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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
3answers
110 views

Is there a concise word or phrase for the feeling of being unsure if someone is kidding?

I'm searching for a word for the feeling of uncertainty as to the sincerity of another person's statements or behavior. Or, the state of being that is to think someone is possibly putting on an act ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

“Head to” vs “head toward”

What should I use the former and when should I use the latter? For example: Sylvia and I grabbed our luggage and headed to the entrance. As we headed toward the center, I spotted a L-shaped ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

What word or term describes a wire which is rigid, like a very thin rod?

The word wire usually describes a flexible strand of metal used to conduct electricity. However, there is a kind of non-flexible wire which can be used to transfer mechanical motion. I guess "rod" ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Torturing oneself by emotions is called?

People who love emotions, they love to torture themselves by emotional feelings. Be it real or vicarious. Often see people reading love stories and getting emotional, listening to sad song and watch ...
3
votes
2answers
50 views

Word that emcompasses both embassies and consulates

At Wikivoyage we are looking for a word to describe any kind of official representation office of a country in another country. It mostly means embassies and consulates, even though sometimes they ...
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

including or included?

I'd greatly appreciate if someone could tell me whether both of the following are correct: Ageing concerns all of us, INCLUDING me. [I know this one is correct] Ageing concerns all of us, me ...
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
58 views

'before' or 'in front of'?

Which sentence is the correct one? He parked his BMW directly before the diner. or He parked his BMW directly in front of the diner.
6
votes
3answers
134 views

Dating equivalent of 'spouse'

I want to ask someone, "Describe the perfect girlfriend/boyfriend" but I don't want to be so hetero-normative. So I'm looking for a simple gender-neutral/gender-inclusive equivalent for ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

“Position in/at/for your company”

Which is correct? I am writing to apply for the position of ____ in your company. I am writinng to apply for the position of ____ at your company. I am writinng to apply for the position ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

the word for an object that has a name that doesn't describe it [closed]

the word for an object that has a name that doesn't describe it for example; prospect park in this case; the name actually does describe the thing (location) lets pretend that it didn't like ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

A word that encapsulates both “person” and “group” (for people going on stage at an event)

At a conference, a talk can be done by a speaker (person) or multiple speakers (group of persons). At a festival, a live set can be played by an artist (person) or a band (group of persons) What's a ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Close by or nearby? [closed]

The cops traced residential address of his relatives who lived close by. Close up/down, close off, close in are terms well understood, I have not seen such usage of close + by. Would it be ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

Origin of “Innocent” to mean “Sexually Inexperienced”

I was thinking about the way "innocent" is often used (in both casual and moderately formal contexts) to mean "sexually inexperienced/oblivious", and came to the conclusion that using the phrase in ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

All or both in this sentence? [duplicate]

Which one of the following is correct? 1) Its strong faculty and motivated students are all appealing to me. 2) Its strong faculty and motivated students are both appealing to me. Thanks!
2
votes
3answers
65 views

“Day X” vs. “Xth day”

There are two possibilities to say that something happens on a particular day: The course of psychological support consisted of four 30-minute sessions led by a psychotherapist before and ...
3
votes
6answers
517 views

A synonym for 'decision' that refers to the question only, but not the answer

All of the typical synonyms I can think of refer both to the act of making a decision and what you came to as your conclusion. original Decision (I made a decision, and it resulted in my decision) ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Word to Describe One Who Speaks Politely but with Conviction [closed]

Imagine you are at a debate on a controversial topic. One of the speakers presents her case straightforwardly and with conviction; there is no doubting her stance on the issue. At the same time, you ...
-2
votes
2answers
81 views

Is it grammatically correct to respond “Yes, I won't go.”?

If I were asked the question "You won't go to the party, right?", would it be incorrect to say "Yes, I won't go"? If one had to choose between "yes" and "no, would it be more grammatically correct to ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“aiming to” vs “aimed to be”

I'm trying to define a goal for my scientific journal paper. What is the proper use of English language and grammar here? Does it make sense in its current form? We are running a study towards ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

“I think she is not right” - is this sentence correct?

I know you can say "I don't think she's right" but I was wondering whether there is another way to say that.
2
votes
3answers
54 views

Expiry or expiration?

Do these 2 sentences have particular reasons? Could we use both? A. Not less than 30 days of the expiration. B. Not less than 30 days of the expiry date.
3
votes
2answers
84 views

What can I use to replace the expression “Since the dawn of time”? [closed]

What should I replace the clichéd expression "since the dawn of time" with?
4
votes
6answers
113 views

Which word or phrase describes a situation where the answer is both a pro and a con?

Sometimes when people are enumerating the good and bad aspects of something, the same thing comes up in both the pros and cons. For example, a certain policy may be considered good because it ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Would that it were I or would that it were me?

Which is correct? Would that it were I who contracted the disease, and not my 10-year-old son. Or, Would that it were me who contracted the disease, and not my 10-year-old son?
0
votes
2answers
65 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who always tries to get more than he needs or deserves?

This person always tries to get more than he/she needs, especially gratuities, gifts and souvenirs. Looking or sounding ridiculous is no barrier for him/her.
1
vote
3answers
67 views

A word for the quality of being easy or good to talk to

What is a word for the quality of being easy or good to talk to? It is more than just being a "good listener." And it is not "open-minded," in that it's not about being receptive to new ideas. The ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Checkup vs Check-up [closed]

Quite a few people turned up for a 'checkup'. Is the use of the word checkup correct here? Microsoft Word and Firefox's autocorrect are both convinced that I should instead be using check-up, ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

What do you call a tristate when there are only two states?

In programming the word "tristate" is used quite often to indicate an object with three possible states. A checkbox is a good example, it can be checked, unchecked or it can have no value yet. I now ...
2
votes
8answers
329 views

Difference between “buy” and “purchase”

Referencing this answer. Are buy and purchase synonyms in every aspect/context of paying money? What I thought that these terms were unit-based: if you pay for a single unit (1 cigarette or 1 ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

Is the plural form of ID spelled ID's or ID? [duplicate]

How to write or tell that collection of Email ID's has been attached.
-2
votes
1answer
44 views

“A unary” or “an unary?” [duplicate]

What's the rule for the "a/an" choice when a word begins with a vowel but sounds like a consonant (e.g. "unary") and vice versa?
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Is it grammatically correct to use his, her, or his/her? [duplicate]

I've always thought that using the word "his" as a gender-nonspecific pronoun has been acceptable; in recent years, however, I've been told off by people when I do this, saying it is now "politically" ...
5
votes
9answers
559 views

Word for describing a book with its sheets separated

What is a suitable word for describing a book that its sheets are separated from each other and its binding? The intended sentence is something like : He was holding a portion of my XXXXX copy of ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Which word can honestly portray a non-native's language abilities [closed]

I have often been intrigued by the following questions in various documents across the Indian sub-continent: Ability to read, speak, and write - Yes. Fluency level- Beginner, Intermediate, ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

“Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner” vs “Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner”

Which one below is correct? Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner OR Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner Is it necessary to affix Mr. & Mrs. in this case? It seems superfluous to add Mrs. because a ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

When should 'is' and when should 'can' be used in a sentence? [migrated]

I was wondering which sentence seems to make more sense. Gel is commonly found by killing monsters that carry gel with them. or Gel can be commonly found by killing monsters that carry gel ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Finding Alternative Adjectives for “Very ___”

Is there a good resource for finding alternatives to using an adjective phrase intensified by the word "very", besides a thesaurus? (E.g., "very afraid" -> "terrified".) Thesauri provide wider-than ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

How do you concisely qualify the direction of viewership?

I'm making a user content driven website where users watch a stream of said content. I'm looking for a way to concisely qualify the direction of viewership in the database. Something more concise ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Pertinent versus relevant- what's the usage difference [duplicate]

According to various dictionaries, relevant means having a bearing on the matter at hand. Pertinent means “relevant to the matter at hand. Similarly, impertinent can be irrelevant. ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Head to somewhere vs come vs go

What does "We could head that way" mean exactly and why should I use this form instead of come or go?
3
votes
3answers
586 views

Which season do you like (better / best), spring or winter? [duplicate]

Which season do you like (better / best), spring or winter? I was told the answer is better, but why is that so? Both better and best would make sense, I think.
0
votes
5answers
93 views

Word that means I understand the words you are saying [closed]

Is there a word that means I understand what you're saying, but does not mean that I comprehend it? For instance: "Given the big-O notation, we can calculate the approximate time the algorithm will ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Predicate-less and predicate-full sentence

In Polish language there is a strict meaning to sentence - it requires a predicate to be used explicitly. Any "sentence" without a predicate is called a sentence equivalent. However as I learned ...
-2
votes
1answer
37 views

Times the expression “why me” is used and origin [closed]

Whether it be lightheartedly or in a bout of depression. Please share stories of times you have said this as well as any definitions you know based on how the word is used and any history you know of ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there an English word for a woman who has recently given birth?

In some cultures, there are lots of customs about a woman who has recently given birth to a baby, such as feeding special fancy meals to her, taking special care of her, and so on for (a certain ...
2
votes
2answers
129 views

Does “would” indicate intent but not possibility?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if "would" implies intention but not possibility, then, generally, it must only refer to persons not events. If such is the case, then this sentence, "Would it be ...
1
vote
6answers
146 views

Is it best to avoid e.g.?

In technical writing, I often find there's a choice between using "e.g." and "etc.". Lets look at an example: You could use an ORM, e.g. SQLAlchemy, Storm. You could use an ORM: SQLAlchemy, Storm, ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

How to give a tip without using 'Keep the change' [closed]

Imagine you're in a bar and order a pint of beer, which is £3.20. You only have a £10 note but want to tip the barkeeper. As you can't use 'keep the change' for obvious reasons, what do you say to tip ...