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

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3
votes
5answers
26k 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?
-2
votes
3answers
716 views

Unusual sentence construction [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using -ed vs. -ing in the “needs washed” construction "The car needs washed." I can understand what the speaker means to say, but this is strange to ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Is using “needing” correct?

I've had a debate with my friend about the "needing" usage. I know we can't use "needing" in continuous tenses but take a look at my example: - That's the man needing some money. I'm sure I saw ...
4
votes
3answers
770 views

Dustbins & litter

Why do dust bins have the phrase "Do not Litter"? I checked the dictionary meaning - litter means garbage or waste. Aren't dustbins meant for that ?
3
votes
3answers
119 views

Is it correct to say “aging X years or more”?

Hundred participants (aging 18 years or more) were selected from each of the cities. Is the phrase within the parentheses correct? Any suggestion to better express the idea will also be ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Is “well-connected” correct here?

I want to use well-connected in the context of The James family was a well-connected family in ... Can someone suggest better ways to say it? I want it to mean that that particular family was ...
0
votes
4answers
217 views

Dabbles in cooking?

I want to say someone dabbles in cooking - is it correct? -is there a better (fancy) way to say it? (this intends to add bit of humor too)
5
votes
2answers
892 views

Did Victorians say “We are quit”?

Is “We are quit” (meaning “We’re even, no more mutual obligations”) a usage from the 18–19th centuries? Or are the examples of this on Google hits just people making it up (possibly a bad cognate ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Which is correct..Nothing last forever? or Nothing lasts forever? [closed]

Why is 'Nothing lasts forever' correct instead of 'Nothing last forever'?
3
votes
2answers
23k views

“The other way around” or “the other way round”

I see both phrases the other way around and the other way round very often. Which is correct? Please provide usage examples.
5
votes
4answers
778 views

Difference between “ignorant” and “uninformed”

What is the difference between ignorant and uninformed? In ordinary usage, is one considered a put down and the other considered a statement of fact? If so, why? Am I ignorant or simply uninformed?
2
votes
1answer
824 views

Correct usage of “so would” and “a priori”

Is this phrase syntactically correct? Because X may take different forms, a priori so would Y. I am especially asking about the usage of "so would", but also about the place of "a priori". ...
0
votes
1answer
241 views

Origin and usage of the phrase “my son”

When I was watching the movie documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11", one of the interviewed lawyers told Michael moore "sit down, my son". After that, I just couldn't stop thinking about this phrase, and how ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of Lets vs Let's for 'Let us' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Let's” vs. “lets”: which is correct? Lets now see how it can be done. Let's now see how it can be done. Is sentence 1 wrong?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“Actually” vs “really”

Sometimes I wonder if he is actually/really as lavish as he pretends to be. I know that this sentence can work without either actually or really, but if we were to use one of them to make an ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“Insight into whether” vs “insight as to whether”

I've seen the expressions insight into whether and insight as to whether used. Are both correct? If so is there any difference between them?
11
votes
1answer
3k views

“I can't help it.” Why help?

Why do we use the verb help in sentences such as the following to mean something like refrain from? I try not to eat junk, but I can't help it. I couldn't help laughing. I can't help but admire her ...
0
votes
2answers
519 views

What does “higgledy-piggledy” mean? [closed]

What does "higgledy-piggledy" mean? Does higgledy and piggledy means anything separately? How to use these two words?
2
votes
3answers
301 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
4k views

Use “Hi gents” in an e-mail? [closed]

I would appreciate if someone could tell me if it would be appropriate English to write "Hi gents" in an e-mail to fellow directors? It's in a very informal context.