1
vote
1answer
29 views

Using “such” and “as”, together and segregated

Here are two variations: I would like you to buy such fruit as apples and watermelon for me. Can you buy me some fruit such as apples or watermelon? Is there any blatant difference or a fine one ...
1
vote
1answer
19 views

Impel and compel and the finer nuances

I was contemplating over the two words - impel and compel. consider the examples: 1. she impelled me to take the job 2. she compelled me to take the job. is the word compel somewhat derogatory or ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

What does “where's waldo” mean in this context?

The student thinks that he can where's waldo their way to the answer Now, does it mean it's gonna be a cinch or a sisyphean task? Again, if I add a little detail, The student thinks that he ...
0
votes
0answers
4 views

Insert or Enter? [migrated]

What is the difference between Insert and Enter? If I have a form to fill in, which legend is better? Insert your data or Enter your data Thanks, Nk
1
vote
3answers
73 views

What is the difference between deep space and outer space?

Outer space is frequently defined as the area outside the atmosphere of Earth (or another planetary or stellar body). Deep space is defined as either a synonym for outer space (Google's definition) ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

What is the difference between “Employment” and “Job”?

I cannot understand the differences between the nouns (they both seem to mean "work"). For example: when we hire an employee, we have to define payroll and benefits for them. So which word better ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

all but.. none but.. usage

I'm a bit confused with the usage of all but and none but: "We are all but defenseless" – should mean we are definitely defenseless? "None but misfortunes follow" – only ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

Can food be described as “nice”?

Can food be described as 'nice'? This food is nice; This dish is nice. I always thought it could be, but I was speaking to a few friends and they argued (and strongly may I add) otherwise.
2
votes
2answers
113 views

“I beg leave to assure you” — letter by John Marshall

Richmond May 1st [17]99 (Source of Letter) Dear Sir You may possibly have seen a paragraph in a late publication, stating that several important offices in the gift of the Executive, ...
1
vote
2answers
180 views

To 'throw' a farewell party

I would like to write an informal email: Sorry for not throwing a farewell party Is throwing the right word here?
1
vote
2answers
168 views

Is “heartfelt” reserved for sad moments, or can it be used for happy ones?

I'm writing an email about something nice (a newborn child), and was about to use the word "heartfelt". Just then, I noticed I may have heard the word almost exclusively in the context of a sad ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

Does “supposedly” have a negative connotation?

Put another way, would using "supposedly" in the following sentence upset a neutral tone? A variant of qi gong is external qi gong, wherein a qi gong master supposedly directs the flow of qi ...
0
votes
2answers
770 views

What does 'provision' exactly mean in a legal document?

Now I'm asked to look at a legal document(here) and answer the question that which provisions apply to a certain case. However, I don't know what the word 'provision' means in a legal context. ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

The use of the term “absolutions”

I am curious as to if anyone else has heard of, seen, or used the term "absolutions." I purchased William F. Buckley, Jr.'s book The Lexicon a few weeks back, and this is one of the first words that ...
1
vote
2answers
817 views

What does this phrase mean?

You must not lament in conversation with your savior over the trifles of an average boy. what does it mean?
0
votes
1answer
122 views

You throw no low blows and rise above the rest

You throw no low blows and rise above the rest. What does it mean?
-1
votes
1answer
246 views

“I can command English.”

I saw a sentence: "I would like to be a scientist who can command English." What do you think about usage of "command"? Should we say " ...who has a good command of English."? Could you please ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

What is the difference between “Have got sb by the balls” and “Sb being over a barrel” in describing somebody in predicament?

I found two intriguing idioms in a pair in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s “The Forth Estate” (page 592) that I came to the last part at length. A media mogul, Dick Armstrong (seemingly ...
1
vote
1answer
519 views

What is the difference, if any, between “divine providence” and “Providence” (with a capital p)?

ODO defines providence as: providence: [mass noun] 1 the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power: they found their trust in divine providence to be a source of comfort ...
3
votes
1answer
219 views

Can we use “commiseration” and “condolence” interchangeably?

On what occasions can we use these terms and are they perfect synonym for each other to use interchangeably? Can we say to someone who has lost a friend "our commiseration to ..."?
-2
votes
1answer
70 views

Incentive Structure Biased [closed]

Can nonhuman things have bias? Politicians are subject to an incentive structure biased toward the adoption of projects and programs with highly visible immediate benefits and well-hidden costs. ...
1
vote
3answers
132 views

“Removals Service” or “Removal Service”?

Take for example the tag line: "reliable removals service". Is this correct grammar/usage? Or should it be just "removal", singular? To me, "removals" seems more correct because it is describing ...
0
votes
1answer
186 views

What do you think if you see an image with its description “last night at New York”?

I saw that a friend of mine who moved to New York City 3 months ago posted a picture on Facebook. She described it as "last night at New York." The first time I read it, I thought she meant that it ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Reason vs. purpose

Just now I wanted to explain why I was doing something, then I wrote "the purpose of doing something is blablabla". Immediately I wondered why I didn't write "the reason of doing something is ...
1
vote
0answers
153 views

Examples on the usage of “dialectical” and “tautology” [closed]

I've been coming across both words a lot and understand them in passing; but I was wondering if I may be given some sentence examples which explicitly illustrate their meanings? I feel that I lack ...
1
vote
3answers
869 views

Usage of the word “denominator” [closed]

I have heard many historians use the word denominator. I know its significance in maths but when and why is the word used in other contexts? And what are its synonyms in those contexts?
3
votes
4answers
296 views

How should the word “brutal” be used in marketing?

I noticed that some companies use the word brutal for marketing their products. Examples: brutal performance – a data storage software markets itself with this, they mean that their software is ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Follow the signings?

I saw a road sign today saying: "Follow the alt route signings." It struck me odd. I would expect: "Follow the alt route signs." Signings is obviously a legitimate word, but it's usually used ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How to answer grammatically ambiguous tricky questions [closed]

Here are some examples : 1) The mangoes (will ripe/ripe/will ripen) over time said John. 2) The least considered in the latest Terrorist attacks (are/were/was) the innocent victims. My choice for ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How offensive is to call a girl “Barbie doll”? Why?

I remember I had a conversation where I have told a girl she was Barbie doll. I just meant she looked beautiful like a Barbie doll: blond, and with blue eyes. Needless to say, she was really offended, ...
-4
votes
2answers
374 views

Meaning of “Chase a Crooked Shadow”?

What is the meaning of chasing a crooked shadow? I read Chase a crooked shadow in the Times of India newspaper, 10 Feb 2012, but could not understand the meaning of that title. Some context from ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

Having trouble understanding this text

The text runs: If your front door is directly opposite your back door the Qi will just charge straight through your house and out the back without stopping for a cup of tea. If you stand in the ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of “upon” here?

In the New York Times: "And it worked — boy, did it work. Visitors flooded Hulu upon its public opening in March 2008." Dictionary.com: 4. immediately or very soon after 5. on the ...
5
votes
3answers
321 views

What might “three several” mean?

The context is from a story I read recently in an omnibus (I found that link on the spur of the moment): ...were afterwards burnt to death in three several fires. I suppose three was meant, but ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Which is more affirmative: “I think” or “I guess”?

In South Asia, we tend to use "I think" when we are almost sure about something; or sometimes use it ironically like in example "I think you should have done this yesterday". "I guess", on the other ...
7
votes
5answers
40k views

Usage of 'Dear All'

Is it correct to use "Dear All" at the beginning of the e-mail, when you are writing to more than one person? It seems so informal to me. Is there any better way?
2
votes
2answers
291 views

Is “gets” the correct tense to describe a continuous process in “John gets mentored on a daily basis”?

John gets a mentor to guide him throughout his life. — OR — He gets mentored on a daily basis. I believe this is just as acceptable as the simple past: John got a mentor to guide him ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Damage vs. Damages

The word damage is non-count and its plural turns into a different definition (court-awarded money). Am I incorrect in thinking that damages can also be used to indicate various types/kinds of damage? ...
19
votes
10answers
5k views

How should “deceptively” actually be used?

I'm not sure if this is a duplicate question, but I couldn't find anything on here on the topic. I can't seem to figure out what is actually meant when using the word "deceptive," or rather, what is ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a “Hobbesian trap”?

A recent Economist article (see The drug war hits Central America) uses something called a Hobbesian trap like this: Central America has fallen into a Hobbesian trap: the better-off make ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What does it mean to call something Leviathan in comparison to others?

Wordweb describes Leviathan as: The largest or most massive thing of its kind Monstrous sea creature symbolizing evil in the Old Testament A recent Economist article (see The drug war ...
1
vote
5answers
875 views

In which context does “anticipated” mean “came or took place before”?

In the New Oxford American Dictionary I read that one of the meaning of anticipate is come or take place before (an event or process expected or scheduled for a later). In which context is anticipate ...