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

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1answer
42 views

Digging a grave vs Digging up a grave

Which of these phrases would be the most gramatically correct? Additionally, in the case of "climbing a ladder" and "climbing up a ladder", which makes the most sense? In case this is country ...
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0answers
21 views

“Imponderable” definition and usage

If "ponder" means "to consider carefully",did "imponderable" originally mean "not able to be considered"? And how did it seemingly evolve into its usage today meaning "unanswerable" (despite careful ...
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3answers
54 views

To feel adjusted (phrase usage)

Is it correct to say (and write), "I feel/don't feel adjusted to a house/country"? For example: I feel adjusted to Las Vegas because it's my hometown. Can someone really be adjusted or feel ...
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0answers
19 views

Me developing or my developing- Which is correct? [duplicate]

I would like to know which of the two usages - "me developing" or "my developing" - in the following sentence is correct: This has led to me developing an interest in the subject. This has ...
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0answers
34 views

Why do we give “respect” to differentiation variables?

I mean, if you've studied any calculus, you probably know this expression: "a derivative of [function] with respect to [variable]". Why is that word used though? I know it's probably an idiom, but I ...
6
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1answer
54 views

Repeated verb in a sentence?

I've seen some usages like this: You've got there some really nice thing, you've got there. He is a big jerk, he is. Or something like that. I don't have an actual example right now, sadly, ...
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8answers
519 views

What's up with the use of the word “black” in reference to skin color? [closed]

I've never liked the word black to describe people with dark skin. Those of us with pigment-enriched skin are certainly not black in color. Why was the term black used to describe people with dark ...
4
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4answers
119 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 ...
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2answers
252 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 ...
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1answer
80 views

…if somebody would've just did it

(This would never have happened) "...if somebody would've just did it." (Just heard on 'Undercover Boss' (US TV)) I know this is 'wrong'. And I realise that it is 'colloquial' (belonging to common ...
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0answers
50 views

“the hell with” vs “to hell with”

What is the etymology of "the hell with", which on the face of it is a corruption of "to hell with" or possibly a shortening ot "to the hell with". (See below.) In my experience, the former is rather ...
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1answer
33 views

Well-posed vs. well posed [duplicate]

I have a question that comes up when writing mathematical problems. Which of the following is correct: The problem is well-posed or The problem is well posed. I am sure the second is ...
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0answers
29 views

One two three-wheel vehicle examination. Does it make sense?

I want to compare two three-wheel vehicles. Does the title of my essay "One two three-wheel vehicle examination" make any sense? "One" refers to the examination and "two" to the number of vehicles I ...
3
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1answer
101 views

Are “pay phones” still, if ever, called “pay stations” in the U.S.?

What is pay station in the U.S.? If you look it up, say, on ODO, it is defined as an AmEng equivalent of pay phone. pay station: n. US term for pay phone ODO Now, if you search Google Images ...
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3answers
659 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
27 views

Is “overcome with” suitable to describe possible actions?

I stumbled upon a usage of a "overcome with" in a programming article (the first bullet right above the "See also" title) on Wikipedia and I am not sure if it is correct: "They pollute the main ...
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1answer
30 views

School or education in my resume?

I'm filling an employment application, so I want to know what is the most formal way to refer to my education block. Personal information. -Name: -Age: -Address: -Phone: Introduction & Goals. ...
2
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2answers
123 views

“When once they had done this, …” - what's with “when once”?

From George Orwell's 1984, part 2 chapter 9: For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and ...
2
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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, ...
5
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2answers
40k views

“On a page” or “in a page” for a web 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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1answer
42 views

Different usages of accommodation vs accommodating vs accommodate

I have learned English for years. But I have not been good at distinguishing how different is the use of accommodation, accommodating and accommodate. This is an example. I mean in this question that ...
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1answer
55 views

Why we say Happy New Year without an article “a”, but we say “I wish you a Happy New Year” using the article?

I was wondering if there is any rule in English that forbids us to say A Happy New Year when we wish someone Happy New Year? I know that we just say it like that, but I was trying to find the rule ...
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3answers
502 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 ...
4
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4answers
308 views

Why is it always women and not men in: “Soccer mom,” “Tiger mom,” “Helicopter mom,” “Wal-Mart mom,” and “Security mom”?

In connection with my question about the meaning and currency of “Security mom,” I was drawn to the fact that all the following labels; “Soccer mom,” “Wal-Mart mom,” “Security mom” are combined with ...
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1answer
64 views

long lengths of adjustable shelves

What is the singular of this phrase? long lengths of adjustable shelves Is the singular number of long lengths of adjustable shelves this? an adjustable shelf with long lengths Please ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
7
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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 ...
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2answers
51 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 ...
7
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4answers
307 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 ...
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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
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2answers
111 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. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
59 views

Use of the word 'penultimate'

Can you use the word 'penultimate' to refer to December 30th?
3
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1answer
94 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 ...
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1answer
142 views

Op-Ed or Editorial?

I have a piece that is an opinion written by a columnist. If I only had the designation of an op-ed or of an editorial. What word better describes the piece? An editorial is supposed to be written by ...
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2answers
82 views

'Vote their conscience' or 'Vote with their conscience'

Is the preposition required in this sentence? Representatives should vote their conscience on Monday. OR Representatives should vote with their conscience on Monday. Or are both okay? Is one better? ...
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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 ...
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1answer
43 views

Use of 'such as themselves'?

Would it be correct to use the following sentence? The group make for a handsome lot. And that poise of talk can only be found in the most opulent of beings, such as themselves. I have been ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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 ...
6
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2answers
583 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' ?
1
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1answer
151 views

“Caldoniafied” In General Use in the 1980s?

I am curious about the word "Caldoniafied" meaning, roughly, hard headed, and presumably coming from the song entitled "Caldonia" ("Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes your big head so hard?". )Louis ...
5
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2answers
645 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 ...
4
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2answers
78 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 ...
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2answers
401 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 ...
13
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2answers
293 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 ...
5
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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
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0answers
177 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 ...