Questions about English as it is used in our own day and times. Differs from the more general Modern English by being more restricted.

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6
votes
8answers
2k views

What's the informal word for a small challenge?

Example: I challenge you to get her number. If you get it, you earn a beer. It's sort of a friendly bet. It's a short 3-5 letter word. I've heard it but can't recall it. Please help. Something ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Use of “nay” - still current?

I get the sense that the interjection nay is seen as outdated and used only for humorous effect. Is this assumption true, or is it still acceptable in serious writing?
2
votes
1answer
550 views

Is “oftener” obsolete?

Does any native speaker of the English Language ever use oftener instead of more often?
0
votes
2answers
96 views

Is 'of' as in 'drink of' an old usage?

I drank of the jar. Is this 'of' an old usage? But I can't find the proof for that.
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it really wrong to say “I'm hearing”?

Many grammar books claim that ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘taste’, ‘smell’, ‘feel’ are verbs that aren’t used in continuous forms, and yet, we do hear and see it quite often used by native speakers. For instance, ...
-3
votes
2answers
103 views

What is the Metric version of “Empirical”? [closed]

Most of the Anglosphere uses the metric system, but I cannot find the term for an "empirical" metric. Does such a word exist, if not, why has "empirical" continued to be used by countries that have ...
2
votes
1answer
354 views

What is the meaning of the sentence “you have to be possessed which you can't will”?

There is this video on John Baldessari and he says there's three things a young artist should know. I couldn't get the second one because I could not figure out the sentence. Take a look at it: ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

What is Mongolian Trait ? when referring to medical scores of a newborn child in USA [closed]

What is Mongolian Trait? I have been unable to find the meaning to this My Niece was classified as having Mongolian Trait ..
0
votes
3answers
1k views

I've finished my studies and currently looking for a job?

I'm writing my first CV (resume) before applying for some jobs. Is the following sentence grammatically correct? I've finished my studies and currently looking for a job
3
votes
1answer
188 views

When can the word “Noel” be used?

I came across the word "Noel" in a Christmas song recently. I only knew the French word "Noël" before so I looked "Noel" up in Leo. [Leo states] Noel also: Noël French - used especially ...
1
vote
3answers
181 views

“His words reached her nicely”

Someone told me I can't say, someone's words reached someone else nicely. For example: "His/your words reached me nicely" Is that true?
11
votes
5answers
61k views

“Thank you very much” vs. “Thank you so much”

Some people used to say: Thank you very much. Where others say: Thank you so much. Could anybody please explain what differences there may be between those, whether of correctness or ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Meaning of “excited much”, “stalker much”

What does 'excited much' or 'stalker much' mean exactly, and which context are they used in? I don't get the usage of much after a noun or adjective. I often see this construction in comments, for ...
1
vote
2answers
453 views

Future Subjunctive

I have a few issues to discuss linked to the Future Subjunctive. 1) Can "If I were you." mean the same as "If I were to be you." In other words, can "If I were you." have the reference to the future ...
0
votes
2answers
187 views

Is the phrase “breed of men” weird or just different?

Forgive me for asking two questions in a single post, but I think it would make more sense to post them together. So please indulge me. Sentence: He is not unique. We should be able to discover such ...
1
vote
2answers
392 views

Usage of 'on the brink of'

(Talking about a chimp): "In human age, he would have been on the brink of puberty." I was told that this sentence is odd because 'be on the brink of' is usually used for something negative: ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

Usage of the article 'a' before bait in this particular instance

Is it acceptable to use the article 'a' before 'bait' in this sentence? Is there a difference in meaning here when you use 'a' or drop it? "You would not have sent it to me for no reason. It was a ...
22
votes
5answers
6k views

Why should I use “ought to”?

Is "ought to" still used in modern English? If yes, in what contexts is it used, and is it used more in formal or informal cases?
4
votes
2answers
498 views

Is “proven” very old -fashioned?

I occasionally see the participle "proven" in mathematical texts, instead of "proved". Of course I realize that this a deliberate archaism, but I wanted to know if this is still used in books or ...