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

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2
votes
1answer
66 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," ...
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 ...
51
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, ...
0
votes
2answers
43 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
39 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
51 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
101 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
48 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 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
70 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
68 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
173 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
46 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
132 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
94 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
43 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
364 views

Ambiguous meaning of NAmEng sense of “skill” in Harrap's English-French Dictionary

Harrap's New Shorter English-French/French-English Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, skill n 1. habileté f, adresse f, dextérité f; technical skill, habileté, aptitude f, technique; ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

word for “owners/operators of a pastry shop” and “patissier's wife”

What would native speakers call a couple who runs a pastry shop? In France, the one in the pair that makes the pastries would obviously be called pâtissier if a man, and pâtissière if a woman, but so ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Usage of Beautiful [closed]

I have been taught in English language classes that using "Beautiful" for a girl, represent your rudeness? for example you should not say "what a beautiful girl". Is it correct?
3
votes
2answers
123 views

“[ball]park” in AmEng vernacular

Are the terms ballpark and park specific to baseball in AmEng, or can they also be used for every which athletic stadium in which ball games like soccer or rugby are played? For example, would a ...
1
vote
3answers
117 views

“crash” vs. “wreck” for [road/air] accident in AmEng

What's the difference between those terms in relation to a road or air accident? crash verb (Aeronautics) to cause (an aircraft) to hit land or water violently resulting in severe damage ...
2
votes
3answers
113 views

“road” vs. “pavement” vs. “roadway” for French “chaussée” [road surface] in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference between those terms? Can they be used just about interchangeably? road: a long, narrow stretch with a leveled or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, ...
10
votes
3answers
476 views

Does “They don't have a life” sound correct?

As he and I walked past a group of individuals, my rude friend said, "They don't have a life." I hadn't heard the expression before that. Does it make sense? They were individuals (plural) but he ...
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

Can be no less than or cannot be no less than [closed]

Which is correct, A or B ? A)I can be no less than genuine or B) I cannot be no less than genuine
1
vote
1answer
66 views

“tab” for “hotel bill” in AmEng

In AmEng vernacular, is the word tab specific to restaurant and bar checks, or can it also be used for hotel bills? E.g. Guest: We'll be checking out early tomorrow morning, so if it isn't too ...
1
vote
2answers
61 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
443 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
votes
5answers
69 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
votes
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
43 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
54 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
votes
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
votes
0answers
34 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
54 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
265 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
vote
1answer
69 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
8answers
526 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
52 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
votes
1answer
34 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
votes
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
138 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
30 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
124 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
620 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
55 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 ...