A vocabulary is the body of words used in a particular language.

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3answers
856 views

“Antecedent” vs. “predecessor”

When do I use the word antecedent and when should I prefer predecessor?
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2answers
1k views

What is Iridescent with an extra “r?”

Below is quoted from vocabulary.com. ... (The word) Iridescent came to be in 1796, when some enthusiastic word maker took the Latin word iris, which means "rainbow," and morphed it into an English ...
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5answers
16k views

Is it correct to say “He got a fatal injury in the accident” when there is a possibility that the person’s life will be saved?

I would like to know whether “fatal injury” means (1) an injury which causes a death, (2) an injury which almost causes a death but not necessarily does, or (3) both (1) and (2) depending on the ...
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4answers
8k views

Name for relation between a man’s two wives?

What is the relation between the two wives of a man called?
7
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2answers
983 views

Is “for true” valid English?

I have an English-language version of my Finnish birth certificate. It is called an "extract from the population system". The last paragraph, showing the name of the issuing autority, the place, date ...
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3answers
3k views

Name of castle part

What do you call these? Please provide a reliable source with your answer.
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5answers
482 views

Rule or white list of words that can be prefixed with “up-” or “down-”

Some words (verbs and nouns) can get up- or down- attached before them to get new meaning. For example, Grade becomes upgrade or downgrade. Vote becomes upvote or downvote. Load becomes upload or ...
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5answers
3k views

Word for something that can be validated

What is a word to describe something that can be validated? From verify we have verifiable. What is the equivalent for valid or validate? Obviously validifiable is not a word, so what is the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

“Purge” vs. “expunge”

Whats the difference between purge and expunge, if any? For example: All the duplicate pages were expunged from the book. All the duplicate pages were purged from the book. Do these ...
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9answers
3k views

An experiment without a hypothesis?

An experiment is normally intended to test a hypothesis. Is there a noun or phrase to describe an experiment with no hypothesis -- i.e. doing something just to 'see what happens'? (A convincing ...
8
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3answers
6k views

Meaning of “one order of magnitude improvement”

There is no single development, in either technology or management technique, which by itself promises even one order of magnitude improvement in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity. ...
9
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1answer
981 views

What is the word for using one part of speech where another would be more grammatical?

There's a Greek word that means using the wrong part of speech somewhere in a sentence, as in: I don't know the who or the how or the when. Where "who", "how", and "when" are being used for ...
4
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2answers
4k views

What does it mean to be “worth someone's keep”?

“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. What does it mean to ...
2
votes
1answer
530 views

What does “fly against” mean?

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/11/stop-me-if-you-think-youve-seen-this-word-before.html: I'm not sure this kind of experiment would fly against today's Google, but it worked in 2004. ...
0
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3answers
393 views

What is this kind of literature called?

I would like to know what a particular form of publication is called, when a work is a collaborative effort of many writers and possibly more than one editor, published in weekly or monthly parts and ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Is it true that yeast was once called “Godisgoode”?

In this article discussing beer, it is said that in medieval times yeast (possibly only brewer's yeast) was called godisgoode. Is that the case? (Searching on Google sheds very little light on the ...
3
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4answers
235 views

When a patient goes to the doctor and does not have a health insurance plan, how is this appointment classified?

When a patient goes to the doctor without a health insurance plan, is there a term for this kind of appointment? Just to give a context: Me: I want to schedule an appointment Secretary: What is ...
3
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1answer
101 views

Encompass a wrist or is there an alternative?

Can encompass be used to describe someone "holding" someone's wrist gently, and not actually putting any force/ pressure but just holding or gripping it in a very gentle way?
2
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4answers
1k views

What is “generation X” and “generation Y”?

Why are we called Generation Y? What's Generation X anyway? What about Baby Boomers?
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1answer
805 views

Where can I find a relatively inclusive word-list for analysis of prefixes and suffixes? [closed]

To illustrate a simple example, when I encounter the word "claustrophobia", what I already knew is the left part "claustro-" means "small and enclosed", and I want to discover if "-phobia" has a fixed ...
0
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1answer
393 views

What is this phenomenon called, “I had a dream that I was having a dream”?

I don't know if anyone of you have these kind of dreams before; I'm dreaming then suddenly I dream that I wake up from that dream. Then, sometimes (admittedly rarely, though it's rather fun) it could ...
6
votes
5answers
862 views

Can a person's name be used to represent a group of people?

Can a name of a person (usually from stories, or history) be used to describe a group of people? For example, can Cinderella be used to refer to girls who are poor and have difficulties in life, but ...
2
votes
3answers
668 views

How should I understand “archaeocyte” in this sentence?

Consider the following sentence: The fossil consists of a complete skull of an archaeocyte, an extinct group of ancestors of modern cetaceans. Does it mean "the fossil consists of a complete ...
6
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3answers
10k views

Meaning of “more wood behind fewer arrows”?

What does the phrase "more wood behind fewer arrows" mean? Source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/google-gets-serious-winds-down-google-labs/52848?tag=nl.e539
8
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2answers
14k views

Difference between lexicon and dictionary

What is the difference between a lexicon and a dictionary? Is a lexicon just an über-big dictionary?
3
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3answers
214 views

“Application for Android” versus “application on Android”

Which one is correct/most scientific? I am developing a certain application for Android. I am developing a certain application on Android. I am developing a certain application for the platform ...
4
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5answers
3k views

What is the meaning of the terms: brown meat, black meat, white meat and red meat?

While reading an article, I saw this question: Do you prefer brown meat or white meat? I definitely don't know what this means. Could you tell me more about it?
2
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1answer
731 views

What does “if you were already set for life” mean?

From this blog post, the author writes: What’s your passion? What would you blog about if you were already set for life? I don't quite understand — what meaning is the author trying to convey?...
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2answers
407 views

the usage of “otherwise” [closed]

In this article, I don't quite understand the following sentence: Instead of bothering to sort out that little difficulty, let's see why it is in fact enough to let B be the set of all bilinear ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Extra pages for a magazine

In some special days, e.g. the days before the New Year, newspapers and magazines give away some extra pages or even an special magazine associated with those days, or related to the year passed. What ...
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5answers
2k views

What is between dystopian and utopian?

There are many speculative fiction pieces that are labeled "dystopian" and some "utopian". Is there a specific word for the reasoned middle ground? Please let me know if this is better suited to the ...
1
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1answer
939 views

Word usage of 'query'

Is there anything wrong in the following sentence : I queried Sonia about her Personal Computer. The sentence is akin to : I asked Sonia about her Personal Computer. Am I right ?
11
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15answers
8k views

Simple word related to “a group of intellectuals” or “a group of smart learners”

What could be a good word for "a group of intellectuals" or "a group of smart learners"? Any suggestions of related terms also invited.
2
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1answer
752 views

How have British English U and non-U speech changed between the 1950s and now?

How have British English U and non-U speech changed between the 1950s and the present day?
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6answers
8k views

Attorney at law, is there any other kind?

I have wondered from time to time about the phrase "attorney at law." Are there other kinds of attorneys? Attorneys at arms? If not, why do we specify?
2
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4answers
322 views

Are emails, videos, and audios, etc, considered telegrams?

What does the word "telegram" mean? It sounds familiar though I've no idea what it is. The dictionary says "telegram" is defined as: "A message sent by telegraph and then delivered in written or ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What's a reception room / parlor / parlour / drawing room?

What's a reception room/parlor/parlour/ drawing room? I'm thinking, is it just another word for the living room of my house?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

'Conscribed' vs 'conscripted'

I'm wondering about the usage of the words 'conscript' and 'conscribe' in terms of the meaning they share. I went to use the word 'conscripted' as in "conscripted for duty", and the word 'conscribe' ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Where does “otay” come from?

I've heard a few people (all native English speakers) recently use "otay" in place of "okay", both in writing and when speaking. Where does that word come from? For that matter, is it a word at all? ...
7
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2answers
903 views

Confusing meanings of “inexorable” and “unstoppable”

I saw these two words, which I had always assumed meant the same thing, in the same sentence (below). It begs a question as to the difference between them: Sentence: This restless and perpetual ...
27
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7answers
3k views

Do you say 'white blackboard'?

English is not my first language, so I'm not sure what you commonly call one of these: I'm trying to choose between blackboard, white blackboard, or maybe just 'slate'.
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14answers
15k views

Is there a polite alternative to “No thanks, I'm full”?

English is not my native language, but when I was studying in the US, I was always trying to find an alternative to I'm full! I felt that it was a very improper way to express that I have eaten ...
5
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6answers
4k views

“tag question” vs. “question tag”

I've just read this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_question So regarding this passage: The term "question tag" is generally preferred by British grammarians, while their American ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Why “just another bit of intrigue”?

The following is an excerpt from the transcript of a podcast:Tut Shares Tomb with Former Fungi. Mitchell thinks this evidence indicates that King Tut was buried in a hurry. Because the paint on ...
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2answers
86 views

“When the internet first got kicking”?

When the internet first got kicking, some scholars of democracy and civil society thought that online discussions could create what they called a "conversational democracy”: an ongoing town hall ...
2
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4answers
4k views

Term for insulting words which sound grand?

I don't mean euphemisms or backhanded compliments (or the reverse). It's the words which sound grand, but actually have a bad meaning (e.g., jumentous: smelling strongly like a beast of burden). Is ...
1
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1answer
443 views

Does the word “system” have any special meaning in literature?

I'm writing an English rendition of a Farsi passage. There's a word I'm hunting for which means methods of literary styles of writing. I came across with the word "system" in a "Farsi to English ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

How to understand “pop” in this sentence?

So next time you pop a blueberry, don’t forget to thank Fred. How to understand "pop" in this sentence? Does it mean "eat" or "have"? I look up into the dictionary, I cannot even find a reasonable ...
5
votes
5answers
943 views

Single word for “break” with professional connotation

What is a nice way to explain that performing a certain action will "break" a product? I have to explain to a customer that use of my product in an unauthorized manner will "break" the product, but I'...
2
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2answers
6k views

Differences between “vulgar” and “coarse”, “crass”, “crude”, “rough”, “rude”, “unrefined” as applied to language

This question specifically covers how these terms are used to describe language, it is a followup to What's the difference between "informal", "colloquial", "slang", ...