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

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13
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5answers
950 views

“Hello” as a verb

A dictionary says that Hello could be a verb, noun and interjection. I'm not sure I saw it to be a verb though. Q: Could someone provide an example of 'hello' where it's used as verb. In the meaning ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

“Advice I wish I'd had ears to hear” — is this phrase in common use? Origins?

Productivity writer Merlin Mann often uses the phrase "ears to hear" on his podcast. An example from his writing: "a discursive mishmash of advice I wish I'd had the ears to hear in the year or ...
-2
votes
2answers
92 views

Is 'damn you' abusive or offensive? [closed]

I would say in jest to someone, "Damn you!, you always get your way." He insisted that I was being abusive. Since my tone or tenor did not convey it, I put it down to his studying in a Catholic ...
5
votes
2answers
165 views

Is “nowadays” the same as “today”?

When helping an Italian speaker with her written homework, a cover letter, I told her to change the expression nowadays to that of today. Her original sentence was the following: I would be ...
0
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0answers
42 views

“She told I ate an apple” or “She told that i ate an apple” [duplicate]

Should I use That in this case? On my native language (Brazilian Portuguese) the That would be like conjunction Que, I don't know if in english, That are also used like a conjunction. If yes, the ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Correspond to vs. Correspond with

Is there any significant difference between Correspond to and Correspond with? I only mean in the sense of "matching", here, rather than "communication". I've looked at a few sources, but I can't ...
4
votes
2answers
392 views

How did “classic” and “classical” come to mean “historic”?

I assume the words classic and classical have a basis in the word class — which is to say, of a category. Why do we use those words to mean old or historically important?
2
votes
1answer
341 views

Is there a significant difference between “sorry,” “pardon” and “excuse me”? Are they interchangeable?

I was amused with the line, “Stand-alone 'sorry' may have dressed like a gentleman, but his heart was made of India rubber” in the article titled “A poor apology for a word” in December 13 New York ...
1
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3answers
2k views

Why does “Please approve it” sound wrong?

Whenever I read an email like this, the English sounds incorrect to me. "I would like to take tomorrow off. Please approve it." I want to say that "Please approve" is more natural, but why is that?
8
votes
3answers
723 views

Do 'learn by heart' & 'learn by rote' mean the same?

Here in India, both the phrases learning by heart and learning by rote are taken to have the same meaning, i.e., blind memorisation without true understanding. However, some sources say that to ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

perfect infinitives with main verbs

My question is about usage of perfect infinitives with main verbs e.g. I would like to have lived in the 13th century. She was going to have worked in her mother's business, but decided ...
0
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1answer
60 views

How to use WHEN on the following occasion? [duplicate]

When I lived in there, I got to know John When I was living in there, I got to know John. While I was living in there, I got to know John. While I lived in there, I got to know John. I have been ...
3
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3answers
88 views

Is it possible to 'give prosperity'?

Here's the sentence: Who knows how the prosperity you give becomes the prosperity you get Is it possible to 'give prosperity'?
1
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3answers
222 views

Can altering the syntax of a sentence, without in any way changing the diction used in describing the subject itself, change the subject's number?

There have been debates raging both here and on ELL about this, but the question has, to this point, been focused solely on expletive constructions with compound subjects. This is not intended to ask ...
7
votes
3answers
302 views

Gendered terms — particularly female — becoming neutral?

I have been hearing that many gendered terms are simply being absorbed into the masculine equivalent, while many other words are retaining their usage. A few examples are the terms "actress" becoming ...
2
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4answers
4k views

Does “turning down the air conditioning” make it warmer or colder?

As the title says, I've heard two possible meanings for "turning down" the air conditioning: It could mean "set the target temperature lower" (i.e. colder) or "make it work less" (i.e. warmer). ...
0
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3answers
6k views

“kindly requested” vs “requested kindly” & “provide with us” vs “provide us with”

I am a contracts engineer working in the construction industry in the Middle East. A part of my job description is to manage official correspondence with the client. I am not a native English speaker, ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Is “subject to a theft” a thing?

Is it acceptable to say something has been "subject to a theft"? The only use case I can find is in this policy document from Lloyds Bank. Has it been adopted elsewhere?
1
vote
2answers
224 views

Lately, I keep hearing and seeing “embarrassed of…” used instead of “embarrassed by…”

It seems very awkward to me. You never hear "thrilled of you", it's "thrilled by you," so what happened to "embarrassed by you"?
2
votes
6answers
217 views

Is there a way to intensify “blooming” in “The flowers are blooming”?

In some languages, for example, in Korean, it is possible to intensify the act of blooming. For example, using the phrase 핍니다 would imply blooming, for example, simply "The flowers are blooming". ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Nobody must [+ verb]

"Must not" vs. "don't have to" is a famous false friends for many languages. That said, what about a phrase like, say, "nobody must know": Does that mean that a) nobody is allowed to know, or b) that ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

“was able to” vs “could”

According to my grammar book, here are some usages of was able to and could could can be used to refer in general that someone has a skill. e.g. At that time I could still read without spectacles. ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Use the word “higher” or “more” when referring to costs?

Is it proper to say that "the cost of X is more than the cost of Y" or "the cost of X is higher than the cost of Y"? Or are they interchangeable?
1
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1answer
88 views

Equivalence at word level [closed]

Is there a one-to-one relationship between word and meaning?
0
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1answer
232 views

The usage of “but” in non-shift sentence

I have found a sentence: He returned several times to India briefly, but only returned permanently early in 1915. I believe this sentence does not contain any shift. We can say that He returned ...
0
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2answers
51 views

Parentheses surrounding footnote body [closed]

It's unbelievably hard to find relevant information online, as almost every Google search just gives pages of advice and questions regarding citations and referencing styles. If I use a footnote in ...
3
votes
5answers
214 views

Word for inability to think in certain ways

Am looking for a word that loosely means inability to think in certain ways. For example, for lyricists (or writers) lyrics come so naturally, but for non-lyricists it's very difficult to think how ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Professor Bob's lab

I know "Bob's house" and "Bob's" mean the same thing. Question 1: Is there a name for this grammatical phenomenon? Can one call it an abbreviation? Question 2: In the context of within a ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“Normalise” or “normalize” (British English)?

Is normalise perhaps obsolete in British English, and normalize preferred instead? I have done some Googling, it seems British English dictionaries prefer normalize, but I haven't found any ...
0
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1answer
111 views

Meaning of “Smiles Slip”

I don't quite understand something: source Brazil will, in one form or another, be ready for the World Cup. But when it comes to hosting the tournament, those famous Brazilian smiles may ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Is “curate the market” common usage of “curate”?

I found New York Times (November 25) article titled “Helpful definition of modern author” intriguing. It provides humorous definitions of book-related terminologies such as authors, publishers, ...
0
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4answers
140 views

The proper term for a person who uses words incorrectly [duplicate]

What is the proper term for a person who uses words incorrectly, hoping to impress others?
4
votes
3answers
171 views

Meaning of “Discretion”

I saw this dictionary entry, and it says "discretion" could mean approximately either 1) the right to choose what to do or 2) the quality of being careful what you do. The dictionary has these two ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Lose Attendence Numbers

When some sport is "losing attendance numbers", what does "numbers" refer to? I can't find a good definition in dictionaries that would fit this usage.
0
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2answers
132 views

Holding off on it or Holding it off or Holding off of it?

I would like to say that I'm pausing / postponing work on something. I wasn't sure which of the following is the right way to say it: I'm holding off on it for the time being I'm holding off of ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Is the moment come? [duplicate]

"You comfort me so much! I am so ignorant. Am I to kiss you now? Is the moment come?" I came across the sentence above on page 480 of the novel A Tale of Two Cities. I've never seen the usage ...
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votes
2answers
169 views

The type of expression that makes transitive verb to look like an intransitive verb: How common is it? Should I use it in formal writing? [closed]

The sentence structure Subject has got noun to verb. basically places a noun behind a verb with the help of the infinitive marker to, and it makes the transitive verb looks as if it is an ...
0
votes
1answer
233 views

What is the difference between “excuse me” and “forgive me”?

I am hesitated when I use the sentence "forgive my fault, please." instead of "excuse me, please." because the word "forgive" has a religious theme and probably carries some additional meanings. Also ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Difference Between “View” and “Viewpoint”?

Suppose the context is people giving their opinions in a discussion. How are "view" and "viewpoint" different? Some dictionaries seem to say they are the same. What do native speakers think?
1
vote
2answers
9k views

When to use “respectively”? [duplicate]

I have been wondering what it means when people use "respectively" in, before, and after sentences. For example: We are looking for a babysitter to pick up and supervise our kids ages 6 and 3, ...
-1
votes
2answers
169 views

Plural or Singular after “no” [closed]

After searching product on website, should I show one of these? There is no any product or There is no any products ? Some people on Internet said that singular is used after uncountable noun ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

Me and X or X and me? [duplicate]

When should I say, for instance, "Mary and me," and when should I say "Me and Mary?" Example: Which option should I use in the following sentence? After drinking our tea and saying goodbye to ...
-2
votes
1answer
40 views

antiquarian (adjective) misuse re: dictionary definition

multiple choice ... "antiquarian book" refers to: 1. an antique book about anything 2. any age book about old books 3. a book about people who deal in old books 4. a book in the antiquar language or ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Hyphenation rules for product shelf life

Given this sentence: Studies confirm the longest product shelf life of 3 years. How do I make it correct and clear? The product has a set of shelf lives (it is a pharmaceutical product). ...
0
votes
2answers
265 views

“Made in…” vs. “Product of…” [duplicate]

What is the difference between "Made in..." and "Product of..."? Both are often seen on product labeling; my understanding is that "Made in" is not used for agricultural goods while "Product of" is?
2
votes
2answers
224 views

Correct usage of 'but for'?

Does 'but for' mean: 'If we had X (but we didn't), Y would have been the consequence'? Or can it also mean; because we had X, as a result Y happened? Some different examples of but for: (Case 1) ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

What’s the difference between “Go all out” and “Go all in”?

There was the following sentence in August 12 Time magazine article titled “Why Germany save the Euro,” which deals with the Germany’s roles in restoring the momentum of Euro economy: “There are ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Is there a quick and easy way to pronounce “W” letter? [duplicate]

I mean, there is a well known 'substitution' for number "0" with 'ou' sound. Like, '107' in military communications will be pronounced as 'one-ou-seven'. Is there similar kind of substitution for ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

'they are' or 'these are'

Which sentence sounds more natural? These are first and foremost ethical, not medical questions. or They are first and foremost ethical, not medical questions.
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Function of “too” in the phrase “so too” or “so, too,”

I just ran into this sentence in an online article: But as the App Store’s fortunes rose, so too did the iPhone’s, and later the iPad’s. If I were editing that sentence, I would remove the too ...