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

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4
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9answers
998 views

Using “a tiny” in the same way as “a little”

Saying That made me a little happier is clearly perfectly fine, yet no one would really ever say That made me a tiny happier, even though both "little/tiny bit happier" are fine. Is there ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Using “word” to mean “okay” [duplicate]

I tutored an American exchange student in Finland last year and occasionally he, on Facebook, would say something like "word thank you" or simply "word" and he said it means "okay". I was curious and ...
-1
votes
2answers
359 views

… to feel sick Tuesday afternoon / on Tuesday afternoon / from Tuesday afternoon. Which one is correct?

Are these all correct? He was feeling good on Monday, but he started to feel sick Tuesday afternoon. He was feeling good on Monday, but he started to feel sick on Tuesday afternoon. He was feeling ...
0
votes
1answer
308 views

Calculus vs calculation

It is becoming more popular on American talk shows to say "calculus" instead of "calculation." To my mind, calculus is either a branch of Mathematics or a stone like in the gall bladder. Any comments? ...
3
votes
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?'
0
votes
3answers
53 views

Reporting not-witnessed events

In English, is there a modal, like 'can' or 'would', or a short expression that adds the following meaning to a sentence: "I did not see it with my own eyes but I was told about it"? There is one in ...
0
votes
2answers
223 views

Would an “affector” be appropriate for an event driver?

I'm trying to come up with a better word to describe a "driver" or "conditional"; basically, the name of an object or event which is a trigger for something else. Would it be appropriate to say that ...
2
votes
2answers
215 views

time off of work“ or ”time off work"? [duplicate]

Is it "time off of work" or "time off work" without 'of'? Ex: I need to take some time off (of) work next month.
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Is “two-Perrier” lunch a businessmen’s buzz word?

There was a line, “He was not one for two-Perrier lunch,” in the eulogy for a British politician who made a great contribution to the formation of E.U. system. Also there is the following passage in ...
-1
votes
3answers
85 views

What is the proper usage of a verb when the subject is singular but its meaning is plural? [duplicate]

I am unsure of this rule, and would like a straight answer or resource; this is not a peeve. This appears today in google trends: A new set of icons suggest that voice-activated sharing to social ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Does one say “allegory for” or “allegory of”?

How does one correctly use the word "allegory" in a sentence? For example: This story is an allegory [for|of] pride. I have seen examples of both: the long poem is an allegory of love and ...
0
votes
1answer
503 views

Aspect (simple, perfect and progressive): What are the differences?

Could you please explain to me the differences between the simple, progressive and perfect aspects. 'Simple aspect' means completed action (action starts and finishes) but I don't really understand ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Language Evolution

Language changes all the time, most often in usage but also in spelling and grammatical form. At what point does a widespread misspelling or incorrect grammatical usage become acceptable and correct? ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Is “Be More Intentional” Acceptable Usage?

I fear that in the business/marketing world, this horse has left the stable. But is there any consensus on the acceptability of the word "intentional" in such usages as: "We need to be more ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

“In” after “happiest” or “content”

I feel the happiest and most content knowing I can always count on them. OR I feel the happiest and most content in knowing I can always count on them. Is it correct both ways? or does this ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

“in fact” vs “indeed”

This might sound silly, but are "indeed" and "in fact" interchangeable? Here's a case: Q: Is that a nice house? A1: Yes, it's really nice indeed. A2: Yes, in fact it's really nice. It sounds to me ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

What's “hawk dubious” supposed to mean? [closed]

While reading a programming book, I've come across this piece of text: Public message boards like Yahoo! Groups and Usenet have long been victims of postings that are unrelated to the board’s ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

What's the official rule regarding use of “welcome” versus “welcomed”?

Which is correct, and why?: Growing my business has been a welcomed challenge. OR Growing my business has been a welcome challenge.
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Conditional: More than 1 [duplicate]

The stoplight turns green if there (is/are) more than 1 car(s) waiting I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out the above statement. Which configuration is correct? This is odd, as I'm a native ...
0
votes
3answers
411 views

Verb to use with “workload”

Just wondering which verb is the most natural to native speakers to use with 'workload.' Among I wish to receive heavier workload. I wish to take heavier workload. I wish to have heavier ...
-1
votes
4answers
456 views

I'm tired of writing out the phrase “himself or herself”. What are my options? [duplicate]

Because of English's lack of a gender neutral third person singular possessive pronoun, whenever the need for such a referent presents itself in the course of writing, we seem to be left with ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is “despite” outdated?

A friend of mine, a respected linguist, mentioned recently that "despite" (prep) is outdated. Whilst it is true that I hardly ever hear someone using the word in ordinary conversation, I still hear ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

Is it an approval or disapproval?

In following sentence: From the perspective of a ‘cyber warrior’, cyber crime can offer the technical basis and cyber terrorism the social basis with which to execute nationally sanctioned ...
0
votes
1answer
172 views

What preposition: “on the mobile” or “in the mobile”?

I read this: The battery's flat on the mobile. I think we should say in the mobile not on the mobile.
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Make vs. Do a Video [closed]

Is it "make a video" or "do a video"? I feel like both might be correct in an appropriate context but I cannot quite figure out the real difference. Unless it is just one of the two that is correct. I ...
0
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the difference between “bias” and “opinion”? [closed]

What is the difference between "bias" and "opinion"? Are they synonyms? Are all opinions biased? Is there such a thing as an "unbiased opinion"? The sentence, "Lima beans are vile" is an opinion ...
1
vote
4answers
75 views

People with similar traits

I am curious as to whether there is a noun or some other, more suitable expression for that group of people which shares my personality type. I often use 'people with same traits or personality'.
3
votes
2answers
224 views

What does “cheffed-up” in “Traditional ramen that hasn’t been cheffed-up” mean?

In connection with my previous question about the meaning of the line, “This is a lot of cargo for noodle soup” in NYT’s (March 4, 2014) article, “Ramen’s Big Splash,” in its Dining & Wine ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

“to prefer something over something” or “to prefer something to something” [duplicate]

Which syntax is more correct: to prefer something over something else or to prefer something to something else or maybe both are correct?
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“over a call” vs “on a call”

I will explain about the project over a call I will explain about the project on a call I have read here that over can be used as during So is explain over a call correct? which is the correct ...
1
vote
3answers
827 views

How, when and where did the phrase 'state of the art' originate? [duplicate]

Volume 4 of Charles Burney, A General History of Music, From the Earliest Ages to the Present Period (1776) contains this sentence: And while it [Rousseau's Lettre sur la Musique Françoise] was ...
0
votes
5answers
103 views

Usage of “persons”

I know pretty well that the plural for 'person' is 'people'. But my literature professor used once the word 'persons' because, he said, he was using the word the same as it will be used 'individuals'. ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Nuances when returning physical mail in the UK [closed]

“Return to sender” carries very little meaning to the sender: Who returned it? The postal service, the intended recipient, or some other person? Why was it returned? Was it considered spam, was the ...
19
votes
5answers
855 views

How did the adjective “just” come to take on so many adverbial meanings?

Just is a pretty useful adverb. It can carry several different meanings: very recently: I just finished the novel. exactly: That’s just what he meant. by a narrow margin: He just missed me ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“All the more so” - correct use:

Is this sentence correct: "If this was true fifty years ago, it must be all the more so in modern times" Did I use the expression "all the more so" correctly in this sentence? Thanks
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of adverbs like reasonably, practically, essentially, ridiculously, basically

I have recently noticed a phenomenon in English, that seems quite common. The phenomenon is regarding the usage of certain adverbs: Practically should mean in a practical manner. But it is often ...
0
votes
1answer
208 views

Kudos Vs. bravo

Has the word kudos outdated the word or exclamation bravo! Here's what Google Ngram shows: ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Usage of “as because”

I would like to know if "as because" is a correct usage. It feels so wrong, yet I see people using it. e.g. She couldn't come, as because she was ill. I suppose only because should serve the purpose ...
0
votes
1answer
488 views

“get one's head around” vs “get one's arms around”

I have seen both idioms used in practice. The definitions I found, http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+arms+around, and http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+head+around don't indicate much ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Is the usage 'the message didn't send' grammatically correct?

I have often encountered this sentence on Facebook; even a web-search of this string indicates that it is used quite commonly. However, is it correct to say so? The dictionary definitions of the word ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Using property name in plural instead of its units

Consider describing an object and referring to some of its properties, that has a unit (eg. weight in kilograms). Is it correct to describe the property not by saying what unit is it in, but using ...
2
votes
1answer
325 views

’Tis the season

Google has a new doodle that says ’Tis the season when you put your cursor on it: What is the origin of this usage? or even the contraction ’tis? Details: There is a popular carol called “Deck ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Who are “the perks people”?

I was drawn to the phrase 'the perks people' in the headline of an article which appeared in the Wall Street Journal (November 20, 2014 issue) — The perks people: Meet silicon valley’s ‘Little elves'. ...
0
votes
3answers
216 views

What do “leaps of faith” and “get the best of somebody” mean? [closed]

I came across these two phrases when reading The Da Vinci Code. Why not-if we're assuming the Church was able to uncover the identities of the Priory members, then certainly they could have ...
2
votes
0answers
156 views

Are commas needed to set off the word “then” in the following sentence? [closed]

What, then, could be more wonderful than to have a faithful friend?
11
votes
1answer
746 views

What does “Empedocles’ sandal” mean in terms of English usage?

I first heard the expression “Empedocles’ sandal” a long time ago without knowing what it referred to. It seems to derive from the legend of the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles (who was ...
-2
votes
1answer
328 views

Is it correct/idiomatic to say “got informed there?”

I thought the phrase was common/idiomatic. So I was surprised when I got 0 results on Google Books. The school was filled with gossip. So Anna probably got informed there (about someone's ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Is “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” a common or respectable English expression?

Today’s edition of the New York Times (December 16, 2014) carries an article written by Mark Bittman under the headline “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” It begins with the following passage: “What’s ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

1 % of (the) GDP - with or without the article?

What is the correct form? I have consistently encountered both forms. Definite article: required, optional or wrong?
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is the action of removing a digital file named “Delete”?

After reading these questions: Difference between "delete" and "remove" How much use did the word 'delete' get before the technological boom? Delete or Remove (ell.SE) ...