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

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2answers
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Geometric or Geometrical?

I have read the excellent answers to Why is it "geometric" but "theoretical" - my question is specifically about usage. Is there a best practice for deciding between the variants "geometric" and ...
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1answer
152 views

Usage of “and so”

Take this as an example: I've a thought that - the life is worthless. Since the life is worthless, We're worthless. How to express this in a simple statement? Is this correct to say? "Life is ...
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2answers
411 views

What does repetitive “#s” before “pushy, bossy, polarizing women and men” account for?

New York Times (May 17) reported Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times decided to fire its executive editor, Jill Abramson, under the headline, “Times publisher denies gender ...
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5answers
3k views

Is a snake's venom poisonous?

This is a question more concerning the word 'poisonous' and 'venomous' than poison vs. venom. I'm wondering about the following, specifically the last sentence: Don't eat the plant, it is ...
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1answer
170 views

Disinterested vs. uninterested

I’ve always understood the difference between disinterested and uninterested as follows: uninterested: not interested, not up to it disinterested: impartial Consider the situation of someone ...
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1answer
567 views

Had you had asked

Let's say in this scenario: Someone asked me for help to do certain thing. I gave a negative response. That person then asked for the reason. I responded with: "Had you had asked me nicely ...." ...
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4answers
7k views

“Is” or “was” written by?

We usually speak of the events of a work of fiction in present tense, even though they may clearly have happened in the past: "Macbeth hallucinates a dagger floating before him." This is because the ...
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1answer
65 views

The use of indefinite article with initials [duplicate]

Can you explain why we say AN NHS provision but A National Health provision. Or A UFO but An UNIDENTIFIED Fly Object. Are there any rules regarding the use of A or An when using initials such as ! In ...
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2answers
473 views

“Gain in popularity” vs “Gain popularity”?

I've got the following sentence: These issues have allowed for alternatives, such as Spotify and Pandora, to gain in popularity. A friend expressed concern and believes that it would be more ...
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2answers
325 views

“inquisitive” vs. “inquiring” in AmE and BrE

Do these terms share the same level of laudatoriness/pejorativeness in both BrE and AmE? Or, does one typically have a more positive/negative connotation to it than the other from your side of the ...
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1answer
75 views

“to” or “of” or both whilst referring to cities and places

I saw these billboards today: Turkey home of Istanbul Turkey home of Nemrut Nemrut is a mountain in Turkey with prehistoric monuments, and I think home of is the new slogan for Turkey. ...
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1answer
527 views

Proactive vs Preemptive [closed]

I need to explain the difference between "proactive" and "preemptive" and come up with a sample of the proper context of each word. Can someone point me to a previous post or give me their thoughts?
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6answers
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Are there any names of food that are associated with political correctness other than Fried chicken?

The word Spanish golfer, Sergio Garcia used in answering a reporter’s question about the status of his current relationship with his rival, Tiger Woods on May 21st – “We’ll have him ‘round every ...
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2answers
238 views

Origin of “off the meter” idiomatic phrase

When and how did the phrase "off the meter" become established as an idiom? Urban Dictionary defines "off the meter" as the condition of being "very good, awesome, great". I have heard and said it ...
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1answer
50 views

Is “Alligators and Kangaroos” a set phrase to express an encounter with unexpected happening?

The Entertainment Movies section of Today’s (May 9) Time magazine introduces the Hollywood version of the children’s book, “The Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” under the ...
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2answers
39 views

Acronym or initialism presentation

When creating an acronyms/initialisms in a document which will be referenced throughout the document, what is the proper way to display it for the first time? ("Word") or just (Word)?
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1answer
419 views

what's the difference between “Remarks” and “Note”?

When I make a table, there is a column we left for the things we forget to write down on it. What would we call this item? Remarks or Note?
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2answers
3k views

what is the difference in usage of 'pertain' and 'appertain'?

In the dictionary the meanings of these two words seem interchangeable so why do the two words exist? Are there different contexts for their usage? Definitions by Merriam-Webster: Definition of ...
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2answers
221 views

By taking the public relations offensive - meaning

By taking the public relations offensive, the Russians have time and again been two steps ahead. U.S. and Western officials, not to mention the Kiev government, are left scrambling to debunk the ...
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1answer
61 views

What's the difference between 'working in/from' and 'working at' a coffee shop?

Does working at a coffee shop necessarily imply being employed there? Is working at a coffee shop never synonymous to working in/from the coffee shop?
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2answers
157 views

To cheers of “well played” - meaning [closed]

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/pro-russian-militants-attack-police-hq-ukraines-odessa-141824310.html In a bid to calm the crowd, police freed one of the detained pro-Russians, who emerged to cheers ...
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2answers
1k views

What does “love me do” mean?

As many of you know, there is a famous song by the Beatles entitled Love Me Do. Nevertheless, I have some doubts about the correctness of such a title. Does "love me do" mean the same as "love me" or ...
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3answers
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Why is mutton used for both sheep meat and goat meat?

The meat of an adult sheep is called mutton. The meat of an adult goat is called chevon or mutton. In the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean, and in some parts of Asia, particularly ...
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2answers
193 views

“I have been working…” versus “I have worked…” in response to “Who have you worked with so far?” [closed]

Q: Who have you worked with so far? A: I have been working with people from all over the world. The best answer would be 'I have worked with people from all over the world'. One of my ...
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1answer
2k views

“Very much true”: how often have you heard a native speaker say that?

How often have you heard a native speaker say "very much true"? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzMx1Oo7hvg&t=0m18s
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3answers
481 views

Is writing “My English is not the best around” wrong?

I was wondering if I can use "is not the best around" in conjunction with language skills, but some mild googling gave me no results for languages like German or French (in a context where I'd ...
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2answers
246 views

Does “Much of the work towards this end” sound natural?

Would the following sentence sound natural to native speaker? If not, what would be the modificiation? Much of the work towards this end focused on [some concept].
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2answers
209 views

Is the word, “kinda-sorta” accepted as a normal word to be used in writing?

I was drawn to the word, “kinda, sorta” which appeared in the article of Time magazine (April 27) under the headline, “The Clippers Should Have Boycotted Game After Owner’s Racist Remarks”: The ...
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3answers
80 views

Can 'degenerate' be used with no derogatory meaning?

Degenerate is used to indicate a change of state ( physical or mental) which has generally worsened from its previous one. Could this term be used just to indicate a change that does not necessarily ...
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1answer
424 views

Why does 'I'm with stupid' have a positive connotation?

I see the phrase ... I'm with stupid ... used in many occasions, especially on forums using a smiley similar to this one: It's almost exclusively used with a positive connotation, in the ...
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2answers
613 views

The usage of “ inside-out and outside-in ” [closed]

Do we have both the usages of inside-out and outside-in? inside-out means: with the inner surface turned outward. So basically they are the opposite meaning? Perform inside-out and then perform ...
2
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1answer
116 views

Backfill - meaning

Source: http://rt.com/news/155168-us-eu-sanctions-russia/ But Europe has much to lose from imposing economic sanctions on Russia, and Obama said he sees how US-only sanctions won’t work. “If ...
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“Is equal to” or “equals” [duplicate]

Are both is equal to and equals similar in meaning? Which is the more natural? For example, one plus one equals two or one plus one is equal to two.
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1answer
79 views

Partisans interest - meaning [closed]

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/al-qaeda-chief-urges-westerner-kidnappings-prisoner-exchanges-114335980.html "The Ummah (Muslim world) must support this jihad with all that it can, and the ...
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7answers
3k views

Is the use of future tense (especially “will” and “shall”) going out of grammar?

My English teacher taught us that there is no such thing called "future tense" in existence. Instead we were asked to use present indefinite tense. He said that we should use "I am to go to London" ...
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2answers
65 views

the usage of 'which'

I'm doing review for a journal. There are many sentences which really confuse me. For example: We employ similarity learning using Ranking-SVM to learn parameters Is it better to change it like ...
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1answer
531 views

industrial-grade - meaning

The future of PHP looks very bright. Leading platform vendors such as IBM, Oracle, MySQL, Intel, and, most recently, Red Hat have all endorsed it. The new Collaboration Project initiated by ...
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3answers
33 views

…if to a reduced degree - meaning, usage

Even so, many of the original advantages of stored programs (such as enhanced security and reduction in network traffic) still apply, if to a reduced degree. The use of stored programs is still ...
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4answers
529 views

One has to cook himself or themself? [closed]

Wanted to know which form is better and why One has to cook himself? OR One has to cook themself?
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1answer
180 views

To have a game in hand

I have come across the expression game in hand in an article on England Premier League, as follows: Third-place City has a game in hand but the surprise result against Sunderland, coupled with ...
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1answer
142 views

Is it accurate/correct/proper to call an abusive dictator a megalomaniac?

The definition of megalomania indicates that it is the delusion of power, wealth, greatness, importance, etc. So when talking about malicious dictators, especially those known for mass murder of ...
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1answer
62 views

Check out of, check into - meaning [closed]

When you are editing a stored program, check it out of the source control system and load the checked-out copy into the MySQL Query Browser or other tool. When you are satisfied with your ...
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2answers
100 views

Which is more common to say “I used to have a month off” or “I was used to having a month off” over Charismas holiday?

There was the following sentence in Tina Fey’s “Tina Fey Bossy Pants”: " When I took the job at the front desk in early November, I had stipulated that I had to have off a few days around ...
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1answer
445 views

Use “too” instead of “so” and “very”

In what situation would you use "too" instead of so or very. Can someone help me? I have a problem with using too in sentence. Please give me an example. Thanks
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2answers
152 views

What website will give me the frequency of a word in the English language?

Is there a website that will give me a frequency of a word in the English language? I am looking for some thing like this: I would type in the word, and it would give me a frequency rating. I have ...
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1answer
66 views

The correct way to title a work of art [closed]

Should a work of art have an author first, and then the title, or the title first, and then the author? Answer: (...less than 10 rep ATM..) A work of art may have the author first, and then the ...
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1answer
77 views

When did “out of” come to mean “in”?

When I was a child, I learned that the term "out of" could be used to apply to a person or thing to describe where he, she or it was from. For example, a ship docked in Miami could be described as ...
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1answer
75 views

According to protesters - correct; according to THE protesters - possible?

Source: http://rt.com/news/mariupol-base-shooting-ukraine-008/ They called on the troops to abandon the base, but the soldiers didn't listen, the demonstrators said. Instead, the troops opened ...
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3answers
109 views

Single word for “from then” or “from it” [closed]

I would like to use the archaic expression (from the family of hence, whereby etc.) to refine the sentence: "..the weights introduced in Exercise 2 and determined from it/from there" meaning the ...
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1answer
364 views

Is the practice of calling others by initials acceptable? [closed]

The answers and comments on my question about English alternatives to “Senpai” reminded me of the odd feeling I used to have almost 25 years ago when I observed my client’s staffs were referring to ...