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

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0
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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
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0answers
157 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
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1answer
748 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 ...
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1answer
329 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
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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
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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?
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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) ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Does one “take” a photocopy or “make” a photocopy? [closed]

If the verb for "photograph" is take, I presume that the verb for a "photographic copy" should also be take. The word photocopy is often abbreviated to copy. I have noticed the verb make is used for ...
1
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2answers
564 views

What does “above and beyond” mean and how is it used in a sentence?

What does "above and beyond" mean and how is it used in a sentence? Some sources say it means exceeding expectations, some sources say it means 'in addition to'. Which is it? Is it both?
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1answer
24 views

Ever responsive to [closed]

I came across this sentence: "Ever responsive to the hobbyist market, Texas Instruments is releasing a [product name and description]" Is the first part of the sentence implying that the company ...
5
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2answers
1k views

How do I use “The screaming abdabs”?

I have recently come across the phrase "the screaming abdabs". It is used in sentences such as "it gave me the screaming abdabs", abdabs being and old-fashioned word meaning 'a case of extreme ...
1
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0answers
18 views

About 'is' and 'are' using numbers [duplicate]

What is the correct English; "one and one is two" or "one and one are two"? Likewise for "two and three is five" or "two and three are five"?
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2answers
291 views

What does “for our sins” mean in this sentence?

I am struggling to get my head around the following: Hi Andrew, For all our articles we use information from national news organisations (for our sins). Have a look here at the Guardian ...
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1answer
152 views

What does “ in the event, doomed” mean in this sentence? [closed]

I am struggling to get my head around the following: This is probably the best and certainly the most extraordinary graphic novel I have ever come across. Its subject matter, believe it or not, ...
5
votes
3answers
258 views

Does “caffeinated” make any sense?

A while back, when we learnt how to remove the caffeine from coffee beans, we coined the word decaffeinated to denote coffee that's had the caffeine taken out. I've noticed more and more recently, as ...
0
votes
3answers
860 views

Origin of “Innocent” to mean “Sexually Inexperienced”

I was thinking about the way "innocent" is often used (in both casual and moderately formal contexts) to mean "sexually inexperienced/oblivious", and came to the conclusion that using the phrase in ...
13
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7answers
2k views

Kids addressing older people

I'm translating a text I wrote in Portuguese (I'm Brazilian) and I'd like some help. In my story, a boy around 13 years old is at the school and encounters a janitress, a woman in her late forties. ...
-1
votes
1answer
76 views

Can a phrase including past participle be put right behind the preposition 'of'?

For all the English grammar my teacher taught me, the element put right behind the preposition 'of' can be: 1. a noun. The leg of the desk 2. gerund leading phrase which acts as a noun: The result ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Titus Andronicus: “-She is delivered, lords, she is delivered. -To whom?”

This is about trying to understand the etymology, meaning and current usage(if any) of a specific form for the word deliver. Is deli'ver, to deliver, delivered There was an old form1 which was ...
0
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2answers
74 views

“Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner” vs “Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner”

Which one below is correct? Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner OR Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner Is it necessary to affix Mr. & Mrs. in this case? It seems superfluous to add Mrs. because a ...
0
votes
5answers
311 views

Why does 'up' have a positive connotation and 'down' have a negative connotation?

The word up usually has a positive connotation - thumbs up, look up, go up in life - whereas down usually has a negative connotation - look down, go down etc. Why is this so and when did such an ...
0
votes
2answers
220 views

In At vs In From vs Into

For a user interface project, my group is trying to determine the correct phrasing for when an account is being used at multiple computers. There were a few different options being given, but which ...
2
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1answer
4k views

“In the immortal words of…”

In standard usage of the phrase "in the immortal words of...", are there any restrictions on the mortality of the speaker? I typically only hear it used for deceased speakers who once walked the ...
4
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3answers
4k views

Sentences start with Of

What is the meaning of of when it starts a sentence? For example, and what is the grammatically correct way to write a sentence starting with of?
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1answer
3k views

Where and how do I use the word “apparently”?

Does this word "apparently" mean that something is obvious or does it refer to something that seems true but actually isn't. Apparent means illusion, right? People use this word quite often and I ...
0
votes
1answer
618 views

What's the correct usage of the word “Opinion”?

I have been posting on a forum recently, and every time I express my opinion, someone says I'm using the word incorrectly, and I want to confirm this. I said something along the lines of: "In my ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

“Caldoniafied” In General Use in the 1980s?

I am curious about the word "Caldoniafied" meaning, roughly, hard headed, and presumably coming from the song entitled "Caldonia" ("Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes your big head so hard?". )Louis ...
0
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2answers
70 views

Is this proper usage of the world 'proverbial'

"Daniel spots the contradiction almost immediately, recalling the moment when Sam had befriended Bobby with his story of the proverbial girlfriend he once called Janice—not Maggie." I'm almost ...
3
votes
3answers
431 views

Can One Jump To Good Conclusions?

Jump To Conclusions is noted in the free dictionary's entry for jump a few different ways: To form an opinion or judgment hastily: jump to conclusions. to proceed abruptly, ...
3
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2answers
161 views

Why did the word “alluring” peak in the 1920s?

As per title. This is the Ngram Graph for the word alluring: For comparison, this is the same graph for the word remarkable:
1
vote
2answers
566 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?
2
votes
3answers
232 views

Is “Click bait” an Internet buzzword? How can I rephrase it?

I found a video showing a fireman who rescued a suffocating kitten from a fire smoke and resuscitated her by oxygen inhalation introduced in the article titled “Why that video went viral” in New York ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Origin of the disapproval associated with “derivative” used as an adjective?

This is the first meaning of the word derivative used as an adjective(Oxford): 1 (Typically of an artist or work of art) imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for ...
1
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3answers
218 views

past perfect tense and comma usage in Churchill's book

I'm reading a book called "My early life" by Winston Churchill. "I was working in the saloon of the Indiaman, and had reached an exciting point in my story." 1) why did he put comma before "and had ...
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1answer
241 views

Use of “although” without a contrasting statement [closed]

In IAS 37 Clause 37 states: Although a constructive obligation is not created solely by a management decision, an obligation may result from other earlier events together with such a decision. ...
5
votes
3answers
916 views

How to appropriately use the word “baby” as in the pattern “ ____ baby ___”; for example, “run baby run”?

As a non-native English speaker, I am not sure what is the meaning of this pattern "_ baby _" as in "run baby run"? Another example: "USA continues to "drill baby drill" (referring to oil). What other ...
0
votes
3answers
241 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct? [closed]

1) Suppose there is a very stupid person. Is it correct to tell that he/she is 'literally nuts'? 2) What about using it if the person is mentally ill? This came up in an informal talk with my ...
1
vote
2answers
427 views

“He didn't dare [verb]” vs. “He didn't dare *to* [verb]” [closed]

Which one is correct? If both are correct, is there any difference in the meaning? He didn't dare to contradict his parents. He didn't dare contradict his parents.
5
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2answers
2k views

Why does “a bigger number of” seem wrong?

I noticed when answering this related question that I would never say a bigger number of. I have no issues with 5 is a bigger number than 3 (though I would probably say a larger or greater number ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Semi-colon or colon?

I'm writing a descriptive piece, and can't figure out whether this is grammatically correct, or whether I ought to place a semi-colon between "entry" and "crooked": "As I walked in using the cobbled ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it right say Invest on? [closed]

Is it correct idiomatically to say "invest on?" For example, "Invest on Peter " [a person].
3
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8answers
13k views

When would you say “I seen it.”

I am not looking for explanations of why "I seen it" is wrong (though with sight there's an unfair grammatical burden that doesn't impact the other senses, whose past tense and past participle are the ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Convey the idea of partial similarity in a list of things in a sentence/

I have the following sentence: Surveyed meta-heuristics techniques like Tabu Search, Simulated annealing and Constraint Satisfaction Problem(CSP). The problem is CSP is not a meta-heuristic. How ...
-2
votes
1answer
274 views

“Confirm you are …” vs. “Confirm that you are …” [duplicate]

In the example from the title, is it mandatory to use "that" in the sentence? The original sentence I picked up was from a checkbox marked "Confirm you are not a spammer" - which I thought should be ...
0
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2answers
88 views

the X event after next…Th

Is it grammatically correct to say "at the steering committee meeting after next"? The idea is that there are meetings every two weeks, but the intention is for something to be presented not at the ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

What's the difference between these two phrases?

What's the difference between these two phrases? their systems’ security posture their systems security posture Is there any difference in the meaning? If not, when we use either of ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Which verb has been modified?

Which verb has been modified by adverb "directly" in the following sentence? "Some governments even offer to help protect their critical infrastructure directly, by deploying sensors in the networks ...
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

Confusion about “very” and “very much”

I have few confusions regarding the usage of very and very much. 1. From OALD I found this usage guide - It states that very can be used with past participles used as adjectives, but not with ...
1
vote
1answer
307 views

bow’r, affin’d and pow’r [closed]

What usage is the following abbreviations? ‘Not boskiest bow’r,  When hearts are ill affin’d, Hath tree of pow’r To shelter from the wind!’ from The Woodlanders by Thomas ...
1
vote
1answer
467 views

Use of person years experience or another word for combined experience

I am preparing to write a statement about my previous company's founders experience in my resume and I am having a quandary as to how to write the following: ABC Info has been founded by people ...