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

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3
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3answers
246 views

Visit us at (the) booth 24, (the) room 56 etc. It's wrong, but why?

I know that "the" is wrong here, but I can't explain why it's wrong to my friend here, and I have trouble formulating a google search to find some descriptive "rule" or something. Help please?
4
votes
2answers
268 views

'Hope' vs. 'wish' in unlikely situations

Although 'hope' and 'wish' have many different uses, I've seen the basic difference often summarized as: 'wish' is for imaginary, unlikely or impossible things, whereas 'hope' is for more likely or ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

“Am I going the right way for Downwood?” versus “Is this the right way to the station?” Why the change of preposition?

Two sentences taken from First Certificate Language Practice by Michael Vince, 4th edition, p. 104, ex. 4, n° 3, and p. 105, ex. 5, n° 5: "Excuse me, is this the right way to the station?" "Am I ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Does “shall no longer be” imply “forever not?”

Can "no longer" refer to a finite, forseeable time period, or does it indicate a long-term finality? For example, if someone says, in anticipation of a large meal, "I shall no longer be hungry," does ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

How can I dedicate something to my family and make a special note of my wife?

In a formal media article that describes my achievements, I want to say something like the following: I want to dedicate this achievement/award to my family and especially to my wife for all the ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

“In preparation for” or “In Preparation of”? [closed]

What´s the difference in use between "in preparation of" or "in preparation for"? They seem both correct. Context: The team practiced how they would respond to bad weather in preparation of ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Usage of “Which Birthday”

On the day of a Colleague's Birthday, I asked him "Which birthday" meaning to ask "How old have you become today". He was of the opinion that it is not a correct usage. Is the usage "Which Birthday" ...
1
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2answers
92 views

Agreement of articles and prepositions

Which of the following sentences would you consider most acceptable, and why? Please assume knowledge of the difference between the definite and indefinite articles here and that they are used ...
2
votes
2answers
255 views

Using “on” before days or dates

I've noticed that on many American TV shows, the speakers generally don't use the word "on" before names of days or before dates. For example: I'll see you Monday. Shouldn't it be: I'll see you on ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

If the prefix “a-” means not, shouldn't “await” or “awaiting” mean, “Not waiting?”

If: Apolitical means "not political" and Amuse means...well, it should mean, "not thinking" then why does await or awaiting not mean "not waiting?" I read this earlier question (Is ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

Another meaning of the vulgar word “slut”

I guess people who speak American and Philippine English will unanimously agree that the word "slut" is a very offensive term referring to a promiscuous woman. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Passive voice in this sentence

I am a bit confused about these sentences below. The word "encumbered" baffles me. "Encumbered" is usually used in passive sentences. I am not able to understand the agent in these following ...
3
votes
2answers
333 views

Does the expression “to go under the knife” carry a negative connotation?

Is there a difference in connotation between these two phrases? I asked my student whether her mother was scheduled to GO UNDER THE KNIFE this morning. I asked my student whether her mother was ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

“Bar none (the most/the best…)” for “without exceptions or by far (the most/the best…)”

I once came across the idiom "bar none" for "by far/with no exceptions" as in "He's bar none the best player on the team", after what (for some reason unbeknownst to my forty three year old self) it ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

appropriate usage of proceeded

The investigator proceeded at the crime scene? Is this correct? Can I use the word went instead?
1
vote
1answer
646 views

Nationalities - When do we use the singular or plural form

I always have doubts whether to use a singular or a plural noun when I refer to certain peoples. For example, we say Americans, Italians, Brazilians, Russians and Austrians. But we say The British, ...
0
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1answer
1k views

When is it appropriate to use the idiom “various and sundry”

To my ears the term "various and sundry" sounds redundant. What is the proper use of this idiom?
-3
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3answers
872 views

“Anticipate” for “look forward to” [closed]

Can "anticipate" be safely used as a substitute for "look forward to" in informal prose like emails and general correspondence, but also in business writing? e.g. I'm anticipating to hear from you. ...
1
vote
3answers
125 views

“Board” and “go/be aboard/on board” in AE

In AE, is it acceptable to say board/go aboard (and hence be aboard/on board) for such miscellaneous and various vehicular (or mobile) devices as an elevator, a bus, a truck, a van, a people carrier, ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Can “allophone” be used to mean “nonnative”?

Do you use allophone in replacement of nonnative? And, do you have more expressions meaning nonnative?
0
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1answer
46 views

Usage of “walking out clean”

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? "I just hope he walks out clean from the probe" If not, what is the correct form? EDIT: The context of the above sentence is a situation where you ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

“At all” in w-questions

I don't know how to say it but "at all" used in yes or no questions has a specific function. I would maybe call it "asking for a basic reality" but I don'T know if that makes sense to anyone. Do ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

The problem with the word “quite” [duplicate]

"Quite" is probably the most ambiguous word in the English language. Merriam-Webster defines it three ways: 1: completely, wholly, totally (quite mistaken) 2: to an extreme : positively (quite ...
0
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2answers
437 views

'Deflected Off of' vs 'Deflected off' [duplicate]

A question straight from the football commentary pages : X's shot deflected off of Y before finding its way into the net. What is the correct usage here ? Deflected off of or deflected off ?? ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Does not or Might not?

This is the message: The user might not fall under the scope of this policy. It denotes that a setting is not applied to the user because the user is not part of the policy. He's surely not ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “have a pastrami on wry” mean?

I was drawn to the expression, “I wish I could have pastrami on wry“in the beginning sentence of Maureen Dowd’s article, titled “Still mad as hell” in New York Times (February 8): "I often wonder ...
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2answers
228 views

Differences between “very” and “very much” as adjective modifiers

The following examples are clearly wrong: × I am very much tired × She is very much clever But the following sounds fine (at least according to OALD): I am very much afraid that ... I am ...
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votes
2answers
562 views

“I am poor in english” or “I am poor at english” Which one is correct? [duplicate]

Well the title pretty much speaks for itself. Also all kinds of other suggestions are accepted. I just want to know the correct usage.
0
votes
2answers
58 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
136 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.
1
vote
0answers
125 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
49 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.
0
votes
2answers
84 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
693 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
92 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?
0
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3answers
40 views

Right usage of “undergo” with syndrome [closed]

Is the sentence.... XYZ (n) is undergoing ABC syndrome. Right?
0
votes
1answer
96 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) ...
3
votes
3answers
160 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".
6
votes
2answers
221 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, ...
2
votes
5answers
590 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
84 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)
2
votes
1answer
596 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
143 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k 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
votes
3answers
42 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) ...
1
vote
1answer
149 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 ...
70
votes
13answers
52k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
379 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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
113 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 ...