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

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1
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2answers
55 views

What's the meaning of “is there any other way to see it?”

A: Are you saying accepting your help obligates me? B: ls there any other way to see it? A: No. I found this line from the movie, As Good As It Gets, and I'm curious about this phrase ...
9
votes
4answers
366 views

“[a/the] equivalent of” vs. “[a/the] equivalent for” vs. “[a/the] equivalent to”

Which of the following constructs sound more idiomatic to you? Is there any British/American equivalent to the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent for the ...
0
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5answers
66 views

Is it proper to say, “This is my Uncle Archie's current wife.”

He is on his 4th wife. Is it proper to say, "This is my Uncle Archie's current wife."
0
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0answers
37 views

“OF” between the subject and the verb “seem”?

When reading "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," I came across the sentences as following: "'They of seem so helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these.'" What is this "of" ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Digging a grave vs Digging up a grave

Which of these phrases would be the most gramatically correct? Additionally, in the case of "climbing a ladder" and "climbing up a ladder", which makes the most sense? In case this is country ...
0
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0answers
21 views

“Imponderable” definition and usage

If "ponder" means "to consider carefully",did "imponderable" originally mean "not able to be considered"? And how did it seemingly evolve into its usage today meaning "unanswerable" (despite careful ...
0
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3answers
53 views

To feel adjusted (phrase usage)

Is it correct to say (and write), "I feel/don't feel adjusted to a house/country"? For example: I feel adjusted to Las Vegas because it's my hometown. Can someone really be adjusted or feel ...
0
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0answers
19 views

Me developing or my developing- Which is correct? [duplicate]

I would like to know which of the two usages - "me developing" or "my developing" - in the following sentence is correct: This has led to me developing an interest in the subject. This has ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Why do we give “respect” to differentiation variables?

I mean, if you've studied any calculus, you probably know this expression: "a derivative of [function] with respect to [variable]". Why is that word used though? I know it's probably an idiom, but I ...
6
votes
1answer
53 views

Repeated verb in a sentence?

I've seen some usages like this: You've got there some really nice thing, you've got there. He is a big jerk, he is. Or something like that. I don't have an actual example right now, sadly, ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

“The government 'is' always changing 'their' mind” in AmEng

Why would using the construct "is/their" instead of "is/its" in the following examples likely be frowned upon by some native speakers and marked as incorrect on tests? The class is working on its ...
1
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1answer
67 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “prospect for a residential tenant seeking office/retail accommodation plus storage”? [closed]

Based on the following description of a "shop + dwelling" (commercial milkbar with attached residential section) published in a rental advertisement would you say that it implies that the property is: ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

…if somebody would've just did it

(This would never have happened) "...if somebody would've just did it." (Just heard on 'Undercover Boss' (US TV)) I know this is 'wrong'. And I realise that it is 'colloquial' (belonging to common ...
2
votes
9answers
498 views

What's up with the use of the word “black” in reference to skin color? [closed]

I've never liked the word black to describe people with dark skin. Those of us with pigment-enriched skin are certainly not black in color. Why was the term black used to describe people with dark ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

“the hell with” vs “to hell with”

What is the etymology of "the hell with", which on the face of it is a corruption of "to hell with" or possibly a shortening ot "to the hell with". (See below.) In my experience, the former is rather ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Well-posed vs. well posed [duplicate]

I have a question that comes up when writing mathematical problems. Which of the following is correct: The problem is well-posed or The problem is well posed. I am sure the second is ...
0
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0answers
29 views

One two three-wheel vehicle examination. Does it make sense?

I want to compare two three-wheel vehicles. Does the title of my essay "One two three-wheel vehicle examination" make any sense? "One" refers to the examination and "two" to the number of vehicles I ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Are “pay phones” still, if ever, called “pay stations” in the U.S.?

What is pay station in the U.S.? If you look it up, say, on ODO, it is defined as an AmEng equivalent of pay phone. pay station: n. US term for pay phone ODO Now, if you search Google Images ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

What is the difference between “irreligious” and “non-religious”?

Irreligious (Dictionary.com 1st definition) not religious; not practicing a religion and feeling no religious impulses or emotions. Non-religious (Google definition) not relating to or ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Is “overcome with” suitable to describe possible actions?

I stumbled upon a usage of a "overcome with" in a programming article (the first bullet right above the "See also" title) on Wikipedia and I am not sure if it is correct: "They pollute the main ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

School or education in my resume?

I'm filling an employment application, so I want to know what is the most formal way to refer to my education block. Personal information. -Name: -Age: -Address: -Phone: Introduction & Goals. ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

“When once they had done this, …” - what's with “when once”?

From George Orwell's 1984, part 2 chapter 9: For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and ...
8
votes
3answers
600 views

“jam,” “jelly,” and “jello” in AmEng vernacular

What exactly is the fruit preserve called "jam" in the U.S.? Is it what is referred to in France as "confiture"? If so, then what would be the French for, what is called "jelly" in the U.S. ("jam" ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Why we say Happy New Year without an article “a”, but we say “I wish you a Happy New Year” using the article?

I was wondering if there is any rule in English that forbids us to say A Happy New Year when we wish someone Happy New Year? I know that we just say it like that, but I was trying to find the rule ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Different usages of accommodation vs accommodating vs accommodate

I have learned English for years. But I have not been good at distinguishing how different is the use of accommodation, accommodating and accommodate. This is an example. I mean in this question that ...
4
votes
4answers
108 views

“bedrock” vs. “hardpan” for “very basis; foundation”

What's the difference between those terms in regard to their figurative sense? Can they be used just about interchangeably? Consider the following examples: Ownership of land is the bedrock of ...
2
votes
3answers
76 views

“pocketbook” for “wallet” in AmEng vernacular

Is pocketbook a common term for wallet in AmEng vernacular, or is it primarily recognized as another word for "purse/handbag"? If indeed a relatively commonly used word for "wallet/billfold," how do ...
3
votes
2answers
40 views

Synonyms for “untilted”

In a physical/technical context, I (being not a native speaker) am looking for an adjective that describes the absence of tilt and found “untilted”, which seems however not widely used. More ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

“wallet” vs. “[change] purse” in NAmEng and BrEng vernaculars

Is a man's change purse sometimes called wallet by their owner? If so, what would they usually call their actual wallet to distinguish it from their change purse? purse: a small bag, pouch, ...
7
votes
3answers
486 views

“cologne” and “aftershave” for “fragrance for men”

Per Farlex Trivia Dictionary, perfume or parfum is 20–40% oil and the highest concentration; eau de toilette is 10–18% oil, and cologne or eau de cologne is 3–9% oil. Leaving aside the technical ...
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votes
3answers
135 views

What is the correct grammar: “we” or “us”

What is the correct grammar for this sentence fragment: "She needed we the taxpayers to pay...." "She needed us the taxpayers to pay...." because without "the taxpayers", the correct sentence would ...
0
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2answers
43 views

Usage of “See you there”

Is it appropriate to say See you there if I won't be there myself? For example, I say to my colleague: See you at the concert! I won't be at this concert, but I can watch it on TV and so see ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

“woodsy” vs. “woody” for “covered with trees/wooded” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those terms? Context would be a quaint little village nestled into a hillside covered with trees, sort of like this one. WOODY: 4. Abounding in trees; wooded. ...
4
votes
2answers
164 views

Disambiguation of “fluff” vs. chiefly AmEng “lint” vs. chiefly BrEng “bobbles” vs. “pills” for French “peluches”

Robert & Collins French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 gives: lint: (US: fluff) peluches nfpl peluche (=bouloche): bit of fluff; fluff Collins French-English Dictionary Now, these are ...
4
votes
4answers
177 views

Collective “linens” vs. “linen” in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference in using the uncountable noun linen either in the plural or in the singular to refer to articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear? How did originally ...
0
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2answers
59 views

Use of the word 'penultimate'

Can you use the word 'penultimate' to refer to December 30th?
0
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1answer
67 views

Usage of “Ado” Possesively [closed]

Can you use ado in this manner: A person's ado One's ado I've heard it used as "without much ado" but am not sure about the above
5
votes
2answers
244 views

“black ice” vs. “glare ice” vs. “glaze” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those varieties of ice forming on paved surfaces during the cold season? black ice sometimes called clear ice: a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice that forms on ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

“slick” vs. “slippery” for a road, sidewalk, etc. in NAmEng vernacular

What's the difference between these terms? slippery : tending or liable to cause slipping or sliding, as ice, oil, or a wet surface: a slippery road. Random House Kennerman Webster's College ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

Need some help in writing an essay about education as the main goal in life [closed]

Good afternoon everyone! Can you kindly help me with these sentences (I really don't know if natives do write this way about the priority in life (which for me is education). For some people money is ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

'Just now': past, future or both?

I only use it speaking of something that has just been done, i.e. in the very near past. I've finished washing the dishes just now. Can it be used also speaking of something that is about to be ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Definition of 'Gauntlet' [duplicate]

I always thought gauntlet had 2 definitions: the hand piece of a suit of armour, and an obstacle course, like the kind filled with swinging traps and pits. I've looked on the internet for a ...
6
votes
2answers
516 views

Can we say “My brother is my twin”? [closed]

I want to say "My brother and I are twins" in another way. Is it right to say 'My brother is my twin' ?
5
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2answers
611 views

Proper meaning of the slang “Baby”

Let him do it because it's his baby. Don't push this job on me because it's your baby, not mine. This classic show car is his baby. Hey baby, how are you doing today? I understand that the speaker ...
7
votes
3answers
352 views

Authors who “fracture” the language

What's this reportedly AmEng usage of fracture to mean go beyond the limits of (as rules); violate (M-W), as in "This writer fractured the English language with malaprops"? How does this word differ ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Foods that “insult” the body

How common is the word insult in the sense "[cause] bodily injury/trauma" in modern day English? Is it chiefly medical speak, or has it spread into general print that even the layperson knows what it ...
7
votes
5answers
302 views

The rain is “lifting”

How can the rain "lift"? I mean, I can pretty well figure out that the fog or mist or smog, etc. "lifts", i.e. disappears or disperses by or as if by rising, but "the rain lifting" sounds like it's ...
4
votes
2answers
64 views

accord / concord usage

What difference of sense would you hear in the following between "accord" and "concord": "…all of whom remain within the enviable sphere of domestic accord/concord." The OED is inconclusive, if not ...
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votes
2answers
331 views

Meaning of the phrase “What in carnation?”

What does the phrase "What in carnation" mean in the following sentence? What in carnation are you saying? Does the speaker mean "What are you saying about?" in the sentence above? I googled ...
5
votes
2answers
80 views

Is “to do well” used more frequently in India?

When I talk to Indians on line, I have the impression that they use the expression (compound verb?) "to do well" a lot. Is it only an impression of mine, or is that expression more frequently used in ...