J.R.

United States

"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me to do so." (Sherlock Holmes)

I sometimes enjoy embedding puns and subtle self-references into many of my answers and comments.

Remember, context is everything.


Never make the mistake of thinking that a tiny preposition has only one meaning.

3h
asked Are there any objections to Winter Bash hats?
3h
comment Shot His Way Into
Yes, not every usage will be found in a dictionary.
3h
comment How do 'days' and other non-living things 'observe'?
I agree with your first paragraph, with one exception: The dishwasher is running. The verb run has several meanings; only a few of them require moving legs. Politicians run for office, thoughts run through our brains, refrigerators run day and night, water runs when we turn the faucet on, and rivers run downstream. That said, if you changed your example to something like, "The dishwasher is screaming" (when it's making a loud noise), I think that might be a better example of "ascribing animate behavior to inanimate objects."
12h
revised What does it mean when a dictionary says something is "not a viable sentence"
deleted 74 characters in body
12h
revised What does it mean when a dictionary says something is "not a viable sentence"
title made it look like you were asking for the meaning of viable
12h
comment How do 'days' and other non-living things 'observe'?
@Jon - I didn't mean to be nit-picky; let me explain my comment. You made a broad statement – Don't use journalistic writing as good, exemplary English – and one of our highest-rep users praised that as "wonderful." I'm worried about the scores of learners who come by and read your answer. For the next several months, they may be inclined to dismiss any unusual wording in a news article as "just journalists being journalists," until one day they realize that some of this non-standard usage is not merely acceptable, it's downright brilliant. Then they might conclude, "Hmm, I can't trust ELL."
15h
comment How do 'days' and other non-living things 'observe'?
I don't think that's quite right; I don't think "intellect" has anything to do with it. I think it's more a matter of how the words have evolved and are used. Do you follow me? (Notice how it would be wrong to ask, "Do you trail me?" because, even though follow and trail are synonyms in many contexts, they can't be used interchangeably here.)
15h
comment How do 'days' and other non-living things 'observe'?
RE: "journalists tend to twist language into knots and change the use as they see fit: don't take the writing of a journalist as a reflection of the English Language" – I disagree with your advice and your conclusion. While some journalists may indeed "twist" very poorly, others do it quite adroitly, and author some exemplary English. (The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic are two examples where the English is generally extraordinarily good.) Had you said, "Some journalists butcher the language; you need to be careful," I might agree, but you've thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
15h
answered How to say it right: "Do you know where Liz lives?"
15h
comment How do 'days' and other non-living things 'observe'?
You can use the word saw in that context (Thursday saw a huge crowd gathered outside the headquarters; the industry saw a 300% growth, etc.), but I don't believe synonyms of see (such as observe) are used in this context. I'll be interested to see if anyone can find any notable, credible exceptions. As for using see, that is meanings #8 & #10 in Collins, or meanings #8 & #9 in Macmillan.
1d
comment Usage of "Dislodge"
This question appears to be off-topic because it is based on a faulty premise; namely, a single dictionary definition that has a restriction not included in other dictionary definitions.
1d
comment Is “just finished to” right?
Can you give examples of the other three possibilities? I think that would be helpful.
1d
comment Is “just finished to” right?
You're correct, although it may be worth adding that we could strike the word reading, and the sentence would still mean the same thing and be grammatically correct: "I just finished the book."
1d
answered Grasp the stakes meaning
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comment Is "tnetennba" a real word?
What's your definition of a "real word"? Is _borogoves_ a real word?
1d
comment What does "nailed down" mean in this context?
Four close votes, but zero links to a dictionary. Before a fifth person casts a close vote, take this challenge: I'll show you a link to a dictionary; you tell me which of those three meanings coincide with the O.P.'s context: Link to nail down in Collins. This is a fair question (although it would have been better had the O.P. included a few definitions found on their own, with a comment along the lines of "None of these seem right.")
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comment What does "nailed down" mean in this context?
@DavidRicherby - There are many reasons people might want to leave a helpful comment, and not necessarily spend time writing a full-blown answer. Please stop leaving that response to helpful, valid comments.
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comment English - Grammar
Also: meta.ell.stackexchange.com/questions/735/…
2d
comment How can I describe a low temperature that doesn't actually feel cold?
You're trying to describe the temperature. Perhaps you would have more luck describing your condition: I became acclimated to the cold.
2d
comment "I hate red color" or "I hate red": why exactly is the first option ungrammatical
@moonring - Sometimes we speak without giving much thoughts to parts of speech. I suppose if I was forced to parse it, I would say that "red" is an adjective modifying "color." After all, in that context, "I hate the red color" could be shortened to, "I hate the color." But I'm not 100% sure about which word is the adjective.
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