This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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0
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0answers
13 views

When and How to use the term “hindsight”?

hindsight=understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed. I heard many people (especially business people) use the term "hindsight", but I am not sure when to use it ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

Is “to drape a medal” correct usage?

I am trying to describe the act of an official attaching a medal to a recipient's clothing (chest) during an awards ceremony. Is "to drape a medal" the correct usage? I don't think "to pin a medal" ...
1
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0answers
23 views

Meaning of the phrase “you're a caution”

I have encountered the phrase "you're a caution" in a movie in a suggestive, possibly judgmental context. How is this to be understood and where does it come from?
-4
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1answer
45 views

Use of 'u' instead of 'you' - to what extent it is widespread now? [on hold]

I wonder what is the statistics on the usage of "u" instead of "you"?
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Usage of adverbs like reasonably, practically, essentially, ridiculously, basically

I have recently noticed a phenomenon in English, that seems quite common. The phenomenon is regarding the usage of certain adverbs: Practically should mean in a practical manner. But it is often ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

Attributing to or Attributing with

Is this correct? You're attributing our performance at the the end with player x being on the field Or is it: You're attributing our performance at the the end to player x being on the ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Kudos Vs. bravo

Has the word kudos outdated the word or exclamation bravo! Here's what Google Ngram shows: ...
-1
votes
0answers
15 views

“All you should do is [infinitive]” vs “All you should do is to [infinitive]” [migrated]

All you should do is study hard All you should do is to study hard Is the one with to correct? When should I use to like that?
0
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1answer
49 views

“Amazed by how” vs “amazed how”

I am amazed by how friendly these people are. I'm amazed how friendly these people are. What is the difference between the usage with by and the usage without?
0
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2answers
64 views

Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?

Another Skeptics.SE user and I are discussing the meaning of the word "prescriptivism". (Yes, we are aware of the recursion involved.) In particular, I have cited a couple of examples of scientists ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

Which answers are correct among five expressions? or have the same meaning?

A: I think she has had plastic surgery. B: Yes. She definitely is not a natural beauty. Yes. She definitely is not the natural beauty. Yes. She definitely is not in natural beauty. Yes. She ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

What is the meaning of “others” in this sentence?

I came across a sentence on a Wikipedia article, where "others" seems to have been used as a noun. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary says it can either be noun or pronoun. The sentence in question ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Conspicuous v. Ostentatious

Conspicuous means: 1. Easy to notice; obvious: a conspicuous flaw in the construction. 2. Attracting attention, as by being unusual or remarkable; noticeable. Ostentatious means: characterized by ...
0
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2answers
78 views

Do the following three expressions have the same meaning?

My flight is scheduled for 7 p.m. from New York. My flight is scheduled for New York at 7 p.m. My flight is scheduled for New York, 7 p.m.
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Descry, Espy, Spot, Spy

I know as a general rule that no two words are identical in meaning and use. I was wondering if I could get help in understanding the different meanings and uses of descry, espy, spot and spy. I know ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Would the slang version, yessir, of yes, sir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?

I use yessir as a slang form of yes, sir all the time. Is it even a word? Would the slang version, yessir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Circumstantial: Can anything be 'circumstantial' but evidence? [closed]

I have come across the word circumstantial but I have only ever seen it used in the phrase 'circumstantial evidence'. I would like to ask if anything can be 'circumstantial' apart from evidence. When ...
0
votes
0answers
6 views

Attempt or try? Which word [migrated]

How can I explain to ESL pupils what the difference is between "an attempt" and "a try" (as nouns). For example: Why can I say "I passed first try", but not *"this is a try to create a perfect ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Secure as a verb

Can you say "the state secures that people do not have any emotions"? Or does secure have to be followed by a noun or even a gerund? Like: "the state secures a lack of emotions" or "the state secures ...
7
votes
3answers
135 views
+100

How did “owly” come to mean irritable or grouchy?

I am curious about the history of "owly" to mean irritable, grumpy, or uncooperative. The Word Detective explains (but doesn't substantiate) that the association derives from the fact that many owls ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

“Whatever” vs. “Whichever”

What's the difference between whatever and whichever? I'm curious because to me those two words seem to have very similar meaning. Here's one question, and the answer is whatever, not whichever. ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Does “in” mean “after” in “The passport will expire in 2 years”?

Ok, I have a passport issued on 1 Dec 2014 and will expire on 1 Dec 2016. So I should say "The passport will expire in 2 years". However "in" in the above sentence is a bit confused because "in" ...
4
votes
2answers
77 views

Difference between “abate” and “bate”

What is the difference between abate and bate? How are they used differently? Do they both mean the same thing? (from the Free Dictionary) The definition of abate is 'to reduce in amount, degree, or ...
-3
votes
0answers
26 views

In business, what is the “catalog” [closed]

example: New Catalog: The suppliers update their catalog periodically. WGRUS needs to update its pricing and availability based in the new catalogs. it seems that this 'catalog' not only is ...
0
votes
3answers
30 views

What's the proper usage of 'booking' when you are being booked?

If I'm attempting to be booked to do an event, and I'm saying: "we're now booking dates for such and such". Is that proper usage of booking? Or should I say, "we are being booked for dates in such ...
0
votes
4answers
55 views

Uncover a weapon

Looking for a word for "removing a cover from a weapon" in a sense of conflict escalation, like "I am ready to use something against you".
1
vote
4answers
78 views

Where does the expression “at a crack” come from?

The phrase at a crack is sometimes used to mean at one time. For example §§: Companies that have had generations of employees growing up under a no-layoff policy are now dumping 10,000 ...
3
votes
4answers
388 views

Can 'artificial' be used alone?

My dictionary defines artificial as made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural. But since any manufactured substance can only be ...
2
votes
3answers
53 views

Using “one” in a sentence multiple times, does it sound right?

I just came across the following sentence in the book "The theory of everything": If one keeps traveling in a certain direction on the surface of the Earth, one never comes up against an ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Is “commonliness” a valid word? [closed]

See title. And if not, how should one say "the commonliness(es) between her and me"?
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Divorce each other [closed]

This wiki article contains the following sentence: "Her parents divorced each other when she was six or seven years old." Is it necessary to say each other when the word divorce is used? ...
2
votes
4answers
124 views

Fear of asking girl out - is called …?

Fear or phobia of asking girl out, fear of rejection(that she would say no or even worse). Here, Soceraphobia (fear of her father/brother) is not involved. Mostly guys are feared by most compelling ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

“a while” vs “awhile”

Is there a difference between "awhile" and "a while"? If there is, what is it? I've been wondering this for awhile, but now I actually need the answer.
2
votes
1answer
36 views

“In case” vs “if”?

I was taught that "in case" does not mean "if". As in: I will give you my card in case you need it. (Take it and use in case of need in the future) I will give you my card if you need it. ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Use of the word “register”

Can the word "register" be used as in the following sentence? In the brackets is not a part of the sentence. The machine registers your name (on the machine itself). I reviewed few dictionaries ...
-2
votes
2answers
36 views

In favor for and In favor with [closed]

Which between these phrases "in favor with" and "in favor for" is appropriate to use? For instance, during classroom election, there are two nominees for president's position namely Tom and Jerry. ...
33
votes
18answers
5k views

Completing something just to finish it despite lack of interest - is called …?

Recently I started reading a novel that I was excited to read. After getting approximately 45% into it, I lost the pace. It started becoming slow and lousy. I thought to leave it unfinished but it ...
0
votes
2answers
24 views

Above and beyond

What does "above and beyond" mean and how is it used in a sentence? Some sources say it means exceeding expectations, some sources say it means 'in addition to'. Which is it? Is it both?
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Can a question starting with “how” be answered with a “when” reply?

So how did this lying issue start? Well, it began the night of my wedding. Can I answer that "how" question in that way? If not, what would be a better option? (Now that I think of it, I'm not ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Proper word to describe the time spent on delivering a mail by post

Grateful if you would share with me a proper word/term to describe the period of time used for processing and delivering a mail.
3
votes
2answers
626 views

Can I call the following “irony”?

So how did I become interested in animal suicide? Ironically, it began with my own death wish. I'm not really sure whether I can call this irony, since irony usually refers to the contrast ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

“ I'm also… ” or “ Also I'm… ”?

When starting a new sentence, which way would you arrange these terms? I'm using it mid-way through a paragraph, following on from a previous point. On that note of placement, would you ever start a ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Care about and Care for

Whats the difference between "care for something" and "care about something". English is not my first language so just looking for clarity. Can i use them interchangeably?
6
votes
1answer
53 views

When did aircraft stop being called “ships”?

If you read older flying materials and books like the classic Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche, aircraft are very frequently and consistently referred to as "ships". Many movies and videos ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

Referring to family members

I've noticed that sometimes family members are referred to in a weird way(to me) in speech. For example, instead of "I will talk to my mum" or "Give this to your dad", I often hear "I'll talk to mum" ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Torturing oneself by emotions is called?

People who love emotions, they love to torture themselves by emotional feelings. Be it real or vicarious. Often see people reading love stories and getting emotional, listening to sad song and watch ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

“Speaking about” vs “talking about.” [duplicate]

Example: Talking about safety, don't forget to brink your helmet. Speaking about safety, don't forget to brink your helmet. Sometimes I get confused about the two. Are there interchangeable? Or I ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

When the adverb “however” is used to introduce a contrary statement, does it have to be followed by a comma? [duplicate]

When the adverb “however” is used to introduce a contrary statement, does it have to be followed by a comma? I know in such usage, "however" usually accompanies with a comma, but still I found an ...
0
votes
3answers
95 views

Origin of “Innocent” to mean “Sexually Inexperienced”

I was thinking about the way "innocent" is often used (in both casual and moderately formal contexts) to mean "sexually inexperienced/oblivious", and came to the conclusion that using the phrase in ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Use of “respectively” twice

Is it correct to use respectively in this way in a written text? The first month of Spring (respectively Summer) is March (respectively June). Could you please point to some examples where it is ...