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

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1
vote
4answers
30 views

Are you an amateur(ish) fellow?

A dull, static power-point presentation projected its amateur/amateurish slides that could descend a brisk subject into an impenetrable bulk of banality. Both sound correct to me with a bias on the ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

The stages of history

Is there a word or short phrase that encompasses the three main stages of Western history: ancient, medieval, and then modern?
6
votes
5answers
10k views
4
votes
4answers
271 views

Verb used with “threshold”

I am wondering what verb collocates with threshold. I can think of verbs such as surpass, cross, pass, but I am not sure if they are correct to use here. The threshold I am referring to is not a ...
-1
votes
0answers
11 views

'There is currently no news…' vs 'There are currently no news…' [duplicate]

I am personally leaning towards there are since there is more than one news item expected, but I need the reassurance from an expert in the matter. The exact quote would be: There is currently no ...
16
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there a good word for a square-rectangle relationship?

Any given square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle isn't necessarily a square, so squares and rectangles have a _ relationship. I've been noticing this sort of thing everywhere ever since I ...
12
votes
5answers
963 views

1700s term for “a technology”

Today, I could use "a technology" to mean a mechanical or industrial development: The most important transportation technology during that era was the railroad. According to etymonline.com, ...
3
votes
1answer
30 views

What is the difference between 'outstrip' and 'outrun'?

I can't see any difference between 'outstrip' and 'outrun'. I think they have the same meaning but in the gap-filling question "The economy did very well for a number of years until public ...
4
votes
4answers
480 views

Word for “cinema with a single screen”?

I usually say multiplex for a cinema with more screens. What word can I use to refer to a cinema with a single screen? Monoplex? Singleplex? Is there a word other than single-screen to describe a ...
3
votes
3answers
417 views

“Which do you like best?” or “Which do you like most?”

Is there any difference in usage between these two sentences? Which do you like best? Which do you like most? I've read there is a slight difference in usage - a subtlety - and ...
19
votes
13answers
4k views

What is a word for a person who throws a “fake smile”?

Most people, especially receptionists and air hostesses have the ability to smile in a fake way. Being professional, their smile isn't real. Inside they cry and die a thousand dead of tensions but ...
3
votes
3answers
106 views

What is the combining form of “Christian”?

I recently heard the term "Judeo-Christian" which caused a thought to strike me. I don't know how to switch the order of the classical compound (word). What is the combining form of "Christian"? ...
4
votes
5answers
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?
2
votes
3answers
43 views

What's a word for someone who just gets other people to deal with problems

What's a word for someone who, whenever there's a problem that needs to be solved, doesn't solve it and either pretends it isn't there, or gets someone else to deal with it?
4
votes
2answers
624 views

What do I call a person who reads documentation or guides in a cursory or superficial manner?

What do I call a person who reads documentation, guides or tutorials in a cursory or superficial manner, i.e. without doing so thoroughly?
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Word/Expression for a concept made simple as a result of mastery

Is there a word or expression that conveys this meaning: A text (and more generally an expressed idea about any field) seems very clear (crystal clear). But it is clear only because the author has ...
1
vote
4answers
64 views

Small but powerful?

I'm looking for a word or idiom that describes something that is small but powerful. For example, a tiny computer that is capable of doing the same work as a larger computer.
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Referral Campaigns or Your Referral Schemes

I have a referral program which comprises of 50% UK users and 50% US users. Taking into account location, what would be the most appropriate title to use... Your Referral Campaigns Or Your ...
3
votes
5answers
17k views

“One of my friends” vs. “one of my friend”

Which of the following is correct? Yesterday, I met one of my friends. Yesterday, I met one of my friend.
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Can I say “B eacon in resources”?

Context: I've a website which is resources repository and "B eacon in resources" (without space) would be its tagline. This makes sense for me but I'm not sure if it's correct way to say this since ...
-1
votes
1answer
25 views

Is “What do you expect from your partner” equivalent to “expected partner?”? [on hold]

I dont want to use long sentence like this "What do you expect from your partner?". Can i use "expected partner?" instead?
3
votes
3answers
279 views

When if means iff and if, respectively? [duplicate]

It seems sometimes 'if' really means 'if and only if' (abbreviated as iff), and sometimes 'if but not necessarily only if'. Is there a better usage with 'if' than the regular/default way? Should I ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

WC Formal phrase for “trademark” (tendency)

The Russians influence the Ukraine in politics, culture, and with their trademark imperial greed. Russia is known in the Western world for being very greedy and power-hungry (no offense to Russians ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Why does switch take a noun in the plural?

Why do we say "We switched locations." or "We switched phones." instead of "We switched location?" or "We switched phone?" Are there any other verbs that take the noun in the plural?
5
votes
4answers
118 views

What is a word that means “the people in place when an organization ended”?

When an organization ceases operations, what is the word to describe the people in place at the time that it ended? "The ??? President" My first inclination is "final" -- "The Final President" ...
-2
votes
1answer
28 views

Is this what these sentences mean?

"I don't like neither of you" -> In this sentence I think the meaning is that the person doesn't dislike any of the other people. "I haven't done it neither" -> This is just a confusing double ...
7
votes
6answers
19k views

'Expired' or 'Passed away'?

When someone dies, do we say they expired or passed away? Does the word expired give any more respect when used? Or less respect than passed away?
4
votes
3answers
245 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone whose ominous remarks come true?

Someone who makes such comments as: "Look at his car tyres! He is inviting an accident." (and he does suffer an accident minutes later.) "I never have shrimps with pepper. You're likely to ...
-2
votes
2answers
31 views

what is correct word substitution for following sentence? [on hold]

which one is correct? One should wear helmet ____ while riding a bike 1. all time 2. all the times 3. at all times
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Vocations and what people are famous for

The lead section on Wikipedia biographies tend to contain: Their birth name Their date of birth (in brackets) Their vocation(s), and/or the thing(s) they are famous for I'm aware this is called ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

“Cry” versus “weep”

When to use cry and when to use weep? Which one goes more formal? Which one should have preference in general use?
-3
votes
1answer
33 views

Which answer is correct for each question, and why? [on hold]

He told her (to, before, in, at) her face that she was a liar. I (caught, took, made, had) sight of the boat as I got to the top of the cliff. I know you hate your job but that's no reason to (take, ...
0
votes
4answers
48 views

Can “either” be used with “nor”? [duplicate]

Can I say, for example, "You aren't either pretty nor funny"? And if so, is it any different from saying "You aren't either pretty or funny"?
10
votes
2answers
11k views

Which is correct, “dataset” or “data set”?

I keep writing dataset. Is that correct, or should I write data set?
5
votes
6answers
2k views

How popular is “sine qua non” in English? If I use it in day to day conversation, will I be scoffed at?

I saw the word “sine qua non” in the article of New York Times (October 12) written by Gail Collins under the title, “The Gift of Glib.” The article deals with the big Republican debate held in New ...
3
votes
4answers
664 views

“Injunct” vs “Enjoin”

The injunctions (and super-injunctions) that occasionally make the headlines restrain a defendant from doing something. It is fairly clear (e.g. OED) that the word was formed as a noun from enjoin in ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Can I use “How about..” in this way?

So, imagine that you wanted to suggest something to a friend of yours, like watching TV or go to the movies. You would say "How about watching TV?" or "What about going to the movies?" But what if you ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

use of distainer office, distrainment proceedings, etc

Is "distainer office, distrainment proceedings, distrain order, ..." correct? Even this spell checker highlights these words as incorrect. Some translations use execution office, executor's office, ...
-2
votes
0answers
24 views

Is it right to say works such as i have lot of home works? [on hold]

We often come across some phrase such as,"I have lot of home works to do". Do you a word usage like that?
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Are there any differences in meaning or nuance between ‘suffocation’ and ‘asphyxiation’?

There was a lot of news about a fire in a nightclub in southern Brazil, where 233 people were killed. I found some newspapers wrote that most of the victims died from ‘suffocation’ and other media ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

Literature: 'Why' at the beginning of sentences [duplicate]

I’m currently reading George Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire novels in English. As a non-native speaker (I’m German), I stumbled upon some grammatical constructs that I’ve never seen before, one of ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

What is a medical term for the belief that you're healthy when you're not? [duplicate]

What is a medical term, as in a mental or eating disorder, that means "a compulsion with being healthy, while actually being unhealthy," stemming primarily from a poor understanding of science, ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

“Knowledgeable about” vs. “knowledgeable on” vs. “knowledgeable in”

When should I use each of the collocations "knowledgeable about", "knowledgeable on", and "knowledgeable in"?
1
vote
2answers
40 views

What is a 'nearly quotation' called?

Last night in his eve of election speech to the Scottish electorate (a vintage performance according to the Guardian), the former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, alluded to a famous line from Macbeth ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Should I use “have” or “has” after using an “and/or” in a sentence? [duplicate]

In the following two sentences, when "and" is used, then "have" would follow. When "or" is used, then "has" would follow. Example: "If the price and lead time have changed..." "If the price ...
0
votes
4answers
157 views

How to name or define a new word? [on hold]

Suppose I wanted to create a new word. Are there any rules for that? How can I do it? If I create the word, how can I ensure that it has an appropriate meaning? For example, in a word like quiz or ...
0
votes
3answers
288 views

“WE ON” what does it mean? Is it bad English? [on hold]

I want to name my upcoming project as WE ON - Information & entertainment media agency . This agency will work in the city and act as communication between businesses and consumers, so I need ...
0
votes
3answers
83 views

What is an appropriate replacement for the term “oriental” when used as an ethnicity? [duplicate]

When I was a child I remember frequently hearing references to "oriental" people. Of course "oriental" now has a pejorative connotation, and generally "asian" is preferred. However, I can't help but ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Any better word for “upsell”

My company provides more value to my clients by offering them services that could enhance their business/process. The process involves: I point a void (improvement scope) to the client. I look out ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

Word for someone who is “pretentious”, but without negative connotation?

Pretentious is defined as "attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed." What if someone does impress others because they actually do have ...