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

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6
votes
5answers
8k views

What's the difference between “Weltanschauung” and “worldview”?

On an academic legal blog I visit, from time to time I see people using the word Weltanschauung where I feel worldview would have sufficed. It all seems a bit ostentatious to me, as I'm pretty sure ...
2
votes
2answers
257 views

Can a person be (at the?) state-of-the-art [on/in/of] something?

I'm writing a recommendation for a fellow IT expert, and I want to say that this person loves to investigate the state-of-the-art technology, always checks out the most recent things on the market the ...
13
votes
9answers
15k views

What's the difference between “bucket” and “pail”?

What is the difference between bucket and pail? Is there a distinction between the shape of a bucket and the shape of a pail? Are buckets and pails made of different materials? Is there a difference ...
1
vote
3answers
954 views

“Automatically” vs “In an automated manner”

Is there any difference between automatically and in an automated manner? For example, Automatically He's been made redundant, as all of his tasks are now done automatically. Automated ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is it “out of question” or “out of the question”?

Are they used in different contexts? Those both of them use correct grammar? Google fight shows that "out of the question" appear 10 times more often than the other.
5
votes
3answers
403 views

Is there an alternative to “that much less”?

The teams weren't fair to begin with, but Jim's injury made them that much less fair. The last part of that sentence feels wrong to me due to the contrast of "much" and "less". Is there perhaps a ...
2
votes
3answers
564 views

Does one differentiate A “from” B, or differentiate A “and” B?

A fecal test cannot differentiate intestinal blood from blood from red meat. -or- A fecal test cannot differentiate intestinal blood and blood from red meat.
7
votes
4answers
13k views

Which is more correct: “burgled” or “burglarized”?

Which is more correct: We were burgled yesterday. or We were burglarized yesterday. I'm from the U.K. and never use burglarized but my friend from the U.S.A. seems to think it's OK.
1
vote
4answers
2k views

preposition used with “autonomous”: “of ” vs “from”

Two related questions here: Is it proper to use the construct, “Administrative components are autonomous of/from the front-end components”? If it is proper, which of these two prepositions works ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

“Badly” versus “poorly”

I was saying to an American friend, "I pronounce still bad," which she said is a mistake, saying it should be poorly. Well, I get that part, but when I asked if I can say badly, she said I ...
3
votes
0answers
93 views

I often get confused by the usage of “located ” and “situated” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Situated vs Located? Can I have a few examples to comprehend?
11
votes
7answers
26k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
3
votes
3answers
3k views

“Influence of media in our lives,” or “influence of media on our lives?”

Which one is correct, "influence of media in our lives," or "influence of media on our lives?"
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Nuances between “stoic” and “stolid”

The words "stoic" and "stolid" seem quite similar to me: stoic: seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive [cite] stolid: having or revealing little emotion or sensibility; not easily aroused ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the plural form of “iPad 2”?

With the introduction of the iPad 2, I find myself hesitating when trying to refer to several of them. Is it iPads 2 or iPad 2's?
0
votes
3answers
353 views

Are “come round” and “visit” interchangeable?

Some friends will come round for dinner. Some friends will visit for dinner. Some friends will visit me. These are OK, but "some friends will come round me" isn't OK. The answer is ...
3
votes
3answers
282 views

“Help save the planet with your mobile phone”

Does "help save the planet with your mobile phone" have a different meaning or connotation than "help save the planet using your mobile phone?"
2
votes
3answers
929 views

“It stands without reason” or “it stands to reason”

This question appeared in a previous question. Should I write "it stands without reason that accuracy is of utmost importance" or "it stands to reason that accuracy is of utmost importance?" The ...
3
votes
7answers
702 views

What's a word for “widespread,” but not so wide?

I want to say that something is trying to attain widespread use. However, when I say widespread use, I really want to say that it is trying to be used by a few people (not necessarily that ...
1
vote
4answers
450 views

Synonym for “It is easy to acknowledge accuracy to be a very important feature”

What is an alternative expression for : "It is easy to acknowledge accuracy to be a very important feature". The word Accuracy should remain in the sentence. In an academic context.
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Differences between “technic” and “technique”

Are those synonyms? Is one more acceptable in a certain dialect than the other? I checked their definition on The Free Dictionary but it's still not clear to me.
10
votes
6answers
13k views

“Chair” or “chairman?”

Is it right to use chair, but not chairman in this example? He served as the Department Chair from 1995 to 1999.
3
votes
4answers
8k views

“Most random” vs “Randomest”

Is "randomest" even a word? People do tend to use it very casually. If "randomest" is a word, so should be "randomer", isn't it? I personally think it should be "more random" and "most random". Am I ...
1
vote
2answers
553 views

Where to use these words exactly: “simple,” “simplicity”

I just want to know how to use these words and in which context: simple and simplicity.
3
votes
4answers
728 views

Can I use two prepositions in this example, or is one better?

I want to say "the reality of and outlook on crime in Europe" without using two prepositions. Can I say "the reality and outlook on crime in Europe?" Can you lead me to a grammatical reference for ...
3
votes
2answers
503 views

Usage of the word “meet” in the context of a phone call/video conference

Is it acceptable English to use the verb meet in the context of a phone call or a video conference? To provide a bit of background, I am writing an email to a business associate overseas. There is ...
3
votes
3answers
200 views

The beginning place of love

How do you express "the beginning place of love?" Here, we start to love. Here, we start out our love.
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Can I drop “for” in a short “for almost 5 years” answer?

How long has your sister played the harp? For almost five years. Can I leave off "for" here or it will sound strange then?
0
votes
4answers
80 views

“Where will I be,” “where will I get to,” “what place will I reach”: What's the best way to ask?

What's the most natural way to complete this question (the person asking this question wants to know the name of a place)? If I keep going south from here, […]?
1
vote
2answers
334 views

Is “you are looking at the clock through the mirror” correct?

Mindy: That clock on the wall is so strange! Henry: What’s so strange about it? Mindy: Its minute hand is moving in counterclockwise direction. Henry: No, it’s moving in clockwise direction! ...
14
votes
3answers
10k views

“Sick” or “ill”?

If I'm not healthy, am I sick or am I ill? Are these interchangeable, or do they merely overlap?
4
votes
3answers
18k views

Proper use of “out to lunch”, “out for lunch” and “out at lunch”

Recently a co-worker and I debated the proper use of "out to lunch". The argument stemmed from conversation over the appropriate preposition to use, and became particularly heated when we tried to ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

«Should I» or «Shall I» or …? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Should” vs. “Shall” vs. “Will” vs. “Must” Shall I upload the pictures? I'm not sure how to start this sentence. If ...
2
votes
2answers
766 views

What does a dialogue consist of? I mean, what are these constituents called?

Tina: I had a strange dream last night. Jack: Well, dreams are always strange. I've never had an absolutely "normal" dream. So what did you dream about? Tina: I dreamed about a skyscraper ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Difference between «so that» and «such that»

Are these the same? The image will be sheared such that the x-axis goes through (1,1). The image will be sheared so that the x-axis goes through (1,1). I think I have usually seen the ...
6
votes
2answers
23k views

Difference between “cross with you” and “angry with you”

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between 'I'm cross with you' and 'I'm angry with you'? I have the feeling that being cross with someone (by the way, can you be cross 'at'? or is one always ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the grammatical difference behind “is interesting” and “is interested”?

I am a native English speaker, yet I cannot explain to a non-native speaker why I say: I am interested in history. as well as History is interesting to me. Why is it "is interesting" when ...
0
votes
4answers
284 views

“Extirpation” vs “Perdition” vs “Smash”

I am a bit confused, how can I use these three words differently when their meaning is almost the same? Extirpation Perdition Smash
4
votes
3answers
28k views

Which one is right — “He works at company X” or “in company X ”?

I usually use "at a company" but I have encountered some articles using "in a company", "in XYZ firm" or "in an organization". Which one is right?
22
votes
8answers
49k views

What's the difference in meaning between “emigrate” and “immigrate”?

What's the difference between emigrate and immigrate? They seem to have the same definitions in the dictionary but they are antonyms...  
3
votes
6answers
429 views

“Discover” or “invent” in mathematics context

A very theoretical question I came across with friends some time ago. I am not a native English speaker, so I may be misunderstanding some details, but as I understand: 1) Discovery relates to a ...
4
votes
7answers
6k views

Is “yesterday night” acceptable?

I catch a lot of grief about this from family and friends, so I figured I'd settle the score once and for all. In verbal context (though not written), I tend to use the phrase ... yesterday ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is more appropriate — “hanged” or “hung”?

Say that you are using some software, and it hangs. In this case, what should I say: ... when we execute this command, software X gets hanged [or simply hangs]. ... when we execute this ...
1
vote
0answers
170 views

“talk to” vs “talk with” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there any difference between “talk to someone” and “talk with someone”? Should I say I talked to Bob. or I talked with Bob.
9
votes
7answers
9k views

Which to use: “altitude” or “elevation” in regards to height above sea level?

I've developed an Android application that is used as a Car Home replacement. One of the pieces of information that I return to the user is what I originally called "altitude": the height above sea ...
1
vote
4answers
123 views

“To” versus “with” in early English

I've been reading John Donne's Song (Go And Catch A Falling Star) and my query is on the usage of to in the line "to two or three." Yet she Will be False, ere I come, to two or three. I ...
4
votes
3answers
356 views

“In graduate programs” versus “at graduate level”

I am writing a new CV. I want to choose a title for a section which specifies the courses I've taken at the graduate level. Since I've attended more than one graduate programs, which one of these is ...
7
votes
10answers
1k views

Would you say “it's impolite” to your kids?

Would you normally say "it's impolite [any continuation or no continuation at all]" or the word impolite is too formal for kids and you would rather choose to express the same thought in a different ...
1
vote
5answers
873 views

“General user”, “End user” or “Normal user”, which one is better?

On a website I am working on, people are classified into two groups: one is programmers who create programs with C# 4.0 and share with other people, the other is common users who use the programs to ...
8
votes
6answers
46k views

When should I use “a discussion of” vs. “a discussion on” vs. “a discussion about”?

“A discussion of”, “a discussion on”, and “a discussion about”: When is each phrase used in preference to the other? If context is important, I want to use it as a subheading on a piece of ...