I’ve been extremely interested in spoken languages since I started learning French and Latin at the beginning of my high school years. Since then I’ve dabbled to a greater or lesser extent in other tongues: German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Japanese, Indonesian, Chinese (Mandarin, or Putonghua). Apart from any practical use – during a visit to a country, or meeting foreign visitors your own country -- when you find out even a few words and phrases of another language you begin to better understand and appreciate the peoples who speak it.
And I know that spoken languages are ever-changing and adapting, with old words or word usages continually being changed, extended or dropped.
Apart from their distinctive pronunciations, Australians, New Zealanders and (?) South Africans tend to use British variants, while our North American friends often have diverged. As the saying goes, we’re "separated by a common language."
I’ve written about this before, please refer to We landed momentarily, upon a premise … Cloud computing? Phooey! Since cloud computing is being increasingly discussed, I’d like to reiterate the distinction that I made there, this time adding a bit of colour (color, if you prefer):
So, you might implement a cloud computing solution based on the two premises that it would firstly save you money and secondly be faster to implement than an on-premises, or in-premises, solution (one located on your organization’s data center, for example). But it would be incorrect to say “on-premise, or in-premise” solution.I’m a bit disheartened when I hear the incorrect ‘premise’ usage so often. But on the other hand I’m heartened by IBM peoples’ proper usage. for example in the announcement IBM LotusLive 1.3 adds e-mail services for both new and existing Notes Domino customers and Ed Brill’s blog posting LotusLive Notes: Open for business! … However some very naughty people commenting on Ed Brill’s posting used the incorrect ‘premise’ attribution.
Oh how so much I’m whingeing about presence or absence of a single letter “s” – but I’m a pedant, a “language nerd” … and proud of it!
UPDATE (06 October 2015)
I just stumbled upon a Wikipedia post that gives a derivation of the term:
Premises are land and buildings together considered as a property. This usage arose from property owners finding the word in their title deeds, where it originally correctly meant "the aforementioned; what this document is about", from Latin prae-missus = "placed before".
In this sense, the word is always used in the plural, but singular in construction. Note that a single house or a single other piece of property is "premises", not a "premise", although the word "premises" is plural in form; e.g. "The equipment is on the customer's premises", never "The equipment is on the customer's premise".