The tag has no usage guidance.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

18
votes
6answers
10k views

Time and tide wait for no man

In the old proverb: Time and tide wait for no man. Our first record of the proverb is from St Marher in 1225: And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet. When it was ...
17
votes
10answers
5k views

A hypernym for 'insects', 'worms' and the like

From Oxford: insect: any small creature with six legs and a body divided into three parts. Insects usually also have wings. Ants, bees and flies are all insects Insect is often used to refer ...
8
votes
4answers
24k views

Self-Learner vs Self-Taught vs Autodidact

Which of these three terms is the most relevant in a resume? Should any be avoided? For clarity, I do understand the irony of pretending to be a self learner posting questions on StackExchange, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Is size inherent in the meanings of “plant” and “factory”?

I always had the impression that a plant was bigger than a factory and that a plant might contain several factories, but we wouldn't say that a factory contains several plants. According to ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a word to describe female between 'girl' and 'woman'?

I've been trying to find a word that describes someone that's older than a 'girl' but not yet a 'woman'. It seems the connotation of girl is an immature female that's still growing up. Whereas a woman ...
5
votes
5answers
26k views

“visceral” vs “emotional”

What's is the difference in nuance between visceral (relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect) and emotional? How do we decide when to use one over the other?
5
votes
2answers
523 views

What is the meaning of “What a box to sweat in!”?

I have started to read "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway. I stumbled a lot shortly after the beginning, as I'm a middle-aged Japanese dude who is struggling to learn English. I need someone's ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Does a laser “etch” things, or does it “engrave” them?

Which (if any) of these adjectives would you use for describing a surface that has been cut using a laser beam: a laser-etched surface a laser-engraved surface a laser-(something else) surface a ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Must cookies contain chocolate in BrE?

In British English, my friend informed me that my use of the word cookie was incorrect in referring to a baked item having no chocolate bits in it. Instead the appropriate term would have to be ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is ‘anything in a skirt” a popular idiom? Does it have special overtones?

I came across the words, ‘anything in a skirt” in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s “The Fourth Estate”:- Page 202. “(Captain Armstrong is entitled to a car and driver) if the brigadier ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Uniqueness vs. Unicity

Uniqueness and unicity can be synonyms when they are used to describe something that is “unique”, meaning something that is distinct from all other things. Are these terms interchangeable, or do they ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a neutral word for an olfactory impression?

While creating this proposal I was struggling to find the right words for olfactory impressions. Is there a neutral word for an olfactory impression? smell seems to have a negative connotation ...
4
votes
3answers
457 views

Difference of “I am just an ABC” vs “I am but a XYZ”

As far as I (non-native speaker) can tell, these two sentences have the same meaning: I'm just a humble merchant I'm but a humble merchant However I wonder if there is some subtle ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “You are looking well” and “You look well”?

What is the difference between: You're looking well! and You look well! Assuming that both refer to a specific occasion, what is it that the continuous aspect indicates here? The ...
3
votes
5answers
106 views

John's quite a hero versus John's quite the hero

I am a native British English speaker. I know how and when to use the following expressions. However I am finding it difficult to explain the difference. John's quite a hero. John's quite the ...
3
votes
2answers
325 views

Connotation of term autodidact

I would like to know if autodidact has a positive, negative, or neutral connotation behind it. These questions asking about usage imply: A neutral connotation: Autodidactic as a Verb What would ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Any difference between “Are you done?” and “Are you done yet?”

I see people in movies saying Are you done? and Are you done yet? And I wonder what that the addition of yet might mean or suggest in the second version which is absent in the first ...
3
votes
1answer
654 views

difference between suffixes '-ish' and '-y'

Recently Prince Charles used the word 'Hitlery,' in the sense of "possessing some properties of Hitler." Is there any difference between the suffixes -ish and -y ?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“in order to” vs. “for the sake of”

These two phrases seem to be interchangeable in most cases. But I found one case where it seems that "in order to" works, and "for the sake of" sounds like it's not as good a choice of words. ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

What do you think when these words come up: “populace”, “population”, “people”, the “mass”, the “public” [closed]

When would be the best usage of those words? When do we do/don't use it? What is the message conveyed when we use Populace/Population; People/Mass; Mass/Public? 1.Populace vs Population 2.People vs ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Letter opening with name only--what does it convey?

I sometimes get emails (e.g. from professional contacts or people I don't know well) which simply start with FirstName, [ ... letter body ... ] They don't use "Dear FirstName," or "Hello ...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

What’s the difference between “kerfuffle”, “commotion”, and “fuss”?

What’s the difference between kerfuffle, commotion, and fuss? For example: What’s all this kerfuffle about? What’s all this commotion about? What’s all this fuss about?
2
votes
2answers
219 views

‘Imbibe’ — What does it look like?

I’m trying to determine the visual expression of ‘imbibing,’ with the presumption it describes a particular attitude or energy in the act of drinking. (I make this presumption because it gives reason ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

How to translate the German term “Selbstverständnis” with respect to organisations?

The German term "Selbstverständnis" can be used in the context of (typically) not-for-profit / non-profit organisations to denote the aims they have and the (typically social) changes they try to ...
2
votes
2answers
647 views

“Crisis”, “drama” and similar words in the news

Today I read the economist headline: On to the next crisis. Automatic spending cuts took effect on March 1st; more drama is to come I startled at the word ‘drama’. It would be regarded as ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

What is the difference between “intermediate” and “intermediary” when both mean the same thing? [closed]

I have a tendency to say This case is intermediary This case is an intermediate one This is an intermediate case I probably would stumble over This is an intermediary case ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Nuance of “Intellectual Bad Ass” [closed]

To me as a non-native to the English language, it reminds funny, geeky, nerdy hero, like Tony Stark (Iron Man) excluding his riches and Iron Man suit. But what are the nuances of "intellectual bad ...
2
votes
1answer
20 views

in pursuit of / through a pursuit of

Do those expressions have some different nuance and grammatically correct? I have seen "in pursuit of" many times but rarely seen "through a pursuit of" which one would be more proper for the ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Difference between “irascible”, “fractious”, “irritable” and “atrabilious”?

It seems that they can all mean "easily provoked to anger" irascible:Easily provoked to outbursts of anger; irritable. fractious:Irritable; argumentative; quarrelsome. irritable:1.Capable of being ...
1
vote
4answers
594 views

Sincerity and generosity in sentences

(1)   If you want anything to eat, there are plenty of eggs. (2)   If you are at all hungry, there are plenty of eggs. (3)   If you're the ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Is “Perl Monger” derogatory when used by non Perl programmers? [closed]

The two most common uses of the word "monger" I've heard of are rather derogatory: whore-monger and warmonger. Wiktionary reflects this in its second definition: A person promoting something ...
1
vote
4answers
843 views

“lending support” vs “extending support”

I am in a little debate with myself, arguing the difference between "lending support" and "extending support" while trying to write a diplomatic email. So some people got promoted into highly ...
1
vote
3answers
26k views

“Given that” vs. “Granted that”

Understanding that "given that" and "granted that" are both used to mark the premise of an argument (or conditions that are assumed to be true), and the actual meaning is almost identical, I have to ...
1
vote
1answer
262 views

Nuances for 'craving'

Consider the following sentences: 1a) I crave solitude. 1b) I crave for solitude. 2a) I miss home-cooked food. I crave it. 2b) I miss home-cooked food. I crave for it. Oxford ...
1
vote
1answer
899 views

“Put on a show” vs. “put on an act”. What's the difference?

What's the difference between "put on a show" and "put on an act"? Are they interchangeable? They look similar in meaning to me. Is there any nuanced difference? Examples sentences from ...
1
vote
1answer
561 views

“The key doesn't work” vs. “The key is not working” [closed]

Here's a situation. You go to your hotel room and the key that you have is not working. When you go back to the reception, should you say: The key is not working, can you fix it. Or The key ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Difference between “in” and “to” in this context

My friend is taking an English conversation class. In it, she said I have been teaching math in high schools for more than 10 years. Before that I taught math in junior high schools. However, ...
1
vote
3answers
14k views

Good Luck **in** all your endeavors' versus Good Luck **to** all your endeavors'

What is the difference between 'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up. Good Luck in all your endeavors' versus 'I am currently busy with ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

any differences between fund and funding when used as a noun?

Are there any differences between fund and funding when used as a noun? They seem both to have a meaning of "money made available for a particular purpose", and I was wondering why we need "funding" ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

PrP Continuous vs. PrP | Nuance?

I have a question regarding the usage of the Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Continuous. So first, here's the context: I was playing an online game with a couple friends and in this game you ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

Does “absent friends” have definite association with deceased family/friends?

Having gotten married this year and acting as best man for my brother, one of the responsibilities for speeches was a toast "to absent friends". With some of our family no longer being alive, for us ...
1
vote
0answers
189 views

Is there a nuance in meaning between 'non-managed' and 'unmanaged'?

Context: I am writing about 'devices not managed by professionals' and debating the subtleties between non-managed devices vs. unmanaged devices
1
vote
2answers
86 views

'Closest Healing' or another phrase for a book title?

I have written a book and will publish it. I have suffered a lot from a disease over a decade, but after I prayed to God in fasting I found its healing was very close, not far from me. Therefore, I ...
0
votes
1answer
367 views

How to avoid using redundant words like “not so”, “quite” or “sort of”?

Today I find an interesting table in Writers Write: I wonder do we have the same table, but for the words "not so", "quite", "sort of", etc?
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Does the past participle always imply that an object was, at some point, not in its current state? [closed]

When someone says This is a dried handkerchief It is usually implying that, at one point, the handkerchief was not dry. However, does this apply to all past participles? If I say : I ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Meaning of “mechanistically-motivated”

While I was reading a paper, I found "mechanistically-motivated." We use our models to suggest mechanistically-motivated ways of comparing models. Because English is my second language, I ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between “forget about it” and “forget it”

It seems they both mean never mind in the following examples: Sorry for what happened yesterday Forget it. or Can I buy you a drink? Forget about it. What are the differences between ...
0
votes
1answer
306 views

“Can” vs “Able to”: People/Animals vs. Inanimate Objects

I’m wondering if the English grammar “rule” given below, which I have heard from numerous non-native speakers, has any validity. “can” is used for people, animals, and inanimate objects. ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

“Never” and past tense

Considering these two sentences in the past tense, using "never": The film has never been released The film was never released Are they both correct? If so, is there a difference in the ...
0
votes
2answers
613 views

“Protagonist in” or “protagonist of”? [closed]

If I were to write an intro for a protagonist in say, a game, would I say he/she is the "protagonist of [title]" or the "protagonist in [title]"? Or does it matter?