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

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1answer
66 views

credit for vs credit on

As it happens, fertility rate declines in China have been close to what we would expect on the basis of these social influences alone. China often gets too much credit from commentators on the alleged ...
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2answers
28 views

Word choice and usage [duplicate]

Can I today use the word 'thrice' or is it completely out of date and shouldn't be used? Dusan
1
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1answer
74 views

Is “automatically eraseing” or “being erased automatically” correct? [closed]

Please tell me which sentence is correct: My file is automatically eraseing. or My file is being erased automatically.
0
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1answer
282 views

“Best ” vs “Most well”

It drives me up a wall when people use "most well" instead of "best." However, it's such a common habit, I'm wondering if I'm missing something. Is it grammatically correct to say "This is the most ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Homogenous versus Homogeneous

I've always used the word (spelling) homogenous to describe things of similar nature. However, when I started university I heard everyone use the word homogeneous (pronounced "homo genius" or "homo ...
3
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1answer
336 views

Use/non-use of articles before Adjective + Abstract noun

I have confusion regarding use/non-use of articles before adjective + abstract noun. Eg. competent handling, prolonged tread life, enhanced durability Providing COMPETENT HANDLING and PROLONGED TREAD ...
5
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6answers
314 views

Pending tasks and goals

I am trying to communicate that I wish I could have done something. That "something" would be a ____________ for me. Since I speak Spanish as a first language, I am biased to think of the direct ...
1
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3answers
84 views

In “Dear X” what function does “X” serve?

I answered a question (Should I use capital or small letter here? "Dear All" or "Dear all"?) about capitalizing "all" in "Dear All," In answering this, my thinking was "what ...
0
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1answer
167 views

Use of “courtesy of…” when citing?

There are a number of systems for citing various materials (MLA, APA, etc.). These vary by discipline, country, journal, level of formality, and so on. Obviously one should know which system should be ...
1
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0answers
20 views

“As per …” vs. “Per” [duplicate]

"As per" is phrase finding a common use in English writers and speakers in India. "Per" is perhaps the correct word that could be used instead. I use "per" only. But, people in India tend to find a ...
0
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2answers
53 views

Usage of Any or Every [closed]

Which one of these is more correct: "The process of adaptation is different in any case" "The process of adaptation is different in every case"
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3answers
112 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.
3
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1answer
30 views

past tense and/or conditional [closed]

e.g. I didn't get to where I am now unless ... or I wouldn't have got where I am now ... Are these both correct? The first sentence I found in a EFL series New English File. I have never heard this ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Can we use “shore” referring to river?

I saw the usage of "shore" with "river" in a modern American book, however my dictionary says that we should use "bank" with "river". Are there any difference between using "shore" and "bank" or maybe ...
1
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1answer
68 views

“what with” use [closed]

Example: His sweet tooth finally got the better of him, what with all the confections surrounding him. Sounds awkward, but is it correct usage?
6
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4answers
250 views

Term for derogatory words that are only “offensive from the outside”

In this post, Dan Ray notes that the word "Jew" may be offensive but "only from the outside". I can think of many other examples of terms that are neutral (or even affectionate) if spoken by ...
1
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1answer
59 views

“Metrics” definition and usage

Does the term "metric" (or plural "metrics") apply only to the metric system, or can it be used to define something that does not apply the metric system?
0
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0answers
14 views

Implied “to” … Is it okay? [duplicate]

Can "to" ever be omitted and implied? For example: "Nonverbal cues help me [to] assess mood and behavior."
2
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2answers
95 views

Why do we say “apologies to” when we quote someone?

I just replied to a comment on StackOverflow, writing: "I know of nothing but miracles (apologies to Walt Whitman)" But then I got to wondering: why do we apologize to someone for quoting them? ...
0
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2answers
83 views

“Accessory” vs “included” as adjective (BE)

I'm wondering about the use of the word accessory as an adjective. Would it be preferable in BE to say something like "This DJ controller comes with accessory headphones"? I feel that "This DJ ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Is the `that` in phrase `Only the best product that can survive` properly used? [closed]

I searched online that the word that has a function of stress/emphasize. And this usage comes up to my mind when designing for our company motto. Is it proper here? The colleague edition: Two ...
1
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1answer
25 views

Business English: contracted forum?

I would like to know your opinions regarding the use of the term "contracted forum". The context is a long-term project for which steering committee meetings are being conducted. At one time, the ...
3
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2answers
7k views

What is a relish tray versus a veggie tray?

I have heard both of the terms "relish tray" and "veggie tray" used somewhat interchangeably. It seems as though there is some overlap between the two based on some simple Google Images searches (...
1
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1answer
35 views

Non-Medically Necessary?

I'm working under contract for an insurance company, can't divulge much more due to NDAs. On one form they state they will cover a service if it is "medically necessary" but not if it is "non-...
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13answers
4k views

What is the “fundamental” difference between ‘search’ and ‘seek’?

So why do human beings spend so much time playing? One reason is that we have time for leisure; animals have very little time to play as most of their life is spent sleeping and (2)________ food. ...
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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 ...
4
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3answers
22k views

What's the difference between “content” and “contented”?

What's the difference between "content" and "contented"? I feel content with my present condition. I feel contented with my present condition. When she calls me by my name sweetly, I ...
0
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2answers
73 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 ...
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9answers
4k views

Is “best” still a superlative in “best friend”, as in can you have more than one “best friend”?

I was speaking to a 15-year-old native English speaker (in Australia), who referred to someone as her "best friend". Later, she revealed that this wasn't her only best friend. She had four best ...
3
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2answers
1k views

“In back of'' vs. ”back of“ vs. the spatial sense of ”behind" in AmE

What's the difference to these expressions, as in "The little girl was hiding in back of the tree" vs. "The little girl was hiding back of the tree" vs. "The little girl was hiding behind the tree"? ...
3
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1answer
122 views

Usage of the word “hand” in the context

We're using a textbook called "English for Management Studies" by Tony Corballis and Wayne Jennings at our English classes at university. I'm saying this so that you know that the following sentence ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Do vulgarity and linguistic flexibility actually correlate? [closed]

Regarding “fuck”, Wikipedia states: [it] has a very flexible role in English grammar, which stems from its vulgarity; the more vulgar a word is, the greater its linguistic flexibility. I ...
2
votes
4answers
130 views

What does the west wind signify to New Yorkers?

The New Yorker carries the archives of entertaining old articles. Among them there was a short piece titled “The street and into the grill” written by E.B. White and published in October 1950. A man ...
2
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2answers
587 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: [...
1
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1answer
115 views

Regional omission of “to be.” [duplicate]

I've noticed that people from the Washington, Oregon area tend to omit "to be" when describing something that needs to be completed. For example, just today one of my consulting engineers sent me an ...
2
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4answers
300 views

What adverb, typical of AmEng, coincides most with the BrEng meaning of “quite” [=to a noticeable or partial extent]?

As long as -- seemingly -- the adverb "quite" in AmEng idiomatically carries an emphatic sense to it -- pretty much similar to saying "completely" or "absolutely" as in, "That girl looks quite pretty!"...
9
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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 ...
1
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3answers
868 views

What website will give me the frequency of a word in the English language?

Is there a website that will give me a frequency of a word in the English language? I am looking for some thing like this: I would type in the word, and it would give me a frequency rating. I have ...
0
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0answers
32 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
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2answers
116 views

Usage differences between 'exit' and 'egress'?

Are they perfectly interchangeable? Dictionary definitions seems to agree.
0
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0answers
37 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 ...
5
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1answer
97 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 ...
3
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5answers
2k views

To laugh over vs. about

Most of the time when I need to reference something using the word "laugh", my go-to preposition is "about". However, at times, "over" sounds much more adequate in day-to-day use. The big question, ...
2
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2answers
192 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
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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
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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 ...
1
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0answers
169 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 ...
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1answer
134 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 ...
2
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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
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2answers
367 views

Isn't it redundant to use “then” after “if”?

Since "if P, Q" is grammatical, is it not the case that the "then" in "if P, then Q" is redundant? Where P and Q are clauses. For example, "if it rains today, the road shall be wet tomorrow" is ...