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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
2answers
38 views

Appropriateness of usage of the phrases “and such forth”, and “so hence forth”

I have a colleague who frequently uses the phrases, "and such forth" and "so hence forth" in conversations with clients. I find particularly the use of "and such forth" to be nonsensical and ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

“We have sour 3 proctors.” What exactly does “sour” mean here? [closed]

Someone sent out an e-mail to me and many others asking for help proctoring some exams. This person got all the proctors she needed, and sent out a follow-up e-mail with the title "We have sour 3 ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Cry on chest / in cuddle

I want to describe this picture: The man is crying on the woman's chest. The man is crying in the woman's cuddle. Which one is correct? Thank you.
1
vote
1answer
120 views

How to properly borrow words from other languages? [closed]

For example, if I took the Russian word "Toska" and transposed into an English word "tosk (pronounced as "təʊsk") and created such words and phrases as "toskful", "tosk-stricken", "toskfulness", "to ...
1
vote
0answers
128 views

How to specify we don't know the gender

I was talking about the short story "The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen" by Graham Greene. The narrator is part of the story and also talks about himself/herself. They ask me what we know about the ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

“Inverse” and “Converse” in academic writing [closed]

Do the words "inverse" and the words "converse" have the same meaning in academic writing as they do as logic terms? Or would it cause confusion? If I write, "conversely...", will it mean that ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What are the differences between “come on down” and “come down”?

"I answered the phone in my apartment and heard the sloping drawl of one of my students , Travis." Miss Diana, " he said, "Could you come on down the stairs a minute?" It was early May on the ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

“I'm cooperating!”

One day, I was chatting with my friend in English. We were talking about something and we both knew that we were joking. The conversation is as follows: My Friend: I am going to watch all episodes of ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

Thoughts on today's article on “farther” vs “further”?

See the article for context. Seems like a plausible suggestion to me, but I'm curious what others think. Consider the house, tree, and sunflower in the illustration at the top of this post. The ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Connecting “with” or “to”

I read the answers to similar questions, but I need to be sure. I chose the sentence: "Connecting solutions with people" on my business card and want to be sure it's not suppose to be "Connecting ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views
0
votes
2answers
115 views

“Need be” vs. “Needs to be”

I've written the following in a sentence, but now that I look at it, I'm doubting my grammatical instincts and wanted to get a second opinion. ...the balance need be swayed only slightly... Is ...
-1
votes
2answers
78 views

What's the difference between “I felt ill because I had drunk six cups of coffee.” and “I felt ill because I drank six cups of coffee. ” [closed]

I think both of them are correct. But i suspect there is a difference in meaning. I don't know what.
3
votes
4answers
81 views

Is it possible to use “demotivate” with something not related to studying or job?

The question is in the title. Actually, I need something of a synonym to "disencourage" and "demotivate" was the first word that came to my mind. Also, if it's possible to use "demotivate" with ...
0
votes
3answers
89 views

Is the use of the word “that” in the sentence below correct?

A light fall of ash, that it may destroy one year's crop, often pays the farmer well in future years with the fertility it adds to the soil.
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Is “claimer” primarily a term for a customer notorious for their frivolous complaints?

In Japanese this English loanword is being used in this way, and I am curious as to whether the usage is technically correct. While I realize that in English the definition of "claimer" extends ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Is it possible to “revenge” a situation?

From the usage I am familiar with, it sounds strange to use "revenge" as a verb by itself. I am used to hearing it together with another word, such as "get revenge" or "take revenge". My dictionary ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Mark Twain and the tenses

Maybe I'm being too pedantic for my own good, but here's the thing. There is in Mark Twain's short story titled Journalism in Tennessee a passage in which, if you take a good close look, the simple ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Can a person be “overly literal”

It's common to say someone is being overly literal if their interpretation of a phrase is too strictly literal either intentionally (nitpickers) or unintentionally (people learning another language). ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Further explanation of “among others”

I know that "among others" is used when we mention one or more than one person. But still, I am a little confused. For example: "Among others, Adam and Smith supported me at the meeting." (I am ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

In the sentence below, is the verb 'render' used correctly?

Consider the sentence: What matters is to render the idea from the field of theory into practice. Could the verb render be replaced by the verb translate without changing the meaning? Which is ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Are 'third person singular pronouns' optional?

I took a English test in a non-English speaking country. There was a problem with a picture. In the picture, a girl whose name is Ann says, My knife doesn't cut well. The question asked: "What ...
1
vote
4answers
84 views

Usage of the word “submittal”

It it appropriate to use the word submittal as follows? The report is ready for submittal. Or, is it better to just say: The report is ready to be submitted.
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Can “the day after tomorrow” be used as an adverb?

I've come across this expression while having a conversation over the phone with a native English speaking friend. However, I am not sure if he said "at the day after tomorrow" or "the day after ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

How wide is singular “they” being used? [duplicate]

One might want to use a generic pronoun, that doesn't specify the gender of the person. Although "he" can be used in such case, they decide that "he" still reflect the history time when male was ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

Can the word, “OK’er,” be used in other area than copy editing?

I recently heard the word,’OK’er” in the New Yorker’s Live video, in which Mary Norris, New Yorker’s copy editor and author of "How I proofread my way to Philip Roth’s heart,” “Between You & Me on ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

run out on someone (meaning be used up)

The intransitive multi-word verb run out meaning be used up is well known. The transitive multi-word verb run out on meaning {OALD}: run out on somebody (informal) to leave somebody that ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Is Alliteration Orthographic or Sonic?

Is this alliteration: Chocolate-colored Chows chew caffeinated Chow chow, chasing crabby calico cats Cherry cobbler clings close chastely, catapulting Cincinnati Centerfielders crosswise ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Why does the word “nugatory” become nugatory?

This is the follow up question of When to use “nugatory”? So if we look at the Ngram of the word nugatory, it is noticeable that the word has been nugatory throughout the time. The trend starts from ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Deadlines as instants or periods with various verbs and tenses

I was wondering whether a deadline is more of an instant or more of a period. It seems to have some of both aspects, but with more of an emphasis on the instant. I thought that this should be ...
-1
votes
1answer
78 views

Word for someone who repeats words

What is a word for someone who uses a word excessively in conversation? For example, using the same swear word in every sentence.
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Use of the prefix Im- [closed]

I have read the rules for using im- versus un- and agree with the general ideas put forth. A word that I used recently, seems to fall into a category all its own. The word is (im)provable, meaning ...
0
votes
2answers
137 views

Is “pride and joy” singular or plural?

Which is correct: Her pride and joy are ... Her pride and joy is ... Or does the use of 'are' or 'is' in this case depend on whether the object of the sentence is singular or plural?
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

“…but that the dread of something after death,the undiscovered country from whose border no traveler returns,puzzles the will…” [closed]

I am having a hard time identifying the particular clause type. What type of clause is the part "from whose...returns"?
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

How to identify an adverbial clause

I find it difficult to identify an adverbial clause in the following sentence: Saturday is the day when I get my hair done. Is the clause "when I get my hair done" adverbial?.
8
votes
1answer
183 views

Source of the phrase “call [somebody] out of name”

I was introduced today to the phrase "Call out of name" as in: She claimed the other girl called her out of name. I had to ask what it meant and the answer was "she called her a bitch". I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
50 views

In “laugh your head off”, Is “laugh” an intransitive verb?

I am a little confused with a transitive and intransitive verb form. Can someone help me with this, please?
1
vote
1answer
129 views

“The young” means young people, but are they “the modern young”

Please answer my following question. I think that "the+'adjective'" means "adjective people". For example, the young means young people. Then, I have a question. Can I use two or more adjectives in ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

forced break usage

Let's say I need to go on a trip, and thus will be skipping some of my gym sessions. Can I say I'm taking a *forced break* from gym or another phrase should be used here?
25
votes
10answers
7k views

What does ‘If she’s a feminist, then I’m a T. Rex’ mean? [duplicate]

There was the following passage in New York Times’ (October 6) article commenting on GOP Presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina under the headline, ‘If she’s a feminist, then I’m a T. Rex’: “Her ...
-2
votes
1answer
117 views

Can you express 'thousands' in number?

Is there any plausible way of expressing a sentence like There are thousands of people in this city Could you express that with numbers? Using the figure 1000 would make it look like "a ...
-1
votes
1answer
61 views

Why we should say North and South City instead of South and North City? [duplicate]

Why we should say North and South City instead of South and North City??
3
votes
2answers
219 views

Is ‘scooplet’ a popular word?

I came across the word, ‘scooplet’ in the statement of New York times’ reporter in its “What we are reading section” (October 24). Carolyn Ryan introduces “Time Machine” written by Kitty Kelley by ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

About “polyptoton”

I am struggling with these phrase and sentences. Please translate in plain English or can you make it easy to understand. 1) Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds. 2) Tut, tut! Grace me ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

“Walk in” or “Walk into”? How to decide whether to use “in” or “into”? [duplicate]

"You can't just walk in/into the class without permission". What is the word to go by in this statement?
0
votes
3answers
257 views

In a story written in past tense, is using present tense grammatically correct in the narration?

For example, just something quickly made up: Sam started to run from the house to the nearby forest. The freezing weather caused him to shiver, but the warmth from running very rapidly heated up ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Would you italicize chapatis?

I guess "chapati" is foreign word and should be italicized in a text. But what about plural? The foreign word is actually chapati, and the plural is made using the English "s" (even if, maybe, chapati ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

the usage of the phrase 'be axed'

According to Dictionary.com, one of the meanings of the word 'ax' is... '(informal) to dismiss, restrict, or destroy brutally' (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ax?s=t) Labor reforms ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Question about “languish.”

I have a few questions about the verb 'to languish.' In the OED, it suggests that this word must be used for a living thing. Couldn't it be used metaphorically for something like an idea or a ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Preposition to use with the phrase “come to an understanding”

So, I'm to translate a sentence to English. It's something like: We've succeeded in coming to an understanding ______ all questions discussed. I suppose that I should use either about or in to ...