like that as well. He also said "Leggo" when Mr Quirk had hold of his fat ear.

David
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