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12:15 AM
Interesting question over on the dark side!
Q: Is "now" a "preposition"?

RathonyMy question starts from this question which asks about difference between currently and right now, which is not that complicated. However, in the middle of exchanging comments, I found a few points in relation to classifying adverbs and prepositions that I would like to ask here. Wikipedia (I ...

(earlier comment removed because it was one of my comments, not a post!)
A good one for an ELL modern grammar aficionado?
6 hours later…
5:56 AM
Surely depends on what grammar we choose to use.
But it's an interesting question anyway.
Thanks for the sharing, @Araucaria!
@CopperKettle I've heard that the brain is even more complex than the galaxy.
6:53 AM
But the choice between grammars is non-arbitrary. When a grammar describes something, in a sense it's a hypothesis. It has to relate to the actual grammar of the language in some way – ideally it should be the simplest explanation that correctly accounts for what we observe
You might choose based on values other than theoretical simplicity, though. The author of a pedagogical grammar might value how easy something is to learn over how theoretically sound it is. Sometimes you might choose a simplification that doesn't quite fit the facts but usually works – at least if you make it clear that's what you're doing.
Still, the choice is non-arbitrary. We should have some criteria for putting things in bucket A or bucket B.
And it's quite possible that a grammar which puts words in bucket A is less useful than one which puts the same words in bucket B.
7:12 AM
BTW, Lao Tzu's quotes are always good to hear every once in a while:
I think it's a translation of 知,不知,上; 不知,知,病 (literal translation: [know, not know, above; not know, know, sick]). — Damkerng T. 1 hour ago
The translation (To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty) kinda ruins its succinct quality a bit.
7:27 AM
知不知上,不知知病。 is super terse
A lot of that sort of Classical Chinese is, I think, pretty cryptic if you haven't been taught its meaning explicitly
Kinda Zenish, I think. :-)
Q: Are there other ways of saying "To welcome someone to do something?"

ThemacdaddynycI realize that by using "to welcome" as a verb followed immediately by a to infinitive like "to do something" is grammatically incorrect and oddly phrased. Say - "I welcome [someone] to [do something]" How would you restructure the sentence to make it sound right?

The OP seems to mix up two things together: grammatical correctness and the quality of natural sounding
8:01 AM
Wow, that's quite an effort to translate a few verses!
It's the future!
But to think that it can run only on the solar power!
$9.5 million. Hehe!
I wonder how wide it is.
Now I have an idea!
> Hon.Chief Minister Mr.Oommen Chandy inaugurated the 12 MWp solar power plant, on 18th August 2015, comprising of 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres near cargo complex. Now, Cochin airport's solar power plant is producing 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions, which technically make the airport ‘ absolutely power neutral ‘.
> nspired by the success of the above plants, CIAL decided to set up a larger scale 12MWp solar PV plant as part of its green initiatives. This was set up in an area of about 45 acres near the International Cargo complex. The work has been awarded to M/s Bosch Ltd. The project components include PV modules of 265Wp capacity manufactured by Renesola, and Inverters of 1MW capacity manufactured by ABB India.
A-ha! It's ABB again!
8:32 AM
Q: What's the difference between as a or as the: "As the bundle developer, you are to do so-and-so"

Turdaliev NursultanWhile reading documentation I came across the following sentence: As the bundle developer, you then parse through that configuration and load correct services and parameters inside an "Extension" class. Shouldn't this be As a or As the is also correct? When should I say As a and when As the?

@DamkerngT. cool picture!
"As the bundle developer, you then parse through that configuration and load correct services and parameters inside an "Extension" class."
(I wonder if this sentence would sound okay to a native speaker)
I'm fine with that the, but I'm not sure about the word "bundle".
I'm not familiar with the term "bundle developer".
a person who is charged with the task of developing a bundle of software?
(That's why I keep myself away from that question.)
Probably, but it's in the documentation.
(Though we could document anything, I suppose.)
It could be documentation stipulating how a bundle of software should be developed.
8:37 AM
The use of the seems to be okay even when the person's capacity is unique.
"I hope that as the president, you actively seek out opportunities to expand peaceful relations and alliances with countries who we are currently friendly and those..."
(google books)
Good afternoon, Araucaria!
I think it doesn't have to be unique, though I think it's quite likely that it's going to be unique in the OP's context.
Heh, that's cool! But I thought that AI was Adobe Illustrator at first. :P
Q: Which one is better

Rayan AhmedI am going to write a poster regarding a Dominican issue. Which one is better grammatically and naturally? I’M DOMINICAN AND I'M PROUD or I’M DOMINICAN AND PROUD

People seem to think that "I'm proud" doesn't sound right, that is it has to be "I'm proud of it".
> Roxanne put her arm around me and calmly whispered in my ear, “Tell her, ‘I’m Indian and I’m proud.’”
> "The fans were awesome," said Woffinden. "I felt so special when my name was called. It sent goose bumps down my back, it was a moment to savour. It's my home Grand Prix, I'm British and I'm proud.
> ... that isn’t encompassed in the expression, “I’m American and I’m Proud!” or “I’m Scots-Irish (or Irish, German, Polish, Danish, etc.) and I’m Proud!”?
Nice! I thought one had to add of it but now I see that one may omit it.
Q: American english

joseph sangA man was created first what of a woman? Because the bible says, then a woman came from man's ribs. Meaning the woman not created but crafted .

Strange title on that question.
9:05 AM
I found another example of 'I'm Australian and I'm proud': wattpad.com/54150665-one-direction-lolz-proud-to-be-australian, too.
A: Is there a word for someone who says prayers?

JayThe word "prayer" means "a person who prays". See http://www.thefreedictionary.com/prayer, definition 2. (The third block, not #2 under one of the first two blocks.) Note that when spoken, "prayer" as a person is pronounced pray-er or pray-or, two syllables, while "prayer" as the thing you say i...

I upvoted this answer. It's strange that other answers didn't mention the word "prayer" itself!
Odd philosophical discussion I and Ahmad had, yesterday.
I've seen that block, but haven't read it.
I hope it didn't get out of hand.
@Dam can you give me a good definition of 'distribution in sentence'?
@DamkerngT. Not at all.
9:17 AM
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. Good!
It was fun for me. I hope it was fun for @Copper and @Ahmad as well.
I have no idea about the distribution in sentence. Could you give me more context?
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. It was nice.
@DamkerngT. Something from CGEL:
> The head, normally obligatory, plays the primary role in determining the distribution
of the phrase, i.e. whereabouts in sentence structure it can occur. Note, then, that while
his guilt and that he was guilty can both function as subject they differ in other aspects of
their distribution - we can have, for example, The news that he was guilty was devastating,
but not *The news his guilt was devastating (we need a preposition: The news of his guilt
was devastating), and this difference is attributable to the fact that the head of the former
Hmm... that makes distribution sound like a technical term.
9:20 AM
It is.
Seems like.
It seems to be mentioned on page 86.
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. the head is was?
@CopperKettle Yes.
"The news that he was guilty was devastating" - but here, the head is a noun? O_o
I actually read a couple of hundred pages of CGEL, but forgot this isssue with "heads". It evaporated out of my head.
I'm thinking that "distribution" could mean "possible combinations".
9:26 AM
Anytime now @Snail flies in with her cape.
9:52 AM
The fact that "as" appears before the article makes no difference to whether you should use "a" or "the". The question would be exactly the same if you wanted to know the difference between "The bundle developer's job is to develop bundles" and "A bundle developer's job is to develop bundles." — David Richerby 9 mins ago
(oops, if that's true I'll have to scrap my answer)
@Dam I have another question I may ask somewhere.
@CopperKettle I think it's true, but his comment is not about "as X" without any article. Your answer is good, too, imho.
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. What's the question? Is it about language?
@DamkerngT. Yeah, but it may be ELU-ish.
You could ask on either site, I think, then.
> Why are the pronunciations of "bi-" different in "bicycles" and "binoculars"?
10:01 AM
Sounds like an ELU question. :-)
Haven't yet done any research though.
bi-cy-cles (second syllable: open) and bi-no-cu-lars (second syllable: open).. Hm...
Oh, but the stress falls differently
bicycles and binoculars
bicycles (bee-sai-kles)
Everything on the Net is about "bicycles" vs. "tricycles" vs. "unicycles". :/
binoculars (bye-noculars)
It seems that the difference in stress positioning makes us change the pronunciation.
Do words have stress on different syllables in Persian, I wonder.
Hmm, yeah, seems legit. Still asking.
@CopperKettle Yes, I haven't studied it, but it certainly exists.
10:14 AM
In Russian, stress can fall anywhere. On the first vowel or on the final, or on some other. But you are not free to choose, of course.
I hate it when people niggle about "incorrect" stressing of some words like "pozvonit" (to make a call). Whether it's pozvonish or pozvonish. Who cares; if simple folk uses both pronunciations, they are both okay.
The idea that they're different because of the difference in stressing is good. I think it's precisely the reason.
It could be, and I'll mention it in my question.
See you later!
So the answer would elaborate on the matter.
Q: Why on earth are binoculars pronounced as /bɪˈnɒk.jʊ.ləz/ instead of /baɪˈnɒk.jʊ.ləz/?

user19341I once pronounced binoculars as /baɪˈnɒk.jʊ.ləz/ and my friend told me that it is supposed to be pronounced as /bɪˈnɒk.jʊ.ləz/ I didn't believe him as I was very sure that the prefix bi- is pronounced as /baɪ-/ instead of /bɪ-/ and so should the word binoculars until ...

Oh. Then we should find another example. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
Oh. I can't find another example.
So the issue is resolved.
Binary comes from the same Latin bini, and yet is pronounced with an /aɪ/. This has nothing to do with the prefix, and everything to do with stress, as /aɪ/ very rarely occurs in unstressed syllables. — RegDwigнt ♦ Apr 2 '12 at 9:01
10:35 AM
His comment makes sense. We don't read binary as "bin-ary".
Now the question is why doesn't /aɪ/ happen in unstressed syllables? :P
I guess it's because everything unstressed in English is reduced toward the schwa, so the /ɪ/.
2 hours later…
12:26 PM
12:46 PM
@CopperKettle ?
@CopperKettle I know, I realized it after I sent that message.
2:03 PM
I wonder if the Penthouse Principle applies to this question.
2:16 PM
I wonder if the word order here is okay: "This is why I am so interested in the biographies of those early people: I want to understand what is it that allows non'alcoholics to understand alkies."
(google books)
That one is fine.
Do you have PEU?
@DamkerngT. Thankee! (whips out his PEU)
2:23 PM
A: "I want to understand what my options are" or "I want to understand what are my options"?

CopperKettleI used to make (and still occasionaly make) mistakes in sentences of this sort. The correct sentence is I want to understand what my options are. There's a nicely-named linguistic term: the penthouse principle. The penthouse principle: The rules are different if you live in the penth...

I hope that's not bungled. (Goes off to read PEU)
I think not.
2:43 PM
What's PEU?
To "wad" means to pack tightly. Doesn't apply here. — Ben 2 mins ago
Strange. That makes me curious about his dialect.
Ah, I see. He's from the UK.
@S.R.I Practical English Usage by Michael Swan.
I think wad up is more common in AmE.
Yeah, Britons are strange folks.
@DamkerngT. Ah, thanks. Should have known better than asking ;-)
No problem. :-)
Makes sense.
It seems like those adults who used to listen to foreign songs have their edge at learning a second language later in life.
@DamkerngT. It just struck me that my father told me he put headphones on me as a toddler and let me listen to the Beatles repeatedly.
(So, my idea is, instead of trying to replace the part of brain that processes sounds in a second language, we'd be better off building a peripheral part to facilitate it.)
@CopperKettle A-ha! That's a very good idea!
I also recall how he drilled me at pre-school age to count to 20 in English.
I think I've never been exposed to real English speech until around 15-16. English songs were rare for me as a teenager.
Hehe! I was able to count to 10 in three languages as a pre-schooler too!
3:04 PM
I think this kind of activity is popular among parents.
It could be fun for the kids as well, if they like it.
Weren't English language songs popular in Thailand? I thought it was the universal thing, I mean the Beatles and other groups. I remember Modern Talking blaring everywhere in our Siberian town, and walls of the staircase in my apartment block were scribbled with Metallica and suchlike names.
@CopperKettle He should have made you listen to Star trek instead. You would be a Klingon native now :P
They were! But somehow I missed most of them!
@S.R.I I haven't watched a single series of Star Treck. (0:
3:09 PM
I know about Star trek only because the protagonists in Big Bang Theory are -mad- crazy fans!
I watched them often enough (though not that often) that when some people can't pronounce my name, I sometimes tell them, you can call me Kirk. :P
Mine is simple to pronounce: [ɐrˈtʲɵm]. (audio)
Oh, /ɵ/! That's a new vowel for me!
that's because there's the letter ё (yo)
3:12 PM
A-ha! It's not very from [ɤ]. (I should've used [] for your [ɵ], too.)
@CopperKettle damn, there's a lot of background noise in that audio. Are you directly under an air blower? :P
@S.R.I That was not me pronouncing it, it's a voluneer based pronunciation project. (0:
So you put in a word and they pronounce it for you?
Why me? They just pronounce whatever they like and upload it.
Well, I can see how that can devolve into a bunch of hysterical laughter sounds :-)
3:15 PM
This is, for instance, winter in Russian
yep, zima
@S.R.I Because there is a TED Talk for it. :P
@DamkerngT. Exactly!
3:17 PM
@DamkerngT. supposedly cognate with Ancient Indian himas ("cold")
Hey, หิมะ ("hima") means snow in Thai!
That is cool! (pardon my pun) (0:
Himalayas could be understood literally in Thai as the place where snow is. ("Hima" ~ snow, "alay" ~ place/home)
@DamkerngT. Exactly, it's the same meaning in Sanskrit
So does Thai derive from Sanskrit?
3:20 PM
Thai borrowed a huge set of words from Pali-Sanskrit.
Thai is Tai-Kadai, while Sanskrit is Indo-European.
@Nihilist_Frost Yeah, I see that now
@DamkerngT. Oh, what? Thai registers? You recognise them?
nods -- In my opinion, Thai has about three layers: Tai-Kadai at the core (which is closely related to Chinese languages/dialects), Pali-Sanskrit, and later Western languages (through modernization).
@S.R.I I can recognize many Sanskrit words.
@DamkerngT. Don't confuse him by refering to "Chinese languages"
3:24 PM
Okay! :D
@Nihilist_Frost I got confused enough when he said something about Thai being a tonal language. I'm no more confused than I was :P
Well, it's related to some dialects people in Yunnan speak. :-)
@S.R.I Oh, right! There is another set of vocab borrowed from Khmer and some other languages around here.
Which is only used rarely, and only at the highest register.
Why do you have registers in practice?
Perhaps that's why I don't think of vocabulary as something important in learning a new language much. I know more than one sets of vocab, but it doesn't really help me to speak Sanskrit, Khmer, etc.
why are number names often stay consistent across languages in a single family?
3:29 PM
@S.R.I I'm not sure. Isn't it common in other languages to have several registers as well?
critical vocab?
@Nihilist_Frost Number names, like one, two, three? I think it's because languages weren't standalone.
@DamkerngT. I'm not sure. We have formal and colloquial registers, but no more than that. Having 4 of them sounds a bit too heavily enforced.
@S.R.I nods -- Perhaps that's true. Most Thais can't use the highest register right.
I mean, without consulting any references.
I didn't include the highest register (Royal Thai) since most folks won't even come in contact with them to even know anything about that register. That leaves 4. A bit more than normal, don't you think? :-)
3:35 PM
I think you can think of those registers on that Wikipedia page as: colloquial, formal, semi-formal, Pali-Sanskrit, and Royal Thai.
The first three are quite similar to English, I think.
They share the same set of words, but word choices are somewhat different, typically.
Hmm... maybe that's why I'm used to shifting register, because I do that too in my first language.
I pronounce the /dr/ in "hundred" differently than in "Andrew" and "drive".
hmmm, I see. Perhaps you've been doing that involuntarily that you notice it only when non-natives ask these questions. :-)
@S.R.I I suppose so!
@Nihilist_Frost Oh, that's interesting! Tell us more about it!
@DamkerngT. I can't explain why.
Aww... How about the how? (How are they different from each other?)
3:45 PM
Maybe it's because I split the /dr/ over the syllable boundary in "hundred".
A-ha! I think I kinda get it.
preventing palatalization.
but Dictionary.com says that the /dr/ is in one syllable.
Merriam-Webster too.
I think I had a different thought process than them!
There is also an informal metathesized pronunciation for "hundred" too.
I had a similar problem with "computer" (i.e., is it "compute-r" or "compu-ter"?).
This principle, glottopedia.org/index.php/Maximal_Onset_Principle, helped me a lot. (Of course, I learned it from snailboat. :-)
Q: "Spool up an instance" speaking about computers

user1883212I often hear phrases like "I'm going to spool up a new instance" or "I'm going to spool down the server" and so on. I haven't found the term "spool up" on any IT dictionary. Can anyone tell me if this term is correct and what it means?

I think spool up/down is rare. I'm more used to "fork" and "kill".
3:57 PM
Ugh! Wait! That's a copy of ELL!
That's an essay based on a ELL post, by User1 (now NES)
A: "it's a perfect time to.." vs. "it's the perfect time to.."

NESIt seems decorous, and I hope felicitous to say that The definite article allows for the possibility of exclusivity without holding to it, whereas the indefinite article does not attempt this claim. Autumn is the perfect time to think about redecorating, but then so is spring. For an exte...

He could've added that to the question.
Oh, wait! He links to his blog. Hmm...
4:00 PM
Now he has downvoted the other answers, and someone has just downvoted the question itself. (0:
A-ha! So that's the long-awaited answer!
Yes. Promised to Mr. Bazarov.
(whose answer seemed okay to Snails)
Ah, this reminds me of that paper that snailboat used to link to when we discussed the definite article doesn't mean unique. One example in the paper is "the elevator".
I don't think that VB is really wrong, but NES's answer is probably more carefully thought out.
If I say "1 I have a perfect black pearl at home." I am not saying that Joe or Jane cannot also have a perfect black pearl.
A nice point!
I think winning position is okay. One possibly more idiomatic phrase is having the upper hand. — Damkerng T. 10 secs ago
I tagged along!
4:15 PM
Thank you! I picked up "winning position" in Google Books. (0:
nods -- Now I wonder which is more common among the chess players. :-)
In any case, I'm pretty sure that both are fine.
If a commercial pops up on my TV in the fall and a saleswoman starts talking about autumn being the perfect time of the year to think about redecorating, I can be sure that if she is not saying autumn is the exclusive time (or season) to think about redecorating, she is at least saying it is one of the exclusive times (or seasons) to think about it, the other perfect times being any other time or season that the store runs the television commercial!
I have a funny story about chess. When I was a teenager, one of my uncles just graduated from Australia and he liked to play chess, so we played together. Being so naive, I was checkmated in just three moves!
4:18 PM
@DamkerngT. How unfeeling on your uncle's part! (0:
Oh, it was fun! :D
It's a good lesson teaching me how important the queen is. :D
"Bob is the perfect man for you, Jane...but then so is Hal."
I think I'd use the perfect man, too.
It's a pity he didn't upload it all to the ELL.
Is that the same Hal who killed the whole crew in 2001? :P
4:23 PM
Probably yes. He was a romantic guy.
@CopperKettle nods -- Ah, I was thinking about mentioning that. I'm not sure, but I think SE has a policy about this kind of pointing-to-some-place-else answer.
I'd switch the "accepted answer" to his, but it's too short now.
In short, it's better to copy the text or at least summarize a good portion of it over here.
The main reason is everything on the web can be gone at any time.
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. It'd be nice if you mentioned Shog9's meta post (I can't remember the link) to NES in his answer (about including the text in our answers, not just pointing to somewhere else).
Here is the link to the answer: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/73003/…
It's probably better in the main room, but it's much more convenient to just write about it briefly here. :)
4:29 PM
I've just did a check: the LiveJournal post fits nicely as an answer, there's no need even to shorten it.
Okay. Thanks!
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. Never mind that. (See CopperKettle's message above.)
A: What do we call these 'squeezed' papers?

ZessaAnother is "wadded up" I wadded up the paper into a ball and threw it in the garbage. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wadded verb (used with object), wadded, wadding. to form (material) into a wad. 8. to roll tightly (often followed by up): He wadded up his c...

Weird. I don't understand the two downvotes.
Well, I deleted it right away, of course, since NES pointed out that one cannot borrow it from the LJ.
@DamkerngT. I liked the scrunched up version.
Hehe! For me, wad up makes way more sense than screw up, but that tells what dialect I'm more familiar with.
Scrunch up should be fine too.
But really, +52 for crumple!
Voting on ELL is weird.
crumpled was the only thing that occured to me, but I did a check on scrunched and found many nice examples, including ones in Mark Twain.
Had you tried wad up too?
I think it's quite common among novelists of this century.
4:35 PM
No, I only had the energy to investigate scrunched
wad up seemed un-twee to me for some reason..
nods -- I think I understand.
Q: Surprisingly and quite amazingly

pal schIs there an English word for "surprisingly and quite amazingly"? I looked in many dictionaries but could not find anything there.

Frankly, no idea. It's a crossword puzzle. @Stephie — pal sch 21 mins ago
4:37 PM
I found it: it was "dramatically". — pal sch 11 mins ago
I upvoted your supercalifragilisticexpialidociously!
Though, apparently, it wouldn't fit the puzzle. :P
Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've ever seen a word that long in any crossword puzzle!
Hmm... 36 letters long. Perhaps some crosswords for the pros might have used it!
4:42 PM
The US should use this word to name an aircraft carrier. (0:
"USS Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious arrived to Saudi Arabian shores"
Or a Klingon spaceport!
how many consonant sounds exist in English?
4:49 PM
Phonemically or phonetically?
Not that it's easy to count.
Something from 2 days ago: youtube.com/watch?v=6as8ahAr1Uc
@CopperKettle "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" would be a poor name for an aircraft carrier. If you look at the word roots, it literally means "breaks easily (like chalk) but even faster and more easily". Let's see -- that implies the ship is likely to "crack up", "explode", or "dissolve in water". Oops.
@Jasper Haha!
b, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, ɹ, s, t, v, w, z, ɾ, ʔ, ç, t͡ʃ, θ, ð, d͡ʒ, ʃ, ʒ, ŋ, what else I don't remember
4:54 PM
You're missing lots of allophones.
I'm forgetful about that, exactly.
But really, there is no exact count of phones in a language.
It looks like a good list at the phoneme level.
The closer your transcription, the more minute variations you'll write down in different contexts.
4:55 PM
@DamkerngT. It includes sounds that aren't phonemic in English
So it can't be a phonemic list
So you can't really give an exhaustive list of English phones.
@snailboat I hear all those stories about little kids mispelling numerous /tr/ and /dr/ words
@DamkerngT. The U.S.S Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious would be great in a parody, such an Onion News Network article, or a remake of The Magic Christian.
4:56 PM
You can keep adding, though, if you really want to. You can start by showing the aspirated-unaspirated contrast or the released-unreleased contrast.
@Jasper Or in Stephen Colbert's show. :P
You could write down, for example, [n] in ten but [n̪] in tenth. Sounds coarticulate.
You can mark down all the palatal variations of consonants, like [k] versus [kʲ].
And so on. There's no real limit.
the coastline paradox!
4:59 PM
At the physical level, we never pronounce things exactly the same way twice. If you plot physical measurements, you'll get a cloud of dots rather than a single point.
reminds me of the coastline paradox
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