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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
3answers
489 views

The etymology of “redhead” vs. “ginger haired”

All my life I have known people with reddish, orangey hair, to be termed ginger haired. Just as you don't call a blonde a 'yellow head' red head just wasn't a word that was said (wouldn't orange head ...
7
votes
3answers
83 views

The usage of “banzai”

I started to reread a pretty old mystery of Thomas Harris, “The silence of the lambs,” which I once gave up reading because of difficulty of understanding the narrative studded with technical jargons ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

What is the difference between “matter-containing media” and “matter”?

I'm reading the english wikipedia entry titled "Radiation". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation you can find the word in the first paragraph, or by searching. so... What is the difference between ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Is this usage of 'of which' correct?

I'm working on an employee manual and I came across this one: "Our team philosophy is to become the best of which we are capable." Is this a correct sentence? The point it's trying to get across is ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do many professional writers hate adverbs, and what should be used in their place?

In response to the death of Elmore Leonard the New York Times has posted a list of writing tips he composed back in 2001. Among them is the following: To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What slang words and colloquialisms are likely to embarrass an American in England or an Englishman in the U.S.? [duplicate]

An Argentine or Mexican tourist in Madrid, or A Brazilian tourist in Lisbon, will certainly hear phrases he has never heard before and may find some of them offensive. I myself have a list of ...
4
votes
4answers
387 views

What does “Lose the Drama” mean as one of 7 ways for women at work to negotiate?

In an interview of co-host of NBS Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski by Erin Skarda of Time magazine, Brzezinski gave 7 tips for women to take into their next career generation starting “Don’t act like a ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

When did the term “flip flop” displace the term “thong” in North America for a type of sandal?

To Australians like me "thong" means a kind of sandal such as recently repopularized by the Havaianas brand but we know it means a kind of G-string in other English-speaking parts of the world. To ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Using plural words when mentioning something in general [on hold]

I am extremely weak at English grammar. I would like to ask the following sentence: 'To identify the contents of the crates or boxes, packing list will be prepared and attached outside the crates or ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

“That might even could happen” be considered incorrect? [duplicate]

would you help me out with examining this sentence? "That might even could happen" be considered incorrect? Thank you.
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Difference between 'related to' and 'relating to'? [duplicate]

What is the difference between 'related to' and 'relating to'?
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Is repeating the word “that” ok, if it is technically, grammatically correct? [duplicate]

E.g.: "... with all the sustainability considerations that that entails." If I'm correct, the above example is relative pronoun followed by pronoun - it just happens to be the same word for both ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?

At the end of a sentence, I want to insert the following (parentheses included): (proxy my parents, of course). E.g., I sent my brother to his room (proxy my parents, of course). But this ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Is there difference in common usage between 'I have an answer' and 'I know an answer' sentences

In common everyday usage is there any diffrence between these sentences: 'I have an answer' and 'I know an answer' My clue: Ad 1. I have some proposition of an answer but I'm not 100% sure Ad 2. ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

correct use of “showed” and “shown” [closed]

Please tell me which one is correct: "I wish everyone of you had showed up right at my front door." "I wish everyone of you had shown up right at my front door."
7
votes
1answer
410 views

Why is something fried on a griddle called grilled?

To my understanding, to grill is cooking with a heat source located beneath an open slatted grate (or ribbed closed pan). (For example, using a barbecue grill on one's patio.) The word grill is ...
53
votes
8answers
4k views

“My personal opinion is…” Is it always pointless to use the words “personal” and “personally”?

Is this kind of redundancy acceptable in both speech and writing, formal and informal ? Would the following sentences have their meaning changed if we omitted "personal" or "personally" ? Would they ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Would you say 'yes, neither do I' / 'yes, me neither'? [duplicate]

My question does not have to do with the correctness/incorrectness of 'neither do I'/'me neither', but with the presence of the 'yes' (or 'yeah', which is how it most often 'comes out' for me) at the ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

“You all should have” vs. “you should have all” vs. “all of you should have”

Which one of these three constructions is more correct: By now, you all should have received your insurance cards. By now, all of you should have received your insurance cards. By now, ...
-1
votes
0answers
13 views

Bit or Bitten - which is correct usage? [migrated]

"Spiderman was bit by a radioactive spider" versus "Spiderman was bitten by a radioactive spider" - which one is correct usage ? Not sure if "bitten" is formally recognized as English or just a ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Is it grammatical to use “same” or “the same” in substitution for an objective pronoun?

I've seen and heard this usage of the pronoun "same" more than once, and it sounded strange to my ears: "Thank you for the book; I will return same shortly." "Wine production has increased, ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

What's the accurate meaning of “forget yourself”?

I was looking for a translation of the German expression "bevor ich mich vergesse" (lit. before I forget myself) and looked up if the literal translation could be used. In German this expression ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “this side of x”? And how do I use it?

Since I don't understand it in the first place, I better just give you an example: Cracked.com example, says otherwise known as "the pettiest hobo crime this side of aggressive panhandling." ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Does it make sense to say someone is your senior, such as a sibling?

Does it make sense to say someone is your senior, such as a sibling? I'm writing an essay about myself and was wondering whether or not it is a correct usage of the word.
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Words to say after someone welcomes me? [closed]

Please can someone tell me some proper words to say after someone say "Welcome to our office"? Other than just "thank you"?
18
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “bupke” mean?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker's (August 27) article titled, “A scandal at the C.I.A. May be.” : In January I (David Shafer, novelist) filed a Freedom of Information Act request ...
11
votes
12answers
2k views

Neutral alternative to “deny” to mean “assert the untruth [of a claim]”

The term "deny" means to reject the truth of some claim. However, it often seems to imply the claim is in fact true, denial notwithstanding. Smith continued to deny that he had shot Jones. I ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Vocabularies about order of the things

I want to know if what certain orders or positions in the orders are in English. The following are my questions, assume that we have ten apples, I put my questions on these apples: What is the name ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

What is the definition of definition?

Does a definition need to provide a unique or near-unique description or can non-unique descriptions also be categorized as definitions? For example: Is the statement "An apple is a fruit" a ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

the usage of “insalubrious”

Does it make sense to say an insalubrious relationship between two countries? If not, what would be a better replacement? hey this is my first post on this website.. I'm a non-native english ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the difference between Ukraine and the Ukraine?

Time magazine (March 5th) carries the article titled, “Ukraine, not the Ukraine: The significance of three little letters,” in which the following comment of William Taylor, who served as the U.S. ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

find something gone or find something has gone

Are both of them right? Next morning when you wake up, you find your kidney has gone. Next morning when you wake up, you find your kidney gone. If they are all right, what's the difference?
0
votes
4answers
149 views

Is there any reason for saying “he is good-looking”, instead of “he is well-looking”?

A person who has............is said to be.............. "good manners".........."well-mannered" "good behaviour"........"well-behaved" "good intentions"........"well-intentioned" "a good ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Adjective form of “degrade”?

For example, I want to say: This book degrades Western culture. In this form: This book has been described as ??? to Western culture. What would the adjective form be? Is "degradeful" a ...
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

Why We Need To Know About Hyperboles [closed]

So I realize that hyperboles exist, but in school we're taught about them as if they are truly important to what we are going to be doing in life. I realize their usefulness, but why do we need to ...
0
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “What are you into?” mean?

I personally don't use this question in spoken language but I usually see it in written language. I also frequently see that when someone asks this question, it elicits in turn the question "What do ...
1
vote
3answers
625 views

“fought in the World War II” versus “fought in the second World War” [closed]

Why is fought in the second World War or fought in the Vietnam War correct but fought in the World War II is not?
-2
votes
0answers
37 views

What is wrong with “ He participated in two-miles race ”? [duplicate]

What is the Grammatical mistakes in " He participated in two-miles race " ?
3
votes
2answers
124 views

British usage: add verb forms of “do” after a conditional

Is it standard British usage to add forms of the verb "Do" after a conditional like "Would"? e.g., If I could, I would do"?
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Can I use the word “promise” with gerund?

Is it possible to use gerund after the verb "promise"? For example, in the sentence "He promised cleaning the window. I'd prefer to say: He promised to clean the window. But today I was told that this ...
2
votes
1answer
15k views

Is the usage of “so as to” correct? [closed]

Can "so as to" be used, and if so in what contexts and in what situations? Can it be used formally and in written documents? Edit: I'm looking more at an IT question for example "You can do ...
4
votes
2answers
67 views

“Please, cut the apple in halves.” or “Please, cut it in half.”?

I've heard native speakers use "half" but never "halves" in such sentences. If we cut an apple into two identical pieces, we get two halves. It shouldn't, therefore, sound wrong if one used ...
2
votes
3answers
348 views

What are the replacements for “i.e.” and what are their differences?

I can think of "that is to say", "in other words", "put differently". And I'd like to know if there are any subtle differences in the usage of these synonyms. Can they always be used interchangeably ...
3
votes
5answers
37k views

When to use 'ourselves' vs. 'our self'

I wrote when we place our self meaning each one of us, his or her self -- and was told to use "ourselves" instead. Who is right?
0
votes
2answers
66 views

“Dish of the day“ vs “today's special”

Many restaurants offer a menu which doesn't change from day to day, and in addition offer one choice which varies from day to day, perhaps depending on which ingredients are available. This choice can ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Usage of the phrase 'reviewing over'

I've come across the phrase 'reviewing over' and at first I disregarded it as a hold over from grammar in a foreign language but now I've seen a native English speaker use the same phrase. For ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

usage of “constitute” and “thankful”

A senior researcher has single-handed[ly] constituted one of the most comprehensive collections of field recordings. I have three questions, two pertaining to usage and one to grammar:  1. ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

You didn't miss me, right? (possible answer with correct use of English)

A) No, I didn't miss you. B) Yes, I didn't miss you. C) No, I did miss you. D) Yes, I did miss you. According to my common sense perfect answers can be C) and B) only, and reason behind it is- ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Usage of “coruscating”

Can coruscating be used as a one word adjective to describe "interesting and exciting"? Basically the usage is "his interesting and exciting research work" which will end up as "his coruscating ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

how do we use 'ride' and 'drive when it comes to a motorcycle?

suppose Iam offering someone a ride home can i use the word 'ride' as in " come I'll ride you home " i know " I'll give you a ride home " would be the correct sentence but could you still answer my ...