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

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17
votes
26answers
2k views
+200

A critical situation in which no trick works?

How could one describe a situation in which no trick, no approach, no magic, nothing at all works to change the outcome? One where you have no choice but to accept things as they are. For example, I ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Is there a less misleading way to write this sentence?

"The reason we hired an agent who's come back temporarily to be an instructor is..." The agent who has come back temporarily was hired to be an instructor. But another way to read this sentence is ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a canonic term for “the one whose birthday party is being celebrated”?

Something along the lines of 'hero of the occasion', but specifically for birthday? If there isn't, how would you otherwise say that? ('the subject of birthday party', 'the hero of this birthday ...
14
votes
17answers
3k views

Appropriate word for a young person who behaves like a cynical old person?

What is an appropriate term for a young person (child, or teenager) whose words and actions mimic that of a much older person from a previous generation? Such a youngster would demonstrate strong ...
11
votes
14answers
2k views
+50

A word for one who loves only one girl throughout his life

Just like one wife man is called : monogamous. Is there any word for one who loves just one girl throughout his life time. For him one life, one girl matters. History has seen such people. Are such ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Better hypernym to substitute for “business agenda”

I'm using the words “business agenda” to describe the set of tasks, documents, processes, features and other artifacts that are related to a single “function” executed by a business. In my language ...
5
votes
2answers
352 views

“Prices of” vs. “prices for”

I came across two different sentences both containing the word "prices", but with different prepositions, "of" and "for". Here are the two sentences. Audi Cuts Prices of Spare Parts in China ...
0
votes
4answers
66 views

One word for “change of requirements”? [on hold]

In software or in Any Industry the change of requirements is often seen. Is there a particular single word that can describe the "change of/in requirements". Apart form updation, editing, amendment ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

A record of recorded, tabulated, numerical records of observed phenomena

I am looking for a good word to use to describe a record of recorded, tabulated, numerical records of observed phenomena. I am studying an video game using a system which generates a large amount of ...
1
vote
5answers
503 views

How common is “What happened?” when asking people to repeat what they said? How long has this been in common usage?

For several years, I have heard most young people and some adults use the phrase What happened? when they do not hear what is spoken. It appears to be used where previously several other phrases were ...
4
votes
9answers
132 views

Word/phrase for importance being reduced

For example when you stop doing one thing before it's finished, and start something else because you, or someone else, considers it more important than the thing you were doing. The thing you was ...
26
votes
13answers
4k views

Appropriate word for internet name of a person

What is the appropriate word or phrase which means the internet name of a person. I mean the nickname that a person uses in almost all places on the internet like blog, IRC, forums, mailing lists etc. ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

Is “chill” out of place to say to someone after a not so particularly good exam?

I am not a native speaker of English. Now, this was the conversation: A: How was today's exam? B: It was just okay. A: Well, you've got 2 more, right? You'll do well in those. Now when ...
2
votes
7answers
612 views

What is an official collection of laws/books/etc. called?

What do you call an official collection of passages, laws, books, etc.? I'm thinking of a very official-sounding word, like "The ___crux" "The Index" or "The Axiom" or something sounding like that... ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

word: fridges that keep things hot (and not cold)

What's the word for what looks like a fridge but actually keeps things warm/hot instead of cold? hot fridge?
0
votes
2answers
14k views

What are the grammatical rules for use of “these”, “those”, and “them”?

I am unclear of the use of [these|those] objects. I am unsure when to use [these|those|them]. Please someone help me tell me which is correct in the previous sentences. This is not a dupe of ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

“Mistaken as” vs. “mistaken for”

I heard someone use the words mistaken as rather than mistaken for. Is this correct? If it is correct then what is the difference between the two? Is it ever wrong to use mistaken as, and if so, why? ...
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

Still unanswered 'had' question [duplicate]

Why do English-speaking people put 'had' in front of past tense verbs? ... as in the the question asked by painfulenglish: "I would use the first variant, because to me 'did' implies that the person ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Committee, Association and Assembly — What's the differrence?

I'm confused by these 3 words and I'm not quite sure what the differences are. I know how council, commission and committee differ, but I can't find it for Assembly and Association. I'm using it for a ...
-1
votes
1answer
27 views

What is the correct way of mentioning project experience in CV? [on hold]

We are 3 engineers and one product manager working in the project. What I want to mention is that as an engineer, I am one of the main people in the development of that project. What is the correct ...
-1
votes
0answers
33 views

Listening Question in IELTS [on hold]

i am practicing an IELTS exam listening question. The word limit for answer is 3.Now the speaker says "We need to select all the films". So i wrote "Select All Films" But the correct answer is "Select ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Is there a word or phrase that means both the answer and the question?

I am exploring how to create a game that generates metaphors or concepts that could be created outside of a linear thinking of past, present and future. Simultaneous revelations that occur ...
7
votes
13answers
893 views

A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)

I am looking for a word or phrase that means "a long sought out goal that seems impossible to achieve" but without any religious connotations. Any suggestions? My intended usage is as follows: ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

'betrayal' of expectations

I read a line in my textbook that goes: Negative effects may arise due to a 'betrayal' of expectations when people involved fail to understand the situational context. Can the word 'betrayal' ...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

What is the opposite of compulsion?

If I am acting based on a compulsion, then I am acting because I am forced to do so. I have given up my power to chose. What is the opposite of this? If I decide to act after careful analysis and ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

“Improviser” or “improvisor”?

I'm trying to determine whether I should use the ~er suffix or the ~or suffix for a person who improvises. What I've learned on the web is that technically one should say "improvisor". The ~or suffix ...
12
votes
11answers
3k views

Is there a term for someone who “can see multiple perspectives”?

A colleague of mine is trying to describe herself as "capable of seeing a situation from multiple perspectives" or "able to look at the big picture from various viewpoints". I feel like there must be ...
6
votes
0answers
3k views

How do expert writers avoid using “I” when they have to refer to themselves in their article? [migrated]

How do competent authors, in a refined and perhaps (slightly) formal way, refer to themselves without saying I? I've seen the term "this writer" somewhere. How is it with a native? Are there other ...
0
votes
3answers
8k views

“As evidenced by” or “as evident by”?

I have this sentence: Group theory is one of my favourite areas in mathematics, as evidenced by the fact that I chose to do two group theory modules in my undergraduate course. I am wondering if ...
6
votes
3answers
740 views

Better term for “intellectual jokes”

What can you call a joke, pun, or anything funny that likely needs intelligence to get? All I can come up with is intellectual jokes; is there another word for this? A one-word answer would be great. ...
-2
votes
1answer
51 views

How to express “Help someone secretly”

One of my friend always helps me but does not want me to know that he helps me. Is there a word or phrase to describe this secret helping? Also, if someone wanted to thank the secret helper, is there ...
2
votes
7answers
2k views

US and UK English: queue or waiting line?

What do you usually say, depending on the context and depending if it's US or UK English? wait in line or queue
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do Americans seem to use the word “delicious” less often than I do?

I am a foreigner and now I am in America. I always use the word delicious whenever I like food. For example: This meat is so delicious! But one of my friends, who is not a native speaker, once ...
-2
votes
1answer
51 views

Whereupon or thereupon?

Marion arrives at the Bates Motel, whereupon Norman comes out to greet Marion. Marion arrives at the Bates Motel, thereupon Norman comes out to greet Marion. Are both words interchangeable in this ...
2
votes
4answers
94 views

Is “blog-avatar” a proper word?

I’m envisaging something just like your avatar or profile picture but for a blog entry. Each blog entry has a single picture which will be displayed as a small thumbnail for each item on the list. I ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What are the most common ways to say “die”, i.e. pass away? [closed]

It seems like my question was too broad to answer. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I've edited my question a little. So, I would like to know what common terms I can use instead of the word "die." ...
-2
votes
0answers
21 views

Need suggestions [on hold]

I was working on my resume. I need a more assertive and strong sentence in place of the following: Interacted with xyz team for deciding work flow and schedules. I would like to replace "Interacted ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Is there a word to describe the positioning of words directly below other words, as in translations

I was hoping to use a word to say that in a song lyric, the translation of the original language appears directly below the original language throughout the song, without having to say all that. I ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Professional term for “Apples to apples” comparison

Is there a term which would sound more fitting in an academic or professional setting for describing a comparison between two things highlighting the similarity of the measurement/comparison process?
-1
votes
1answer
84 views

Obsolete language. [on hold]

Is it appropriate to use obsolete words in a modern-day essay? For example, using "unto' instead of "until"? Or will the teacher who is marking your essay just think that you're a pretentious student ...
4
votes
3answers
584 views

Word for a yes/no question that's more to elicit a longer response

I'm looking for a word or idiomatic phrase to describe a question that can be answered by a "yes" or "no", but has a higher probability of getting a more open-ended response. Indeed, without the ...
-2
votes
0answers
45 views

Is there a term for 'Disregarding a persons opinion/argument because they haven't experienced it.'? [on hold]

So today I was talking to some people at work about the health issues surrounding cigarettes and marijuana. I have no problem with either of those things but when people say there are absolutely no ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Word combination with “eternally”

I am currently thinking of engraving text for our wedding rings. Idea is to engrave some nice combination of two words (one word per ring) in order to get phrase close to “forever together”. I do ...
-1
votes
1answer
52 views

Do both of these introductions mean the same thing and make sense?

I work with someone whom I have not yet introduced myself to; someone usually introduces a new person around the office but I wasn’t in on this person’s first day, so I missed that. Anyway, on ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Deriving a word for the activity of using a tool from the tool name (“grep”)

In a discussion that involves talking about the program named "grep", the activity of applying the program to some data is often referred to as "greping". I was writing - still informally - about ...
5
votes
7answers
17k views

Name for the relationship of wife’s sister’s husband

Is there a name for the relationship of my wife’s sister’s husband in English? Or in case of a lady, what is the relationship of her husband’s brother’s wife called? There are words for these ...
3
votes
3answers
97 views

Price per 100 pieces?

In business English, what is the correct way to say: Price per 100 pieces? the context is a table listing unit price when the overall quantity is of 100 pieces. In short: if you buy 100 pieces, ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

Idiom or word for a very heavy thing

There is an idiom in Turkish for describing very heavy things: "Heavy like a dead donkey" (Eşek ölüsü gibi ağır). In English, there is a dead weight but it is not quite similar. Also, it has two ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

What name would you give to data about a person's illnesses, ailments, diseases and medical condition?

What term would you ascribe to the record of a person's illnesses, diseases and medical condition? Clarification The thing I am trying to describe is simply the record of, or data that reflects on ...
2
votes
3answers
46 views

Does not show one's potential

One who has potential, but never gives the effort to show it. What would be the best word or words that match this description?