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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

6
votes
4answers
7k views

“Bobsled” versus “Bobsleigh”

What is the difference between "Bobsled" and "Bobsleigh"? Can they be used interchangeably? Which one is used more widely?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Article written “in” or “on” a journal?

Is an article "written in a journal" or "written on a journal"?
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there anything wrong with the word “denigrate”?

A few years ago there was a controversy over the word niggardly — a perfectly innocent word that unfortunately sounds like a racial slur. Given that controversy, is it safe to use denigrate, which ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Writing “the class of 2014” in a résumé?

Is “class of 2014” correct? Is “class of ’14” correct? Assuming the reader is aware of the context, is simply using “’14” correct?
6
votes
4answers
3k views

“Destiny” vs. “Fate”

I'm aware a search will turn up many discussions on the differences or interchangeability of these terms, but it would be good to get some answers here with an emphasis on the etymology of the two ...
5
votes
2answers
100 views

“Copyright on” or “Copyright to”?

What is the difference between "Copyright on something" and "Copyright to something", if any? Can I also say "I have rights on something" or only "I have rights to something" is correct?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“Iterate” vs. “Iterate over”

Is it redundant to say iterate over? I cannot think of any other word that you'd use with iterate, so is it acceptable (or correct, even) to drop the over?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Are 'should' and 'be supposed to' interchangeable? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do we say “supposed to” for “should have”? I guess I really can't tell if 'should' and 'be supposed to' are interchangeable from the ...
34
votes
4answers
61k views

Which is correct, “buck naked” or “butt naked”?

"Butt naked" or "buck naked" both refer to completely naked, or do they? Where the phrase comes from I have no idea but that would be of interest. This is a phrase I am too afraid to google and ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Could I say “I'm looking at the project”?

Someone is examining an Internet project at Codeplex.com. Can he say "I'm looking at the project 'Project name'", or it is a mistake? What is the best way to say it?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the word “that” overused? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence Is it wrong or in bad form to constantly use the word "that" when it can be omitted? The test that she took was so ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

“A first post” — makes sense or not?

I once knew a person who titled the first post in his blog, "A first post." It was immediately pointed out to him that correct usage is "The first post." To that he responded: Well, every blog has ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the difference in usage between “install” and “instill”?

Is there actually any difference between the words? I feel like I am perfectly capable of installing a healthy fear in someone.
11
votes
2answers
90k views

“Have a look” vs. “Take a look”

What is the difference between Have a look and Take a look (meaning/connotations)? For example: Have a look at the question. Take a look at the question. For some reason I only found first ...
5
votes
5answers
145 views

“On” versus “off”

We're having a debate in our office as to which of the following is grammatically correct: Get savings of up to 75% off name brand clothes […]. Get savings of up to 75% on name brand clothes ...
0
votes
2answers
242 views

Can I write “cupcake sprinkle”? — Google searches are bringing up “sprinkle cupcakes”

I'm writing a text where the object of the text is the sprinkle on top of the cupcake, "cupcake sprinkle". But I've searched it and it all turns up "sprinkle cupcakes".
1
vote
4answers
155 views

Can king's court be “stationed” in a city?

I want to say that when the Frederick II with his court, was in the city of Pisa, some person got a chance to see him. Can I say "stationed with his court in", like so? Approximately in 1225 when ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

“By” vs “Per”. Which one should I use on expressions like “P&L/Geography” or “VaR/Asset”?

In the finance field, it is quite common to express some measures in relation to some grouping criteria. Some groupings can be temporal (year, month, etc.) and others like greography, asset class ...
1
vote
6answers
1k views

What's a positive phrase for “stating the obvious”?

This is somewhat of a dual to Word for "stating the obvious?", but what would be a good word selection to say that someone's point is obvious in hindsight, but without any sort of negative ...
12
votes
6answers
17k views

Which is the correct spelling: “fairy” or “faerie”?

Fairy vs. faerie — which is the correct spelling?
7
votes
1answer
729 views

Where does gender attach in “brotherly/sisterly”?

If Leia loves her brother Luke, does she feel sisterly love (because she is his sister) or brotherly love (because he is her brother)?
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the difference between something that it is “connected” and “interconnected?”

I always thought that inter means that the elements I'm talking about has a relation with another one. The word "connected" already has this meaning. So when I read "interconnected" I think about: ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“Invidious” vs. “Insidious”

Can anyone give me a really short & sharp distinction between these two words? Are they notorious for often getting mixed up?
48
votes
23answers
193k views

“Lunch” vs. “dinner” vs. “supper” — times and meanings?

I've seen cases where a noon-time meal is referred to as dinner, and the evening meal is called supper. There's also lunch around noon followed by dinner in the evening. Is there a particular ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between “suasive” and “persuasive”?

What's the difference in usage between suasive and persuasive? I just read the former used, here on this StackExchange, where the latter would have worked perfectly, IMO. Is there a subtle ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

Correct naming form (with or without “of”)

I have a system (software) that do topolygical analysis. How would be more correct to name it: "System of topological analysis" or "Topological analysis system" ? And what rules should I know to ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

“whether” vs. “if ” [duplicate]

How can I know when should I use whether or if in a sentence? I can not see any difference between whether and if. When should I use each? For me, they are the same and I am not sure if there is a ...
14
votes
7answers
13k views

Equivalent of “both” when referring to three or more items?

What would be the correct word to use when referring to three or more items, in the same manner as the word both? For example, using two words, with the word both: "There are several ...
1
vote
3answers
228 views

“excursion over city” vs “excursion around city”

Is there any difference in phrases usage? Which one is better for title of a story? The story is about tourists.
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Which of these sentences using “can” or “could” is better?

If you could increase your number of hours to 48/week, it will help you become a more fluent speaker. If you can increase your number of hours to 48/week, it will help you become a more fluent ...
6
votes
8answers
8k views

“Does it make sense?” or “Do you understand me?”? [closed]

Suppose I tell something to my companion and I want to make sure he understands me. I thought I may simply ask "Do you understand me?". But recently I heard that in such cases I should ask "Does it ...
1
vote
1answer
803 views

Any idea where the phrase at sixes and sevens came from, and what it really means?

Any idea where the phrase at sixes and sevens came from, and what it really means?
1
vote
4answers
25k views

How do you differentiate “thru”, “threw”, “through”, and “thorough”?

How do I know which word to use in the correct context? How do I recognize these words when hearing them? Examples: Jimmy threw the ring at Emiko. Elvis walked through the door. ...
2
votes
4answers
301 views

What would be a suitable name for the game panel in tetris?

I am trying to develop a Tetris clone. However, I am unsure what to name the panel where the user places the pieces. Game panel seems too generic since the entire frame is in fact the panel of the ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “incorrect facts” an oxymoron?

I've seen this so many times and it drives me crazy. The latest was the actor Paul Giamatti setting some story straight in the press about him: "It's unfortunately an incorrect fact about me and it's ...
1
vote
2answers
831 views

“Use of internet” or “internet usage”?

I am confused about the meaning of "use of internet" and "internet usage". Is there any difference between these two phrases? Does the phrase "use of internet" mean I utilize the internet or it means ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

What are some synonyms for 'euphemism'?

A euphemism is a word used to replace another worse sounding word. For example, 'pass away' for 'die', 'battle fatigue' for 'shell shock', 'PTSD' for 'battle fatigue', often a word created to replace ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

A word that can refer to an address but also for a contact in general

I'm creating a database that includes so-called sites. Those sites have an address and a shipment address; the addresses include phone numbers, but the postal part is the most important. On the other ...
13
votes
6answers
63k views

Has “segway” become an acceptable substitute for “segue”?

For a long time, I used the word segway in relative contentment, as a useful word to mean "to transition to." As in: We're getting off-topic. Let's segway to the next discussion point, shall we? ...
7
votes
3answers
54k views

“Touch base” vs “Touch bases”?

My friend is adamant that "touch base" is the one and only correct usage, although he admits to hearing "touch bases" in regular use. Which was the original phrase, where did it come from, and do you ...
2
votes
2answers
209 views

When should I use “parallel” over “parallelism”, and vice versa?

I am a bit confused about the words parallel and parallelism: When and where should one use which?
1
vote
4answers
5k views

Usage of “expect to” and “expectation to/of”

I've written: I expect to see you on Monday. I'm counting the days. To improve it, I've changed it in: With the expectation to see you on Monday, I'm counting the days. A friend told ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“vermilion” or “vermillion”?

Which one has primacy in English: "vermilion" or "vermillion" (as a color) ? Both have entries in various dictionaries. Is the difference concerned with AmE/BrE ?
3
votes
3answers
593 views

How to call attention to “I” without “I myself” or the pretentious “even I”?

I find that in persuasive conversation, whether written or oral, it is sometimes useful to draw attention to the "I" in the sentence, giving the connotation that you are confessing or conceding to ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
15k views

“Seem”, “appear”, “look” — how to differentiate?

Are there any significant structural or semantic differences between seem, appear and look in the sense of "to give the impression of being or doing something"? She looks unhappy. He seems ...
0
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the correct usage of “meanwhile”?

I see meanwhile a lot; I use it a lot; yet I'm not sure about the formal rules when it's applicable. Can anyone help me?
1
vote
1answer
17k views

'Today afternoon' vs 'Today in the afternoon'?

Which adverbial phrase of time is more grammatically correct: 'Today afternoon' or 'Today in the afternoon'?
4
votes
5answers
7k views

A term or phrase meaning “to explain in simple words”?

How do you ask someone to explain something in very simple words, understandable by everyone from general public? In Russia we say something, that can be translated like "explain on fingers". What's ...
5
votes
5answers
8k views

Which would you use: full-size, full-sized, full size or full sized?

I want to use full-sized, as in: Click here to download a full-sized version of this image. But Google NGrams disagrees: So, given: full-size full-sized full size full sized which would ...