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The way in which English is spoken, either formally or informally. As opposed to written usage.

2
votes
A little more context explains this: But I think there are some deeper things going on to do, you know, deep within the human psyche, to do with an unwillingness to face up to the severity of what …
answered Feb 19 '14 by StoneyB
4
votes
One stock phrase is the exception which proves the rule. Be careful using this phrase, however. Most people think it means that the presence of an exception “proves” the rule in the primary modern se …
answered Jul 3 '14 by StoneyB
3
votes
Your sentence is fine and natural. Changing had to to would is also natural, but it does change the meaning slightly: The original, all he had to do (which might be paraphrased as ‘the only thing he …
answered Jul 8 '14 by StoneyB
15
votes
They're all fine, as is simply restating without comment: He’s going to school— she’s going to school at Princeton. On this site it may be worth observing that nobody expects spoken English to b …
answered Feb 7 '13 by StoneyB
4
votes
In this case there is no need to 'backshift' tomorrow because the report and the original occur on the same day: tomorrow is the 'next day' with respect to both. If you said 'the next day' you would c …
answered Dec 9 '14 by StoneyB
3
votes
"“Go on!” Shouted from the platform, almost angry. Shouted from the platform here is not a “speech tag”. It is not even a part of the same sentence as the spoken utterance Go on!; that’s why it s …
answered Jul 24 '17 by StoneyB
18
votes
Yourn is a dialect form of yours—it has the same -n affix as mine, which shows up in the corresponding dialect forms hisn, hern, ourn. That sorrel of yourn = That sorrel of yours. So Shark is express …
answered Aug 23 '17 by StoneyB
5
votes
You will very often—perhaps more often than not!—find speakers starting out in one syntactic direction and then changing that direction as their thoughts become clearer. That seems to be what is happe …
answered Nov 12 '16 by StoneyB
5
votes
In Present-day US English you may go for years—I mean that quite literally—without hearing shan’t. The only people likely to say it are those with a taste for pre-WWII British literature who have pick …
answered Apr 7 '13 by StoneyB
7
votes
The difference between formal and informal registers lies in the rules which are followed, not the medium of delivery. They are for all practical purposes different dialects of the language. Formal …
answered Mar 21 '13 by StoneyB