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

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1
vote
4answers
129 views

Can you shorten this sentence?

Is there a shorter phrase with this meaning: I invited him to my party verbally when I met him. I thought perhaps the phrase I invited him personally meant this until I saw personal in written ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Are “in” and “at” the same in some situations? [duplicate]

If someone calls me, and I say I can't talk to them at the moment, because I'm at school, is there any difference between the following two sentences? I'm at school. I'm in school. Do ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

What preposition does “rate … criteria” take?

I'm writing up specs for a website with learning materials for our alpha testers to comment on. Among others, I'm describing the rating system: the materials can be rated (...) several criteria (such ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

“In the comfort of” or “at the comfort of”?

Which sentence is correct? Buy tickets in the comfort of your home or Buy tickets at the comfort of your home I saw the first one written on a hoarding but I feel the second one is more ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

“On short notice” vs “At short notice”

What's the difference between those two? I've tried to ask Google but got very mixed results -- some people say it's the same, some that one of them is illegal and the rest offer other explanation, ...
1
vote
5answers
155 views

I got first place in a competition where it's possible to tie. How would I distinguish that I was an untied first?

I would like to avoid using the phrase "untied first" unless that is actually the accepted way to say it.
11
votes
5answers
3k views

An aeroplane, when it leaves the ground, 'takes off'. What does a bird do?

My daughter recently had the experience of a large bird hitting her car windscreen, and smashing it, when she was doing about 70mph on a motorway. Fortunately the bird did not come through the screen, ...
0
votes
5answers
52 views

'Wrapping up' term

When I start a task: that is called the PREPARATION PHASE. When I do the task: that is called the EXECUTION PHASE So, how would a say, correctly, when it is the WRAPPING UP PHASE. I know wrapping up ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

“Facade” vs. “façade”

I know that both facade and façade are valid in British English. Is that also true for American English? Or should facade be used when writing something for American customers? This is something that ...
4
votes
3answers
85 views

What is the English word for a 'spaghetti harvest'?

Spaghetti, traditionally, an Italian crop is now being widely grown in Britain. Can anyone say what the harvest should be called, perhaps based on the Italian.
3
votes
2answers
80 views

Use of “nay” as an adverb

I researched help and examples on the uses of the word nay but found these inadequate/insubstantial. The Free Dictionary has described: an archaic or dialect (except in voting by voice) word ...
4
votes
18answers
1k views

What is the word meaning “going on and on for miles and miles”?

Edit: I was walking down an intolerably long sidewalk one day, and every time a mounted another hill, I saw more of it seeming to stretch out before me. It got me to thinking: is there a word for ...
7
votes
1answer
150 views

numbers used as words

Is there a word or words for a group of numbers that is used with a specific meaning apart from the values of the numbers themselves? Like 911 for emergency, 411 for information, 24/7 for always ...
7
votes
4answers
442 views

Usage of diffuse vs. defuse

I often hear phrases such as "infantry were sent in to diffuse/defuse the situation," and I am never quite sure which people are saying, and which is correct. Both seem to make sense. To me (a ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

What is the real difference between dilation and dilatation?

In the medical profession we use the terms dilatation and dilation with great frequency. Dilatation is defined as a region of dilation, an area of abnormal enlargement, or the surgical enlargement of ...
0
votes
3answers
27 views

“Contractor” and “Orderer” in a contract about computer software

I'm recently decided to draw up an agreement with an American company and found formal word choice quite challenging. My biggest problem right now is related to naming parties in the agreement. Right ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

Difference between “admit” and “accept”

Which of the options sounds correct? She has been accepted/admitted at York University.
2
votes
7answers
759 views

Would 'determine' or 'decide' be more correct when talking about a target audience?

In the phrase: It may be best for you to decide on your target audience. would replacing "decide" with "determine" be more correct, and why?
13
votes
7answers
11k views

What is the difference between illegal and unlawful?

I often hear an unlawful act, so what is an illegal act?
6
votes
9answers
306 views

Word for not feeling part of a social or economic class

Is there a word for a feeling or person that is part of a social class, but doesn't feel like they belong in that class? Say someone was poor their entire life and won the lottery. People they may ...
1
vote
3answers
44 views

“Put together” or “assembled” for a book?

I'm collecting information about Structure from the net and textbooks. Since I paid too much effort on this, I'm going to make it a book(ish), for studying purposes. But I couldn't decide on whether I ...
1
vote
2answers
60 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
51k views

To gain insight into or on?

Should I write: To gain insight on this obstacle, she will begin to analyse . . . or To gain insight into this obstacle, she will begin to analyse . . . Google shows (much) more results ...
2
votes
2answers
245 views

“Quainted the auto supplier has hit share of potholes.” Did I hear right? What does it mean?

I’ve been practicing listening of English language news on FEN for years, and heard the latest (March 24) Wall Street Journal Barron’s magazine news as follows: “Visteon is maneuvering to be a key ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Word for “aver the primacy” or “make essential”

Is there a single word (or better set of words) to express e.g.: "liberalism avers the primacy of the individual", or "Johannes renders his masculinity essential?
5
votes
5answers
3k views

“Bald Faced Lie” vs. “Bold Faced Lie”

Which of these is correct? What is the origin of this expression? I've searched here on the exchange and haven't found an answer.
0
votes
1answer
89 views

“Fall from” vs. “fall off”

Which of the following sentences is correct? She fell from the bike. She fell off the bike.
4
votes
5answers
510 views

English word similar to Unagi

I am looking for a word (or two words) that means something similar to "unagi" as it is used in the TV show Friends (i.e., the concept they were trying to go for, not the fish!) - a total sense of ...
-3
votes
2answers
140 views

“Time of” something, “time for” something, or something else?

I'd like to make a sentence like this: The time for the exam will run out soon, I have to speed up my problem solving. By the way, how to express "speed up my problem solving" in a more ...
2
votes
7answers
225 views

Correct word choice for “get a new subset from set”

I am trying to choose a title. I have a big data set and I will get subsets of this data set using statistical techniques (random sampling etc.). Which one of the following is correct? If more than ...
4
votes
5answers
347 views

Word that means “tendency to avoid something”

I am looking for a word that means "tendency to avoid something". At first I thought that aversion fit the bill, but then I learned that it meant "a strong dislike towards something." For example, ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Why do we say “the Indians were put on reservations” and not “in reservations”

The preposition "on" is used to refer to a surface like "on the floor" or "on the ceiling" "in" is used to refer as a enclosed space like "in a country" or "in a city". Why do we say "the Indians ...
5
votes
6answers
13k views

Name for the relationship of wife’s sister’s husband

Is there a name for the relationship of my wife’s sister’s husband in English? Or in case of a lady, what is the relationship of her husband’s brother’s wife called? There are words for these ...
0
votes
3answers
112 views

Word for someone talking about something as if he understands it when he doesn't

Not someone overstepping boundaries, but if, for example, I was at Jiffy Lube and suggested different things as if I knew anything about cars. Ideally (though I know it's a long shot) I'd want a word ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Difference between “Lots of” and “A lot of”

What is the difference between "Lots" and "A lot"? For instance: I've got a lot of apples I've got lots of apples
1
vote
3answers
144 views

Preposition to choose when referring to something from a book

Which would be better to say? He reminds me of Dill from To Kill a Mockingbird. He reminds me of Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird. He reminds me of Dill of To Kill a Mockingbird. Also, ...
3
votes
4answers
72 views

What is the antonym of “inversion” as in “the inversion of normal word order”?

Is there any word for expressing a normal word order, as opposed to an inverted word order? I prefer the word to be the one mostly used by grammarians.
2
votes
3answers
171 views

Can I say “Where can I find 'a' post office”?

It's a question in a grammar app. "Where can I find _ post office please?". I chose "a", but it says "the" is the correct answer. Same problem with this question: "Let's go to _ cinema tonight." I ...
3
votes
3answers
241 views

What do you call the empty/arid zones on both sides of a highway?

I'm referring to something like the brown areas in this picture:
5
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the difference between “photo” and “image”?

What is the difference between photo and image?
3
votes
2answers
69 views

Is “read roughly” a natural response?

As a non-native English speaker, I sometimes feel my speech/texts sound or look weird. I am experiencing such a situation now. I am trying to tell someone else I just read their document in a very ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Baby box vs playpen

What's the difference? I would suspect that it has different origins, but playpen can be found in both the us-/en english dictionaries. And it's a bit hard to search for baby box :)
8
votes
3answers
18k views

“Checked shirt” vs “check shirt”

My son is learning English as a foreign language and I notice a mixture of British and American words in his vocab lists. Is there such thing as a checked shirt, or should it be a check shirt?
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

Is reusal an English word? [closed]

Is the word "reusal" part of the English language? For example, given this sentence: ROS tries to facilitate the operation, development and code reuse of robot systems by organizing the parts of ...
-1
votes
1answer
43 views

“glad to know you?” or “nice to meet you”

can we use this sentence ? glad to know you? I didn't met this person so I think I can't use "nice to meet you"
0
votes
7answers
96 views

What's the similar word for Answer Sheet?

There is a quiz section on my blog, and a list of quiz result. I need a title for the list of quiz results. I prefer not to use "Replies" because I've already used it up in forum discussions. ...
1
vote
2answers
248 views

Talking “on behalf of Iranians” or “instead of Iranians”?

How do native English speakers use of them? Do they have different meanings? Positive or negative? For example, I want to use it in a sentence to send my negative feelings and idea about a person ...
24
votes
4answers
7k views

What are the differences between “assume”, “presume” and “suppose”

I believe that "assume", "presume", "suppose" are similar in meaning of to take some facts as a truth without proof. But it seems to me that "presume" is more formal, "assume" is less formal and ...
-1
votes
2answers
58 views

Thanking for scheduling meeting

I am going to send a email to a secretary of a CEO thanking her for scheduling a meeting. What would be a good phrase for the opening of email? Should I write: Thank you for scheduling the ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

confusion of dont vs doesnt [duplicate]

i have heard that it should does/does not for he/she/it and do/don't for i/you/we/they But I am confused when i always get to hear people talking do and don't for he/she Even in a lecture i listened ...