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

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Phrasal Usage of called on

Consider the sentence: "America's respected Institute of Medicine called for/on nurses to play a greater role in primary care." Which is more appropriate on or for?
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Is the “for + proposition” form still used nowadays? [duplicate]

I am currently studying English and as such enjoy reading English books from time to time; for instance I have recently been reading the fifth book of A Song of Ice and Fire since the French version ...
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2k views

“it is may happen” is correct or not? [closed]

The meaning of hope given in Simple Wiktionary as When someone hopes that something will happen, it means that they want it to happen and they think it is may happen. This it is may happen is ...
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2answers
206 views

Is “It's raining cats and dogs” out? [closed]

My impression is "It's raining cats and dogs" is old-fashioned. Is that right? If I used it, would people think I'm 70 years old, or something like that?
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1answer
550 views

Is “Take one’s pulse” used as an idiom to mean“research” market, trends, problems / opportunities other than “diagnose" patient’s conditions?

I was amused to find the headline of article, “Just Dropped In to Take Your Pulse” in New Car Reviews section of New York Times October 25 issue, which is followed by the lead-copy: The Scirocco ...
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769 views

Is “left for heaven” a common phrase in English?

Is "left for heaven" a common phrase for native English speakers?
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1answer
404 views

What does“low wattage” mean in “A politician not being mocked for low wattage”?

Time magazine (October 25) carries the article titled “The Populist Egghead” with a caption: “Sen. Cruz isn't being mocked for low wattage the way Palin and Reagan had been. He's being singled ...
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3k views

Should 'good morning' be first greeting irrespective of the time you meet a person. Whether its afternoon or evening [duplicate]

Is there any kind of rule that the first greeting to a person should be 'good morning' irrespective of the time you meet that person. Whether its afternoon or evening. Please clarify with with facts ...
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1answer
34 views

Can “shavelings” be used to refer to Asian monks? Or it only refers to Occitental shaven-headed church man?

Can "shavelings" be used to refer to Asian monks? Or it only refers to Occidental shaven-headed church men? Can a shaven-headed civilian be called a "shaveling"?
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1answer
232 views

Is the word “mid-shelf” applicable to any merchandize being sold at retail shops more than liquor?

There was the following sentence in Time magazine (September 16) titled “The world according to Vladimir Putin.” The nation that put the first man into space has given the world no distinctly ...
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Did the CIA really introduce 'conspiracy theory' into popular usage after JFK?

I heard that after the JFK assassination the CIA, through assets in mass media, introduced the term 'conspiracy theory', with it connotations of something clearly ridiculous, and only believed by ...
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1answer
197 views

How to name the supreme power in the universe, in front of various people who believe there is one? [duplicate]

Even in writing this question, I have been deeply embarrassed : should I capitalize some words ? Although not a believer myself, I wish to perturb nobody, whatever his / her faith could be : my ...
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1answer
154 views

grammar age question [duplicate]

Consider the sentence - "A fifty year old man is walking in the garden." Shouldn't it be 'fifty years old' or 'fifty-year old' or something else maybe? Is the original usage correct?
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2answers
10k views

in average? on average? [closed]

I am writing a summary for a facebook campaign, and I want to say "each post reaches over 1000 viewers in average", does it sound right? Should I use "on average" or "in average"?
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6answers
2k views

Usage of “ladies and gentlemen” to address two people of diiferent sex

It seems to be not quite logical to use the traditional address "ladies and gentlemen" when there are only a single lady and a single gentleman in the room, not counting for the person who is ...
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2answers
4k views

What does “Seeing right through them” exactly mean?

I was drawn to the phrase, “Seeing right through them“appearing in the New York Times (October 5) article written by Daniel Goleman under the title, “Rich people just care less.” It begins with the ...
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1answer
409 views

One of the best person I got to work with [closed]

I am trying to write a recommendation. How could I improve the following sentence which sounds too informal and it also sounds like it is in the past whereas I am still working with this person: He ...
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1answer
120 views

Word being modified by whose

I came across the following sentence: "Kiran is Kishore's uncle, whose paternal grandfather has only two children." I am not clear which person is 'whose' referring to - Kiran or Kishore and why?
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1answer
124 views

Strive for excellence VS Striving for excellence

"an environment that promotes strive for excellence / striving for excellence" I would like to know which one is correct ? Because I dont quite catch how to use the phrase "strive for excellence".
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1answer
300 views

Etymology of “rabona”

In association football, rabona is used to describe a specific technique: a method of kicking the football whereby the kicking leg is wrapped around the back of the standing leg—effectively with ...
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307 views

'solid' used as an adverb

The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition contains the following (on the hyphenation or otherwise of compounds): 6.38: The trend in spelling compound words has been away from the use of hyphens; ...
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3answers
308 views

“all the way down to” phrase with geographical locations

Is the following usage correct: I drove from Los Angeles all the way down to San Diego. given that San Diego is at the south of Los Angeles? Can it be used for geographical directions?
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1answer
517 views

Hyphen omission: a matter of habit or plain error?

I'm not a native English speaker so I'm struggling to get this right. I understand (and this question confirms) that compound adjectives such as well-organized, high-level, Spanish-speaking, etc, ...
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1answer
30k views

Is the usage of “so as to” correct? [closed]

Can "so as to" be used, and if so in what contexts and in what situations? Can it be used formally and in written documents? Edit: I'm looking more at an IT question for example "You can do ...
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3answers
249 views

How did 'wieldy', the positive form of 'unwieldy', come to be a non-existent word?

I.e., is there a known reason behind why the negative form of the word 'wieldy', 'unwieldy', is so vastly used, whereas the positive form is essentially a non-existent word — MacMillan ...
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4answers
8k views

Is “on one hand, on the other hand” a cliche? [closed]

We should find a Way of long peace instead of living just for today. On one hand, we have to prevent the community from coming apart and suffering the disasters caused by it, on the other hand, to ...
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2answers
213 views

Corporates - is there any such word? [closed]

The use of "corporates" as a word to mean companies, organizations, etc., has been gaining popularity of late, at least here in India. Although I believe it is standard to speak of "corporate" life, ...
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609 views

Why does European packaging use “gb” to represent English?

Something I've always wondered is why companies that are based in Europe tend to use "country" abbreviations to represent a language instead of the language abbreviation itself. Given that there are ...
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2answers
4k views

would not vs will not vs can not [closed]

I understand about the conditional, and imaginary, tense but if someone implies something will or won't work, which is the stronger or more definite use? Even if he tries, it cannot work Even ...
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1answer
59 views

“Fight Academy” or “Fighting Academy?”

What's more accurate, "Fight Academy" or "Fighting Academy" or is it equally correct to use either one. I have seen both being used and when I compare it to "Fight Club," it seems that "Fight ...
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3answers
281 views

Can “it” be used as “which” to represent what the previous sentence means?

The priority is to lay down the moral base of this society: including ethical principles and political justice. It means that what we are going to seek out and construct is the “republican virtue” ...
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4answers
138 views

Smart used as expensive, why?

I sometimes see phrases like "smart hotel", "smart restaurant" (especially in guide books). From context I usually understand it as "expensive but worthy". Is it correct understanding? Why is word ...
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2answers
545 views

Is “as you need” different from “as you need to” in this sentence?

To utilize things as(when) you need to, but never be captivated by things.(self-made, a translation from ancient text in Chinese) I think "as you need" and "as you need to" is different in this ...
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2answers
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How to correctly use double quotation marks at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

Group A: This is so-called "Moon Cake." // The period is inside the double quatation marks This is so-called "Moon Cake". // The period is outside the double quatation marks I know the ...
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1answer
196 views

What is the meaning of “a correspondence of principles”?

Which are the uses and meanings of this expression? From my own research, it seems to have: In politics, a formal meaning close of agreement or treaty: "a correspondence of principles was sign ...
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3answers
2k views

Does ‘sugarplum’ have the meaning of ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’?

There is the following advice for ‘defusing an argument with one word’ in a website: In an argument in which the fight systems are fully armed you need to provide an abrupt interruption. Have a ...
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5answers
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Do you know the meaning of the American idiom “pot calling the kettle black”? [closed]

I would like to know something more about this American idiom and how north American or English speaking people use it. Can you guys answer my questions? Do you know the meaning of this idiom? Are ...
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1answer
172 views

Apostrophe usage in the Iliad (Lombardo) [duplicate]

I'm taking a classics class, and we're currently reading Lombardo's translation of the Iliad. It strikes me incredibly odd how possessive and plural nouns are formed: The met by the ancient oak ...
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1answer
3k views

Is “play chess when others are playing checkers,” a well-known / well-used phrase?

I found the phrase, “he’s always playing chess when others are playing checkers,” in today’s (September 11) article of New York Times, written by Charles Blow under the headline of “It’s a Mad, Mad, ...
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4answers
497 views

What does “Lose the Drama” mean as one of 7 ways for women at work to negotiate?

In an interview of co-host of NBS Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski by Erin Skarda of Time magazine, Brzezinski gave 7 tips for women to take into their next career generation starting “Don’t act like a ...
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3answers
1k views

Usage of “stood up” to mean “set up”

I was reading this question on meta.ELU and was struck by what, to me, was a strange use of the phrasal verb to stand up: The site for English Language Learners was stood up in large part so that ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the Use of an Adjective of the Same Word Twice in the Same Sentence called? [closed]

Is there a name for this type of usage using words (in this case adjectives) repetitively in typical sentence formatting? There has got to be. This is killing me. BTW, I'm no English professor. ...
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1answer
92 views

Usage of the abbreviation of a specific-type short phrase

Could you tell me how to abbreviate few-word phrases as in the use of "mobile" for "the mobile business" in the sentence "Company A's lagging position in mobile is the most pressing challenge?" ...
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3answers
202 views

Is “close helmet” correct? Why/why not?

I've been debating this for a while now with a comrade of mine. Wikipedia (and others) give "close helmet" as a type of medieval helmet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_helmet ...
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8answers
8k views

When did the term “flip flop” displace the term “thong” in North America for a type of sandal?

To Australians like me "thong" means a kind of sandal such as recently repopularized by the Havaianas brand but we know it means a kind of G-string in other English-speaking parts of the world. To ...
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3answers
381 views

Is it ok to use the irregular past tense of a verb as it were a regular one?

Let's say I say / write catched instead of caught or buyed instead of bought, etc. I know this is grammatically incorrect, but is it incorrect or perfectly fine to use it in every-day life ? English ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the proper use of “right the way along”?

I've heard the idiom "right the way along" used many times in British literature and video, however, I'm slightly unclear as to what it means. It seems, at first glance, to be a British variant on ...
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2answers
11k views

Using “An” and “A” in a sentence [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand this simple concept. As far as I understood it, back to the days when I was a student, "an" should be used only before vowel words, that is, only before the following words: ...
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3answers
337 views

“I grip the steering wheel like I grasp TO my memory of that day.” Is that “to” wrong? Omit, or change to “at”?

In the sentence above, is "grasp to my memory of..." wrong? It feels wrong, but I can't articulate why. I might say "grasp at my memory of" or perhaps omit the preposition all together. I fear ...
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1answer
5k views

“…that I have not got”, vs. “gotten”? [duplicate]

In such a context as... I have never applied to job that I cannot do, nor to one that I have not gotten. vs. I have never applied to job that I cannot do, nor to one that I have not got. ...