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

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4answers
274 views

Can et al. be applied to companies?

I am used to seeing this used to condense a list of authors; however, is it correct to apply it to a list of companies? For example, would it make sense to say: Seminars being held by Google, ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Does “awe” have a colloquial meaning (similar to “awesome”)?

The meaning of awe is given in dictionaries as "an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime" (this definition is from ...
1
vote
1answer
435 views

What is the correct name for 'soda'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct: “soda” or “pop”? Is it correct to say soda, or is it pop, or is it soda pop? My friend and I are going back and forth: he says soda is "Soda ash" ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

Is it okay saying “What the deal with him is that …”

I am non-native english speaker, and I just realized that I use expression like this a lot "what the deal with is that he is too laid-back and reckless". I just checked on the internet and I did not ...
3
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2answers
310 views

Is “default” used for “a value used when nothing has been explicitly set” outside of IT world?

In a discussion at another question, rajah9 mentioned that default is used to mean to fail to repay a loan, but that in the computer world we now use it to mean a value used when no value has been ...
-1
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1answer
2k views

When using “an” before a vowel sounds wrong [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Consider the following sentence: "This is a one-time deal" sounds right "This is an one-time ...
1
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3answers
218 views

What dialect is “I be doing this”?

In which part of the world do people use sentences like "I be doing this" (missing out the 'will' after the 'I')? Sounds like some of the 'street-ghetto' to me. What is it exactly?
4
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4answers
248 views

Is it usual to use “full-cry” as a stand-alone adjective?

Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Spellbound by Blondes, Hot and Icy” appearing in December 1st NY-Times jumps from Alfred Hitchcock’s favor of blonde actresses to the dispute of Hillary Clinton’s ...
3
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2answers
1k views

“More that” vs. “more than” [closed]

Here is an example of something I occasionally encounter, and it always trips me up. The title of an applied mathematics book from Stanford University in 1959 is (bold mine) Partial Differential ...
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2answers
6k views

Usage of had in past tense

Being a non native speaker of English I am not sure about the usage of had. In my academics I have learned that had is only used to show that something happened prior to some event in the past ...
0
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1answer
547 views

Active usage of “taken aback”

The expression to be taken aback is very common; a typical example sentence (that I just made up) would be I was taken aback by the way she laughed. However, I sometimes find myself wanting to ...
12
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1answer
355 views

Is “tidbits” Bowdlerized or original?

Our American English local paper insisted on changing a title from titbits to tidbits for a column on minor local events and stories. I, a British English speaker, have always pronounced and spelled ...
1
vote
0answers
339 views

What is a “group of managers” called? [closed]

What is the term used for a "group of managers"? For example He has a fleet of managers or He has a legion of managers Though the sentences above might not be correct. I want to know that ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

What does “mouth worked” mean? [closed]

I always thought that “mouth worked” describes when someone moves their mouth as if they are speaking, but no sound is emitted. This happens when they are so surprised that that they don’t know what ...
0
votes
1answer
550 views

Explaining the comparative form of “numb” [closed]

The most common definition I have of numb is: "Deprived of the power of sensation." "Deprived of feeling or responsiveness." These definitions show up in nearly the same form in multiple ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a relish tray versus a veggie tray?

I have heard both of the terms "relish tray" and "veggie tray" used somewhat interchangeably. It seems as though there is some overlap between the two based on some simple Google Images searches ...
2
votes
3answers
201 views

Can adverbs of high/increasing speed be applied to not doing something?

There was some chat earlier about adverbs. We were trying to demonstrate that maybe is an adverb. Reg did this deftly by replacing maybe with other adverbs and then a noun, to show that the noun ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

“Thus” vs. “Thusly”

I read an article that used "thusly" and was wondering if there is any grammatical credence to it. The quote: The issue started when Sokolowski quickly ran out of storage capacity in his 32GB ...
0
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3answers
208 views

Is it possible for the words “exorbitantly grateful” to be interpreted as a bad thing? (or over the top)

Normally I use the word exorbitantly to describe an excess in a negative sense, however this time I used it to express an abundance of appreciation and gratitude. Could a critical reading of "I am ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
877 views

Why is it correct to say “He came and said something to me” but not “He came and said to me something”?

This question was just posed to me and I couldn't give a clear answer beyond that the second just feels wrong and one would generally use a direct or indirect quotation, as in "he came and said to me ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Does “reinventing the wheel” have negative or positive connotation?

I've always assumed that the expression "reinventing the wheel" meant something negative. For me it means doing something that has already be done without making any improvement. However, a few ...
0
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1answer
196 views

Comma usage after a direct quote? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Punctuation of direct speech, edge cases Schwimmer promised Ciccaroni “nothing would happen to any teacher of mine under my watch,” and told him not to bring any ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the correct punctuation of the phrase: one size fits all [closed]

What is the correct punctuation for the phrase: one size fits all? I have seen two variants: 'one size fits all', and one-size-fits-all
5
votes
4answers
146 views

Must you be successful to be labeled an “assassin”?

Query triggered by this Globe and Mail article: Headline: Malala Yousafzai assassin held, freed in 2009 by Pakistan military First Sentence: The would-be assassin who shot a Pakistani girl in the ...
1
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2answers
799 views

How to use the expression “you love it” [closed]

This question builds off of another question (Meaning of fck you) but my question pertains to the expression "you love it". Here are three examples of its usage. 1] From Youth in Revolt (Youth in ...
4
votes
2answers
492 views

How did “classic” and “classical” come to mean “historic”?

I assume the words classic and classical have a basis in the word class — which is to say, of a category. Why do we use those words to mean old or historically important?
6
votes
4answers
203 views

How do teachers ask to calculate expressions?

How do American/British primary school teachers ask their pupils to calculate an expression? E.g. What is 2+3 equal to? What is the value of 2+3? ... In particular, I'm interested whether the ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between control and manage?

They seem to function the same. Manage is even "control in action or use" according to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/manage. Control is a verb so isn't that in action as well? Thus, is it the ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Meaning of “Conceptual point of view”

Now and then, I listen the below quoted expression: From the conceptual point of view ... However I still can't get its meaning, I think it is somehow related to the way to think about a ...
6
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6answers
869 views

The usage of “the same…as…”

Which one of the following two sentences is more correct? We use the same space as is specified in Chapter 1. We use the same space as specified in Chapter 1.
0
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1answer
87 views

Can't understand the meaning of 'blamed exertion' in this sentence [closed]

Doctors blamed exertion and said there was nothing to worry about. I knew exertion means attempts or try. But here what does that mean by 'blamed exertion'?
1
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1answer
154 views

Is there a collective term for charges & fees?

Say I have documentation of a particular account with both amounts credited & amounts charged(fees). What would be an appropriately descriptive term for the collection of credits & ...
0
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2answers
168 views

“My brother along with his wife was present in the party” or “My brother along with his wife were present in the party”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: X, along with Y, 'were'/'was' Could someone tell which one is appropriate in the following sentence? My brother along with his wife was/were present ...
1
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2answers
975 views

Doubt about “held at” usage

Every time I see the prepositional phrase held at being used, it is somehow related to a physical location. Suppose I'm in a process comprising many stages, is it possible/idiomatic to use the held at ...
5
votes
1answer
463 views

What does “state” in “State University” refer to? [closed]

There are many universities and colleges in the United States with names such as "... State University". The word state has many distinct meanings, but pertinent to this question are: government, ...
10
votes
1answer
450 views

Data is/are in a global context

I have been commissioned to script a series of brief videos on the importance of data accuracy and consistency. The videos are directed to employees of a company with offices around the ...
2
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3answers
309 views

Is the word “usurp” already archaic? [closed]

I have some doubts whether the word "usurp" is still used in the modern language. The doubts are based on reading newspapers and magazines. It looks like expression like "to seize" or "to hold" are ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Why is the “round figure” of a person associated with being “comforting”? [closed]

Example: Miss Beam was all that I had expected middle-aged, authoritative, kindly, and understanding. Her hair was beginning to turn grey, and her round figure was likely to be comforting for a ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Is it correct to write “backup” as a noun? [closed]

I was about to create a folder to keep an archive my important files in. This question got stuck in my mind while renaming it. How do I have to rename that folder? Back up Backup Back-up Are all ...
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2answers
384 views

Meaning of “I am not for you to look into all issues” [closed]

A question asked by a team member to a party outside team.. In response to that.... Manager: (Addressing me) This is the area where we need to be self sufficient. Please think about this, how to ...
1
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of “long gone” [closed]

*The first artifacts were just wooden poles which have long gone, but these were raised by men in times so ancient* I can't understand what "long gone" means here.
2
votes
3answers
647 views

Do thence/whence linger only as rhetorical variants for there/where?

The King James Bible has numerous instances of from thence/hence, including the famous line of Psalm 121: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. Do thence/whence ...
0
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3answers
1k views

Behind of or in front of?

We daily use terms like "I was sitting in front of the television" and "Spent the all day behind the computer". What is the most appropriate term to use and why is it that people sit in front of the ...
0
votes
1answer
277 views

Is ‘Specialist’ lower in rank than noncommissioned or petty officer in military term? [closed]

In business and academic fields, ‘specialists’ are regarded and respected as persons with special knowledge and skill about their own professions, like medical specialist, research specialist and ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Correct usage of “to” + verb [closed]

I have an interface which limits users' access. I want to write a phrase that expresses it differently. Here is what I come up with The interface offers the option to pick which ones* to ...
6
votes
3answers
572 views

“A new pair of ” or “A pair of new”

a new pair of shoes / pants / scissors a pair of new shoes / pants / scissors I can’t find which one of those two it should be, and I’ve seen some debate about it. “A new pair of shoes”: Could it ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How did “fʌck” become taboo? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How long has the f-word been in use as an abusive term? What makes a word offensive? I recognize that this is similar to Etymology of the term "curse words" ...
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2answers
1k views

Complaint of vs Complaint for [closed]

Another one of vs for question, here for would be the right choice, because its use denotes the function of purpose as I think it's the case here, right ? When customers complaint of an error ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Cause for vs cause of

I read this sentence somewhere today, but I think that the of would fit better here than for, don't you think? The cause for the original problem will be analysed in the normal maintenance hours. ...