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

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3
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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
52 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 ...
-2
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
votes
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
1k 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 March,...
1
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2answers
83 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
59 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
118 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
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1answer
95 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 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
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2answers
73 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 ...
0
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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?
-5
votes
1answer
59 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 there....
1
vote
2answers
80 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 work,...
-1
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1answer
32 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
62 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
25 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
64 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
votes
1answer
77 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
100 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
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1answer
201 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
46 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
45 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
41 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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
81 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
84 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
65 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
128 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
69 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, sleep,...
0
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1answer
33 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?
0
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0answers
45 views

Is it correct to say “must you drive me crazy”?

Is it correct to say "must you drive me crazy"? Does it sound stylistically correct for native speakers? Thanks!
2
votes
1answer
73 views

“taxwise,” “tax wise,” or “tax-wise”

What should be the correct spelling for "-wise" combinations in adverbial coinages like "sportswise," "weatherwise," "businesswise, "saleswise," "taxwise," etc.? Should it be "NOUN wise," "NOUN-wise,"...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

No question mark after reported question

I am not sure if this was asked before since I don't know if there is a specific terms for this usage. Is it fine not to put a question mark at the end of a sentence like this? He hadn't gone to ...
49
votes
8answers
8k views

“To science the sh*t out of something”

In The Martian movie, Matt Damon (Watney), when left stranded on Mars with very limited resources to survive, says: Mark Watney: In the face of overwhelming odds, I'm left with only one option, I'...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

A and B University

Since "A University and B University" is rather long, which of the following might be true and why? The research job was at A and B University, The research job was at A and B Universities, The ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Limit v/s limitation

I suffer from over reading. Have I again? I was looking for a new contract when I arrived at Octapace Consulting. Here is a quote that anchors that page. It reads: “When you compete with a person,...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

What was the usage of EModE’s four-form system for answering yes–no questions?

It is well-known that Early Modern English, if not earlier forms of English too, had a four-form system for answering yes–no questions. ‘Yea’ and ‘nay’ answered questions phrased positively (analogous ...
3
votes
3answers
105 views

“trade” for “business deal; transaction” in North American vernacular

Harrap's New Shorter English-French Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, trade [...] 2. (b) NAm (i) transaction (commerciale); (ii) clientèle f (d'une maison); carriage trade, grosse clientèle. ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Any better alternatives to “open doors to a new world/findings/horizons/etc. for sb”?

Results of experimental models show great dependency on site conditions and experiment method. Under these conditions, statistical and AI-based methods (artificial neural networks and fuzzy systems) ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

“available (availability)” vs. “valid (validity)” for “having sufficient power or efficacy” in AmEng vernacular

Per Random House Webster's College Dictionary, Ed. 1991, available suitable or ready for use; of use or service; at hand: I used whatever tools were available. readily obtainable; ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Is “yet” and “ever” interchangeable in “the most pivotal contest yet / ever”

Today’s (February 7) Time magazine carries an article titled, ”Republicans ready for eighth debate,” which starts with the paragraph, “Republican presidential candidates will face off in New Hampshire ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

What's the difference between “Thanks anyway” and “Thanks though”?

To me, they seem to have almost identicial meaning, but I believe there's a difference in usage. Could you please decribe the difference with specific examples?
0
votes
1answer
69 views

a or the before “better” [closed]

I am bit confused on what to put - 'a' or 'the' before "better" for example better life better job better work
3
votes
2answers
195 views

must vs have to: British usage and academic rules

I am teaching 'have to' vs 'must' (British English usage) and, according to the book, the difference is as follows: must: it's necessary to do it (because the speaker says so) have to: it's ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

How do you tell the difference between “wrong” and “run” in perception test?

Background Just developing a linguistic test - native English speakers can pass(100% correct), and L2 learners cannnot pass(even though they are very proficient). "Wrong vs run" pair was chosen. ...
1
vote
2answers
190 views

“Thousands-Dollar” or “Thousand-Dollar”? [duplicate]

If a prize is worth thousands of dollars, is it called a thousands-dollar prize or a thousand-dollar prize
-1
votes
2answers
101 views

What is the meaning of “banned” in this sentence? [closed]

I'm wondering what the correct definition of "banned" is in the following sentence: The private ownership of handguns ought to be banned in the United States. Does "banned" refer to an outright ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

How do I understand when to use the phrase 'mad props'?

In Legally Blond the musical they use the phrase: MARGOT: Dear Elle, He's a lucky guy. I'm like gonna cry, I got tears coming out of my nose! Mad Props! He's the campus catch, You're a ...