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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
3answers
498 views

When and how is the word 'scene' used for a group of people, and what are alternatives?

In German, the word 'Szene', which translates literally to 'scene' and has an identical meaning in the context of a movie or a play, has a second use in referring to a group of people that form a ...
1
vote
3answers
760 views

A word appears to be missing in this sentence

The following sentence appeared in a report in The Guardian: All eight will appear in court on Monday charged with grievous bodily harm and damaging property. Should not causing be added before ...
7
votes
7answers
462 views

How to assess “an access of butchness”

I read this phrase in Alan Bennett’s Diary years ago and found it so unusual I’ve never forgotten it. Italics mine: 8 December. Trying to find someone a Meccano set for Christmas, I’m reminded ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Is a “rubbish collection and/or disposal” service considered a “utility”?

If water, electricity, gas and similar services can be called "utilities", could rubbish collection and/or disposal be a part of this grouping?
4
votes
2answers
29k views

What is the difference between “wealth of knowledge” and “breadth of knowledge”

Can they be used interchangeably? For example: To work in ABC you first must gain wealth/breadth of knowledge about ABC's products
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “alleged” and “so-called”?

These alleged experts are no help. These so-called experts are no help. Can anyone explain the difference?
3
votes
1answer
427 views

Is the singular form of “desiderata” a disused word?

I was interested in the following paragraph which appeared in an article titled “A New Gauge to See What’s Beyond Happiness" by John Tierney in The New York Times (May 16, 2011). “They wanted to ...
1
vote
3answers
871 views

Is “run the danger” in common usage?

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “Building a Classier Image; Las Vegas Hotels Woo Blue Chip Visitors" by Andrew Pollak in The New York Times (November 13, ...
5
votes
2answers
321 views

What is the correct form of a gerund? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is a gerund supposed to be preceded by a possessive pronoun? “Me being” versus “my being” Usage of the gerund preceded by the possessive pronoun I don't really ...
4
votes
3answers
606 views

Does the fragment “almost impossible to underestimate” make this sentence illogical?

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “In Rossellini’s War Movies, the Naturalism Survives" by Dave Kehr in The New York Times (January 22, 2010). It’s ...
3
votes
2answers
881 views

Some sentences for reference to clear the doubt regarding would

Few people would have been surprised to know another case of corruption in India. (A sentence from a newspaper) "I came in and ordered some shoes from you." 'Oh! yes, sir. When would that have been, ...
2
votes
2answers
763 views

What is the difference between “lean” and “incline”?

I know that lean and incline's meanings are similar, but I cannot understand in which context each is used. With profits continuing to fall amid rising costs, high interest rates and growth ...
3
votes
4answers
369 views

Is there a term for a colony effect in language change?

I have heard it said (sorry, no refs for you) that when a colony is formed from a parent population, then the colonists 'freeze' in time with respect to language and accents, perhaps cultural aspects ...
1
vote
2answers
606 views

You are my dismay [closed]

Dismay, as a noun, means: Consternation and distress, typically that caused by something unexpected. Is it correct to say that something is my dismay, (Rather than something happened in my ...
2
votes
3answers
182 views

Rewording of “task with the highest stakes” [closed]

For a mental model, connecting what has just happened with what will happen in the very near future is the task with the highest stakes. That sounds unnatural to me. Can someone suggest a ...
41
votes
5answers
2k views

Flora, fauna, robot

Are there any terms for referring to robot-kind, as flora refers to plants and fauna to animals? I'm looking for a word that would fit in with flora and fauna, so if it derives from Latin or Roman ...
5
votes
4answers
344 views

How to refer to the 'sections' of an aquarium?

When you visit an aquarium, you see different species of marine life in different 'sections.' They are usually surrounded by glass. I want to build sentences like this: I walked to another ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Use of the word “mentee” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Trainer” is to “trainee” as “mentor” is to what? My employer has instituted a formal mentoring program for new employees. I was ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Use of “whatever” vs “whatsoever”

The city posts signs near my house that read: Dump no waste whatever The meaning is clear in context: don't dump any waste here. But the sign sounds incorrect. To me, it seems "whatever" ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Plural words/singular modifiers

Something I've always been confused about even as a native English speaker... Say, someone is discussing a concert and they say: "there was a huge amount of people there". Is this correct, or should ...
7
votes
2answers
11k views

“Look into” vs. “look at”

Are look into and look at interchangeable? If not what are the differences between the two? I will look at my options and see what I have. I will look into my options and see what I have. ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the outer part of building called (figure)?

What is the part of the building (usually skyscraper) extending out called? It's the spot where superheroes are shown to be sitting when contemplating about their lives (looking down at the city). ...
15
votes
3answers
84k views

“Congratulate for” vs. “congratulate on”

Which is correct? I congratulated him for coming first in the race. I congratulated him on coming first in the race.
6
votes
3answers
3k views

“A sensible person like you” vs. “a sensible person like yourself”

What is the difference between you and yourself in the following context? My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name. My dear Professor, surely a ...
4
votes
6answers
680 views

“Obstacles along the road to success” vs. “obstacles across the road to success”

My sister got this question for one of her tests. There are many obstacles __ the road to success. Her options were: across along I initially thought that across would make more ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

“What/When is the best time to call back?”

Which is better, and what is the difference? What is the best time to call back? When is the best time to call back?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“Would you have liked to have been” vs. “would you have liked to be”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “No Rest for the Weary” in The New York Times (February 15, 2008). Would you have liked to have been president from ...
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

“in/as accompaniment to/of”

I would like to write the correct form of the following sentence: He played the guitar in/as accompaniment to/of the choir's chant. Which is the most correct, and why?
3
votes
1answer
5k views

“Unequivocably” vs. “unequivocally”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in a news article titled “SCIENCE WATCH; PROGRESS IN AIDS DISPUTE” in The New York Times (March 10, 1987). Dr. Robert Gallo at the cancer ...
3
votes
2answers
328 views

using “Usage” or “Use” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Use” vs “usage” As a non-native speaker, I have trouble deciding whether to use 'use' or 'usage'. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate a ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

'You can' or 'You may' in online instruction text?

I need to add a small piece of help text to a search field in an online form. The placeholder text (grey text inside the text field) says "Type at least three characters". Then directly under the ...
6
votes
4answers
17k views

“Ground floor” vs. “first floor”

Is the bottom-most floor (on ground level not the basement) "ground floor" or "first floor" in America?
1
vote
2answers
955 views

“I know where you work at” vs. “I know where you work”

Which one is correct? I don't need to know where you work at. I don't need to know where you work. Could you also please tell me about this rule is called in grammar so I can learn more ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Can “crepuscular” and/or “twilight” apply to morning half-light as well as in the evening

I know that's "sorta" two questions in one, but I'm stuck in an argument with a guy who says both words can apply to morning half-light. I disagree and think both only apply in the evening. I think ...
2
votes
3answers
458 views

How to say you did two things, but separately?

When describing an experiment (inside a thesis paper), I want to explain that we took a sample and did two things to it, but not together, rather as two separate experiments. One way to write it is : ...
11
votes
15answers
21k views

How to describe someone who speaks a language “as if it is his mother tongue” in a CV?

Let's say English is not my mother tongue, but I claim in my CV that my English level is "as if" it was my mother tongue? Is natively the word for that? As in: Languages: Hebrew: ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

“Expect of” vs. “expect from” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Expected of, or expected from someone Which of these two sentences is grammatically correct? Are both? What's the difference here? What sort of work would be ...
0
votes
1answer
309 views

Any/some in a specific sentence

I know that some/any are used with plural (with some exceptions), but what about this? I can give you a book...if there is any Is that correct? I want to say that if there is any book, I will ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the better words to describe difficulty levels? [closed]

I'm using five words to describe the difficulty levels of some training material: 'Easy', 'Normal', 'Hard', 'Challenging', 'Level 5' 'Level 5' is the most difficult level. I haven't found a ...
7
votes
8answers
635 views

What is the equivalent word for “compile” in an interpreted language? [closed]

In C, we say: GCC compiles foo.c. For interpreters (such as Lua), what is the equivalent verb? The Lua interpreter ____ foo.lua. When I write instructions for users of my Lua script, I ...
2
votes
3answers
719 views

“He” or “she”, “his” or “her” for an ambiguous name

In Finland Kari is boy's name and in Norway it is girl's name. Suppose I meet a Norwegian Kari. Which one is correct? First I heard his/her name I thought he/she is a boy but the I realized he/she ...
14
votes
14answers
1k views

A different word for “meaninglessness”

This is where I want to apply that word: "He discovered the meaninglessness of consumerism and work" I looked in dictionaries and reverse dictionaries but for some reason I can't find a word ...
3
votes
5answers
739 views

A text has an introduction, a body, and a …?

What's a good word for describing the last section of a document, similar to "introduction" (which, of course, refers to the beginning)?
2
votes
4answers
408 views

A word for: Taking a godlike concept and bringing it down to earth [closed]

There is this beautiful woman I always wanted, and who looked so beautiful and pure, like a goddess, and then we dated and she lost all this glory and she became just another girl. What do you call ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the correct verb to say that someone oversees a graduation ceremony?

What's the correct verb used by universities to say that someone oversees a graduation ceremony? For example: An important person comes to the ceremony and gives a speech and presents the awards - ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it not that big a deal vs No big deal

I was just checking an advanced grammar and learned that the following is possible: It is not that big a deal 1) The book says I cannot skip the article. But how come in "ordinary" version there ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I say “domesticable” or “domesticatable”? [closed]

What should I say to sound better, "domesticable" or "domesticatable"?
1
vote
2answers
346 views

Word to describe bringing up pets

What is the word to describe bringing up your pet? Raise sounds odd. Breed sounds weird. Rear seems to be more for farm animals.
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Is “autodidact” too obscure to use in a résumé?

I'm updating my résumé and I'm trying to describe myself as "someone who learns on his own", though more briefly. I think the word "autodidact" fits but an informal survey around the workplace showed ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

“Cannot help but think” vs. “cannot but think” vs. “cannot help thinking”

Which of the following are grammatical? I cannot help but think. I cannot but think. I cannot help thinking. I was taught (1) is not correct. Is it true? Or are they all correct? ...