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

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2
votes
2answers
690 views

Speed, rate, pace, tempo: what's the difference?

I looked up these three words in Oxford Dictionary and I found that they seem to be interchangeable in some cases. Here's the question: what's the difference between the three words? Rate: [...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a word for “an only child”?

Some languages (Aramaic and Arabic for instance) have a word for someone who's an only child. Does English have a word for it? Perhaps it's obscure or "extinct"? "Sole child" and "sibling-less" are ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “Give a chicken in every pot” mean?

There was the following statement in October 29 New Yorker’s article that came under the title, “Why the G.O.P. Candidates Don’t Do Substance”: Did any of the candidates detail how they would pay ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Correct use of culling

I received an email that included the phrase "culling through posts." I feel like the word "through" doesn't work here. Culling is defined as - "select from a large quantity," which makes me think ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

Usage differences between 'exit' and 'egress'?

Are they perfectly interchangeable? Dictionary definitions seems to agree.
2
votes
2answers
214 views

When, if ever, can I use “balded” in modern English?

"balded", as in the past tense of the verb to bald, is apparently a word. But when, if ever, would I use this? If a person is losing their hair, they are balding. If they have already lost it, they ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

How to use a comma correctly [closed]

Where do I put commas in a sentence like this....? Mom told me to buy butter milk a dozen eggs and six apples at the store.
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Appropriateness of usage of the phrases “and such forth”, and “so hence forth”

I have a colleague who frequently uses the phrases, "and such forth" and "so hence forth" in conversations with clients. I find particularly the use of "and such forth" to be nonsensical and ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

“We have sour 3 proctors.” What exactly does “sour” mean here? [closed]

Someone sent out an e-mail to me and many others asking for help proctoring some exams. This person got all the proctors she needed, and sent out a follow-up e-mail with the title "We have sour 3 ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Cry on chest / in cuddle

I want to describe this picture: The man is crying on the woman's chest. The man is crying in the woman's cuddle. Which one is correct? Thank you.
1
vote
1answer
136 views

How to properly borrow words from other languages? [closed]

For example, if I took the Russian word "Toska" and transposed into an English word "tosk (pronounced as "təʊsk") and created such words and phrases as "toskful", "tosk-stricken", "toskfulness", "to ...
1
vote
0answers
176 views

How to specify we don't know the gender

I was talking about the short story "The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen" by Graham Greene. The narrator is part of the story and also talks about himself/herself. They ask me what we know about the ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

“Inverse” and “Converse” in academic writing [closed]

Do the words "inverse" and the words "converse" have the same meaning in academic writing as they do as logic terms? Or would it cause confusion? If I write, "conversely...", will it mean that ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

What are the differences between “come on down” and “come down”?

"I answered the phone in my apartment and heard the sloping drawl of one of my students , Travis." Miss Diana, " he said, "Could you come on down the stairs a minute?" It was early May on the ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

“I'm cooperating!”

One day, I was chatting with my friend in English. We were talking about something and we both knew that we were joking. The conversation is as follows: My Friend: I am going to watch all episodes of ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Thoughts on today's article on “farther” vs “further”?

See the article for context. Seems like a plausible suggestion to me, but I'm curious what others think. Consider the house, tree, and sunflower in the illustration at the top of this post. The ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Connecting “with” or “to”

I read the answers to similar questions, but I need to be sure. I chose the sentence: "Connecting solutions with people" on my business card and want to be sure it's not suppose to be "Connecting ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views
0
votes
2answers
406 views

“Need be” vs. “Needs to be”

I've written the following in a sentence, but now that I look at it, I'm doubting my grammatical instincts and wanted to get a second opinion. ...the balance need be swayed only slightly... Is ...
-1
votes
2answers
104 views

What's the difference between “I felt ill because I had drunk six cups of coffee.” and “I felt ill because I drank six cups of coffee. ” [closed]

I think both of them are correct. But i suspect there is a difference in meaning. I don't know what.
3
votes
4answers
134 views

Is it possible to use “demotivate” with something not related to studying or job?

The question is in the title. Actually, I need something of a synonym to "disencourage" and "demotivate" was the first word that came to my mind. Also, if it's possible to use "demotivate" with ...
0
votes
3answers
115 views

Is the use of the word “that” in the sentence below correct?

A light fall of ash, that it may destroy one year's crop, often pays the farmer well in future years with the fertility it adds to the soil.
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Is “claimer” primarily a term for a customer notorious for their frivolous complaints?

In Japanese this English loanword is being used in this way, and I am curious as to whether the usage is technically correct. While I realize that in English the definition of "claimer" extends ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Is it possible to “revenge” a situation?

From the usage I am familiar with, it sounds strange to use "revenge" as a verb by itself. I am used to hearing it together with another word, such as "get revenge" or "take revenge". My dictionary ...
0
votes
0answers
65 views

Mark Twain and the tenses

Maybe I'm being too pedantic for my own good, but here's the thing. There is in Mark Twain's short story titled Journalism in Tennessee a passage in which, if you take a good close look, the simple ...
2
votes
1answer
546 views

Can a person be “overly literal”

It's common to say someone is being overly literal if their interpretation of a phrase is too strictly literal either intentionally (nitpickers) or unintentionally (people learning another language). ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

Further explanation of “among others”

I know that "among others" is used when we mention one or more than one person. But still, I am a little confused. For example: "Among others, Adam and Smith supported me at the meeting." (I am ...
0
votes
2answers
230 views

In the sentence below, is the verb 'render' used correctly?

Consider the sentence: What matters is to render the idea from the field of theory into practice. Could the verb render be replaced by the verb translate without changing the meaning? Which is ...
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
4answers
150 views

Usage of the word “submittal”

It it appropriate to use the word submittal as follows? The report is ready for submittal. Or, is it better to just say: The report is ready to be submitted.
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Can “the day after tomorrow” be used as an adverb?

I've come across this expression while having a conversation over the phone with a native English speaking friend. However, I am not sure if he said "at the day after tomorrow" or "the day after ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

How wide is singular “they” being used? [duplicate]

One might want to use a generic pronoun, that doesn't specify the gender of the person. Although "he" can be used in such case, they decide that "he" still reflect the history time when male was ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Can the word, “OK’er,” be used in other area than copy editing?

I recently heard the word,’OK’er” in the New Yorker’s Live video, in which Mary Norris, New Yorker’s copy editor and author of "How I proofread my way to Philip Roth’s heart,” “Between You & Me on ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

run out on someone (meaning be used up)

The intransitive multi-word verb run out meaning be used up is well known. The transitive multi-word verb run out on meaning {OALD}: run out on somebody (informal) to leave somebody that ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Is Alliteration Orthographic or Sonic?

Is this alliteration: Chocolate-colored Chows chew caffeinated Chow chow, chasing crabby calico cats Cherry cobbler clings close chastely, catapulting Cincinnati Centerfielders crosswise ("...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

Why does the word “nugatory” become nugatory?

This is the follow up question of When to use “nugatory”? So if we look at the Ngram of the word nugatory, it is noticeable that the word has been nugatory throughout the time. The trend starts from ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Deadlines as instants or periods with various verbs and tenses

I was wondering whether a deadline is more of an instant or more of a period. It seems to have some of both aspects, but with more of an emphasis on the instant. I thought that this should be ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Use of the prefix Im- [closed]

I have read the rules for using im- versus un- and agree with the general ideas put forth. A word that I used recently, seems to fall into a category all its own. The word is (im)provable, meaning ...
0
votes
2answers
270 views

Is “pride and joy” singular or plural?

Which is correct: Her pride and joy are ... Her pride and joy is ... Or does the use of 'are' or 'is' in this case depend on whether the object of the sentence is singular or plural?
-1
votes
1answer
63 views

“…but that the dread of something after death,the undiscovered country from whose border no traveler returns,puzzles the will…” [closed]

I am having a hard time identifying the particular clause type. What type of clause is the part "from whose...returns"?
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

How to identify an adverbial clause

I find it difficult to identify an adverbial clause in the following sentence: Saturday is the day when I get my hair done. Is the clause "when I get my hair done" adverbial?.
8
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

In “laugh your head off”, Is “laugh” an intransitive verb?

I am a little confused with a transitive and intransitive verb form. Can someone help me with this, please?
1
vote
1answer
231 views

“The young” means young people, but are they “the modern young”

Please answer my following question. I think that "the+'adjective'" means "adjective people". For example, the young means young people. Then, I have a question. Can I use two or more adjectives in ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

forced break usage

Let's say I need to go on a trip, and thus will be skipping some of my gym sessions. Can I say I'm taking a *forced break* from gym or another phrase should be used here?
25
votes
10answers
7k views

What does ‘If she’s a feminist, then I’m a T. Rex’ mean? [duplicate]

There was the following passage in New York Times’ (October 6) article commenting on GOP Presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina under the headline, ‘If she’s a feminist, then I’m a T. Rex’: “Her ...
-2
votes
1answer
304 views

Can you express 'thousands' in number?

Is there any plausible way of expressing a sentence like There are thousands of people in this city Could you express that with numbers? Using the figure 1000 would make it look like "a ...
-1
votes
1answer
74 views

Why we should say North and South City instead of South and North City? [duplicate]

Why we should say North and South City instead of South and North City??
3
votes
2answers
257 views

Is ‘scooplet’ a popular word?

I came across the word, ‘scooplet’ in the statement of New York times’ reporter in its “What we are reading section” (October 24). Carolyn Ryan introduces “Time Machine” written by Kitty Kelley by ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

About “polyptoton”

I am struggling with these phrase and sentences. Please translate in plain English or can you make it easy to understand. 1) Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds. 2) Tut, tut! Grace me ...