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

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199 views

Is the practice of calling others by initials acceptable? [closed]

The answers and comments on my question about English alternatives to “Senpai” reminded me of the odd feeling I used to have almost 25 years ago when I observed my client’s staffs were referring to ...
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3answers
1k views

“similarly to” in the sentence beginning

Similarly to the previous version of this product, this version contains the same feature and .... (a long description of the product) Is the usage of "similarly to" in the sentence beginning ...
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2answers
78 views

Another way to say 'also'

I use the word 'also' a lot when writing paragraphs. When I find myself using 'also' twice in the same paragraph, it feels a bit awkward. Is there another word or phrase I should be using?
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1answer
369 views

What is the difference between transplant and transplantation when they are used as noun

transplant is used as verb in a normal sentence. In particulary, transplant is used as noun in some sentence. Is there any reason why we should use 'transplant' as noun form although we have already ...
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1answer
161 views

Is this the correct useage of… including; but not only,

Is this the correct useage of, "every possible accessory and trimming a body could desire to adorn their costumes with, including; but not only, brightly colored ribbons, buttons, needles of brass and ...
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4answers
449 views

Fodder - idiomatic meaning

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/little-sign-progress-obama-putin-speak-231431925--politics.html While U.S. officials denied those accusations, confirmation of Brennan's visit could provide fodder ...
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1answer
74 views

“Appear” instead of “look” in compounds (good appearing, cheesy appearing, etc.)

As far as your English variety goes, is it OK to substitute "appearing" for "looking" in compounds without altering the meaning? ... for a business to want good appearing, well dressed, healthy ...
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1answer
56 views

how can the word forlorn be used [closed]

How can the word forlorn be used in a sentence? i know it is an adjective but i hardly see it being used in a passage and really do not how to use it. How can it be used correctly in a sentence to ...
2
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1answer
76 views

“Languorous” versus “languid”

"Languorous" and "languid" have similar meanings. Are there any subtle differences in usage, due to connotation perhaps, that make one more suitable than the other under certain circumstances?
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3answers
35 views

Out - usage, meaning

Different databases use different naming conventions for variable-length string datatypes. VARCHAR(n) or TEXT(n) are common naming formats for variable-length strings. Figure 3-6 shows ...
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1answer
79 views

Don' t ask a policeman what time it is! [closed]

There are 24 hours in a day, but only the military, police and computer programmers use the 24-hour clock. Source LEO Network. How come that the common practice of using the 12-hour clock is not ...
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2answers
3k views

What does “and the like” mean? [closed]

What does and the like actually mean and how do I use that in a sentence properly?
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2answers
99 views

Usage of *what* for *that* or *than* in BrE

Occasionally, when watching British television or movies, I've come across a construct that isn't used in AmE. Using what as a replacement for that or than as a determiner or comparison. Here is an ...
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4answers
888 views

“there doesn't seem” vs. “there don't seem”

As an example, consider the two sentences: There don't seem to be any doctors here. and There doesn't seem to be any doctors here. To my ear, the first sounds great, and the second is ...
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3answers
43 views

Can we use this expression [closed]

Is this OK to use the below usage. Looking into the photograph the girl said, "It's me before 5 years."
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1answer
127 views

Speak of the Devil [closed]

In native English people say "Speak of the devil and he doth appear" when someone walks in unexpectedly when they are speaking about him oblivion to his appearance in a short while. But the same ...
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3answers
113 views

“To tame” for “to cultivate [vegetables, a land, etc.]” and “to domesticate (or farm) [poultry, fish, etc.]” in AmE

The Harrap's New Shorter French and English dictionary Ed. 1985, defines both verbal and adjectival "tame" as Americanisms for respectively "to cultivate" and "cultivated", as of a plant or a land ...
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1answer
81 views

The meaning of “that” in this case? [closed]

"He was given no direction or no influence, other than that of fair chance." Here, what meaning does that have?
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4answers
818 views

What special implication does ‘totally’ have in “He’s totally going to call you”?

There was the following sentence in an article titled, “Like, Degrading the Language? No Way” in New York Times (April 5), in which the author says Americans are moving backward on language: ...
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3answers
92 views

Outlier - meaning [closed]

People are rarely interested in looking at raw data; instead, people engaging in data analysis will want to manipulate the raw data to better suit their needs. Examples of common data ...
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4answers
119 views

“woman” or “women” as a stand-in for the adjective “female”? [closed]

As in, Emily Dickinson was a great woman poet or Emily Dickinson was a great women poet in order to mean Emily Dickinson was a great female poet Think I may have seen this adjectival ...
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5answers
183 views

Do readers think of the word “ejaculate” beyond its common sexual meaning? [closed]

I am an editor, and a poet whom I work with has included the expression "I ejaculated little prayers" in one of his stanzas, which we all know has the dictionary meaning of "intensely calling out." ...
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2answers
339 views

“Say for someone to do something” in colloquial AE

In colloquial prose, is the idiomatic "say for" an appropriate substitute for "tell" in "tell someone to do something" whatever the context? E.g. Have I ever said for you to pretend to be someone ...
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2answers
57 views

“Flash (one's attention/eyes)” for “focus/direct (one's attention/eyes)”, and “flash one's eyes at” for “stare with lust or passion at”

As far as your English variety goes, is it acceptable in every which register of speech and writing, and rather common usage, to say "flash" for "focus/direct (one's attention/eyes)", but also for ...
3
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1answer
101 views

“Trace” as a synonym for “trail” in AE

As far as AE is concerned, does "trace" mean just about the same as "trail" in "break/blaze a trace", and -- if indeed it does -- can "trace" be used pretty much interchangeably in every which literal ...
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2answers
72 views

“Put over” for “put off” in AE

In AE, can "put over" interchange with "put off" in the sense "postpone" in all contexts, or only in some specific ones? I'm all the more anxious to know the answer as I didn't get any hits searching ...
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1answer
45 views

Better name for filter condition operators?

I’m developing a data filtering system and am a little confused regarding how to name the condition operators for this system. Which of these cases are preferable (or quite applicable) for filter ...
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2answers
416 views

“Baby is creeping” vs. “baby is crawling” in AmE

Years and years ago, I remember reading in a book on AmE usage that the phrasal turn a baby creeps before it walks was to some extent more common to AmE than to BrE, which preferred exclusively the ...
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4answers
159 views

Which is appropriate while addressing in-laws?

Which is appropriate while addressing in-laws? My mother-in-law and father-in-law are visiting us this weekend. Or: My mother and father-in-law are visiting us this weekend.
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1answer
79 views

“The meaning of this word” vs. “The meaning to this word” [closed]

Occasionally I observed that some native speakers will use preferably the construction "the meaning to (a word, phrase, etc.)" whereas others will go for the more common grammatical turn "the meaning ...
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4answers
177 views

Adjectival “Anglican” for “English”, and “Anglicanism” for “Anglomania” in AmE

Harrap's New Shorter French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 [Harrap's Shorter French Dictionary], points up adjectival "Anglican" as an Americanism for "English", and "Anglicanism" as an AmE ...
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1answer
69 views

What is free-form data entry?

If you are creating a column for free-form data entry, such as a notes column to hold data about customer interactions with your company’s customer service department, then varchar will probably be ...
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3answers
74 views

By the close, meaning

The Russian ruble strengthened the most since September 2012, adding 1.6 percent to 35.2230 per dollar by 6 p.m. in Moscow and trimming its quarterly decline to 6.8 percent. The Micex Index ...
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2answers
106 views

get the boot courtesy - idiom, meaning

It seems that William and Susan aren’t getting along very well together, so one of them has got to go. Since William was there first, Susan will get the boot courtesy of the delete statement... ...
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4answers
628 views

Usage of diffuse vs. defuse

I often hear phrases such as "infantry were sent in to diffuse/defuse the situation," and I am never quite sure which people are saying, and which is correct. Both seem to make sense. To me (a ...
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2answers
56 views

doubling as a “door stop”? [closed]

With only a handful of commands, the SQL data statements look deceptively simple. In my opinion, many of the available SQL books help to foster this notion by only skimming the surface of what ...
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2answers
41 views

What is the correct sentence? Please, help! [closed]

may I say: temperature was higher than average from May to October?
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3answers
901 views

Can one use “much” as in the statement “I am looking forward to seeing you much”?

It would seem natural (to me) to say "I am very much looking forward to seeing you." Could you then get rid of the 'very' and put 'much' at the end to get "I am looking forward to seeing you much"? .. ...
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4answers
61 views

Touch an extension - meaning

Joe, the senior developer in a team of six, has a problem with his program. He studies it for hours, with increasing frustration, but cannot figure out the source of the bug. He wouldn’t think ...
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1answer
515 views

“Decide/Intend on [gerund]” vs. “decide/intend to [infinitive]”

In analogy with "plan on [gerund]", do the gerund constructions above have any currency in AE, or are these chiefly dialectal and might sound folksy to most ears? E.g. We decided on taking our ...
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2answers
67 views

Meaning: one Benghazi revelation away from impeachment

Spoiler alert: he's siding with his friend Vladimir Putin and not with President Obama, whom the action star believes is one Benghazi revelation away from impeachment. I can't get the meaning of ...
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4answers
146 views

What adverb, typical of AmE, coincides the most with the BrE sense to “quite” [=to a noticeable or partial extent]?

As long as -- seemingly -- the adverb "quite" in AmE idiomatically carries an emphatic sense to it -- pretty much similar to saying "completely" or "absolutely" as in "That girl looks quite pretty!" ...
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2answers
46 views

Where does “pay through the nose” originate? [closed]

Where does the saying " pay through the nose" originate?
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1answer
43 views

“To take in” and “to catch” in the sense "to attend and visit (or see) [the sights of (a city, etc.)] in AmE

Do these terms share the same degree of informality in the sense "to attend and visit (or see)" as of someone taking in/catching the sights of a place, or taking in/catching a show or a movie? E.g. ...
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2answers
218 views

“Bakeshop” vs. “bake shop” vs. “bakery” vs. “bakery shop” vs. “bakehouse” for a baker's shop, and “bakeries” for “baked goods” in AmE

Are all four terms in current use in AmE today to refer to a bakery's shop where bread and other baked stuff like cakes and pastries are sold? As far as I know, "bakeshop", "bakehouse", and "bakery" ...
3
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1answer
376 views

“Sport”, “sports”, and “sporting” as modifiers

Is there a difference between a "sports jacket", a "sport jacket", and a "sporting jacket"? Or are these merely dialectal differences? For instance, why do various outerwear and sportswear brands ...
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4answers
352 views

“Shag” for “chase and bring back, fetch” in AE

Does "shag" have any currency in modern day AE to mean "chase and bring back, fetch (an escaped animal/prisoner)"? Is its use limited to the pursuit of runaways, or can it be extended to a broader ...
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2answers
287 views

Does the idiom “in lieu of” for “instead of” sound legalese or affected in modern day AmE [closed]

I once came across the idiomatic "in lieu of" in some bilingual dictionary I can't seem to put my hands on anymore, but I remember pretty well the phrase being defined as an Americanism. And so, I ...
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1answer
45 views

“To charge (that…)” for “to claim/to assert” in AmE

While browsing my bilingual dictionary, Ed. 1985, I stumbled upon the verb "to charge" in a meaning defined as an Americanism [3(b) U.S.: to charge that... alléguer que...(to assert that)] without any ...
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2answers
54 views

“Knob” vs. “knoll” in AmE

The Harrap's New Shorter French and English Dictionary Ed. 1985, defines one of the senses of "knob" as an AmE equivalent for "knoll", i.e. a small, rounded hill or eminence; hillock. Sadly enough, ...