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

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4
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89 views

Klick vs Kilometer

Is is correct to use the word Klick instead of Kilometer in the following sentences? It's about 50 klicks to the next gas station. The US is about 25000 klicks from India by air.
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104 views

Does “mouse” in the computer sense come from nautical slang?

Computer "mouse" is an English term known and used worldwide. Reference about its origin appears to suggest that the term, which obviously refers to the shape of a small mouse, may actually come ...
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242 views

“Para” and “Paras” vs “Paragraph” and “Paragraphs”

I find people using "para" for "paragraph" and "paras" for "paragraphs", even in formal English. See the example sentence: In para 2 of the plaint, the plaintiff has stated that he is entitled ...
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50 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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20 views

It is + (time) + to + (verb)?

Actually, I'm asking for an another way to say "it takes + (time) + to + (verb)". For example, is "It is 1 hour to go to the hospital" correct or the "it takes + (time) + to + (verb)" construction is ...
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46 views

Relative clauses

I have these two sentences: "All of them knew the criminals by sight. The local police arrested them." If you were asked to join them using a relative clause, how would you do it? all of them is ...
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171 views

How to specify we don't know the gender

I was talking about the short story "The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen" by Graham Greene. The narrator is part of the story and also talks about himself/herself. They ask me what we know about the ...
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201 views

Is there a nuance in meaning between 'non-managed' and 'unmanaged'?

Context: I am writing about 'devices not managed by professionals' and debating the subtleties between non-managed devices vs. unmanaged devices
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148 views

Reference material for change in English usage over time

How words have changed in meaning and usage over time is frequently a hot topic both on here and the wider community, and I find it fascinating. Are there any good reference works which document this ...
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14 views

Use of “transferable”

Is the use of 'transferable' correct in the following sentence? If not, what should be the appropriate word? My father had a transferable job.
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7 views

“Shipping cost” or “shipping price”?

While building an ecommerce website, I'm writing the labels for the checkout process. I'd like to use the words “price” and “cost” correctly (I understand that a product on the shelf has a price, but ...
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20 views

'Poetries' as plural form used in 'poetics'

My friend used 'Poetries' in a poem to rhyme with 'trees', to which my son objected saying 'as a uncountable Noun, it has no plural and 'Poetries' is wrong'. I replied that in poetics, although ...
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49 views

In what contexts is the word fertile used in this manner, and is it ridiculous or at best misleading?

I have seen a very strange definition for fertile. OED fertile: 1. Bearing or producing in abundance; fruitful, prolific. Const. of, in, rarely to. a. lit. of the soil, a district or region, ...
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25 views

Take advantage of this opportunity

I find myself recurrently stopped while writing e-mails for a main purpose (e.g, answering a direct question from a previous mail somebody sent me) and wanting to add a second theme "taking advantage ...
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81 views

what does pi mean?

I've ordered some good from supplier. and before shipping the products he sent me the following: how much is the goods do you want to declare,as i need to make the pi what does pi mean ? pi is a ...
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39 views

“Am I (ever) [adj.] ” vs. “How [adj.] I am”

What's the difference between saying, Boy, am I happy to see you again! Damn, am I ever lucky to have a friend like you! -and- Boy, how happy I am to see you again! Damn, how lucky ...
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22 views

Reported Usage Vs. Actual Usage

I'm currently writing a linguistics research essay and my professor wanted me to explain the differences between "reported usage" and "actual usage" of inter-dental stopping based on the surveys I ...
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44 views

“varietal” vs. “various” vs. “varied”

Please, consider the following sourced excerpts: An ideal romantic daytime date might be to pack a blanket and take your lady to Old Town Silverdale. Settled in 1854, this beautiful little town ...
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23 views

Is “these ones” correct?

I know many people use it, but it really does sound informal. Should I avoid it anyway? Case is. I have a pair of earings on the table and I want to refer to them, so I say: "Are you talking about ...
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25 views

“Many a” or “Many a…alike”

For example, which of these phrases would be more accurate? "Many an artist alike thought highly of the philosophy." or "Many an artist thought highly of the philosophy." In essence, I'm just ...
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45 views

Is it correct to say “must you drive me crazy”?

Is it correct to say "must you drive me crazy"? Does it sound stylistically correct for native speakers? Thanks!
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48 views

How do you tell the difference between “wrong” and “run” in perception test?

Background Just developing a linguistic test - native English speakers can pass(100% correct), and L2 learners cannnot pass(even though they are very proficient). "Wrong vs run" pair was chosen. ...
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38 views

“OF” between the subject and the verb “seem”?

When reading "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," I came across the sentences as following: "'They of seem so helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these.'" What is this "of" ...
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21 views

“Imponderable” definition and usage

If "ponder" means "to consider carefully",did "imponderable" originally mean "not able to be considered"? And how did it seemingly evolve into its usage today meaning "unanswerable" (despite careful ...
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34 views

Why do we give “respect” to differentiation variables?

I mean, if you've studied any calculus, you probably know this expression: "a derivative of [function] with respect to [variable]". Why is that word used though? I know it's probably an idiom, but I ...
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53 views

“the hell with” vs “to hell with”

What is the etymology of "the hell with", which on the face of it is a corruption of "to hell with" or possibly a shortening ot "to the hell with". (See below.) In my experience, the former is rather ...
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29 views

One two three-wheel vehicle examination. Does it make sense?

I want to compare two three-wheel vehicles. Does the title of my essay "One two three-wheel vehicle examination" make any sense? "One" refers to the examination and "two" to the number of vehicles I ...
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32 views

Correct use of culling

I received an email that included the phrase "culling through posts." I feel like the word "through" doesn't work here. Culling is defined as - "select from a large quantity," which makes me think ...
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37 views

What are the differences between “come on down” and “come down”?

"I answered the phone in my apartment and heard the sloping drawl of one of my students , Travis." Miss Diana, " he said, "Could you come on down the stairs a minute?" It was early May on the ...
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61 views

Mark Twain and the tenses

Maybe I'm being too pedantic for my own good, but here's the thing. There is in Mark Twain's short story titled Journalism in Tennessee a passage in which, if you take a good close look, the simple ...
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34 views

Is Alliteration Orthographic or Sonic?

Is this alliteration: Chocolate-colored Chows chew caffeinated Chow chow, chasing crabby calico cats Cherry cobbler clings close chastely, catapulting Cincinnati Centerfielders crosswise ("...
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1k views

Is it better to say “research under Prof. Aho” or “research under supervision of Prof. Aho”?

When a professor advises and supervises a PhD or MS student to complete their research, is it advisable say? The student is conducting his study under Prof. X. Or The student is ...
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136 views

Does an invitation to do something “together” imply “with a group”?

I need to know the meaning of the following sentence, if being sent to one person. "Would you be interested in trying out a new restaurant together sometime"? Does this mean that this is a group ...
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53 views

Is “Jap” more commonly used in media with space restrictions?

From time to time, I encounter people using the word "Jap" on Twitter. One explanation I've seen for its use is that it's shorter than "Japanese" or "Japan", so it's easier to write tweets that fit ...
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78 views

Grammatical rule for using no article with nouns

I can use "Listing Activation Codes" in an article whose description is the following: Use the following API route to list activation codes and their values. ​In this description, I mean that ...
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36 views

“Hereinafter” usage question

If I use "hereinafter" in a formal document in order to announce I'm abbreviating something can I use the full version afterwards or do I have to stay with the abbreviated version from there on out? ...
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17 views

Known or be known

Is the usage correct? "Let the desire be known to them" —of course, the best would be: "let them know the desire"
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54 views

Why are we using 'the' less?

I saw this ngram, and found that the word 'the' is less frequently observed these days, as compared to the past. I know this is a silly question. But why is this happening? Also, surprisingly, 'The'...
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59 views

Are there any clear explanations for these trends?

I was curious earlier about the use of various pronouns / possessives in English (primarily first person), so I chose a selection of them and was surprised to discover that, among other oddities, "I" ...
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66 views

The use of 'contract'

Is it right to say 'He is contracted with a virus which causes his immunity to be weak against diseases'? Can the word 'contract' be used with 'with'? Thanks.
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36 views

How far does 'pair' stretch?

I heard a news report saying (from memory), "Icy conditions contributed to a pair of deaths last evening. In one incident a car slid into Lake Mumble..." This struck a false note for me. These are ...
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69 views

Can we use “therefore” before “before”?

Can I use "therefore" like this in a sentence? "Many Companies have various software systems which need to exchange data between one another despite their using different protocols. Therefore, ...
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623 views

Usage of “regarding” and “about”

I have been corrected by a manager when I used regarding in some of my sentences. Example: Regarding the client visit, we are all set. He said that I should avoid the use of regarding since it'...
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40 views

“In” after “happiest” or “content”

I feel the happiest and most content knowing I can always count on them. OR I feel the happiest and most content in knowing I can always count on them. Is it correct both ways? or does this ...
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148 views

Accommodate a problem to solution?

The topic is the following: I present a problem and a potential solution to it. After explaining the solution is it correct to say : "In order to adopt this approach in our evaluation .." Or ...
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39 views

Is it “a spyglass TO the past” or “a spyglass INTO the past”

I'd like to use the phrase XYZ as a spyglass (in)to the past. as title for a publication on a scientific method that allows me to infer knowledge about the past from data available now. E.g., the ...
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71 views

Question about about various uses of “to be” and correctness of their usage in my sentence

If I were the man involved, and didn't know my wife was 'pretend', I would be totally crushed when I did find out she was fake. How could I make the above statement correct? If it already is, then ...
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627 views

Spelling alphabet: Should I spell out each letter in my name using the spelling alphabet, or only the confusing letters?

I have a long name and spelling out every letter as "a as in alpha, b as in bravo" would take a very long time. I've heard people using only the expansion for confusing letters like M, N, etc. and ...
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174 views

What is the difference between “matter-containing media” and “matter”?

I'm reading the English Wikipedia entry titled "Radiation". You can find the word in the first paragraph, or by searching. What is the difference between "matter-containing media" and "matter"?
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183 views

Sentence diagramming trouble with figuring out subordinators and relative pronouns

http://imgur.com/a/dyALV for the pictures. In the diagrams my main concern was figuring out if the use of "that" was under the context of it being a relative pronoun or a subordinator. I have trouble ...