For questions on how and why certain words are used in varying ways within various contexts.

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Trained at vs trained to?

The following is a quote from Dragonsbane, by Barbara Hambly, chapter 1. “John would never have gone after the dragon, Gareth, had he not been forced to it. But as Thane of Alyn Hold, as Lord of Wyr, ...
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1answer
75 views

“eldest” vs. “firstborn”

A family genealogist discovered that his grandparent who was believed to have had six siblings actually had two more who had died very young; one died a few days after birth. The firstborn died at ...
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3answers
888 views

Difference between eloquent and articulate

Is there an intended difference between the words "eloquent" and "articulate," or are they simply two synonymous adjectives? When I use the adjective "eloquent" I most often think of flowery, ...
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3answers
941 views

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside 'be one’s “friend”'?

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside be one’s “friend”? I was drawn to the phrase, “My short game’s always been my buddy” appearing in the following quote of Tiger Woods in the Time magazine’s (...
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1answer
29 views

the difference meaning between humiliate and ridicule [on hold]

i get new word, ridicule, that means making fun of someone in harsh way how about humiliate. i think there both have similiarity but there both not a synonym. what is the difference ? thanks
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8answers
254 views
+500

Speaker Paul Ryan said “encouraged with” but media is saying “Ryan encouraged by”. Why?

*Note: The first half of this question, in bold, is streamlined and expresses the gist of my message. You can skip the second half of the question if you would rather not slog through all my ...
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0answers
39 views

Is it right to say that and all? [on hold]

My many friends are using that and all.I am not sure it's right or wrong.Please help me .
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1answer
8k views

Is “play chess when others are playing checkers,” a well-known / well-used phrase?

I found the phrase, “he’s always playing chess when others are playing checkers,” in today’s (September 11) article of New York Times, written by Charles Blow under the headline of “It’s a Mad, Mad, ...
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2answers
81 views

I dislike his/him being blunt [on hold]

What is the difference between the two sentences below? Are they both grammatically correct? I dislike his being blunt. I dislike him being blunt.
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2answers
1k views

Why is “positive” chosen as the opposite of “normative”, as in “positive statement”?

I understand that the phrase "positive statement" means, when opposed to normative statement (like in economics), statements that describe facts without indicating (dis)approval, thus that are ...
2
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2answers
640 views

Origin of “off the meter” idiomatic phrase

When and how did the phrase "off the meter" become established as an idiom? Urban Dictionary defines "off the meter" as the condition of being "very good, awesome, great". I have heard and said it ...
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28 views

what is the use of these words; would, should, could? [on hold]

I want to know the usage following; Would Should Could please answer me
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54 views

“Come this May, I will…” Why am I using “come”? [duplicate]

"Come this fall, I will be at Harvard studying law." "Come May, I will have been studying Biology for seven years." While speaking with a colleague, I used the phrase "Come + time period". She wasn'...
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1answer
49 views

Is this correct? : “Tenji that was, died in his sisters arms.” (Kind of like 'powers that be') Also is 'have a claim to' correct' or 'hold a claim to'

Full quote for context "I have no claim to life, yet I walk. I have no claim to valor, yet I fight. I have no claim to love, yet I mourn. I am not the dragon, for Tenji Minamoto that was, died in his ...
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0answers
24 views

Wha is the difference between the two cases of preposition use?

I was just reading something that used the phrase He was studying about civil war history. The author probably meant either "He was learning about civil war history" or "He was studying civil ...
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0answers
40 views

What is the difference between sqq and ff?

What's the difference between sqq. and ff.? The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Thomas by Bernhard Pick has, for example, these 4 references in a row: Hennecke, N ...
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1answer
75 views

Should “something, and therefore something” be referred to as singular or plural?

For example, if I have the sentence Due to the improvement of our algorithm, our model, and therefore simulation, becomes more realistic. Should the becomes be instead written as become? Does ...
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0answers
46 views

How to modify gerunds when they are objects? [migrated]

A question about gerunds really confuses me: Is it true when gerunds are objects, we can't make them work as nouns? For example, we can't say: "I really enjoy free swimming!" or "My ...
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1answer
66 views

“Handling of Task 1” or “Handling Task 1”

I am working on my thesis and included is a subsection in which I describe how a part of a class of my program handles the task I have been assigned for the thesis. To give you an idea of what the ...
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0answers
35 views

France vs. french as an adjective [closed]

Why do media use France as an adjective, instead of French, e.g., the France economy, vs., the french economy? or Canada tourism vs. Canadian tourism?
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1answer
168 views

Usage of “imperative to [verb]ing”

From what I learned, we could use imperative to [verb]ing, but when I read my book, I see this sentence: An accurate analysis of surveys is imperative to building a good understanding of customer ...
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5answers
11k views

Trustable or trustworthy?

For a long time I have been using trustworthy as the adjective for of trust. However, I recently heard someone say trustable, and it piqued my interest. Apparently it is a word on Merriam-Webster as ...
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0answers
43 views

hiccough vs hiccup [duplicate]

I had 12 years of public school, 4 years of college (honors), 4 years of medical school and 3 years of post graduate training. Now I have practiced medicine for 35 years. Last week, someone told me ...
3
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1answer
66 views

What is the word with the definition: “One that is modulated”?

If I employ someone, then they are my "employee". If my computer program modulates other computer programs, then they are my computer program's _____.? I can't find any reference to "modulatee" ...
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3answers
98 views

How do you write “and” in short form?

How do you write "and" in short form like w/o as in "without"?? It's not "&" but some other form. I used to write it but I forgot since I dont live in the US. Please help me remind it. Thanks
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1answer
116 views

Is the usage “how many ever” correct?

Eg : You may use it how many ever time. I know the sentence can be phrased better but I just wanted to given an example. So my question is, Is "how many ever" a correct usage?
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2answers
76 views

Super Duper -usage and nuance

I'd like to know how to use the idiom: Super Duper. It seems to be a slang which means great or marvelous. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/superduper But, one of my colleagues sometimes says "I'm ...
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4answers
599 views

The usage of “banzai”

I started to reread a pretty old mystery of Thomas Harris, “The silence of the lambs,” which I once gave up reading because of difficulty of understanding the narrative studded with technical jargons ...
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4answers
248 views

'Devon Police is' or 'Devon Police are'—should 'police' be treated as singular or plural? [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? Devon Police is recording incidents or Devon Police are recording incidents
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3answers
2k views

Why are “slip roads” called that way?

Slip roads are used to allow vehicles to merge in a road whose speed is higher or, conversely, let them leave it safely. This term appears to be British English usage. Here is an example of usage: ...
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1answer
56 views

Could Present Perfect Continuous form a grammatical tautology in some sentences?

I have joined a grammar MOOC starting with an introduction to English tenses. One of the practice questions left me confused. The question is as follows: Do these two sentences have similar ...
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0answers
34 views

Electric cars are easier to make our dreams come true than gas fueled cars [closed]

Electric cars are easier to make our dreams come true than gas fueled cars. This sentence does not sound right to me. Can anyone explain why I might think so.
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1answer
56 views

Is 'folk' a politically correct substitute for 'people'?

Edit: Comments so far have focused on the speech of politicians. While this discussion is interesting, and desired when relevant, I am more concerned with use in activist communities. I believe the ...
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1answer
71 views

Why is “everybody” singular?

Why is "Everybody" in the singular? We say "People in Europe are nice". Why, then, do we say "Everybody in Europe is nice"?
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3answers
86 views

Is there any difference between “I'm sat” and “I'm sitting”?

In BrE, one can apparently use I'm sat here to mean I'm sitting here. This seems to be a relatively modern usage: I had originally thought that this was a regional or dialectical variant and had ...
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1answer
185 views

As to grammar and idiom, is the following extract correct: “… if you know the man or are him, call …”?

Obviously, my questions refers to the pronoun him. Am I wrong to suppose that the use of the subject case pronoun he instead of him would not improve the previous statement? What about this one: “… if ...
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1answer
24 views

How do you use colons with abbreviations? [closed]

If you are writing a report and have to mention the room number, is it correct to write Room No.:625, Room No. 625, or Room No: 625 The first example just looks wrong to me, whereas the second and ...
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0answers
15 views

Using present perfect with “The last casino”

Can I use the present perfect in the following sentence: "The last casino I have been to was in Spain."? Or, do I have to say "The last casino I went to was in Spain"? To explain: With the ...
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3answers
7k views

“endure” vs “perdure” vs “persist”

All definitions via The Free Dictionary perdure means To last permanently; endure endure is To continue in existence; last persist means To be obstinately repetitious, insistent, ...
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1answer
26 views

What can be the verb to be used for agreement on contarcts?

What can be the best verb to be used for the process the eventually yields contracts? Should I use: Parties should agree on a contract Parties should find on a contract Parties should sign a ...
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2answers
54 views

“Answers arrive in a piecemeal fashion”

I am being told that this sentence is not in a proper construction: "Answers arrive in a piecemeal fashion." Neither Book Google nor standard Google search yields a single result using quotation ...
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4answers
1k views

Origin of “Innocent” to mean “Sexually Inexperienced”

I was thinking about the way "innocent" is often used (in both casual and moderately formal contexts) to mean "sexually inexperienced/oblivious", and came to the conclusion that using the phrase in ...
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1answer
38 views

Why would something have a name with an opposite meaning of the name? [closed]

why do we call "driveway" a driveway when, a driveway is where we park and, "parkway" a parkway when, a parkway is where we drive? These are opposite meanings of what is actually being said. Who makes ...
3
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1answer
75 views

Using the word “condole”

I saw this headline today "Sushma Swaraj condoles death of Abdul Sattar". I have always used the word only in the noun form as in "Sushma Swaraj expresses condolences on death of ..." The free ...
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2answers
58 views

The colloquial use of the pronoun “you” followed by “adjectives”

Utterances like you pig!, you bastard! or you silly! are quite common but it is hard to find grammatical explanation about them as they are prevalent in the colloquialism. I would be glad if ...
3
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1answer
67 views

Deadlines as instants or periods with various verbs and tenses

I was wondering whether a deadline is more of an instant or more of a period. It seems to have some of both aspects, but with more of an emphasis on the instant. I thought that this should be ...
0
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1answer
72 views

Reflexive pronouns to affect false intellectual tone [closed]

In the comments on this answer from another question, a discussion was started regarding the way native speakers use reflexive pronouns to sound "more intellectual" (for example: "I myself have found ...
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1answer
48 views

Audit or Auditing?

When do we use "audit" and when do we use "auditing"? In other words, why do we say "To be a CPA you have to study tax auditing" but we say "A tax audit can be an unpleasant experience"--is there a ...
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1answer
63 views

Whence visa “stamp”?

This question is inspired by http://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/69496/whats-the-deal-with-stamping-us-visas. The US government calls the visa sticker that is inserted into a passport a foil. ...
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0answers
79 views

What does “ago” mean in this sentence?

She told me last year that she went to Europe two years ago. Did she go to Europe in 2014 (two years before today), or 2013 (two years before she spoke the sentence)? I checked Merriam-Webster, ...