Choosing the best phrase for a particular context or meaning.

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0
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2answers
41 views

Is there a shorter way of saying “Not knowing what else to do?” [on hold]

Does the English language provide a shorter form of the phrase? Example: Not knowing what else to do, I kept walking through the corridor.
1
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2answers
36 views

can a discussion be “contentious” [closed]

Not a native speaker, so not sure if this question is appropriate for this forum. Is there a difference between "a contentious discussion" and " a discussion on something contentious". Apparently the ...
3
votes
3answers
56 views

Does “to be on the surface” mean to make something known to the public?

Can I use the expression "be on the surface" to mean that somebody finally makes himself known to the general public? For example They have been ignored so far by the public, but they are now ...
0
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2answers
57 views

Is there a generic expression for a “universal product”?

In Lucky Luke vol 38, some character named Doc Doxey tries to sell a product that works for almost everything (elixir) like a Swiss army knife with very general reported usage. Is there a name for ...
8
votes
8answers
842 views

Term for situation where alternative choice is not really one [duplicate]

What would you call a situation where the current one sucks but you have a 'choice' to an alternative, however the alternative is not really one. Such as, "Sure living in an area under a ...
1
vote
3answers
64 views

If a character is boring and predictable, is he one-dimensional, or two-dimensional?

Let's suppose you have a character that's cliche, boring, and uninspired. Would you call the character one-dimensional, or two-dimensional? Both uses seem to make sense to me. For example, if a ...
3
votes
4answers
56 views

Word for a decaying and renewing system, like a coral reef

Jungles and coral reefs are built in a piecemeal way: parts of them are always decaying, being patchily replaced by the fresh new bits springing up. The whole ecology acts as a single discordant ...
0
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2answers
34 views

Word/Expression for a concept made simple as a result of mastery

Is there a word or expression that conveys this meaning: A text (and more generally an expressed idea about any field) seems very clear (crystal clear). But it is clear only because the author has ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Way to ask interviewer (/speaking examiner) to repeat slowly its question [duplicate]

The accent of a speaking examiner is sometimes difficult to understand completely. Asking him to repeat his question is a delicate action that should be handled correctly, in my consideration. ...
25
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9answers
5k views

What is a polite way of talking about a recently-deceased person?

In my language (Arabic), we say things that can be translated to: Mr X, God have mercy on him, was .. Mr X, God puts him in heaven, was. . . . Mr X, God forgive him, was. . . . How does one talk ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the common expression to describe position starting from the last one?

Suppose we have letters: a, b, c, d, e, f ,g. I want to describe the position of letter "e" starting from right hand side, what should I use? "e" is the last third letter. "e" is the third last ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

What is another way of saying“ instil fear ” and “shamelessly”?

I was writing an essay and found no other way of expressing "instil fear" and "shamelessly". I am looking for ways to say these in a more formal manner.
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Usage of “À la carte” on menus in English

On a menu which contains both "family style" dishes and individual items (serves 1 person) would it be correct to name the individual items section "À la carte"?
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3answers
156 views

A word or expression that means somebody's name is not “real”

I'm interviewing someone and he doesn't want his real name showing up, so how could I rephrase the following sentence? We hide his real name under the name Luke.
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Is there a business phrase for whack-a-mole?

In my company, I've been asked to generate reports about accounts (for example) that have abnormal traits (less than 1%, for example). They want to know where these abnormal cases are so they can go ...
1
vote
3answers
66 views

A simile / metaphor for the concept that an entity is formed from a wide range of factors

I would really appreciate any help with the following. I am trying to explain that health is not simply determined by biological factors. Instead it is shaped by a whole host of variables: ...
1
vote
3answers
66 views

“hunger resistant”

As the title says, a person who does not get hungry easily, or is better at ignoring the effects of malnourishment is (a) ____ ? Example: a monk who can fast for an extended period of time. ...
1
vote
3answers
629 views

“fought in the World War II” versus “fought in the second World War” [closed]

Why is fought in the second World War or fought in the Vietnam War correct but fought in the World War II is not?
1
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3answers
42 views

Women and children

I keep seeing and hearing the expression women and children in print and on NPR when referring to a set of people in a war zone. Do they literally mean women and children? Or has that become an ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

What is the difference between “X is needed” and “X is necessary”?

Do the following two sentences mean the same? A: If you improve the quality of your data, less data is needed to achieve an error rate of 30%. B: If you improve the quality of your data, less ...
-1
votes
2answers
54 views

Usage of Repetitive words [duplicate]

we often repeat few words in like little little , different different etc . Are these valid english usage?
8
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there a word for fake kindness or hospitality?

Is there a word for faking kindness/hospitality to sound more tactful and decent than you really are (which could be categorized as some sort of hypocrisy)? For example, saying: Pay us a visit ...
1
vote
4answers
252 views

Expressions to describe having immediately understood someone's personality

What words could I use to describe the event of having successfully and completely "read" or understood someone's personality, upon first meeting that someone?
1
vote
2answers
62 views

A “Frankenstein's monster” similar metaphors

Although originally it's a novel character, a "Frankenstein's monster" became a metaphor for "something that cannot be controlled and that attacks or destroys the person who invented it." However, are ...
2
votes
3answers
112 views

A word for something you keep coming back to to feel grounded, oriented

Is there a word for an object like this? Mantra is close, but is more like a ritual than a physical thing. For example, a rosary could be a physical object that a Catholic uses to calm, center, ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

“Word for word” or “word by word”? [closed]

I have an idiom that is used in a sentence; which is correct? You are asked to copy this letter word by word. You are asked to copy this letter word for word. Which is correct?
2
votes
1answer
199 views

What does expression “speak up to the point” mean?

I just used the expression speak up to the point as a way of saying: Express without blathering Get directly to the actualy point Have I used this expression correctly? Are there any other better ...
0
votes
2answers
116 views

Single word for attributing inappropriate motives to others' actions?

Is there a single word to describe someone who often attributes inappropriately trivial/cheap motives to another person's actions? I'm thinking along the lines of someone who puts himself briefly in ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Expression for distance relationship between observer and object?

I am looking for a word or expression, that describes the specific distance in the space that lets the observer appreciate and completely understand the object of observation. For example, when one ...
7
votes
5answers
743 views

Term for something similar to hijacking a meeting?

When someone says hijacking a meeting, IMO it usually means that someone has made the meeting all about his/her agenda. One time, I was invited to a meeting to talk about "ABC", but they only ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Expression/word combination for “object of application”

I need to be able to refer to an object which has/needs something applied to it or used on it. A couple of examples: one liter of paint is needed to paint an area of 10m². 6 birthday candles are ...
0
votes
6answers
101 views

A way to express how one feels after an exhausting wait before results are known!

What adjective or expression can describe the state of a person after a very wearing wait? Like the wait for the results of an important examination,of a decisive political election or of ...
0
votes
1answer
152 views

“Take care with” something

Recently I had a deep discussion with an American person born and raised in the USA who said that when I say "take care with something" it makes absolutely no sense. That was said because she had ...
0
votes
3answers
59 views

How to refer to a previous number by “that much”?

Sentence: Using cross-validation, it was shown that modeling at a penalty value of 1.25 did achieve the highest performance. This indicates that a penalty value that much could mitigate the ...
2
votes
4answers
96 views

A name for the tendency to criticize those who don't succeed

This could apply to a single person, but also to a group of people or even a nation. Is there a word for the widespread tendency to express disapproval towards someone who is unable to accomplish ...
11
votes
11answers
2k views

How else can I express the concept of ' just to be on the safe side'

I always use this expression when I want to say that I just want to be prudent about something. Are there other ways to convey the same concept, other idioms or expressions I can use alternatively?
0
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2answers
58 views

It was so funny that I 'could not stop laughing'

What other expressions can I use give the idea of " seeming unable to stop from laughing" because of a very amusing joke or a very funny story ?
-1
votes
1answer
109 views

how to say “etc” in a subject

I am translating some legal certificate and I need to indicate that a construction method and related factors are in accordance with a law. I am not sure what is the appropriate way to describe ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

How to use decades in this sentence?

I want to say ongoing research on matter X using the word decades. The research started from the date of discovery of matter x in 1982 onwards. This should be an opening statement of an academic ...
12
votes
16answers
1k views

A way to express an overreaction to something positive

I am looking for a word or an expression to describe an overreaction to positive news or positive events. Something that has to do with excessive enthusiasm like when you you are unable to control ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

What is a word or expression to define that you have reached the limit of your capabilities?

I am referring to the stage where someone reaches his/her capabilities limits, especially professional limits. I am thinking about career advancements as well as the growth in professional life. We ...
1
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0answers
26 views

How about my new epigram? [closed]

I'm a Transylvanian epigramist, I'm not so fluent in English, though I wrote several epigrams in this language. Here's one tooth them: The theory of harmless excess *When you are squiffy as a ...
0
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3answers
214 views

Professional ways of saying “to know something”

Usually, in our CV or resume, we will say that "I know this, I know that, blah blah". I think the verb "to know" is not formal enough in such situation. Is there a better way to say you know ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Using “of” before “whether” and general usage of “whether”

I was reading a mathematics text, and I came across a phrase which I thought was written incorrectly. There was a part of a sentence: ... it begs the question whether or not A=B. and I feel this ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

An expression for 'growing old and more spiritual'

Is there an expression or saying that can be used to describe when person is growing old and he/she becomes less involved with physical issues and devotes more time to spiritual ones, taking care ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Can I use “on this occasion” to start a sentence?

Can I use on this occasion to start a sentence? For example: I worked for three years as administrator of XXXX. On this occasion I managed. . . .
0
votes
3answers
60 views

A name for a 'food and drink' tour

One recent trend in Europe when choosing a tour or a short holiday is to organise it with the main purpose to go to places where you can taste fine wines and enjoy good food ( especially local and ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Is the use of the dative of possession (from Latin) in English phrases proper?

I am an avid Latin III student studying in high school, and I often think about the effect that Latin has had on English, not just through etymology and morphology, but in semantics and pragmatics. ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

How to express “brewing coffee” in CV interests? [closed]

I'm not a professional barista but I have a hobby connected with brewing espresso and making all kinds of coffee. I'm also interested in various coffee beans, espresso machines etc. How to express it ...
2
votes
4answers
77 views

Other expressions for 'coming of age'

I understand that the expression 'coming of age' may refer to both the legal and natural definitions of a young person that becomes an adult. The age specifically may be different according to the ...