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

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1
vote
4answers
146 views

Is there a word for a unique manufactured item?

Is there a synonym for "unique" that specifically applies to a custom-made or customized item - say, a car - of which only one copy exists? Something like "once-in-a-lifetime" but in the meaning of ...
0
votes
2answers
34 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
86 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
423 views

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

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
114 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
48 views

How do I say to my boss: [closed]

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
3
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
28 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Until, till, as long as

I will not go to the garden until my mother allows me I will not go to the garden as long as my mother doesn't allow me I will not go to the garden till my mother allows me: Are these sentences the ...
3
votes
1answer
64 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?
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
75 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
105k views

Co-Founder, Co-founder, or cofounder?

I've seen all three used and there doesn't seem to be a definitive one that I can find. I'm hedging towards Co-Founder as it's a title, but any clarity would be appreciated. Edit If it makes it any ...
-2
votes
2answers
176 views

“Pitcher” or “Pitchee” when referring to oneself in a submission form

I'm pitching a story to a public broadcaster and the layout asks that I put my name on the top of the form. Am I the "Pitcher" or the "Pitchee", or should I just go with "Name"? "Name" seems too vague ...
2
votes
2answers
401 views

What's the word for “ninja'd” in publishing things

I am looking for the word for a situation like this: Someone is planning to make a big instruction video for how to fold fitted sheets, but just before he's finished his big project, someone else ...
32
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?
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
72 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
100 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
1answer
40 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
4answers
54 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
71 views

Synonym for “hands-on” [closed]

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?
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 ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Name for fine hair on human skin

Apart from our palms and the soles of our feet, all human skin is covered with hair. What is the word for the fine hair on a human being’s skin? I would be especially interested in what you would ...
2
votes
2answers
31 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Like 'resize', but for lengths

Suppose I'm drawing a rectangle on screen. I can resize it — change its length and/or width to make it bigger or smaller overall. Now suppose I'm drawing a line, which I can make shorter or ...
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
269 views

A better word than “disabled” [closed]

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
10k views

“Old days” or “olden days”?

Sometimes I use the phrase "back in the old days". I was recently in a class where the trainer kept using the phrase "olden days." Which usage is acceptable?
3
votes
4answers
6k views

“And to you” or “you too”?

I really like to chat with English folks, so I have wished them Merry Christmas. To my surprise I have noticed the following pattern — the British answered "and to you", but Americans "you too". The ...
2
votes
4answers
121 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
248 views

What word describes languages that are written left-to-right, top-to-bottom?

I am trying to describe the set of languages that, like English, are written left to right, and was trying "romanized", but "romanized" describes transliteration to a different set of characters, such ...
1
vote
2answers
171 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
42k views

Word for “willing to try new and unfamiliar things”

Example: A: Hey, do you like to do bungee jumping? B: Um, OK. Haven't done it before, but let's try it. I'm not looking for adventurous or something similar. That word should also fit in ...
0
votes
3answers
55 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.
0
votes
0answers
48 views

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

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
2answers
42 views

Does the verb “to onset” exist? [closed]

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“Trawling through” or “trolling through”

There are quite a few discussions online about whether one can "trawl through" or "troll through", looking for something. From what I can see, both are fishing terms so both are legitimate in ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Explaining the structure of a thesis

The following sentence, and in particular the bold part, has no entry in google. Does it sound natural to native speakers? The work in this thesis is organised around three research themes of ...
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
vote
2answers
119 views

Is there a better word than “helpee” to describe a person who receives help?

When I help someone, I am the helper, and he is the helpee. But surely there is a better word than this? I guess you could say "recipient of help" or "beneficiary", but I don't really like either of ...
11
votes
12answers
701 views

“Gassy emissions from these giant dinosaurs” vs. “… by these giant dinosaurs”

Reading a science article on Huffington Post, titled "Dinosaur Farts, Prehistoric Climate Change Linked In New Methane Gas Study", I came across the following sentence: The gassy emissions from ...
-2
votes
1answer
71 views

What is an alternative word for “eaten” [closed]

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 ...
57
votes
7answers
9k views

Plural of “Index” - “Indexes” or “indices”?

A table can have one index, or it has two or more [.....]? Is it indexes or indices? I'm just asking since I've noticed that they're both used quite often. Even Wikipedia seems to support both ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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.
8
votes
6answers
4k views

A word for “rate of change”

Physics problems are usually written like: The rate of change of the soup's temperature ... Is there a common English word that captures "rate of change" or "speed of change" in a single word, ...
1
vote
3answers
62 views

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

I need to know a word or a phrase for the following: "Something that entails spending money"