Miscellany

Miscellany

Postby Prototype on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:10 am

Dear Prof,

a-What´s the rule to decide on the following phrases:

ONE DESK per student or ONE STUDENT per desk. Which one is the more appropriate?

b-if somebody is a daredevil, would you say that they do something out of daredevilness?

Thanks
Prototype
 

Re: Miscellany

Postby prof on Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:57 pm

a- The answer depends on which is being allocated to what. This usually goes by which was there first. So if we have a classroom in which there are already desks and we are about to add students, then the rule would be one student per desk. On the other hand, if we start with a group of students and are deciding how many desks to get, then the rule would be one desk per student.

b - If someone is a daredevil they do something from dare-devilry, or more properly from a spirit of dare-devilry. This is because 'devilry' is a word, and 'devilness' isn't, so we can only form compounds from 'devilry'!
prof
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