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

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1
vote
6answers
381 views

A word meaning “going south to get north”

I want to describe a situation when to get a south bound route you need to drive north. I'm looking for a noun. A couple possible suggestions I've seen: "It is quite a bit of a diversion" and "It ...
3
votes
2answers
641 views

Phrasing of “What knowledge is required [at/in] [a] university?”

In British English, how should I properly write a sentence like What knowledge is required at university? Basically, I want to ask what knowledge is required for study at a university or in a ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Differences among words describing someone who is expert in many things

I wonder how the following words for describing someone who knows many different things compare, and when to use which word. Some are adjectives, others are nouns: renaissance polymath versatile ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

“all that” vs. “all what”

I’ve heard somebody say: All what is needed is … I thought the correct way to phrase it was: All that is needed is … However, thinking about it more, the former doesn’t sound too ...
3
votes
6answers
699 views

“Too” as a sentence modifier

I was recently having a discussion with a friend on the "sure-thing principle" (not relevant but Google if you wish to know what that is). We were discussing it in the context of a scenario and the ...
18
votes
3answers
58k views

“proficient <in/at/with>” What is the correct usage?

Which preposition is correct in the phrase "proficient in/at/with English"?
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Can the word “dehydration” imply “thirsty”? [closed]

As far as I know, dehydration means the condition of a body from which the water has been removed. Can the same word imply that the body is thirsty? Simply put, is "I am thirsty" the same as "I am ...
3
votes
2answers
244 views

Usage of the word “memory”

I came across this question, but I do not find the answer to what's bothering me. Can memory be used to refer to a particular piece of your past experience that you remember well? E.g.: I have a ...
2
votes
4answers
12k views

Difference between “can” and “may” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can/May/Will you help me with this? Which is correct if I want to request for a pen? Can I have your pen please? May I have your pen please?
4
votes
3answers
16k views

1st or 3rd person in CV/résumé? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it normal in English to talk about oneself in the third person in these cases? I’m currently preparing my CV in English. I’m not a native English speaker, and I ...
4
votes
1answer
15k views

“Participate in” or “participate on”?

Which is the correct preposition in the sentence below? Why? Participated in/on producing quality software solutions for leading global insurance and reinsurance companies.
0
votes
4answers
4k views

doesn't worry about what others think, independent confident [closed]

How would you describe someone who doesn't worry about what other people think? Someone who has the confidence to think for themselves. It could be a quality or adjective. One word preferred
4
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the distinction between “nonessential” and “inessential”?

I'm revising a text that uses the word "nonessential", but my ear is telling me "inessential." Usually when there are two very similar words like this, there is some subtle (or not so subtle) ...
2
votes
1answer
512 views

What does “LFS” mean in “Charles Dickens wrote about his own LFS”? [closed]

In association with my question about the meaning of “found-in-a-cabbage-patch look” in the Time magazine’s article, “Playing Favorites,” there was an episode that Charles Dickens experienced a bitter ...
9
votes
6answers
4k views

In what situation would you use 'so' instead of very?

In what situation would you use 'so' instead of very? For example, I'm very sorry. I'm so sorry. (When you apologize to someone) Does 'so' sound natural in the context? Is he an old man? Yes, he is ...
2
votes
3answers
617 views

Can I say this? “To spank my shoulder when needed” [closed]

Can I say this: "To spank my shoulder when needed" or "to spank on my shoulder when I'm down in life"? Is there a way instead not using spank? Is there any other way to express the same feeling?
4
votes
2answers
755 views

You are all “but” forced to do something instead of something else

What is the grammatical usage of "but" in this sentence? You are all but forced to use them instead of standard C++ Could we ignore "but" and yet convey the same meaning? You are all forced ...
1
vote
2answers
218 views

Word choice - What's the phrase to describe the idea that relative positions in society are meaningless?

I'm trying to describe the idea that relative positions in society are meaningless. So far I've come up with counterculturalism, societal positional nihilism, a 'beatnik'. I'm sure there is ...
33
votes
11answers
6k views

Other word for an empty promise (that is likely not to be held)

I'm not exactly sure how to word my questions properly, but here it is: Say I receive a reply from customer support such as: "We will take your concern very seriously" But I get the feeling that this ...
9
votes
5answers
894 views

Words describing the pat acceptance of a thought or practice simply because “that's how it's done.”

I believe that several words or phrases exist to describe the practice of thinking in a certain way or performing a certain action simply because "that's how it's always been done." Another way of ...
2
votes
3answers
267 views

Question regarding sentence structure in a NY Times article about Michelle Obama

In a NY Times article titled "Michelle Obama and the Evolution of a First Lady", there is this sentence: Rahm Emanuel, then chief of staff, repeated the first lady’s criticisms to colleagues with ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the correct usage of “bring” and “take”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Bring” vs. “take” in American English I used to have what I thought was a good grasp on using the words 'bring' and 'take' until I moved to the ...
2
votes
8answers
3k views

Adjective/adverb that means “seemingly clever, but actually foolish”

Is there a single word in English (or borrowed) that describes someone or some action as being clever or smart on the surface, but is actually quite foolish or unproductive? I used to think ...
1
vote
3answers
91k views

How to wish someone for the upcoming weekend [closed]

Is it correct to say "Wish you a happy weekend" or should I say "Wishing you a happy weekend"?
4
votes
2answers
743 views

“No match for X” vs “no match against X”

Hi all I was wondering if I wanted to say that a tsunami has no chance against a set of defenses, would I say: This tsunami is no match against the defenses. This tsunami is no match for the ...
1
vote
3answers
322 views

Hypothetical term for existence at every point in time [closed]

Assuming that time zero was the big bang and "time" before that did not exist, what is the term to describe something that has existed since "time" began and will continue till "time" ends. I ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

I had waited until the rain stopped / I waited until the rain had stopped — any difference? [closed]

I don't understand the tense that is used with until. Here are some examples: I had waited until the rain stopped. I waited until the rain had stopped. Villagers had stayed indoors until ...
3
votes
3answers
464 views

Verb corresponding to schedule, but for a place (instead of time)

The verb "schedule" is used to denote a time (e.g."the meeting is scheduled for 8 am"). Is there a corresponding verb that denotes a place?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

When to use “click” and “click on”

In the context of computers or websites, when should one use click or click on? Click (on) the right mouse button Click (on) the word 'Download' Click (on) the Start button Click (on) here for more ...
11
votes
5answers
17k views

“Catch” vs “Take” a Bus/Train

Could anyone help me with finding the difference between saying "catch a bus/train/etc" and "take a train/bus/etc"? I'm afraid I haven't been able to glean one from my dictionary.
2
votes
4answers
4k views

“If you or your colleague has” or “If you or your colleague have”?

Which is correct out of the following two sentences? If you or your colleague have any questions, let me know If you or your colleague has any questions, let me know I was originally thinking that ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Is “Country(ies)” on a form label correct?

On an web form, where a user can select one country or several, I want to use a label more concise than Country or Countries. Is Country(ies) correct?
-2
votes
2answers
103 views

Does the word “Edition” go with the word “Summit”? [closed]

is it correct to say "the Health Summit in its 9th Edition"?
1
vote
5answers
198 views

Is “Linux-dependent” right?

I have a C program which depends on Linux system libraries. Which is right: This program is Linux-dependent. This program is Linux-depending. Google search gives me some examples of the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What's a good synonym for “unwantedly”?

Hi all I was wondering how do we rewrite this sentence in a nicer way: This webapp makes me hit the "Cancel" button unwantedly, arghh! I was wondering what's a good synonym for the word ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

“What not”, “what have you” and “so on”

Do "What not", "what have you" and "so on" mean the same? Can they always be exchangeable? For example A, B, and/or what not / what have you / so on
3
votes
1answer
150 views

“Report by” or “report from”

Which is better? A new report by (Company name) was released today. A new report from (Company name) was released today.
6
votes
1answer
8k views

“Attendance at” or “attendance of”

Should I use at or of in the following passage? and through attendance [at/of] the regular video conferences has played an active part in ... I guess my attendance at school could be ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“Go XXX” or “go to XXX”

Sometimes I see go XXX (go home) and sometimes go to XXX (go to school, go to work). Is there any specific rule about this?
-1
votes
2answers
4k views

Word for a person who often visits night clubs and bars?

Do I call them clubbers or are there better words to describe them?
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

Another word or term to describe 'Not correctly and properly maintain for quite a long time' [closed]

I was thinking of the word "dysfunction" to describe 'Not correctly and properly maintain for quite a long time' for electrical devices & heavy machinery. However, personally I also feel quite ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Hypernym for “approve” and “reject”

User A goes to the web page and clicks a menu called 'Submit Request', where User A will fill out a form request and submit it to his/her Supervisor. Then User A's Supervisor will go to the web page ...
4
votes
3answers
22k views

What is the difference between “brain” and “mind”?

Could someone please explain the contextual difference of this two words? If I for instance say: I am using my brain to decide in what direction to move. or I am using my mind to decide in ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference in meaning between “proposal” and “proposition”?

These two words have similar meanings, however in certain contexts only one of the two can be used or is used most frequently (fits better idiomatically). Can you give examples of such contexts and if ...
1
vote
3answers
799 views

What is the right phrase describing a meeting in school with parents?

As a teacher, which of the following should I say? We have a teacher–parent meeting on Monday 9th. We have a teacher–parents meeting on Monday 9th. We have a parent–teacher conference on ...
5
votes
3answers
307 views

Does this sentence require the pronoun 'they'?

I have the following sentence: There were several dominoes—some so precariously placed that I'd swear should have toppled over. I believe it's correct, but when read quickly or out loud, ...
4
votes
2answers
11k views

Do “thereafter”, “ever after”, and “ever since” mean the same?

Do thereafter, ever after, and ever since mean the same as after that time? Are they always interchangeable? For example, live happily thereafter/ever after/ever since
1
vote
4answers
220 views

What do you call users of your software?

Often when I have to greet all the people using my different software collectively I'm not sure which word to use for them. For example I can't say Overroot wishes all its users a Happy New ...
4
votes
1answer
770 views

Can you 'agree' with something in varying degrees?

When constructing a survey question is it correct to ask a respondent: Which of the statements do you agree with more? Agreement seems like it should be binary. To agree with one thing more than ...
1
vote
2answers
408 views

“Institution”, “body” or “organ”

I'm a non-native speaker active in a labor union that does not use English internally. The union has a representative assembly (made up of representatives of branches), whose existence is mandated by ...