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

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3
votes
4answers
928 views

“Which” or “what”

Much of (what/which) scientists know about dinosaurs has been recently discovered. The phenomenon of (what/which) are known as corporate networks has also attracted attention. And yes, the ...
0
votes
8answers
111 views

Word to describe difficult to keep request

I am looking for a word which can used in the following blank space: I understand the ____ nature of the request; hence a negative answer will not change anything between us. The word needs to ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

quotes and brackets

I'm programming a parser for a new language, and need a word which references all kinds of quotes and brackets: "" '' <> () [] {} Up to now I always used "quotes and brackets", but is there ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Antonym of heartbreaker? [closed]

In one of my short stories, I have to compare a guy who is a heartbreaker to someone who is exactly the opposite of him. Instead of describing the opposite character of the guy, I am looking for a ...
2
votes
7answers
392 views

Is there a single word to mean “rate of procrastination”?

Take the following contrived sentence: Our staff's productivity has doubled since we upgraded their computers. And now this one: Our staff's [rate of procrastination] has doubled since we ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

Is there a subtle difference between “inherent” and “intrinsic”?

I've always used "inherent" and "intrinsic" interchangeably. Dictionary.com doesn't offer much help in distinguishing them.
1
vote
3answers
171 views

What do you call a person who dies an honourable death?

What do you call someone who dies for a good cause or an honourable reason? An example would be a soldier who dies while saving his country.
0
votes
3answers
456 views

another way of saying “being of”

I am looking for a way to replace the word "being" in the phrase "being of poor character". My instructor is very adamant that we not use being unless it is used as a noun. In this particular case, ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

elevation vs altitude

There is a question already dealing with the difference between elevation and altitude: Which to use: "altitude" or "elevation" in regards to height above sea level? The ...
3
votes
7answers
147 views

Is there a term for discrimination without negative connotation?

The word "discrimination" carries in itself a negative connotation, implying that it would be unfair or unethical. There are however, cases where "discrimination" would be justified and no one in ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

“On the principle” versus “Under the principle”

Is there a significant difference between the two? As far as I can tell, they seem to be used interchangeably.
3
votes
3answers
100 views

I panicked or I was panicked?

I want to refer to a situation that happened months ago. So what should I use? I panicked or I was panicked?
9
votes
8answers
16k views

Do “in future” and “in the future” imply different meanings?

Do in future and in the future imply different meanings? If so, using which one is grammatically correct?
4
votes
3answers
368 views

What do you call someone who's fascinated by machines?

See people who are fascinated by machines like computers, cars, bikes, robots. They adore engines, hardware the visual looks for them the smell of it, everything about it. Such people are hardware ...
-2
votes
2answers
71 views

“Bearer of good news” & “bearer of bad news” are called?

The person who brings a good(good news messenger) news is called ? similarly the person who brings the bad news(bad news messenger) is called ? In this generation that may be same person. But ...
2
votes
2answers
218 views

Do I take a small nap or a light nap?

I heard a friends say that he's going to take a small nap. Is this correct usage? I thought we only take light naps.
1
vote
3answers
90 views

“A mutual friend”, “A common friend” or “A friend in common”?

When I was a student of EFL, I was taught the word "mutual" implies a reciprocal relationship where X does to Y what Y does to X. If John admires Peter as much as Peter admires John, we can say their ...
0
votes
2answers
165 views

A word for “mercy killing”

"Mercy killing" is an act of killing someone who is already dying and in terrible pain, in order to reduce his or her suffering. Is there any single word for "mercy killing"?
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Single word for attributing inappropriate motives to others' actions?

Is there a single word to describe someone who often attributes inappropriately trivial/cheap motives to another person's actions? I'm thinking along the lines of someone who puts himself briefly in ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

“brand spanking new” - is this correct grammar & polite way to say?

I saw an add saying "This iphone is brand spanking new" which sound like "brand * new". I am not sure if this word has correct grammar + polite (ie people use it without any bad or joke meaning)
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Qualifying a profile

Which of these adjectives is better used to qualify a profile (the width of an elongated object, such as in crossing profile)? low or small large or high Low crossing profile seems more common ...
2
votes
3answers
79 views

Should I use “still” or “yet” in the following sentence?

The atmosphere had relaxed a bit. Still/Yet, I couldn't stop thinking how strange it was to watch my brother being insecure. Which on is the correct choice? I often get confused about which one ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Corresponding vs. appropriate

Let me give you some context first: Germans. We may have similar words with different meanings and use words just because they have a similar spelling. software company, writing software for ...
8
votes
5answers
614 views

“as well” instead of “and”

In my university publications, I notice that many enumerations use "as well" [1] instead of "and" [2]. Is this just to make the text look more sophisticated or is there a real semantic difference? ...
-1
votes
0answers
15 views

The use of me, when saying Tell me and him or Tell him and I [duplicate]

Which is correct for the use of me, when saying "Tell me and him" or "Tell he and I" or Tell him and I, or Tell him and me or ?
0
votes
2answers
86 views

What is an adjective for multiple things originating from the same source?

I feel like there should be a word for this, and it seems like it's on the tip of my tongue, but I just can't think of it. Is there an adjective for when a number of things all originate from the ...
48
votes
8answers
7k views

Polite alternative to the term “bitch” when referring to a female dog

I'm writing an example of constructing logic, and I need to differentiate between an adult female dog, an adult male dog and a puppy and am searching for polite terms. Unfortunately, the word "bitch" ...
8
votes
6answers
13k views

Word for not knowing about something

I would like to know some word choices (can be a noun, adjective,...) for not knowing about something, with a positive connotation with a negative connotation in a neutral way For example, I ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

what's the difference between “Indispensable Amino Acid” and “Essential Amino Acid”?

As I have seen several times of the using of those two words in even the same book. But I don't know what's the difference meaning between those two words.
1
vote
4answers
133 views

Is there a word for people who emit positive vibes and negative vibes? [closed]

It's happened to me tons of times. See some people on Tv, live in office or anywhere, meet them and without their saying much you feel some positive energy oozing out of them. Although sometimes it is ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

could and might to talk about future possibility

I have problem with using could in the future possibilities for example: They have the technology, but unless the government makes stricter laws, car companies ____ do it. With which one should I ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “laid down” a proper term?

Which sentence is correct? Why? He was laid up with fever yesterday. He was laid down with fever yesterday. He was laid down by the malaria parasite last month.
-1
votes
3answers
59k views

I was laying in bed or lying in bed? [closed]

I was laying in bed or lying in bed?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

“Play it as it lays” or “play it as it lies”

The title of Joan Didion's book Play It as It Lays has thrown me off since I first heard it. Shouldn't it be Play It as It Lies? I have read through a related post on the subject of lay vs. lie and ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Show I use “lay,” “laid,” or “lain” in the following passage? [closed]

The ground was ice-cold, no hint of anyone having lay/laid/lain there at all. Which one is the correct option?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

“Split in half” vs. “split in two” — which one is correct?

Does the "in" imply multiplication, in which case split in half is correct, or is it division? It sounds like the latter to me, but I've heard it used both ways.
0
votes
1answer
102 views

best way to express urgency status [closed]

If I want to express that I'm in urgent state what is the best way to say it? like I'm in haste! let me enter first please. Update: I want a word used for general purposes: like a child is late for ...
0
votes
4answers
76 views

English Translation of “Umay”

As a Filipino-Canadian, I often go to Filipino gatherings with lots of tasty Filipino food. In some cases, we eat so much food that we become full; however, in other cases, we say that we are ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Different from x Different to x Different than [duplicate]

In the following sentence: "When I visited my old school after so many years, it looked completely different in the classrooms and the backyard /from what/to what/than/ it had been when I was a ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

pro-active/initiative-taking as an adjective

How can we describe someone who always takes the initiative? He is very _. The only word I can come up with is pro-active but it sounds/feels a little awkward to me. Edit: Dictionary[dot]com has a ...
-2
votes
0answers
53 views

Difference between “lady” and “woman”? [migrated]

Are there differences between "lady" and "woman" ? Google say lady is a polite social woman. But we don't use them just as this. Do we? English isn't my native language so I am better clarifying ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

The verb associated with 'payment': come through or gone through?

Is it "the payment has come through" or "the payment has gone through"?
0
votes
1answer
96 views

What do you call someone who doesn't believe in “ghost”? [closed]

What do you call someone who doesn't believe in "ghost" neither in ghost stories ? web has it's answer as skeptics but that's not a dictionary answer. It is more or less conventional.
4
votes
2answers
202 views

Why is saying “cr@p” more socially acceptable than saying “sh!t” is?

I know shit is generally considered vulgar swearing in any context, while crap (though it's normally used as a swear word) is often used and allowed in decent contexts. How did this happen, since ...
21
votes
9answers
2k views

What word means centered about death?

I'm writing an essay about Don DiLillo's novel White Noise, and would like to explore Murray Jay Siskand's fascination with death. The particular word I'm looking for means "death-centric", to fit in ...
2
votes
3answers
90 views

Is there a term for the phenomenon of adding more words to a sentence makes it less clear?

This article ends with "Judicial races in Washtenaw County are nonpartisan ...". This is technically accurate, but is also misleading (or is it?) as it implies races elsewhere (such as Wayne County) ...
5
votes
7answers
680 views

What's a word for a group of questions asked together?

Is there a word for a set of questions that are asked together and are related? For example, one asks the question: Do you go rafting? And follow up with: If yes, where? If no, what do ...
0
votes
2answers
892 views

“Download from” vs. “download off”

I usually download music off the web. I usually download music from the web. What is the difference in between off and from in these sentences? Which one is more suitable in this ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Can a temperature be described as unusual or abnormal?

Can a temperature be described as unusual or abnormal? I'm trying to figure a way to say that the temperature is not within its normal range.
0
votes
1answer
89 views

how to say “etc” in a subject

I am translating some legal certificate and I need to indicate that a construction method and related factors are in accordance with a law. I am not sure what is the appropriate way to describe ...