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

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What's the difference between patent and obvious?

Patent is used a lot more in "serious" matters, like legal breaches, such as a "patent breach of law," but does that really mean anything? Does "patent" just sound more refined?
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1answer
59 views

why we say in a sea of multiculturalism

the question is about definite and indefinite. why do we say in a sea of multiculturalism rather than in the sea of multiculturalism. cause i think it is multiculturalism not any other things so it ...
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1answer
5k views

Difference between audience and audiences? [closed]

I've heard some people say the word audiences in conversation. How does audiences differ from audience and when do you use it?
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1answer
1k views

Whom did you meet? [duplicate]

I am confused to use the word "whom" in a sentence.Is the above sentence correct? Give me a bit of your mind at what contexts we generally use whom with proper examples.
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1answer
323 views

'Aesthetical Qualities' - a term to describe pleasing characteristics in texts?

I am trying to figure out if I can use 'aesthetical qualities' to refer to qualities that writers or readers find pleasing in texts. This question comes from a remark by a professor on an essay I ...
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0answers
155 views

What is the difference between “matter-containing media” and “matter”?

I'm reading the English Wikipedia entry titled "Radiation". You can find the word in the first paragraph, or by searching. What is the difference between "matter-containing media" and "matter"?
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3answers
346 views

The usage of “banzai”

I started to reread a pretty old mystery of Thomas Harris, “The silence of the lambs,” which I once gave up reading because of difficulty of understanding the narrative studded with technical jargons ...
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0answers
47 views

What slang words and colloquialisms are likely to embarrass an American in England or an Englishman in the U.S.? [duplicate]

An Argentine or Mexican tourist in Madrid, or A Brazilian tourist in Lisbon, will certainly hear phrases he has never heard before and may find some of them offensive. I myself have a list of ...
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1answer
153 views

Using plural words when mentioning something in general [closed]

I am extremely weak at English grammar. I would like to ask the following sentence: 'To identify the contents of the crates or boxes, packing list will be prepared and attached outside the crates or ...
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1answer
116 views

“That might even could happen” be considered incorrect? [duplicate]

would you help me out with examining this sentence? "That might even could happen" be considered incorrect? Thank you.
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0answers
26 views

Is repeating the word “that” ok, if it is technically, grammatically correct? [duplicate]

E.g.: "... with all the sustainability considerations that that entails." If I'm correct, the above example is relative pronoun followed by pronoun - it just happens to be the same word for both ...
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2answers
189 views

Is there difference in common usage between 'I have an answer' and 'I know an answer' sentences

In common everyday usage is there any diffrence between these sentences: 'I have an answer' and 'I know an answer' My clue: Ad 1. I have some proposition of an answer but I'm not 100% sure Ad 2. ...
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1answer
160 views

“You all should have” vs. “you should have all” vs. “all of you should have”

Which one of these three constructions is more correct: By now, you all should have received your insurance cards. By now, all of you should have received your insurance cards. By now, ...
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1answer
281 views

Is it grammatical to use “same” or “the same” in substitution for an objective pronoun?

I've seen and heard this usage of the pronoun "same" more than once, and it sounded strange to my ears: "Thank you for the book; I will return same shortly." "Wine production has increased, ...
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2answers
3k views

What's the accurate meaning of “forget yourself”?

I was looking for a translation of the German expression "bevor ich mich vergesse" (lit. before I forget myself) and looked up if the literal translation could be used. In German this expression ...
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1answer
830 views

Words to say after someone welcomes me? [closed]

Please can someone tell me some proper words to say after someone say "Welcome to our office"? Other than just "thank you"?
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2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the phrase “this side of x”? And how do I use it?

Since I don't understand it in the first place, I better just give you an example: Cracked.com example, says otherwise known as "the pettiest hobo crime this side of aggressive panhandling." ...
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3answers
329 views

Is this usage of 'of which' correct?

I'm working on an employee manual and I came across this one: "Our team philosophy is to become the best of which we are capable." Is this a correct sentence? The point it's trying to get across is ...
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1answer
103 views

Does it make sense to say someone is your senior, such as a sibling?

Does it make sense to say someone is your senior, such as a sibling? I'm writing an essay about myself and was wondering whether or not it is a correct usage of the word.
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1answer
56 views

Vocabularies about order of the things

I want to know if what certain orders or positions in the orders are in English. The following are my questions, assume that we have ten apples, I put my questions on these apples: What is the name ...
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12answers
2k views

Neutral alternative to “deny” to mean “assert the untruth [of a claim]”

The term "deny" means to reject the truth of some claim. However, it often seems to imply the claim is in fact true, denial notwithstanding. Smith continued to deny that he had shot Jones. I ...
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3answers
4k views

The etymology of “redhead” vs. “ginger haired”

All my life I have known people with reddish, orangey hair, to be termed ginger haired. Just as you don't call a blonde a 'yellow head' red head just wasn't a word that was said (wouldn't orange head ...
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2answers
96 views

What is the definition of definition?

Does a definition need to provide a unique or near-unique description or can non-unique descriptions also be categorized as definitions? For example: Is the statement "An apple is a fruit" a ...
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1answer
37 views

the usage of “insalubrious”

Does it make sense to say an insalubrious relationship between two countries? If not, what would be a better replacement? hey this is my first post on this website.. I'm a non-native english ...
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5answers
847 views

Is there any reason for saying “he is good-looking”, instead of “he is well-looking”?

A person who has............is said to be.............. "good manners".........."well-mannered" "good behaviour"........"well-behaved" "good intentions"........"well-intentioned" "a good ...
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1answer
176 views

Adjective form of “degrade”?

For example, I want to say: This book degrades Western culture. In this form: This book has been described as ??? to Western culture. What would the adjective form be? Is "degradeful" a ...
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1answer
146 views

Why We Need To Know About Hyperboles [closed]

So I realize that hyperboles exist, but in school we're taught about them as if they are truly important to what we are going to be doing in life. I realize their usefulness, but why do we need to ...
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3answers
716 views

“fought in the World War II” versus “fought in the second World War” [closed]

Why is fought in the second World War or fought in the Vietnam War correct but fought in the World War II is not?
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5answers
2k views

What does “bupke” mean?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker's (August 27) article titled, “A scandal at the C.I.A. May be.” : In January I (David Shafer, novelist) filed a Freedom of Information Act request ...
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3answers
797 views

Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?

At the end of a sentence, I want to insert the following (parentheses included): (proxy my parents, of course). E.g., I sent my brother to his room (proxy my parents, of course). But this ...
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4answers
1k views

Can I use the word “promise” with gerund?

Is it possible to use gerund after the verb "promise"? For example, in the sentence "He promised cleaning the window. I'd prefer to say: He promised to clean the window. But today I was told that this ...
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2answers
2k views

“Please, cut the apple in halves.” or “Please, cut it in half.”?

I've heard native speakers use "half" but never "halves" in such sentences. If we cut an apple into two identical pieces, we get two halves. It shouldn't, therefore, sound wrong if one used ...
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2answers
2k views

“Dish of the day“ vs “today's special”

Many restaurants offer a menu which doesn't change from day to day, and in addition offer one choice which varies from day to day, perhaps depending on which ingredients are available. This choice can ...
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1answer
56 views

Usage of the phrase 'reviewing over'

I've come across the phrase 'reviewing over' and at first I disregarded it as a hold over from grammar in a foreign language but now I've seen a native English speaker use the same phrase. For ...
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1answer
109 views

Usage of “coruscating”

Can coruscating be used as a one word adjective to describe "interesting and exciting"? Basically the usage is "his interesting and exciting research work" which will end up as "his coruscating ...
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3answers
3k views

When should we expect an answer

What is the proper way to ask this question? When should we expect an answer or When can we expect an answer
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2answers
251 views

Is the describer needed in 'not…but…" type constructions?

Consider these two sentences: "His actions reveal him to be a husband who is not jealous but is zealous." "Those words demonstrate not his jealousness but his zealousness." Are the words ...
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8answers
9k views

“My personal opinion is…” Is it always pointless to use the words “personal” and “personally”?

Is this kind of redundancy acceptable in both speech and writing, formal and informal ? Would the following sentences have their meaning changed if we omitted "personal" or "personally" ? Would they ...
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3answers
6k views

Confused on how to use “instead” in the middle of a sentence

I am dumbfounded on why the man does not spring for Walton’s help, instead, he makes sure the vessel is headed North. I'm confused on how to use "instead" in the middle of my sentence. Is that ...
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3answers
3k views

“Wise man” vs. “wise guy”

Two very similar expressions yet quite opposite connotations. Wise man is an older phrase but wise guy is a newer one. I found two possible connections to wise man. There is the surname Wiseman ...
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2answers
166 views

British usage: add verb forms of “do” after a conditional

Is it standard British usage to add forms of the verb "Do" after a conditional like "Would"? e.g., If I could, I would do"?
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2answers
180 views

Sudden popularity of: obfuscate, why? [closed]

I hope there is a real reason for this and that my question won't be seen as 'primarily opinion based'. What's the deal with the sudden popularity of the word 'obfuscate' and it's variants? Ngram ...
2
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1answer
127 views

“Rather !” as a reply: old-fashioned? Colloquial? Unusual?

Is "Rather" as a reply (BrE), with heavy stress on the second syllable, old-fashioned ? Colloquial ? Unusual ? e.g. "Did you enjoy yourself?" "Rather!" Can "pretty much so!" be its AmE ...
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1answer
630 views

Can all verbs ending in “-ise” be written with the suffix “ize”? [closed]

Are there any "-ise" (or "-yse") words which cannot be (or are never) written using "-ize"? I searched for prior questions, and came across: Correct use of "ise" vs "ize" at the ...
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1answer
476 views

Why are names considered proper nouns?

Names are supposed to be proper nouns because they refer to a unique entity, right? But what about when the condition of specificity is not applicable? Take the word "Albert". It's supposed to be a ...
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1answer
221 views

He didn't so much as thank me OR to thank me?

I have heard both ways 'He didn't so much as thank me' and 'He didn't so much as to thank me'. Which is correct and is the other wrong or can it be used colloquially? Thank you.
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7answers
2k views

Is it redundant to say that something is “clearly evident”?

Here's a sentence: "The volume of resources invested is clearly evident." Is this redundant?
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0answers
29 views

Usage or abusage? [duplicate]

English is not my first language. I live, and work, among people who do not have English as their first language. I notice many instances where grammar has been abused. Sometimes, I am not sure ...
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1answer
107 views

Legitimacy of the usage of “homeworks” [duplicate]

Teachers and students sometimes refer to homework assignments as "homeworks". Is that an acceptable usage?
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1answer
404 views

Can we use “bad” as an adverb in writing and formal speech? [duplicate]

Should a lecturer say "He felt bad" or "He felt badly"? "His tooth ached so bad he couldn't sleep" or "His tooth ached so badly he couldn't sleep"? Are both forms acceptable in formal ...