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

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3
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1answer
112 views

Using “word” to mean “okay” [duplicate]

I tutored an American exchange student in Finland last year and occasionally he, on Facebook, would say something like "word thank you" or simply "word" and he said it means "okay". I was curious and ...
2
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2answers
123 views

Is the describer needed in 'not…but…" type constructions?

Consider these two sentences: "His actions reveal him to be a husband who is not jealous but is zealous." "Those words demonstrate not his jealousness but his zealousness." Are the words ...
7
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4answers
2k views

How often is “more often than not”?

A person, supposedly a native speaker of English, assured me that I would say "often" means roughly 50-60% of the time, whereas "more often than not" means 75-95% of the time, and is closer in ...
2
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3answers
339 views

Is “wanna” more common with non-native speakers?

Is the word "wanna" (as opposed to "want to") more common in the writing of non-native speakers than in the writing of native speakers of English? Is this effect more pronounced when you exclude ...
21
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5answers
2k views

What does “bupke” mean?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker's (August 27) article titled, “A scandal at the C.I.A. May be.” : In January I (David Shafer, novelist) filed a Freedom of Information Act request ...
1
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1answer
144 views

Another use of the word “given”? [closed]

This is a video from the content producer "JonTron". I noticed, at around 8:12, he says the following: "You get a barrel, you run with said barrel, you throw barrel at given thing, you run back, you ...
0
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1answer
141 views

Calculus vs calculation

It is becoming more popular on American talk shows to say "calculus" instead of "calculation." To my mind, calculus is either a branch of Mathematics or a stone like in the gall bladder. Any comments? ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

time off of work“ or ”time off work"? [duplicate]

Is it "time off of work" or "time off work" without 'of'? Ex: I need to take some time off (of) work next month.
0
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3answers
51 views

Reporting not-witnessed events

In English, is there a modal, like 'can' or 'would', or a short expression that adds the following meaning to a sentence: "I did not see it with my own eyes but I was told about it"? There is one in ...
4
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4answers
358 views

Why did the KJV use “thou” toward God?

The word "thou" (and similar variations of the Latin tu in other languages) was used between people for informal speech, and talking to people of lower standing. So why did people use it (most ...
2
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1answer
136 views

Is “two-Perrier” lunch a businessmen’s buzz word?

There was a line, “He was not one for two-Perrier lunch,” in the eulogy for a British politician who made a great contribution to the formation of E.U. system. Also there is the following passage in ...
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4answers
481 views

Make vs. Do a Video [closed]

Is it "make a video" or "do a video"? I feel like both might be correct in an appropriate context but I cannot quite figure out the real difference. Unless it is just one of the two that is correct. I ...
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3answers
80 views

What is the proper usage of a verb when the subject is singular but its meaning is plural? [duplicate]

I am unsure of this rule, and would like a straight answer or resource; this is not a peeve. This appears today in google trends: A new set of icons suggest that voice-activated sharing to social ...
1
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2answers
255 views

Above and beyond

What does "above and beyond" mean and how is it used in a sentence? Some sources say it means exceeding expectations, some sources say it means 'in addition to'. Which is it? Is it both?
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3answers
413 views

Is the usage 'the message didn't send' grammatically correct?

I have often encountered this sentence on Facebook; even a web-search of this string indicates that it is used quite commonly. However, is it correct to say so? The dictionary definitions of the word ...
0
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1answer
602 views

Does one say “allegory for” or “allegory of”?

How does one correctly use the word "allegory" in a sentence? For example: This story is an allegory [for|of] pride. I have seen examples of both: the long poem is an allegory of love and ...
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3answers
254 views

Is this usage of 'of which' correct?

I'm working on an employee manual and I came across this one: "Our team philosophy is to become the best of which we are capable." Is this a correct sentence? The point it's trying to get across is ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Op-Ed or Editorial?

I have a piece that is an opinion written by a columnist. If I only had the designation of an op-ed or of an editorial. What word better describes the piece? An editorial is supposed to be written by ...
1
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1answer
53 views

Language Evolution

Language changes all the time, most often in usage but also in spelling and grammatical form. At what point does a widespread misspelling or incorrect grammatical usage become acceptable and correct? ...
0
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1answer
231 views

Aspect (simple, perfect and progressive): What are the differences?

Could you please explain to me the differences between the simple, progressive and perfect aspects. 'Simple aspect' means completed action (action starts and finishes) but I don't really understand ...
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4answers
116 views

Usage: derogatory + towards + X

Came across this sentence today" "I've never been derogatory towards taxi drivers," he said. from the BBC's, Uber boss Travis Kalanick: I'm no bully. Can one really be derogatory towards ...
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0answers
37 views

“In” after “happiest” or “content”

I feel the happiest and most content knowing I can always count on them. OR I feel the happiest and most content in knowing I can always count on them. Is it correct both ways? or does this ...
1
vote
1answer
859 views

“in fact” vs “indeed”

This might sound silly, but are "indeed" and "in fact" interchangeable? Here's a case: Q: Is that a nice house? A1: Yes, it's really nice indeed. A2: Yes, in fact it's really nice. It sounds to me ...
0
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1answer
58 views

What's “hawk dubious” supposed to mean? [closed]

While reading a programming book, I've come across this piece of text: Public message boards like Yahoo! Groups and Usenet have long been victims of postings that are unrelated to the board’s ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Does “reinventing the wheel” have negative or positive connotation?

I've always assumed that the expression "reinventing the wheel" meant something negative. For me it means doing something that has already be done without making any improvement. However, a few ...
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0answers
28 views

Conditional: More than 1 [duplicate]

The stoplight turns green if there (is/are) more than 1 car(s) waiting I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out the above statement. Which configuration is correct? This is odd, as I'm a native ...
0
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3answers
144 views

Verb to use with “workload”

Just wondering which verb is the most natural to native speakers to use with 'workload.' Among I wish to receive heavier workload. I wish to take heavier workload. I wish to have heavier ...
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5answers
5k views

Do you know the meaning of the American idiom “pot calling the kettle black”? [closed]

I would like to know something more about this American idiom and how north American or English speaking people use it. Can you guys answer my questions? Do you know the meaning of this idiom? Are ...
-1
votes
1answer
67 views

Can a phrase including past participle be put right behind the preposition 'of'?

For all the English grammar my teacher taught me, the element put right behind the preposition 'of' can be: 1. a noun. The leg of the desk 2. gerund leading phrase which acts as a noun: The result ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Usage of the phrase 'reviewing over'

I've come across the phrase 'reviewing over' and at first I disregarded it as a hold over from grammar in a foreign language but now I've seen a native English speaker use the same phrase. For ...
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4answers
279 views

I'm tired of writing out the phrase “himself or herself”. What are my options? [duplicate]

Because of English's lack of a gender neutral third person singular possessive pronoun, whenever the need for such a referent presents itself in the course of writing, we seem to be left with ...
0
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1answer
80 views

Is it an approval or disapproval?

In following sentence: From the perspective of a ‘cyber warrior’, cyber crime can offer the technical basis and cyber terrorism the social basis with which to execute nationally sanctioned ...
2
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3answers
284 views

The phrase “never even” in spoken English - Bookish ? Old-fashioned ? Sophisticated?

"She never even said good-bye !" instead of "She didn't even say good-bye !" in informal conversation. Would someone using it sound bookish ? Old-fashioned ? Sophisticated ?
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5answers
81 views

Usage of “persons”

I know pretty well that the plural for 'person' is 'people'. But my literature professor used once the word 'persons' because, he said, he was using the word the same as it will be used 'individuals'. ...
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1answer
98 views

What preposition: “on the mobile” or “in the mobile”?

I read this: The battery's flat on the mobile. I think we should say in the mobile not on the mobile.
0
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5answers
3k views

What is the difference between “bias” and “opinion”? [closed]

What is the difference between "bias" and "opinion"? Are they synonyms? Are all opinions biased? Is there such a thing as an "unbiased opinion"? The sentence, "Lima beans are vile" is an opinion ...
2
votes
2answers
515 views

How do I use “The screaming abdabs”?

I have recently come across the phrase "the screaming abdabs". It is used in sentences such as "it gave me the screaming abdabs", abdabs being and old-fashioned word meaning 'a case of extreme ...
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3answers
1k views

“to prefer something over something” or “to prefer something to something” [duplicate]

Which syntax is more correct: to prefer something over something else or to prefer something to something else or maybe both are correct?
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1answer
577 views

“over a call” vs “on a call”

I will explain about the project over a call I will explain about the project on a call I have read here that over can be used as during So is explain over a call correct? which is the correct ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Nuances when returning physical mail in the UK [closed]

“Return to sender” carries very little meaning to the sender: Who returned it? The postal service, the intended recipient, or some other person? Why was it returned? Was it considered spam, was the ...
1
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0answers
84 views

How did the adjective “just” come to take on so many adverbial meanings?

Just is a pretty useful adverb. It can carry several different meanings: very recently: I just finished the novel. exactly: That’s just what he meant. by a narrow margin: He just missed me ...
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4answers
1k views

“A new pair of ” or “A pair of new”

a new pair of shoes / pants / scissors a pair of new shoes / pants / scissors I can’t find which one of those two it should be, and I’ve seen some debate about it. “A new pair of shoes”: Could it ...
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1answer
1k views

“All the more so” - correct use:

Is this sentence correct: "If this was true fifty years ago, it must be all the more so in modern times" Did I use the expression "all the more so" correctly in this sentence? Thanks
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5answers
644 views

Is there any reason for saying “he is good-looking”, instead of “he is well-looking”?

A person who has............is said to be.............. "good manners".........."well-mannered" "good behaviour"........"well-behaved" "good intentions"........"well-intentioned" "a good ...
4
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1answer
446 views

Usage of adverbs like reasonably, practically, essentially, ridiculously, basically

I have recently noticed a phenomenon in English, that seems quite common. The phenomenon is regarding the usage of certain adverbs: Practically should mean in a practical manner. But it is often ...
0
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1answer
112 views

Kudos Vs. bravo

Has the word kudos outdated the word or exclamation bravo! Here's what Google Ngram shows: ...
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2answers
87 views

Usage of “as because”

I would like to know if "as because" is a correct usage. It feels so wrong, yet I see people using it. e.g. She couldn't come, as because she was ill. I suppose only because should serve the purpose ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

’Tis the season

Google has a new doodle that says ’Tis the season when you put your cursor on it: What is the origin of this usage? or even the contraction ’tis? Details: There is a popular carol called “Deck ...
0
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1answer
204 views

“get one's head around” vs “get one's arms around”

I have seen both idioms used in practice. The definitions I found, http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+arms+around, and http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+head+around don't indicate much ...
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5answers
2k views

Why is the action of removing a digital file named “Delete”?

After reading these questions: Difference between "delete" and "remove" How much use did the word 'delete' get before the technological boom? Delete or Remove (ell.SE) ...