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

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4
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2answers
164 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 ...
0
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2answers
59 views

Use of the word 'penultimate'

Can you use the word 'penultimate' to refer to December 30th?
3
votes
1answer
88 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
vote
1answer
132 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
75 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? ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
41 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 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
2answers
83 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
47 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
votes
2answers
507 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
vote
1answer
150 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
votes
2answers
606 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
votes
2answers
64 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
325 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
votes
2answers
282 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
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
143 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 ...
1
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5answers
3k views

Losing bottles and bottling out

ODO's definition for bottle includes the following: 2 [mass noun] British informal the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous: I lost my bottle completely and ran ...
0
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1answer
77 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I use “The screaming abdabs”?

I have recently come across the phrase "the screaming abdabs". It is used in sentences such as "it gave me the screaming abdabs", abdabs being and old-fashioned word meaning 'a case of extreme ...
13
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
547 views

Source of the phrase “call [somebody] out of name”

I was introduced today to the phrase "Call out of name" as in: She claimed the other girl called her out of name. I had to ask what it meant and the answer was "she called her a bitch". I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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
33 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."
-2
votes
1answer
448 views

Does using the phrase “operational state” imply that the referenced “thing” is inanimate?

Can it also be used while referring to animate "things"? OED has the following definition which might indicate that we can use operational for people but there are only metaphoric examples related to ...
9
votes
4answers
965 views

“He's unarguably the best” or “He's arguably the best”

I keep hearing the phrases unarguably the best and arguably the best. Some people say one, some people say the other when they mean he's the best. However which one is actually correct? If he's ...
19
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
89 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
1
vote
3answers
98 views

I'm looking for a word similar to an abstract concept

I'm looking for a word to describe when you are aware that something is real, however because you've never experienced said-thing firsthand, the thought of the thing seems like an abstract concept ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Are 'third person singular pronouns' optional?

I took a English test in a non-English speaking country. There was a problem with a picture. In the picture, a girl whose name is Ann says, My knife doesn't cut well. The question asked: "What ...
1
vote
2answers
564 views

What does “above and beyond” mean and how is it used in a sentence?

What does "above and beyond" mean and how is it used in a sentence? Some sources say it means exceeding expectations, some sources say it means 'in addition to'. Which is it? Is it both?
3
votes
1answer
178 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
1answer
467 views

Use of person years experience or another word for combined experience

I am preparing to write a statement about my previous company's founders experience in my resume and I am having a quandary as to how to write the following: ABC Info has been founded by people ...
1
vote
2answers
51 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
157 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
84 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Correct order of addressing [duplicate]

While writing an email on behalf of 2 other people. Should I write.. Savin, Steve and Myself Or Myself, Savin and Steve.. ? I remember reading somewhere it is always, first person, second and ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

“anybody can dance” or “Everybody can dance”? [duplicate]

"Anybody can dance" or "Everybody can dance", which is correct? Or do they have same meaning?
1
vote
1answer
39 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
113 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
4
votes
1answer
101 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
4answers
6k views

Recordkeeping, record keeping, or record-keeping

In the following sentence, a reviewer claimed that record keeping is a spelling error that should be corrected to recordkeeping. Service providers shall manage information using agreed upon ...
2
votes
5answers
6k views

“Sitting room”, “lounge”, “lounge room”, and “front room”

Each of these terms seem to be used to designate a room, in a private house or in the front of a public facility, where one can sit and relax and talk. But, are there any differences to them -- or do ...
2
votes
2answers
51 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it “to play a game on someone” or “play games with someone”?

I find this expression strange because it's clearly widely used, but seems sort of "unofficial", the "official" version, meaning the one described in dictionaries and grammar books, being playing ...
5
votes
6answers
265 views

Usage:“ I wish…would…”

What does the author mean? The following sentences are from a book: We use "I wish...would..." to say that we want something happen. But we do not use "I wish...would..."to say how we would like ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

When can a celebrity be referred to by their surname only?

Mark Twain's case is straight-forward: it's a pseudonym, pronounced as if it were one word. So is Stendhal, for that matter. However, here's a list of folks who can be referred to by their surnames ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Usage of “pragmatic” vs. “practical”

As adjectives in general usage (not in jargon terminology), are the words pragmatic and practical synonymous? If not, how do their meanings and proper usage differ?