Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
21

"Brothers in arms" is an idiom and a fixed expression. We don't tend to use "in arms" except in this expression. "Brothers in arms" means men who are as close as brothers because they have fought alongside each other in a war. Jack and Arthur were infantrymen in the second world war. They both fought on the Beaches on D-day. After the war they met most ...


20

The word "open" here is NOT a verb. "To swing something open" is a verb phrase. In your case. it means he swings the plastic strip in a way that it makes the plastic strip open. To swing is the main verb, and open is the state the plastic strip is in after the action of swinging it.


20

That is pure nonsense. "Attendance" is a derivation from the root of the modern English word "attend," which goes back to Old French "atendre," which in turn goes back to Latin "attendere," meaning "to pay attention to." Like modern German and English, Latin made verbs by combining prepositions and root verbs. So "attendere" was formed by combining the ...


14

The "with me" part of the dialogue is very important. If I ask you, "Do you want to go to the zoo tomorrow?" and I am not planning to visit the zoo, then I could not use the verb come instead of go, unless I was the host of the event. (A zookeeper might say, "Do you want to come to the zoo tomorrow," but a friend who is not going along would not.) However,...


14

Your focus is slightly misdirected. I'm guessing you didn't consider "brothers in arms" because the article is about an actual brother. However, the word is actually part of an idiom. Here's an entry for arms: arm noun 1 Usually arms. weapons, especially firearms. (Dictionary.com) Now, in arms: in arms in British or under arms armed and ...


9

Yes, there is a basis for this tale. It's a spelling mnemonic - a little trick to help us remember how to spell attendance. There are other spelling mnemonics for various tricky English words. My favourite is Rhythm helps your two hips move, for a word that I've always found difficult. I figure attendance could be a tricky word for people learning ...


8

Brothers in arms is an idiom which means soldiers who are fighting on the same side. I think it is used figuratively. They play football like brothers (actually they are brothers too), as fighters and help each other and may be injured sometimes. Their father was also a player like them Here is a link which shows the meaning: https://www.dictionary.com/e/...


6

That's the right definition. I believe this is a contronym: An auto-antonym or autantonym, also called a contronym, contranym or Janus word, is a word with multiple meanings (senses) of which one is the reverse of another. For example, the word cleave can mean "to cut apart" or "to bind together". This phenomenon is called enantiosemy, enantionymy (...


6

No. "Attendance" comes from the Latin verb attendō, which means "I pay attention". There are actually three Latin roots in "attendance": ad-, meaning "toward" (cognate with English "at") -tend-, meaning "stretch" -antia, which makes an abstract noun out of another word, such as a verb The idea of "stretching toward" started in reference to aiming a bow and ...


6

Grammatically, I wash my teeth is quite correct. Idiomatically, it is not. People don't talk like that. As you note, the usual expression is to brush one's teeth because one usually uses a toothbrush to clean them. People sometimes use twigs and plants to clean their teeth when the usual equipment is lacking. But even then, wash isn't an easy fit. I ...


5

There are a number of ways you can say this. The phrase 'contrary to social convention' is going to be understood, but would not be a usual phrase. Rather than say "Having a child from a friend (who you are not married to)" it would be shorter and clearer to say "Having a child outside marriage" - the more traditional phrase of "outside wedlock" would ...


5

This is probably less about grammar and more about stylistics. John could have said: "Do you want to go to the zoo with me tomorrow?" and it would mean the same but it sounds a little unusual. He could also have simply said "Do you want to go to the zoo tomorrow?" - the fact it is together would be implied. He could also have said: Do you want to go with ...


4

The predicate in your sentence is "is" – not "fascinates". Let's restructure your thought and write it a different way: Cats fascinate us for many reasons. One is the popular belief that they have nine lives. That second sentence is essentially your sentence; however, in your sentence, you've added a clause between the subject (One) and the predicate (...


4

In both of your cases, you could call the medicine an anesthetic (or if you are using the British spelling, anaesthetic). We distinguish between the two kinds of anesthetics with an additional adjective. A general anesthetic makes a person unconscious, while a local anesthetic makes one part of their body numb. The phrase "anesthetic medicines", while not ...


4

"Byheart" as single word is restricted to Indian dialects of English, and so should be considered non-standard (ie incorrect) when speaking British or American English. The phrase "by heart" is quite common, but cannot be used as a verb. You should learn the play by heart. If someone told me to "You should byheart the play" I would probably be able to ...


3

They mean different things. Resources in English are in the English language. Resources on English are about the English language.


3

Per my now-deleted comment,... Singapore just happens to be located somewhere which is of strategic importance (in principle, it's the location that IS "strategic", rather than it having been a "strategic choice" to establish it there, though obviously the two "meanings / causes" overlap to some extent). Sure - in some contexts, to be situated / placed / ...


3

It depends on which variety of English you are talking. "A doubt" meaning "a question or problem" is almost confined to Indian English; and the use of "I am having" in this sense is also almost confined to Indian English. So "I am having a doubt" is found in Indian English, but rare anywhere else. [There are senses in which "I am having" is used in ...


3

You are right "to present" and "to gift" are rather formal present is most commonly used in the format "I present to you the award for..." In your sentence I would use give, give does mean a present, a gift I was going to give you another book Here is a warning: I am waiting for the 'but' at the end of that because of the 'was'. I was going to give ...


3

As a native speaker, I would use option 1. The inclusion of "away" in not obligatory and does not sound as pleasing to the ear. Although your Option 2 is semantically the same as option 1, and although there is no ambiguity about its meaning, the "away" is redundant and should not be included. Although the "away" is not required in this sentence, there ...


3

Your sentence, as written, doesn't really make sense either way because you are starting the sentence talking about multiple things but finishing it talking about just one. I would reword it. You could use your idea or break it into two sentences. There are other ideas. For instance, to take the bike.


3

They both sound equally natural to me.


3

Yes, it is natural, at least in U.S. English. It is, however, informal; some may say very informal. "Consult" has an implication of more than brief interaction and does not imply "need to gain consent." "Check with" implies something almost perfunctory in terms of time, but frequently implies "need to gain assent." Yes, Bobby may stay for dinner if he ...


3

Both usages occur; for example, in Boston (Massachusetts, USA), one refers to the lines of the “T” by color, so you might take a train on the “Blue line”; similarly in London (England), where the Underground/tube lines have names, so your train might be on the “Bakerloo line”, and in New York (New York, USA), where you ...


2

I agree that "smug" and "self-satisfied" do essentially mean the same thing. Obviously, nobody but the author of that particular example in the dictionary can explain the reasoning behind their choice to use both. However, I can tell you that it isn't unusual to use a pair of synonyms in the same sentence, sometimes for emphasis. For example "snug and warm"...


2

I think that’s a good choice, especially noting that the senator remarked “Armed individuals threatened me. It was proportional. Equal force, equal response.” You could say it’s a bit of wordplay. However, as the entry shows, you can/should use to to indicate what it’s relative to. For example, I think his reaction was disproportionate to the ...


2

It's fine, although I think you need to better define what reaction was disproportionate, and how it was disproportionate. For example: Drawing a handgun and firing randomly into the crowd seems like a disproportionate response to the level of threat. It doesn't seem like he was in any real danger. Also I think you mean to say "handled", not "lead". ...


2

"Make somebody something" has two quite different meanings: Create the something for the somebody (eg "Make me a sandwich") Cause the somebody to become the something (eg "Make me a tennis-player"). Very occasionally there could be ambiguity between these, but in most cases the meaning is clear depending on whether the "something" is something that a ...


2

Embryo and fetus are used as technical terms in science. An unborn child is called an embryo for the first 9 weeks after fertilization, and a fetus (or foetus) starting in the 10th week. In general terms, an embryo is the stage between being a ball of cells (a zygote) and having all the organs formed. A fetus looks like a small baby, an embryo looks ...


2

A few points in addition to the answer by user Rob Lambden. It is more usual to say "conventions" rather than "convention" in this construction. Also, since social conventions are specific to a particular society, and often to a particular society at a particular time or in a particular era, it is better to specify the context of the conventions intended. ...


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