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

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2
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3answers
476 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
149 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
633 views

Is it right say Invest on? [closed]

Is it correct idiomatically to say "invest on?" For example, "Invest on Peter " [a person].
1
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1answer
62 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
0
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1answer
69 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
44 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
616 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
95 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 ...
0
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0answers
44 views

Is this the right use of “laid”? [duplicate]

The campfire crackled. Hunter laid in his sleeping bag and gazed up at the stars.
1
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1answer
127 views

Is the expression “having a kitten in one's pocket” a proverb or slang?

Is the phrase, from ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ by Alexander Baron having one's kitten in one's pocket a proverb or common slang? How common is this expression? What exactly does it mean and how ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

bow’r, affin’d and pow’r [closed]

What usage is the following abbreviations? ‘Not boskiest bow’r,  When hearts are ill affin’d, Hath tree of pow’r To shelter from the wind!’ from The Woodlanders by Thomas ...
0
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
0
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2answers
122 views

Usage of the word terrorism

We read in newspapers and watch on TV many cases regarding students gunning down their classmates and teachers. Suppose a student brought a gun to class, pointed it at his friends and teachers, and ...
4
votes
1answer
557 views

What does the phrase “behind deadline” mean?

If someone (or something) is behind deadline, does it mean that she/he has already missed a deadline or does it mean that she/he is about to miss a deadline ?
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Geographical Usage of “Mate”

I was wondering where the term, "mate," is most popular? When I think of the term, "mate," I think of Australia and England, but I was wondering if anyone else has some input on this. Mate here is ...
3
votes
1answer
306 views

What does “meth“ mean in “Meth heads snuck in to it to do meth.”?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker’s (September 22, 2014) article titled “Field trip” describing a photographer who travels to take pictures of oldest living things in the world: ...
8
votes
3answers
121 views

What's an evidential basis for discussing gender-neutrality of terms? [closed]

I keep finding myself looking at questions involving the concept of gender neutrality of words or phrases. (Check out the RELATED panel down to the right there.) "Craftmanship" for example - is it ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Is there a specific group of words that I can look for before/after “its/it's” to determine proper/improper usage?

Is there a specific group/category of words that I can look for before/after "its/it's" to determine proper/improper usage? I'm asking this for the purpose of writing code that corrects the usage of ...
0
votes
3answers
261 views

Using the word “Disposition” as a Verb

I know disposition means a persons inherent qualities of mind and character and it is a noun. i know you would say "he has a very quiet brooding disposition" but my roommate was cleaning the house and ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Stand-alone Use of 'There' in English

I was reading The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells. He uses There! without connection to other words (or maybe there is connection, but I don't see it). She glanced at his white-swathed head and blue ...
1
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1answer
86 views

Usage of “tum” in English speaking countries, other than the UK

I'm sure I've heard tummy used in American English and the English spoken in commonwealth countries as a sort of euphemism for stomach. I'm not sure so much how common it is to hear it reduced to tum, ...
15
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8answers
10k views

When did the term “flip flop” displace the term “thong” in North America for a type of sandal?

To Australians like me "thong" means a kind of sandal such as recently repopularized by the Havaianas brand but we know it means a kind of G-string in other English-speaking parts of the world. To ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Is it common to write only one “as” in a comparison?

This is a bit hard to explain, so here's an example: Hanging above the door was a huge smiley face put there to greet visitors. I hoped the people inside were just as friendly. Is this a ...
2
votes
3answers
342 views

Is there a difference between “tongue-tied” and “speechless”?

Earlier today, a student of mine was telling me a story about how his colleague, upon seeing him wearing an over-the-top jacket, was so surprised that she couldn't say anything. Question: Which ...
0
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4answers
1k views

There is (there's) vs.There are

What are the roots of the creeping usage of "there's" for both singular and plural predicates? (This seems to be more common in spoken English.) I have 2 theories. Perhaps it is because spoken ...
1
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2answers
182 views

Sentence start with “If then”

Can any one tell me that when we start a sentence with If then? I came across this one. If then a practical end must be assigned to a university course,I say it is that of training good members ...
0
votes
3answers
103 views

Why are web browsers browsers, but I am a surfer?

What is the origin of the name of a program being used to access the Internet is a browser, but a human looking around on the internet is surfing? Why is there this discrepancy?
0
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1answer
124 views

Is it common to use “totally” in such a way as “Michelle Obama’ s totally running in California.” [duplicate]

Vanity Fair magazine (October 23 issue) carried an article titled, “A brief history of Michelle Obama career-goal rumors,” and wrote as follows under the caption, “She’s totally running in ...
4
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
152 views

Expect vs. Foresee

Just read the sentence "This is not what I expect but what I foresee." Does this make sense to anyone here? Granted there are differences in meaning between 'expect' and 'foresee' but to me they are ...
3
votes
4answers
262 views

Are “Real class” and “Paper class” well-received pair words?

Today’s (October 23) Time magazine and New Yorker carried articles dealing with a report of academic scandal of the University of North Carolina under the respective headline, “North Carolina releases ...
2
votes
3answers
105 views

Is the term “disillusion” being used correctly here?

It's easy to disillusion ourselves by thinking just because the output of our function looks very random, that it is very random. I asked a friend about this passage. I argue that it should ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

When Things Used To be “Worth 'X' Millions”

I was reading Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, and a character described a rich man as "Worth 20 millions". At least in AmE, we don't use "millions" in the plural anymore in this ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Can I omit “had” if it is repeated too many times in a paragraph?

Example: I’d heard about this mystery before. However, I'd only thought it as a ghost story; something you'd tell around a campfire. Maybe I'm mistaken but the paragraph sounds better without ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Does “walk back” have a meaning of ‘deny’ or 'keep distance from somebody / something.' as an idiom?

I came across the phrase walked back from time.com: a State Department spokesperson had walked back his (John Kerry’s) comments in the Time magazine’s (August 2) article titled, “Oops: John Kerry ...
0
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4answers
929 views

Is “left for heaven” a common phrase in English?

Is "left for heaven" a common phrase for native English speakers?
0
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4answers
459 views

“During” a Period of Time

I'm working on a sentence (example below). It doesn't quite feel right: I tried to count the number of cars driven during 1980-1990. Specifically, the issue here is about usage of the ...
2
votes
3answers
351 views

Using the word “doc”

Merriam-Webster obviously says that the word is an abbreviation for doctor, and I also acknowledge the fact that it's less formal than doctor. My question is: when talking to your doctor, would it be ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

the USA vs the US

I am writing an essay where I need to make a reference to the United States of America. Often I hear this shortened to the US, but sometimes people also say the USA. Are there any difference between ...
1
vote
4answers
266 views

“Removals Service” or “Removal Service”?

Take for example the tag line: "reliable removals service". Is this correct grammar/usage? Or should it be just "removal", singular? To me, "removals" seems more correct because it is describing ...
2
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Are “a perfect fool”, “a proper fool” and “a precious fool” the same kind of “fool”?

Is there any (subtle) difference in meaning and usage when these adjectives qualify "a fool"? Are these adjectives perfectly interchangeable "A precious fool I would look, if I did that." "The ...
3
votes
3answers
611 views

'out of' vs 'from' (a series)

Is it acceptable to say something along the lines of "this microphone is out of the 122 series" instead of "this microphone is from the 122 series" ? I have a colleague who insists that using 'out ...
1
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1answer
113 views

What does the phrase “do your bit for your fellow gentlemen” mean? [closed]

Does gentlemen in the phrase "do your bit for your fellow gentlemen" mean yourself, or fellows at your company, or someone else?
0
votes
1answer
324 views

What is the meaning and usage of this “is true of”?

Then, when we rid ourselves of prejudice, or racial feeling, and look facts in the face, we must acknowledge that, notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, the ten million Negroes ...