0
votes
1answer
36 views

Shifting the discussion to personae [duplicate]

I wonder if there is any phrase or idiom to express a situation, where one of the discussion participants, lacking arguments to upkeep a constructive discussion, steers the direction to personae: ...
8
votes
3answers
237 views

Is there a term for a word that serves as its own antonym? [duplicate]

For example: "transparent" can mean both "obvious" and "hidden" "aught" can mean both "all" and "nothing" Is there a term for a word which has multiple definitions that are antonyms?
3
votes
4answers
71 views

What are alternative terms/words for “cognitive dissonance?”

I grasp the meaning completely, I'm just looking for alternatives ways to express it.
2
votes
3answers
780 views

If you say in English: wear the pants in a relationship, then can you also say wear the skirt in a relationship?

What I mean is: if the person wearing the pants assumes a masculine/dominant role, then can we say someone assumes a feminine/submissive role by saying they wear a skirt in a relationship? Especially ...
4
votes
8answers
1k views

Describing a person who values the unimportant while ignoring the important [duplicate]

How do you describe a person who gives the most importance to little details (of little value) while ignoring the aspects of much greater importance? It would describe one who places more importance ...
0
votes
2answers
179 views

When the waitress at a diner calls her male customer a ''good girl'' after getting tipped, is it meant to be offensive?

My friend got called that and since neither of us are American, it just sounded offensive to us.
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Streamer/Ribbon Difference Question

Just a different question but it's bugging me, I need an answer. I used to come from France to the USA when i was a boy to visit my family, and to my great annoyance (they thought it would suit my ...
0
votes
2answers
158 views

Bunch of girls/Buncha girls

as English isn't my first language, I don't really 'feel' whether bunch of girls/buncha girls is offensive, friendly, etc.? Could you tell me what's the proper meaning of the phrase? I hear it in ...
0
votes
3answers
119 views

What are you having?

When we are at the restaurant is more correct for the waitress to ask '' what are you having madam?'' or ''what will you have?''
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Ban vs Suspend (e.g. I banned a user from my site) [closed]

Is it correct to say We will suspend you from our website Or We will ban you from our website Both seem acceptable, but which is the best?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Displaying two things scaled differently - ratio?

If got a picture that displays things. As thing A is alot bigger than thing B, I have downsized A. Not mentioning this size adjustment may confuse viewers and transport a wrong message. How can I tell ...
0
votes
2answers
601 views

Does “shake his booty” mean “shake his butt”? And does it make it more attractive?

I seem to see the phrase "shake his booty" being used to say something is good and attractive. But does it mean "shake his butt"? And if they are the same, why does "shake his butt" seem a somewhat ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

'In order to' or 'to'

Which sentence is correct and why? What is the difference in meaning? I have already written to you, and I received your reply to submit my documents. I have already written to you, and I ...
0
votes
3answers
375 views

Use of “Just In Case”

I was writing to someone and I had below line using "just in case" "I have done blah blah blah..., just in case they need to be so and so..." I was wondering if this the right way of using it? or ...
0
votes
2answers
350 views

Is “how much ever” correct here?

"How much ever you prepare, it is your attitude in the exam hall that matters" From a previous question concerning the same phrase, I realize "how ever much" could be used.But I am asking this ...
-1
votes
5answers
294 views

Specific word/phrase/idiom for the following scenario

I have a second cousin living at the end of my street, but we hardly meet. I plan to meet her soon and tell her to come out and go out for a walk. Could anyone suggest a phrase, word, or an idiom ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you describe a young woman who, while pretty when seen from behind, is ugly when seen from the front?

Is there a term, a phrase or an idiomatic expression to describe a young woman who, while pretty when seen from behind, is ugly, if not repulsive, when seen from the front? After some searches I ...
2
votes
2answers
826 views

Is it “moved into” or “moved in to”?

I suppose I am confused in general about the use of "into" versus "in to." For this case, though, consider the sentence, "I moved into my apartment today" as opposed to "I moved in to my apartment ...
10
votes
17answers
638 views

Karma, Kudos, …?

I'm looking for a word that I can use to describe the following: A point system where I give points to my kids to incentivise them to do some tasks they don't really want to do. I don't want ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“Through the course” vs. “over the course”

I have heard the following used often Over the course of the semester, ... but a friend recently told me Through the course of the semester, ... Are both of these usages of the idiom ...
2
votes
2answers
296 views

Can “take fruit in” something mean you enjoy it?

Consider to take fruit in something For example: I take fruit in my life. I feel like I have heard this term used before, but because I couldn't find an example with Google, I wanted to ...
0
votes
1answer
612 views

Idioms and Formal Usage

Certain websites devoted to idioms claim that they--idioms-- are not used in formal conversations or writing; that is, they claim that these creatures are always used in only informal situations. As ...
4
votes
2answers
150 views

What's the most elegant way to say “surmountable objection”?

"Surmountable" sounds so much weirder there than "insurmountable".. As in: Was that a rejection? At the time it seemed like maybe he just had a few surmountable objections...
4
votes
3answers
788 views

Is ‘anything in a skirt” a popular idiom? Does it have special overtones?

I came across the words, ‘anything in a skirt” in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s “The Fourth Estate”:- Page 202. “(Captain Armstrong is entitled to a car and driver) if the brigadier ...
1
vote
1answer
384 views

“She got her first child” vs. “She had her first child”

I am not a native speaker and yesterday someone told me that "She got her first child" would be misunderstood and "She had her first child" is correct. Now I wonder if this is a 'local' thing here in ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

Question mark with your hands [closed]

How do you call a gesture of spreading one's hands and turning them palms up to suggest a question? As in "what did you just do, man? That was so weird that left me speechless, so I had to raise my ...
14
votes
11answers
38k views

“The point is moot”

I was recently called out for using the phrase "the point is moot" incorrectly. My intent was to indicate that I felt that the point wasn't really worth debating or discussing. I was then shown that ...
0
votes
5answers
2k views

term for people who lack empathy, bikeshed, are overly idealistic, impractical

This might be a long shot, but here goes. I work in internet technology and often encounter (virtually and some times physically) people with the following characteristics. Is there a term or phrase ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

“to get to know someone” vs “to know someone”

I'd like to know what is the difference of each of these options: to get to know someone to know someone in the context of meeting someone for the first time, become friends, to know the ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

“Vanish into thin air” and “disappear without trace”

I can understand the construction like the following with vanish and disappear. The money vanished from my wallet. Money seems to vanish into a black hole. A strange light appeared and ...
1
vote
5answers
145 views

An alternative for “revisionism”

I believe that revisionism is in itself essentially a historical exercise. I'm looking for something that can succinctly describe the following scenarios where the "revisionism" is more immediate and ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a difference between 'I thought to myself' and 'I thought.'?

Is there any need for the ending of 'to myself'? How is it different from the alternative? Can you always replace 'I thought to myself' with 'I thought'?
0
votes
1answer
149 views

Perform magic to children vs perform magic for children [closed]

I've noticed that there seems to be a usage of "to" where I expect "for" in certain dialects of English. The one that caught my eye today was a Reddit submission where the OP used the title "Why you ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Which is preferred: “one after another” or “one after the other”?

Which of the following sentences is more correct or more preferred? Throw one die after another. Throw one die after the other. As context, the sentence will be followed by At any time, you ...
-1
votes
5answers
261 views

Phrase for unintelligible singing

Is there an English idiom that expresses the sentiment that a singer articulates the lyrics so badly that you'd better buy the text in the leaflet?
0
votes
2answers
9k views

“Hang in” vs. “hang on”

Are these two the same when used to express "keep it up" or "survive a little longer"? Also, I often hear people say "hang in there", but I rarely hear people say "hang on there".
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Is there a single word that defines time is on your part/side/favor?

These past few days I have had this kind of "luck": every time I'm not ready for something, it has ended up being cancelled. For instance, a surprise quiz came up for which I was not at all prepared, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Idiomatic saying for “just over” and “just under”

Is there an idiomatic saying to say that a distance is about x kilometer, including the connotation of "a little bit more than" or "a little bit less than" as "just over" and "just under" respectively ...
5
votes
3answers
322 views

“Went” vs. “went along”

At work, he made up lies as he went along. At work, he made up lies as he went. Is one of the above wrong?
3
votes
2answers
6k views

“Make an experience” or “gain an experience”

Do you make an experience or gain an experience? For example, I made rewarding volunteering experiences ... I gained rewarding volunteering experiences ... Are either acceptable? Is there ...
1
vote
2answers
484 views

Is “run the danger” in common usage?

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “Building a Classier Image; Las Vegas Hotels Woo Blue Chip Visitors" by Andrew Pollak in The New York Times (November 13, ...
0
votes
1answer
373 views

Can “an act of protest” and “a sign of protest” be used interchangeably? Are they idioms that are synonymous to each other? [closed]

Can "an act of protest" and "a sign of protest" be used interchangeably? Are there contexts where one of these phrases should be used, and not the other? Also, are "act of protest" and "sign of ...
1
vote
0answers
1k views

“To a T” or “To a Tee”, and where does it come from? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origin of “Fits [x] to a T”? I frequently hear the phrase "To a T[ee]", but I'm not sure that I've ever seen it written. What is the correct way to write ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

Use of “in this light”

In my language there is an idiom in this light which roughly means from this perspective or in connection with this. Can I use this idiom in English? For example, This presidential candidate was ...
1
vote
1answer
375 views

“Grab me from my arm” vs “Grab my arm”

What is the difference between saying the following two: She grabbed my arm and walked me to the car. She grabbed me from my arm and walked me to the car.
3
votes
1answer
7k views

'To take something into account' vs. 'to take something into consideration'

OALD defines the expressions as follows: to take something into account: to consider particular facts, circumstances, etc. when making a decision about something to take something into ...
3
votes
4answers
632 views

Alternative for 'setting the heather on fire'

I have a thing for idioms and one such idiom I regularly use is 'to set the heather on fire'. It fits well whenever referring to doing something sensational. Now, is there any alternative to this? Any ...
5
votes
2answers
746 views

How acceptable is “fully fledged” as opposed to “full-fledged”?

As a native speaker of English, I had never heard the "fully" version until recently. Now I seem to hear it a lot, but only from non-native speakers. Are the two equally acceptable in semi-formal ...
14
votes
3answers
16k views

Is it 'what it looks like' or 'how it looks like'?

I live in a country where English is not the native language. Oftentimes I hear my coworkers say they want to know or determine "how it looks like". This is grammatically closer to our native ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

Which would you use 'go for a swim' or 'going swimming'

Which would you use 'go for a swim' or 'going swimming'? I am going swimming today. I go for a swim today.