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

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Consistency to, or consistency in?

Let’s say I’ve written an article that contains an argument or analysis, and I want to ask someone to check it for consistency. I want to use the word ‘consistency’ here (rather than other variations ...
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1answer
535 views

Can “Any Other Business” be generally perceived, and used as the legit business terms?

I was interested in the fact that the first letter of the each word of “Any Other Business” is shown in the upper case in the following sentence: “At the first meeting of the new bard, Townsend ...
4
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7answers
2k views

Confusing structures with modal verbs

I have skimmed through the part on modals of a classic grammar book (Murphy's "Grammar in Use") and picked up all the structures that look strange to me. Could you, please, explain how often they are ...
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3answers
5k views

What is the exact meaning of “You've got yourself a deal”? Is it only an American slang?

I came across the phrase, ‘got yourself a deal’ being introduced as a vulgar American English by a character in Jeffery Archer’s, fiction “The Fourth Estate.” In the scene Keith Townsend, Australian ...
2
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1answer
332 views

Origin of “[noun] enough” instead of “enough [noun]”?

Sometimes the word "enough" comes before a noun as in "I've got enough money to waste" and sometimes it comes after as in "I've got money enough to waste". Was "[noun] enough" more common in a ...
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2answers
97 views

Is there a context where 'to neglect' and 'neglecting' are not compatible? [duplicate]

I believe that to infinitive as a subject can be replaced by a gerund form, which is why To get up early is good. always has the same meaning as Getting up early is good. But a ...
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1answer
430 views

What does ‘a lunch best forgotten’ mean?

There is the following sentence in Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “The Fourth Estate.”: He droppped into three newsagents on the long walk into Kingston, and purchased Time, Newsweek, and local ...
4
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1answer
256 views

Unambiguous Opposite of “The Subtitle of a Film”

A word to refer to the "The Far Side of the World" part in the film title Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (MC:FSW) might be subtitle. By here, the "Master and Commander" part is called ...
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2answers
1k views

Would you say 'yes, neither do I' / 'yes, me neither'? [duplicate]

My question does not have to do with the correctness/incorrectness of 'neither do I'/'me neither', but with the presence of the 'yes' (or 'yeah', which is how it most often 'comes out' for me) at the ...
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1answer
46 views

“Impromptu field hospital”?

All the usage examples for impromptu I could find in a couple of dictionaries involve actions (impromptu speech, wedding, etc.) Is this a general rule, or can I talk about an "impromptu field ...
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1answer
64 views

Someone who goes to medical school? [closed]

What should I call someone who goes to medical school? A medical student?
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1answer
112 views

Which expression is older: “London Royal Parks” or “London's Royal Parks” ? And why is it Hyde Park and not Hyde's Park?

London Royal Parks and London's Royal Parks Both phrases are used, and I understand that "London" in the first example is acting as an adjective. Whereas in the second, "London", is used ...
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3answers
1k views

Does the phrase “don't even pass the laugh test” pass as an idiomatic expression, or only a set of words?

I was intrigued to the phrase, ‘the argument doesn’t pass even the laugh test’ in the following statement of Bruce Schneier, a security technologist on the debate about whether Edward J. Snowden who ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the exact meaning of “blood-dimmed (tragedy),” and how does it pass current among Anglophones?

I was drawn to the word, “blood-dimmed tragedy” in the following statement of Maureen Dowd’s article titled, “Peeping Barry” in June 8 New York Times: You could see the fear in his eyes, the fear ...
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3answers
491 views

Is there great difference between “Make a mountain out of a molehill” and “Much ado about nothing”?

I came across two approximate sayings “Making a mountain out of a molehill” and “Much ado about nothing” coincidentally in tandem in the home page of today’s (June 7) New York Times. Making a ...
2
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1answer
281 views

“She hasn't said but a few words to me…” or “She has said but a few words to me…”?

"She hasn't said but a few words to me since last winter." or "She has said but a few words to me since last winter." Which of these is right? I think the latter is heard more often, but ...
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1answer
2k views

“anybody can dance” or “Everybody can dance”?

"Anybody can dance" or "Everybody can dance", which is correct? Or do they have same meaning?
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6answers
2k views

Are there any names of food that are associated with political correctness other than Fried chicken?

The word Spanish golfer, Sergio Garcia used in answering a reporter’s question about the status of his current relationship with his rival, Tiger Woods on May 21st – “We’ll have him ‘round every ...
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1answer
2k views

Is “Don't Nobody/Anybody/Anyone + verb” a double negative?

I was reading a passage in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and a character, a migrant farmer, says of another character's fighting ability: "Nobody don't know what Slim can do". And then a little ...
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2answers
356 views

Does “Paraphernalia” have a negative connotation?

By definition, the word paraphernalia does not portray either negative or positive emotions. Does it, in everyday usage? In my particular case, I am making a website about programming. I have a ...
2
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1answer
769 views

Can one feel claustrophobic?

I often hear people say they "feel claustrophobic" (e.g. in a lift). This sounds wrong. To me, one is claustrophobic, or one feels claustrophobia. Am I correct in assuming the expression "to feel ...
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1answer
332 views

about the expression 'on someone's behalf'

I know the expression 'on (someone's) behalf' usually reads or is understood as 'instead of someone' but I'm wondering if it's possible for it to have a benefactive reading, that is, if it can be used ...
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2answers
891 views

Is the expression 'too much, too young' grammatically acceptable?

I'm happy to see that grammar is being seen as important enough to be taught in English schools ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22403731 ) again. I think. At least it might improve some people's ...
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2answers
551 views

What's a useful replacement idiom for “money shot?”

I'm afraid I have been somewhat innocently causing offense by using the term "money shot" in its general, non-pornographic sense. My coworkers either have dirty minds or lack awareness of the other ...
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2answers
109 views

How do you say “I made books fall off the shelf” [closed]

One way is to say "I spilled the books off the shelf". I am looking for a more suitable usage of words.
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4answers
136 views

Alternatives to “enthusiasm declined”? [closed]

I'd like to say something like "My enthusiasm declined after I read the news", but I'm not sure decline goes well with enthusiasm. Is there a better alternative? Or is decline just fine?
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2answers
632 views

“With” in “difficulty with (verb)-ing”

Is this usage of "to have difficulty with" ok? I've been having some difficulty with reading the books that I decide to read. A Google search suggested that the "with" may perhaps be dropped, but ...
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1answer
565 views

Using “rather” to correct a misstatement

For some reason I have it in my head that I can use the word "rather" at the end of a phrase to indicate that I am correcting a previous misstatement. For example: Down the hall, you'll find the ...
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1answer
267 views

“Customer usage” or “customer use”? [duplicate]

I'm working for a truck manufacturer and I have to analyse what our customers do with their vehicles (for example, how many kilometres do they usually drive per day, or how much fuel do they use?). ...
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3answers
3k views

Use of “though” versus “however”

Consider the sentence E-books are on the rise, but they haven't suppressed paper books though. This usage seems to be quite common, but when I learned English I was taught to use "however" ...
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4answers
4k views

Why is poker a “sport” and not just a “game?” [closed]

So, first off, as tempting as it might be to do so, this is not an invitation to wax poetic on poker. I actually don't play it, but I know how it works. The question really is one of etymology. ...
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1answer
251 views

What does “Take the disguise” mean?

I was reading this particular sentence: She took the disguise of an old woman and came to Eleusis, where she was welcomed by the family of King Celeus. Disguise means costume. So, does it mean ...
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1answer
3k views

“Perhaps” versus “probably” [closed]

Can I say Perhaps the most natural option is to... instead of The most natural option is probably to... Do these two sentences have the same meaning? Generally speaking, should I prefer ...
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1answer
9k views

“Still” and “Yet” as Conjunctions

I know there are already many posts on still and yet, but I really find it difficult to use them as conjunction as in following sentences: It's a small car, yet/still it's surprisingly ...
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1answer
1k views

Is “to” inclusive in “I worked at company X from April 2012 to April 2013”? [duplicate]

I have a question about the use of the word to as a time proposition. Is to inclusive in the following sentence? I worked at company X from April 2012 to April 2013.
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1answer
287 views

Should I say “I make a living by teaching” or “I make a living teaching”? Which one is correct? Is the preposition 'by' necessary?

I am confused about the correct usage of the phrasal verb, 'make a living'. I don't know whether I should add the preposition 'by' at the end of it. I looked up several dictionaries, most of which ...
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1answer
93 views

“Curious X”: X is the subject or an object

When 'curious' is used as an adjective (e.g., in the construction "A is a curious B"), there is ambiguity as to whether the noun it modifies is:- The subject: A feels curious (e.g., "Humans are a ...
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3answers
596 views

Is using past participle instead of present one more polite?

On christianity.stackexchange.com I asked this question: "Is it true that John Paul the Second restored the practice of selling indulgences in 2000?" and one supporter suggested that I replace ...
2
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0answers
887 views

Use of “any more than” to relate two different situations [closed]

In the following quote by Billy Sunday “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.” can anyone pls explain/elaborate the usage and meaning of ...
3
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2answers
115 views

To write or to write to?

Is it correct to say "I wrote him" or "I wrote to him"? My Mother was a stickler for English grammar and would say "I wrote your Uncle..." rather than "I wrote to your Uncle..."
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1answer
5k views

Meaning and usage of “Make me”

Sometimes the literal translations of "slang" sentences just don't make sense, so after reading a "Make me" answer (which I consider slang, due to its informal use, if I'm not wrong) to a request I ...
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2answers
68 views

“Lucid intervals” usage?

Does "Lucid Interval" immediately bring to mind medical disorder? I would like to use it as the title for a blog and I don't want people to be put off.
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0answers
128 views

Where are you AT? [duplicate]

Is the use of the redundant "at" a regional idiosyncracy? As in "Where are you at?" when asking someone their physical location, or progress in a project? It seems to be a Chicago regional saying.
2
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0answers
252 views

Does issue as “Offspring, progeny; a child or children” have modern usage? [closed]

When looking at the word "issue" in the thesaurus I noticed that children was given as one of the definitions. Having not seen issue used in this context before, I decided to do some investigation. ...
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2answers
147 views

Difference between “Knock it off!” and “Drop it!”

What is the difference between "Knock it off!" and "Drop it!". I do translate both as "Stop it". Is there any context-based usage difference? Thank you.
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1answer
118 views

“nones” used to describe people who are spiritual, but not religious

I work for the Church and I've seen the term "nones" used to describe those who are non-Christian or those who are considered "spiritual, but not religious." I find the term belittling. What's the ...
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1answer
132 views

Why 007 said “You weren't using it”? [closed]

I've watched 007 skyfall. Had one scene, that Agent was driving and 007 sat beside her. She drove very fast and then car side mirror was removed because crashed with something beside the road. after ...
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1answer
106 views

Adverse or averse? [closed]

I have been thinking about these two words for quite a while. I have looked up the dictionary on these two words and it seemed as if the two words are not identical. However, there are claims of the ...
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0answers
44 views

When to use “programming's” vs. “programming is” [duplicate]

My sentence can be said as: Programming is fun. and it can also be said as: Programming's fun. Both seem to be correct. When should I use one instead of the other?