Choosing the best phrase for a particular context or meaning.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

-2
votes
0answers
80 views

What do you call the phenomenon when a negative reflection is favored over a positive one?

Is there a word or expression which expresses the idea of a bias towards a negative reflection (e.g. negative judgement/criticism) rather than a positive one (e.g. appreciation/supporting comment)? As ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

“You should know” is it going beyond respect? [on hold]

I'm going to start a informatic video series named "#YouShouldKnow" inspired from "Did You Know" but I think the name is getting little harsh and disrespectful, but I am confused Is this name Ok ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Use of “fifth column” - Is it archaic

In one of my research seminars, the director, a scientist, was heard saying- Fellow countrymen, the fifth column is akin to a sleeper cell and we should be cognizant of their presence. ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

If I feel that an answer isn't relevant, how do I express that? [duplicate]

If I feel that an answer isn't relevant to the given question, how can I express it more clearly? I am not able to come up with an appropriate word to describe what I wish to describe, a few ...
4
votes
11answers
742 views

How to describe a person in a situation in which he does not completely know what he is doing?

How can we describe a person doing or communicating something without (really) knowing what he is doing or talking about? This could be either because of some indisposition like for example ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Butchering criticism?

Could "butcher" work as criticism? “I doubt [we'll be hearing from him], especially after we butchered him in that interview,”
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Arguably- does the adverb carries “what I am saying is unarguable” connotation [duplicate]

Arguably- “I’m a little confused about the usage of this word. "Roger Federer is arguably the best tennis player ever. This is what I heard in a conversation. My point is does the statement ...
2
votes
3answers
316 views

How to say “I met someone”, but not in the romantic way [closed]

I sometimes start stories with "I met someone who (...)" or "I met a man who (...)". Being a woman, people often seem to think there is something romantic about the meeting even though that was not ...
6
votes
5answers
863 views

What is an expression for a priest not wearing official attire?

Is there an English expression for a priest or monk not wearing his religious attire? (any Christian doctrine, or even more general). Clarification: I'm trying to say that someone looks like an ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Proper usage of 'Come to lunch' & 'Come for lunch'?

I told a colleague of mine that since she didn't 'come to lunch', hence no sweets for her. She corrected the sentence to 'come for lunch'. So which one is the proper usage ?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Is “By one side, …, by the other side” a correct expression?

I've come across the formulation by one side, by other side instead of on the one hand/side and on the other hand/side. I strongly suspect this to be wrong and maybe Brazilian Portuguese originated, ...
9
votes
13answers
936 views

Historical or literary examples of misguided or botched attempts to help that end up causing harm [duplicate]

I'm looking for examples from history, folklore, literature, movies, or pop culture, of situations in which a person or group attempted to do something helpful but, due to their own poor judgment, ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Sorry I didn't turn up, I clean forgot. What's the sense of "clean' and its usage hygiene? [closed]

Sorry I didn't turn up -I clean forgot. The explosion blew the cooker clean through the wall. What kind of usage is this- AmE or BrE ? The meaning of clean usually refers to removing ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

“Degree of Proximity” or “Proximity of Blood” or “Relation Proximity”?

I'm translating a civil record to English, which has a table of information about a family registry. One of the titles is "Degree of Proximity", however I'm not sure which of the expressions suits the ...
1
vote
4answers
346 views

A phrase for two characters that are unmistakably similar

I am looking for a phrase that compares two characters that share very similar attributes and characteristics. Prufrock and Hamlet truly are [ ... ] I don't want something like "very much ...
0
votes
3answers
50 views

Phrase for “putting one's plans into action”

I am looking for a phrase, metaphor, or cliche to mean "putting one's plans into action". I am using it in the following sentence. As the events of the play proceed, however, Hamlet becomes ...
0
votes
4answers
92 views

A proper substitute to “highly reactive” [closed]

I have to use the expression " highly reactive" a lot in my everyday writings. Can there be another word or phrase to put it better and which still connotes the correct meaning. Plutonium is a ...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a word for something loved by the masses but whose true value is lacking?

Is there a general word for someone or something popular or loved by the masses but that has not been proven to be effectual (like how some would use the term "pop psychology" pejoratively)? Examples ...
1
vote
4answers
89 views

Middle ground between “I'll live with it” and “Bring it on!”?

The context is a typical conversation. You've settled for a course of action and expressed yourself accordingly. Then you get from someone a warning of sorts about potential risks or consequences ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

He stayed a week vs he stayed for a week

He stayed a week vs He stayed for a week I consider her my friend vs I consider her as my friend. I don't know whether he can be there vs I don't know if he can be there I often hear ...
5
votes
14answers
1k views

Opposite of “out of date”? [closed]

Can anyone think of a phrase we would use to describe a situation where something is the opposite of "out of date"; that is, it's "too new"? For example, a banana that's been sitting around for ages ...
1
vote
5answers
121 views

“Only the good die young.” Negative or Positive? [closed]

I've heard this expression before. I can't tell if its used as a positive one or a negative one? When is it appropriate to use this expression? Is it implying that people that live to be an old age ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Way to indicate coordinates

Do the following two sentences mean the same thing? Upper left Y coordinate relative to the point z. Upper left Y coordinate to the point z. Thank you in advance.
1
vote
2answers
42 views

“Can't you see the person is embroidering?” - idiomaticity and alternatives?

Two persons, who were not privy to a scene, are now observing two others who are talking: [...] [one of the former, reacting to something that was just said] -Why did she/he say that!? ...
1
vote
4answers
277 views

What is the expression for “high fever”?

It can not be high/low according to my understanding. Fever is fever. He is suffering from fever of high temperature. He is suffering from high fever.
0
votes
3answers
61 views

Walk across/through/on the crosswalk?

What is the correct collocation here? Do you walk across the crosswalk, through the crosswalk, or on the crosswalk? Or can you say cross the crosswalk?
0
votes
2answers
125 views

“at the cost of” vs. “at the expense of”

I usually use "at the cost of", but my editor made it "at the expense of". For example, the following sentence: The counts in Table 2 are all based on implementations that are optimized for ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

“To the next time” vs. “Till the next time” [closed]

Could you tell me which form is correct, and why? to the next time, name till the next time, name
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Is it common to use the phrase “come with” without specifying with whom [duplicate]

We’re going to the pub. Want to come with?” I have heard this from an American colleague. Though this sounds odd to the majority of us, however, since I am not sure of the usage, I am asking how ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Should I use “half the time” or “half of the time”? [closed]

If I wanted to say that someone finished in 30 minutes when they had one hour to complete a given task, should I say "he did it in half the time" or "he did it in half of the time"?
0
votes
2answers
82 views

How well does my second sentence connect with the first one? [closed]

I am not sure in what category this question will fall, if any. If it needs to be altered, I will alter it. The following is the ending of a piece of writing: I will make a difference to people's ...
-4
votes
1answer
68 views

Reducing the ambiguity of “they” [closed]

X's strength and Y's belief have helped X work with people. They will help X in the future. or His determination and belief in his purpose have helped him work with people. They will help ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

sentence construction where non-restrictive clause uses a conjunction

It gave John, a new hire to the company and now a director, a good start. It gave John, a new hire to the company who is now a director, a good start. The non-restrictive clause uses "and" ...
3
votes
3answers
48 views

another way to express “not limited to”

Not limited to X, the issue also affects Y. What could substitute "not limited to" other than not restricted to/bounded to? I overused these words and looking for simple substitutes.
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Is the infinitive in this sentence correct?

John was fortunate to receive the funding. The statement uses the infinitive "to receive" instead of "to have received," which describes the state of having received something. "to have received" ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Can “existing” ever refer to past existence?

It included a better warranty than John's existing one, which was exactly what John needed. Can existing/current refer to the warranty at the time in the past? It needs to express the idea that ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Does this sentence need a preposition or article [closed]

That work made poor coaching but great training. Idea being communicated is that the work wouldn't be considered "good coaching" but it was "good training." Note that I am not using an article before ...
2
votes
3answers
93 views

Is there another expression for “my manager's manager”?

As the title says, is there another expression for "my manager's manager"? For example, in the large company I currently work for, there are 4 managers and the CEO above me. If there is no single ...
3
votes
3answers
68 views

comma with phrases that use “yet”

I am using a sentence of the following form in a formal document. This paper shows strong, yet very circuitous, analysis. The sentence is expected to express that the analysis is strong but ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

sentence phrasing issue

I asked a similar question earlier but this one is more specific in the example. Growing up with a brother who did X and was the only healthy sibling, and another brother who did anti-X, made ...
4
votes
6answers
69 views

another phrase to express dwelled on

After the incident he dwelled on the issues surrounding the incident. What would be other substitutes to express the idea conveyed by "dwell on?" I considered "mull over", "ruminate", "moped about", ...
4
votes
4answers
286 views

A better word than “disabled” [closed]

I have recently completed a 'Lean' project on enhancing customer experience in a Hospice. Before submitting my report, I was taking a stock of the various signage at the hospital. A few of them read ...
9
votes
11answers
3k views

Non-religious equivalent expression for “Pray for [Country X]” after a disaster

When a big disaster occurs in a country, you can often see messages saying: Pray for [Country X] Are people really writing this to incite people to ask their God for anything? For instance ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Proceed vs. Proceed further/ahead- Redundancy

In a training session on Business English, the instructor often said, proceed and proceed further, usually, after a pause by the speakers or whenever he interrupted. Examples: I ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Close by or nearby? [closed]

The cops traced residential address of his relatives who lived close by. Close up/down, close off, close in are terms well understood, I have not seen such usage of close + by. Would it be ...
6
votes
5answers
291 views

A word for a man who offers his services to have sex with a woman unable to conceive

Recently, I read an advert in a local Chinese daily, it read: Surrogate father services available for unpregnant, unable to conceive woman: Healthy, medically certified and fit male companion ...
4
votes
4answers
53 views

Is there a term for a highlighted option?

I'm curious - is there a term for a character that is used to denote a highlighted option in text-based navigation? For example, say we have this menu when navigating a text-only menu: One > ...
1
vote
3answers
91 views

A word for the quality of being easy or good to talk to

What is a word for the quality of being easy or good to talk to? It is more than just being a "good listener." And it is not "open-minded," in that it's not about being receptive to new ideas. The ...
2
votes
3answers
253 views

“Skeleton project” or “Blank project”

What is the correct wording for a (programming context: PHP, Javascript, HTML, ...) project folder (= a set of files / scripts) someone else can use as a starting point? Not talking about an empty ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

What is the difference between log in, sign in; register, login; log out, sign out [duplicate]

Although they are all over the Internet, but the answers are not fixed and were not asked all 4s at a time causing me to be confused. Is it accurate if I say: both login and sign in are the same as ...