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

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Proper use of retrospective

I am writing a narrative essay and I am currently working on the final touches. Right now I am focusing my attention on the title. The essay is a look back on a couple days, several years ago that a ...
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2answers
116 views

Difference in Usage of Specificity & Specification [closed]

I found two noun words such as Specificity and Specification. When can we use Specificity over specification.
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0answers
119 views

Usage of `é` (e-acute) [closed]

As a French person, I am always amused by the usage of the letter é in English. For instance: fiancé café résumé touché (coulé) Pokémon (yup, that's a good one) This letter, though very common in ...
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2answers
47 views

Is it correct to say “No users have configured this setting”?

Is it acceptable to say "No users have configured this setting"? It is an error message. It sounds odd to me. "None of the users have configured this setting" seems OK. Please provide your advice.
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2answers
73 views

The occurrence of comparative degree

I've checked in LGWSE by Douglas Biber, Stig Johannson et al (2004) but failed to find the explanation as to what the cases of usage of the comparative degree are. In all Russian grammar texbooks of ...
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2answers
527 views

English Syntax Rules Based on Word Choice

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Animacy and came across something I found to be very interesting: The higher animacy a referent has, the less preferable it is to use the preposition of for ...
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2answers
89 views

Is there any other way to say 'Sent Successfully'?

The actual message is 'Message was sent successfully'. But, we are not sure that the message was delivered to the person or the person has read the message. Is the use of 'sent successfully' correct?
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3answers
40 views

Right usage of “undergo” with syndrome [closed]

Is the sentence.... XYZ (n) is undergoing ABC syndrome. Right?
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1answer
88 views

It's not affect, but can you “effect” something?

I understand the differences between affect and effect, and generally when to use them. However, in some cases while reading I have seen authors use the phrase "effect a change" (among others) ...
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3answers
155 views

The word “geriatric”

Would you say describing somebody as "geriatric" is offensive? I think it's neutral in American English, but the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary describes it as "informal" and "offensive".
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2answers
214 views

Is the sentence “are you done your soup?” proper English? [duplicate]

My mother in law is Scottish and has lived in Canada for the last 45 years. She will often omit the word "with." When asking my child if he is ready to get out of the bathtub she will say "Henry, ...
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5answers
514 views

Is “less bad” correct usage of the language?

If an outcome is not as bad as the alternative. Is it correct to use "less bad" to conclude a comparison? A: I've got bad news, her brother was in a car accident. B: Is he hurt? A: No, ...
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1answer
80 views

Phrase: 'cited after'

I don't understand what's the meaning of "cited after" in books, when they cite a source, e.g., (cited after Manin 1997: 3)
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1answer
492 views

How do you use “knack” in a sentence?

On this post here, it says: Another word which comes to my mind is "Knack". It can be used to show how someone has a specific talent. Again as an example - Tim is good with musical ...
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2answers
124 views

To see them play and to see them playing

Excuse my limited acquaintance on English usage; which sentence is grammatically correct, and if any, which meaning do they convey to ? I saw them play chess. I saw then playing chess. Many ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
41 views

Can someone please tell the Usage of “its” in the following is correct? [duplicate]

Here is a quote from "Ever Wonder Why / the color red angers a bull? " (page 20). It has been suggested that this reaction to red (my note: of bull which is color-blind to a shaking cape in red) ...
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1answer
143 views

What does “bullying beat” mean?

There was the following line in New Yorker’s (January 18) weekend book review titled, “A Startup Fairy Tale and the Dark Side of Yoga.” “Emily Bazelon returns to the bullying beat in this week’s ...
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13answers
46k views

When should “no problem” replace “you're welcome” as a response to “thank you”?

I have observed a growing trend in which people substitute "no problem" for "you're welcome" as a response to "thank you". In particular, it seems to be an increasingly common response from servers ...
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2answers
343 views

Do women tend to use the word “lovely” more often than men?

Do women tend to use the word lovely more often than men do? And also, should men rather avoid using this word when describing something they liked? meta: I hope this question doesn't sound too ...
2
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0answers
28 views

Origin/Usage of “[word] is a [number] dollar word” [duplicate]

I've often been wondering where the phrase in the title comes from - I always picture it as coming from an early television era game show, but more likely it has to do with pricing of telegrams or ...
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2answers
105 views

“area” vs. “areal” to describe an estimate of space

E.g. an areal/area estimate of corn in Iowa "Areal" is commonly found in remote sensing and land cover literature (this article, for example). Which is most appropriate to describe the estimation of ...
3
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3answers
250 views

Is it ok to use the irregular past tense of a verb as it were a regular one?

Let's say I say / write catched instead of caught or buyed instead of bought, etc. I know this is grammatically incorrect, but is it incorrect or perfectly fine to use it in every-day life ? English ...
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1answer
2k views

What are usages similar to “Need I say more?”?

I recall hearing usages like Need I say more? Need I remind you that ...? instead of Do I need to say more? Do I need to remind you that ...? Indeed, they sound better, at least to ...
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2answers
331 views

Why does European packaging use “gb” to represent English?

Something I've always wondered is why companies that are based in Europe tend to use "country" abbreviations to represent a language instead of the language abbreviation itself. Given that there are ...
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1answer
57 views

Is the given usage of Outrage is correct? [closed]

Outrage in my mind, Smile on my face. This is Life. Can outrage be used the way I used above?
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1answer
229 views

Ending a sentence with “and thanks”

I have a colleague who ends many emails with "and thanks". To me it sounds awkward and random, but I wonder if anyone has seen this usage before? Examples (note particularly the third one!): "That ...
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1answer
435 views

What does “sense of community” mean?

Currently, I'm living in HK. But I am Chinese and I know nothing about Cantonese which is the mother tongue of Hongkongers. So, I feel lonely here and I don't think I belong here. So, can I say I ...
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1answer
174 views

Question about subject-verb agreement

Is this a run-on? By 1990, it was even easier to make bottles and paper products quickly; as a result, competition among companies grew and stores featured products with increasingly interesting ...
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2answers
2k views

Should I say “more exact”/“more precise”?

My understanding with the words exact, precise and accurate is that they are absolute. Meaning, there cannot be less accurate or more accurate. Is my understanding correct? If it's exactly 1 meter, ...
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0answers
16 views

Usage of 'it' in the sentence [duplicate]

What does it refer to in the sentence: It is dark outside?
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2answers
695 views

Why is “Good Night!” dismissive

To start off let us construct a situation were I am walking along and I pass another person. Depending on the time of day and to be polite I say one of the following: "Good Morning!" "Good Evening!" ...
4
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2answers
120 views

Infinitive Clause For “Curious”

I need some help about the infinitive clause that comes after "curious". Let's say that I am "curious" about a locked room. Then, could I write this: I am curious to open the door. I ...
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2answers
436 views

Is the usage of “night and day” as “completely different” very common?

There was the following line in December 2nd AP News, “Chief White House trouble shooter for healthcare gov.web site says the web site is night and day from where it was October 1st. Jeff ...
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1answer
162 views

Her love letters--to and from Daddy--were in an old box,

Her love letters--to and from Daddy--were in an old box, tied with ribbons and stiff, rigid-with-age leather thongs:1918 through 1920;... Why (Daddy) in this sentence was written with a capital D?
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2answers
397 views

Is the phrase “I feel you” too colloquial?

Does the phrase "I feel you" sound too slangy and somewhat horrible to a British person? Is it ok to use it as a synonym of "I understand what you feel/say" in an informal, casual conversation?
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2answers
86 views

“the like” sequence

I have a question about "the like" I found in a book. The sentence: "you who have never seen the like can scarcely imagine what delicate and wonderful flowers..." I've seen "the more you know the ...
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5answers
1k views

“Hello” as a verb

A dictionary says that Hello could be a verb, noun and interjection. I'm not sure I saw it to be a verb though. Q: Could someone provide an example of 'hello' where it's used as verb. In the meaning ...
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1answer
119 views

“Advice I wish I'd had ears to hear” — is this phrase in common use? Origins?

Productivity writer Merlin Mann often uses the phrase "ears to hear" on his podcast. An example from his writing: "a discursive mishmash of advice I wish I'd had the ears to hear in the year or ...
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2answers
120 views

Is 'damn you' abusive or offensive? [closed]

I would say in jest to someone, "Damn you!, you always get your way." He insisted that I was being abusive. Since my tone or tenor did not convey it, I put it down to his studying in a Catholic ...
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2answers
218 views

Is “nowadays” the same as “today”?

When helping an Italian speaker with her written homework, a cover letter, I told her to change the expression nowadays to that of today. Her original sentence was the following: I would be ...
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0answers
43 views

“She told I ate an apple” or “She told that i ate an apple” [duplicate]

Should I use That in this case? On my native language (Brazilian Portuguese) the That would be like conjunction Que, I don't know if in english, That are also used like a conjunction. If yes, the ...
3
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1answer
9k views

Correspond to vs. Correspond with

Is there any significant difference between Correspond to and Correspond with? I only mean in the sense of "matching", here, rather than "communication". I've looked at a few sources, but I can't ...
4
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2answers
519 views

How did “classic” and “classical” come to mean “historic”?

I assume the words classic and classical have a basis in the word class — which is to say, of a category. Why do we use those words to mean old or historically important?
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1answer
1k views

Is there a significant difference between “sorry,” “pardon” and “excuse me”? Are they interchangeable?

I was amused with the line, “Stand-alone 'sorry' may have dressed like a gentleman, but his heart was made of India rubber” in the article titled “A poor apology for a word” in December 13 New York ...
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3answers
4k views

Why does “Please approve it” sound wrong?

Whenever I read an email like this, the English sounds incorrect to me. "I would like to take tomorrow off. Please approve it." I want to say that "Please approve" is more natural, but why is that?
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3answers
1k views

Do 'learn by heart' & 'learn by rote' mean the same?

Here in India, both the phrases learning by heart and learning by rote are taken to have the same meaning, i.e., blind memorisation without true understanding. However, some sources say that to ...
3
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1answer
2k views

perfect infinitives with main verbs

My question is about usage of perfect infinitives with main verbs e.g. I would like to have lived in the 13th century. She was going to have worked in her mother's business, but decided ...
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1answer
82 views

How to use WHEN on the following occasion? [duplicate]

When I lived in there, I got to know John When I was living in there, I got to know John. While I was living in there, I got to know John. While I lived in there, I got to know John. I have been ...
3
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3answers
93 views

Is it possible to 'give prosperity'?

Here's the sentence: Who knows how the prosperity you give becomes the prosperity you get Is it possible to 'give prosperity'?