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Re: correct English usage

On Tuesday 03 April 2012 15:09:50 Pierre Frenkiel wrote:
> On Tue, 3 Apr 2012, Kelly Clowers wrote:
> > They are not wrong per say, but only the first definition you mention
> > (anatomy) is in widespread use these days (which is why it said
> > "chiefly").
>    Is that specific to American English, or is it also true for
>    British English, Canadian English, ...?

It is certainly true for English English.  It would simply not be used in teh 
way that you used it. 

>    Paul's statement was much more stronger:
>       this is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
>       Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not
> in English.

I agree with Paul.  It is simply not acceptable in practice.

> >             If you say "posterior" people's first thought will be "ass".
>       but in the given sentence, posterior is clearly an adjective?

Which yet again, is not a correct usage in modern idiom of that word.

> > That happens all the time with dictionary-based translations, by
> > the way. It can be very hard to tell if a definition is really used
> > much in practice.
>    Then, for people whose native language is not English, in some cases
>    the only way to find the right word seems to be try and error.

Or accept the word of educated native speakers.

>    Note that the WordReference English Thesaurus © 2012 gave the most
> common meaning for posterior in second place, and that it was nowhere
> mentioned that the time related meaning was deprecated.

It isn't deprecated because no-one would use it in the first place.

> Is there a 
> dictionnary where this kind of information would be available?
> > In general there is a tendency in modern American English to
> > use rather simple words or descriptive phrases made of simple
> > words rather than a single very precise but less well known word.
>    Again, is that specific to American English?

No.  Though the English are a bit prone to being pretentious.   I was taught 
at school that where an Anglo-Saxon word applied, it should be used in 
preference to a Latin one.  (In "Latin" I am including French.)


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