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"Who should I say is calling?"


50

As far as politeness goes, the following examples, along with what JeremyC has already suggested, would also be some of the safest ways to ask people for their names when talking with them over the phone: Could you please tell me who I'm speaking with? May I ask who's calling? Would you mind telling who's talking?


20

"Improbably" would be acceptable here, if you surround it with commas: Yeah, unless, improbably, I have a visitor. Most of the time, though, the sentence is more natural if you put the description of probability at the end, like this: Yeah, unless I have a visitor — not very likely. That's basically short for this, the clearest but not the ...


20

If software is тормоз because too many poorly implemented features have been added, then it is "bloated." This bloating might be the result of feature creep, as many 'small' features get added on one after another. Software that has suffered from this problem ends up being called bloatware. If it is тормоз because it is poorly written, and needs to be re-...


18

Can you say traffic lights "turned red for ten minutes" According to the dictionary: turn (verb) to become changed, altered, or transformed, such as to change color : the weather turned Source: "turn" definition 5a, intransitive verb. merriam-webster.com So, yes, it is acceptable to say a light was red for 10 minutes this way. As a verb, "turn"...


18

In my experience, "Who is this?" is generally perceived as more polite than "Who are you?" or similar. I don't have a good reason for it. There are other more-polite forms, as noted in the other answers, but "Who is this?" is direct, reasonable, and unlikely to offend.


16

A software application that is relatively small in size, works quickly, and probably has a somewhat limited feature set could be referred to as lightweight. So more full-featured software that moves slower is, by contrast, heavy. But usually you don't hear that usage; "lightweight" is the more common term. I think the best term is for you situation is ...


15

"turned red for" is perfectly appropriate in the context of "became red and stayed that way for a time period" Here are a few more example of "turned red for" He furrowed his eyebrows and I thought his eyes turned red for a moment. Three times between July and October 1933, six of the white beads turned red for a short time. The Ice turned Red briefly for ...


14

In the specific example you pose, the second speaker is indicating that they aren't expecting a visitor to appear and interrupt their plans, but doesn't want to rule out the possibility. If I were in this situation, I'd say: "Yeah, unless I have an unexpected visitor." This both implies that you cannot know if a visitor will come, and also suggests that ...


12

There is no hard rule here. People can and do use both methods. In casual speech people will frequently count by whole weeks, and round up. The listener will accept the ambiguity, as a precise count of days is probably unimportant. But if there is reason to emphasize the precise number of days that have past, you can give a number of days instead. In some ...


12

Sluggish, as in "Microsoft Word is very sluggish", or "Compared to Linux, Windows runs sluggishly". Merriam-Webster: 1 averse to activity or exertion :indolent; also :torpid 2 slow to respond (as to stimulation or treatment) 3 a :markedly slow in movement, flow, or growth b :economically inactive ...


11

"Phrasal verbs" are very common in English and have been around for a long time. Some are very old, some are recent inventions. Each has its own history and usage. Some of them are entirely acceptable in all registers: okAristotle refers to the effect of ethos and pathos on an audience. okI'm pretty sure that SOB was referring to me when he said that....


11

You correctly understand that this use of this is not Standard, and is not employed in formal discourse; and I agree with you that the demonstrative pronoun jars in this context, whether you understand there as a dummy pronoun or a demonstrative pro-adverb. The fact is that this is used here not as a demonstrative but as a sort of article with something of ...


10

A very common one (at least in the United States) is to say that "A gave B a/the cold shoulder." The implication here is that A has agency over whom she chooses to interact with, and elected to literally and/or figuratively turn her back on B - paying virtually no attention to B at all. This is not necessarily in the context of B trying to "pick up" A, but ...


10

Formally, questions often start with "does" or "do" - does anyone know where my hat is? Do you want a cup of tea? The verb (e.g. "know", "want") is the base (infinitive) form. In informal conversation the do/does at the start is often omitted, but the verb remains in the base form. Thus your teacher is correct.


9

None of these uses is "slang", which is language (typically words and phrases rather than syntactical constructions) currently fashionable among a relatively small speech community (typically young people). We entertainers for "We are entertainers" is dialect, African-American Vernacular. You mad for "Are you mad" is a sort of ellipsis called '...


9

As your answer hints, after two weeks have elapsed, we can look at this in one of two ways. We can either indicate how long you have been living there: I have been living here for two weeks. or else we can say it with a more forward-looking slant: I'm entering into my third week of living here. However we would not say: I have been living here ...


8

As @snailboat comments, OP is mishearing you're better off... (contracted form of you are better off). Note that the speaker happens to use present tense here. But he could just as naturally use future tense (so you will be better off) or conditional (so you would be better off). In rapid speech both of these may be indistinguishable from so you be better ...


8

Informal English sometimes uses what's called a "double negative" for emphasis, putting words like "ain't" and "nobody" together to reinforce how strong the negative is. ("Negative concord" is a more precise, but much less common, term for this.) Here, the quoted character is strongly protesting how little he desires to fight someone with a baby — this ...


8

This is called conversational deletion. To quote the excellent answer from JLawler, (quote from Thrasher, Randolph H. Jr. 1974. Shouldn't Ignore These Strings: A Study of Conversational Deletion, Ph.D. Dissertation, Linguistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) The phenomenon can be viewed as erosion of the beginning of sentences, deleting (some, ...


8

We could say "it runs like a dog". On phrases.org.uk: Re the phrase - "my computer is 'running like a dog'". I understand this to mean that my computer is running very slowly. Anything that is 'running like a dog' means it is slow. On the ELU SE: I've used the phrase "runs like a dog" to mean that my car is on its last legs and can't, sometimes, run ...


7

It's a contracted, or shortened, form of "them" that's used in conversation, much in the same way that "gonna" is often used to mean "going to". In your quote, there should be a space, so: "Let's kick 'em." The apostrophe is to show a contraction. So yes, it's correct to use, and often used in conversation. However, if you are writing it, it should only ...


7

This isn't necessarily informal English. I'm making up my own term but it's appropriate to call it "instructor-speech"... It's extremely common for someone teaching how to do something (baking, painting, driving etc...) to use "want to" and "going to" to describe the appropriate action or choice in a situation. Because it's a how-to situation, they are ...


7

It' s OK. Relax. Remember to breathe. 1) Tell them to "Hold the sauce on the other." It means I don't want sauce on the other. It's common usage in a restaurant. 2) This is fine. 3) Americans respond a lot to non-verbal language such as nods of the head. Some cultures spend a lot of time in the morning saying "Good Morning..How are you..blah, blah." Most ...


7

A quick look at MiCase shows a difference in usage. Better + infinitive follows the impersonal it: It is better to take a bus at night. It is better for the school to offer more courses. Better + off + gerund is used after nouns and personal pronouns: I am better off taking a bus at night. The school is better off offering more courses.


7

In informal speech, pronouns may sometimes be removed in sentences, together with some other words, especially copulas and auxiliaries: [Have you] ever been there? [I'm] going to the shops. [Do you] want to come? Seen on signs: [I am/We are] out to lunch; [I/we will be] back at 1:00 [P.M]. In speech, when pronouns are not dropped, they are more ...


7

A British English speaker would probably say either Leave it to me or I'll take care of that.


6

Basically, you can have people call you whatever name you want. If you introduce yourself, you can either state your legal name, followed by how you want to be called (appropriate for semi-formal settings, like starting a new job) "My name is FirstName LastName, but you can call me NickName." in informal settings, just give your nickname: "Hi, I'm ...


6

Here are some more American phrases, I don't know for sure if they apply elsewhere. She just tuned him out. This implies that she ignored him, possibly without even responding to him in any way. Similar to give the cold shoulder. She wouldn't give him the time of day. This implies that she rejected him dismissively, or again possibly ignored his ...


6

I would add: Mike was trying to pick her up at the party yesterday but she just blew him off. See blow off, possibly 8) and blow someone off - to ignore someone in order to end a romantic or other relationship. She knew that he had blown her off when he didn't even call her for a month. Steve blew off Rachel before he started seeing Jane. This ...


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