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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
203 views

Meaning of “Smiles Slip”

I don't quite understand something: source Brazil will, in one form or another, be ready for the World Cup. But when it comes to hosting the tournament, those famous Brazilian smiles may ...
3
votes
5answers
286 views

Word for inability to think in certain ways

Am looking for a word that loosely means inability to think in certain ways. For example, for lyricists (or writers) lyrics come so naturally, but for non-lyricists it's very difficult to think how ...
0
votes
1answer
178 views

Question about subject-verb agreement

Is this a run-on? By 1990, it was even easier to make bottles and paper products quickly; as a result, competition among companies grew and stores featured products with increasingly interesting ...
0
votes
4answers
317 views

The proper term for a person who uses words incorrectly [duplicate]

What is the proper term for a person who uses words incorrectly, hoping to impress others?
3
votes
1answer
122 views

“Advice I wish I'd had ears to hear” — is this phrase in common use? Origins?

Productivity writer Merlin Mann often uses the phrase "ears to hear" on his podcast. An example from his writing: "a discursive mishmash of advice I wish I'd had the ears to hear in the year or ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Do 'learn by heart' & 'learn by rote' mean the same?

Here in India, both the phrases learning by heart and learning by rote are taken to have the same meaning, i.e., blind memorisation without true understanding. However, some sources say that to ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Is “curate the market” common usage of “curate”?

I found New York Times (November 25) article titled “Helpful definition of modern author” intriguing. It provides humorous definitions of book-related terminologies such as authors, publishers, ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Lose Attendence Numbers

When some sport is "losing attendance numbers", what does "numbers" refer to? I can't find a good definition in dictionaries that would fit this usage.
4
votes
3answers
256 views

Meaning of “Discretion”

I saw this dictionary entry, and it says "discretion" could mean approximately either 1) the right to choose what to do or 2) the quality of being careful what you do. The dictionary has these two ...
0
votes
2answers
442 views

Holding off on it or Holding it off or Holding off of it?

I would like to say that I'm pausing / postponing work on something. I wasn't sure which of the following is the right way to say it: I'm holding off on it for the time being I'm holding off of ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Is the moment come? [duplicate]

"You comfort me so much! I am so ignorant. Am I to kiss you now? Is the moment come?" I came across the sentence above on page 480 of the novel A Tale of Two Cities. I've never seen the usage ...
-2
votes
2answers
197 views

The type of expression that makes transitive verb to look like an intransitive verb: How common is it? Should I use it in formal writing? [closed]

The sentence structure Subject has got noun to verb. basically places a noun behind a verb with the help of the infinitive marker to, and it makes the transitive verb looks as if it is an ...
-1
votes
1answer
244 views

Ending a sentence with “and thanks”

I have a colleague who ends many emails with "and thanks". To me it sounds awkward and random, but I wonder if anyone has seen this usage before? Examples (note particularly the third one!): "That ...
0
votes
1answer
455 views

What is the difference between “excuse me” and “forgive me”?

I am hesitated when I use the sentence "forgive my fault, please." instead of "excuse me, please." because the word "forgive" has a religious theme and probably carries some additional meanings. Also ...
0
votes
1answer
223 views

Difference Between “View” and “Viewpoint”?

Suppose the context is people giving their opinions in a discussion. How are "view" and "viewpoint" different? Some dictionaries seem to say they are the same. What do native speakers think?
1
vote
2answers
33k views

When to use “respectively”? [duplicate]

I have been wondering what it means when people use "respectively" in, before, and after sentences. For example: We are looking for a babysitter to pick up and supervise our kids ages 6 and 3, ...
-1
votes
2answers
399 views

Plural or Singular after “no” [closed]

After searching product on website, should I show one of these? There is no any product or There is no any products ? Some people on Internet said that singular is used after uncountable noun ...
-1
votes
1answer
181 views

Me and X or X and me? [duplicate]

When should I say, for instance, "Mary and me," and when should I say "Me and Mary?" Example: Which option should I use in the following sentence? After drinking our tea and saying goodbye to ...
-2
votes
1answer
61 views

antiquarian (adjective) misuse re: dictionary definition

multiple choice ... "antiquarian book" refers to: 1. an antique book about anything 2. any age book about old books 3. a book about people who deal in old books 4. a book in the antiquar language or ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Why does “Please approve it” sound wrong?

Whenever I read an email like this, the English sounds incorrect to me. "I would like to take tomorrow off. Please approve it." I want to say that "Please approve" is more natural, but why is that?
2
votes
2answers
692 views

Correct usage of 'but for'?

Does 'but for' mean: 'If we had X (but we didn't), Y would have been the consequence'? Or can it also mean; because we had X, as a result Y happened? Some different examples of but for: (Case 1) ...
0
votes
2answers
602 views

“Made in…” vs. “Product of…” [duplicate]

What is the difference between "Made in..." and "Product of..."? Both are often seen on product labeling; my understanding is that "Made in" is not used for agricultural goods while "Product of" is?
1
vote
2answers
208 views

What’s the difference between “Go all out” and “Go all in”?

There was the following sentence in August 12 Time magazine article titled “Why Germany save the Euro,” which deals with the Germany’s roles in restoring the momentum of Euro economy: “There are ...
-1
votes
1answer
105 views

'they are' or 'these are'

Which sentence sounds more natural? These are first and foremost ethical, not medical questions. or They are first and foremost ethical, not medical questions.
0
votes
1answer
189 views

Hyphenation rules for product shelf life

Given this sentence: Studies confirm the longest product shelf life of 3 years. How do I make it correct and clear? The product has a set of shelf lives (it is a pharmaceutical product). ...
2
votes
1answer
360 views

“Both are not,” or “neither is?” [closed]

Straight forward question. Are both correct or is one better. "Both are not." "Neither is." Also, are they interchangeable or are there correct times to use one or the other?
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I say “more exact”/“more precise”?

My understanding with the words exact, precise and accurate is that they are absolute. Meaning, there cannot be less accurate or more accurate. Is my understanding correct? If it's exactly 1 meter, ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

the main usage of the “to” as a prepositional condition

when I was young I wasn't from the English area but I am used to learning English grammar already. Well , I am still thinking about one thing maybe because I had not even got to learn this grammar ...
3
votes
4answers
881 views

“there doesn't seem” vs. “there don't seem”

As an example, consider the two sentences: There don't seem to be any doctors here. and There doesn't seem to be any doctors here. To my ear, the first sounds great, and the second is ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference between “if” and “whether”? [duplicate]

Using whether is far more common. It is certainly more formal. I would like to know whether it is a true story or fabricated. But we can use if as well in the same sentence. I would like ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Is there a quick and easy way to pronounce “W” letter? [duplicate]

I mean, there is a well known 'substitution' for number "0" with 'ou' sound. Like, '107' in military communications will be pronounced as 'one-ou-seven'. Is there similar kind of substitution for ...
1
vote
1answer
267 views

phrase replacement [closed]

I sometimes use common phrases that I'd rather spruce up with a single word or more direct phrase, or perhaps just by using fresher wording. One phrase I'd like to change is: "was the fact that." My ...
1
vote
2answers
459 views

Lately, I keep hearing and seeing “embarrassed of…” used instead of “embarrassed by…”

It seems very awkward to me. You never hear "thrilled of you", it's "thrilled by you," so what happened to "embarrassed by you"?
1
vote
1answer
62 views

What does “good enough to lose” in “Red Sox were either good enough to lose, or just plain bad” in the World Series in the past”?

New York Times (October 31st) reported Red Sox’s victory in the World Series under the title, “Red Sox Rout Cardinals to Win World Series” It begins with the following sentence: For much of the ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

What's the difference between: people in England, people of England and English people? [closed]

People in England clean glass with newspaper. People of England clean glass with newspaper. English people clean glass with newspaper. I would like to know which one sounds most natural. I would ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Word usage in emphatic sense [closed]

Consider the sentence: "The need for lawful intervention is being felt more after the terror attacks in November last year." Shouldn't it be even more instead of just more?
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Phrasal Usage of called on

Consider the sentence: "America's respected Institute of Medicine called for/on nurses to play a greater role in primary care." Which is more appropriate on or for?
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Is the “for + proposition” form still used nowadays? [duplicate]

I am currently studying English and as such enjoy reading English books from time to time; for instance I have recently been reading the fifth book of A Song of Ice and Fire since the French version ...
0
votes
2answers
800 views

“it is may happen” is correct or not? [closed]

The meaning of hope given in Simple Wiktionary as When someone hopes that something will happen, it means that they want it to happen and they think it is may happen. This it is may happen is ...
0
votes
2answers
153 views

Is “It's raining cats and dogs” out? [closed]

My impression is "It's raining cats and dogs" is old-fashioned. Is that right? If I used it, would people think I'm 70 years old, or something like that?
0
votes
1answer
266 views

Is “Take one’s pulse” used as an idiom to mean“research” market, trends, problems / opportunities other than “diagnose" patient’s conditions?

I was amused to find the headline of article, “Just Dropped In to Take Your Pulse” in New Car Reviews section of New York Times October 25 issue, which is followed by the lead-copy: The Scirocco ...
0
votes
3answers
112 views

Is “left for heaven” a common phrase in English?

Is "left for heaven" a common phrase for native English speakers?
8
votes
1answer
363 views

What does“low wattage” mean in “A politician not being mocked for low wattage”?

Time magazine (October 25) carries the article titled “The Populist Egghead” with a caption: “Sen. Cruz isn't being mocked for low wattage the way Palin and Reagan had been. He's being singled ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Should 'good morning' be first greeting irrespective of the time you meet a person. Whether its afternoon or evening [duplicate]

Is there any kind of rule that the first greeting to a person should be 'good morning' irrespective of the time you meet that person. Whether its afternoon or evening. Please clarify with with facts ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Can “shavelings” be used to refer to Asian monks? Or it only refers to Occitental shaven-headed church man?

Can "shavelings" be used to refer to Asian monks? Or it only refers to Occidental shaven-headed church men? Can a shaven-headed civilian be called a "shaveling"?
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Is the word “mid-shelf” applicable to any merchandize being sold at retail shops more than liquor?

There was the following sentence in Time magazine (September 16) titled “The world according to Vladimir Putin.” The nation that put the first man into space has given the world no distinctly ...
1
vote
3answers
564 views

Did the CIA really introduce 'conspiracy theory' into popular usage after JFK?

I heard that after the JFK assassination the CIA, through assets in mass media, introduced the term 'conspiracy theory', with it connotations of something clearly ridiculous, and only believed by ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

How to name the supreme power in the universe, in front of various people who believe there is one? [duplicate]

Even in writing this question, I have been deeply embarrassed : should I capitalize some words ? Although not a believer myself, I wish to perturb nobody, whatever his / her faith could be : my ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

grammar age question [duplicate]

Consider the sentence - "A fifty year old man is walking in the garden." Shouldn't it be 'fifty years old' or 'fifty-year old' or something else maybe? Is the original usage correct?
1
vote
2answers
4k views

in average? on average? [closed]

I am writing a summary for a facebook campaign, and I want to say "each post reaches over 1000 viewers in average", does it sound right? Should I use "on average" or "in average"?