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

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207 views

What does “for our sins” mean in this sentence?

I am struggling to get my head around the following: Hi Andrew, For all our articles we use information from national news organisations (for our sins). Have a look here at the Guardian ...
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1answer
22 views

Ever responsive to [closed]

I came across this sentence: "Ever responsive to the hobbyist market, Texas Instruments is releasing a [product name and description]" Is the first part of the sentence implying that the company ...
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0answers
18 views

About 'is' and 'are' using numbers [duplicate]

What is the correct English; "one and one is two" or "one and one are two"? Likewise for "two and three is five" or "two and three are five"?
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1answer
57 views

What does “ in the event, doomed” mean in this sentence? [closed]

I am struggling to get my head around the following: This is probably the best and certainly the most extraordinary graphic novel I have ever come across. Its subject matter, believe it or not, ...
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1answer
323 views

Trans Fat is italicized

Why is trans fat always italicized on food labels, so that it says trans fat? Is it just due to convention, or is there an actual reason (like for emphasis)?
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3answers
55k views

“The other way around” or “the other way round”

I see both phrases the other way around and the other way round very often. Which is correct? Please provide usage examples.
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3answers
109 views

Does “caffeinated” make any sense?

A while back, when we learnt how to remove the caffeine from coffee beans, we coined the word decaffeinated to denote coffee that's had the caffeine taken out. I've noticed more and more recently, as ...
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3answers
236 views

Origin of “Innocent” to mean “Sexually Inexperienced”

I was thinking about the way "innocent" is often used (in both casual and moderately formal contexts) to mean "sexually inexperienced/oblivious", and came to the conclusion that using the phrase in ...
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7answers
2k views

Kids addressing older people

I'm translating a text I wrote in Portuguese (I'm Brazilian) and I'd like some help. In my story, a boy around 13 years old is at the school and encounters a janitress, a woman in her late forties. ...
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2answers
175 views

“Mobile” vs. “cellphone” in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
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2answers
1k views

Is the phrase “I feel you” too colloquial?

Does the phrase "I feel you" sound too slangy and somewhat horrible to a British person? Is it ok to use it as a synonym of "I understand what you feel/say" in an informal, casual conversation?
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1answer
190 views

'See' and 'Hear' in the progressive?

I'd like you to go into details about the difference between 'see', 'hear' and 'seeing', 'hearing'. I'm not a native speaker, so it's a bit hard to understand this explanation that 'see' and 'hear' ...
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1answer
807 views

Explaining the comparative form of “numb” [closed]

The most common definition I have of numb is: "Deprived of the power of sensation." "Deprived of feeling or responsiveness." These definitions show up in nearly the same form in multiple ...
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1answer
106 views

Titus Andronicus: “-She is delivered, lords, she is delivered. -To whom?”

This is about trying to understand the etymology, meaning and current usage(if any) of a specific form for the word deliver. Is deli'ver, to deliver, delivered There was an old form1 which was ...
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2answers
61 views

“Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner” vs “Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner”

Which one below is correct? Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner OR Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner Is it necessary to affix Mr. & Mrs. in this case? It seems superfluous to add Mrs. because a ...
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5answers
122 views

Why does 'up' have a positive connotation and 'down' have a negative connotation?

The word up usually has a positive connotation - thumbs up, look up, go up in life - whereas down usually has a negative connotation - look down, go down etc. Why is this so and when did such an ...
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3answers
163 views

Is “Click bait” an Internet buzzword? How can I rephrase it?

I found a video showing a fireman who rescued a suffocating kitten from a fire smoke and resuscitated her by oxygen inhalation introduced in the article titled “Why that video went viral” in New York ...
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2answers
77 views

In At vs In From vs Into

For a user interface project, my group is trying to determine the correct phrasing for when an account is being used at multiple computers. There were a few different options being given, but which ...
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3answers
1k views

Sentences start with Of

What is the meaning of of when it starts a sentence? For example, and what is the grammatically correct way to write a sentence starting with of?
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1answer
758 views

“In the immortal words of…”

In standard usage of the phrase "in the immortal words of...", are there any restrictions on the mortality of the speaker? I typically only hear it used for deceased speakers who once walked the ...
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1answer
597 views

Where and how do I use the word “apparently”?

Does this word "apparently" mean that something is obvious or does it refer to something that seems true but actually isn't. Apparent means illusion, right? People use this word quite often and I ...
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1answer
73 views

Usage of the word “Doggedly”

At the end of chapter 16 of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the author states: After that day, a day rarely passed without her drawing the hammer on her slate, and without Orlick's ...
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1answer
206 views

What's the correct usage of the word “Opinion”?

I have been posting on a forum recently, and every time I express my opinion, someone says I'm using the word incorrectly, and I want to confirm this. I said something along the lines of: "In my ...
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4answers
1k views

When is it appropriate to use “scare quotes”?

For example, is putting scare quotes around "scare quotes" appropriate? Wikipedia says the term means usage of quote marks "to indicate that [a word or phrase] does not signify its literal or ...
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0answers
12 views

The etymology of do/does for questions [duplicate]

What is the etymology of the use of do/ does/ did for questions forms as opposed to inverting the subject and verb?
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2answers
45 views

Is this proper usage of the world 'proverbial'

"Daniel spots the contradiction almost immediately, recalling the moment when Sam had befriended Bobby with his story of the proverbial girlfriend he once called Janice—not Maggie." I'm almost ...
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3answers
220 views

Can One Jump To Good Conclusions?

Jump To Conclusions is noted in the free dictionary's entry for jump a few different ways: To form an opinion or judgment hastily: jump to conclusions. to proceed abruptly, ...
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1answer
64 views

Origin of the disapproval associated with “derivative” used as an adjective?

This is the first meaning of the word derivative used as an adjective(Oxford): 1 (Typically of an artist or work of art) imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for ...
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3answers
180 views

past perfect tense and comma usage in Churchill's book

I'm reading a book called "My early life" by Winston Churchill. "I was working in the saloon of the Indiaman, and had reached an exciting point in my story." 1) why did he put comma before "and had ...
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4answers
1k views

What does “stuff one's nose into another's orifices” mean?

According to Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (May 20) under the headline, “Remember to forget,” the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Google and other search engines can be ...
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2answers
4k views

What does “Seeing right through them” exactly mean?

I was drawn to the phrase, “Seeing right through them“appearing in the New York Times (October 5) article written by Daniel Goleman under the title, “Rich people just care less.” It begins with the ...
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1answer
127 views

Use of “although” without a contrasting statement [closed]

In IAS 37 Clause 37 states: Although a constructive obligation is not created solely by a management decision, an obligation may result from other earlier events together with such a decision. ...
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3answers
526 views

How to appropriately use the word “baby” as in the pattern “ ____ baby ___”; for example, “run baby run”?

As a non-native English speaker, I am not sure what is the meaning of this pattern "_ baby _" as in "run baby run"? Another example: "USA continues to "drill baby drill" (referring to oil). What other ...
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2answers
101 views

Inherency as used in policy debate

Policy debate uses the word "inherency" in an unusual way. One side in the debate proposes a plan and part of what they are obliged to show is that the plan will not happen in the status quo. This is ...
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2answers
91 views

“He didn't dare [verb]” vs. “He didn't dare *to* [verb]” [closed]

Which one is correct? If both are correct, is there any difference in the meaning? He didn't dare to contradict his parents. He didn't dare contradict his parents.
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3answers
133 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct? [closed]

1) Suppose there is a very stupid person. Is it correct to tell that he/she is 'literally nuts'? 2) What about using it if the person is mentally ill? This came up in an informal talk with my ...
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2answers
243 views

Why does “a bigger number of” seem wrong?

I noticed when answering this related question that I would never say a bigger number of. I have no issues with 5 is a bigger number than 3 (though I would probably say a larger or greater number ...
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3answers
429 views

Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?

At the end of a sentence, I want to insert the following (parentheses included): (proxy my parents, of course). E.g., I sent my brother to his room (proxy my parents, of course). But this ...
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1answer
138 views

Semi-colon or colon?

I'm writing a descriptive piece, and can't figure out whether this is grammatically correct, or whether I ought to place a semi-colon between "entry" and "crooked": "As I walked in using the cobbled ...
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1answer
480 views

Is it right say Invest on? [closed]

Is it correct idiomatically to say "invest on?" For example, "Invest on Peter " [a person].
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1answer
58 views

(Name of) and (Best Practice Typography for) Unusual Self-Referential Double Usage

One pattern I find interesting is using a word in an explicit double sense, leading to a self-reference kind of pun. For example: As is the case with such things, however, military intelligence ...
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3answers
3k views

Is there any difference between “word-for-word translation” and “word-by-word translation” and is the latter actually valid?

First off, some data: According to COCA word-for-word has 60 usages, 3 of them are "word-for-word translation". Word-by-word has 26 usages, none of them are "word-by-word translation" (but some with ...
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6answers
3k views

When would you say “I seen it.”

I am not looking for explanations of why "I seen it" is wrong (though with sight there's an unfair grammatical burden that doesn't impact the other senses, whose past tense and past participle are the ...
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1answer
111 views

“Confirm you are …” vs. “Confirm that you are …” [duplicate]

In the example from the title, is it mandatory to use "that" in the sentence? The original sentence I picked up was from a checkbox marked "Confirm you are not a spammer" - which I thought should be ...
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1answer
65 views

Convey the idea of partial similarity in a list of things in a sentence/

I have the following sentence: Surveyed meta-heuristics techniques like Tabu Search, Simulated annealing and Constraint Satisfaction Problem(CSP). The problem is CSP is not a meta-heuristic. How ...
0
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2answers
40 views

the X event after next…Th

Is it grammatically correct to say "at the steering committee meeting after next"? The idea is that there are meetings every two weeks, but the intention is for something to be presented not at the ...
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1answer
464 views

Confusion about “very” and “very much”

I have few confusions regarding the usage of very and very much. 1. From OALD I found this usage guide - It states that very can be used with past participles used as adjectives, but not with ...
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1answer
47 views

Usage of the phrasal verb “to wind down”

-Barclays to wind down commodities trading. (from Financial Times, April 21st) -Senate Bill seeks to wind down Fannie Mae in five years.(Bloomberg, March 17th) Is the use of to wind down becoming ...
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2answers
85 views

What's the difference between these two phrases?

What's the difference between these two phrases? their systems’ security posture their systems security posture Is there any difference in the meaning? If not, when we use either of ...
1
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1answer
54 views

Which verb has been modified?

Which verb has been modified by adverb "directly" in the following sentence? "Some governments even offer to help protect their critical infrastructure directly, by deploying sensors in the networks ...