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

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2answers
68 views

Is it acceptable to start a sentence with the preposition 'except' rather than 'except for'?

The sentence Except the buildings built towards the end of his life, the buildings erected in Istanbul can be assumed to be his. was recently used in a question here. I edited to replace ...
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2answers
102 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 ...
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2answers
74 views

Can “capable of being hurt…” mean a kind of ability?

"I think that’s what it means to be “real” as a parent or a teacher – to be vulnerable, to be capable of being hurt. The only way to avoid the pain of vulnerability is by shutting out all emotion and ...
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2answers
83 views

Are the 'beautiful things' of life, the 'beautiful' of life?

The following question set me thinking: Can we use all "nouns" as adjective? What about the opposite? Can adjectives be used as nouns? What are the rules or the stylistic limits to their ...
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2answers
158 views

Using “should” makes a sentence sound feminine?

I've heard that using "should" makes a sentence sound more feminine. For example, "What should I do?" Is this true? If so, can you give me an explanation? Thank you in advance.
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1answer
26 views

Use/non-use of articles before Adjective + Abstract noun

I have confusion regarding use/non-use of articles before adjective + abstract noun. Eg. competent handling, prolonged tread life, enhanced durability Providing COMPETENT HANDLING and PROLONGED TREAD ...
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1answer
48 views

Another or/nor usage question

Both sound OK, but the phrase with nor seems more emphatic. Are both correct? "An examination that was performed greater than 30 days prior to patient services cannot be utilized nor updated." vs. ...
1
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1answer
72 views

“Caldoniafied” In General Use in the 1980s?

I am curious about the word "Caldoniafied" meaning, roughly, hard headed, and presumably coming from the song entitled "Caldonia" ("Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes your big head so hard?". )Louis ...
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1answer
71 views

Usage of “coruscating”

Can coruscating be used as a one word adjective to describe "interesting and exciting"? Basically the usage is "his interesting and exciting research work" which will end up as "his coruscating ...
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1answer
24 views

Correct usage of “anymore”

The word "anymore" is used as such: I can't take it anymore. He isn't here anymore; he left. But I have also seen it used like so: People are so dumb anymore. Are these both correct?
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1answer
21 views

When to use “than” and “of” in comparative sentences

The self-storage industry has three times the footprint than McDonald’s. Or: The self-storage industry has three times the footprint of McDonald’s.
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1answer
46 views

Dragons are “fantastic” creatures or “fantastical” creatures?

If I'm discussing fantasy as a genre, and I want to describe a noun as fitting that genre, should I call it fantastic or fantastical? It seems both words exist in (say) Merriam-Webster, but the -al ...
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1answer
30 views

Watch and see usage

When should be used see and when watch? For example: if you look at a mirror you see you or you watch you? The same as if a camera is recording you an it appears in a tv in real-time, are you seeing ...
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1answer
34 views

'Accessory' vs 'included' as adjective (BE)

I'm wondering about the use of the word 'accessory' as an adjective. Would it be preferable in BE to say something like 'This DJ controller comes with accessory headphones'? I feel that 'This DJ ...
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1answer
45 views

Would an “affector” be appropriate for an event driver?

I'm trying to come up with a better word to describe a "driver" or "conditional"; basically, the name of an object or event which is a trigger for something else. Would it be appropriate to say that ...
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1answer
68 views

Using property name in plural instead of its units

Consider describing an object and referring to some of its properties, that has a unit (eg. weight in kilograms). Is it correct to describe the property not by saying what unit is it in, but using ...
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1answer
52 views

Can a phrase including past participle be put right behind the preposition 'of'?

For all the English grammar my teacher taught me, the element put right behind the preposition 'of' can be: 1. a noun. The leg of the desk 2. gerund leading phrase which acts as a noun: The result ...
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1answer
383 views

How do we use 'Stockholm syndrome' in a sentence?

How do we use 'Stockholm Syndrome' in a sentence? Can it be used for the things we hate?
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1answer
138 views

'they are' or 'these are'

Which sentence sounds more natural? These are first and foremost ethical, not medical questions. or They are first and foremost ethical, not medical questions.
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1answer
79 views

antiquarian (adjective) misuse re: dictionary definition

multiple choice ... "antiquarian book" refers to: 1. an antique book about anything 2. any age book about old books 3. a book about people who deal in old books 4. a book in the antiquar language or ...
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1answer
193 views

Does using the phrase “operational state” imply that the referenced “thing” is inanimate?

Can it also be used while referring to animate "things"?
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0answers
31 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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0answers
37 views

How to refer to something “demanding” which doesn't happen all of a sudden?

Looking for a verb to express something that requires some time and effort to evolve, like collecting. I want to express that collecting requires some time and the collection doesn't just come out ...
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48 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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30 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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28 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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46 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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0answers
138 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 ...
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32 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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0answers
68 views

How did the adjective “just” come to take on so many adverbial meanings?

Just is a pretty useful adverb. It can carry several different meanings: very recently: I just finished the novel. exactly: That’s just what he meant. by a narrow margin: He just missed me ...
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47 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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31 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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0answers
48 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, ...
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58 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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281 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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92 views

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

I'm reading the english wikipedia entry titled "Radiation". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation you can find the word in the first paragraph, or by searching. so... What is the difference between ...
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137 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 ...