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.

18m
answered "What does the weather look like" or "what is the weather like"?
18h
comment "Each of us will tell you our own side ___ the story"?
@user2738698 - "to" can work in some contexts: there's another side to this story, e.g., would be grammatically correct. But I think "of" is the better preposition in this case.
19h
comment What'd be a good term for a female correspondant to "a stud"?
@Konrad - The word stud can be used in both ways. Perhaps you should edit your question and explicitly state which sense of the word you are concerned about.
19h
comment How to remind a professor about sending papers to read?
@O.R.Mapper - I suppose you're right – those words could be interpreted in more than one way. (A better way to say it might be: "It's been almost a week, so maybe it's slipped your mind?") In any case, I'd hope most professors would be thankful for the reminder and not read too much into it.
1d
awarded Nice Answer
1d
comment Word choice - Way of / to / for
@jihoon - I recommend you carefully study your questions that were received favorably (like this one), and compare them to the ones that are being downvoted (like this one). Do you see a pattern? I do. When you carefully articulate your source of confusion, people appreciate the effort that went into your question. But when you simply type out two sentences, and ask "Which one of these is better?" the reaction is more negative. You should learn from that, and adjust your questions accordingly.
1d
comment Here, Came to hate / had come to hate
@DJ - Excellent word suggestion! You can shorten that, too, by saying, "We became incompatible."
1d
comment How to remind a professor about sending papers to read?
Spot on. In fact, the O.P. has practically written the email already, in this question – simply change the pronouns: You told me you would send me some papers to read. It's been almost a week, so I assume you've forgotten. That needs just a few more words to wrap it up: Could you please send them when you get a chance? Thanks.
1d
comment In what cases it is correct to say "in the school"?
The phrase "in the school" can mean "inside the school [buildiing]." Last week there was a flood. There was a lot of damage in the fire station, but not much damage at all in the school.
1d
comment a joyous and restful three days -- a three days?
@F.E. - It seems we both agree this is a very good question. I'm guessing that you've upvoted the question – just like I have. And it would indeed be a bad thing if a learner came by, saw the high upvote totals here, and erroneously believed I had solved the mystery and settled the matter. I also hope you leave an answer to this question soon. (I don't mean that as a snide remark; it seems like you've given this quite a bit of thought, and I'm curious about how you'd summarize your conclusions. Your p. 339 comment above seems like a good start.)
1d
comment Is there any word to describe a girl who is "soft and tender"
Odd. I would have guessed that "tender and soft" referred not to physical looks, but to demeanor (i.e., tender-hearted and soft-spoken). Of course, that's why I asked for more clarification, too.
1d
comment a joyous and restful three days -- a three days?
@F.E. - I don't mind the downvote, but the question does read: "after joyous and restful three days, I left this beautiful city. Does that sentence now sound wrong to you?" I answered that part of the question quite directly. I understand the real crux of the matter precedes that ("can you think of a rule that I could utilize to tell whether I actually need one?"), but I don't think that every answer needs to address every facet of a question in order to be useful.
1d
comment "nearby" (close by) as an adjective, a preposition, or an adverb
As for the "very bad habit" of using dictionaries for grammar info, I've tried very hard in my comments to avoid prescriptivism, to not declare that nearby the station is outright wrong. All I've done is echo Man_from_India's caution about using nearby as a preposition. I realize that word usage can change over time (fun as an adjective, e.g.), and that dictionaries can be slow to catch up. But I also think it's bad to pay no mind what dictionaries say, particularly when you steadfastly ignore what they say in the context of formal writing.
1d
comment What does it smell like? or How does it smell?
@Jay - I agree there's some degree of interchangeability here. But the O.P. seemed to ask about subtle difference in nuance, which is why I answered the way I did. Still, your comments help tell the complete story.
1d
comment Is there any word to describe a girl who is "soft and tender"
Can you give more information about what you mean by "soft and tender?" That would help.
1d
comment "nearby" (close by) as an adjective, a preposition, or an adverb
@F.E. - If you and I were having a beer, and you said, "There's a hole-in-the-wall nearby this place that has great chicken wings, wanna go get some?" I'd say, "I'm in," and we'd talk about food, not grammar. If you asked me to proofread a paper where you wrote, "There was an infection nearby the lesion," I'd cross out the word nearby with my red pen and write near atop it. I'd probably get an argument from you, but I would stand by my advice – take it or leave it. As for books, I given two links to Google books now, I think those speak volumes on the subject (pun intended).
1d
comment a joyous and restful three days -- a three days?
@WinnieNicklaus - I think Chenmunka's answer addresses that part of the question.
1d
comment Correct use of "immaculate" in a compliment
Perhaps you should elaborate by telling us why you think that expression might be inappropriate. Also, tell us more about the circumstances. Is this woman your boss? A stranger in a cafe? A clerk at a store? Your sister's best friend? Many words can be suitable in some contexts yet highly inappropriate in others. (And please don't do so by responding in a comment down here, do so by editing your question.)
1d
comment I've learned or I learned correct usage
To continue that thought, the only way you'd include the age in the present perfect tense is if you're still at that age (and are perhaps boasting about the achievement a little bit), as in: I've learned to ride a bicycle and I'm still just five!
1d
revised I've learned or I learned correct usage
Neither is correct with a lower-case "i"
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