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

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2answers
62 views

Usage of the word: realpolitik

Can the word realpolitik correctly be used to describe how a country deals with the its citizens, or only between countries to describe a form of diplomacy? If not, what word best describes my ...
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1answer
714 views

Meaning and use of “would have to be” in this sentence

I'm a beginner of English and really appreciate that you can help me learn more. I noticed a sentence: I think all the girls in the anime are awesome, but my favorites would have to be Nozomi and ...
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0answers
32 views

How far does 'pair' stretch?

I heard a news report saying (from memory), "Icy conditions contributed to a pair of deaths last evening. In one incident a car slid into Lake Mumble..." This struck a false note for me. These are ...
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2answers
75 views

“concession” in “concession of something due”

I have trouble construing the meaning of this sentence: "claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right" [[from Merriam-Webster Online ...
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1answer
38 views

“With you” vs “For You”

Hi Willis, I have a question for you. Hi Willis, I have a question with you. What is the difference?
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0answers
24 views

Naming a place after a person [closed]

Good morning, I would like to know if there is a protocol for the naming a place after a living person. This is to honor this person for great service to the community. Is there a specific protocol of ...
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3answers
120 views

Difference in usage between “with” and “in” when describing clothing

What is the difference between "in red uniform" and "with red uniform"? When are with and in used when describing someone's clothing?
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3answers
90 views

How to differentiate you are or you were from you're? [closed]

I need clarification on this sentence. I'm asking this to someone (in written): What is the problem you're facing with C++? My question is, How do you get that whether its you are or you were ? ...
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1answer
265 views

Difference between *product*, *material*, and *item*

I am confused regarding the differences between these 3 words. Can you clarify them for me? By searching I learned that A "product" is a manufactured (and often branded) object or commodity. ...
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0answers
51 views

Can we use “therefore” before “before”?

Can I use "therefore" like this in a sentence? "Many Companies have various software systems which need to exchange data between one another despite their using different protocols. Therefore, ...
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3answers
156 views

Proportionate or proportional? [closed]

I'm writing up some maths notes, and I'm unsure about the wording of a sentence. Which should I write? In the degree system of measure, angles are measured proportionate to 360 degrees ... Or ...
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1answer
77 views

Referring to something: choosing between “this + {noun}” versus “such + {noun}” [closed]

Recently, I've had a discussion with someone regarding how to know how to choose among the words "this" and "such" in written text, but could not find any usage style guidelines on this topic. ...
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1answer
186 views

“Your valentine” vs “my valentine”

I am going to send a gift to a far away lady I care a great deal about.I want to write her a card just to tell her I will always be there for her when she needs me, so to speak (not in any sexual ...
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1answer
148 views

How to use “more likely”

Is it only valid to use "more likely" as in "Polar bears are more likely to be found in cold places" or could you also say "Polar bears are more likely found in cold places"? Can you use "more ...
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2answers
153 views

Usage of “indisposed”

I have sometimes heard the word "indisposed" use as synonymous for "unavailable." Especially in the context of leaving a message. For example: "Hello. You have reached X. I am currently ...
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1answer
39 views

In writing dates, when should “last” or “on” be used? [closed]

Please enlighten me about the difference in using "last" and "on" when writing dates. For example, which one would be correct: "I attended the meeting on December 14, 2014." Or, "I attended the ...
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9answers
4k views

Is “layman” an offensive term?

Is it offensive to use the term layman nowadays? Does it insinuate that the people to whom you are referring are uneducated? I am wanting to say This is just one of the ways that CERN's research ...
1
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1answer
60 views

“That” versus “which” [duplicate]

In the following sentence, are the words that and which interchangeable? In general, where to put that and where to put which? The sentence: At the end of this course, students will be able to ...
48
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5answers
4k views

Are there rules to determine whether a musician's title will end with “-er” or “-ist”?

There are drummers, buglers, fifers, whistlers, and fiddlers. Folks who play all the other instruments use the -ist suffix -- pianist, violinist, cellist, tympanist, guitarist, flautist, etc, etc, ad ...
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3answers
923 views

“Short for” vs. “Stands for”

US stands for "the United States". US is short for "the United States". What are the subtle differences between them?
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1answer
244 views

expressions using body parts

'Hands' of a clock, 'Arms' of a chair, 'Nose' of a plane, 'Mouth' of a river. In these expressions human body parts are used.What are such expressions called?
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0answers
230 views

Usage of “regarding” and “about”

I have been corrected by a manager when I used regarding in some of my sentences. Example: Regarding the client visit, we are all set. He said that I should avoid the use of regarding since ...
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0answers
25 views

Is such usage of negation acceptable in everyday conversation? [duplicate]

Let's begin with a sentence such as: We can't do this any more. This is the most standard form and grammatically perfect. But I have also seen or heard many times in some informal occasions ...
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3answers
177 views

Why is it “a President” when it's clear to anybody that it's refering to the present President? [closed]

The New York Times (January 20, 2015) carries an editorial board article under the headline, “At the State of the Union, a President outgunned in Congress is still combative.” It begins with the ...
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0answers
61 views

Use of prepositions with verbs [closed]

Is there a resource, a dictionary perhaps, that gives the appropriate preposition to use with a verb - an alphabetized list of verbs with corresponding prepositions and example sentences?
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9answers
454 views

Using “a tiny” in the same way as “a little”

Saying That made me a little happier is clearly perfectly fine, yet no one would really ever say That made me a tiny happier, even though both "little/tiny bit happier" are fine. Is there ...
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1answer
103 views

Using “word” to mean “okay” [duplicate]

I tutored an American exchange student in Finland last year and occasionally he, on Facebook, would say something like "word thank you" or simply "word" and he said it means "okay". I was curious and ...
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1answer
117 views

Another use of the word “given”? [closed]

This is a video from the content producer "JonTron". I noticed, at around 8:12, he says the following: "You get a barrel, you run with said barrel, you throw barrel at given thing, you run back, you ...
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2answers
187 views

… to feel sick Tuesday afternoon / on Tuesday afternoon / from Tuesday afternoon. Which one is correct?

Are these all correct? He was feeling good on Monday, but he started to feel sick Tuesday afternoon. He was feeling good on Monday, but he started to feel sick on Tuesday afternoon. He was feeling ...
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1answer
111 views

Calculus vs calculation

It is becoming more popular on American talk shows to say "calculus" instead of "calculation." To my mind, calculus is either a branch of Mathematics or a stone like in the gall bladder. Any comments? ...
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1answer
81 views

19th C forms of address

In the early 19th C. when the eldest daughter married, did the second oldest daughter become the "Miss Whatever," or did she continue to be identified as "Miss Whoever Whatever?'
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3answers
49 views

Reporting not-witnessed events

In English, is there a modal, like 'can' or 'would', or a short expression that adds the following meaning to a sentence: "I did not see it with my own eyes but I was told about it"? There is one in ...
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1answer
60 views

Would an “affector” be appropriate for an event driver?

I'm trying to come up with a better word to describe a "driver" or "conditional"; basically, the name of an object or event which is a trigger for something else. Would it be appropriate to say that ...
2
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2answers
100 views

time off of work“ or ”time off work"? [duplicate]

Is it "time off of work" or "time off work" without 'of'? Ex: I need to take some time off (of) work next month.
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1answer
126 views

Is “two-Perrier” lunch a businessmen’s buzz word?

There was a line, “He was not one for two-Perrier lunch,” in the eulogy for a British politician who made a great contribution to the formation of E.U. system. Also there is the following passage in ...
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3answers
78 views

What is the proper usage of a verb when the subject is singular but its meaning is plural? [duplicate]

I am unsure of this rule, and would like a straight answer or resource; this is not a peeve. This appears today in google trends: A new set of icons suggest that voice-activated sharing to social ...
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1answer
435 views

Does one say “allegory for” or “allegory of”?

How does one correctly use the word "allegory" in a sentence? For example: This story is an allegory [for|of] pride. I have seen examples of both: the long poem is an allegory of love and ...
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1answer
175 views

Aspect (simple, perfect and progressive): What are the differences?

Could you please explain to me the differences between the simple, progressive and perfect aspects. 'Simple aspect' means completed action (action starts and finishes) but I don't really understand ...
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1answer
47 views

Language Evolution

Language changes all the time, most often in usage but also in spelling and grammatical form. At what point does a widespread misspelling or incorrect grammatical usage become acceptable and correct? ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Is “Be More Intentional” Acceptable Usage?

I fear that in the business/marketing world, this horse has left the stable. But is there any consensus on the acceptability of the word "intentional" in such usages as: "We need to be more ...
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0answers
34 views

“In” after “happiest” or “content”

I feel the happiest and most content knowing I can always count on them. OR I feel the happiest and most content in knowing I can always count on them. Is it correct both ways? or does this ...
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1answer
552 views

“in fact” vs “indeed”

This might sound silly, but are "indeed" and "in fact" interchangeable? Here's a case: Q: Is that a nice house? A1: Yes, it's really nice indeed. A2: Yes, in fact it's really nice. It sounds to me ...
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1answer
56 views

What's “hawk dubious” supposed to mean? [closed]

While reading a programming book, I've come across this piece of text: Public message boards like Yahoo! Groups and Usenet have long been victims of postings that are unrelated to the board’s ...
3
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3answers
1k views

What's the official rule regarding use of “welcome” versus “welcomed”?

Which is correct, and why?: Growing my business has been a welcomed challenge. OR Growing my business has been a welcome challenge.
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0answers
28 views

Conditional: More than 1 [duplicate]

The stoplight turns green if there (is/are) more than 1 car(s) waiting I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out the above statement. Which configuration is correct? This is odd, as I'm a native ...
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3answers
118 views

Verb to use with “workload”

Just wondering which verb is the most natural to native speakers to use with 'workload.' Among I wish to receive heavier workload. I wish to take heavier workload. I wish to have heavier ...
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4answers
242 views

I'm tired of writing out the phrase “himself or herself”. What are my options? [duplicate]

Because of English's lack of a gender neutral third person singular possessive pronoun, whenever the need for such a referent presents itself in the course of writing, we seem to be left with ...
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3answers
3k views

Is “despite” outdated?

A friend of mine, a respected linguist, mentioned recently that "despite" (prep) is outdated. Whilst it is true that I hardly ever hear someone using the word in ordinary conversation, I still hear ...
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1answer
70 views

Is it an approval or disapproval?

In following sentence: From the perspective of a ‘cyber warrior’, cyber crime can offer the technical basis and cyber terrorism the social basis with which to execute nationally sanctioned ...
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1answer
88 views

What preposition: “on the mobile” or “in the mobile”?

I read this: The battery's flat on the mobile. I think we should say in the mobile not on the mobile.