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Day: January 19, 2017
Why are irregular “to be”s quite different?
The reasons for the striking irregularities of the copula verb in Indo-European are addressed in Did the present indicative forms of the Latin verb “esse” evolve from two different roots? As those answers show, the Proto-Indo-European verb was in fact almost regular. But there is a broader question of why the copula in particular is […]
What does “copped a serve” mean and what is the origin of the expression?
Vote #1 Danya Rose, who as far as I know has the right answer. Danya Rose’s answer to What does “copped a serve” mean and what is the origin of the expression? To my astonishment, OED does not have the phrase. It does have related phrases under cop, v. 3: “to capture, catch, lay hold […]
Do Greeks get offended when someone calls them Grecian?
There was a bit of merriment when George W Bush used the word. I actually don’t know whether Greeks in Greece know about the oddity of “Grecian”. My take, as someone bicultural: it’s not offensive, it’s just archaic; so seeing it in live use is puzzling. Because it’s archaic, I’m led to wonder whether I’m […]