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

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2answers
19 views

Is this proper usage of the world 'proverbial'

"Daniel spots the contradiction almost immediately, recalling the moment when Sam had befriended Bobby with his story of the proverbial girlfriend he once called Janice—not Maggie." I'm almost ...
3
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3answers
114 views

Can One Jump To Good Conclusions?

Jump To Conclusions is noted in the free dictionary's entry for jump a few different ways: To form an opinion or judgment hastily: jump to conclusions. to proceed abruptly, ...
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0answers
31 views

Effect of English Language & Usage Stack? [migrated]

Not sure if this is the appropriate forum, but: Is there a way to measure the effect of stack exchange on correct usage of the English language?
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0answers
54 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?
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2answers
66 views

Is “Click bait” an Internet buzzword? How can I rephrase it?

I found a video showing a fireman who rescued a suffocating kitten from a fire smoke and resuscitated her by oxygen inhalation introduced in the article titled “Why that video went viral” in New York ...
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2answers
241 views

Can I use the word “promise” with gerund?

Is it possible to use gerund after the verb "promise"? For example, in the sentence "He promised cleaning the window. I'd prefer to say: He promised to clean the window. But today I was told that this ...
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1answer
37 views

Origin of the disapproval associated with “derivative” used as an adjective?

This is the first meaning of the word derivative used as an adjective(Oxford): 1 (Typically of an artist or work of art) imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for ...
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3answers
117 views

past perfect tense and comma usage in Churchill's book

I'm reading a book called "My early life" by Winston Churchill. "I was working in the saloon of the Indiaman, and had reached an exciting point in my story." 1) why did he put comma before "and had ...
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4answers
1k views

What does “stuff one's nose into another's orifices” mean?

According to Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (May 20) under the headline, “Remember to forget,” the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Google and other search engines can be ...
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2answers
3k views

What does “Seeing right through them” exactly mean?

I was drawn to the phrase, “Seeing right through them“appearing in the New York Times (October 5) article written by Daniel Goleman under the title, “Rich people just care less.” It begins with the ...
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1answer
29 views

Use of “although” without a contrasting statement [on hold]

In IAS 37 Clause 37 states: Although a constructive obligation is not created solely by a management decision, an obligation may result from other earlier events together with such a decision. ...
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0answers
20 views

Usage of previously vs earlier [on hold]

Sentence 1 : We need to read the essay we have written previously. Sentence 2 : We need to read the essay we have written earlier. Please tell the difference between Sentence 1 and Sentence 2.
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3answers
310 views

How to appropriately use the word “baby” as in the pattern “ ____ baby ___”; for example, “run baby run”?

As a non-native English speaker, I am not sure what is the meaning of this pattern "_ baby _" as in "run baby run"? Another example: "USA continues to "drill baby drill" (referring to oil). What other ...
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1answer
38 views

Dedicated to producing vs dedicated to the production - use of gerund in place of noun

- A factory famous for the production of. . . - A factory famous for producing . . . - A farm dedicated to the cultivation of . . . - A farm dedicated to cultivating . . . - The firm focused on the ...
2
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2answers
72 views

Inherency as used in policy debate

Policy debate uses the word "inherency" in an unusual way. One side in the debate proposes a plan and part of what they are obliged to show is that the plan will not happen in the status quo. This is ...
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2answers
146 views

“Dish of the day“ vs “today's special”

Many restaurants offer a menu which doesn't change from day to day, and in addition offer one choice which varies from day to day, perhaps depending on which ingredients are available. This choice can ...
0
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1answer
123 views

usage of “constitute” and “thankful”

A senior researcher has single-handed[ly] constituted one of the most comprehensive collections of field recordings. I have three questions, two pertaining to usage and one to grammar:  1. ...
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2answers
59 views

“He didn't dare [verb]” vs. “He didn't dare *to* [verb]” [on hold]

Which one is correct? If both are correct, is there any difference in the meaning? He didn't dare to contradict his parents. He didn't dare contradict his parents.
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3answers
86 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct? [on hold]

1) Suppose there is a very stupid person. Is it correct to tell that he/she is 'literally nuts'? 2) What about using it if the person is mentally ill? This came up in an informal talk with my ...
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2answers
74 views

Why does “a bigger number of” seem wrong?

I noticed when answering this related question that I would never say a bigger number of. I have no issues with 5 is a bigger number than 3 (though I would probably say a larger or greater number ...
2
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2answers
70 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
163 views

Can the word “proxy” be used as a preposition?

At the end of a sentence, I want to insert the following (parentheses included): (proxy my parents, of course). E.g., I sent my brother to his room (proxy my parents, of course). But this ...
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1answer
85 views

Semi-colon or colon?

I'm writing a descriptive piece, and can't figure out whether this is grammatically correct, or whether I ought to place a semi-colon between "entry" and "crooked": "As I walked in using the cobbled ...
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2answers
468 views

Confused on how to use “instead” in the middle of a sentence

I am dumbfounded on why the man does not spring for Walton’s help, instead, he makes sure the vessel is headed North. I'm confused on how to use "instead" in the middle of my sentence. Is that ...
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1answer
48 views

Is it right say Invest on? [closed]

Is it correct idiomatically to say "invest on?" For example, "Invest on Peter " [a person].
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1answer
46 views

(Name of) and (Best Practice Typography for) Unusual Self-Referential Double Usage

One pattern I find interesting is using a word in an explicit double sense, leading to a self-reference kind of pun. For example: As is the case with such things, however, military intelligence ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there any difference between “word-for-word translation” and “word-by-word translation” and is the latter actually valid?

First off, some data: According to COCA word-for-word has 60 usages, 3 of them are "word-for-word translation". Word-by-word has 26 usages, none of them are "word-by-word translation" (but some with ...
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6answers
375 views

When would you say “I seen it.”

I am not looking for explanations of why "I seen it" is wrong (though with sight there's an unfair grammatical burden that doesn't impact the other senses, whose past tense and past participle are the ...
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1answer
62 views

“Confirm you are …” vs. “Confirm that you are …” [duplicate]

In the example from the title, is it mandatory to use "that" in the sentence? The original sentence I picked up was from a checkbox marked "Confirm you are not a spammer" - which I thought should be ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Convey the idea of partial similarity in a list of things in a sentence/

I have the following sentence: Surveyed meta-heuristics techniques like Tabu Search, Simulated annealing and Constraint Satisfaction Problem(CSP). The problem is CSP is not a meta-heuristic. How ...
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3answers
132 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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2answers
31 views

the X event after next…Th

Is it grammatically correct to say "at the steering committee meeting after next"? The idea is that there are meetings every two weeks, but the intention is for something to be presented not at the ...
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2answers
146 views

Pronoun usage and conjugation [closed]

Why do we say 'I am a teacher' instead of 'I is a teacher' when 'I' is a singular pronoun?
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1answer
117 views

Confusion about “very” and “very much”

I have few confusions regarding the usage of very and very much. 1. From OALD I found this usage guide - It states that very can be used with past participles used as adjectives, but not with ...
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1answer
43 views

Usage of the phrasal verb “to wind down”

-Barclays to wind down commodities trading. (from Financial Times, April 21st) -Senate Bill seeks to wind down Fannie Mae in five years.(Bloomberg, March 17th) Is the use of to wind down becoming ...
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2answers
56 views

What's the difference between these two phrases?

What's the difference between these two phrases? their systems’ security posture their systems security posture Is there any difference in the meaning? If not, when we use either of ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Which verb has been modified?

Which verb has been modified by adverb "directly" in the following sentence? "Some governments even offer to help protect their critical infrastructure directly, by deploying sensors in the networks ...
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0answers
43 views

Is this the right use of “laid”? [duplicate]

The campfire crackled. Hunter laid in his sleeping bag and gazed up at the stars.
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2answers
77 views

Recordkeeping, record keeping, or record-keeping

In the following sentence, a reviewer claimed that record keeping is a spelling error that should be corrected to recordkeeping. Service providers shall manage information using agreed upon ...
1
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1answer
61 views

Is the expression “having a kitten in one's pocket” a proverb or slang?

Is the phrase, from ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ by Alexander Baron having one's kitten in one's pocket a proverb or common slang? How common is this expression? What exactly does it mean and how ...
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1answer
40 views

Use of 'Could' in the Past Tense

What are the possible meanings and implications of the following sentences: He could come yesterday. He could not come yesterday. He could have come yesterday. He could not have come yesterday.
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1answer
52 views

bow’r, affin’d and pow’r [closed]

What usage is the following abbreviations? ‘Not boskiest bow’r,  When hearts are ill affin’d, Hath tree of pow’r To shelter from the wind!’ from The Woodlanders by Thomas ...
0
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1answer
26 views

Use of person years experience or another word for combined experience

I am preparing to write a statement about my previous company's founders experience in my resume and I am having a quandary as to how to write the following: ABC Info has been founded by people ...
0
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2answers
47 views

Usage of the word terrorism

We read in newspapers and watch on TV many cases regarding students gunning down their classmates and teachers. Suppose a student brought a gun to class, pointed it at his friends and teachers, and ...
4
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1answer
63 views

What does the phrase “behind deadline” mean?

If someone (or something) is behind deadline, does it mean that she/he has already missed a deadline or does it mean that she/he is about to miss a deadline ?
3
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2answers
76 views

Geographical Usage of “Mate”

I was wondering where the term, "mate," is most popular? When I think of the term, "mate," I think of Australia and England, but I was wondering if anyone else has some input on this. Mate here is ...
3
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1answer
246 views

What does “meth“ mean in “Meth heads snuck in to it to do meth.”?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker’s (September 22, 2014) article titled “Field trip” describing a photographer who travels to take pictures of oldest living things in the world: ...
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3answers
53 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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3answers
95 views

What's an evidential basis for discussing gender-neutrality of terms? [closed]

I keep finding myself looking at questions involving the concept of gender neutrality of words or phrases. (Check out the RELATED panel down to the right there.) "Craftmanship" for example - is it ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Is there a specific group of words that I can look for before/after “its/it's” to determine proper/improper usage?

Is there a specific group/category of words that I can look for before/after "its/it's" to determine proper/improper usage? I'm asking this for the purpose of writing code that corrects the usage of ...