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

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46 views

Use of 'not' with 'currently'

Being a non-native English speaker (and not good at English too), I am bit confused about the use of not with currently. For Example: In my Visual Studio tool, I got a message - This key ...
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1answer
64 views

What does “pay the graces” mean? [closed]

Have the Three Graces actually been paid? Is that the origin? I found it in the lyrics for a song, where it doesn't seem to make sense at all: I had an impulse to clear it all away oh I used the ...
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2answers
87 views

“Me too invited” Is this correct? [closed]

A friend of mine recently got invited to a speech given by Barack Obama on his trip to Brussels. She wrote "Me too invited" on her Facebook profile. I told her it sounded pidgin. She didn't seem to ...
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2answers
89 views

Is there a word for the second part of a story title after a main character?

I commonly see the format: Main Character(s) and some other important idea Story titles: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day The ...
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0answers
31 views

Good morning vs. Good night [duplicate]

I find that good morning is used both at the beginning of conversations (as in, "Good morning! How are you today?") and as a means of saying farewell. The same is true for good evening. In contrast, ...
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1answer
51 views

Use of “nay” - still current?

I get the sense that the interjection nay is seen as outdated and used only for humorous effect. Is this assumption true, or is it still acceptable in serious writing?
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4answers
400 views

“Battled-hardened,” Is this one of New Yorker's renowned idiosyncrasies?

There was a really entertaining short story describing customary exchanges of fierce words between a restaurant patron and waitress in New Yorker magazine (June 14.) under the title, “Lunch at ...
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1answer
39 views

Is it possible to use “have” in this case?

I know it is acceptable to use the verb get when saying you are trying to get yourself to do something or you are trying to make yourself do something Examples: After much hesitation I finally got ...
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3answers
205 views

Is “wanna” more common with non-native speakers?

Is the word "wanna" (as opposed to "want to") more common in the writing of non-native speakers than in the writing of native speakers of English? Is this effect more pronounced when you exclude ...
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2answers
69 views

What is the difference?

Hello I was wondering what the difference was between these: I was having the man leave. I was having the man leaving. I had the man leaving. I had the man leave. are some of these ...
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2answers
50 views

Usage of the word “coordinated” in a professional report

Which is a more apt way of using the word coordinated in the given context: I thank Mr. XYZ, who coordinated with me on the project. OR I thank Mr. XYZ, with whom I coordinated on the project. ...
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2answers
327 views

What does “as” represent for in “Cantor quits as Majority leader” and “Cantor to resign as Majority leader”?

Today’s New York Times reported Eric Canter’s defeat in Primary election in Virginia under the headline: “Eric Cantor to step down as House Majority leader” followed by the text copy: “Representative ...
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7answers
577 views

Why doesn't English have a separate word for “head hair”? (head hair vs. body hair)

The answer can be "Because it doesn't!" or "It wasn't needed!" in short but there might be a historical or linguistic explanation behind this. (Of course, every language might be lacking a word that ...
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1answer
45 views

The usage of … number(s) of [closed]

Here we wish to make sure the usage of ... number(s) of ..., which one below is correct? An even number of people An even number of cards Even numbers of people Even numbers of cards An odd ...
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2answers
51 views

captilization of words with abbreviation

I always used to capitalize first letter of words that have abbreviation. For example, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). I do this more often when i mention the ...
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2answers
42 views

Usage of the term 'non-reproducibility'

Studies on genetic factors of schizophrenia are characterized by high heterogeneity and non-reproducibility. Is the usage of term 'non-reproducibility' appropriate in the above sentence? Is ...
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2answers
66 views

Why do we use the gerund of begin but not end when discussing a range?

In colloquial speech, one often hears the use of the beginning and the end to denote a range, but you rarely hear them paired in the same form or or the opposite pairing: ie begin and ending, begin ...
4
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1answer
240 views

Is wrong to say “two and two are not five”…? [duplicate]

Since the childhood days we have been memorizing the tables of numbers saying : two ones are two (2 x 1 = 2) two twos are four (2 x 2 = 4) two threes are six (2 x 3 = 6).... However recently I ...
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1answer
250 views

Are “was/were able to” and “could” interchangeable?

In a grammar book, the claim was made that in the following sentences one cannot substitute "was/were able to" with "could." The fire spread through the building very quickly, but everyone was ...
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1answer
38 views

I am going to spray water on you

I am looking for a sentence to say when you are in a situation where you want to put some drops of water from your wet hands onto someone else's body, by flickering your fingers. What would be an ...
3
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1answer
97 views

Usage of “What does who want?”

I have stumbled upon the phrase "What does who want?" which puzzles me. Its unusualness makes me doubt. I have been told it is used just as "What does he want?", with [who] replacing [he] when we ...
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2answers
107 views

What does “rooster tail”(ing) mean?

"The Winnebago galumphs across the landscape, scattering cows. It catches a wheel and sprays a rooster tail of red dirt." "catches a wheel"? And "rooster tail"? If "Catches a wheel" means the ...
2
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1answer
185 views

“nervous about” and “nervous of”

While going over the correct prepositions to use with adjectives, I came across a situation I can't define. I'm using a Longman dictionary and a Cambridge grammar, but neither defines the difference ...
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2answers
57 views

The feminine of “He was a leading man of letters”

"William Shakespeare was a leading man of letters". What if we are talking about Florence Margaret Smith. Miss Smith was a leading...... Would you, native speakers, say "woman" ?
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1answer
99 views

“Due to” vs. “owing to” [duplicate]

Is there any difference between due to and owing to? Are there some specific situations when owing to is to be used rather than due to?
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0answers
18 views

How to ask this as question [duplicate]

I am wondering how to turn the following into a question "Narendra Modi is the 18th Prime Minister of India" How to ask this as question, so that answer will be 18th I have tried searching ...
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2answers
583 views

Why “like doing something” or “like to do something” but only “dislike doing something”?

At a further education course for teachers, in Switzerland, (given by two native speakers of English), someone came up with the question of whether you could say "dislike doing something" and "dislike ...
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4answers
155 views

Are terms like “policeman” still gender-exclusive if they refer to one specific man?

I'm reading a news article about a male police officer and the author calls him a "policeman." This word seems unsophisticated to me, but is it still sexist if it refers to a man?
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1answer
61 views

Kvetch - Meaning

I was just reading a book (The Help) and came across a usage of "kvetch" that didn't quite fit with how I thought it was used. A publisher is talking about a person's writing style and comments that ...
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0answers
35 views

Be talking something? [closed]

First of all, I'm not native. I've heard this expression in some movies, I believe, and I'm wondering whether it's correct (or maybe I just thought I heard this and I'm mistaken). Can you say "be ...
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3answers
122 views

What is the usage of “need to want”?

"Indeed, whoever buys this needs to want a tablet and laptop in more or less equal measure." "Needs to want"? Isn't it a kind of unnecessary way around saying: "I think that people buy this if they ...
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5answers
3k views

What does “What are you into?” mean?

I personally don't use this question in spoken language but I usually see it in written language. I also frequently see that when someone asks this question, it elicits in turn the question "What do ...
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2answers
62 views

Does “relatable” (without “to s.t.”) say anything that “understandable” does not say as well or better?

A colleague recently complained to me of the usage of relatable in student writing. It appears to derive from intransitive relate, OED sense 9, attested only from 1947: intr. With to. To ...
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1answer
411 views

Is “keep updated” proper usage of those words?

I'm far from being an English major, but I have a simple question. If someone were to say keep updated in a sentence, is that correct? I know the usage, tense, and other things matter, but is it ...
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3answers
74 views

Regarding 'for' used in the context of time [closed]

Is the following ambiguous? He has not lived in Boston for 2 years. Could it mean: It is not true that he has lived in Boston for two years. He might have been living in Boston for only ...
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2answers
2k views

On a page or In a page

Which is the correct usage: Something on a page OR Something in a page By page, I mean a web page, not a physical book page.
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4answers
1k views

What does “stuff one's nose into another's orifices” mean?

According to Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (May 20) under the headline, “Remember to forget,” the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Google and other search engines can be ...
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1answer
80 views

What does ‘Konrad Lorentz’s observation was “one sentence”’ mean?

New York Times (May 20) introduces a study of Dr. Johanna H. Meijer at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands that proves mice are really enjoying wheel-running in the article titled, ...
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2answers
360 views

Geometric or Geometrical?

I have read the excellent answers to Why is it "geometric" but "theoretical" - my question is specifically about usage. Is there a best practice for deciding between the variants "geometric" and ...
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1answer
116 views

Usage of “and so”

Take this as an example: I've a thought that - the life is worthless. Since the life is worthless, We're worthless. How to express this in a simple statement? Is this correct to say? "Life is ...
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2answers
386 views

What does repetitive “#s” before “pushy, bossy, polarizing women and men” account for?

New York Times (May 17) reported Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times decided to fire its executive editor, Jill Abramson, under the headline, “Times publisher denies gender ...
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1answer
113 views

Disinterested vs. uninterested

I’ve always understood the difference between disinterested and uninterested as follows: uninterested: not interested, not up to it disinterested: impartial Consider the situation of someone ...
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5answers
3k views

Is a snake's venom poisonous?

This is a question more concerning the word 'poisonous' and 'venomous' than poison vs. venom. I'm wondering about the following, specifically the last sentence: Don't eat the plant, it is ...
2
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1answer
101 views

Trans Fat is italicized

Why is trans fat always italicized on food labels, so that it says trans fat? Is it just due to convention, or is there an actual reason (like for emphasis)?
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1answer
45 views

The use of indefinite article with initials [duplicate]

Can you explain why we say AN NHS provision but A National Health provision. Or A UFO but An UNIDENTIFIED Fly Object. Are there any rules regarding the use of A or An when using initials such as ! In ...
0
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2answers
194 views

“Gain in popularity” vs “Gain popularity”?

I've got the following sentence: These issues have allowed for alternatives, such as Spotify and Pandora, to gain in popularity. A friend expressed concern and believes that it would be more ...
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2answers
164 views

“inquisitive” vs. “inquiring” in AmE and BrE

Do these terms share the same level of laudatoriness/pejorativeness in both BrE and AmE? Or, does one typically have a more positive/negative connotation to it than the other from your side of the ...
0
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1answer
228 views

Proactive vs Preemptive [closed]

I need to explain the difference between "proactive" and "preemptive" and come up with a sample of the proper context of each word. Can someone point me to a previous post or give me their thoughts?
2
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3answers
865 views

Is there any difference between “word-for-word translation” and “word-by-word translation” and is the latter actually valid?

First off, some data: According to COCA "word-for-word" has 60 usages, 3 of them are "word-for-word translation". "Word-by-word" has 26 usages, none of them are "word-by-word" (but some with ...
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1answer
58 views

“to” or “of” or both whilst referring to cities and places

I saw these billboards today: Turkey home of Istanbul Turkey home of Nemrut Nemrut is a mountain in Turkey with prehistoric monuments, and I think home of is the new slogan for Turkey. ...