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

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1
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2answers
101 views

Is it unprofessional to say “Sorry for my English”? [closed]

First of all I am sorry if this is wrong forum for this question. I have come in a situation recently where I was needed to write a mail to a foreign company. And as you probably noticed by now my ...
7
votes
5answers
11k views

What can I call other students if I am also a student?

I wonder what I can call other students, if I am also a student? For example, if I am talking to a professor, and want to mention other students just like me. I know I can use "classmates" if we are ...
0
votes
3answers
81 views

What's a word for “weird but somewhat normal?” Or odd/disgusting instead of weird

For example: being attracted to a cousin. picking your nose and eating it. liking the smell of your own flatulence. etc.
0
votes
2answers
52 views

Like masthead, motto, logo

What is the word for an image and/or phrase that might be painted or hung on the main wall of an organization's lobby? Not their "logo" but a deeper, more complex, more internal symbol. That's ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

interchanged lens or interchanging lens?

I was wondering what the right word to describe a camera lens that is replaced with another lens. As I prefer to use the term "interchange", I put "interchanged lens" to refer to the lens replaced ...
4
votes
12answers
2k views

Word for a group of “like-minded” people

I know there's a word for "like-minded" people, generally used in a negative context. For example, you could say employees of the CIA are __, in that they all want to ensure the security of the ...
3
votes
3answers
67 views

Word to describe an engraved slogan or name for charity purposes?

I'm doing a fundraiser that allows a user to memorialize content, be it a phrase, picture, or emblem among other content with fixed dimensions (height & width). Historically, people inscribed ...
0
votes
2answers
149 views

Barkeeper, or bartender? How to address them?

I dunno if I'm right about the meaning of these words. What do you call the person who owns a bar, or a pub? And the person who serves you with drinks at the counter? [As the two may not be ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Vocal chords or cords? [closed]

Which one is correct, and don't tell me vocal folds. When you talk about someone singing, are they using their vocal cords or their vocal chords? I found this which thankfully shed some light on the ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Is the use of the word 'hence' improper in business writing?

I'm a professional technical writer. I used the word 'hence' in my conclusions a couple of times. The client (from Canada) let me know that it sounds like something straight out of a "Shakespeare ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

“Awfully” or “awful”?

Awfully is a word, as noted in Merriam-Webster's definition of awful. I recently said this: Your snoring is awfully bad. I was in a group, and the majority agreed that awful was correct: ...
3
votes
4answers
826 views

Generic term for someone who looks after children

I am looking for a generic term for someone who looks after children i.e. a term that would encompass: nanny baby-sitter au-pair etc. Can someone please advise?
12
votes
7answers
2k views

What term describes workers that are not “knowledge workers”?

Wikipedia describes a knowledge worker as a worker whose "main capital is knowledge". Examples include engineers, doctors, accountants, software writers etc. Is there an "established term" to refer ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

“A teaching assistant in/of/for Applied Quantitative Methods”

I am a Teaching Assistant in/of/for Applied Quantitative Methods Which preposition is correct this context? And why?
3
votes
3answers
596 views

What is the word for “a road that vanishes into the distance”?

I am looking for a word that would describe the image of a road that vanishes into the distance. I am fairly confident that there is such a single word since I remember a long time ago finding it and ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

How to politely begin an email to a professor and a doctor? [closed]

Suppose I need to write an letter (email, actually), addressed to two academicians. One is a full professor, and the other does not yet have this title. What is a polite way of opening the letter? If ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

“This video shows a heart transplant take place” or “taking place”?

Which is the correct version of this sentence: This video shows a heart transplant take place. This video shows a heart transplant taking place. I have a hunch that both are correct, ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Which word is best; “population”, “pick” or “combination”?

Please look at the sentence below. The ________ of actors and actresses is very important in this movie I will make. Which of the following three words fit best in the blank space? ...
1
vote
3answers
95 views

Nobody's perfect but I could stand corrected

Is the phrase: Nobody's perfect but I could stand corrected... proper grammar? I want to say: No one is perfect, but if they or I make a mistake, I can take it if they tell me I am wrong. ...
8
votes
14answers
2k views

What is a good verb to describe the pleasant sound of rain?

Last week, I was up the whole night working in my house in my ultra-quiet neighborhood. Around 3 am, a thunderstorm started and broke the silence of the night. I enjoyed the sound of rain on my window ...
-1
votes
5answers
302 views

Phrase for unintelligible singing

Is there an English idiom that expresses the sentiment that a singer articulates the lyrics so badly that you'd better buy the text in the leaflet?
1
vote
1answer
34 views

“Including the likes of A, B, C” vs. simply “including A, B, C”

I found the following sentence in a sports report: Manuel Pellegrini's men claimed their second title in three years last season and boast a squad including the likes of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Name for the text within a diary entry

A little background; am writing a pain diary web-api; I am trying to find the best way to describe the main body of text within a diary entry, or is the main body itself the entry? Assuming 'entry' ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

What is differences between “level” and “degree”?

When we can use degree? And also when we can use level? Are they similar or not? For example in this sentence The way to tell a true unit from a degree of something is to look at the zero ...
12
votes
4answers
725 views

“This box of matches is empty”

There are several Japanese books teaching Japanese students how to write in English. I found this example in 『英作文参考書の誤りを正す』 (Correcting Errors in English Composition Manuals) by Michio Kawakami and ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What's a less obscure word for “sinecure”?

I'm writing a message which will go out to a global community, so I want to keep the vocabulary relatively straightforward. I'm describing a job which previously has been a little vaguely-defined, but ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How to refer to a period of time?

Which one is grammatically correct? I worked at X company ... from Aug 2005 to Sep 2007. from A up to B. from A until B. from A till B. between A and B.
0
votes
4answers
358 views

“Till the morning” or “till morning”?

Which of the following statements is more appropriate? You have to stay here till the morning. You have to stay here till morning. The second one seems more fluent to me. What do you ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

till vs. until in “from Apr. 21st till/until Apr. 28th” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between “till” and “until”? Please kindly advise me on the correct usage of till/until when talking about period of time. ...
46
votes
4answers
129k views

What is the difference between “till” and “until”?

What is the difference between till and until? When to use till or until? Please explain with examples.
0
votes
1answer
157 views

Trendy fashion phrases in press releases

How appropriate is it to use trendy fashion words in a press release? A fresh season truly requires a new wardrobe for the fashion-forward style setter. The surest bets? Stripes, lace, leather, ...
6
votes
8answers
12k views

“Shade” vs. “shadow”

What are the differences between shade and shadow? Do they have different meanings or can they be used interchangeably? Let's sit under the shade/shadow. The cat was afraid of its own ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Going to the beach makes/make me very happy

Make or makes? Please explain me why. "Makes" shouldn't be used only for 3rd person singular?
0
votes
0answers
58 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
64 views

Word for “delegating” with negative connotation

I am writing a complaint letter: "...she gets others to do her job and she claims the credit..." The only word I know for "getting others to do her job" is "delegating", but it sounds too positive. ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

“Decorated with taste” or “tastefully decorated”

Which sentence should be used when referring to good quality? The house is decorated with taste. The house is tastefully decorated. Is there any difference?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

'Cultural amnesia' : what does it mean?

I came across this word while browsing and could not browse its definition. I understand amnesia, have heard of retrograde amnesia,but cultural amnesia appears jarring to my mind.
4
votes
3answers
22k views

“Subtotal” vs “total”

I've always thought of subtotal as a calculated value that is not the final amount on an invoice (for example, a sum of individual prices before discounts/taxes are applied, or the total for a ...
1
vote
4answers
10k views

Better way of saying “this is because”

I am writing the following Previous work on Topic Detection and Tracking (TDT) has achieved great success on full length document, but the techniques has yet to be fully implemented on ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

What quality describes “degree of concentration of wealth”?

Suppose I wish to propose a challenge to quantify the "degree of concentration of wealth" as it pertains to "rep" on various Stack Exchange boards. The measure being used, the Gini index, is formally ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Why do we say “rips and tears”?

For example, "Clothing must be free from rips and tears." It seems to me that the words "rips" and "tears" can be used interchangeably, and that using both is redundant. Is there a particular reason ...
0
votes
3answers
129 views

to eliminate documents

I am puzzled about the word choice, namely the verb "to eliminate". Can we say that the person eliminated documents or an electronic database because they were of no use anymore or outdated. If no, ...
0
votes
3answers
83 views

“Lighter” vs. “brighter”

I'm trying to find information about the grammatical correctness of interchanging lighter and brighter in the sense of: I turned on the lamp and the room became lighter. I turned on the lamp ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

Is there a difference between “cured” and “recovered”? [closed]

In reference to this question I asked there, a user said that the phrase 'recovered' and 'cured' generally mean the same thing. Is this true? I was under the impression 'cured' meant a final ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Word choice in this sentence [duplicate]

From/for/since last three months I haven't received any messages from him. Which preposition is correct in this sentence--from, for or since? Is 'last three months' a point in time or a period of time ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Synonym for “under-developed location” used by someone who is well off?

In a fiction I am writing when one of the characters returns home to his wife he finds here sister's there as well. when asked why they've been there for the past month one explains how they are ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

is this sentence all in the past tense? I'm struggling to write in the past tense but use active words?

The turf wicket at Cook reserve in Bedford has been vandalised on Sunday after diesel was poured liberally across all five cricket pitches, rendering them unusable.
3
votes
5answers
713 views

Word to describe “when sensitive information is given to a trusted proxy in case of untimely death”

What's a good word to describe the situation when sensitive information is given to a trusted proxy (such as a lawyer), to be released only when a certain event occurs, such as a person's untimely ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Communicating Last Full Week to users

I'm trying to communcate the idea of 'Last full week'. That is, the most recent Sunday through Saturday range that has totally finished. October 2014 Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 ...
6
votes
4answers
14k views

How do I ask for advice politely?

I came across the following phrase: I was wondering if you might be able to give me some advice. Is it a natural construction for a conversational context? Can I use the following instead in ...