For questions on how and why certain words are used in varying ways within various contexts.

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1answer
176 views

Is there a difference between “entrée” and “entry”?

From a recent op-ed in the Washington Post (emphasis mine): But immigration gives Trump entrée to African Americans with an issue that will resonate with many and at least give him a hearing. I ...
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2answers
107 views

“Snag (a chance, an opportunity, etc.) for ”seize/snatch" in AE

Does "snag" have any currency in modern day AE to say "snatch (or seize) (a chance, an occasion, etc.), and can it be used just about interchangeably with the latter? Or, is there a subtle difference ...
0
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1answer
167 views

Can we use “depart” in the following sentence?

Can we use "depart" in the following sentence? I departed from Jared, heading to the north as he went to the opposite direction. I guess "depart" is mostly used for places. I wonder if it can be ...
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2answers
478 views

Is there any difference or nuance between “At the start, …” and “In the beginning, …”?

"At the start, ...", this is from the book, I am reading now. It sounded very rare to me so I was wondering what an occasion I can use this expression comparing "In the beginning, ...". Thanks.
1
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1answer
143 views

How do I choose between “was” and “were”? [closed]

Should I use the singular “was” or the plural “were” in the following sentence? The first thing that I noticed was (OR) were the street performers singing near the main entrance of the park. ...
2
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1answer
55 views

“eldest” vs. “firstborn”

A family genealogist discovered that his grandparent who was believed to have had six siblings actually had two more who had died very young; one died a few days after birth. The firstborn died at ...
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1answer
85 views

Can't understand a 'but' word usage [Daniel Defoe] [closed]

Can someone please explain me why Daniel Defoe uses a 'but' word literally everywhere? (See photos, last string in both occasions). Thanks a lot for your answers!
0
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1answer
57 views

Use of “workarounds”

Let's say there is problem X, and I have in mind some methods, each is a workaround for X. For a single workaround, it seems fine to say: "I am suggesting a workaround X", but I feel the following ...
32
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7answers
2k views

Can a statement be “hissed” without any sibilants?

Is using hissed as a replacement for said technically acceptable in dialogue without the presence of any sibilants? "You fool!" she hissed. I understand that hissed could be used to indicate a ...
2
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2answers
99 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 ...
10
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4answers
4k views

What is meant by a “two-lane” road?

When people say that a road has "two lanes"? Two lanes total, one travelling in one direction, and one travelling in the opposite direction? Two lanes travelling in one direction, and two more ...
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1answer
148 views

“Directory” for the main board in an airport, etc., informing people on arrivals/departures, floors/levels to certain stores, etc

In AE, is it appropriate to designate as a "directory" the main information board found in the concourse or front room of a public place such as a passenger station, an airport, a shopping mall, an ...
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1answer
94 views

Are proper adverbs falling out of usage in current spoken American English?

While watching American movies and TV series, I notice that in dialogue very often the usage of a proper adverb is replaced by the corresponding adjective (in the case where the adverb is formed by ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Usage of “so to” in the place of “to” as part of infinitive construction

Example: We make wine by hand in small lots and taste the wines constantly so to profit from its constant change. I would normally drop the "so" and phrase it like "we do it to profit" Are both ...
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6answers
3k views

The meaning of 0% and 100% as opposed to other percentages?

Oftentimes, percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. A $49.99 item may be marked 50% off, even if the price becomes $24.99 (it should be 50.03% off). However, I have come to notice that ...
2
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1answer
7k views

Charge payment “to”, “on”, or “against” a credit card/an account; charge a credit card/account/a person “with”an amount

Are all of these options acceptable and in current use to denote payment with a credit card? E.g. Please charge this amount on me/my credit card/my (credit card) account. Please charge this amount ...
1
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1answer
86 views

“sympathetic” : one who “feels” sympathy or “deserves” sympathy?

Can one who others feel sympathy for, be described as sympathetic? I've always believed that sympathetic only describes one who bestows sympathy, not one who receives sympathy. Incorrect Example? ...
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2answers
35 views

What is the difference between “feudal” and “feudalistic”?

They are both adjectives related to feudalism. But what is the difference between the two in actual usage.
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2answers
314 views

Usage of the word: realpolitik

Can the word realpolitik correctly be used to describe how a country deals with its citizens, or only between countries to describe a form of diplomacy? If not, what word best describes my example?
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2answers
40 views

The second verb of subject should be express according to number or not? [closed]

He is a man who has a bad heart. or He is a man who have a bad heart. Which one is correct? I tried to search "He is a man who have" and "He is a man who has" on Google but I got quite ...
0
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1answer
36 views

Using “Chances are…”

Here's the sentence I'm wrestling with: "Chances are most of your customers are..." Is this correct? Or should it be "Chances are that most of your customers..." or "Chances are, most of your ...
2
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3answers
127 views

What is the meaning of this life quote? [closed]

I am trying (but failing) to understand the meaning of this life quote: Trying is a part of failing. If you are afraid to fail then you are afraid to try. Can you explain what it means?
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2answers
284 views

“Looks like” in more formal way [closed]

I want to write It looks like I misunderstood Berta's explanation But in more formal way. Thanks
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2answers
140 views

“…the city of Berlin was divided ________ the USSR, the USA and the UK” [duplicate]

After the second world war, the city of Berlin was divided ________ the USSR, the USA and the UK. Options by with between among My Approach: I am not able to solve this ...
0
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2answers
57 views

Why the word “common ground” as noun does not contain or unnecessary to have a hyphen?

Why the word "common ground" as noun does not contain or unnecessary to have a hyphen? Is this compound term correct?
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4answers
2k views

Usage of the word suicide - validity of 'suiciding'

Is 'suiciding' a valid word by itself ? I have very rarely come across suicide being used in this form. Mostly, you see it being used with the prefix 'commit' as in 'committing suicide' rather than ...
1
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1answer
54 views

In anything but…meaning and usage

I am reading some documentation and cannot fully understand the meaning of 'In anything but..' In anything but the smallest applications it makes sense to organize the service definitions by ...
1
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3answers
234 views

Which is correct, “to take refuge in” or “to take refuge with”?

Concerning refuge with a higher existence such as an Omnipotent being, what is more befitting to use, English wise: To take refuge in [Omnipotent being] To take refuge with [Omnipotent being] ...
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1answer
168 views

Best practices to address a person having the same name? [closed]

I am not a native speaker. I would really like to know how you address someone with the same name as you have. Like my name is Daniel. I met a colleague who is also called Daniel. By the way, we ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Can we say “same to you” in response to “nice to meet you”?

Is it ok to respond with "same to you" when someone says Nice to meet you ? I am getting confused because "you too" can be interchangeably used for "same to you".
0
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1answer
95 views

Long-term v lifelong [closed]

Should I say "It's been a long-term dream of mine to do sth" or "It's been a lifelong dream of mine to do sth"
0
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1answer
171 views

Which future tense for holidays or doctor appointments?

Although I know the general rules when to apply which tense, I'm often confused and do not really know which one to use. I can find pros and cons for each tense. Two examples: In terms of spending ...
0
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4answers
132 views

Use of “this was suggested to me by…”

I say to my friend Mark: "You should read this book". Later, Mark talks with another person about this and says: "This book was suggested to me by a friend". Is this correct? Does it sound natural or ...
4
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1answer
114 views

Why does this use of “the” seem wrong?

I'm helping a colleague edit his paper before submission. He is a native French speaker and I am having trouble saying why "the" isn't necessary in "the threads" or in particular "the shared memory," ...
2
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3answers
142 views

How I can use a word of “whereas”?

I looked up Oxford dictionary: In contrast or comparison with the fact that: "you treat the matter lightly, whereas I myself was never more serious" I am still confusing about this meaning. Please ...
3
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1answer
157 views

19th C forms of address

In the early 19th C. when the eldest daughter married, did the second oldest daughter become the "Miss Whatever," or did she continue to be identified as "Miss Whoever Whatever?'
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5answers
824 views

Does “Smugness” imply “Having or showing low opinions of others”?

I have a little confusion whether "smugness" implies a "low opinion of others" in contrast to a "high opinion of oneself" I have consulted ODO and wiktionary; they showed the meaning of "Smugness" is ...
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3answers
55 views

Can we use this expression [closed]

Is this OK to use the following: Looking into the photograph the girl said, "It's me before 5 years."
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1answer
65 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct? [closed]

We had our nails done at a salon and afterwards we went to a cafe, where Julie had an indulgent hot chocolate and I had a pot of tea. Please explain your answer. Thanks.
2
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1answer
161 views

Is “should” appropriate for polite requests?

I am placing request to a customer for a project and I want him to provide some information. I had worked with them in a previous assignment and they failed to provide me most of the details ...
4
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6answers
281 views

Can “weren't” be used in reference to a singular noun?

I've been watching a TV sitcom lately, "Last Tango in Halifax." A main character uses "weren't" instead of "wasn't" and I am wondering if that is considered correct in some areas or dialects? For ...
0
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1answer
56 views

What is the usage of word “like” here?

Indian elephants are the main contributors to the biogas production, but other vegetarian animals, like giraffes and rhinoceroses, help as well. What is the name of usage of this word "like" ...
0
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2answers
2k views

“use some rest” vs. “take some rest” vs. “get some rest”?

use some rest take some rest get some rest Which one is correct if I want to tell my friend to go to relax or take a nap? The phrase "take some rest" is familiar me but I also have ...
0
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0answers
53 views

Is “Jap” more commonly used in media with space restrictions?

From time to time, I encounter people using the word "Jap" on Twitter. One explanation I've seen for its use is that it's shorter than "Japanese" or "Japan", so it's easier to write tweets that fit ...
1
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1answer
123 views

What is the difference between “acquisitional”, “acquisitive”, and “acquisitory”?

I am actually a native speaker, but this one threw me. "Acquisitory" seems to be associated with avarice/greed, possibly specifically for material goods. "Acquisitive" also seems to be related to ...
0
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0answers
74 views

Grammatical rule for using no article with nouns

I can use "Listing Activation Codes" in an article whose description is the following: Use the following API route to list activation codes and their values. ​In this description, I mean that ...
2
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0answers
94 views

Why is the word “fewer” seemingly doomed? [closed]

More and more I see the word "fewer" less and less. It's being replaced by "less" and seemingly falling into disuse. What is the reason for this? Is it as simple as the marketeers believing, "fewer ...
4
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1answer
97 views

“Double Clicking” to mean, going in depth

I have been recently hearing the expression "double clicking" to mean 'going in depth'. For example: We will double click on this topic later on when required. I have never heard of such a usage ...
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3answers
157 views

What does “for comfort” in “too fast (close / hot/ warm / crammed) for comfort” mean?

I was drawn to the phrase, “Too fast for comfort” in New York Times (August 10) article with a headline, “China devalues its currency amid economic slowdown.: The move appeared to be a response to ...
0
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1answer
61 views

Does “money laundering” also mean raising funds illegally?

When I looked up what money laundering meant, the dictionary said it meant “concealing proceeds raised from illegitimate sources”. Does money laundering also mean “raising funds illegally”? If not, ...