Implication of unstated contrasting cases

Apologies if this question is answered elsewhere. I didn’t know how to refer to the following phenomenon and consequently I didn’t know what to search for. I’m happy for more expert users to add/remove tags or suggest other amendments to the question. Take as an example the following sentence: (S1) Women are not permitted to … Read more

“Are YOU coming to get me” / “Are you coming to GET me” Is there any grammatical or semantic difference?

Is there any grammatical or semantic difference between the phrases: “Are you coming to get me?”—used to imply the question of whether that particular person is coming to get whoever. And this phrase: “Are you coming to get me”—implying that the person is late or has been expected earlier. I’m curious as to whether these … Read more

Water can/may still get in

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language , page 184, reads May is virtually excluded instead of can in water can still get in, partly by the likelihood of it being interpreted epistemically rather than dynamically. However, I cannot grasp any different effective meaning between both versions. Answer This appears to be a case of … Read more

Difference between “pragmatics” and “pragmatism”?

pragmatic adjective prag·mat·ic \prag-ˈma-tik\ : dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories ( pragmatics noun plural but singular or plural in construction prag·mat·ics \prag-ˈma-tiks\ linguistics : the study of what words mean in particular situations ( pragmatism noun prag·ma·tism … Read more

Can a pronoun and its referent have different plurality?

My question is as the title says: Is it allowed for a pronoun and its referent to have different plurality? A specific example I am considering is a sentence like this: I love this cookie so much that I bought dozens of them and distributed them to my friends. I am curious whether this kind … Read more

Pragmatics: “Let me go”

Let me go. / Let me do it. / Let me see, try, etc. Q1. Which meaning are these more close to? “Allow me to go, do, see?” or “I’ll go, do, see, etc?” There are two reasons I doubt this: As far as I’ve seen, most of these LET-ME imperatives didn’t seem to ask … Read more

Do English speaking subcultures attach different meanings to the phrase “I’m sorry”?

On a recent trip the US, someone explained to me that saying “sorry” meant taking responsibility for causing the loss. Thus you should only say sorry if you intended to fix the situation. (And potentially even had implications for insurance and litigation). I’m an Australian – generally when people say “I’m sorry” it means “I … Read more

Felicitated- pragmatics and connotations

This sentence from a major Indian daily amused me: The mother of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable, who died in the line of duty in Jammu and Kashmir, was felicitated at the 65th Republic Day celebrations. On behalf of the district administration, Minister in-charge of Mysore district V. Srinivas Prasad felicitated Savitramma, Satish’s … Read more

Is there a difference between a spigot and a faucet (usage in AmE)

What is a domestic tap called commonly in the US ? -a spigot? a device that controls the flow of liquid from a large container (MW) Dictionary meaning aside, I had this understanding that a domestic tap is known as a faucet. Answer Not sure if the rest of the country uses this, but…..Around here, … Read more