This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
2answers
70 views

In what context can the phrase “good for you” sound genuine and not sarcastic? [on hold]

It seems that certain expressions no matter how one tries to say them, will always sound sarcastic. The expression good for you is one of these. An example of this: During the show American Idol, a ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

“none like him” vs “none like unto him”

Are "there is none like Him" and "there is none like unto Him" exactly synonymous, or is there a nuance between the two ? (the second construct is often used to translate certain Muslim idioms).
0
votes
1answer
43 views

“… and then Judah decides to eliminate his mistress.” Is it correct to use “eliminate” for “kill”? [on hold]

In a review for the 1989 film "Crimes and Misdemeanors" a critic says: "...and after his mistress has been eliminated, Judah decides..." meaning "has been killed". I always thought of "eliminate" as ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

“Most important” vs “most importantly”

I was always under impression that "most important" is correct usage when going through the list of things. We need to pack socks, toothbrushes for the trip, but most important is to pack ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Does the word “comparatively” require two operands?

Comparatively is similar to relatively. When using relatively it is common that you are comparing against general knowledge or an aforementioned entity(ies). When using comparatively, do you need ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Is “worser” correct grammatically?

Is worser correct grammatically? I know it seems incorrect, but I stumbled upon the word when reading Hamlet: Oh, throw away the worser part of it, And live the purer with the other half. ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

“Would you like some coffee?” “Thank you!” - In this context, does “thank you” mean “yes, please” or “no, thank you”?

The OED defines "thank you" as a polite expression used when acknowledging a gift, service, or compliment, or accepting or refusing an offer. ...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

“ahead of” is NOT used with a particular time reference?

Am I right that the phrase "ahead of" is NOT used with a particular time reference such as "ahead of 2 o'clock"?
1
vote
1answer
45 views

President vs. The President

For several years now, I have noticed that commentators on the radio and TV are dropping the word "the" in certain circumstances. For example, "President prefers foreign aid at this time." or "United ...
0
votes
2answers
22 views

Using “resolve” to mean “turn (into)”

Liquidation is the process of resolving a company's assets into cash. Is the word resolve used correctly here?
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Why 'aye aye sir' instead of 'yes sir' in naval response?

From Wikipedia, I know Aye aye sir is used in a naval response. I want know the origin of why Aye aye sir is used here? Another question: when I saw TV series A Song of Ice and Fire, I found Aye is ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Subject of investigation vs. Object of investigation? [duplicate]

which of the following is better: "He is the subject of our current investigation." "He is the object of our current investigation."
-6
votes
0answers
32 views

Various uses of the word “let” [on hold]

Explain the a-z use of the word "let"
0
votes
3answers
45 views

“Can see” or “see”?

In the song "Me Neither" Brad Paisley sings: "...would you like to dance Me neither I was just bein' polite Thank goodness my feet are much too tired I'm sure you're tired too, I can see an empty ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

-'s suffix for things? [duplicate]

According to Oxford Learner's Dictonaries, the -'s suffix can have these two meanings: (added to nouns) 1 belonging to the woman's hat Peter's desk children's clothes 2 used to refer ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Are “prop the door open” and “prop open the door” both correct?

So I feel like "prop open the door" is correct over "prop the door open" because the former splits the verbs, but the latter sounds better to me, for reasons I don't know. Is either correct over the ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Is the term “disillusion” being used correctly here?

It's easy to disillusion ourselves by thinking just because the output of our function looks very random, that it is very random. I asked a friend about this passage. I argue that it should ...
1
vote
3answers
47 views

Comma or no comma before the word “and” [duplicate]

I'm curious about whether to use comma before "and". Some people told me that using comma to connect two different sentences and two different subjects. Please provide some examples to explain the ...
2
votes
3answers
69 views

“go home straight” or “go straight home”

Which one of the following is the proper usage below? "go home straight" or "go straight home"? thanks.
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Which grade/class are you?

In our country, Turkey, when someone wants to know if you're a freshman, or sophomore, or w/e (knowing if you're in high school, or in university) he/she usually says: (making a literal translation ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

What's the difference between inhuman and inhumane? [closed]

What's the difference in meaning between the adjectives: "inhuman" and "inhumane"? Thefreedictionary defines both as: "lacking pity or compassion" but there has to be a slight difference in meaning ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

“simply”, “merely” and “only” - Are they interchageable in formal writing?

In the following sentence: "They are ....... wasting their time." Would "simply", "merely" and "only" be interchangeable? When I was a student of English I was taught the use of "simply" in formal ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

Are there big difference in the degree of zeal among "fan, enthusiast, maniac, fiend, geek, zealot”? If Yes, what are they in order of the enthusiasm?

I saw the word, “language fiend” in a newspaper article yesterday. I thought I saved the text for the purpose of posting this question, but I didn't, so I can’t remember what the source of it was. ...
-1
votes
3answers
74 views

Is “hot sun” grammatically correct? [closed]

Can we use the term 'HOT SUN'. I am always confused if the term 'hot' can be used with sun. Eg: I don't want to go out in this hot sun.
0
votes
1answer
29 views

What is the right usage: Attend at gym or train at gym?

I want to ask a friend what is the name of the gym he is visiting. Which is the grammatically correct to ask What is the name of the gym you attend? or What is the name of the gym you train? or ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

How can I use “perspective” to express “in my opinion”?

Should I use "from my perspective", or "in my perspective" or "on my perspective?" Can "standpoint" and "view" be used in the same way?
0
votes
2answers
67 views

“Suddenly feeling heavier” vs “feeling suddenly heavier.”

Example: I nodded, my chest suddenly feeling heavier I nodded, my chest feeling suddenly heavier Are both sentences grammatical? Does it make any difference where suddenly is placed?
3
votes
3answers
230 views

Can the word “totem” be used as both a respectful and troublesome symbol?

Today’s (Oct. 10) Time magazine article titled “Hillary Clinton’s Burden of History” begins with the following passage: “Everything old is new again for the Clintons, as documents reveal White ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Difference between “abbreviation” and “symbol” in scientific contexts

I've noticed that the shorthand notations for chemical elements, such as C for carbon, are called symbols, not abbreviations. This also seems to be the case in several other scientific contexts, such ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

How to use the word “RESPECTIVELY”? Is the sentence I wrote correct? [duplicate]

I am writing an essay and am having trouble with this sentence: In both Ernest Gaines’s “The Sky Is Gray” and Richard Wright’s “Almos’ a Man” there are many instances where the James from “The Sky Is ...
1
vote
3answers
418 views

Can I use TL;DR in a formal email? [closed]

I've seen the internet slang TL;DR many times in the internet, and as I can see people used it pretty much in the present day. Can I use it in a formal email to a client?
1
vote
2answers
67 views

“Good night” vs “goodnight” (vs “good-night”)

I am trying to find out which is correct in "Good night" vs "goodnight" (vs "good-night"), and there seem to be conflicting views around the internet. I am hoping you guys can shed some light into why ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Is “past master” a gender neutral phrase?

PAST MASTER - noun: a person who has done something many times before and has become very skilled at doing it "He's a past master at finding ways to get out of trouble." ...
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

Can the word nervous be used like this? [closed]

My middle school was nervous. Like the above sentence, can the the word nervous be used for a thing?
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Usage of the word universe

Playing around with Google's Ngram viewer, where you can see how many times a word is used in books, I stumbled on this: It shows how often universe and Universe have been used in books. I think ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “homophobic” a noun?

I've thought homophobe refers to the people and homophobic is just an adjective. However I recently heard that homophobic is also used as a noun describing the people who have homophobia, meaning ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Is it common to use “output” as a verb? [closed]

At work (in some code) I encountered the word "output" being used as a verb and was a bit confused at first, because I misread it as a noun. I have never seen this usage before and for some reason it ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Can the heart 'approach what it yearns', or must it 'approach what it yearns for'?

Paul Simon's lyrics ... how the heart approaches what it yearns... has always seemed to me an incorrect usage, although it's difficult to state why. It seems to me that the verb yearn ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Which is more appropriate, a reservation or an appointment at a beauty salon?

Do you make a reservationt at a beauty salon? Or do you make an appointment at a beauty salon?
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Which is the proper usage? “inure with” or “inure to” [migrated]

For example, given the sentence: She's learned to deal with solving difficult problems at an early age If I wanted to rephrase this using the word "inure", which of the following is correct? ...
-1
votes
2answers
89 views

Is it OK to say “most likely want to buy”, “secondly likely…” and “thirdly likely…”? [closed]

Suppose there are 3 paintings for sale in a gallery, all at the same price, and you have examined them thoroughly. You say: I most likely want to buy the first one, and secondly likely want to ...
5
votes
1answer
252 views

The use of “la”?

I have read many a novel set in the Regency period where la is used in conversations. La, Susan, don't be so bothersome What is its purpose and correct use? Thank you for your insights.
0
votes
2answers
27 views

Is this sentence clear? “The fields highlighted in blue are the ones that were verified with supporting documents”

In my company there is a security man who stands at the front door and checks the visitors. Visitors have their names, birthdates and clothes as fields to be filled in an application form. The ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

Should I use “a” or “an” prior to an abbreviation? [duplicate]

For example, non-conformance is abbreviated as NC. If I am referring to a non-conformance, I may pronounce the whole word or I may literally say the letters "NC"; in my industry, they are used ...
2
votes
3answers
67 views

“Can I help you, love?” Love as a form of address: is it used regionally to talk to strangers?

I've been reading a chapter about the vocabulary of the Yorkshire dialect in the UK. Among other interesting curiosities ("child" plural "childer", "lad and lass" for "son an daughter") I've come ...
-3
votes
1answer
35 views

please tell me the correct use of the word boredom in a sentence [closed]

How do I use boredom in a sentence? For example: He danced to kill his boredom. I want to know the correct sentence in that same pattern.
3
votes
1answer
370 views

What's wrong with “her first devotion was to dancing”?

In Susan Sontag's review of The Last of the Nuba, Fascinating Fascism, by Leni Riefenstahl, one can read among other things: Could the publishers have let LR write the jacket copy herself? One ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Can you vs. Do you think you can

Is there a right or wrong way to ask someone to do something? The other day I said to my husband, "Do you think you can fax this paper for me?" He said that was insulting and I should say "Can you fax ...
-3
votes
1answer
46 views

Ambiguity in usage of the word “Distend” [closed]

In OALD "Distend" is defined as : (formal or medical) to swell or make sth swell because of pressure from inside And it provides an example for it: starving children with huge ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

What is the difference among “at the outset”, “from the beginning”, and “at the beginning”?

Let me tell you at the outset that <-- sounds right Let me tell you from the beginning that <-- doesn't sound right Let me tell you at the beginning that <-- doesn't sound as right as #1 ...