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

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2answers
50 views

What word or term = propaganda + manipulation?

I wanted to create a website section devoted to articles about propaganda, disinformation, brainwashing, etc. But it occurred to me that I should include manipulation, which really goes hand in hand ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Is “put someone on/over to” for “put someone through/connect someone to” idiomatic?

Where in the English speaking world do they say, "put someone on/over [to]" for "put someone through/connect someone [to]" as in: If you'd like to speak direct to one of our technicians about ...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

“throw out/away” vs. “toss (out)” vs. “pitch (out/away)” for “dispose of; discard; get rid of as worthless or useless” in AmEng

What's the difference between "throw out/away," "toss out," and "pitch (out/away)" to mean, "get rid of as worthless or unnecessary"? Can these be used just about interchangeably? THROW AWAY ...
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0answers
19 views

Is “these ones” correct?

I know many people use it, but it really does sound informal. Should I avoid it anyway? Case is. I have a pair of earings on the table and I want to refer to them, so I say: "Are you talking about ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views

Usage of “homework,” “schoolwork,” and “assignment” in AmEng for schoolwork given to students to do at home

As far as AmEng goes, is there any difference in using either homework, schoolwork, or assignment to call schoolwork given to students to be done at home? Can these be used just about interchangeably? ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Using a slash (/) between multi-word phrases [duplicate]

How would you suggest using a forward slash (/) between multi-word phrases? Should a slash be even used between multi-word phrases? For example - Following are the open/in progress issues. or ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Can you say “don't tell me” in a monologue?

"Don't tell me" is often used in dialogues, for example "Don't tell me you're tired already!". But can you use it in a monologue? Let's say you have a character in a movie just talking to themselves. ...
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5answers
248 views

What do you call a seemingly stupid question that, to most people's amazement, can't be answered? [closed]

How's Obama any better (or different) than George W. Bush? For those people who still do not or cannot understand the question, here's yet another way of putting it: Imagine a country where ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Same as.. vs as much as

I'd like to know whether the following sentences express the same meaning. Are both of them correct without the "provided with" at the end? Have the foreigners been provided with the same level of ...
-1
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2answers
52 views

What is the difference between “As per” and “As for”? [closed]

What is the difference between "As per" and "As for"? As for our professional services or as per our professional services?
4
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4answers
498 views

Using “who” twice, why?

I'm intrigued by the use of 'who' twice in the following quote from the movie 'The Imitation Game' Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do things that no one imagines. ...
1
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2answers
104 views

temporal “directly” in AmEng usage: “immediately/without delay” or “shortly/in a little while”?

What does directly commonly mean in standard AmEng when used as a temporal adverb, immediately/instantly/at once/right away/without delay -or- soon/shortly/in a little while? DIRECTLY At ...
5
votes
3answers
285 views

“conclude” vs. “decide” in AmEng

Can, in some instances, conclude and decide be used just about interchangeably as far as AmEng goes? Please, consider the following examples: The committee concluded on a plan of action. The ...
2
votes
2answers
759 views

What is the meaning of “morality is a question of time”?

I never succumbed to that or to any of her many other lewd temptations, but she did not believe in the purity of my principles. Morality, too, is a question of time, she ...
0
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0answers
37 views

Having 'At Least' x Versus Having x [duplicate]

Here is a really juicy one for a hard-core grammar nerd with some decent logical reasoning skills: Suppose I have FIVE $20 bills in my pocket. Is it correct to say "I have 20 dollars in my pocket" or ...
0
votes
3answers
45 views

Reversal in word meaning [duplicate]

Are there any words that were pejorative but are now used in a positive way? Obviously, there are slang words that have changed meaning, but are there any others?
0
votes
1answer
82 views

“Have ever eaten” or “Ever ate”

I'd like to express that the steak I had (last Sunday) was the best one I have ever eaten. Is "Have ever eaten" correct or do I have to use the past simple "I ever ate", since the process (of eating) ...
4
votes
4answers
376 views

“[will] likely” vs. “[will] probably” in AmEng usage

As far as AmEng goes, can likely be an acceptable alternate to probably in the following OUP quiz? The traffic is terrible so I'll probably be late this morning. Climate change is likely to ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

How can one best clarify the different senses of “compare”?

I have long felt that the taboo on comparing anyone to Hitler and many similar inhibitions were based on a confusion between “compare” in the senses of “liken to” and in the sense of “compare and ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Whence come “Alaskan” and “Hawaiian” as adjectives?

Ross Douthat, writing in the New York Times, refers to "Rubio’s lonely Minnesotan triumph." This just sounds wrong to me. Is "Minnesotan" ever used as an adjective? Garrison Keillor frequently invokes ...
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votes
2answers
53 views

The car won't start because the battery is dead [closed]

"The car won't start because the battery is dead." This sentence looks a bit strange to me. I think I'm not familiar with the usage of "Won't". Would you add some words for the meaning and usage of ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Is there any bad connotation when we say one thing is cheaper than another? [closed]

I'm aware that when we say things like: It's a cheap cell phone. That's a cheapo, throw it out. It does mean something is clearly of bad quality. But how about when comparing things? for ...
2
votes
1answer
553 views

Which is correct? …as from today or from today onwards [closed]

I have a water filter in my office. It is broken. I wrote a reminder telling the staff. The word I would like to highlight is "as from" or "from." Water filter can only be used as from 1st ...
1
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2answers
72 views

Usage of “commit [oneself] to” (=promise)

PPer Cambridge Dictionary Online, commit verb (PROMISE) [I or T] to ​promise or give ​your ​loyalty, ​time, or ​money to a ​particular ​principle, ​person, or ​plan of ​action: Like so ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

“separate” and “terminate” for “dismiss/discharge” from employment in AmEng

According to Oxford Dictionary Online, separate US Discharge or dismiss (someone) from service or employment. terminate chiefly North American End the employment of (someone); dismiss: ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

“downtime” vs. “time off” vs. “free time” vs. “spare time” in AmEng vernacular

How do those terms differ from each other? downtime North American A time of reduced activity or inactivity: everyone needs downtime to unwind ODO spare time Noun time available ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

“I had been done that” Is this correct?

I teach freshmen English in inner-city Baltimore, and I often get the following: Teacher : Did you complete the homework? Student : I had been done that! I have not been able to give a ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Meaning of the slang “a”? [duplicate]

What does the a mean in the following sentences? She is a do it like this. Sam is a visit the new market today. Does the word a represent a future action like : Sam will visit the new market ...
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votes
1answer
43 views

Is “conventionally” as adverb used properly here: “It's not conventionally casino news, but …”?

It doesn't sound wrong to the ear for me. But conventionally is an adverb, and it should modify a verb or an adjective. In this case it is obviously the verb is. Can conventionally modify be? On the ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

How should “that” be used?

I am an audio transcriber. One of my clients systematically dictates sentences such as : I feel that, if the company wanted to use the procedure, that it would seem likely it would have to .. To ...
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2answers
34 views

should I use “is” or “are” in this phrase? [closed]

I'm glad at least one of us are thinking. should I use are or is in the phrase above?
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votes
1answer
54 views

The front door sign reads: The Brushes [closed]

The John L Brush family has a sign outside their front door that reads: "The Brushes". Is that correct? I interpret the sign to indicate it's the Brush's house, or that the Brush family lives ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

“flat,” “stone,” “dead,” “dirt,” “plumb,” and “right” as indicators of directness, completeness, or general intensity [closed]

What's the difference between those words? Can they be used just about interchangeably as adverbs indicating completeness or totality? Please, compare: Looking back over my years of wildlife ...
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

Which sentence is better to use? [closed]

Which one of the following is correct? Placed his work of art on the museum wall last week or Placed last week his work of art on the museum wall
3
votes
1answer
61 views

“Poor as Job's cat”

In which part(s) of the U.S. can one still hear the colorful simile, (as) poor as Job's cat? poor as Job - Poverty-stricken, indigent, destitute. The allusion is to the extreme poverty which ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

“Many a” or “Many a…alike”

For example, which of these phrases would be more accurate? "Many an artist alike thought highly of the philosophy." or "Many an artist thought highly of the philosophy." In essence, I'm just ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Is it “We consider A and B as equal” or “We consider A and B to be equal”? [duplicate]

In usage such as "we consider a label and a tag (as / to be) equal", or "we consider a 'yes' or a 'nod' (as / to be) equal", should we say: We consider A and B as equal. A and B are considered as ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

How to use “In the span of”?

I'm writing an essay regarding the concept of Carpe Diem and I'd like to start my introduction with the following sentence: "In the span of the universe, a human life is an incredibly short period ...
0
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1answer
73 views

Is the word 'get' correctly replacing more and more words in English?

Would it be safe to say that using the word get (or phrases containing it) to replace existing but longer words is now fashionable and acceptable? With already about 50 meanings, it is replacing ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Usage of the verb “squinch” in AmEng

Collins American English Dictionary says: squinch (skwɪntʃ) (US) transitive verb to squint (the eyes); squinched up her eyes in disgust. M-W 2. a. to pucker ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

What strikes me the most - usage [closed]

Can anyone explain what does this mean and how to use it correctly in a sentence? What strikes me the most
0
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1answer
40 views

Is this correct? : “Tenji that was, died in his sisters arms.” (Kind of like 'powers that be') Also is 'have a claim to' correct' or 'hold a claim to'

Full quote for context "I have no claim to life, yet I walk. I have no claim to valor, yet I fight. I have no claim to love, yet I mourn. I am not the dragon, for Tenji Minamoto that was, died in his ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Get hold of someone [closed]

In my office email I asked my colleague of mine to work with a differen team member by using the following sentence: "Please get hold of xxxxx and create an account...." I don't know this xxxxx ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

World Remained Those of Combination?

I read one book, anyone could describe the concept meaning by following sentence: "In the sixth century, at the very close of the classical period, the great libraries of the Mediterranean world ...
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votes
2answers
77 views

Her or him - English is polite or what! [closed]

The usage of "her" in this sentence caught my eye today: "The root user can do almost everything, because the operating system does not apply the usual protection mechanisms to her." Don't have a ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Is there a specific word or phrase for the drowsiness one might feel soon after a heavy lunch?

After a lunch, especially a nutritionally dense one, one might drift off into a drowsy state, sort of a "I sure could use a nap" feel, likely due to the breaking down of the foods in the digestive ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Use of “skill” and “competence/competency” in specific scenario

To me, skills are something related to mechanical performance. Someone is very skilled at playing football, for instance. Competence/competency on the other hand is more related to knowledge. ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Double Negatives [duplicate]

Is the phrase "Isn't there no need" considered a double negative and would resolve to a positive? Or is it considered an intensifier? So would it resolve to "There is a need"? The full sentence that ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

“stop over” vs. “stop off” vs. “lay over” in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference between those terms? Can they be used just about interchangeably? stopover n./stop over v. Dictionary.com noun A brief stop in the course of a journey, as to eat, ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Usage of definite article with nationalities [closed]

Bering's men found Eskimos in Alaska. or Bering's men found the Eskimos in Alaska. Which is right?