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6:36 AM
1
Q: When can 'the' be used before a name?

TheIndependentAquarius "And, Dick, all kinds of queer folk live in the trunk of the Faraway Tree," said Jo." The is not capital here, which means it is not the part of the name? Why is the used here?

An interesting question! (The is always tricky for non-native speakers, I think. I'm not sure but it seems like it can be tricky for native speakers too, at times.)
All answers are more or less correct, IMHO.
 
 
1 hour later…
8:01 AM
No, it is/was called Excalibur. — pazzo 15 hours ago
That is interesting. I think pazzo is right.
I googled for sword "called Excalibur" and sword "called the Excalibur", it's quite obvious that called Excalibur is the norm when talking about the original Excalibur.
Searching on Google Books returned only 10 results of sword "called the Excalibur".
A few of them are not about the sword.
One of them is by a Sri Lankan author. (or so I think)
> Tintagel, it would be of interest to the reader, is the name of a village in Cornwall in the southwest England that is associated with legendary King Arthur who weilded a magical sword called the 'Excalibur.'
 
8:53 AM
I took a short break roaming around the web and stumbled upon this interesting post: Standard of Care – Or Not | Page to Stage
In there, there is this part that got my attention:
> Wikipedia “Due diligence” is an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care.”
So I took a short tour on a few Wikipedia pages: Standard of care, Due diligence, and Channel check.
> In tort law, the standard of care is the only degree of prudence and caution required of an individual who is under a duty of care.
> [...]
> In certain industries and professions, the standard of care is determined by the standard that would be exercised by the reasonably prudent manufacturer of a product, or the reasonably prudent professional in that line of work. Such a test (known as the "Bolam Test") is used to determine whether a doctor is liable for medical malpractice.
> The standard of care is important because it determines the level of negligence required to state a valid cause of action. In the business world the standard of care taken can be described as Due Diligence or performing a Channel Check.
> Due diligence is an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care.
> In financial analysis, a channel check is third-party research on a company's business based on collecting information from the distribution channels of the company. It may be conducted in order to value the company, to perform due diligence in various contexts, and the like. Industries where channel checks are more often conducted include retail, technology, commodities, etc.
Back to the article, the thing that interested me the most in that post is the author (of the post, Cheryl King, a playwright, director and actor) reading a script that was full of spelling errors, and still finding the script brilliant in the end.
> I picked up Script 13. I liked the title immediately. The first line was powerful. On line three I grinned.
> Then came an atrocious misspelling. They’re for their. I winced–kept reading. “Bad proofreading, that’s all. I want to like this writer.”
> But the typos, and spelling errors, kept coming. “The material is punchy and bright. I like the way this writer thinks – but this failure to notice all these errors is worrisome.
> If the writer doesn’t care about the form, doesn’t take the time to polish and refine the script, isn’t that a sign of laziness or lack of ambition, or lack of respect for the reader?”
> But the script was really good, so I kept reading. Finally, the grumbling grammarian inside me sat down and shut up. I kept reading—grinning. “Where be your typos now?”
> I reached the end, put down my tablet, picked up my assessment pad and wrote, “Writing – 10. Brilliant. Stream of consciousness. Full of spelling errors.”
Awesome.
In a post after that one, she linked to A Sample of Amateur Writing by Daily Wiring Tips.
In "A Sample of Amateur Writing", there is this great quote:
> Readers are not looking for great writing; they’re looking for a great story.
Absolutely true.
 
 
2 hours later…
10:41 AM
0
Q: Is there any semantic difference between due/due to and because/because of?

Lucian SavaSo far, the question about the difference between the terms from the title was asked several times here and on ELU but I'm not asking about the grammatical difference my question is about semantics. Please let me make it clearer: In my language, there's a clear distinction between the terms so ...

Though the OP conflates his language with English (because is an English word; I'd argue that no other language has because even though there is a word normally translated to or from because in that language), it raises an interesting point.
It's about the universal language.
I normally take the view that human beings in any languages should have more or less the same idea when thinking about approximately the same thing, internally. Let's call this deep meaning or deep semantic.
But because the language itself imposes a restrictive set of rules (or something that can be perceived as a set of rules), the way a person thinks would normally be tied up with these rules in his or her own language.
These rules don't have to be explicit.
Normally, people call these rules as a whole grammar.
However, I believe that it's not only grammar. It also includes vocabulary, and cultural constraints, among other things.
So, let's say that, universally, across languages, human beings share the same or at the very least very similar deep semantics.
But because all the constrains of rules, the limited set of available lexicon (words), and such, people in each language will share unique shallow semantics with people in the same language.
I say shallow because it's near the surface, which is the syntax or the grammar level.
What we say or write is composed our chosen items in our lexicon and our syntax. This is the "surface" of our communication, our utterances, our sentences, and such.
Right beneath it is the shallow semantic (or surface semantic, if you prefer), which is language specific.
Below the shallow semantic (or surface semantic) is the deep semantic.
Morphemes or lexicon, and syntax or grammar are tools.
Deep semantic and surface semantic are intents and purposes.
They all meet up at "language".
The very thing we use to communicate.
 
11:35 AM
7
Q: How to resolve ambiguous meanings. Especially, "stand" and "stand up". And, are there alternatives?

user5220151 - How to resolve ambiguity of "stand". First, my main question is how to resolve and work with the ambiguity of the verb "stand". It's ambiguous in a sense that it can mean both "to be in a standing position" and "to get into a standing position". For instance, the following are ambiguous: ...

> Everyone stood when the President came in.
My default reading would be "Everyone rose when the President came in".
 
hi @DamkerngT.
 
(Similar to Hellion's answer, but trying to be a bit more precise) I think if the verb stand is used with a punctual event, the default reading would become a performative transformative one.
@Man_From_India Hello!
 
i have one question
 
I can try! :-)
 
i know its correct to say a unique not an unique
 
11:39 AM
Oh, I saw that in another room.
 
but coca and bnc give some examples of an unique
yes right...
 
My instinct says it's not standard English.
And some of the examples could be typos.
 
how data get into corpus? does any human checking is done before preparing the corpus data? or does it get rabdom entry?
 
I'm not sure, but this may be related to a(n) history, which is highly related to the speaker's dialect.
@Man_From_India It would depend on the collector/curator. :-)
 
ohh okay :-)
 
11:42 AM
But I've observed that some recent samples in COCA are said/written by non-native speakers.
(One example I remember is a comment on a well-known US website. Can't remember what site it was, though.)
 
ohh that might be a problem if the collector is not very careful and not a grammarian.
 
It's very difficult to curate everything, which is why the frequencies count, and we have to interpret the data carefully.
 
so we can't blindly believe coca or bnc?
ahh i see
there is another confusion. "fruit" is uncountable and countable. i have observed that BrE use it as uncountable and AmE use it both way generally. So is it also correct to say in AmE "live on fruit(s) and vegetables". Am i right?
 
Ah, that's one of my weak spots, too!
I wish I were more well-versed on food vocabulary. (Fruit is food, too! :-)
 
yes :-)
snailboat could have corrected us :)
 
11:49 AM
Yes. I really miss her.
 
yes me too :) hope she comes back soon
oh g2g...see u...
 
See you!
 
 
2 hours later…
2:15 PM
Why are some longer sentences easier to read than some combinations of shorter sentences?
Maybe it's about information delivery.
 
2:49 PM
@Man_From_India I think you're right about fruit in BrE. (I looked it up in Longman Dictionary of Common Errors.)
Right now, I think fruit works like fish.
Oh, wait, we can try asking Cerberus.
in English Language Learners, 1 min ago, by Cerberus
I would say pieces of fruit for a basket of apples, and fruits for different kinds of fruit.
in English Language Learners, 18 secs ago, by Cerberus
No fruits for pieces of fruit.
That helps make the prefer usage in BrE clear.
We still need to check its usage in AmE...
 
Yes I came to that conclusion based on my findings in COCA...well just in to inform you regarding a/an unique
 
@Man_From_India Ah, more information about a/an unique?
 
In OED i find some example sentences that use an unique, but they are very small in number. But now the question is can we say it a typo? :O considering if Oxford editors will ever pick up sentences with a typo. Or it might be a mistake from the editor's himself? I am not very sure
But there is no doubt a unique is widespread and considered correct unanimously.
 
3:05 PM
@Man_From_India Is it under the word unique? (I wonder what pronunciations of unique did they list?)
 
yes it is.
(juːˈniːk)
 
Hah! That's really interesting! What about the pronunciation? -- Ahh, thanks!
 
One example sentence -
> 1794 R. J. Sulivan View Nat. I. 3 A concentrated, and an unique aggregation of almost all the wonders of the natural world.
 
I wonder how many people still write an unique when they publish their work this century.
 
I think it's very hard for u and me, or any other non native speakers who are in our position to say something about it. I searched Google, and everywhere they say a unique is correct.
But this is a matter of pronunciation. I don't think it changes over time. I am not very sure though. But if I think of my language I don't think the sound of a word changes over time.
 
3:10 PM
nods -- At first I thought that some accents may make it possible (I had the Cockney accent in mind), but I wonder if unique will be pronounced with the glottal stop even in the Cockney accent.
(BTW, this clip about the Cockney accent is hilarious: youtube.com/watch?v=1WvIwkL8oLc)
 
You might be right. In some dialects unique might pronounce some other way, that ask for an an there :-)
I will listen to it after some time :-)
 
:D
Strongah, fastah, ardah! (from the clip)
Bo'le of wa'er
 
does it make any sense to u? :D
 
It does!
I think it will make sense for you too after watching the clip.
 
My listening skill is very bad...I manage when I talk with foreign people face to face or on phone...but I hardly understand movies. I need subtitles :-(
 
3:16 PM
You can improve the skill if you want to!
(I was checking to see if the video comes with subtitles. Too bad it has only automatic subtitles.)
 
yes I watch discovery channel a lot, and that make sense.
but movies I think they speak too fast for me to pick up the words.
 
Ah, then this one shouldn't be a problem. When he speaks in a standard accent, he speaks quite clearly.
 
ok i will listen to it.
 
@Man_From_India It's perfectly understandable. I think it's almost universal for adult learners.
 
:-)
Somehow I can understand animation movies...it's very strange :-)
 
3:20 PM
Strange that I've noticed that too.
Not sure if it's about the voice actors themselves, or the recording, or a little bit of both.
 
Oh somewhere in Google I read that because is actually possible in place of because of, but in some particular constructions.Let me see if I can find the link for you that I was reading.
I think this is the link - stancarey.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/…
 
Nice! -- Thanks!
 
No problem at all :-) I was searching for a clue for that question on ELL where it asked about the meaning of that which means because, and I landed on this page :-) some strange info :D
One important line from that article -
> Because X is fashionably slangy at the moment, diffusing rapidly across communities.
 
nods -- If I remember correctly, I think snailboat mentioned it once. Maybe she's used it too. :-)
About that vs. because, I think it's safer to treat that and because differently, even though their deep meanings can be the same.
 
Oh just remembered I by mistake used it somewhere, and after I wrote it there I just noticed what a blunder I had made! I had to put a of after because, but now I see I am adopting a new trend unknowingly :-) but I am not sure what followed because, because from that article it's very clear that construction have a lot of restriction on the NP that follows because.
@DamkerngT. Not always, for example - "I am glad that you came." Perfectly fine :-)
 
3:33 PM
Hehe! -- Anyway, I think it could still be thought of as non-standard, and it may sound more natural if the NP is short (like one word or two).
 
Right.
 
@Man_From_India Yes, but let's say we can say that the surface meanings (of the two versions) are different, but the deep meanings are the same.
 
I understand what you mean.
 
I don't know anything to say better than I'm happy that you understand me. :-)
 
Strangely Century dictionary have an entry under that = seeing, since, insomuchas
but didn't say much about it further.
 
3:36 PM
Oh, that = since is easy to understand, but that = seeing? Hmm...
 
I think it's more like considering.
 
I think I need an example. :-)
 
The same example sentence you can use - I am glad that you came.
 
Oh, I see!
Yes, it fits.
 
But not in all cases. In that ELL question OP used a sentence, something like this -
> The cell phone is awesome (because/that) it has many keys.
Here we can't use that, only because is possible. That question is really interesting. I asked StoneyB also for an answer. Let's see.
 
3:46 PM
nods -- I don't think that that meaning "seeing" always works.
 
very true. Not always since or because. So that is OP's question.
I mean not always that = since/because
 
nods -- I'd say most of the time it doesn't mean since/because.
(I made an assertion without much thinking. I could be wrong.)
 
My observation is when the subject is talking about his/her feeling we can use that in that sense. I might also be wrong.
 
@Man_From_India I think you are more or less right.
Ah, a counter-example: I like (it) that [...]
 
But I need more evidence to prove my point. And also where else such usage is possible?
@DamkerngT. Right...I was wrong...
it might sometimes depend on the verb we use and also the adjective :-)
 
3:57 PM
@Man_From_India But I think you're right about the pattern: X (be) (feeling) that ...
nods
Maybe it's safer to consider the pattern case by case.
 

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