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

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1answer
374 views

What does “tell someone to hard-delete” mean? [closed]

I posted a question about the meaning of ‘hit Delete’ a couple days ago. Now I came across another texting word, “hard-delete” in the headline of Maureen Dowd’s article dealing with Anthony Weiner’s ...
2
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1answer
488 views

What's the difference between “a year”, “per year” and “out of a year”?

Suppose I want to say that I'm at sea seven months out of twelve. (Just an example.) I think I can say "I'm at sea 7 months a year" or "I'm at sea 7 months per year" or "I'm at sea 7 ...
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1answer
63 views

How should I use commas in the middle of compound sentences? [closed]

How do you punctuate the following sentence? The introduction of a low cost Hartford Cycle line had staved off the competition for a number of years, but, by 1897, with 700 competitors in the ...
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1answer
33 views

Accredited school versus accredited degree

Is it proper use of the adjective "accredited" to say or write "an accredited degree?" I can't find it used in this manner in a dictionary and I feel like the adjective in this sense should be applied ...
5
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4answers
4k views

You didn't miss me, right? (possible answer with correct use of English)

A) No, I didn't miss you. B) Yes, I didn't miss you. C) No, I did miss you. D) Yes, I did miss you. According to my common sense perfect answers can be C) and B) only, and reason behind it is- ...
2
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3answers
260 views

Is there any scenario, situation, or way to make “doing something selfishly” have a positive connotation?

The thing is, I am confused whether the word selfish itself can be used without expressing a negative connotation. I am a bit biased about it since I believe that by using this word it automatically ...
2
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2answers
310 views

Does “coming down” mean “traveling south”? [duplicate]

In the context of traveling, I have heard of and used the phrase "coming down" when referring to a journey from one place to another place that is further south. Perhaps, it's because I have always ...
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0answers
26 views

“I am yet to see” versus “I have yet to see” [duplicate]

What is the difference between I am yet to see X and I have yet to see X and in which situations would each be preferred?
5
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4answers
783 views

Difference between “ignorant” and “uninformed”

What is the difference between ignorant and uninformed? In ordinary usage, is one considered a put down and the other considered a statement of fact? If so, why? Am I ignorant or simply uninformed?
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1answer
66 views
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2answers
214 views

“Of which I am unaware of” & “I don't know”, semantic difference

While reading first few chapters of fascinating book "On Writing Well", this doubt struck my mind: "There are many great English writings of which I am unaware of" OR "There are many great ...
4
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2answers
174 views

Origin of the phrase “tell me when”

Growing up in my family, we would often use the phrase "tell me when" when serving each other food, pouring drinks, etc. For example, my mother would begin pouring me a glass of milk and say "tell me ...
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1answer
385 views

May I have some examples of “future perfect continuous” from fiction or literature, with references? [closed]

Question says it all and again it should be from literature or fiction. I was told that the future perfect continuous does not exist. So I am looking for examples from “real published and acclaimed ...
3
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1answer
98 views

What does “the hardware” a Japanese moviemaker took home after being awarded the Jury prize at Cannes Film Festival mean?

Japan Times (May 28) reported that Hirokazu Koreeda, movie director won the Jury Prize at 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The article titled, “Director Koreeda wins Jury Prize in Cannes begins with the ...
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2answers
66 views

Using “decrease by” and percents

I just read an article which described congestion on a particular line in Japan. Currently the trains are running at 200% capacity, but larger trains were introduced and "the crowding was reduced by ...
3
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3answers
3k views

What is the exact meaning of “You've got yourself a deal”? Is it only an American slang?

I came across the phrase, ‘got yourself a deal’ being introduced as a vulgar American English by a character in Jeffery Archer’s, fiction “The Fourth Estate.” In the scene Keith Townsend, Australian ...
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0answers
46 views

At what point does a phrase's definition start to actually mean its incorrect popular usage? [duplicate]

I am constantly correcting people when they use they say "this begs the question" incorrectly intending to suggest that some other assertion requires more information, rather than to point out that ...
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1answer
1k views

Confusion in using “due to”

I usually meet "due to" usage in a document or conversation, but in different ways. I did some research and found out that "due to" is adjectival. Thus, the correct sentence should be: The ...
4
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7answers
1k views

Confusing structures with modal verbs

I have skimmed through the part on modals of a classic grammar book (Murphy's "Grammar in Use") and picked up all the structures that look strange to me. Could you, please, explain how often they are ...
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0answers
98 views

Influence of the regulatory bodies in the English language [closed]

Where could I find/read about studies about the influence in English of the lack of regulatory bodies of its use and lexicon? It is easy to google and find long arguments on the topic. I am ...
0
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1answer
261 views

Can “Any Other Business” be generally perceived, and used as the legit business terms?

I was interested in the fact that the first letter of the each word of “Any Other Business” is shown in the upper case in the following sentence: “At the first meeting of the new bard, Townsend ...
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2answers
283 views

Consistency to, or consistency in?

Let’s say I’ve written an article that contains an argument or analysis, and I want to ask someone to check it for consistency. I want to use the word ‘consistency’ here (rather than other variations ...
2
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1answer
204 views

Origin of “[noun] enough” instead of “enough [noun]”?

Sometimes the word "enough" comes before a noun as in "I've got enough money to waste" and sometimes it comes after as in "I've got money enough to waste". Was "[noun] enough" more common in a ...
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3answers
838 views

Does the phrase “don't even pass the laugh test” pass as an idiomatic expression, or only a set of words?

I was intrigued to the phrase, ‘the argument doesn’t pass even the laugh test’ in the following statement of Bruce Schneier, a security technologist on the debate about whether Edward J. Snowden who ...
2
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2answers
82 views

Is there a context where 'to neglect' and 'neglecting' are not compatible? [duplicate]

I believe that to infinitive as a subject can be replaced by a gerund form, which is why To get up early is good. always has the same meaning as Getting up early is good. But a ...
3
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1answer
296 views

What does ‘a lunch best forgotten’ mean?

There is the following sentence in Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “The Fourth Estate.”: He droppped into three newsagents on the long walk into Kingston, and purchased Time, Newsweek, and local ...
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1answer
62 views

Someone who goes to medical school? [closed]

What should I call someone who goes to medical school? A medical student?
4
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1answer
182 views

Unambiguous Opposite of “The Subtitle of a Film”

A word to refer to the "The Far Side of the World" part in the film title Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (MC:FSW) might be subtitle. By here, the "Master and Commander" part is called ...
2
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1answer
635 views

Would you say 'yes, neither do I' / 'yes, me neither'?

My question does not have to do with the correctness/incorrectness of 'neither do I'/'me neither', but with the presence of the 'yes' (or 'yeah', which is how it most often 'comes out' for me) at the ...
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1answer
44 views

“Impromptu field hospital”?

All the usage examples for impromptu I could find in a couple of dictionaries involve actions (impromptu speech, wedding, etc.) Is this a general rule, or can I talk about an "impromptu field ...
12
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2answers
766 views

What is the exact meaning of “blood-dimmed (tragedy),” and how does it pass current among Anglophones?

I was drawn to the word, “blood-dimmed tragedy” in the following statement of Maureen Dowd’s article titled, “Peeping Barry” in June 8 New York Times: You could see the fear in his eyes, the fear ...
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1answer
94 views

Which expression is older: “London Royal Parks” or “London's Royal Parks” ? And why is it Hyde Park and not Hyde's Park?

London Royal Parks and London's Royal Parks Both phrases are used, and I understand that "London" in the first example is acting as an adjective. Whereas in the second, "London", is used ...
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3answers
523 views

Is using past participle instead of present one more polite?

On christianity.stackexchange.com I asked this question: "Is it true that John Paul the Second restored the practice of selling indulgences in 2000?" and one supporter suggested that I replace ...
4
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3answers
242 views

Is there great difference between “Make a mountain out of a molehill” and “Much ado about nothing”?

I came across two approximate sayings “Making a mountain out of a molehill” and “Much ado about nothing” coincidentally in tandem in the home page of today’s (June 7) New York Times. Making a ...
2
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1answer
182 views

“She hasn't said but a few words to me…” or “She has said but a few words to me…”?

"She hasn't said but a few words to me since last winter." or "She has said but a few words to me since last winter." Which of these is right? I think the latter is heard more often, but ...
3
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1answer
781 views

“anybody can dance” or “Everybody can dance”?

"Anybody can dance" or "Everybody can dance", which is correct? Or do they have same meaning?
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6answers
2k views

Are there any names of food that are associated with political correctness other than Fried chicken?

The word Spanish golfer, Sergio Garcia used in answering a reporter’s question about the status of his current relationship with his rival, Tiger Woods on May 21st – “We’ll have him ‘round every ...
0
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1answer
827 views

Is “Don't Nobody/Anybody/Anyone + verb” a double negative?

I was reading a passage in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and a character, a migrant farmer, says of another character's fighting ability: "Nobody don't know what Slim can do". And then a little ...
3
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2answers
222 views

Does “Paraphernalia” have a negative connotation?

By definition, the word paraphernalia does not portray either negative or positive emotions. Does it, in everyday usage? In my particular case, I am making a website about programming. I have a ...
2
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1answer
254 views

Can one feel claustrophobic?

I often hear people say they "feel claustrophobic" (e.g. in a lift). This sounds wrong. To me, one is claustrophobic, or one feels claustrophobia. Am I correct in assuming the expression "to feel ...
3
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1answer
150 views

about the expression 'on someone's behalf'

I know the expression 'on (someone's) behalf' usually reads or is understood as 'instead of someone' but I'm wondering if it's possible for it to have a benefactive reading, that is, if it can be used ...
2
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1answer
4k views

Difference between: Also, too and as well [duplicate]

I understand that the correct usage of also is with a verb: She was smart, she also studied so much. However, my trouble is with too and as well, I have been reading and I just found that as ...
5
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2answers
559 views

Is the expression 'too much, too young' grammatically acceptable?

I'm happy to see that grammar is being seen as important enough to be taught in English schools ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22403731 ) again. I think. At least it might improve some people's ...
5
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2answers
364 views

What's a useful replacement idiom for “money shot?”

I'm afraid I have been somewhat innocently causing offense by using the term "money shot" in its general, non-pornographic sense. My coworkers either have dirty minds or lack awareness of the other ...
0
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1answer
88 views

Adverse or averse? [closed]

I have been thinking about these two words for quite a while. I have looked up the dictionary on these two words and it seemed as if the two words are not identical. However, there are claims of the ...
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2answers
98 views

How do you say “I made books fall off the shelf” [closed]

One way is to say "I spilled the books off the shelf". I am looking for a more suitable usage of words.
6
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1answer
389 views

Using “rather” to correct a misstatement

For some reason I have it in my head that I can use the word "rather" at the end of a phrase to indicate that I am correcting a previous misstatement. For example: Down the hall, you'll find the ...
0
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4answers
114 views

Alternatives to “enthusiasm declined”? [closed]

I'd like to say something like "My enthusiasm declined after I read the news", but I'm not sure decline goes well with enthusiasm. Is there a better alternative? Or is decline just fine?
0
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1answer
138 views

“Customer usage” or “customer use”? [duplicate]

I'm working for a truck manufacturer and I have to analyse what our customers do with their vehicles (for example, how many kilometres do they usually drive per day, or how much fuel do they use?). ...