How and why certain words are used in varying ways within various contexts.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

10
votes
1answer
369 views

What does “Empedocles’ sandal” mean in terms of English usage?

I first heard the expression “Empedocles’ sandal” a long time ago without knowing what it referred to. It seems to derive from the legend that the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles used to wear ...
-2
votes
1answer
40 views

Is it correct/idiomatic to say “got informed there?”

I thought the phrase was common/idiomatic. So I was surprised when I got 0 results on Google Books. The school was filled with gossip. So Anna probably got informed there (about someone's ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” a common or respectable English expression?

Today’s edition of the New York Times (December 16, 2014) carries an article written by Mark Bittman under the headline “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” It begins with the following passage: “What’s ...
-2
votes
2answers
41 views

Past tense verb conjugation [on hold]

How do you conjugate the verb choose in the following sentence: I want to know why you did not chosen me for this programme?
3
votes
1answer
58 views

1 % of (the) GDP - with or without the article?

What is the correct form? I have consistently encountered both forms. Definite article: required, optional or wrong?
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the action of removing a digital file named “Delete”?

After reading these questions: Difference between "delete" and "remove" How much use did the word 'delete' get before the technological boom? Delete or Remove (ell.SE) ...
-5
votes
0answers
42 views

Meaning and usage of words supremacy and supremecy. Difference [on hold]

The title speaks of itself. But if I need 30 characters... I've seen both words in different sentences, they seem to have the same meaning. But I am not sure in this. And it is question to me if the ...
7
votes
2answers
272 views

Does one “take” a photocopy or “make” a photocopy? [on hold]

If the verb for "photograph" is take, I presume that the verb for a "photographic copy" should also be take. The word photocopy is often abbreviated to copy. I have noticed the verb make is used for ...
0
votes
2answers
22 views

Above and beyond

What does "above and beyond" mean and how is it used in a sentence? Some sources say it means exceeding expectations, some sources say it means 'in addition to'. Which is it? Is it both?
-2
votes
1answer
21 views

Ever responsive to [on hold]

I came across this sentence: "Ever responsive to the hobbyist market, Texas Instruments is releasing a [product name and description]" Is the first part of the sentence implying that the company ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

How do I use “The screaming abdabs”?

I have recently come across the phrase "the screaming abdabs". It is used in sentences such as "it gave me the screaming abdabs", abdabs being and old-fashioned word meaning 'a case of extreme ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

About 'is' and 'are' using numbers [duplicate]

What is the correct English; "one and one is two" or "one and one are two"? Likewise for "two and three is five" or "two and three are five"?
1
vote
2answers
153 views

What does “for our sins” mean in this sentence?

I am struggling to get my head around the following: Hi Andrew, For all our articles we use information from national news organisations (for our sins). Have a look here at the Guardian ...
-1
votes
1answer
26 views

What does “ in the event, doomed” mean in this sentence? [on hold]

I am struggling to get my head around the following: This is probably the best and certainly the most extraordinary graphic novel I have ever come across. Its subject matter, believe it or not, ...
4
votes
3answers
71 views

Does “caffeinated” make any sense?

A while back, when we learnt how to remove the caffeine from coffee beans, we coined the word decaffeinated to denote coffee that's had the caffeine taken out. I've noticed more and more recently, as ...
0
votes
3answers
91 views

Origin of “Innocent” to mean “Sexually Inexperienced”

I was thinking about the way "innocent" is often used (in both casual and moderately formal contexts) to mean "sexually inexperienced/oblivious", and came to the conclusion that using the phrase in ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Kids addressing older people

I'm translating a text I wrote in Portuguese (I'm Brazilian) and I'd like some help. In my story, a boy around 13 years old is at the school and encounters a janitress, a woman in her late forties. ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Can a phrase including past participle be put right behind the preposition 'of'?

For all the English grammar my teacher taught me, the element put right behind the preposition 'of' can be: 1. a noun. The leg of the desk 2. gerund leading phrase which acts as a noun: The result ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Titus Andronicus: “-She is delivered, lords, she is delivered. -To whom?”

This is about trying to understand the etymology, meaning and current usage(if any) of a specific form for the word deliver. Is deli'ver, to deliver, delivered There was an old form1 which was ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

“Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner” vs “Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner”

Which one below is correct? Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner OR Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner Is it necessary to affix Mr. & Mrs. in this case? It seems superfluous to add Mrs. because a ...
0
votes
5answers
59 views

Why does 'up' have a positive connotation and 'down' have a negative connotation?

The word up usually has a positive connotation - thumbs up, look up, go up in life - whereas down usually has a negative connotation - look down, go down etc. Why is this so and when did such an ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

In At vs In From vs Into

For a user interface project, my group is trying to determine the correct phrasing for when an account is being used at multiple computers. There were a few different options being given, but which ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

“In the immortal words of…”

In standard usage of the phrase "in the immortal words of...", are there any restrictions on the mortality of the speaker? I typically only hear it used for deceased speakers who once walked the ...
4
votes
3answers
754 views

Sentences start with Of

What is the meaning of of when it starts a sentence? For example, and what is the grammatically correct way to write a sentence starting with of?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Where and how do I use the word “apparently”?

Does this word "apparently" mean that something is obvious or does it refer to something that seems true but actually isn't. Apparent means illusion, right? People use this word quite often and I ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What's the correct usage of the word “Opinion”?

I have been posting on a forum recently, and every time I express my opinion, someone says I'm using the word incorrectly, and I want to confirm this. I said something along the lines of: "In my ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

“Caldoniafied” In General Use in the 1980s?

I am curious about the word "Caldoniafied" meaning, roughly, hard headed, and presumably coming from the song entitled "Caldonia" ("Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes your big head so hard?". )Louis ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

The etymology of do/does for questions [duplicate]

What is the etymology of the use of do/ does/ did for questions forms as opposed to inverting the subject and verb?
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Is this proper usage of the world 'proverbial'

"Daniel spots the contradiction almost immediately, recalling the moment when Sam had befriended Bobby with his story of the proverbial girlfriend he once called Janice—not Maggie." I'm almost ...
3
votes
3answers
127 views

Can One Jump To Good Conclusions?

Jump To Conclusions is noted in the free dictionary's entry for jump a few different ways: To form an opinion or judgment hastily: jump to conclusions. to proceed abruptly, ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Effect of English Language & Usage Stack? [migrated]

Not sure if this is the appropriate forum, but: Is there a way to measure the effect of stack exchange on correct usage of the English language?
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?
2
votes
3answers
97 views

Is “Click bait” an Internet buzzword? How can I rephrase it?

I found a video showing a fireman who rescued a suffocating kitten from a fire smoke and resuscitated her by oxygen inhalation introduced in the article titled “Why that video went viral” in New York ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Origin of the disapproval associated with “derivative” used as an adjective?

This is the first meaning of the word derivative used as an adjective(Oxford): 1 (Typically of an artist or work of art) imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

past perfect tense and comma usage in Churchill's book

I'm reading a book called "My early life" by Winston Churchill. "I was working in the saloon of the Indiaman, and had reached an exciting point in my story." 1) why did he put comma before "and had ...
-1
votes
1answer
43 views

Use of “although” without a contrasting statement [closed]

In IAS 37 Clause 37 states: Although a constructive obligation is not created solely by a management decision, an obligation may result from other earlier events together with such a decision. ...
4
votes
3answers
324 views

How to appropriately use the word “baby” as in the pattern “ ____ baby ___”; for example, “run baby run”?

As a non-native English speaker, I am not sure what is the meaning of this pattern "_ baby _" as in "run baby run"? Another example: "USA continues to "drill baby drill" (referring to oil). What other ...
0
votes
3answers
93 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct? [closed]

1) Suppose there is a very stupid person. Is it correct to tell that he/she is 'literally nuts'? 2) What about using it if the person is mentally ill? This came up in an informal talk with my ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

“He didn't dare [verb]” vs. “He didn't dare *to* [verb]” [closed]

Which one is correct? If both are correct, is there any difference in the meaning? He didn't dare to contradict his parents. He didn't dare contradict his parents.
5
votes
2answers
89 views

Why does “a bigger number of” seem wrong?

I noticed when answering this related question that I would never say a bigger number of. I have no issues with 5 is a bigger number than 3 (though I would probably say a larger or greater number ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Semi-colon or colon?

I'm writing a descriptive piece, and can't figure out whether this is grammatically correct, or whether I ought to place a semi-colon between "entry" and "crooked": "As I walked in using the cobbled ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Is it right say Invest on? [closed]

Is it correct idiomatically to say "invest on?" For example, "Invest on Peter " [a person].
2
votes
6answers
512 views

When would you say “I seen it.”

I am not looking for explanations of why "I seen it" is wrong (though with sight there's an unfair grammatical burden that doesn't impact the other senses, whose past tense and past participle are the ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Convey the idea of partial similarity in a list of things in a sentence/

I have the following sentence: Surveyed meta-heuristics techniques like Tabu Search, Simulated annealing and Constraint Satisfaction Problem(CSP). The problem is CSP is not a meta-heuristic. How ...
-2
votes
1answer
69 views

“Confirm you are …” vs. “Confirm that you are …” [duplicate]

In the example from the title, is it mandatory to use "that" in the sentence? The original sentence I picked up was from a checkbox marked "Confirm you are not a spammer" - which I thought should be ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

the X event after next…Th

Is it grammatically correct to say "at the steering committee meeting after next"? The idea is that there are meetings every two weeks, but the intention is for something to be presented not at the ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

What's the difference between these two phrases?

What's the difference between these two phrases? their systems’ security posture their systems security posture Is there any difference in the meaning? If not, when we use either of ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Which verb has been modified?

Which verb has been modified by adverb "directly" in the following sentence? "Some governments even offer to help protect their critical infrastructure directly, by deploying sensors in the networks ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Is this the right use of “laid”? [duplicate]

The campfire crackled. Hunter laid in his sleeping bag and gazed up at the stars.
-1
votes
1answer
135 views

Confusion about “very” and “very much”

I have few confusions regarding the usage of very and very much. 1. From OALD I found this usage guide - It states that very can be used with past participles used as adjectives, but not with ...