This tag is for questions about choosing different or alternative words or phrases.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
45 views

A term for “real law” [on hold]

I am looking for a term to denote "real" law, as distinct from "theoretical law". An alternate formulation is to say that I am looking for a term to be a legal equivalent/version of "realpolitik". ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

Succinct and understandable term when “turn up”/“turn down” is ambiguous

In particular, think of the home air conditioner or the power setting on the kitchen refrigerator: the intensity of effort is opposite to the numbering of the related quality. So "Turn up the air ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Term for strengthening the bond between an employee and his organisation

Edit: added one-sidedness of 'Employee retention' as an issue I'm looking for an alternative to 'Employee retention'. Intuitively, I interpret 'retention' as a defensive term, while I mean to ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Between '(s)he' & 'he/she' — which is recommended/ preferable?

When talking about or referring to someone who could either be a male or a female, I usually write it as (s)he but I have also seen usage like he/she, which also seems correct to me. I use (s)he ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Synonyms for the “not…but…” construction

I am looking for proper alternatives to the "not...but..." construction, which is used to refute an assumption and draw attention to a new point. Example: The park was known not for its amenities, ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Said In Context: A more appropriate alternative to [sic]?

For a long time, I understood [sic] to mean said in context, but I was told that that said in context is really a backronym. Fair enough. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic#Improper_abbreviation ...
3
votes
3answers
61 views

Looking for succinct way of describing the act of solidifying an idea into reality [closed]

Looking for a succinct way of describing the act of solidifying an idea into reality. "Building [idea] out" seems too generic but I'm trying to avoid a long winded, step by step explanation of the ...
4
votes
3answers
63 views

“Deus ex machina” modern alternatives

I'm trying to find a description for a group of people that get together at the right moment to find the perfect solution for a difficult situation. "Deus ex machina" came to mind but I was hoping ...
1
vote
2answers
10k views

Is there any difference between “clear conscience” and “clean conscience”?

I want to have a clear conscience so that I know to judge clearly what is right or wrong. vs. I want to have a clean conscience, therefore I will not do such an ugly thing. The dictionary ...
10
votes
8answers
263 views

Alternative for overchallenged

I'm a non-native speaker, looking for a single term to describe the quality of feeling overwhelmed with a task of work in a person. I found overchallenged on dict.cc, but when I wanted to look it up ...
0
votes
5answers
321 views

Similar phrases meaning 'give kudos'

See, in one of our employee evaluation systems, we would like to implement a feature by which any employee can show appreciation to another employee that he has got help from or whom he thinks to be a ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views
1
vote
7answers
90 views

A better word for “commoditization” when a type of shop becomes widespread

In the UK, Pound Shops (like dollar stores/99c stores) used to be small, unique and independent. Since the financial crisis in 2008, large chains such as Poundland and Poundworld have come into more ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

“Pass under an overpass” alternative

For directions to my house, I'd like to use the phrase: Pass under an overpass in front of you. However, it sounds weird with twice "pass", "over" and "under" etc. Is there any better ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Heady - Does this word mean what I think it means?

When I look up the word "heady" in the dictionary, it seems that the main definition is "tending to intoxicate." Farther down, "having an exhilarating effect" and "intellectually demanding" are also ...
9
votes
15answers
1k views

Alternative to “the blind leading the blind”

I'm looking for an alternative to the blind leading the blind that won't be offensive to anyone. Proverb - Someone who is not capable of dealing with a situation is guiding someone else who is not ...
2
votes
3answers
33 views

A word to convey “online-ness”

To give some context, in the algorithm design world there are two kinds of algorithms, online ones (which can work with partial amounts of data as it becomes available), and offline ones (which need ...
2
votes
2answers
156 views

What's a polite term for a cartel?

This question comes directly out of this comment on Law.SE, on an answer discussing restrictions about who can practice law. The legal profession is a cartel, protected by laws. Is there a term ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

A Computer Virus which doesn't damage your PC

I am a developer from Italy, and because I usually work with English people, I need to know some new words. What do you call a 'Computer Virus' which is only annoying but not dangerous?
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Another term for “zero-sum game” [closed]

Rock-paper-scissors is a zero-sum game, however I remember a different phrase that means essentially the same thing - when each member of a group of objects has exactly balanced strengths and ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

Alternative phrase for “to linger on (an issue)”

I want lay out several arguments about the same issue. I am looking for an alternative phrase for "to linger on (an issue)", to use it in a context similar to this, in order to introduce my second/...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

The word describing a seriously humorous oxymoron

Is there an English word (and if there is more than one – besides Oxymoron - which is the best?) to describe an oxymoronic figure of speech that is humorous because of the seriousness of the subject, ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

What's a simpler word for “several” in the meaning of “multiple” [closed]

[Hello. I'm not a native English speaker, so please forgive me for my mistakes if there are any] Suppose I wanted to say "I have in my class several people called Jim Smith". I'm under the impression ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Subtle version of “Curtains match the carpet” [closed]

The idiom "the curtains match the carpet" -- also heard the other way around and, in American English, swapping in "drapes" and "rug", respectively; I think I've also heard it with "collar" and "cuffs"...
8
votes
10answers
5k views

What is a less offensive term for “Christian mythology” that still implies it's non-empirical?

I'm trying to find an alternative term for "Christian mythology" that characterizes it as non-empirical, but isn't quite so caustic towards those sympathetic to Christian beliefs. I've considered "...
1
vote
3answers
81 views

Clearest way to say “penultimate?”

I have a series of paired bar charts that show the most recent administration of a survey immediately adjacent to the next most recent administration for a given client. The two time points are two ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Beg to differ - Why is there a need to beg for differ

Wouldn't 'Wish to differ' be better than 'Beg to differ'? A friend of mine asked me why I like to 'beg to differ', instead of 'wish to differ' or 'want to differ'. Any insight on the history of 'Beg ...
6
votes
4answers
27k views

Is there a better way to say: “My question is, is…” (e.g. “The question is, is it the right time”)

It feels a little weird for me (or should I say to me?) to say: So my question is, is having two 'Is' correct? And also this seems to me incorrect grammatically: So my question is, is ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

What does “Take care sweets” mean?

A good friend wrote me an email and at the end she added Take care sweets. I guess it's something good, but not sure what is the exact meaning. I searched a little bit what does that mean and didn't ...
4
votes
6answers
565 views

What's another word for “grind thoroughly” or “grind smoothly”?

I want another word for: grind thoroughly or grind smoothly, as in "Help me to grind this pepper thoroughly." i need proper words that could be use instead. I don't know whether you are getting ...
1
vote
5answers
968 views

Is there an alternative way of saying “important stuff”

I want to write an email to my supervisor and ask him to provide me a guideline for things I should be careful with, while I will be working on a project. Is there an alternative and shorter way of ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Alternative to the term “break-bulk” to refer to individual pieces of break-bulk

In the shipping industry the collective noun "break-bulk" is used to refer to non-containerised cargo. Usually, that means large machinery and non-uniform cargo that won't fit well in a container or ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

I am looking for a word resembling “Coralline”

We are two partners about to launch a product that is currently called "Coralline". We are inspired from the animal and its habitat in underwater. Since this will be an international product I am ...
4
votes
6answers
118 views

Is there a more positive alternative to the word “inevitability”?

Inevitability just sounds so depressing to me. The "inevitability of death" is a glaring example. There has to be a word that means "unavoidable but in a good way" right? Edit: The sentence I'm ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

What's an alternative idiom to “rob Peter to pay Paul?”

I'm looking for an alternative to the phrase, but I can't seem to figure any out. What's an alternative to "rob Peter to pay Paul?"
6
votes
8answers
5k views

Alternative to “double entendre”?

Does anyone know another word or way to say double entendre — in the non-bawdy sense of the word — as this phrase was only invented in the latter 1600's and so not around when Shakespeare wrote his ...
1
vote
2answers
26 views

Alternate way of saying “The mass of the mass”?

I performed an experiment in which a mass was hung from a spring. I want to refer to the mass of the mass hung from said spring, but that leads to quite a few awkward sentences. I cannot refer to the ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Alternative phrasing to “inclination notwithstanding” [closed]

I am trying to write a Statement of Purpose for graduate school and am unable to phrase my research interests in a satisfactory way. I wish to express something along the lines of "my specific areas ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Better alternative for “bring something to something”?

Is it correct to say bring some experience to some activity, as in Our product brings new experience to everyday shopping (artificial example) or there is an expression, that fits ...
-1
votes
4answers
44 views

A better alternative to “has and will inspire…”? [closed]

If you could rewrite the sentence "XYZ has and will inspire many people to...." how would you do it? The intent is XYZ has done a lot of inspiring work in past. He is still at his prime and ...
2
votes
1answer
15 views

Rhetorical Paper

I am writing a rhetorical response to a film and find myself often using the phrase "the viewer"; are there any ways to make my argument more direct without using "the audience" or "the viewer"?
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Event title suggestion

I'm looking for an event title for a reception at which an organisation will introduce itself to the attendees. It will be an informal drinks reception. At the moment the working title is: "XYZ ...
2
votes
4answers
141 views

Animal-related alternatives to the 'black swan' expression

I am looking for animal-based alternate expressions to the 'black swan' for a rare event (or a rare item, even though that's not precisely what black swan signifies). I believe I have heard other (...
12
votes
3answers
930 views

Is 'compatriate' really an English word?

I recently saw the word 'compatriate' used in a newspaper article. Upon looking it up, suspecting a typo (or even an eggcorn: it is easy to see how compatriot would be mixed-up with expatriate etc.), ...
0
votes
2answers
998 views

Any alternatives for the word “deservability”?

The word "deservability" officially doesn't exist in dictionary. But, we might come across few situations where you need to make sentences like this one. You deserve that job. But sometimes, ...
0
votes
3answers
178 views

How can I say “Do something in exchange” in a different way?

I'd like to know alternative ways to say: "Do something in exchange" when someone helps me. If possible can you guys give me three or more examples? For example, "Thanks for helping, what can I ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

What's a word for: “just to feel good about yourself”?

For example: You want approval and people to think you're smart, just to feel good about yourself.
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Ways of conveying existence other than 'there is.' [closed]

What are some different ways of stating existence in a sentence (does not necessarily have to be one/short clause) other than clichés such as there is/are, there exists ... How may these sentence ...
3
votes
3answers
122 views

A better alternative for expression 'visually rich'?

So is it correct to use such expression or there is a better word or phrase to express that? In case someone needs an example sentence (I have doubts regarding this), I'm not going to use the ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

What are alternate words for the exclamation 'hooray!' [closed]

"Hurrah!" seems like a different form of hooray. "Yippee!" is the only other one I can find.