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
3answers
79 views

What does “alright” mean when it's at the end of a sentence?

a. Life has no meaning alright. What does "alright" mean in the sentence above? I can't find it in the dictionary!
10
votes
3answers
8k views

What's the most appropriate name for non-italicized text: “roman” or “upright”?

Let's say I am reviewing galley proofs, and the author has written some text in italics which shouldn't be. Would I write: “please typeset this word in roman” or “please typeset this word upright”? If ...
-1
votes
2answers
181 views

Words that change meaning when a letter is added/removed/changed

Want to know if there is a collective word to describe these kind of words that change their meanings in an opposite way (rather than irrelevantly) when a single letter is added/removed/changed so ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

What's the word or name of someone that gets sick just by talking about it but they're not really sick? [duplicate]

I know a person that I can say "The flue is going around again" and next day he has the flu but two days later he out in the woods hunting. If he comes in contact with some that has heart burn then ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Keyswitch one or two words?

I work with electronic circuits terminology a lot and I sometimes see key switch (two words) and keyswitch (one word). I was wondering which one is right ? The word is to designate a switch ...
0
votes
2answers
136 views

Word for eating things that aren't food

Is there a word for trying to eat things that aren't food? I'm thinking particularly in the context of babies, where it's a normal part of the learning process, but I dare say it is a disorder that ...
1
vote
1answer
197 views

Is “broad variety” in common usage? Better adjective?

A colleague used "broad variety" which sounds odd to me. I would go for "wide range", but is there a commonly used adjective with "variety" that can be substituted?
-3
votes
1answer
38 views

What's the proper way: Forever Lucky, or Lucky Forever? [closed]

The title says it all, what's the proper way to say it? Also, could you please explain me the why one is the right form, and the other is the wrong form? Thanks.
4
votes
3answers
499 views

Things saved in the memory of the gone people — are called?

We all love to save things, collect items, items/things those remind us of the departed souls or gone people, gone from life may or may not be dead. What are those things called ? They might not be ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the correct usage of “while” and “whilst”?

When should whilst be used instead of while? For example, should I use the first or the second sentence? They don't do this whilst they do that. They don't do this while they do that. What ...
3
votes
3answers
79 views

“Attendant with” vs. “attendant to” vs. “attendant of”

Can the adjective attendant be used with the prepositions with, to, or of, and, if so, which is preferable? For example, I could say, "This manual describes the operation of the product and its ...
2
votes
6answers
6k views

“Injured” vs. “wounded”

I just saw a news report in which the reporter said: "They used the term injured and not wounded". I am wondering what the difference between the two is. Is wounded used only when there is an open ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Difference between “take a taxi” and “get a taxi”

Which of the following is correct? If both are correct, do they have different meanings or usage? Take a taxi/bus/train OR Get a taxi/bus/train
1
vote
2answers
85 views

What's the word for the when you suck snot back in your nose?

My mom and I say 'soup' like: "Why are you souping the snot back up your nose?" But I realise that this is not accurate. So what's the word?
0
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views
5
votes
3answers
2k views

“Unexplainable” vs “Inexplicable”

What is the difference between unexplainable and inexplicable? Are they exact synonyms or are there situations where one is preferred over the other? Is unexplainable a clumsy modern variant ...
0
votes
3answers
61 views

Verb to use with “workload”

Just wondering which verb is the most natural to native speakers to use with 'workload.' Among I wish to receive heavier workload. I wish to take heavier workload. I wish to have heavier ...
0
votes
2answers
174 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 ...
2
votes
8answers
129 views

Is there a word that means “When there's too much of something and people don't take interest anymore”?

For example, there is a new style of shoe, and when there are only a few people who wear it, it's hip and trendy, but now everybody has a pair and it's ______. Or, there's a new and popular product ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

“instance of time” vs. “instant of time”

The following two sentences quoted from this scientific paper (emphasize added) actually mean the same thing: at any moment. For such plants this is related to the choke/valve openings, ...
3
votes
5answers
7k views

Is it proper to ask to belay a request to a superior? [closed]

The term belay is often used to cancel an order in military settings. The definition indicates it just means to cancel. However, would asking a superior (in a civilian private sector employment ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What does “mainstream pop music” mean? And is it singular or plural?

Is "mainstream pop music" just a genre or genres? Whatever it means, can I use it as below? What kind of mainstream pop music do you like? What kinds of mainstream pop music do you like?
2
votes
3answers
116 views

What is the adjective for a child who has finished kindergarten education?

Preschool seems to be the word typically used for children's education before they enter elementary school. But how do we call a child who has finished preschool education? Is it valid to use ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

“Habitat selection in/of birds”, “concept in/of statistics”, “theme in/of evolution”

It seems to me that in and of work equally well in sentences such as these: Habitat selection in birds is frequently studied. Habitat selection of birds is frequently studied. ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

What is the correct usage of arriviste/parvenu? [closed]

In one of the episodes of the TV show Rosemary & Thyme the word arriviste/parvenu was used. Context how it was used: Person A considers person B as an arriviste/parvenu. Person A is rich and ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Twice vs Two Times

When I was in primary school we were told once by one teacher that if "twice" sounds correct in a sentence that you should never use "two times" instead. Has anyone else encountered this "rule" ...
1
vote
3answers
302 views

What do you call someone who knows multiple programming languages?

Someone who knows multiple languages is called polyglot or multilingual (There can be nuances between two words also.). I'm not sure if we can apply these terms to someone who knows multiple ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Can the word 'fluently' be interchanged with 'fluidly' in this sentence, “I see I can't write fluidly either.”

I was asking a question concerning the use of the words 'fluently' or 'fluidly' in a particular sentence. I did not mean to post it as an Answer.
1
vote
2answers
51 views

General term for content available on web page or as paper/pdf?

I am writing a document that I hope to show as a web page, and make available as a PDF that people might print. In the opening I have: "This document is an annotated guide to foo bar." While I ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

What's the term to describe 'normal' languages, such as English, Chinese and Russian as opposed to programming languages?

English is not my native tongue, so I might be overlooking an easy word. The following is what I mention on my resumé in an 'about me'-section: I'm a language enthusiast and (...). But language ...
3
votes
7answers
175 views

Is there a word to describe beliefs that are neither scientific nor false nor religious?

If I believe that the Spaghetti Monster lives under my bed, what word would you use to describe this? It can not be proven that the Spaghetti Monster does not live under my bed because you have not ...
0
votes
6answers
103 views

If A is “attached” to B, what is B?

Let's say I have a document that is attached to an e-mail. Is there a short way to express "The e-mail this document is attached to"? Something like "the carrier e-mail", but not so strange ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

“at the cost of” vs. “at the expense of”

I usually use "at the cost of", but my editor made it "at the expense of". For example, the following sentence: The counts in Table 2 are all based on implementations that are optimized for ...
3
votes
4answers
273 views

Word to describe the completion of a planned rail journey

I am a native English speaker with, what I consider to be, an excellent vocabulary but I recently ran into a problem whilst compiling my list of New Year's Resolutions. One item on the list is to ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

Should I greet my customer at 6pm with “good evening” or “good afternoon”?

How should I greet my customer if I meet him/her at 6pm for a discussion? Should I say "good evening" or should I say "good afternoon"? From my understanding, "good evening" is used at around 6pm, ...
-1
votes
2answers
87 views

what is the difference between forget about it and forget it?

what are the differences between "forget about it" and "forget it"? it seems they both mean never mind. example: -sorry for what happened yesterday -forget it. -can i buy you a drink? -forget about ...
-1
votes
2answers
45 views

“whether” or “according as” or …?

I want to state that depending on the context, A will not react the same. I would like a concise phrasing, I am not sure which of these are grammatical: Here's what I wrote — but I found no support ...
3
votes
4answers
93 views

The state of being a vagabond

I'm looking for an English word that describes the state of being a vagabond, and can be used in a sentence like this: "My only goal is vagabond-age" (to coin a word). More details: I'm trying ...
3
votes
5answers
282 views

How can I rephrase “the best tool that reaches every corner of the world”

I'm doing some proofreading of a text written by a non-native English speaker regarding a project. This text is in the project's mission statement, saying they want to create a tool that will be used ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Formal words for “study hard” and “study roughly”?

I am writing my university application application, and want to explain why my grades during my exchange semester are not as elegant as normal semesters. I wish to express that I did not study them ...
2
votes
5answers
414 views

Is “diplomations” a coined word possibly used in journalism or in politics?

Regarding Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview” from theaters before it’s Christmas Day release date--which decision was then reversed by Sony at the last minute--Fox News host Megyn Kelly said on ...
1
vote
3answers
67 views

What's the term for the information you gather from someone before deciding to bring them in for an interview?

What is another word for the information you gather from someone before deciding to bring them in for an interview? (Salary Requirements, Commuting Restrictions, etc.) What I'm trying to say is: ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

What to say to point out that you get paid for playing?

We recently had a discussion whether "Pay for play" or "Play for pay" is the correct term to describe that you get money when you play. Which one is correct? Sincerely, Kia.
0
votes
1answer
49 views

One talk/paper, two speakers/authors

I'm looking for an English word which would replace "a seminar/conference talk where each co-author of the paper gives approximately one half of the talk" which may or may not exist.
0
votes
1answer
93 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.
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Under what circumstances should I use 'requisite' and 'required'?

The context of this is in the writing a technical document. The statement I am writing is something of the ilk: The package then updates the [requisite/required] number of tables. I was ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

How to describe this kind of education in a non-western society?

The education I received in primary school and junior high school was comparatively open-minded and libertarian. I am describing China's education.The word "libertarian" is related with a particular ...
1
vote
3answers
103k views
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?