Tagged Questions

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

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0
votes
3answers
73 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct?

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
55 views

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

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
66 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
74 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
43 views

Is it right say Invest on? [on hold]

Is it correct idiomatically to say "invest on?" For example, "Invest on Peter " [a person].
2
votes
6answers
351 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
44 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
57 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
30 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
54 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
36 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
113 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

bow’r, affin’d and pow’r [closed]

What usage is the following abbreviations? ‘Not boskiest bow’r,  When hearts are ill affin’d, Hath tree of pow’r To shelter from the wind!’ from The Woodlanders by Thomas ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Use of person years experience or another word for combined experience

I am preparing to write a statement about my previous company's founders experience in my resume and I am having a quandary as to how to write the following: ABC Info has been founded by people ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

Use of 'Could' in the Past Tense

What are the possible meanings and implications of the following sentences: He could come yesterday. He could not come yesterday. He could have come yesterday. He could not have come yesterday.
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Is the expression “having a kitten in one's pocket” a proverb or slang?

Is the phrase, from ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ by Alexander Baron having one's kitten in one's pocket a proverb or common slang? How common is this expression? What exactly does it mean and how ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

What does the phrase “behind deadline” mean?

If someone (or something) is behind deadline, does it mean that she/he has already missed a deadline or does it mean that she/he is about to miss a deadline ?
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Geographical Usage of “Mate”

I was wondering where the term, "mate," is most popular? When I think of the term, "mate," I think of Australia and England, but I was wondering if anyone else has some input on this. Mate here is ...
3
votes
1answer
246 views

What does “meth“ mean in “Meth heads snuck in to it to do meth.”?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker’s (September 22, 2014) article titled “Field trip” describing a photographer who travels to take pictures of oldest living things in the world: ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Is there a specific group of words that I can look for before/after “its/it's” to determine proper/improper usage?

Is there a specific group/category of words that I can look for before/after "its/it's" to determine proper/improper usage? I'm asking this for the purpose of writing code that corrects the usage of ...
8
votes
3answers
93 views

What's an evidential basis for discussing gender-neutrality of terms? [closed]

I keep finding myself looking at questions involving the concept of gender neutrality of words or phrases. (Check out the RELATED panel down to the right there.) "Craftmanship" for example - is it ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Stand-alone Use of 'There' in English

I was reading The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells. He uses There! without connection to other words (or maybe there is connection, but I don't see it). She glanced at his white-swathed head and blue ...
0
votes
3answers
42 views

Using the word “Disposition” as a Verb

I know disposition means a persons inherent qualities of mind and character and it is a noun. i know you would say "he has a very quiet brooding disposition" but my roommate was cleaning the house and ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Usage of “tum” in English speaking countries, other than the UK

I'm sure I've heard tummy used in American English and the English spoken in commonwealth countries as a sort of euphemism for stomach. I'm not sure so much how common it is to hear it reduced to tum, ...
3
votes
3answers
158 views

Why is it always women and not men in: “Soccer mom,” “Tiger mom,” “Helicopter mom,” “Wal-Mart mom,” and “Security mom”?

In connection with my question about the meaning and currency of “Security mom,” I was drawn to the fact that all the following labels; “Soccer mom,” “Wal-Mart mom,” “Security mom” are combined with ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Is it common to write only one “as” in a comparison?

This is a bit hard to explain, so here's an example: Hanging above the door was a huge smiley face put there to greet visitors. I hoped the people inside were just as friendly. Is this a ...
1
vote
3answers
128 views

Is there a difference between “tongue-tied” and “speechless”?

Earlier today, a student of mine was telling me a story about how his colleague, upon seeing him wearing an over-the-top jacket, was so surprised that she couldn't say anything. Question: Which ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Inherency as used in policy debate

Policy debate uses the word "inherency" in an unusual way. One side in the debate proposes a plan and part of what they are obliged to show is that the plan will not happen in the status quo. This is ...
1
vote
2answers
142 views

Pronoun usage and conjugation [closed]

Why do we say 'I am a teacher' instead of 'I is a teacher' when 'I' is a singular pronoun?
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Sentence start with “If then”

Can any one tell me that when we start a sentence with If then? I came across this one. If then a practical end must be assigned to a university course,I say it is that of training good members ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Op-Ed or Editorial?

I have a piece that is an opinion written by a columnist. If I only had the designation of an op-ed or of an editorial. What word better describes the piece? An editorial is supposed to be written by ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

Why are web browsers browsers, but I am a surfer?

What is the origin of the name of a program being used to access the Internet is a browser, but a human looking around on the internet is surfing? Why is there this discrepancy?
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Is it common to use “totally” in such a way as “Michelle Obama’ s totally running in California.” [duplicate]

Vanity Fair magazine (October 23 issue) carried an article titled, “A brief history of Michelle Obama career-goal rumors,” and wrote as follows under the caption, “She’s totally running in ...
3
votes
4answers
187 views

Are “Real class” and “Paper class” well-received pair words?

Today’s (October 23) Time magazine and New Yorker carried articles dealing with a report of academic scandal of the University of North Carolina under the respective headline, “North Carolina releases ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Can I omit “had” if it is repeated too many times in a paragraph?

Example: I’d heard about this mystery before. However, I'd only thought it as a ghost story; something you'd tell around a campfire. Maybe I'm mistaken but the paragraph sounds better without ...
2
votes
4answers
63 views

Expect vs. Foresee

Just read the sentence "This is not what I expect but what I foresee." Does this make sense to anyone here? Granted there are differences in meaning between 'expect' and 'foresee' but to me they are ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Why is “a couple of…” correct grammar, while “a few of…” often isn't?

Earlier today I started to type a message and I entered: I can take a couple of hours... After entering the text, I realized that I intended to express roughly three hours so I highlighted and ...
0
votes
4answers
60 views

“During” a Period of Time

I'm working on a sentence (example below). It doesn't quite feel right: I tried to count the number of cars driven during 1980-1990. Specifically, the issue here is about usage of the ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Are “a perfect fool”, “a proper fool” and “a precious fool” the same kind of “fool”?

Is there any (subtle) difference in meaning and usage when these adjectives qualify "a fool"? Are these adjectives perfectly interchangeable "A precious fool I would look, if I did that." "The ...
2
votes
3answers
75 views

Is the term “disillusion” being used correctly here?

It's easy to disillusion ourselves by thinking just because the output of our function looks very random, that it is very random. I asked a friend about this passage. I argue that it should ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Usage of the word terrorism

We read in newspapers and watch on TV many cases regarding students gunning down their classmates and teachers. Suppose a student brought a gun to class, pointed it at his friends and teachers, and ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

What does the phrase “do your bit for your fellow gentlemen” mean? [closed]

Does gentlemen in the phrase "do your bit for your fellow gentlemen" mean yourself, or fellows at your company, or someone else?
2
votes
3answers
91 views

“go home straight” or “go straight home”

Which one of the following is the proper usage below? "go home straight" or "go straight home"? thanks.
2
votes
3answers
108 views

'out of' vs 'from' (a series)

Is it acceptable to say something along the lines of "this microphone is out of the 122 series" instead of "this microphone is from the 122 series" ? I have a colleague who insists that using 'out ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Is this a correct usage of the phrase “give way”? [closed]

Libraries are peaceful and give way to thought. I appreciate any help you give.
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Can “the rubber meets the road” be used as a stand-alone phrase to mean “stop disaster in its tracks or keep it at bay”?

I didn't know the idiom, "the rubber meets (hits) the road." So I was drawn to the passage, “When it comes to Ebola, the rubber met the road at the Firestone rubber plantation” appearing in NPR’s ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

(Name of) and (Best Practice Typography for) Unusual Self-Referential Double Usage

One pattern I find interesting is using a word in an explicit double sense, leading to a self-reference kind of pun. For example: As is the case with such things, however, military intelligence ...
0
votes
4answers
720 views

Does seriously have only sarcastic connotations in this context?

This is the context: Lol! How brave... a down vote with no explanation. Seriously, tell me if I should just delete this. Please! That statement was found to be sarcastic, despite ending with ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Why is corner preferred over curve for racing tracks?

For example in car racing, the non-straight parts of the track are almost always called corners, even though many of them are very far from the typical (point-like) corner of a rectangle. ...