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

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17
votes
18answers
8k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
104 views

Why has the use of “plague” in OED (sense 2a), as a verb declined?

Plague, when used as a verb, meaning To trouble, tease, bother, annoy, or pester, usually repeatedly, insistently, or constantly; to constitute a nuisance, threat, or danger to. Freq. in pass (OED ...
-2
votes
3answers
35 views

“Someone of Company” or “Someone from Company” [closed]

Which one is correct to say? "Hi, it's Jack of HP Inc" "Hi, it's Jack from HP Inc"
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Can “crepuscular” and/or “twilight” apply to morning half-light as well as in the evening

I know that's "sorta" two questions in one, but I'm stuck in an argument with a guy who says both words can apply to morning half-light. I disagree and think both only apply in the evening. I think ...
2
votes
4answers
19k views

“Not able to” vs. “unable to”

Which phrase is more suitable to convey one's inability to do something — "not able to" or "unable to"? For example, not able to join the meeting unable to join the meeting
2
votes
4answers
545 views

What do you call things made out of natural waste materials?

How do you categorize things (say, a toy, doll or idol) made out of natural wastes like leaves, trunks, etc., from nature?
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Which is correct, “be proceeded” or “be processed” (used in business letter)

Which usage (be proceed/be processed) is correct in the following sentence? (This is written in a business letter) Are there any differences between these two words? Thanks a lot! Please be noted ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

this work/ this thesis supported/funded or received [closed]

I want to say something at my PhD defense to tell I have a scholarship during my PhD study Can I say 1 This thesis 2 This work 3 My PhD study/studies 4 My research is supported/funded by a ...
22
votes
14answers
7k views

Gigolo is to man as what is to woman?

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth Edition) reads: gigolo, n. A man who has a continuing sexual relationship with and receives financial support from a woman. Is ...
1
vote
4answers
96 views

Synonym for “worse” with no negative connotation

Say there are two records in a band's discography and neither of them is bad. What's a better term than "worse" to refer to one record not being as great as the other record? Since both records are ...
13
votes
13answers
3k views

Adjective for a decision that had no real alternative

I'd like to express the fact that there were no viable alternatives to a decision I took. My decision to attend university X was stringent / without alternative / a no-brainer / objectively ...
44
votes
12answers
12k views

I can run faster than _____. (1) him (2) he?

Consider the sentence "I can run faster than 15 miles per hour." Its meaning is clear and to my eyes obviously grammatically correct. Now let me present some variations that have given me trouble for ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Word or phrase for literally and figuratively?

Say, for example, you and a group of people were all sailing out in the ocean and something happens...then you say, "I guess we are all in the same boat" You are literally in the same boat with ...
4
votes
10answers
271 views

Word for the feeling of dread/complacency that comes when starting something new

Is there a word for the feeling of that comes when faced with something new and you really have to push yourself hard to actually start and get into the flow of said task or situation? It seems to be ...
2
votes
5answers
95 views

Difference between 'Insidious' and 'Pernicious'

Do the words 'insidious' and 'pernicious' have the same meaning? And can they be used in place of each other? On some places on the web (eg : http://www.dailywritingtips.com/insidious-vs-invidious/), ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

Screen or view when refering to content on the screen?

Having content on the screen (e.g. a computer screen or the screen of a mobile device), how do I refer to that content? Is it "view" or "screen"? I am looking for an everyday term, not a formal one. ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

difference in meaning: morphology / structure

What is the difference in meaning between "morphology" and "structure"? Coming from a physics background and being a native German speaker, I tend to use "structure" when describing an internal ...
5
votes
13answers
477 views

Noun or phrase similar to clone with positive connotation?

I'm searching for a noun (a single word if possible) or phrase that conveys that one thing functions the same as another externally, even though the internals may differ. Nouns such as copy, a clone, ...
3
votes
3answers
481 views

Difference between “bunch of” and “group of” with regard to people

What are the contexts for using a bunch and a group when describing a handful of people? Please take both spoken and written English into account. For example, when is it more appropriate to use "a ...
0
votes
2answers
27 views

Unease vs uneasiness

Is the word unease more archaic or formal than the word uneasiness? I am used to the latter, but the former surprises me. Is there a rule how to choose the best one in similar pairs of words?
1
vote
1answer
38 views

A question on the usage of the word “completing” versus the words “that completed.”

I am reviewing a paper and the following sentence keeps jumping out at me as an incorrect usage of the word completing: "For the subset of individuals completing fewer than 500 trials in total, the ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Use of comma before which

I have a sentence where I'm unsure about the necessity of a comma before "which": The description is supplemented by practical examples and a documentation of member functions[,] which can be ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Phrase “what have it” in conversations

Why would someone use the phrase, "what have it" in the middle of their conversation? A co-worker uses it several times a day.
0
votes
3answers
100 views

“A meeting” vs “a meetup”

I've seen questions here and here and also tried googling but it's still kinda confusing to me. Is there any difference between the meanings of "a meeting" and "a meetup", and when can/can't I use one ...
3
votes
5answers
169 views

Adverb equivalent of Wirelessly for wired

It does not matter whether you connect wirelessly or by wires. While this seems to sufficiently convey my intent, I find myself personally hesitating anytime I speak or type it, as it feels ...
1
vote
3answers
14k views

we have had or we had

I would swear that we have had this conversation already. I have two questions regarding the sentence above: Can it be put just "I swear" instead of "I would swear". What is the difference? ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

To compare vs To make a comparison with

Example: To compare the calculations, we plot the following graphs. To make a comparison with the calculations, we plot the following graphs. Which one is better and clearer?
8
votes
6answers
3k views

What do you call a person who's grading exams?

I've recently had a job where I've read exams and graded them. I'm now going to put this on my CV but I have no idea how I should label this kind of work. What have I been? An examiner?
2
votes
3answers
360 views

What is the word for the person who dislikes “Phony” people?

I want to know the word which can describe the personality trait of disliking "Phony" people. Misanthrope is too extreme and generalizes hating human race. P.S: Any word which can suit personality ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Functionality vs. Functionalities: are both correct and idiomatic?

To me, inasmuch as use of the word functionality referring to software means the extent of its overall ability, I would write "The software implements the following functionality." However, I've seen ...
0
votes
2answers
27 views

Instantiate a Video Player?

I am writing a technical report where a number of video players are being loaded on a webpage. Is it correct to say, "Instantiate a video player on the web page," or just, "Load a video player on the ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

When is the correct time to use 'granter' or 'grantor'

We have a site where we have people grant each other favors. Within the site, we have copy that says when you grant someone a favor, "you are a 'x'". Should the person who grants a favor to another ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “conservativism” a word?

I know that "conservatism" is the more commonly used term, but is "conservativism" a less preferred, but legitimate word, or just a misspelling? www.dictionary.com has "conservativism", but I'm not ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

People from my country in a word [closed]

I want to write a sentence something like this - > I like to meet people of my native origin(country, city, town and so on). How can i write the things that are in bold in one word - > I like to ...
1
vote
3answers
76 views

“Unused” and “useless”

I'm a software developer, and as such I often use an IDE to fulfill my goals. For those who don't know: An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides ...
8
votes
7answers
15k views

What do you call a person who is constantly busy yet always willing to go the extra mile?

What do you call a person who is constantly busy with his or her workload but is willing to go the extra mile to do more than what is needed? Is hardworking good enough or is there some other better ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Do you use the word 'readers' when talking about a play?

I'm writing a literature analysis essay on a play and was wondering which word I would use to describe the people viewing/reading the play. I'm used to the word reader(s) as I have wrote essays for ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Can a sentence start with “ due to”

I think a sentence cannot start with due to. But if i need to say due to this thing something is happening how can I say it? How can I write the following sentence correctly? Due to the changes ...
1
vote
5answers
9k views

Which would you use 'go for a swim' or 'going swimming'

Which would you use 'go for a swim' or 'going swimming'? I am going swimming today. I go for a swim today.
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Earnest as a noun

So the title of the question, I believe, speaks for itself. I am racking my brain, thesaurus and dictionary to think of a suitable word which would accurately describe one being earnest in relation ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Do Americans use the term “garburator” or is there a better equivalent?

Is it obsolete to use the term garburator to refer to a garbage disposal unit in a kitchen? If it is, do we have a better term to replace it with? Also, what is the etymology of this word?
2
votes
1answer
91 views

How else could you tell a person you “are curious about them”? [closed]

For example, "You induce/promote/inspire curiosity in me." "I am very curious in you." (Sounds awful)
4
votes
11answers
38k views

Better way of saying “Go-to man”?

Does anyone have a suggestion for a gender-neutral alternative to the phrase "Who's the go-to man?" The go-to person feels stylistically awkward.
0
votes
4answers
729 views

“Feasible”, “possible” or “potential” solution

I am trying to understand the difference, if any, between feasible, possible and potential. Most online dictionaries report them as synonyms. Is this right? More specifically, I want to use these ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Disdain, contempt or scorn

So I looked up the term contempt and found this definition: The feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration: I also found a synonym, disdain The feeling that ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

The opposite of archive

A colleague and I are writing some software and we're looking for some advice on the usage of the word "archive". Currently, we're using archive as a marker to state that the entry in our database has ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Word to describe a sensation of death coming over your entire body?

This is the context where I want to use the word: He closed his eyes. The living did not come to mind, neither friend, nor family—only the dance of death, plain to see. The dancing figures of ...
81
votes
14answers
39k views

When should I use “a” vs “an”?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...
71
votes
28answers
17k views

Idiom or word for a very crowded place

There is a popular idiom in Russian for describing a really crowded place: "(there's) no room for an apple to fall" ("яблоку негде упасть"). I struggle to think of anything similar in English, and ...
2
votes
4answers
579 views

Word to describe a person who expresses his or her feelings frequently?

I'm looking for a word to describe a person (it can be a term of animal behavior) who expresses his or her feelings frequently, particularly through facial expressions.