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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
4answers
41 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
23 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
2answers
44 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
28 views

If he had emailed me, you would not have to call [on hold]

Hello I want to know which of the below usage is right, actually I am trying to say if that person had emailed us, we didnt have to call him. If he had emailed me, you/I would not have to call him ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Usage of the word terrorism

We read in the newspapers and watched on tv, many cases regarding students gunning down their classmates and teachers. Suppose a student brought a gun to his class and started pointing it to his ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Duty and responsibility is important? or Duty and responsibility are important?

I want to know which of the below sentence is correct :- Duty and responsibility is important? Duty and responsibility are important? Thankyou
1
vote
1answer
40 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
66 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
85 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
37 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
0answers
27 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
676 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 ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

How to use the word “RESPECTIVELY”? Is the sentence I wrote correct? [duplicate]

I am writing an essay and am having trouble with this sentence: In both Ernest Gaines’s “The Sky Is Gray” and Richard Wright’s “Almos’ a Man” there are many instances where the James from “The Sky Is ...
3
votes
1answer
75 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

What is the difference between “&” and “and” in writing?

Can I use either whenever I want to use an and? e.g., I like to play and sing I like to play & sing We will walk and she will run. We will walk & she will run.
0
votes
3answers
81 views

What is an “apologetic question”?

What does this mean, "apologetic question". For example in this statement: Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions "Apologetic" sounds like apologizing for something, but I don't ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Recordkeeping, record keeping, or record-keeping

In the following sentence, a reviewer claimed that record keeping is a spelling error that should be corrected to recordkeeping. Service providers shall manage information using agreed upon ...
0
votes
3answers
50 views

is the phrase “long time later” correct?

I have come across this weirdly formed phrase in a book , but i am not sure of its correctness. If this is correct, what would be its proper usage? Is saying "I met you a long time later" correct?
0
votes
1answer
29 views

What does “strategic defence review” means?

In phrase "strategic defence review" which one is correct? review on strategic defence startegic review about defence Thanks
60
votes
9answers
10k views

Why is the word “Holy” used before swear words?

People usually use the word "Holy" before "Shit", "Crap" or any other bad words to express their feelings, like surprise, anger, etc. Is there any reason why the word "Holy" is used with these bad ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Can the heart 'approach what it yearns', or must it 'approach what it yearns for'?

Paul Simon's lyrics ... how the heart approaches what it yearns... has always seemed to me an incorrect usage, although it's difficult to state why. It seems to me that the verb yearn ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Usage: derogatory + towards + X

Came across this sentence today, "I've never been derogatory towards taxi drivers," he said. from the BBC's, Uber boss Travis Kalanick: I'm no bully. Can you one really be derogatory towards ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Why are doctors addressed as Mr. in the UK?

In the US most physicians, surgeons and dentists are addressed as "doctor". Very few other professionals receive the same title. In the UK, however, surgeons and dentists seem to prefer to be ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Does use of the superlative form imply that there is only one?

The question in the title doesn't strictly apply to the English language but to language in general (I think). For example can we point an item from the group where there are multiple items with the ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Are these interchangeable?

He's not here. Can I take a message? He's not here. Can I get a message? Are these two sentences 'Can I take a message?/Can I get a message?' interchangeable?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Accommodate a problem to solution?

The topic is the following: I present a problem and a potential solution to it. After explaining the solution is it correct to say : "In order to adopt this approach in our evaluation .." Or ...
4
votes
2answers
219 views

Using the word 'come' to mean 'when it comes'

I am currently playing the game Max Payne 3 and I came across an interesting formulation: I hope Fabiana will not be served to the fishes come feeding time. Is this normal in American English?
2
votes
1answer
37 views

anthropomorphic vs. anthropomorphized

When is it most appropriate to use "anthropomorphic" as opposed to "anthropomorphized"? Is there any difference between the two?
0
votes
1answer
56 views

use English or local language for the address when writing a formal letter? [closed]

I am writing a cover letter in English to The Netherlands. I don't know whether to use English when writing the address or Dutch (in the letter, not on the envelope). All the terms are translatable to ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

How is 'Tacenda' used in a sentence?

I am confused about the usage of this word. I know the meaning it conveys. Help?
0
votes
2answers
38 views

How offensive is/was the phrase 'Beat it' ? Also, what exactly does/did it mean? [duplicate]

I've heard this phrase mainly in old movies. From the context, I inferred that it was a mild form of swearing and not considered terribly offensive. However, I'm not sure what the 'it' in 'beat it' ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Is it “a spyglass TO the past” or “a spyglass INTO the past”

I'd like to use the phrase XYZ as a spyglass (in)to the past. as title for a publication on a scientific method that allows me to infer knowledge about the past from data available now. E.g., the ...
-1
votes
1answer
25 views

What is the meaning of this “General Government”?

No one section of our country was wholly responsible for its introduction, and, besides, it was recognized and protected for years by the General Government. (from Up from Slavery)
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What is the meaning and usage of this “is true of”?

Then, when we rid ourselves of prejudice, or racial feeling, and look facts in the face, we must acknowledge that, notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, the ten million Negroes ...
2
votes
2answers
45 views

Is it grammatically correct to use “we” or “us” as well as the name of a group? e.g. “A meeting of we employees went very well.”

Is "we + [name of group]" a grammatically correct construction? Example: "A meeting of we employees went very well." Also, what about this: "They gave donuts to us employees at the meeting."
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Question about about various uses of “to be” and correctness of their usage in my sentence

If I were the man involved, and didn't know my wife was 'pretend', I would be totally crushed when I did find out she was fake. How could I make the above statement correct? If it already is, ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

What is the difference between interaction, communication, conversation, and discussion? [closed]

I think all of these are kinds of communication. But can't think the difference between the other terms
2
votes
4answers
70 views

Questions from Japan - For guys: When do you use “Please”? [closed]

Will you use "Please" when asking your close male friends to pass you the salt? Why? When do you/don't you use "please" with them (your close male friend)? Were your parents strict in using "Please"? ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Reference material for change in English usage over time

How words have changed in meaning and usage over time is frequently a hot topic both on here and the wider community, and I find it fascinating. Are there any good reference works which document this ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Are there any universal rules in appropriating “_an,” “_sh,” “_es,” “_ch” for the demonyms of countries? [duplicate]

Suffixes indicating people and language of country vary by country: _an: American, German, Italian, Belgian, Australian, Russian, Ukrainian, Korean, Mexican, Brazilian, Chilean, Argentinean, ...
0
votes
0answers
74 views

Spelling alphabet: Should I spell out each letter in my name using the spelling alphabet, or only the confusing letters?

I have a long name and spelling out every letter as "a as in alpha, b as in bravo" would take a very long time. I've heard people using only the expansion for confusing letters like M,N etc. and just ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Dedicated to producing vs dedicated to the production - use of gerund in place of noun

- A factory famous for the production of. . . - A factory famous for producing . . . - A farm dedicated to the cultivation of . . . - A farm dedicated to cultivating . . . - The firm focused on the ...
3
votes
2answers
51 views

How are basement levels in shopping malls designated?

In a mall or somewhere with multiple basement levels, what is the proper way to designate each underground level? We have: first floor, second floor, etc. for above ground floors. Underground levels ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Phrase: give pause

What exactly does the phrase give (sb.) pause mean? Is it just a simple shortening of the following?: give pause to someone (or give someone pause for thought) cause someone to think ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

“I'm flabbergasted!” - Old fashioned? Pedantic? Refined? Educated? [closed]

To flabbergast - to overwhelm with shock, surprise, or wonder. "I'm flabbergasted!" - I have only one friend who uses this phrase, so I can't figure out what kind of person uses it. Although ...
0
votes
3answers
129 views

What's the difference between: Is it ok for you?, and: Is it ok with you?

What is the difference and in which context you can use: Is it ok for you? or: Is it ok with you?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What's the difference between patent and obvious?

Patent is used a lot more in "serious" matters, like legal breaches, such as a "patent breach of law," but does that really mean anything? Does "patent" just sound more refined?
-3
votes
1answer
36 views

why we say in a sea of multiculturalism

the question is about definite and indefinite. why do we say in a sea of multiculturalism rather than in the sea of multiculturalism. cause i think it is multiculturalism not any other things so it ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Difference between audience and audiences? [closed]

I've heard some people say the word audiences in conversation. How does audiences differ from audience and when do you use it?