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

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4
votes
4answers
120 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
84 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
72 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
506 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
153 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
votes
2answers
52 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
113 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
169 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
195 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
votes
2answers
60 views

Use of the word 'penultimate'

Can you use the word 'penultimate' to refer to December 30th?
0
votes
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
253 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
96 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
72 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
50 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
84 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
586 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
votes
2answers
648 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
354 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
4answers
308 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
79 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
408 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
178 views

“Para” and “Paras” vs “Paragraph” and “Paragraphs”

I find people using "para" for "paragraph" and "paras" for "paragraphs", even in formal English. See the example sentence: In para 2 of the plaint, the plaintiff has stated that he is entitled ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

“Connected by” vs “Connected with” vs “Connected to”

I want to know the difference and when to use which construction. For instance: The island and the city are connected with a bridge or The island and the city are connected by a bridge ? ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

What does the phrase “has been” mean? [closed]

Although he used to be a box office attraction, he's a has been now. Does the has been mean "over" or something else in the sentence above? Ex : I went to the party at 9pm, but the party was ...
13
votes
2answers
276 views

Much and many: the opposite of less - fewer debate?

This morning, I corrected my little son on his use of much. I don't have much Star Wars guys. He seems to use this word quite frequently in place of many, although he doesn't often use many in ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Is the phrase “endemic to the problem” correct?

I heard the phrase "endemic to the problem" used in Marvel's Daredevil as follows: A: [I could] have a little shop of my own. B: You got your own office. A: We have office space. An actual office ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Can “as” be used instead of “as to”? [closed]

"Hurley and Chen are being careful and testing the waters 'as to' which ads will work, and where."
3
votes
2answers
50 views

Usage of “please + imperative” and politness

I'm wondering about the rudeness of the imperative mood, particularly in a professional context. I recently wrote these 2 sentences: "Please consider doing 2 tickets when you have 2 different ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Use of “do we” in the sentence “Only after 10pm do we actually sort out the mess.”

Consider the use of the words "do we" in this sentence: Only after 10pm do we actually sort out the mess. Can someone give me the technical name for this usage of "do we"? Is it called ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it “chalk it up to” or “chock it up to”?

Grammarist & Our beloved StackExchange both say that the phrase "Chalk it up to" dates back to, among other things, debts being tallied on a chalkboard. However, when I hear the phrase "chock it ...
13
votes
2answers
295 views

Indian English: What usage is allowed for “doubt” (meaning “question”)?

I have a doubt about having a doubt. I learned from this question that in Indian English the word doubt is used to mean question, that is, as a countable noun. If my understanding is correct, the ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Correct usage of “since” [duplicate]

Is this statement: the letters have been troubling me since over a year grammatically correct? Or should I instead use: ...for over a year
3
votes
1answer
238 views

'I think' and 'I would think' difference

What is the difference between the two, are they intеrchangable? I heard this dialogue in a movie: Someone spilled coke on the transmitter It was beer. I would think. Could he just ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

How do you use the expression “among others”?

I know that you can say the following: "Einstein, among others, thought the sun revolves around the earth". Can you say, "Einstein went to school with Dirac and Heisenberg, among others ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

I believe Usage [closed]

How strong is the word "I believe"? Since we have different constructions on how we define such statement, I'll give this as an example, If someone says: "I believe killing anybody is a sin" Would ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Split horizontally or vertically – which one is which?

Given some object, you can split it with a horizontal cut into two objects that are laid out vertically (above each other), or you can split it with a vertical cut into two objects that are laid out ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

In this sentence, is it her or herself?

I realize that this second sentence is a fragment. (It is in a piece of fiction.) Still, I would appreciate it if someone can verify for me that I am using "herself" correctly here. Thank you, kindly! ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Should there be a line space after Thank you/Regards [closed]

Is the following correct ? Thank you, Joe OR is it correct with a line space- Thank you, Joe
7
votes
3answers
670 views

I haven't seen her “for”/“in” two days

What's the difference between using either for or in in the following examples? Bill hasn't taken a vacation for/in two years. Jack hasn't been to school for/in four days. I hadn't seen ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

The use of @ in a business email?

My business emails of late have all contained '@Carol' when I am referred to in a string of emails/topic. What does this mean and how am I to refer to this in future? Carol
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Arab, Arabian, Arabic usage

Am I correct in stating that "Arabic" is a language; An "Arab" is a person of "Arab" dissent; and "Arabian" is a culture & history; but more contemporary usage of "Arab" can be more collective, ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

“I am only me” vs. “I am only I”

Is it more correct to say "I am only me" or "I am only I?" I know that the subject should follow a linking verb like "am" or "is", e.g.: "It is I", but "It is me" is also correct by common educated ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Usage of “so” in a sentence that follows as a conclusion of the previous sentence(s)

I have seen people using "So" (followed by a comma) in the beginning of a sentence written as a conclusion of what is written in the previous sentence(s). For example: "I was sick yesterday. So, I ...
8
votes
3answers
910 views

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside 'be one’s “friend”'?

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside be one’s “friend”? I was drawn to the phrase, “My short game’s always been my buddy” appearing in the following quote of Tiger Woods in the Time magazine’s ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What about 'short detail?'

If you want to give various bits of information (say variables like age, nationality, occupation, and so forth), would it be correct to use the phrase 'in short detail?' This is the sentence I have ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

Should “riffraff”, when used as a subject, be treated as a singular or a plural noun?

riffraff (noun) people who are not respectable : people who have very low social status. Merriam-Webster doesn't say anything about number. The Free Dictionary says it can sometimes ...