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

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11
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12answers
2k views

Neutral alternative to “deny” to mean “assert the untruth [of a claim]”

The term "deny" means to reject the truth of some claim. However, it often seems to imply the claim is in fact true, denial notwithstanding. Smith continued to deny that he had shot Jones. I ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

The etymology of “redhead” vs. “ginger haired”

All my life I have known people with reddish, orangey hair, to be termed ginger haired. Just as you don't call a blonde a 'yellow head' red head just wasn't a word that was said (wouldn't orange head ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

What is the definition of definition?

Does a definition need to provide a unique or near-unique description or can non-unique descriptions also be categorized as definitions? For example: Is the statement "An apple is a fruit" a ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

the usage of “insalubrious”

Does it make sense to say an insalubrious relationship between two countries? If not, what would be a better replacement? hey this is my first post on this website.. I'm a non-native english ...
1
vote
5answers
360 views

Is there any reason for saying “he is good-looking”, instead of “he is well-looking”?

A person who has............is said to be.............. "good manners".........."well-mannered" "good behaviour"........"well-behaved" "good intentions"........"well-intentioned" "a good ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Adjective form of “degrade”?

For example, I want to say: This book degrades Western culture. In this form: This book has been described as ??? to Western culture. What would the adjective form be? Is "degradeful" a ...
-1
votes
1answer
78 views

Why We Need To Know About Hyperboles [closed]

So I realize that hyperboles exist, but in school we're taught about them as if they are truly important to what we are going to be doing in life. I realize their usefulness, but why do we need to ...
1
vote
3answers
649 views

“fought in the World War II” versus “fought in the second World War” [closed]

Why is fought in the second World War or fought in the Vietnam War correct but fought in the World War II is not?
20
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “bupke” mean?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker's (August 27) article titled, “A scandal at the C.I.A. May be.” : In January I (David Shafer, novelist) filed a Freedom of Information Act request ...
2
votes
3answers
240 views

Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?

At the end of a sentence, I want to insert the following (parentheses included): (proxy my parents, of course). E.g., I sent my brother to his room (proxy my parents, of course). But this ...
1
vote
2answers
371 views

Can I use the word “promise” with gerund?

Is it possible to use gerund after the verb "promise"? For example, in the sentence "He promised cleaning the window. I'd prefer to say: He promised to clean the window. But today I was told that this ...
4
votes
2answers
235 views

“Please, cut the apple in halves.” or “Please, cut it in half.”?

I've heard native speakers use "half" but never "halves" in such sentences. If we cut an apple into two identical pieces, we get two halves. It shouldn't, therefore, sound wrong if one used ...
1
vote
2answers
251 views

“Dish of the day“ vs “today's special”

Many restaurants offer a menu which doesn't change from day to day, and in addition offer one choice which varies from day to day, perhaps depending on which ingredients are available. This choice can ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Usage of the phrase 'reviewing over'

I've come across the phrase 'reviewing over' and at first I disregarded it as a hold over from grammar in a foreign language but now I've seen a native English speaker use the same phrase. For ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Usage of “coruscating”

Can coruscating be used as a one word adjective to describe "interesting and exciting"? Basically the usage is "his interesting and exciting research work" which will end up as "his coruscating ...
1
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3answers
194 views

When should we expect an answer

What is the proper way to ask this question? When should we expect an answer or When can we expect an answer
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Is the describer needed in 'not…but…" type constructions?

Consider these two sentences: "His actions reveal him to be a husband who is not jealous but is zealous." "Those words demonstrate not his jealousness but his zealousness." Are the words ...
54
votes
8answers
5k views

“My personal opinion is…” Is it always pointless to use the words “personal” and “personally”?

Is this kind of redundancy acceptable in both speech and writing, formal and informal ? Would the following sentences have their meaning changed if we omitted "personal" or "personally" ? Would they ...
0
votes
3answers
984 views

Confused on how to use “instead” in the middle of a sentence

I am dumbfounded on why the man does not spring for Walton’s help, instead, he makes sure the vessel is headed North. I'm confused on how to use "instead" in the middle of my sentence. Is that ...
0
votes
3answers
417 views

How come “wise man” and “wise guy” have opposite connotations?

wise man: a sage a wise and trusted guide and advisor wise guy: a smart aleck a person who is given to making conceited, sardonic, or insolent comments ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

British usage: add verb forms of “do” after a conditional

Is it standard British usage to add forms of the verb "Do" after a conditional like "Would"? e.g., If I could, I would do"?
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Sudden popularity of: obfuscate, why? [closed]

I hope there is a real reason for this and that my question won't be seen as 'primarily opinion based'. What's the deal with the sudden popularity of the word 'obfuscate' and it's variants? Ngram ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

“Rather !” as a reply: old-fashioned? Colloquial? Unusual?

Is "Rather" as a reply (BrE), with heavy stress on the second syllable, old-fashioned ? Colloquial ? Unusual ? e.g. "Did you enjoy yourself?" "Rather!" Can "pretty much so!" be its AmE ...
1
vote
1answer
236 views

Can all verbs ending in “-ise” be written with the suffix “ize”? [closed]

Are there any "-ise" (or "-yse") words which cannot be (or are never) written using "-ize"? I searched for prior questions, and came across: Correct use of "ise" vs "ize" at the ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Why are names considered proper nouns?

Names are supposed to be proper nouns because they refer to a unique entity, right? But what about when the condition of specificity is not applicable? Take the word "Albert". It's supposed to be a ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

He didn't so much as thank me OR to thank me?

I have heard both ways 'He didn't so much as thank me' and 'He didn't so much as to thank me'. Which is correct and is the other wrong or can it be used colloquially? Thank you.
4
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7answers
1k views

Is it redundant to say that something is “clearly evident”?

Here's a sentence: "The volume of resources invested is clearly evident." Is this redundant?
0
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0answers
29 views

Usage or abusage? [duplicate]

English is not my first language. I live, and work, among people who do not have English as their first language. I notice many instances where grammar has been abused. Sometimes, I am not sure ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Legitimacy of the usage of “homeworks” [duplicate]

Teachers and students sometimes refer to homework assignments as "homeworks". Is that an acceptable usage?
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Can we use “bad” as an adverb in writing and formal speech? [duplicate]

Should a lecturer say "He felt bad" or "He felt badly"? "His tooth ached so bad he couldn't sleep" or "His tooth ached so badly he couldn't sleep"? Are both forms acceptable in formal ...
1
vote
6answers
142 views

Proper usage of “trying”

Let's say there is an atmospheric condition where the water in a bucket partially freezes then reverts back to a completely liquid state and vacillates back and forth but never actually freezes. Is ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Usage of I or me [duplicate]

The use of me and I what it the secret to this struggle. When is it appropriate to use me and when to use I?
2
votes
1answer
122 views

“exact soluble model” or “exact solvable model”, “analytic” or “analytical” solutions

In physical science and math, we encounter some models that can be analytically solved. This means that the properties of models are fully understood and determined by the analytical solutions. In ...
1
vote
2answers
211 views

What two words best describe these features?

I am in the middle of developing an app. I'm having some trouble trying to decide the best usage for two features in particular. I know what both of these words mean, but I am becoming increasingly ...
-1
votes
4answers
150 views

Does the verb “trounce” have dual meanings of active and passive voice in its gerund form,”trouncing”?

There was the following sentence in Time magazine (June 28) article titled, “Reform in Japan – The third arrow” analyzing Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s so called, Abenomix policies to ...
3
votes
2answers
707 views

When did “by way of” start meaning “originally from”

Some years ago, after returning to New York from some years living abroad, I began to notice New Yorkers of a certain generation (in their 20s and early 30s) describing themselves or others as "from ...
6
votes
4answers
889 views

How often is “more often than not”?

A person, supposedly a native speaker of English, assured me that I would say "often" means roughly 50-60% of the time, whereas "more often than not" means 75-95% of the time, and is closer in ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Using future simple tense in a thesis

Being a non-native speaker, I have of course a bit of a problem with writing my thesis in English. In the thesis, I propose a software solution and I describe it. What I am not sure is: should I use ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Usage of “Only when X will Y and then only when Z” [closed]

This sentence: Only when input goes to logic 1 (s) will the FSM move from state s0 to s1, and then only when a clock pulse arrives. I have read in a book related to digital logic. I know the ...
-1
votes
2answers
83 views

Is 'Loneliness is profound on weekends' correct? [closed]

Profound being an adjective, is its usage in the sentence below correct? Loneliness is profound on weekends.
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Which should I use? That or which? [duplicate]

I am confused on the usage of "that" and "which". Would using "that" on both clauses of the following sentence be correct? Which ones should I use instead if it's not? "Why did you eat the pie that ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

What principle guides word combinations with “almost”?

I am trying to explain to non-native speakers how to use "almost." I can't formulate (a) rule(s) to follow with regard to nouns/pronouns. So far, my only ideas are that almost can be collocated only ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

usage of “constitute” and “thankful”

A senior researcher has single-handed[ly] constituted one of the most comprehensive collections of field recordings. I have three questions, two pertaining to usage and one to grammar:  1. ...
6
votes
2answers
492 views

What Defines a Utah Accent?

I have heard a number of people refer to the "Utah accent." What is it that distinguishes a Utah accent from others? I have noticed that, in some cases, people from Utah omit the 't' from words such ...
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

what does “early next week” means when said on Sunday?

I just received an email from my boss on Sunday afternoon saying that "please submit your work early next week". Does this mean the Monday or Tuesday of the coming week or the Monday or Tuesday of the ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Can the verb 'judge' collocate with 'of'? [closed]

I saw this sentence in an essay: Children’s cognitive development is on the preoperational stage, so they cannot consider as logical and judge of dangerous events. I would say "judge sth" or ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Is “two-thirds” or “two thirds” correct? [duplicate]

I just recently answered a question related to how much water was filled in a glass. I answered "two thirds" but the answer was wrong because in the key answer book it was "two-thirds". Please tell me ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

Dependent clause after pronoun

This question arose from why sentence #1 is correct and why sentence #2 is incorrect - I pity those who lost their money in gambling. I pity them who lost their money in gambling. I have ...
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

Is “help out” an inappropriate phrase? [closed]

I have seen statements like: She helped out her grandmother. OR The boy was helping out in the laundry. But, does it make any sense to have the “out” there? Is it even incorrect, in spite ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

More Than One “from” in a Single Phrase

I apologize if this has already been raised elsewhere. I was unable to find an answer to the question of when, if ever, it is acceptable form to include multiple uses of the word "from" in a single ...