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

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3
votes
4answers
852 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

“To this end” or “To that end”

Is there a usage note for choosing between these two phrases? Nothing in Garner. And I've seen it both ways. Example: To that end, we propose the following compromise. or To this end, we ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Send someone away without sounding harsh [on hold]

Somebody came to visit me for 3(three) days but till now, one(1) week after, he is still in my house. How can I ask him to go without sounding harsh?
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Dragons are “fantastic” creatures or “fantastical” creatures?

If I'm discussing fantasy as a genre, and I want to describe a noun as fitting that genre, should I call it fantastic or fantastical? It seems both words exist in (say) Merriam-Webster, but the -al ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Would an “affector” be appropriate for an event driver?

I'm trying to come up with a better word to describe a "driver" or "conditional"; basically, the name of an object or event which is a trigger for something else. Would it be appropriate to say that ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

What preposition should I use in the following sentence?

I'd never taken a glass-bottom boat. To be honest, the idea intimidated me at the beginning. What if the glass couldn't support the passenger's weight? What if a shark swooped [...] and broke ...
3
votes
3answers
10k views

Difference between 'just' and 'only'

'Just' and 'only' carry a similar meaning, and while my feel for language usually helps me decide which one to use, there are times when I'm at a loss. From my understanding, 'just' is used as a ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

What is it called when the last word of a sentence is also used as the first word of the next sentence? [duplicate]

For example in the rhyme "Miss Susie" the end of each verse is linked to the next. Would these just be called puns? Or is there a more specific name when they are used in this way. Example: Miss ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

What is the word for what an applicant applies to?

If you are applying to a school you are an "applicant". What is the word for the thing you're applying to? Similar to the sentence "the stalker stalks the stalkee", what would be in the blank in the ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Word for 'controlled by', with reference to an external controller

Is there a word for 'controlled by' applicable in " My body was controlled by the mind "
3
votes
2answers
555 views

Can I use 'better still' in negative sentences?

Can I use 'better still' in a negative sentence? I'm especially interested in American English usage. Does it sound natural to say: You may not have the access to a trusted counselling, or better ...
-2
votes
0answers
32 views

The verb for appointment to a job [closed]

If a person is appointed to a job, for instance, "Senior Specialist", what is correct among the following examples: Senior Specialist was appointed by the HR manager Senior Specialist was ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

When to use 'degree of' versus 'level of' in urban planning

Should we say, in urban planning, a certain level of compact development, or a certain degree of compact development?
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

Should I use “forget” or “forgot” in the following case?

Speaker A: Hearing your father's records makes you forget about death because it makes you feel as if he's still alive. As if death doesn't really exist--wait, that doesn't make sense. Thinking ...
-1
votes
1answer
17 views
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Word like “ancestors” or “ancestry line” which includes the initial subject?

I am trying to give a proper name to a function in a programme. What the function does is to return the node on which it is called, and also its ancestry line until the top node. The concept can be ...
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

The most common way to refer to non-immediate family?

Example: When my mother came back from the island, she came back as a newborn Christian. [...] was shocked, especially since none of them belonged to that religion. (In this case, they refer ...
1
vote
3answers
35 views

Hyperbolic vs Hyperbolical

I just looked up the word "hyperbolic" in the 3rd edition of "The New Oxford American Dictionary", and the second definition says "(of language) exaggerated; hyperbolical." When I go to hyperbolical, ...
5
votes
4answers
16k views

Difference in “capable” and “able”

What is the difference in being physically capable and physically able? When would one choose one over the other?
-3
votes
1answer
33 views

Word that means “waste of life”

So just, is there a word that means waste of life, whereby it is fitting in the context of war analysis?
-1
votes
2answers
194 views

“The title of Bachelor of Engineering” vs “the title Bachelor of Engineering”

... obtained the diploma and the title of Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.). ... obtained the diploma and the title Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng). Which sentence is correct? Which is ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

“Time” versus “Time”: When is time plural?

I have difficulty in using time and times correctly. I understand that times may be used for some idiomatic purposes such as "at all times" or "of all times" or "some times", although sometimes it ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Difference between “can't” and “won't be able to” [closed]

Could someone tell me the difference between the following two sentences? I won't be able to come to see you this Saturday. I can't come to see you this Saturday.
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a word to refer to “changing TV channels”?

I wrote the following sentence: As if she had just realized it was there, she grabbed the remote control from the table, turned on the TV, and changed the channel to the news. I'm not a ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

“Sneaked off” vs “sneaked into” vs “sneaked away.”

I often get confused about which one to use. Example: He sneaked [...] to the rear of the ship. Or maybe all of them have a different connotation?
0
votes
2answers
39 views

Can you use the word “bearing” to mean causing?

Can you use the word "bearing" to mean when smething causes something? For example, I'm trying to write a poem thing and I'm using the sentence "the bleak bearing blanket of fog" to describe how a ...
206
votes
37answers
81k views

Is there a non-sexual phrase for sleeping with someone?

The phrase "sleeping with someone" often means "having sex." What is the origin of this sexual connotation? Is there a non-sexual equivalent of this phrase to express sleeping with someone without ...
3
votes
7answers
650 views

A person who goes to gymnastics school — a 'student' or a 'pupil?'

I am trying to find an exact answer of this question: Is a person who goes to gymnastics school a 'student' or a 'pupil?'
0
votes
4answers
434 views

How can I say that I'm in progress of become a security analyst on a headline?

I would like to state on my LinkedIn's headline that I am in progress of become a security analyst. How could I say it without use that sentence, because that is a sentence not a headline. I had ...
-2
votes
1answer
32 views

Word for something that is not an emulator, and is not a simulator

If we access as a given that: Simulation = For analysis and study | The end result is the same Emulation = For usage as a substitute | The ways and the end result is the same Is there a ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

arrange VS arrange for

Say, I am talking to a coworker before a meeting with a client. We decided to use a projector in the meeting room. I want to say that I will find a portable projector somewhere and make it available ...
3
votes
7answers
270 views

There is a word for mis-characterization of a political figure

What is it called when someone (example: a political figure) is mis-characterized constantly and untruthfully? For example a campaign constantly hammers the message: "Senator X promotes high ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Can the adjective “sexist” be replaced by “chauvinistic” in this context?

Can chauvinistic denote the same meaning as sexist in this sentence? The nature of these rituals generates a sexist mentality among the new members.
4
votes
2answers
72 views

Term for “brain-watering”

A mouth can water, but what does a brain do? I'm looking for a term that implies intellectual thirst, as when one has worked all day at a mindless task and only wants to read a novel, or essay, or ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

Word for something done for no effect, but makes people feel good about themselves

What's a word for something done for no effect, but makes people feel good about themselves. For instance, in an argument about drug testing welfare recipients, if the facts say it doesn't actually do ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

What should I use in this case: “despite”, “though,” or “even though”?

That way my mom can move on, find someone else, despite having sworn she'd only marry God." That way my mom can move on, find someone else, though she swore she'd only marry God." ...
0
votes
2answers
20 views

connecting expressions with similar words

I often face this problem in scientific papers. When writing a title I have two possibilities. For example: Enterprise and Process Modelling or Enterprise Modelling and Process Modelling Water ...
0
votes
5answers
50 views

“far from” versus “away from” [closed]

What word should be used when referring to a metaphorical state of two concepts that do not relate to each other? For example: Love is far from hate, Art is far from commercial interests, Artists ...
10
votes
4answers
992 views

Can “born” be used with creatures that come from eggs?

I have just seen this post on facebook. It says "This two-headed turtle was born on June 18th..." so I wondered if the word "born" can be used with animals that lay eggs. Is there another word for ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

The etymology of “redhead” vs. “ginger haired”

All my life I have known people with reddish, orangey hair, to be termed ginger haired. Just as you don't call a blonde a 'yellow head' red head just wasn't a word that was said (wouldn't orange head ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the plural form of “Mercedes” a disused word?

In the picture below: 1) are there two Mercedeses? Or, 2) are there two Mercedes? Can we infer from this nGram that the plural noun "Mercedeses" is a disused word, hence the sentence 2) ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do you call it “the produce aisle”?

I came across the word, “the produce aisle” for the first time in NPR’s news introducing 'Eating on the Wild Side – A field guide to nutritious food,” writen by Jo Robinson. It goes: “Our modern ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What’s the word for somebody you know (sometimes well) but who isn’t your friend?

What is the English word for somebody who is not your friend, but you’ve know them even for years. For example, this might be a neighbor or somebody from school whom you see often enough but whom ...
19
votes
2answers
744 views

When did we stop translating proper names?

It used to be that one would just translate a proper name that was in another language into English when referring to that entity. For example, William the Conqueror, Christopher Columbus, King ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Connotations of “quixotic”

Would you say quixotic has more of a positive connotation or more of a negative connotation? The definition for quixotic given by Merriam-Webster is: hopeful or romantic in a way that is not ...
23
votes
5answers
7k views

Why should I use “ought to”?

Is "ought to" still used in modern English? If yes, in what contexts is it used, and is it used more in formal or informal cases?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a word like “sides” that means “top or bottom”?

"Sides" can be used to describe positioning relative to the left or right of an object. Is there a corresponding word that has the same meaning for the top or bottom of an object? For example, if I ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Antonym(s) for “antipode” / “antipodes” / “antipodean”?

Wiktionary says these terms refer to "the opposite" side, etc and offers no antonyms. But in practice, in the field of north vs south hemispheres, they are only ever used in my experience to refer to ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Why “Jesu” rather than “Jesus” in this carol?

Why does this bit of O Come, All Ye Faithful use Jesu rather than Jesus? Yea, Lord, we greet thee Born this happy morning Jesu, to thee be glory given Am I right in my thinking that Jesus is ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “man” the opposite of “woman”?

I heard someone today say that lad is the opposite of lass. And we picked up a debate on whether woman is actually the opposite of man, which led me to question whether nouns can have opposites at ...