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12:03 AM
Let's say I want to put a "do" to emphasize my statement, as in "You shouldn't fly there; if you do fly there though, do not forget to take the camera with you.", but I want to do so in a formal letter where I cannot make the word bold or larger. Is it still acceptable to just write it there, or should the emphasizing "do" never appear in formal writing at all?
@mathh Oh, that's a tough question! You could ask it on the main site
A formal rephrasing might be: "If you do so nonetheless, ..."
I can't answer your question off the top of my head
But you might well be right that emphatic polarity do is more characteristic of informal English
You don't actually need to emphasize it with italics, though.
Your example would be understandable as an example of emphatic polarity without any visual marking
@Ilan To be honest, before I saw the video, I would have imagined that they'd lay eggs!
I guess I don't really understand how they reproduce―
Oh, they do lay eggs?
And then the male keeps the eggs in an egg pouch
I'm also thinking whether it is alright to write "X has its advantages".
I'm going to have to rewatch that video :-)
@mathh It's perfectly grammatical, but it's rather vague
(Of course, that's fine if you're being deliberately vague! :-)
2 hours later…
2:16 AM
Can anyone tell me, is there a way to create a bounty of 1000 points or more?
3:06 AM
No, you can't, but in my experience the bounty # doesn't matter too much
7 hours later…
10:22 AM
Q: "A law decreased what schools had been permitted" vs. "are permitted"

DishaCan you please tell me which of the following sentences is correct? A law passed in 2006 decreased the amount of chlorine that schools had been permitted to add to drinking water. A law passed in 2006 decreased the amount of chlorine that schools are permitted to add to drinking water.

I'd say: "A law passed in 2006 decreased the amount of chlorine that schools were permitted to add to drinking water."Peter Shor yesterday
A good example for showing that tenses shift focuses and implications.
Dec 30 '14 at 16:02, by Damkerng T.
A random thought: Events do not force the tenses. Tenses reflect how the speakers see the events.
1 hour later…
11:28 AM
@CoolHandLouis Nice example!
5 hours later…
4:47 PM
@snailboat I did not understand from the footage how exactly the male seahorses give birth to their babies...
5:21 PM
@Adam Hello
5 hours later…
10:00 PM
Could you please answer if the phrase "time scope" can replace "time period" @snailboat @DamkerngT. Thanks in advance!!
Time period is a common collocation. Time scope is not, and it's likely to sound less natural in most contexts
It's not ungrammatical or altogether impossible, mind you
@snailboat thanks for the answer :)
can you suggest any other expression for "time period"?
Can you give an example sentence?
Usually it doesn't make sense to talk about phrases as being completely interchangeable
Although there are usually plenty of ways to rephrase things that make sense
Time scope sounds like the author's mind was focused on "scope" of something (maybe a project) and there might be a lot of different "scopes" in the document, and "time scope" is one of them.
Hello @snailboat!
@DamkerngT. That makes sense. It could work in a context in which scope was a common term
10:15 PM
I feel like I miss chatting here, lately. :-)
As I regularly start these months.... I have a dream... excuse me, I have a graph
You dreamed in graph?!?
In order to describe the graph I should write an overview sentence in which I cannot use the words from task description...
In that case, it might be best to look for a longer way to say something with simple words, rather than to come up with a drop-in replacement
so I have a time period of 7 years
I cannot use "period" all the time
I am looking for synonymous phrase
10:21 PM
The graph shows the change in [...] from 1996 to 2002. ← I didn't use the word "period"
Simply "time" would work, if you want:
During this time, ...
yes, me too, but later I have to say something about time interval
my god!
Yeah, if you want, that's one possible word
It's not really necessary, though
I have just found it in my memory
Oh, the word "period" is forbidden?
@DamkerngT. word repetition is forbidden
10:22 PM
That's silly.
(Sounds like some kind of "Guess the Word".)
Why don't they just test you to see how your English is?
it decrease the score because of "lack of vocab@
why? thousand of people want to move from one country to another... they provide some standard for all these people
that's it :)
How can one write a 150-word text with 150 unique words?
not all words should be unique
10:24 PM
@Ilan Well, that's not why
but interval instead of period sound pretty well for me
It sounds passable to me
And I would rather say "they set" than "they provide".
As in, there's nothing wrong with it, but I'd be unlikely to say it myself
10:25 PM
Rarely does anything good come from playing the synonym game
even native speaker can have difficulties on their writing task 1
Well, sure, but that's because it's testing things other than English
@snailboat you are right, but from discussion I can gather some important things
If what you're telling us is true, I don't think their test is even about academic English.
probably I miss something, but I read a lot of materials
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS /ˈaɪ.ɛlts/, is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council and IDP Education Pvt Ltd, and was established in 1989. IELTS is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the TOEFL. There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version: The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other...
10:30 PM
It might be true that not all native speakers could do well in their test. Still, I think most post-high-school students (or maybe most sophomores) would do really, really well.
This leaves me two alternatives: either you get some kind of misconception about the test, or the test is ridiculous.
(And I think the latter is unlikely.)
if we take the graph I placed - for all the items there were 4 time periods, so I prefer to find some synonym for time period
Finding synonyms is easy, Google is very good for this.
there are a lot of sources saying to avoid repetitions
this is one of them (I know that they mean slightly different things, but still it is relevant)
But imho, finding synonyms is missing the point.
@DamkerngT. probably
I don't know another way to improve my writing
10:36 PM
If you write naturally, unreasonable repetitions will be reduced automatically.
I ask you as a very advanced user though
naturally? even if will leave in London for 40 years I would not write naturally....
Sorry. My browser just crashed again!
@Ilan I don't think it will take that long.
I need "natural" writing just in 1 month :))))
One month is probably too short.
we kidding here!
:) thanks for the help guys! c u
10:43 PM
One big flaw I found about my own English in the past is that my English is constructional. It doesn't flow well, but it's good enough to communicate what I mean. It even looks good in trivial academic writing because the tenses in academic writing tend to be simpler, and I was able to get by by always using the article the when in doubt.
And that was a really, really bad English.
Try out that lang-8 site, @Ilan. One woman there did 100 posts in quite a short time (she is from Tyumen) and her English improved from almost zero to a quite readable level. lang-8.com/1003120
nods -- I haven't tried lang-8 as much as I want to.
One needs to write something interesting there though, or really help others daily, otherwise one's posts would get little attention. By interesting I mean anything but the chunks of commercialeze I dump there. Your own thoughts, observations, short stories.
@Ilan - if there's some topic that interests you, you might try writing a Wikipedia article in English. Why not? There might be thousands of good Wiki articles yet untranslated to English. You might post the chunks for proofreading at lang-8 parallel to your translation process.
@CopperKettle Is it because lang-8 that I was able to see only 9 posts on Lisa's page?
I switched to Lisa's home and it says "101 Entries Written".
@DamkerngT. - yes, she hides the majority of her posts. They are "lang-8 users only" or "friends only"
10:52 PM
I was just wondering about when she made her first post, and what her first post is like.
For instance, there are Russian Wikipedia articles for "history of Yekaterinburg", about Kossacks on the Urals etc. I would find it a pleasure to put them in English, cause I love history.
I've only made 20 posts!
But I've made 127 corrections
@CopperKettle @Ilan Actually, that's a very good idea! Most of Wikipedia pages have the tone of academic writing.
@snailboat Nice!
@snailboat You corrected japanese folks learning English? Great, I too made numerous corrections in Japanese Russian- and English-learners' posts (0:
@CopperKettle I correct anyone's posts, but it mostly ends up being Japanese speakers'
My baby snail is almost big enough to live with her parents! :-)
10:55 PM
@snailboat Why small snails cannot live with their parents?
In this case, the baby would be able to escape through the gap between the lid and the cage proper
In general they can live with adults, but sometimes they might nibble on the parents' shells to get calcium, which is undesirable. When the size difference is big enough, they don't recognize other snails as snails
don't parents nurture them?
@DamkerngT. - found Lissa's first post, it's dated September 9
An adult snail seeing baby snails: "What cute moveable calcium blobs!"
@CopperKettle That's very recently!
10:59 PM
Oh, I just realized that I don't know what dialect of English Wikipedia uses!
It doesn't use a specific dialect
@snailboat Where are the snails?
Mostly Standard American English, but it's not consistent
There's some quite bad English in some Wikipedia pages
That picture is supposed to show the gap the baby could escape from
11:00 PM
@snailboat Ahh
You can see the snails near the top / top-right in that picture
I think I haven't noticed whether Wikipedia uses "color" or "colour".
In that picture the cage is messy (as it often is! Snails are messy creatures!)
@DamkerngT. It doesn't use a consistent version of English
Generally people stick with whatever other people used first in a given article
11:02 PM
This practise just caught my eyes:
> The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practise in an English-speaking country.
I like the idea of Citizendium, the stricter version of Wikipedia
@CopperKettle First time I've ever heard it!
@DamkerngT. Then there's also Scholarpedia, with good quality articles too
@snailboat The cage looks larger than I thought, I think!
@CopperKettle Ah, I've visited that site before.
I wonder if we could say "You help me so!" (meaning habitually)
11:07 PM
@CopperKettle I suppose
"You so help me!" looks outlandish for some reason..
So in your first example seems possible but not really natural these days, while so in your second example seems distinctly odd
I proposed to Lissa the sentence "You've been such a great help"
If so is referring back to something previously mentioned or implied in "You help me so", I think.
@snailboat I felt so too. (I so felt too)
11:08 PM
@CopperKettle You can't use so the second way
@DamkerngT. It didn't seem that way
@snailboat Thank you! I feel it. I'm just musing as to why.. (0:
@snailboat Oh, does "You help me so" mean "You help me so much"? -- confused
@DamkerngT. Yes, it means "so much", emphatically.
Q: Why how 'old' are you, not how 'young' are you?

AlexEnglish (the language) always gives an impression of being positive. For example, when little kids are making mistake, it will refer to as 'being creative' instead of 'being incorrect'. So as my title, isn't it the opposite? I assume asking how "old" is not very polite, so I usually avoid it a...

(My idea about this so is it always implies a back reference, and this back reference sometimes means something close to "truly".)
@DamkerngT. It's not always a back reference, it's often an "adverb" of.. hm.. intensification..
11:13 PM
@CopperKettle Markedness.
@DamkerngT. It doesn't, though
Thanks, @snailboat!
If you have to invent what it refers to, then it doesn't really make sense to call it referential
I don't know, maybe it's technically not a back reference, but even when I think of it as "truly", it's still a back reference to what is implied to me.
Otherwise you could call everything referential.
@CopperKettle So has been an intensifier for over a thousand years
(I feel this in "I love you so", which gives me a different feeling from "I love you so much", though the meanings are very similar.)
11:16 PM
So bashful when I spied her,
So pretty, so ashamed !
So hidden in her leaflets,
Lest anybody find
("I love you so much" ~ "I'm so in love with you.")
A lot of so's would approx. mean "very" when being used in front of adj.
@snailboat Maybe, to me, it's something like dummy-it. (How about dummy-referential?! :-)
> 14. a. In affirmative clauses, tending to become a mere intensive without comparative force, and sometimes emphasized in speaking and writing.
The OED traces that sense back to Beowulf
I usually take "You shouldn't worry so." as "You shouldn't worry that much."
11:22 PM
Etymologically, it meant "to that (previously mentioned) extent"
But it became a mere intensifier long ago, and now it is frequently used both with and without reference
like так in Russian, it also a double-use word
(So, you see, I read is as: there are two senses of it, one is kind of referring back, that, the other intensifies, much.)
A: What is markedness?

Miles RoutAn example, though probably not a very good one, is "lioness" vs. "lion". "Lion" can refer to either male or female lions, whereas "lioness" refers to only female lions. In this example "lioness" is marked and "lion" is unmarked. This is because "lion" is the more general term. Another example i...

"I'm not that rich." <-- I guess that this that is used for markedness, too.
That's not what markedness refers to
11:25 PM
> So marked vs. unmarked means that two terms with opposite meaning are asymmetrical in their meaning, and that one of them is more general and dominant.
Now I'm confused even more.
That's one possible use of the term
Copper Kettle brought up old versus young
@snailboat Yes, and just found a good answer in the post you referenced!
Oh, I thought you meant it for so.
No, it's not relevant to our discussion of so
Ahh... Got it. Now it makes sense.
11:27 PM
Sorry, I could have pinged Copper Kettle with it, and that would have been less confusing, but I wasn't sure it would onebox then
I think I'm the one who should say sorry! I was confusing myself! Sorry!
Pity upvotes make me sad, a little bit
When people upvote very bad answers, it takes longer for the automatic answer block to kick in.
I share the same feeling!
(You have to get a lot of downvotes before the system automatically blocks you―many regularly bad contributors never hit the block)
Q: Using which twice in a row

HachimanaI am new to reading fantasy and fiction books. I am writing one which is called Fable & Coins that is about a merchant called Yohan who is heading through a city called Yarren, where a rite has been set up on it for the past 2 days. I think this sentence has a structure like this: I am...

> I am writing [x] which is called [y] which is [z] ....`
Maybe the fear of repetition is everywhere!
11:32 PM
It's a very good question
Oh, but the example sentence doesn't have two which is's!
They think that one which has been replaced by that
It's [... which is ... that is ... who is ..., where ...].
11:34 PM
Good point, though!
I guess it's not a crime to string which-es, just a stylistic lapse
They should clarify that point
I wasn't paying close enough attention to the example until you pointed it out
> I am writing one which is called Fable & Coins that is about a merchant called Yohan ...
You could make the sentence shorter, even, if you wanted :-)
I just used the word point over and over.
Point, point, point.
(I think if I dropped which is, I might keep that is, or probably rephrased it to which is.)
11:38 PM
I'm not disappointed, as long as your pointings are to the point (0:
French pont is potential false friend for English point
It means 'bridge'!
ah, "pontifex maximus"
I know DuPont!
(Is that relevant? It's a popular brand for paint here. :-)
I think it is! :-)
11:40 PM
In Greek "pontus" means "sea"
Eύξεινος Πόντος = Black Sea ("Hospitable sea" in Greek)
It's punct you want to look for (as in punctus) for 'point'
As in English punctual
The word pontus makes me think of Pocahontas, and Ponyo!
@DamkerngT. Ponyo! :-)
@snailboat Ah, things start to make sense.
@snailboat Russian language has пункт too, a borrowing from Dutch
11:42 PM
@snailboat Ponyo and the sea!
..or from Lating directly, I'm not sure
Wait, it's Blaupunkt, right!?
Blue point!
@snailboat Yes. When someone has some strange trait in his character, its punktik (diminutive suffix)
Like "She has a punktik about wearing green"
11:45 PM
@CopperKettle Does it also suggest the sense of "small point"?
@DamkerngT. No, in Russian the most used meaning for punkt is.. hm.. say, item (in a list)
Like a bullet point?
@snailboat Yes!
"The program of our conference contains 10 punkts"
10 points!
11:47 PM
There are situations in which certain English speakers will shout out "ten points!"
But rather different from what we're discussing :-)
punktir is for "dotted line"
I'm not sure if I can guess it right. (I guess it's 10 out of 10.)
"Ten points" in Google Images brings up millions of boots.
That's weird.
If you change it to "10 points", it's totally different!
Is it a brand name?
11:49 PM
Could be
A-ha! I was quite close!
A Swedish shoe company!
This is truly a weird image search.
There are also mock images of Hermione with "10 points to Gryffindor"
11:51 PM
Combinatorial, again!
How is star defined?
They say "5 pointed stars". I guess any shapes.
I guess the most common form of the solution would be having a set of 5-point combinations where all the possible points are on the same circle.
I guess we'd want to start by saying no three points are collinear
Otherwise we'd run into problems :-)
11:58 PM
If we start with your idea and put all the points on a circle, let's say, evenly spaced?
I think it doesn't have to be evenly spaced.
Probably not.
They probably don't have to be on a circle, either.
nods -- Circle is probably the optimal shape the points lie on.
A: What is a Wyrm in D&D?

Lexible"Wyrm" (and its variant spelling "worm") is a common but old synonym for "dragon" in English. It's not originally a D&D or RPG term, but it's seen more often in fantasy RPGs (and fantasy literature) than everyday English because archaic words lend games a more fantasy feel.


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