Tagged Questions

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

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1
vote
1answer
2k views

To 'confirm' or to 'affirm' a finding, anecdotally?

I just saw this come across my Twitter feed: RT @hackernewsbot: Your Commute Is Killing You... http://www.slate.com/id/2295603/pagenum/all/ My two + hours every day confirm this... That ...
9
votes
10answers
890 views

What is a word or phrase for when an artist cannot live up to his (or another author's) earlier work?

There is a phenomenon when an artist cannot create to the level of his earlier work or another artist's work. He is often compared to the earlier work and can't move beyond the achievement of this ...
8
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

How to use “you” word in a way that suggests it's singular/plural form?

In my mother's language there are two words for "you" - for singular form and for plural one. I want to translate a joke which happen to rely on this particular characteristic of my language. What ...
2
votes
3answers
329 views

Should I use “vue de l'esprit” in English?

I'm a French-native-speaker. I'm not sure in which cases the French expression vue de l'esprit should be used, or if it should not be used. Is there any general case or rule? For example, I have a ...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a single word for a member of a group who completes a job?

I have a job, for which some people are responsible, say: a, b, c, d and e. If anyone does the job, it is marked as complete. Now let us say c completed the job, so what would I call that person in ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the noun for “to resume”?

If "to assume" is an "assumption". What is the noun for "to resume". Resume as in: pause and resume; to pursue again.
0
votes
4answers
278 views

“Question and Answers” equivalent when it's not a question

There is a common phrase, "Questions and Answers", also known as Q&A. If you have a viewpoint. opinion, idea, statement, or a thought etc., what phrase would represent it and the response the ...
7
votes
2answers
18k views

Usage of “in figure” vs. “on figure”

I saw both versions ("in figure" and "on figure"), however---what is more correct? And is there any difference? EDIT: In scientific papers, standards and other publications, "figures" can be found. ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

If it is the “better” of two options (rather than “best”), is there still the “worst” of two options? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of the superlative when only two items are present When choosing between two items, I've always been told it's incorrect to say one is "the best". Rather, you ...
6
votes
3answers
601 views

What are the differences between “mimic” and “copy”?

I found this thread on wordreference.com in which it is claimed that "mimic" has frivolous connotations and "copy" has derogatory connotations. Specifically I am wondering how this distinction may ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the differences between “hoarse”, “husky”, and “raspy” when describing a person's voice? Which should describe someone with a cold?

What are the differences between hoarse, husky, raspy, ..., when describing a person's voice? When a person is sick by cold, which word from above is used to describe his voice? Suppose if he goes to ...
8
votes
9answers
10k views

Which term is correct — “Afghan” or “Afghani”?

I was talking with a friend who told me that Afghani is an offensive term for someone from Afghanistan, and I should use Afghan instead. Is this term offensive?
2
votes
4answers
405 views

Is “time” needed in this sentence?

I must remember to bath within ten minutes time. Is the word "time" needed in this sentence, or is it superficial? Is it even wrong to remove it?
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Which word should replace 'so-called' here?

In another post's answer, somebody used the phrase The company sends out the documents on the so-called 'Despatch Date' and disliked my suggestions of 'defined' or 'term of art' in place of ...
5
votes
4answers
14k views

“Too serious” vs “too seriously”

I know the vast majority of people say "Don't take yourself too seriously", as found correct by basically every native speaker I've asked about this (often accompanied by incredulous looks). What ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Alternative to “Patient Discharge”

I visited someone in the hospital today and was struck by some unpleasant associations from seeing "Patient Discharge" on a sign. Surely there is a better word for this...what do they call it in UK ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Opposite of “arrogant”/“having attitude”

Are self-abased and humble both opposite to arrogant or having attitude? What are their differences? What are words for the opposite to arrogant, respectively in a positive, negative, and neutral ...
3
votes
1answer
27k views

When are you “fascinated with” something, and when are you “fascinated by” it?

Am I fascinated with consumer technology or fascinated by it? What about a book, an object, or a philosophical idea?
1
vote
1answer
432 views

Expressing an expectation for an action

Here's a sentence that expresses an expectation for an object: I've been expecting your email. How would it work if it had to express an expectation for an action instead? Would the following ...
3
votes
8answers
9k views

Is there a term for the direct opposite?

Suppose I have two words, let's take "true" and "false". "False", is the direct opposite of "truth", and is an antonym of "truth". However, the word I am looking for is not "antonym". If I was to ...
3
votes
4answers
349 views

Is there a connection between the various “states of being” that you can be “on”?

Prompted by the title of this question and a couple of comments on it, I'm minded to think there that many "states of being" that you can be "on", as in... on fire, on holiday, on guard, on the ...
3
votes
4answers
445 views

“Any arbitrary” versus “An arbitrary”

"The roots could be any arbitrary distance apart." "The roots could be an arbitrary distance apart." Using "any" is more redundant as I could take out "arbitrary" and it would still make sense ...
1
vote
3answers
143 views

Alternative for Challenge as section header

All, I am preparing a technical document for a process. Another team will do the implementation based on the document. I want to have a section which will outline some of the challenges they will ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Preventative vs. preventive

In this answer about the non-word disabilitated, the word preventative is compared (unfavourably, if my reading of the implication is correct) to preventive. However, I have always used preventative, ...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the opposite of the “sub” prefix?

The term subcategories refers to lower level categories. Which term should I use to refer to higher level categories? Does supercategories sound right?
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Do you need to use “on” or “upon” when referring to dates?

When defining a date, should I use on, upon or when, or can I leave these words out? For example, can I say: The date the company allots the securities is known as the Despatch Date. or should ...
9
votes
8answers
11k views

“Season” vs. “series”

TV shows, other than ones that have new episodes year-round (e.g. news, soaps), typically group episodes in batches — most often per year, although not necessarily calendar years, and sometimes there ...
4
votes
4answers
609 views

What do you call the exploitation of ambiguous statements to form a logical argument?

If I were construct an argument containing the postulation Men commit more crimes than women. I would be guilty of a logical fallacy because this statement implies All men commit crimes. The ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Synonyms for “Almighty”

What is a perfect synonym for Almighty? For whom we could we use Almighty? Can Almighty be used for God?
5
votes
3answers
547 views

What's the converse of “side effect”?

I'm looking for something like side cause, side influence, dark factor. Googled for those but didn't find relevant hits. Definition: An influence on something that is not explicit, not taken into ...
2
votes
4answers
292 views

Is there any difference in meaning between these sentences?

A: Positive and negative numbers cannot satisfy the condition. B: Positive or negative numbers cannot satisfy the condition. C: Non-zero numbers cannot satisfy the condition.
2
votes
3answers
5k views

“Didn't check” vs. “Hadn't checked”

I text-messaged my friend on his cell phone last night and this morning I got a reply saying, "I had saved your number, ...but I didn't check my cell until now.." Is "didn't check until now" okay, or ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

Opposite of “mute” or “silence” as verb

If I said I silenced him during our online conversation or I muted the television what would I use to indicate the reverse event occurred? I've seen unmute used in various contexts, but ...
9
votes
10answers
16k views

What is a word for a man who has a lot of sexual relationships?

What do you call a man who loves and tries to have many sexual relationships with girls and usually doesn't fall in love with any of them? To clear what I'm looking for, Suppose a guy at ...
1
vote
1answer
338 views

Etymology vs. ethymology

Merriam-webster lists the word etymology but not ethymology. Is the latter spelling wrong, or is it used in some regional variation?
6
votes
4answers
3k views

“Cleats” vs. “soccer shoes”

I used to say cleats but found it uncommon for some people, though I had no trouble with soccer shoes. I have always lived in a Spanish-speaking country (Nicaragua) so I find it hard to know why that ...
7
votes
2answers
244 views

“How to..”, “How do you..” or “How do I..” when asking a practical question

As the title says, I'm asking because you can split the StackOverflow questions to three groups according to their openings, for example: "How do I serialize an object...", "How do you serialize ...
93
votes
10answers
7k views

Is there a word for a person with only one head?

Reading this article by the fantastic Douglas Adams I came across this interesting quote: ‘[I]nteractivity’ is one of those neologisms that Mr Humphrys likes to dangle between a pair of verbal ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is considered a dystopia?

In the film The Book of Eli, the world is in state of disarray, with no government, weak or non-existent town and family structures, and widespread hunger, poverty, and regressed technologies. Is this ...
5
votes
4answers
579 views

Is “observant” exclusive to vision?

The word "observant" means "watchful" or "perceptive": A particularly observant child, he noticed even the slightest changes in the classroom. is the example given by M-W. Specifically ...
55
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the purpose of using the word “automagically” when we already have “automatically”?

Is there a difference between the two? I see it used regularly in the tech community to mean automatically. Has the word been adopted into any recognised dictionary? For example: That was the ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

“Describe with” vs. “describe by”

I'm not entirely certain about when it is most appropriate to use with and by, respectively. An example should clarify my problem: We describe the input with an exponential function. or We ...
4
votes
3answers
13k views

Grandma and Nan, origins and differences?

What are the origins and differences between these two? Same for Granddad/Grandpa? Why was there the need for the two different names?
5
votes
3answers
314 views

Was I correct to use the word “establish” in my tweet? Should I have included adverbial “as”?

English is not my native language, but I'm a willing pupil and in most cases I'm pretty confident in my knowledge, but sometimes I hesitate to use particular words. I wrote this tweet recently: I ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

The difference between “shy” and “ashamed”

What is the difference between shy and ashamed as in the following example? He is not shy to tell the truth. He is not ashamed to tell the truth.
2
votes
2answers
634 views

About the use of future tense

Which is better: "I am not having lunch tomorrow unless I am really hungry." "I am not having lunch tomorrow unless I will be really hungry." Something else
2
votes
4answers
872 views

A common word for person/company/organization?

As we can say principal for user/group/role, is there a common word for person/company/organization?
10
votes
3answers
566 views

Can “shrugging” only be done with shoulders?

Please compare He shrugged. and He shrugged his shoulders. Is there anything else that can be shrugged, besides shoulders? To me it sounds like duplication when used in this way. I'm aware ...
4
votes
8answers
347 views

What's the correct word for saying a certain position can be stood on?

I'm making a game with tiles and I need a good word for describing whether or not a character can stand on a certain tile. There is "walkable", but this describes movement, which is not the case. ...