This tag is for questions about choosing the best word for a particular context or meaning.

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1
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2answers
23 views

Is there a literary or scholarly synonym for an 'origin story' or myth?

I am trying to remember a word I learned in high school that meant "a story that explains why something is the way it is." It's not origin story or creation myth, but rather one word probably with a ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

Which word is more appropriate to express “How it works”?

Context Description: I'm a programmer. One day I find an interesting software IPFinder published by Fred, but I can't understand how it works. So, I want to write an email to ask Fred. A. ...
6
votes
3answers
79 views

“Magic” versus “magical”

Two-part question. We say magic wand and magical creature, and swapping the adjectives would definitely be wrong. Are there rules about which one to use, or is this a classic "use whatever sounds ...
5
votes
3answers
405 views

“White lie” as in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time? [on hold]

I had a discussion about the English language with a couple of native speakers (all British) and we got into the topic of lies. One of them said something along the line of: A white lie is a small ...
0
votes
6answers
109 views

How do I make the term “werewolf hunter” clearer?

If I wanted people to understand that a werewolf hunter was a hunter that was a werewolf, but without that wording (hunter that was a werewolf is wordy), and without confusing someone else who might ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

What does “spore” mean here?

What does spore mean in this quote from The Independent? "In the fight against rhino poaching, the dog's nose has proved invaluable in finding poachers," he said. "Our human trackers, which rely ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Word for mildly popular (used as a compliment)

I'm trying to find a word for something meaning not explosively popular or successful, yet not a failure. It should not be intended as criticism and should represent something not necessarily new but ...
15
votes
17answers
2k views

What do you call a response which does not address the question?

When some one is asked a question, sometimes if they are trying to avoid answering the question, they respond with something unrelated. What is the word for that response? Eg. A: Why were you late? ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

can't ever vs can never

I can never win. Or I can't ever win. Can these be used interchangeably? Is there a case where one would work and the other wouldn't?
0
votes
2answers
27 views

Question about some equivalents to “inasmuch as” and “holding fast” in this passage

Could you simplify the highlighted parts in simple English, please? A million thanks in advance. The essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the ...
2
votes
3answers
96 views

Word for “pain gets worse”

"The pain kept increasing." I was looking for a substitute of "increasing" that expresses the idea that pain didn't subside and instead intensified. I have overused these words (increasing, ...
1
vote
2answers
27 views

“You had to come in now?” One word for describing a negative reaction

X is annoyed, but not angry. I'm thinking of a couple of possible options: Protests Groans replies One person opens the door, and X (a kid) is in the middle of something. What word best describes ...
-4
votes
1answer
45 views

How do I say to my boss: [on hold]

I just had an job offer but i want to ask for some conditions. How do I say to my boss: "Please let me know if you agree with this conditions " in a polite way Thank you
0
votes
4answers
68 views

Synonym for “hands-on” [on hold]

Can I say as follows? I saw him in life, not on TV. Is there any other special expression in English that means that the experience is actual, hands-on, direct?
1
vote
4answers
45 views

Informal phrase for finally doing something pending - very specific

What would be an informal saying of phrase for finally doing some chore or running some errand that was pending for some time? It maybe something you are avoiding, or something you forget all the ...
3
votes
5answers
53 views

I need a section title for a section that describes how a piece of software works

Currently I'm using "How it works" as the title, but I want to replace that with something short and meaningful, most of my other section titles are one word long. The whole document is about a piece ...
4
votes
4answers
264 views

A better word than “disabled” [on hold]

I have recently completed a 'Lean' project on enhancing customer experience in a Hospice. Before submitting my report, I was taking a stock of the various signage at the hospital. A few of them read ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Use of “displeased”/“glad”/“vexed”/“surprised” with “at” vs. “with” [on hold]

why should you be displeased with the fun of the children. you must know that she was very much glad with your performance. His mother and father are vexed with his brother's rude behaviour. ...
2
votes
2answers
41 views

How to understand “so much signs” in this sentence?

Here is a sentence from Literature, Technology and Modernity, 1860-2000: Just as Vickery has been turned into a three-dimensional negative by an electrical storm, the war dead survived, by the ...
0
votes
3answers
54 views

You really want to help someone, but that individual becomes suspicious of the nature of your help and questions it

I don’t know what to call the behavior of those who don’t believe that anybody acts with good intentions, so I'm looking for a suitable word, idiom or expression.
2
votes
4answers
113 views

Fear of asking girl out - is called …?

Fear or phobia of asking girl out, fear of rejection(that she would say no or even worse). Here, Soceraphobia (fear of her father/brother) is not involved. Mostly guys are feared by most compelling ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Why do cricket and baseball each use the term 'pitch' but in different senses?

I should say from the outset that I do know the answer to this question, because I have just researched it. But it is so interesting that I felt it was worth an airing. I am not clear if it is ...
-2
votes
1answer
70 views

What is an alternative word for “eaten” [on hold]

I am describing the context here: Person A: Hey, how was your birthday party on Sunday? Person B: Party was pretty good, but of all the food we ordered only 40% was eaten/consumed by the ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What do we now call a 'Principal Boy'?

In the British pantomime 'Principal Boy' has always referred to the main male role e.g. Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin, Peter Pan etc. It has traditionally been played by a female, especially ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Similar term to “visual” for audio?

I'm looking for a term for audio in form of the word visual. Visual is defined as of or relating to the sense of sight What could you call the sense of hearing? Also, what do you call this ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

Does the verb “to onset” exist? [on hold]

I just heard (for the first time) onset being used as a verb in a scientific talk. According to ODE and Webster, there is no verb "onset". However, wikipedia does mention it. Could the native ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

“a while” vs “awhile”

Is there a difference between "awhile" and "a while"? If there is, what is it? I've been wondering this for awhile, but now I actually need the answer.
1
vote
3answers
73 views

I am an intern of/in/at [company name]?

I want to say that I am doing my internship in/at [company name]. Please give me some more examples using the word "intern" or "internship". There seem to be differences between e.g. hospital and ...
1
vote
3answers
61 views

a word or a phrase for “something that entails spending money” [on hold]

I need to know a word or a phrase for the following: "Something that entails spending money"
13
votes
6answers
2k views

How does one describe people who do not pick up irony, or vibes?

I realise that at a severe level this can present as a symptom of Asperger's Syndrome, or High Functioning Autism. But I am not talking about that. I am referring to people who just don't seem to ...
-1
votes
0answers
42 views

why do we say “deaf ears”- Is it not pleonasm [on hold]

If one is deaf, he/she can't hear or have extremely limited hearing abilities. And since hearing is about ears or vice-versa... Can we say "deaf ears" when we refer to people?
2
votes
1answer
33 views

“In case” vs “if”?

I was taught that "in case" does not mean "if". As in: I will give you my card in case you need it. (Take it and use in case of need in the future) I will give you my card if you need it. ...
31
votes
9answers
4k views

Word for metallic “dust”?

What’s the English word for the metallic “dust”, or more precisely the tiny remains (waste) of drilling, welding, cutting through metal, and similar metal processing?
2
votes
2answers
40 views

Another way to express “ignore the pain” [on hold]

Jim had ignored the pain thinking it was nothing. What are some word choices for ignore?
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Is defaulter a strongly negative word ? [on hold]

In office everyone needs to fill their time logs, failing to person receives the email. The manager refers to person(s) as defaulter. I believe its a strongly negative word. Am i acorrect to think ...
20
votes
9answers
3k views

What is it called when something you previously took to be a mistake turned out to be the correct decision?

Sometimes your “mistake” results in a big success, or you find out that it actually was the correct way of doing it. I sarcastically call this a “correct mistake”. What do you call it? I don’t know if ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Can “my pleasure” carry negative connotations

Is it appropriate to say 'my Pleasure'- In a job interview and e-mails closings. "I really enjoyed talking with you - my pleasure" Or would a simple 'thank you' be more appropriate. Can "my ...
4
votes
2answers
73 views

One (or few) word expression for products you don't know you need

I'd like to find a very simple, preferably one word (or few words) expression for products that you don't know you need until you see them. Examples are: electronic face cleanser sleep enhancing app ...
-4
votes
2answers
42 views

Can this sentence be shortened without additional jargon? [on hold]

From Wikipedia:"Homology modelling": Homology modeling, also known as comparative modeling of protein, refers to constructing an atomic-resolution model of the "target" protein from its amino ...
33
votes
18answers
5k views

Completing something just to finish it despite lack of interest - is called …?

Recently I started reading a novel that I was excited to read. After getting approximately 45% into it, I lost the pace. It started becoming slow and lousy. I thought to leave it unfinished but it ...
0
votes
0answers
65 views

why using the word “graphic” rather than the word “gore”? [closed]

When should the word "graphic," rather than the word "gore", be used? Actual Meanings of Gore & Graphic: Graphic: An image that is generated by a computer Gore: Coagulated blood from ...
4
votes
4answers
204 views

Using “largely” to mean “significantly”. Which is correct?

I have a question concerning usage of the word "largely". While proof-reading a text written by a colleague* I saw a phrase similar to the following: "Because of these advantages, technique X largely ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

When a school is registering kids for college, what is that called?

During last years registration enrollment, we had 1,457 children register. Is "registration enrollment" the best choice here? The reason I don't just use the word "registration" is that a ...
-6
votes
1answer
67 views

How to say Good Morning on Monday to my Boss, the first working day of a week which indicates high level of energy, enthusiasm and freshness in me? [closed]

I want to say Good Morning to my Boss through SMS but I want to say this in a manner which will indicate the high level of energy, enthusiasm and freshness in me. So how should I say? Can you please ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

better way to write “in Apple's iMac's common MacOS”

I was looking at a better way to write the following while emphasizing Apple in the beginning. But it seems like too many possessive s usages. What could be a substitute? "The software that runs ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

Is there a synonym for “day” that can go with “at night”, “at dusk”, “at dawn”? [closed]

I need a word (ideally) or phrase that means "daytime" that can be used in a sentence "the event happened at dawn/dusk/night/day" "The event happened at day", and "The event happened at daytime" ...
2
votes
4answers
86 views

A good substitute for “developed a disease”?

The words contracting or catching a disease mainly refers to the communicable ones. If the disease/condition is a slowly developing one, then what would be a good substitute for "developed?" ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

“We make an identity for ourselves” or “We make identities for ourselves?”

The question is in the title. Which one is better? Why?
7
votes
2answers
276 views

Does one “take” a photocopy or “make” a photocopy? [closed]

If the verb for "photograph" is take, I presume that the verb for a "photographic copy" should also be take. The word photocopy is often abbreviated to copy. I have noticed the verb make is used for ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Formal way to say “I believe”

I am writing a chapter in a book and I want to say that "I believe that this researcher is right ....", in a more formal way. Can I say "The present author believes ....."