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

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4
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1answer
136 views

What principle guides word combinations with “almost”?

I am trying to explain to non-native speakers how to use "almost." I can't formulate (a) rule(s) to follow with regard to nouns/pronouns. So far, my only ideas are that almost can be collocated only ...
0
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1answer
166 views

usage of “constitute” and “thankful”

A senior researcher has single-handed[ly] constituted one of the most comprehensive collections of field recordings. I have three questions, two pertaining to usage and one to grammar:  1. ...
6
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2answers
980 views

What Defines a Utah Accent?

I have heard a number of people refer to the "Utah accent." What is it that distinguishes a Utah accent from others? I have noticed that, in some cases, people from Utah omit the 't' from words such ...
-1
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1answer
4k views

what does “early next week” means when said on Sunday?

I just received an email from my boss on Sunday afternoon saying that "please submit your work early next week". Does this mean the Monday or Tuesday of the coming week or the Monday or Tuesday of the ...
0
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2answers
165 views

Can the verb 'judge' collocate with 'of'? [closed]

I saw this sentence in an essay: Children’s cognitive development is on the preoperational stage, so they cannot consider as logical and judge of dangerous events. I would say "judge sth" or ...
0
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1answer
88 views

Is “two-thirds” or “two thirds” correct? [duplicate]

I just recently answered a question related to how much water was filled in a glass. I answered "two thirds" but the answer was wrong because in the key answer book it was "two-thirds". Please tell me ...
2
votes
1answer
248 views

Dependent clause after pronoun

This question arose from why sentence #1 is correct and why sentence #2 is incorrect - I pity those who lost their money in gambling. I pity them who lost their money in gambling. I have ...
0
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1answer
64 views

Is “help out” an inappropriate phrase? [closed]

I have seen statements like: She helped out her grandmother. OR The boy was helping out in the laundry. But, does it make any sense to have the “out” there? Is it even incorrect, in spite ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

More Than One “from” in a Single Phrase

I apologize if this has already been raised elsewhere. I was unable to find an answer to the question of when, if ever, it is acceptable form to include multiple uses of the word "from" in a single ...
0
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2answers
457 views

When did replacing “yes” with “absolutely” come into common usage?

Replacing simple, concise words with longer, more obscure ones has long been a hallmark of bureaucratic reports and student papers. Consider the response "yes" (and its other less formal variants) ...
0
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2answers
258 views

Should we avoid a “double passive”?

Does it sound strange to say "An emergency meeting is expected to be held soon." or "The new highway is proposed to be built across the swamp." Should we avoid this type of construction ?
0
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4answers
236 views

Are “to flee from” and “to run away from” interchangeable?

The verb "to flee" means "to run away" but are they interchangeable in every aspect? I'm kind of confused which one to use. It seems to me that the use of the verb flee could be more elaborate when ...
1
vote
1answer
345 views

Antonym of heartbreaker? [closed]

In one of my short stories, I have to compare a guy who is a heartbreaker to someone who is exactly the opposite of him. Instead of describing the opposite character of the guy, I am looking for a ...
-3
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1answer
193 views

Is this a example of parody of Shakespears play [duplicate]

Is this an example of parody "A-Midsummers-Nights-Dream " http://www.scribd.com/doc/233474857/A-Midsummers-Nights-Dream-erotic-poetry These are the reasons I think it is parody I am interested ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

How to use the word “restriction”

I am not sure about the usage of the word “restriction”. I would like to use it in a sentence like: “This video has some distribution and/or age restrictions”. Can I use “has some” or is there a ...
1
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4answers
99 views

What does “a bookstore-counting mood in Paris prompts soul-searching over Amazon’s 41 % share of new book sales in America” mean?

In the article titled “The French do buy books. Real books” appearing in New York Times (July 9), the author, Pamela Druckerman writes: “Recently when I was strolling through my museum-like ...
0
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0answers
137 views

Sentence diagramming trouble with figuring out subordinators and relative pronouns

http://imgur.com/a/dyALV for the pictures. In the diagrams my main concern was figuring out if the use of "that" was under the context of it being a relative pronoun or a subordinator. I have trouble ...
1
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1answer
169 views

Trying to figure out proper form of “that” in sentence

I currently have the sentence "Seahorses are the only fish that practice steadfast monogamy." to tree diagram for class, and cannot freakin' figure out what the word "that" would be used as in this ...
1
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2answers
434 views

Why is there “Black English” but not “White English”?

African American Vernacular English is shortened to a less precise phrase "Black English". Also, Black English is used in a broader sense: Black English is a term used for both dialects of English ...
1
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2answers
86 views

Different from x Different to x Different than [duplicate]

In the following sentence: "When I visited my old school after so many years, it looked completely different in the classrooms and the backyard /from what/to what/than/ it had been when I was a ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What led to the increased usage of “schtupping”?

I was listening to a television show the other day and one of the characters used "schtupping": schtupping — to have sexual intercourse with Dictionary.com notes that the term's origin is ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“Follow close behind” vs “follow closely behind”?

I just came across something I'd written a while ago that contained the phrase "follows close behind", and my first thought was that it was incorrect and should be "follows closely behind", i.e. to ...
16
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2answers
2k views

What does “Clearasil-scented grammatical sloth” in casual American speech mean?

John McWhorter, associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University comments on the growing sophistication (or devolution) of English language among Americans in the ...
1
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1answer
304 views

“Visible strap of the bra on shoulder”?

Is there any word for the strap of the bra that is visible on shoulder.? Mostly it is addressed as strap which is obviously a common word not specific to bra or any inner-wear.
0
votes
1answer
165 views

Age old question: What's the meaning of 'word'? [duplicate]

An old question, for which I could find absolutely NO reference on the internet for many years. Perhaps I wasn't looking in the right places, but I have no clue about its usage either. Then I ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Does 'twink' imply a specific sexuality?

I know that twink is a slang term for hot young homosexual guys who do not have facial hair. This word is very common in the gay community (and their adult industry) and recently I've heard a debate ...
2
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1answer
192 views

When did “sci-fi” become popular?

When did the term sci-fi come into usage?
4
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1answer
99 views

Usage frequency for “gambit”

Not sure if the tag I've selected is appropriate. Feel free to correct. Google's definition of gambit is shown below. Interestingly, the ngram usage graph shows that the popularity of the term ...
3
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1answer
261 views

Is “balanced literacy” a generic term, or elementary education specific?

“The Room for Debate Section” of New York Times (July 3rd) deals with “the Right Approach to Reading Instruction,” and throws the question; “The student-led approach to reading and writing known ...
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4answers
83 views

Usage of the word “through”

what is the meaning of "The malware affects IE9 through IE11(Internet Explorer)"? why can't we use "from IE9 to IE11" instead
1
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2answers
15k views

What does 'address an issue' mean? [closed]

I always understood 'address an issue' to mean fix or solve an issue. However, a colleague of mine questioned this today and after doing a web search it seems that the more correct or common meaning ...
0
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0answers
11 views

Use of “to” or "for in a sentence [duplicate]

Use of to or for: Should I name a folder "Guides to The Correct Use of English", or should I name the folder "Guides for The Correct Use of English" ?
0
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1answer
83 views

“A bunch of nincompoops!” Really ? In the 21st century?

With the FIFA World Cup going on here, I recently heard a tourist use the word "nincompoop" in the sentence "A bunch of nincompoops!". Then I realized I hadn't heard that word for a long, long time. ...
1
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1answer
65 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 ...
3
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4answers
279 views

Is the term “professional” justifiably reduced to “being paid to do something”?

I very often hear people call themselves professional at something they haven’t been doing long. On the rare occasions that I ask them how they feel able to qualify themselves as professional, the ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

What are the effects of the passive voice other than changing emphasis?

As this excellent answer points out, the passive voice can change the emphasis of a sentence from the subject to an object. That seems to be its primary function: this other answer provides an example ...
25
votes
8answers
8k views

“When I was in college…” Do you really mean college? Or university?

When someone in the US says "When I was in college..." he can mean "college" but he can also mean "university", so I've been told. If that's true, how can we know which one he is talking about? If I ...
1
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2answers
137 views

“More acrid than” but “stupider than” Why is that? [duplicate]

I've just read this quotation here at StackExchange: "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." I've checked a few online dictionaries and there ...
0
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1answer
2k views

Plural of input [duplicate]

What is the plural of input ? It proves unclear which is correct, input or inputs --- or both up to context of usage.
2
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3answers
2k views

Pretty Please and Similar Phrases

I was wondering who uses 'pretty please?' Is it used mainly by girls? Under what circumstances? Thank you for replying.
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2answers
173 views

Usage of “acknowledge” [closed]

Is it acceptable to write "We acknowledge Dr. AAA for his useful advice" to express gratitude or appreciation?
0
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3answers
215 views

Is “Well-spokenness” a phrase in current use ?

I had never heard or read this before, but a job ad required "well-spokenness". The American Heritage Dictionary never even mentions "spokenness". Nor does the OED online. Although I think I ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Use of 'not' with 'currently'

Being a non-native English speaker (and not good at English too), I am bit confused about the use of not with currently. For Example: In my Visual Studio tool, I got a message - This key ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

What does “pay the graces” mean? [closed]

Have the Three Graces actually been paid? Is that the origin? I found it in the lyrics for a song, where it doesn't seem to make sense at all: I had an impulse to clear it all away oh I used the ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

“Me too invited” Is this correct? [closed]

A friend of mine recently got invited to a speech given by Barack Obama on his trip to Brussels. She wrote "Me too invited" on her Facebook profile. I told her it sounded pidgin. She didn't seem to ...
10
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2answers
132 views

Is there a word for the second part of a story title after a main character?

I commonly see the format: Main Character(s) and some other important idea Story titles: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day The ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Good morning vs. Good night [duplicate]

I find that good morning is used both at the beginning of conversations (as in, "Good morning! How are you today?") and as a means of saying farewell. The same is true for good evening. In contrast, ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Use of “nay” - still current?

I get the sense that the interjection nay is seen as outdated and used only for humorous effect. Is this assumption true, or is it still acceptable in serious writing?
5
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4answers
423 views

“Battled-hardened,” Is this one of New Yorker's renowned idiosyncrasies?

There was a really entertaining short story describing customary exchanges of fierce words between a restaurant patron and waitress in New Yorker magazine (June 14.) under the title, “Lunch at ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Is it possible to use “have” in this case?

I know it is acceptable to use the verb get when saying you are trying to get yourself to do something or you are trying to make yourself do something Examples: After much hesitation I finally got ...