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

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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, ...
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2answers
94 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 ...
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4answers
809 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
92 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 ...
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1answer
235 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 ...
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2answers
418 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"?
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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 ...
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137 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 ...
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47 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?
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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?
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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 ...
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723 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 ...
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147 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?
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1answer
249 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 ...
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3answers
107 views

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

Is "left for heaven" a common phrase for native English speakers?
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1answer
361 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 ...
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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 ...
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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"?
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1answer
128 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 ...
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3answers
529 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 ...
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1answer
143 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 ...
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1answer
107 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?
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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"?
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6answers
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Usage of “ladies and gentlemen” to address two people of diiferent sex

It seems to be not quite logical to use the traditional address "ladies and gentlemen" when there are only a single lady and a single gentleman in the room, not counting for the person who is ...
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1answer
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What does “Seeing right through them” exactly mean?

I was drawn to the phrase, “Seeing right through them“appearing in the New York Times (October 5) article written by Daniel Goleman under the title, “Rich people just care less.” It begins with the ...
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1answer
218 views

One of the best person I got to work with [closed]

I am trying to write a recommendation. How could I improve the following sentence which sounds too informal and it also sounds like it is in the past whereas I am still working with this person: He ...
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1answer
104 views

Word being modified by whose

I came across the following sentence: "Kiran is Kishore's uncle, whose paternal grandfather has only two children." I am not clear which person is 'whose' referring to - Kiran or Kishore and why?
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1answer
82 views

Strive for excellence VS Striving for excellence

"an environment that promotes strive for excellence / striving for excellence" I would like to know which one is correct ? Because I dont quite catch how to use the phrase "strive for excellence".
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1answer
106 views

Etymology of “rabona”

In association football, rabona is used to describe a specific technique: a method of kicking the football whereby the kicking leg is wrapped around the back of the standing leg—effectively with ...
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231 views

'solid' used as an adverb

The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition contains the following (on the hyphenation or otherwise of compounds): 6.38: The trend in spelling compound words has been away from the use of hyphens; ...
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3answers
150 views

“all the way down to” phrase with geographical locations

Is the following usage correct: I drove from Los Angeles all the way down to San Diego. given that San Diego is at the south of Los Angeles? Can it be used for geographical directions?
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1answer
211 views

Hyphen omission: a matter of habit or plain error?

I'm not a native English speaker so I'm struggling to get this right. I understand (and this question confirms) that compound adjectives such as well-organized, high-level, Spanish-speaking, etc, ...
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1answer
14k views

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

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 ...
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How did 'wieldy', the positive form of 'unwieldy', come to be a non-existent word?

I.e., is there a known reason behind why the negative form of the word 'wieldy', 'unwieldy', is so vastly used, whereas the positive form is essentially a non-existent word — MacMillan ...
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4answers
3k views

Is “on one hand, on the other hand” a cliche? [closed]

We should find a Way of long peace instead of living just for today. On one hand, we have to prevent the community from coming apart and suffering the disasters caused by it, on the other hand, to ...
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2answers
62 views

Does MLA require intext citations to include author's last name if you introduced his name earlier in your work? [closed]

I'm a bit unsure if I can go about excluding author last names in citations for a paper I've been writing. I have to compare two characters from different stories in the same anthology. I have quotes ...
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2answers
128 views

Corporates - is there any such word?

The use of "corporates" as a word to mean companies, organizations, etc., has been gaining popularity of late, at least here in India. Although I believe it is standard to speak of "corporate" life, ...
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329 views

Why does European packaging use “gb” to represent English?

Something I've always wondered is why companies that are based in Europe tend to use "country" abbreviations to represent a language instead of the language abbreviation itself. Given that there are ...
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2answers
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would not vs will not vs can not [closed]

I understand about the conditional, and imaginary, tense but if someone implies something will or won't work, which is the stronger or more definite use? Even if he tries, it cannot work Even ...
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1answer
53 views

“Fight Academy” or “Fighting Academy?”

What's more accurate, "Fight Academy" or "Fighting Academy" or is it equally correct to use either one. I have seen both being used and when I compare it to "Fight Club," it seems that "Fight ...
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3answers
206 views

Can “it” be used as “which” to represent what the previous sentence means?

The priority is to lay down the moral base of this society: including ethical principles and political justice. It means that what we are going to seek out and construct is the “republican virtue” ...
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4answers
119 views

Smart used as expensive, why?

I sometimes see phrases like "smart hotel", "smart restaurant" (especially in guide books). From context I usually understand it as "expensive but worthy". Is it correct understanding? Why is word ...
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2answers
282 views

Is “as you need” different from “as you need to” in this sentence?

To utilize things as(when) you need to, but never be captivated by things.(self-made, a translation from ancient text in Chinese) I think "as you need" and "as you need to" is different in this ...
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2answers
665 views

How to correctly use double quotation marks at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

Group A: This is so-called "Moon Cake." // The period is inside the double quatation marks This is so-called "Moon Cake". // The period is outside the double quatation marks I know the ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the meaning of “a correspondence of principles”?

Which are the uses and meanings of this expression? From my own research, it seems to have: In politics, a formal meaning close of agreement or treaty: "a correspondence of principles was sign ...
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2answers
953 views

Does ‘sugarplum’ have the meaning of ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’?

There is the following advice for ‘defusing an argument with one word’ in a website: In an argument in which the fight systems are fully armed you need to provide an abrupt interruption. Have a ...
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Do you know the meaning of the American idiom “pot calling the kettle black”?

I just want to conduct a research about this American idiom and how native American people use it. Can you guys answer my questions in the following orders? If you have better questions, I will be ...
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1answer
118 views

Apostrophe usage in the Iliad (Lombardo) [duplicate]

I'm taking a classics class, and we're currently reading Lombardo's translation of the Iliad. It strikes me incredibly odd how possessive and plural nouns are formed: The met by the ancient oak ...
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1answer
1k views

Is “play chess when others are playing checkers,” a well-known / well-used phrase?

I found the phrase, “he’s always playing chess when others are playing checkers,” in today’s (September 11) article of New York Times, written by Charles Blow under the headline of “It’s a Mad, Mad, ...