Tagged Questions

Questions arising from error (real or perceived): solecism, malapropism, mondegreens, eggcorns, disputed usages, so-called "corruption", folk etymologies, but also requests for interpretation when the text in question arguably contains an error, and questions which stem from a misunderstanding. Do ...

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2
votes
1answer
69 views

Is there a word to describe this linguistic error?

Francis Galton originally used the term "regression to mediocrity" to refer to the phenomenon that children of very tall parents were on average less tall. More generally, the heights of children over ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

“a wottle of bine”, “a can of boot reer” and “holed and sealed” - What types of speech errors are these?

People often make these mistakes in speech, on purpose, just for amusement. Sometimes, however, they are unintentional and prove even funnier. In this case, is there a specific term for them? e.g. ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Why “broke” and not “broken” in “If it ain't broke, don't fix it”?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it an idiom says. Why isn't it If it ain't broken, don't fix it On the other hand the lyrics of a song "Victory" played by a band "Deliverance" are as follows: ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Detection of dangling modifier

Sentence that needs correction : "For building vocabulary skills, students should try to speak and write new words in appropriate contexts, rather than merely memorizing definitions". How is ...
2
votes
4answers
161 views

Noun to describe a “typo-filled” letter

I am changing my e-mail signature on my phone to read: Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4. Please do not mistake my brevity and/or misspellings for apathy and/or ignorance. I am looking for a ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Can we use 'at' and 'by' together? [closed]

Is this sentence correct? "The demand of rent Rs.15000/- is arrived at by BSNL based on the prevailing rents in the area."
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Use of [sic] when correcting factual errors in reprinted work

I have had to write a review of an interview, as the article's author has not given me permission to fully reprint it (I did ask, they didn't respond). I have instead quoted from the article and ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Wherefore/whence the incorrect grammatical use of “code” (“a code was written”)?

I've noticed a seemingly increasing number of students now refer to the end result of programming to be "a code" rather than "a program", "a script", or even "some code". For example, taken from a ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Is 'we thought your pharmacy would be interested' wrong?

Let's say I'm a person who's sending an e-mail to a person or a company who owns a pharmacy - I'm trying to promote my medical device to them. Would the following be considered wrong or "bad" English? ...
6
votes
2answers
267 views

Would the rejection of an argument because of a grammatical error be a type of logical fallacy?

Many people may have experienced situations (often online) where someone dismisses another's argument not on the merits of the argument, but because of a grammatical (or, more generally, mechanical) ...
5
votes
6answers
4k views

Word for when one uses the wrong word in a sentence

Specifically, I'm looking for the term for when a person uses a word correctly, but intends a different meaning. For example: I empathize with you. When the person really means: I ...
-1
votes
1answer
142 views

Using a pronoun and a proper noun with a descriptor

With the sentence: "If he was Little Freddie, the apple of Vinnie's eye, would have told him." Does it mean if he was Little Freddie, or was he referring to Little Freddie? I think the meaning is for ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Why do lots of people use “seperate” instead of “separate”? [closed]

Catalan: "separar" English: "separate" French: "séparer" Galician: "separar" Italian: "separare" Latin: "separo" Portuguese: "separar" Romanian: "separa" Spanish: "separar" Sweedish: "separera" ...
1
vote
3answers
202 views

What type of word is “abnomaly”?

I've got a coworker that frequently uses the word, "abnomaly", not "abnormal" and not "anomaly", but "abnomaly". While the types of these words differ (i.e. adjective versus noun), the meanings are ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Is there a term for spelling errors that occur when heterographs are mixed up?

For example: "I am quitting this job with immediate affect."
0
votes
3answers
5k views

How to use [sic] at the end of a quote?

The OpenStreetMap Sign Up page advises new users on its password policy: With OpenID a password is not required, but some extra tools or server [sic] may still need one. I've added [sic] ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a comma before the word until in the sentence below?

In this sentence: They are not taking their team photograph until Friday at 7:30. On my son’s punctuation test, he did not use a comma after photograph, and his teacher marked this “missing” ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Erroring or Erring? [duplicate]

Is it more correct to say a computer program is erroring out, or it is erring out? Or are both statements grammatically incorrect?
7
votes
4answers
288 views

What's the term for introducing an error when you edit a sentence?

Several years ago, I recall learning an English term that described the following sort of error: I write (or begin writing) a sentence without error. I decide to change something in the sentence. I ...
-3
votes
2answers
3k views

what does “Needy-Greedy” mean? [closed]

Hi I was watching a online video and the lecturer mentioned "here comes the needy-greedy detail of this lecture" after the introduction. And I am not quite sure what does the needy-greedy mean here? ...
-5
votes
1answer
62 views

What does “values that visitors seek the park mean” in this sentence mean? [closed]

This is from Garett Hardin's essay on the Tragedy Of Commons. The National Parks present another instance of the working out of the tragedy of the commons. At present, they are open to all, without ...
10
votes
2answers
694 views

What do you call it when someone misunderstands a homonym? [duplicate]

I once ran across a term for the error of misunderstanding the meaning or sense of a word because one doesn't know exactly what the word is. For example, someone mistakenly thinks that the phrase is ...
1
vote
2answers
288 views

Is 'Mochup' the same as 'Mock-up'?

I recently came across the word 'mochup'. I am unsure if this is simply a spelling mistake of the term 'mock-up', or if it is a technical neologism with a slightly different meaning. Searching on ...
0
votes
1answer
246 views

respectful owners ? Is that right?

I am reading on many many websites or videos something like: "All rights goes to their respectful owners" "Jack and other characters mention are property of Dreamworks and respectful owners" ...
0
votes
2answers
215 views

Meaning of 'pedal' in sentence?

What does the following sentence mean: “Mattan and the yellow jersey were right in the middle of the pack as it peddled hard in the blistering heat.”? I don't understand what "peddle" means in ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Usage of “accrue” in “it accrued to me to gently ask” [closed]

A newage hippie Facebook friend just sent me this. I was just wondering if it was syntactically correct, It accrued to me to gently ask if you could consider extending the same respect, you would ...
0
votes
1answer
335 views

Which is right: “what pants is he wearing” or “what pants are he wearing”? [duplicate]

Since 'pants' is one of those always plural words, I can't figure out which sounds right.
-2
votes
2answers
253 views

Is a bare infinitive acceptable as the object of a verb? [duplicate]

I came upon the phrase, "writing helps develop a child analytically thinking." Is this grammatically correct? Is it OK to use just develop instead of to develop?
-2
votes
1answer
63 views

What “All of is” means? [closed]

Question: Who wrote this music? Answer: All of is. I don't get it. Can someone help me here? Thanks.
0
votes
2answers
448 views

How can you encourage native speakers to correct mistakes non-native speakers make? [closed]

My English is pretty advanced, yet I still make mistakes (not many, but some). I am constantly talking to native speakers and always tell them to correct my mistakes. My problem is that in most ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

What is a 'beater restaurant'? [closed]

I was reading an article in the Denver Post and I ran across the term "beater restaurant." I didn't know what it meant, and I wasn't able to find the term via a Google search. The article is in the ...
0
votes
2answers
267 views

Has the contraction “you’re” finally been replaced by “your”?

Your is almost universally used these days for you’re (“you are”). Is the misuse of your a result of ignorance, or is the contraction now formally dead?
-2
votes
1answer
314 views

'Of ' in the line 'I really felt quite distressed of not receiving an invitation.'

This is a line I encountered in Sleeping Beauty, cried by the malevolent fairy when she found out she was not invited to the celebration of the new-born princess. Question: What kind of grammatical ...
1
vote
3answers
222 views

The use of question formation in non-question phrases?

I have read the following text some time ago: [...] Only here can you enjoy dazzling entertainment, get the thrill of your life on the exciting rides, and be face-to-face with some of the ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a name for misusing a word (e.g., saying “Provincially, yes”)? [closed]

I read a mail in which someone replied to the question "Will he be attending the party?" by saying "Provincially, yes". Provincial means "of or concerning the regions outside the capital city of a ...
2
votes
2answers
407 views

What's the origin of the phrase “God's clean earth”, and how long has it been around? [closed]

"It isn't every day a man wakes up to discover he's a screaming bender with no more right to live on God's clean Earth than a weasel." - Dr. Leech, "Blackadder II" What's the origin of that ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

Is there a word like applicality? [closed]

I have seen the word applicality being used at some places but couldn’t find its meaning when I looked it up on the internet. Example usage: But because law doesn’t exist doesn’t mean it can’t be ...
-2
votes
1answer
689 views

Word pairs that are both synonyms and antonyms [closed]

The words "catholic" and "parochial" are synonyms or near-synonyms meaning "pertaining to the Catholic Church" (e.g., a parochial school is a Catholic school) but they're antonyms in a different ...
7
votes
2answers
322 views

Are there names for consonant-shifts when suffixes are added?

I saw a spelling mistake on an SO question: submittion. That got me wondering, is there a name for the shift of ‑mit‑ to ‑miss‑ in submission, permission, admission and so on? Are there other patterns ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Is this a complete sentence or two? [closed]

Given the example (from a British novel, The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life) Well what did I expect who said it would be easy? I will not let this defeat me. I will persist. Is the first ...
3
votes
3answers
427 views

Contexts where a comma means “and”

A comma is commonly used as a short form of the word and in newspaper headlines. In what other contexts is this convention common? This question came to mind as I was trying to parse the following ...
1
vote
2answers
903 views

Is there a difference between “brainstorming” and “mindstorming”? [closed]

Some people use brainstorming, others use mindstorming. I could not find the difference between the two words.
-1
votes
2answers
290 views

What does “pre-delay” mean in this conversation?

This short piece of dialogue appears in the movie "Faces in the Crowd": Bryce: Shouldn't you be handing out gold stars instead of earning yellow ribbons on FarmVille? Anna: I was just ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Is ‘Today, Japan’s old age social security system is running at a deficit, is the whole country” in Forbes magazine a right sentence? [closed]

I’m puzzled about the meaning of “is the whole country” in the following sentence of the article titled “Japan’s choice: Sink the welfare state or collapse – Whither Japan,” in October 21 Forbes ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“More that” vs. “more than” [closed]

Here is an example of something I occasionally encounter, and it always trips me up. The title of an applied mathematics book from Stanford University in 1959 is (bold mine) Partial Differential ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Synonym for “do you mean” without negative connotations [closed]

Whenever I use the phrase "do you mean to say", I notice that the word "mean" has a variety of negative connotations (cruelty, harshness, etc.) Is there any alternative for this phrase that doesn't ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

What does “nukulate” mean?

What does nukulate mean in the following sentence from a question on Cooking SE? Nukulate for 3 minutes on high.
15
votes
1answer
1k views

“Soft-peddle” vs. “Soft-pedal”: eggcorn blunder or sly play on words?

In chat the other day I asked the following question: "Recently I've been seeing writers using "soft-peddle" in print (in reputable publications, to boot) when I am certain the trope is ...
1
vote
3answers
413 views

What does the usage of “under” in this context mean? [closed]

What does under mean here, how do you define it? From a biography: Shum graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2000. He started dancing with his high school dance company team and ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Apostrophe and plurals of abbreviations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? I was in Middlesbrough yesterday and spotted: CJ’s Cafe So far, so good, I thought. A selection of the delights within ...