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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
0answers
28 views

Conditional: More than 1 [duplicate]

The stoplight turns green if there (is/are) more than 1 car(s) waiting I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out the above statement. Which configuration is correct? This is odd, as I'm a native ...
0
votes
3answers
77 views

Verb to use with “workload”

Just wondering which verb is the most natural to native speakers to use with 'workload.' Among I wish to receive heavier workload. I wish to take heavier workload. I wish to have heavier ...
-1
votes
4answers
176 views

I'm tired of writing out the phrase “himself or herself”. What are my options? [duplicate]

Because of English's lack of a gender neutral third person singular possessive pronoun, whenever the need for such a referent presents itself in the course of writing, we seem to be left with ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is “despite” outdated?

A friend of mine, a respected linguist, mentioned recently that "despite" (prep) is outdated. Whilst it is true that I hardly ever hear someone using the word in ordinary conversation, I still hear ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Is it an approval or disapproval?

In following sentence: From the perspective of a ‘cyber warrior’, cyber crime can offer the technical basis and cyber terrorism the social basis with which to execute nationally sanctioned ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What preposition: “on the mobile” or “in the mobile”?

I read this: The battery's flat on the mobile. I think we should say in the mobile not on the mobile.
1
vote
4answers
125 views

Make vs. Do a Video [closed]

Is it "make a video" or "do a video"? I feel like both might be correct in an appropriate context but I cannot quite figure out the real difference. Unless it is just one of the two that is correct. I ...
0
votes
5answers
880 views

What is the difference between “bias” and “opinion”? [closed]

What is the difference between "bias" and "opinion"? Are they synonyms? Are all opinions biased? Is there such a thing as an "unbiased opinion"? The sentence, "Lima beans are vile" is an opinion ...
1
vote
4answers
41 views

People with similar traits

I am curious as to whether there is a noun or some other, more suitable expression for that group of people which shares my personality type. I often use 'people with same traits or personality'.
3
votes
2answers
123 views

What does “cheffed-up” in “Traditional ramen that hasn’t been cheffed-up” mean?

In connection with my previous question about the meaning of the line, “This is a lot of cargo for noodle soup” in NYT’s (March 4, 2014) article, “Ramen’s Big Splash,” in its Dining & Wine ...
1
vote
3answers
170 views

“to prefer something over something” or “to prefer something to something” [duplicate]

Which syntax is more correct: to prefer something over something else or to prefer something to something else or maybe both are correct?
0
votes
1answer
110 views

“over a call” vs “on a call”

I will explain about the project over a call I will explain about the project on a call I have read here that over can be used as during So is explain over a call correct? which is the correct ...
-2
votes
2answers
110 views

How, when and where did the phrase 'state of the art' originate? [closed]

How, when and where did the phrase 'state of the art' originate?
0
votes
5answers
68 views

Usage of “persons”

I know pretty well that the plural for 'person' is 'people'. But my literature professor used once the word 'persons' because, he said, he was using the word the same as it will be used 'individuals'. ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Nuances when returning physical mail in the UK [closed]

“Return to sender” carries very little meaning to the sender: Who returned it? The postal service, the intended recipient, or some other person? Why was it returned? Was it considered spam, was the ...
0
votes
0answers
65 views

How did the adjective “just” come to take on so many adverbial meanings?

Just is a pretty useful adverb. It can carry several different meanings: very recently: I just finished the novel. exactly: That’s just what he meant. by a narrow margin: He just missed me ...
0
votes
1answer
455 views

“All the more so” - correct use:

Is this sentence correct: "If this was true fifty years ago, it must be all the more so in modern times" Did I use the expression "all the more so" correctly in this sentence? Thanks
4
votes
1answer
127 views

Usage of adverbs like reasonably, practically, essentially, ridiculously, basically

I have recently noticed a phenomenon in English, that seems quite common. The phenomenon is regarding the usage of certain adverbs: Practically should mean in a practical manner. But it is often ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Kudos Vs. bravo

Has the word kudos outdated the word or exclamation bravo! Here's what Google Ngram shows: ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Usage of “as because”

I would like to know if "as because" is a correct usage. It feels so wrong, yet I see people using it. e.g. She couldn't come, as because she was ill. I suppose only because should serve the purpose ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

“get one's head around” vs “get one's arms around”

I have seen both idioms used in practice. The definitions I found, http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+arms+around, and http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+head+around don't indicate much ...
1
vote
3answers
177 views

Is the usage 'the message didn't send' grammatically correct?

I have often encountered this sentence on Facebook; even a web-search of this string indicates that it is used quite commonly. However, is it correct to say so? The dictionary definitions of the word ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Using property name in plural instead of its units

Consider describing an object and referring to some of its properties, that has a unit (eg. weight in kilograms). Is it correct to describe the property not by saying what unit is it in, but using ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

’Tis the season

Google has a new doodle that says ’Tis the season when you put your cursor on it: What is the origin of this usage? or even the contraction ’tis? Details: There is a popular carol called “Deck ...
1
vote
4answers
53 views

The verb “to participate” for an object

Can the verb "to participate" be used for an object (and not a person)? For example: "This equipment will participate in a qualification test." Is this correct?
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Who are “the perks people”?

I was drawn to the phrase 'the perks people' in the headline of an article which appeared in the Wall Street Journal (November 20, 2014 issue) — The perks people: Meet silicon valley’s ‘Little elves'. ...
0
votes
3answers
93 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
votes
0answers
48 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
votes
1answer
650 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
92 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?
18
votes
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
votes
2answers
354 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
vote
2answers
74 views

Above and beyond

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?
-2
votes
1answer
22 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
125 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
vote
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"?
1
vote
2answers
185 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
96 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
167 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
votes
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
51 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
98 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
votes
2answers
58 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
93 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
58 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
votes
1answer
299 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
votes
3answers
1k 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?