Choosing the best phrase for a particular context or meaning.

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0
votes
2answers
916 views

'Sometime back' or 'Sometimes back'?

How should I decide between "sometime back" and "sometimes back"? Sometime back I received a call from Mr. X Sometimes back I received a call from Mr. X Which sentence is correct?
13
votes
10answers
9k views

Alternative expression for “bang for your buck”

I have been hearing the expression "bang for you buck" many times a day and I find myself distracted when I or others use it. In an effort to be an attentive listener, what is a good alternative ...
1
vote
3answers
254 views

Can I say “I have been nourishing my passions”?

Can I say "I have been nourishing my passions"? Or something similar to express the figurative fact that "I have been developing and nourishing them"?
1
vote
4answers
856 views

Is there a difference between “way of doing something” and “way to do something”?

Is there a difference between "way of doing something" and "way to do something"? It is on purpose that I did not write "a way of doing something" or "the way of doing something" and "a way to do ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

“all in one” - how else can this be said? [closed]

How else could this be said? Our package is all in one Our package is all under one roof How many variations of this expression are there?
0
votes
2answers
203 views

“On the air” OR “On air”

Do you remember Northern Exposure? I hope so. Chris had a light-sign in his office: http://nevergoodbye.com/go/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/totalchris.gif And when you search google images for "on the ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

What is the opposite of “on-the-fly” [duplicate]

The phrase is used a lot in software world and refers to an activity that occurs while some other activity is in progress. Google search for "on-the-fly meaning" gives "while in motion or progress". ...
1
vote
3answers
252 views

Is “Neither I you” Correct?

A friend of mine said "...I never saw you during school." For some reason I wanted to respond "Neither I you." I am certain I have heard this reply before, but, looking at it now, it does not seem ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

What is the verb for “Glossary”?

Some software I am using has got the word "Glossarise" in it, which baffles me immensely. My spell checker hates it but googling for the word returns results for sites like Urban Dictionary but no ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

“Technology” vs. “a technology”

(Company) develops transactional data technology that aggregates information for payment service providers and merchants. or (Company) develops a transactional data technology that ...
2
votes
3answers
292 views

One word to say to someone who's being in a state they're usually not (or doing something they never did)?

In my native language, there is a singe word to say to someone who apparently are doing something they never did before, or being in state they never were before. Like: Mr. X had always been late. ...
0
votes
1answer
217 views

Better expression for “is needed to be highlighted” [closed]

I want to emphasize A and B. So I wrote: "A and B are needed to be highlighted." I feel it is not natural. What would be better way in written English?
2
votes
1answer
421 views

Is absence of the person needed in “On someone's behalf”?

In the middle of a conversation he had with my father, [Mr. X] asked him: “What does your son want to do in future?”. “He wants to do religious studies,” my father replied. He talked on my behalf ...
1
vote
2answers
371 views

What's the word in English for something that increases/decreases?

I'm a game programmer and currently working on a generic system that works for most type of games. I have a generic piece of code, that I use on anything that could increase/decrease called ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

“extension of” or “extension to”?

What is better English: "We describe some extensions to the basic model" or "We describe some extensions of the basic model"? In a Google search, I found both of them, so maybe both are legal in ...
1
vote
1answer
335 views

Can we use **In which** or/and **By which** at the beginning of the sentence

I am wondering if it is accepted to use In which or/and By which or any other similar phrase at the beginning of the sentence and then use a comma. For example: ""Thus, only the hardware-based ...
15
votes
14answers
911 views

An expression for trying to futilely apply old methods that once worked

We are looking for an expression that captures this idea: When someone tries to adapt an old way of doing something, holding on to the original core of their process, in a futile way, instead of ...
2
votes
1answer
985 views

Oh my God, Oh my Lord, Oh my Gosh

What are the differences between them? Is there a cultural and/or social interference? Do young people say "Oh my Gosh" more than others?
0
votes
3answers
459 views

Is “There was not a problem” ok?

Is “There was not a problem” in common use? Example: I tried to test the device and there was no problem with it.
1
vote
1answer
642 views

to be certain to do something versus to be certain of doing something

"Paul is certain to win the race." "Paul is certain of winning the race." What is the difference between these two sentences?
1
vote
3answers
393 views

Expression choice: 'conclusion', 'taken as a whole', or 'regarding'

I am wondering if it would be more effective to use another construction: Taken as a whole or Regarding instead of In the general framework of the leaf photosynthesis limitations ...
0
votes
1answer
207 views

Put on a very impressive display

I found this phrase in a translation studies textbook, Veeraphol Nakonluang-Promotion put on a very impressive display to knock out defending champion Joichiro Tatsuyoshi of Japan to become the ...
-1
votes
1answer
252 views

“Let alone” vs. “much less” when followed by a verb

If this is Kant's position, it is certainly difficult to make sense of, much less accept. — Kant's Ethics, ed. by Thomas Hill I tend to think that "much less", used in this sense, should be ...
2
votes
4answers
200 views

What's the word in English for something that could have attachments to it?

I'm a programmer and making an attachment system. Where you could have a weapon, and different components that you could attach to it, to give it extra behavior. Example: an M16 and a: silencer, ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

Idiom for or more colorful phrasing of “without having their lack of trivia exposed”

I am writing a children's book (8–12) and am looking for an idiom or more colorful language to be used in place of the highlighted section. Now that she’d stumped me, Ms. Sanders, my favorite of ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

Can this be more concise? [closed]

How do I say this more concisely and more effectively in one sentence? "The baseball and the basketball(s) should have the same shape, or the shape of the basketball(s) should be the same with the ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

Which version of this sentence is the best?

I can think of three variants of this sentence, which are intended to have the same meaning. I'm not sure which of these are grammatically correct, and which are just preferable. I'm leaning towards ...
0
votes
1answer
11k views

Saying that the mail has an attached form filled up by me?

Let's say I'm writing a letter to a university and my mail has an application form attached to it. How can I say it in a more formal and concise way than "Please see the attached application form that ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How should I search information on the origin of a country on Google? [closed]

I'm trying to find some information on how the very first country came into being. I'm not sure what keywords I should start with. I've tried synonyms like state and nation as well, but none of them ...
0
votes
3answers
121 views

How to specify one had the topmost GPA during his education?

I am writing a CV and I want to specify that I had the best GPA among all of the students. What is the best way to write such a thing in north america? Does 'Bachelor with first class honor' work? How ...
5
votes
5answers
161 views

a phrase for “to lure and chop a turtle's head”

There must be a similar phrase in English, meaning to lure the target from protection (like turtle's shell) or hiding, in order to capture or kill it. My English dictionary gives "draw a snake out of ...
0
votes
1answer
352 views

What's wrong with this sentence: “Who am I doing this task with?”? [closed]

Imagine that you are in a class full of students and the teacher is forming couples to perform some task. Let's say, for some reason, you didn't hear the name of the person you are going to do the ...
11
votes
7answers
491 views

What is the verb for developing a chip on one's shoulder? [closed]

I want to say that an individual has a chip on their shoulder, but a month ago, they did not. Did they "raise a chip on their shoulder", as might be inferred from the first cited history of the ...
1
vote
1answer
437 views

I knew it already 20 yrs ago vs I knew it as early as 20 yrs ago

I know that "already" is mainly used with present perfect. I want to emphasise that something was known 20 years ago. Are the following the same? I knew it already 20 yrs ago I knew it as early ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Who coined the term 'affluent society'?

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, in 1957 used the term 'affluent society' to describe the rising prosperity in Britain in those years. Does anyone know of any earlier reference to the term?
1
vote
2answers
153 views

Is use of “Oriental” racism? [duplicate]

I've heard that the word Oriental, if used to people, is racism. Is it true? And if it is, why?
13
votes
13answers
6k views

Is there a term for someone who “can see multiple perspectives”?

A colleague of mine is trying to describe herself as "capable of seeing a situation from multiple perspectives" or "able to look at the big picture from various viewpoints". I feel like there must be ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Can one say “find sanctuary”?

I'd like to use the expression find sanctuary instead of find refuge. Would it be fine?
0
votes
1answer
199 views

What is a less wordy way of describing how this car is situated?

I'm sitting on a bench in a park and I see this car sitting in the middle of a side street. Well, it's not actually in the middle of the street, but like right at the spot where you're about to make a ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

“heart advice” - jarring or beautiful?

I'm translating a Tibetan text written in verse into English. The style is one of direct advice rather than learned philosophy. My aim is for the translation to have the same down-to-earth quality as ...
-3
votes
2answers
136 views

“Cross-application” vs “Application-wide” [closed]

Given functionality that is common to all applications, what is the best word or words to convey that idea? I think that cross-application fits fairly well here, don't you? If not, what expression ...
15
votes
18answers
1k views

Term for “will consume time and almost certainly yield nothing”

Can anyone point to an eloquent word or term that means "will consume time and almost certainly yield nothing"? Could be used in response to: I'm going to have one of the developers contact ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“take the initiative” vs “make the initiative”

What is the difference between "taking the initiative" and "making the initiative"? Context : I recently sent an email asking advice on whether I should "take the initiative to contact professor X". ...
4
votes
4answers
689 views

What's the logical fallacy where people dismiss what you say as irrelevant to the real-world?

Quite often I see derision about ideas by people who label them as 'too academic'. Often this appears to result from laziness or an unwillingness to stretch their thinking. What's the logical ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there another way of saying “less is more”?

Is there another way of saying “less is more" in the following context? They changed their packaging and left only the essential branding on it. It epitomizes "less is more".
2
votes
1answer
2k views

you have confused me or you have got me confused?

You have confused me by staying quiet about it or you have got me confused by staying quiet about it? I know the latter is correct, but is the former sentence correct as well and convey the same ...
1
vote
4answers
820 views

Word that means to “get something good but loses something else good in return”

I was at the optical store getting a new pair of glasses and lens. Since I have a somewhat high prescription, when selecting the features for the lenses I asked the clerk whether there is an option ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

The proofs of theorems vs the proof of theorems [closed]

Suppose that there are three Theorems, say Theorem A, Theorem B and Theorem C. I want to refer all of proofs of Theorem A,B,C at the same time. Which one is correct? From the proofs of Theorem A,B ...
0
votes
1answer
400 views

“sheds some important insights”?

Could we say "sheds some important insights"? E.g. The discussion sheds some important insights for optimizing an HTML parser If this is not appropriate, what is a nice way to express the same idea? ...
2
votes
1answer
453 views

How to use refer to previous literature/researches in research papers?

If I am talking about the topic Singapore English and I want to briefly survey the previous researches on the same topic, does the following sentences sound natural in English? In literature on ...