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

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4
votes
9answers
912 views

Dinky cars (toy cars)

I came across this term while proofreading an unpublished poem by an Irish poet. The context is not important so I'll just say that it is clear that it means “toy cars”. I Googled the term and see ...
25
votes
10answers
6k views
+150

Do the words “jail” and “prison” refer to different things?

In everyday speech, the terms jail and prison are used interchangeably in many situations. However, my understanding is that, at least in the US, they actually refer to slightly different things. For ...
0
votes
3answers
59 views

“an average of” vs “on average”

I am trying to write a job application with a sentence about my averaged evaluation. But, I don't know which expression is correct or more appropriate in the formal letter. 1) The overall performance ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

What's the difference between “neural” and “neuronal”?

Is it that something that is neuronal has to do with neurons, while something that is neural has to do with nerves or the nervous system? Is something that is neuronal necessarily neural? Or does it ...
1
vote
4answers
49 views

Word that means “repulsed by self”

I am looking for one word that expresses being disgusted by your own thoughts, or repulsed by your subconscious, anything like that. I'm not looking for words that mean repulsed by your body or having ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it “damping” or “dampening” when referring to sound?

When one refers to the act of modifying a physical object so as to make it better at absorbing sound vibrations, is that "damping" or "dampening" the object? I've seen both, and looking them up in the ...
5
votes
7answers
5k views

Why is “resolved” used ahead of a question in a debate title, instead of saying “the Subject, topic” or alike?

I’m now reading a book titled “Competitive Debate – The Official Guide” by Richard E. Edward. In it, there is the following sentence: The topic for public forum debate are selected by a comitee of ...
1
vote
2answers
868 views

Any idea where the phrase at sixes and sevens came from, and what it really means?

Any idea where the phrase at sixes and sevens came from, and what it really means?
0
votes
5answers
46 views

Best word for a task or deed completed without or before one realizes he/she has even endeavored to do it?

What word best describes the experience of starting something, and ending up, before you know it, far deeper into it than you had ever intended, or far more embroiled, involved, or even having ...
14
votes
13answers
2k views

What's the Appropriate Word to Say You're 'Dazzled' by a Nice Smell?

Imagine there's food being cooked on stove and you feel the pleasant smell and it somehow makes you mad! You want to keep smelling or walk to the kitchen and get some of it to eat. What verb would ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Antonym for “discombobulate”

I'm looking for a good antonym to discombobulate. I'm aware that the word is made-up American slang and as such there is no such thing as to be combobulated. If a person is anything but ...
-1
votes
0answers
27 views

a substitute expression for an ending

I asked this earlier so if one of the post needs to be merged, altered, or deleted let me know. The ending needs to express the idea that I am "ready to begin" in a way that is personal and balanced ...
1
vote
2answers
26 views

What's the difference between “large share” and “high share”?

Please help me! In the passage below, can I replace highest with largest / lowest with smallest? the United States had the highest housing expenditure share, 26% of total expenditures in 2009. The ...
9
votes
7answers
19k views

“On/at/for/over the weekend” in American English

Some sources say that "at the weekend" is wrong, while other ones say it's correct. Which form is acceptable in American English? On Saturdays her sister Ann usually comes to stay with Mary ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

What do you call the state, that when you see something or somebody or something is accruing reminds you something else even though unrelated?

Sometimes it feels like what is accruing at the present time is attached to something else, every time you hear or smell something or see something accruing reminds you the situation that you have ...
11
votes
9answers
18k views

What's wrong with “stupider”?

On online boards I've seen some people claim that "stupider" is ungrammatical. I can't see any reason why it would be, and it seems like it's commonly used. Google Ngram Viewer And it's also in ...
0
votes
4answers
72 views

Word for Inability to Write

When school's off for more than three or four days, I usually don't write much (I prefer to type at home!) and so when I come back and hold my pen[cil], my fingers refuse to move like they normally ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Correct usage for “bad” v. “poor” adjectives

The way I was taught many years ago was that something like quality can be poor, but not bad. The reasoning was that "bad" is a value/moral whereas poor applies to non-value qualities. In this case, ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Difference between “larder” and “pantry”

What is the difference between larder and pantry? Is it size? Or content? I found very similar definitions for both terms, something like a room/place in which food is stored. Which of the ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Is “diplomations” a coined word possibly used in journalism or in politics?

Regarding Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview” from theaters before it’s Christmas Day release date--which decision was then reversed by Sony at the last minute--Fox News host Megyn Kelly said on ...
1
vote
2answers
27 views

Is “join” in this context ambiguous?

During this internship, I joined the on-line training program which was given by the company to the employees and aimed to help them grasp the new system. I am the student of this program. I am ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

Which answers are correct among five expressions? or have the same meaning?

A: I think she has had plastic surgery. B: Yes. She definitely is not a natural beauty. Yes. She definitely is not the natural beauty. Yes. She definitely is not in natural beauty. Yes. She ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

looking forward to our tennis battle? can I say this way?

I am sending an email to a friend/mentor. We have the same interest in tennis and during our past conversation, we said we would like to play together one day. Is it ok to say "I am looking forward ...
22
votes
15answers
3k views

A word for: someone who is easy to talk to

I want to convey the idea that such and such person is very easy to talk to. I know that: 'talk to-able' is not a word, obviously. I can always say, "He is very easy to talk to." But I am looking ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

“Indispensible for” vs, “indispensible to”

What is the difference between "indispensible to" and "indispensible for"? Likewise, between "it is important to me" and "it is important for me", which one is correct?
1
vote
5answers
42 views

How to describe these abstract concepts?

I am aware that to do this one needs not only professional skills in technologies, a sound knowledge in education and methodologies, but also a deep understanding and comprehensive analysis of ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What do you call someone who obsessively thinks they are sick? [on hold]

Googling relevant terms such as sick, self, conception, and mixing them gave me nothing useful. So, is there any term in English, either in common sense of the word or technical sense, to refer to ...
2
votes
5answers
329 views

Other ways to define a turning point

After a difficult childhood, the encounter with Rev. Charles, was a turning point in his life. What other expressions can be used to to define the concept of turning point?
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Is there a name for a war where everyone fights everyone else?

Is there a name for a war where everyone fights everyone else? I think that I heard the name "Kephyr" (Turkish? for the name of a war where it's all against all but I could not verify it.
1
vote
1answer
17 views

Can "field“ used in this sentence?

They succeed in persuading me to leave the field of technology in which I can easily find assurance in terms of job opportunity and financial stability. Please tell me whether I can use the word ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

Conspicuous v. Ostentatious

Conspicuous means: 1. Easy to notice; obvious: a conspicuous flaw in the construction. 2. Attracting attention, as by being unusual or remarkable; noticeable. Ostentatious means: characterized by ...
0
votes
3answers
36 views

Word Request: A word that would describe how seconds (or other unit) relate to minutes (or other unit)

For example, if I had the sentence: A minutes ______ are seconds. What word would work here? It would also fit in the sentences below. A byte's _____ are bits. A byte is split up by eight ______ ...
3
votes
3answers
63 views

The state of being a vagabond

I'm looking for an English word that describes the state of being a vagabond, and can be used in a sentence like this: "My only goal is vagabond-age" (to coin a word). More details: I'm trying ...
-1
votes
2answers
27 views

which adjective should i use for family of someone

I want to write a happy new year letter for someone(not very close, business partner) what adjective should i use in regard to his family for example : Dear Family , respectful family , beloved family ...
1
vote
3answers
44 views

A word for 'scared' in this context

My cousin is really bad at math. Whenever she looks at a math book, she runs away. She is 'scared' of math. I know this is not the correct word to use. Can someone please give me a word that means ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

“Whenever I was” vs “Whenever I got”?

Is there any notable difference between the two? Example: Whenever I was depressed, sounds would amplify themselves ten or twenty times, to the point they became indistinguishable from physical ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Is magnanimity the right word for courage, insight and willingness to overlook or forgive?

Definitions of magnanimous in some of the most authoritative dictionaries: Oxford Dictionaries Online: Generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or less powerful person. Dictionary.com ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

When to use 'an' and when to use 'a' with words begining with 'h'?

Some h-words need 'an' for the indefinite article (I will be there in an hour). Other h-words need 'a' for the indefinite article (It is a history of sadness). Is there a general rule?
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Do the following three expressions have the same meaning?

My flight is scheduled for 7 p.m. from New York. My flight is scheduled for New York at 7 p.m. My flight is scheduled for New York, 7 p.m.
1
vote
1answer
113 views

“What I'm looking for is/are [plural noun]”

Which one of the below is correct, and if both are correct in certain contexts, which is the preferred one? What I'm looking for is methods that help... What I'm looking for are the methods ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it absolutely necessary to use “than” over “then” in a comparison?

Do you think you are smarter then me? While this question should be using than...I have to wonder if this is a debatable topic within English or is this cut and dry? If this specific instance is ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

“As on 16 May” vs. “as of 16 May” — which is correct?

I updated a cost sheet and I want to specify that it's a newly updated cost sheet. For this situation, which one is correct? cost sheet as on/of 16 May Before specifying a date, which will come ...
2
votes
3answers
345 views

Is majoritively a word?

So I was writing a sentence and the word majoritively popped into my head as a "Hey, why not? Sounds good!" type of word. My sentence was to the effect of: Our GridViews majoritively use classic ...
0
votes
4answers
183 views

Noun for the desire to sleep?

I have had this thought on many sleepless nights: is there a word specifically for the desire to go to sleep? Not in the sense of being sleepy or tired, but actively wanting to become asleep. If a ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Adjective describing a person who does work to get it done

I have a friend who always goes on that I have a bad work ethic, though I am not lazy. At the same time, he says he has a good work ethic, but is lazy. The definition of having a good work ethic is ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Can the word mnemonic be used adverbally?

A mnemonic is a memory device for reducing something diverse and complicated to an easily -remembered pattern. For example, for the order of planets in the solar system, I learned as a boy the ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

how can I use “fewer” and “more” with numbers?

I have never heard anyone use words "fewer" and "more" when talking about the fact that a certain number of items is greater than a certain number of other items by a constant. For example if the ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Would the slang version, yessir, of yes, sir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?

I use yessir as a slang form of yes, sir all the time. Is it even a word? Would the slang version, yessir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?