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

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7
votes
3answers
300 views

I haven't seen her “for”/“in” two days

What's the difference between using either for or in in the following examples? Bill hasn't taken a vacation for/in two years. Jack hasn't been to school for/in four days. I hadn't seen ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

The use of @ in a a business email?

My business emails of late have all contained '@Carol' when I am referred to in a string of emails/topic. What does this mean and how am I to refer to this in future? Carol
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Arab, Arabian, Arabic usage

Am I correct in stating that "Arabic" is a language; An "Arab" is a person of "Arab" dissent; and "Arabian" is a culture & history; but more contemporary usage of "Arab" can be more collective, ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

“I am only me” vs. “I am only I”

Is it more correct to say "I am only me" or "I am only I?" I know that the subject should follow a linking verb like "am" or "is", e.g.: "It is I", but "It is me" is also correct by common educated ...
2
votes
2answers
34 views

Usage of “so” in a sentence that follows as a conclusion of the previous sentence(s)

I have seen people using "So" (followed by a comma) in the beginning of a sentence written as a conclusion of what is written in the previous sentence(s). For example: "I was sick yesterday. So, I ...
8
votes
3answers
852 views

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside 'be one’s “friend”'?

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside be one’s “friend”? I was drawn to the phrase, “My short game’s always been my buddy” appearing in the following quote of Tiger Woods in the Time magazine’s ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

What about 'short detail?'

If you want to give various bits of information (say variables like age, nationality, occupation, and so forth), would it be correct to use the phrase 'in short detail?' This is the sentence I have ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

Should “riffraff”, when used as a subject, be treated as a singular or a plural noun?

riffraff (noun) people who are not respectable : people who have very low social status. Merriam-Webster doesn't say anything about number. The Free Dictionary says it can sometimes ...
5
votes
2answers
91 views

When did 'virgin' start referring to non-alcoholic drinks

Since there have been so many virginity questions here lately, I have another one. As a former bartender-type, I often hear the term virgin, when relating to non-alcoholic drinks. Unfortunately, ...
6
votes
1answer
199 views

Can “female”/“male” be insulting?

If not used when misgendering, making unasked for assumptions about gender or in a hostile context, can usage of the words female/male be insulting? More specifically: can a non-native speaker be ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

“If I were..” usage [closed]

"If I were at your place then I wouldn't have done that" Is the usage of sentence written above fine?
0
votes
2answers
27 views

Is this correct? [closed]

I was wondering if the instructions given for an essay test is correct. "Choose one from the topics listed below."
-1
votes
3answers
78 views

“Sorry about that” - Usage

A few months ago, I was down with jaundice, and when I let my friend know about it, he sent me a text saying "Sorry about the jaundice", expressing sympathy. Like this one incident, we frequently ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

When can a celebrity be referred to by their surname only?

Mark Twain's case is straight-forward: it's a pseudonym, pronounced as if it were one word. So is Stendhal, for that matter. However, here's a list of folks who can be referred to by their surnames ...
0
votes
2answers
470 views

How to use “where do you put up”?

Recently one of my friend asked a question "Where do you put up?". Initially I didn't understand the question and later i came to know that its nothing but "Where do you stay?". Is it a right ...
0
votes
3answers
28 views

What is considered “best practice” when making a quote memorable?

So I have this quote I'm working on: Information has moved from the tip of the tongue to the tip of the fingers. There is an alternate version I've made that reads as follows: Information ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

“Both win in this case, the students […] and science…” is the sentence incorrect?

I am unsure regarding this usage of 'both'. A friend of mine told me it is not correct. Both win in this case, the students who learned a new technique and science with more replications. Could ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

About the adverb “whilst” [duplicate]

I looked it up. It means "while" and is used mostly in Britain. Could anyone explain to me how to use it?
0
votes
3answers
81 views

what is the difference between “imagine” and “envision”? [closed]

I kind like a word "envision" so, Can I use it exactly in same way as a word "imagine"?
2
votes
1answer
39 views

“Issue of” or “Issue out of” [closed]

Don't make an issue of inconsequential things. Don't make an issue out of inconsequential things. Which of them is right and why?
-1
votes
2answers
27 views

Word choice and usage [duplicate]

Can I today use the word 'thrice' or is it completely out of date and shouldn't be used? Dusan
1
vote
1answer
48 views

credit for vs credit on

As it happens, fertility rate declines in China have been close to what we would expect on the basis of these social influences alone. China often gets too much credit from commentators on the alleged ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Is “automatically eraseing” or “being erased automatically” correct? [closed]

Please tell me which sentence is correct: My file is automatically eraseing. or My file is being erased automatically.
0
votes
1answer
52 views

“Best ” vs “Most well”

It drives me up a wall when people use "most well" instead of "best." However, it's such a common habit, I'm wondering if I'm missing something. Is it grammatically correct to say "This is the most ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Homogenous versus Homogeneous

I've always used the word (spelling) homogenous to describe things of similar nature. However, when I started university I heard everyone use the word homogeneous (pronounced "homo genius" or "homo ...
5
votes
6answers
262 views

Pending tasks and goals

I am trying to communicate that I wish I could have done something. That "something" would be a ____________ for me. Since I speak Spanish as a first language, I am biased to think of the direct ...
2
votes
4answers
824 views

Usage of “pragmatic” vs. “practical”

As adjectives in general usage (not in jargon terminology), are the words pragmatic and practical synonymous? If not, how do their meanings and proper usage differ?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Use of “courtesy of…” when citing?

There are a number of systems for citing various materials (MLA, APA, etc.). These vary by discipline, country, journal, level of formality, and so on. Obviously one should know which system should be ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Usage of “until after” vs. “until” vs. “till after” vs. “till”

India was a British colony. Britishers wrote several laws for India. One such law was the Registration Act, 1908. Section 25(1) of the Act says: If, owing to urgent necessity or unavoidable accident, ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

“As per …” vs. “Per” [duplicate]

"As per" is phrase finding a common use in English writers and speakers in India. "Per" is perhaps the correct word that could be used instead. I use "per" only. But, people in India tend to find a ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Usage of Any or Every [closed]

Which one of these is more correct: "The process of adaptation is different in any case" "The process of adaptation is different in every case"
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Difference between eloquent and articulate

Is there an intended difference between the words "eloquent" and "articulate," or are they simply two synonymous adjectives? When I use the adjective "eloquent" I most often think of flowery, ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

“what with” use [closed]

Example: His sweet tooth finally got the better of him, what with all the confections surrounding him. Sounds awkward, but is it correct usage?
3
votes
1answer
27 views

past tense and/or conditional [closed]

e.g. I didn't get to where I am now unless ... or I wouldn't have got where I am now ... Are these both correct? The first sentence I found in a EFL series New English File. I have never heard this ...
6
votes
4answers
209 views

Term for derogatory words that are only “offensive from the outside”

In this post, Dan Ray notes that the word "Jew" may be offensive but "only from the outside". I can think of many other examples of terms that are neutral (or even affectionate) if spoken by ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Implied “to” … Is it okay? [duplicate]

Can "to" ever be omitted and implied? For example: "Nonverbal cues help me [to] assess mood and behavior."
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Why do we say “apologies to” when we quote someone?

I just replied to a comment on StackOverflow, writing: "I know of nothing but miracles (apologies to Walt Whitman)" But then I got to wondering: why do we apologize to someone for quoting them? ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Is the `that` in phrase `Only the best product that can survive` properly used? [closed]

I searched online that the word that has a function of stress/emphasize. And this usage comes up to my mind when designing for our company motto. Is it proper here? The colleague edition: Two ...
1
vote
1answer
21 views

Business English: contracted forum?

I would like to know your opinions regarding the use of the term "contracted forum". The context is a long-term project for which steering committee meetings are being conducted. At one time, the ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Non-Medically Necessary?

I'm working under contract for an insurance company, can't divulge much more due to NDAs. On one form they state they will cover a service if it is "medically necessary" but not if it is ...
9
votes
4answers
626 views

“He's unarguably the best” or “He's arguably the best”

I keep hearing the phrases unarguably the best and arguably the best. Some people say one, some people say the other when they mean he's the best. However which one is actually correct? If he's ...
30
votes
13answers
3k views

What is the “fundamental” difference between ‘search’ and ‘seek’?

So why do human beings spend so much time playing? One reason is that we have time for leisure; animals have very little time to play as most of their life is spent sleeping and (2)________ food. ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

rephrase vs paraphrase vs restate vs reword: usage nuances

I was wondering how the above terms differed in usage, and hope someone can enlighten me by using them in sentences that highlight their nuances. Here is my current understanding: Rephrase - to ...
32
votes
9answers
4k views

Is “best” still a superlative in “best friend”, as in can you have more than one “best friend”?

I was speaking to a 15-year-old native English speaker (in Australia), who referred to someone as her "best friend". Later, she revealed that this wasn't her only best friend. She had four best ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Usage of the word “hand” in the context

We're using a textbook called "English for Management Studies" by Tony Corballis and Wayne Jennings at our English classes at university. I'm saying this so that you know that the following sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Do vulgarity and linguistic flexibility actually correlate? [closed]

Regarding “fuck”, Wikipedia states: [it] has a very flexible role in English grammar, which stems from its vulgarity; the more vulgar a word is, the greater its linguistic flexibility. I ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Speed, rate, pace, tempo: what's the difference?

I looked up these three words in Oxford Dictionary and I found that they seem to be interchangeable in some cases. Here's the question: what's the difference between the three words? Rate: ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a word for “an only child”?

Some languages (Aramaic and Arabic for instance) have a word for someone who's an only child. Does English have a word for it? Perhaps it's obscure or "extinct"? "Sole child" and "sibling-less" are ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “Give a chicken in every pot” mean?

There was the following statement in October 29 New Yorker’s article that came under the title, “Why the G.O.P. Candidates Don’t Do Substance”: Did any of the candidates detail how they would pay ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Correct use of culling

I received an email that included the phrase "culling through posts." I feel like the word "through" doesn't work here. Culling is defined as - "select from a large quantity," which makes me think ...