[...] Of course, Sam Goldwyn once said, "If you want to send a message, use a telegram!". Nowadays, I guess that would be an email.
When I was in primary school, there was a saying: "How to spread news: telephone, telegram, and tell a woman". The latter is perhaps not so acceptable today, and I'm sure the interweb serves better as a gossipmonger than any previous technology (including "woman").
"STYLE is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn." — Gore Vidal "STYLE is knowing what sort of play you're in." — Sir John Gielgud
I agree, Vadim, that "a very smashing party" doesn't sound right. In theory, though, it ought to, since adverbs (e.g. very) can be used to qualify adjectives. We say "very interesting" and "very boring" so why not "very smashing". Still, it's not anything I'd say either. I wouldn't say "a very smiling child" or "a very darkening sky", but I would say "a very hard-working person".
I might say "really smashing" or use some adverb other than "very". I didn't react to Bertie's "very nit-picking", other than to think that one of the main reasons we come here is to pick nits. Tone just happens to be very good at it. Would you say "rather nit-picking", Vadim?
I feel I'm missing something here - will one of our expert grammarians be so kind as to explain further?
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest" Thomas Paine
If I see a "foreign" word frequently in ordinary English, I'm inclined to consider it naturalised. Some foreign terms I see a lot of, but they are in specialised subsets of English - e.g. academic - so I don't regard those as naturalised because their context is not "ordinary English".
Yes, I suppose it's a commonsense judgment call.
Are these naturalized words and their usages then OK with you, and others on this list? I seem to recall in a past post some expressing alarm at Americanisms creeping into OzE and UKE. Here in this post we are discussing Latin, French, and German words, among others, creeping into English.
...but wait a minute, isn't that the very history of English?
Sorry, Bertie, if you think my pointing out (and explaining in detail) a blatant inaccuracy is "nit-picking".
For a vote result, "unanimous" and "nem con" are mutually exclusive.
My own view is that, as a few here do occasionally learn "new words" I would prefer that they don't learn them with the wrong meaning.
Sorry if it discommodes you, but that view of mine is a bit "core" to a retired teacher. And I hope as many others as can will continue to correct factual inaccuracies, even if those inaccuracies are made in haste and not essential to the particular theme of a discussion.
Vadim, Back to your 'et al'. (I'm a bit behind.) Some publishers require it to be written one way, and some the other. And some don't seem to mind. That probably explains why you've seen it both ways. (I write it with the full stop, unless I'm instructed to use it otherly.)