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

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13answers
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Better synonym for “actionable”?

In managementese, "actionable" means "able to be acted upon". Unfortunately, its primary meaning is "giving sufficient reason to take legal action" in legalese. I'm looking for a better alternative ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

What does “lost sales” mean?

What does "lost sales" mean in the sentence below? The most important quality cost, lost sales, is often omitted from quality cost reports.
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12answers
1k views

What is the term for accusing a person of mischief through invented, twisting and changeable terminology?

What is the term for accusing a person of invented wrongdoing in such a way that he cannot respond or even clearly understand the accusations? For example, frequently reversing the definitions of the ...
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vote
7answers
4k views

Does 'soi-disant' have a close English equivalent?

I considered 'self-proclaimed' but that, I believe, suggests an element of self-promotion (the proclamation aspect) whereas soi-disant, at least as I think of it, is more about self-presentation and ...
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6answers
1k views

Meaning of “alien”

What is the scope of the word alien? If NASA sends a pregnant woman into space and she gives birth to a baby there, is the baby an alien?
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3answers
720 views

Are there any practical uses of onomatopoeia in contemporary English?

Do we have any practical uses of onomatopoeia in contemporary English? I can not claim to have read many materials, but I have to confess I have rarely seen it used a lot.
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4answers
2k views

Name for an electrical element to use multiple appliances on the same plug

Sorry, I don't know what is this element called in English. It is an electric power cord with multiple sockets to allow multiple appliances to be plugged into it. In Spanish it is said to be ...
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6answers
4k views

What word means “eating place”?

The word "dormitory" means "sleeping place". Is there any similar word for "eating place"?
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6answers
936 views

What are some products that are now words? [closed]

All of the ones I can think of are specific products that have come to represent their kind. This is usually either because it is the first of its kind, as in a Xerox machine (the first office ...
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2answers
1k views

What do you call a person who takes interest in analyzing people's handwritings?

Is there any single word that is used to indicate a person who reads the psychological aspect of people's handwritings (like what they believe and what type of people they are, etc.)?
8
votes
2answers
10k views

Is there a word that means “the wife of one's brother”?

In some of the non-Latin-based languages that I know there is a special word for your brother's wife. Is there such a word in English? Usage would be something like: She is my __ (My brother's ...
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11answers
5k views

Adjective used to mean “smellable”

An object that can be seen is visible. Something that can be heard is audible. What's a similar word to indicate that something is smellable?
8
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5answers
9k views

A word for “rate of change”

Physics problems are usually written like: The rate of change of the soup's temperature ... Is there a common English word that captures "rate of change" or "speed of change" in a single word, ...
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21answers
24k views

What is the word for the emotion I feel when I see someone being humiliated?

When I see someone else being embarrassed / humiliated, for example a singer forgetting their words in a concert, I would say something like "I feel embarrassed for them". But is there a better word ...
2
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7answers
2k views

Is technical copywriting jargon or style?

I became confused by comments to my answer insisting that Technical writing is jargon using incorrect English words. I also looked through definitions of "prepend" in internet, all with inserted ...
2
votes
4answers
971 views

What is the shortest term to refer to people whose mother tongue is English?

What is the shortest term to refer to representatives of peoples and cultures whose mother tongue is English? Mothertonguers? Update: Can't I call them joe?
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votes
3answers
8k views

To what reading level does a specific word like 'verbose' belong?

How does one determine the reading level to which a specific word belongs? For example, I want to use the word 'verbose' in some software. So, if I want to determine if it is appropriate to use the ...
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vote
1answer
1k views

What's the origin of the swear words like the 'F' word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How long has the f-word been in use as an abusive term? Sometimes I wonder what is the origin of some of the swear words such as the 'F**K' word which English speakers ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

What words can I use to describe trends in graphs for the IELTS exam (e.g. “increase”, “growth”)? [closed]

What is the difference between increase, growth, go up and rise? And what is the difference between decline, fall, go down and drop? I really don't know which is the best to describe parts of a graph. ...
4
votes
4answers
682 views

Equivalent word which represents 'Team' or 'Individual'

I am developing a coding contest project with multiple contests. The participants can be a team or an independent individual, depending on the contest setting. I want to define only one model for the ...
11
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7answers
29k views

Word for “someone who does the same job as me”

Is there a word that means something like "someone who does the same job as me"? I've thought of colleague and co-worker. These both indicate that someone works at the same place, or some other kind ...
8
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2answers
2k views

What are the criteria to adopt new words into English?

Long time no see is a typical example for Chinglish, though it is said that long time no see has been accepted by the mainstream English speakers. Recently, there is a neologism movement in the ...
8
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3answers
362 views

Verbs of inaction

It seems to me that most English verbs always convey some action. That is, no words (to my knowledge) convey that absence of an action. Let me explain. Let's assume that I wanted to say that a certain ...
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5answers
45k views

What are the conventional words for characters (A-Z)?

I have just read the newest post of DOGHOUSEDIARIES, and I am wondering whether the words for characters are fixed in the USA or the UK, as I am not a native English speaker. For example: A as in ...
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5answers
2k views

Variations of the word “Schadenfreude”

Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Is there a word which means to take pleasure in the misfortune of another when previously that misfortune was inflicted on you by that ...
4
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3answers
478 views

Curriculum vitae: Proper qualifiers for skills

I am updating my curriculum vitae, and there is a section where I list my experience with several technologies and programming languages. I would like to group my experience in two categories; namely, ...
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2answers
1k views

“To increase competitiveness in” or “to increase competitiveness on”?

Which phrase is the correct one? to increase competitiveness in the EU labor market to increase competitiveness on the EU labor market
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5answers
1k views

Does the verb “Unstar” exist?

I'm creating an application for the iPhone where the user has the ability to star an item, i.e. adding a star to the item. Now I am wondering whether I can also use unstar? Or should I go with ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Why is “ass” considered obscene?

Spam filters replace obscene "Ass" for "butt" Meanwhile, in literature, newspaper articles, forum posts, sayings, proverbs, etc. I am encountering many more expressions with ass but not with butt. ...
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3answers
2k views

When do the “-uple”s end? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to form single, double, triple… and uni-, bi-, tri-… words? There's single, double, triple, quadruple... — what's next? Is there an end to the "-uple"s?
4
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5answers
742 views

Antonym to “news”

I have very old info. Is there a concise term like "news" that I can use to describe this? Update: I am looking for the antonym for news. Can I say oldies?
0
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2answers
223 views

And lead raptivity captive

What do raptivity and "And lead raptivity captive" mean?
2
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4answers
513 views

Aren't adverbs related to the closest word? What about other modifiers?

Aren't adverbs related to the closest word? Does nightly in nightly business report refer to business? Update: I am still confused. Is relation of non-adverb modifiers different from that of ...
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1answer
1k views

Singular form of the biblical magi

I was working on a crossword puzzle with the clue bearer of gold, frankincense, or myrrh. I immediately thought that the answer is obviously either "magi" or "wise man," but then realized that the ...
17
votes
6answers
42k views

Cell phone? Cell? Mobile phone? What's the “correct” term?

What's that type of phone called that you don't need a cable for and you can use everywhere in the world (provided there's coverage ;-))? And what differences are there between the regions? USA/UK/...
6
votes
2answers
11k views

What is “hoolihan” in “Old Paint” song?

Lyric is: I ride an old paint, I lead an old dan I'm goin' to Montana to throw the hoolihan They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw Their tails are all matted, their ...
4
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2answers
526 views

What is the jukebox musical?

What is jukebox musical and its origin?
336
votes
6answers
93k views

Did English ever have a formal version of “you”?

From the top of my head, Danish "De" (practically never used), German "Sie", Chinese "您", French "vous", Spanish "usted" are a formal way of addressing someone, especially if one isn't familiar with ...
10
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2answers
401 views

Is there a term that means “oft-used misquotation”?

There are some quotations that people always seem to get wrong: Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well. [Real quote from Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio."] I have nothing to offer ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Is a question the only thing that can be asked?

I will admit that I am clueless about all grammar-related terminology (prime example right there), but I'll try to explain as best as I can. Conceptually, there's a difference between these two forms:...
5
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3answers
16k views

What does the term “crack-a-lacking” mean?

In the Gorillaz song Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach rapper Snoop Dogg uses the term crack-a-lacking. I've done some searching and can't find a reliable source for the origin and exact ...
2
votes
4answers
390 views

More colloquial term for “confidant”

Is there a more colloquial term for a "confidant", or someone who has been entrusted with sensitive information to be disclosed only under certain conditions? This is related to my previous question ...
8
votes
3answers
993 views

What do we call this kind of recursive expression?

A metaphor is like a simile. Is there a name for the kind of statement that suggests an infinite recursion? It is in a way similar to a paradox such as the one with a statement written on each ...
3
votes
5answers
938 views

Word to describe “when sensitive information is given to a trusted proxy in case of untimely death”

What's a good word to describe the situation when sensitive information is given to a trusted proxy (such as a lawyer), to be released only when a certain event occurs, such as a person's untimely ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Can ‘although’ be used in this way?

We still haven't got a sponsor although the fact that we've written to dozens of companies. What's wrong with ‘although’ in the sentence above?
6
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1answer
619 views

Who inflects “innit”?

I'm quite surprised there doesn't seem to be a question about this yet. Depending on where you hail from, you've probably heard the word innit, an abbreviation of isn't it or ain't it. You may also ...
5
votes
3answers
69k views

Response when your boss thanks you [closed]

What should be your response when your boss thanks you for using his own resource allotted to you and you respect your boss and cannot respond him like It's ok or you're welcome.
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3answers
4k views

Difference between “abase” and “abash”

It seems as if both words mean to humiliate and degrade?
7
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6answers
28k views

What is the difference between “Class of 2004” and “Batch of 2004”?

What is the difference between "Class of 2004" and "Batch of 2004"? I have a feeling that one means the students who joined the university in 2004 and the other means those who graduated in 2004. Is ...
8
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1answer
3k views

What are the limitations on the “there + preposition” construction?

I use words such as thereof, thereupon, and thereafter relatively often, but I occasionally find myself wanting to use this construction with different prepositions. Most times it's therefor, which I ...