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

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Purpose For, Of [closed]

1 He has no intention for marriage. 2 He has no intention of marriage. These two sentences are good English and have the same meaning. In this PDF I read: A review of the grading permit ...
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4answers
1k views

How to ask “Where are you going?” when event already passed? [closed]

If my friend went to somewhere on weekend but i didn't know where did he go? And if i want to ask him like "Where are you going?" on Monday which sentences should i ask him? Where did you go? Where ...
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4answers
5k views

Install on, install in, install to

When I say "programs to install on a new PC" it sounds alright to me, but I'm not sure if it's the correct usage. Which one of the following should I use? Programs to install on a new PC Programs to ...
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3answers
964 views

usage of “yet to be”

Can I say He is yet to be a murderer. to mean the he is not a murderer, but very soon he will be one?
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1answer
122 views

When Things Used To be “Worth 'X' Millions”

I was reading Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, and a character described a rich man as "Worth 20 millions". At least in AmE, we don't use "millions" in the plural anymore in this ...
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6answers
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Are “Fish in a barrel” and “Sitting ducks” similar?

Do the phrases "Fish in a barrel" and "Sitting ducks" convey the same thing? In my opinion, they have the same tone and express something to be an easy target. Eg: Out there, they are just fish in ...
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2answers
195 views

“One of the courses I took that year was x” where “x” is a unique identifier

I have a vague feeling that there is something wrong with this sentence I wrote: "One of the courses I took that year was John Doe's Introduction to Literature." I feel that the following sentences ...
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1answer
126 views

Is this 2nd sentence grammatically correct? [closed]

The parent requested a copy of the minutes from the Discipline Committee meeting. However, Discipline Committee meetings, nor Discipline Appeal meetings, are formally recorded in any manner.
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To Be Used Of/For

Does "to be used OF" mean "to be used FOR": wikipedia The English term "empiric" derives from the Greek word ἐμπειρία, which is cognate with and translates to the Latin experientia, from which ...
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3answers
2k views

Descent, Ancestry, Lineage

Please help me with the words 'descent', 'ancestry', and 'lineage'. Dictionaries show that they are loosely the same: 1a. He has German descent. 1b. He is of German descent. 2a. He has ...
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2answers
113 views

Post Question To

If Craig wrote a question on an online forum and the question was intended for Larry: Craig posted a question to Larry. Should the part "to Larry" modify "a question", or "posted"? In ...
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1answer
49 views

Other than “Final Point”? [closed]

I'm writing a blog post, and I'm almost done. There's left a summary to write in my last abstract and I want to name it. So I came up with "Final Point", but that doesn't sound. Can you suggest ...
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4answers
409 views

A letter to/for Jason?

Suppose Jason were at home and a mail carrier came to his front door with a letter addressed to Jason. Which of the following is correct? It was a letter for Jason. It was a letter to Jason.
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1answer
106 views

To Lay A Hit, Blow

Is 'to lay a hit/blow on' someone (as in cheap shot) a slang expression?
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2answers
189 views

Assemble, Convene A Conference

Is the verb 'assemble' sloppily used as 'convene' here: link 1 "Mr. Husseini was speaking at a hastily assembled news conference in the mainly Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East ...
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1answer
144 views

On His Post, At His Post

I have this: link On 21-22 April 1914, while leading three picket launches admist heavy enemy fire, McCloy was wounded but remained on his post, enabling cruisers to save American lives. For ...
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1answer
122 views

Pattern: It is X that Y

I might be confused about the "it is X that Y " pattern: 1a That he is not the best player is a surprise. 1b It is a surprise that he is not the best player. 2a That he is not the best ...
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2answers
127 views

He _____ his ego [closed]

When talking about not letting one's 'ego' prevent oneself from helping his enemies: He __ his ego and helped his enemies. Would "swallow", "hide", "put down", "lay down" work there?
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2answers
160 views

'Cromulent' Etymology

Given its first use: "I don't know why, it's a perfectly cromulent word." The verb is "is" (=> it's) and the noun is "word". Since cromulent links them both and directly addresses the noun, ...
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2answers
105 views

“Did China Birth the Next Steve Jobs?”

As the title of a Forbes article, it has been drawn to my attention because of the use of birth as a verb. I think it should be give birth to or bear.
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0answers
194 views

What does it mean that I made a doctor? [closed]

I want to know exact meaning that I made a doctor. Does it mean that I strived to be a doctor and I finally became a doctor? I want to know the exact meaning of it?
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4answers
180 views

“Removals Service” or “Removal Service”?

Take for example the tag line: "reliable removals service". Is this correct grammar/usage? Or should it be just "removal", singular? To me, "removals" seems more correct because it is describing ...
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4answers
300 views

What is 'draw on'

This question was asked earlier (not by me), but closed and deleted by a mod. But I thought it was interesting, because I didn't know the answer. So I'm reposting it.... The verb phrasal 'draw on' ...
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1answer
5k views

Usage of “In the hope that” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it all right to use “in hopes of” to mean “with the aim of”? Which of the following is preferable: "I'm doing this in the hope that it will be helpful to someone", or ...
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3answers
4k views

“You got it” vs. “I got it”

When I watch TV drams or movies, I sometimes come across the expressions “I got it” and “You got it” meaning “I will do as you ask”. I am wondering if there is any semantic or pragmatic differences ...
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3answers
491 views

Term for strong/weak words (in context)

Over in Mi Yodeya Meta, commenting on the proposed Mi Yodeya site scope — for people who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more — I ...
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2answers
557 views

What is a term to refer something in the middle of a list just like “former” and “latter” is used in a list containing two things?

In a sentence, if someone says the former, they are talking about the first thing they listed, and says the latter for the last thing they listed. What would be the term to refer something in the ...
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2answers
135 views

Incorrect? “I only have one distinct memory from the movie, a scene where …”

Should I say “I only have one distinct memory from the movie, that of a scene where …”, or would it work without the that of? If it wouldn’t work without the that of, what if I replace the comma with ...
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3answers
590 views

Does “intellectual gymnastics” always have a negative connotation?

As far as I know, “intellectual gymnastics” is used in a negative sense. For example, the discipline of philosophy can be belittled as “intellectual gymnastics”. However, a university in Japan seems ...
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3answers
276 views

Where can you use “and/or”?

I know that in formal contexts, the construction and/or is very ugly and undesirable (and there are many questions here that deal with said formal usage). Has it become acceptable to use it ...
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1answer
183 views

What kind of noun is 'splurge'?

I was reading a grammar book the other day, it was mentioned to omit articles "before names of substances and abstract nouns (i.e uncountable nouns)." The nouns splurge and howler are abstract nouns ...
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2answers
6k views

Usage of “make up my mind”

Can "made up my mind be used" in context like: I made up my mind about quitting smoking. I am being persuaded that resolved should be used instead, but it seems to me that both versions are ...
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1answer
454 views

How do you use the expression “to come out in front” (as in “to gain an advantage”)?

The usage of the expression "to come out in front", in the sense of gaining an advantage, or succeed in an endeavor (in spite of all odds?), isn't very clear to me. As far as I can tell people use it ...
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5answers
389 views

Is there any phrasal verb to mean “teeth are falling out because one is getting older”?

The sentence would be: He is Xing now. Where X means "losing teeth" or "teeth are falling out" because he is getting older. I am assuming such phrasal verbs or words exist because it would be ...
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2answers
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Meaning of 'within' in “the task has to be submitted within a month” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Within” and “in” when referring to time if there's a sentence : The task has to be submitted within a month Does it mean that the task has to be submitted before ...
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2answers
98 views

When is “place” used as “home”?

Today, while chatting, I just made a sentence: I want you at his place at 9. But I am not sure when to use place with the meaning, home, or work place? Is it correct usage? What will be the ...
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1answer
225 views

Omitting “nothing” in “nothing but” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The construction of “Known but to God” Difference between “but” and “nothing but” Is it acceptable to omit the word nothing in the following sentence? Knowledge ...
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2answers
241 views

Usage of hain't

According to Dictionary.com, ain't has two meanings: Nonstandard except in some dialects. am not; are not; is not. Nonstandard. have not; has not; do not; does not; did not. When I ...
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1answer
274 views

Usage of “without strain” word combination

Can word combination "without strain" be used in figurative sense, for example "He speaks English without strain." and is it literary?
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Usage of recommend?

I can’t recommend the book enough. Does it mean that it’s not a good book or it’s a really really good book?
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500 views

Does “Smugness” imply “Having or showing low opinions of others”?

I have a little confusion whether "smugness" implies a "low opinion of others" in contrast to a "high opinion of oneself" I have consulted ODO and wiktionary; they showed the meaning of "Smugness" is ...
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5answers
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How many adjectives can be chained without sounding weird?

In spoken and written language, in colloquial and formal context. Is there a general rule to use in sentences like the following: "How many broken yellow plastic toys?" "All those old ...
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2answers
506 views

Pronoun “you” can be omitted as subject in imperative form, what other pronouns can be omitted, when and why?

The pronoun you can be omited as a general rule, but sometimes I’ve seen sentences that should have used I or it as the subject but it was omitted.
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5answers
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History and usage of “dooryard”

I have been interested in the expression "dooryard stop" recently. This is an expression that is used to describe a short visit in someone's dooryard (driveway) that often means not staying long ...
2
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1answer
866 views

Mixing British English and American English [closed]

I'm a non-native English speaker and as such, I was taught one variety of English In school--in my case, American. However, I've also been extensively in contact with British English, and now I ...
5
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4answers
301 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
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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 ...
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1answer
500 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" ...
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1answer
126 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 ...
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2answers
335 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 ...