12
votes
4answers
529 views

In the context of cooking, what is the difference between “flipper” and “spatula”?

I'm genuinely confused about this because at first I thought a spatula was a cooking tool resembling a flat pallet attached at an angle to the handle that could be used for activities such as flipping ...
3
votes
3answers
892 views

Can a female proprietor be called as “proprietor”?

I know the female version of proprietor can be called as proprietress or proprietrix. But I want to know whether a female proprietor can also be called a proprietor? Or does proprietor only indicate ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Can I use “appearance” in this context?

I have found the phrase "How Many Times Does a Word Appear in the Bible". In an XML document I do not want to use the verb appear, but rather the corresponding noun. For Example: Appearance of ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

Use of the word “familiar” with “people” [closed]

Can I say that I am not familiar with the people of my place? (Taken from the OP's comment below) I mean that I don't have acquaintances in the place where I stay, as I am quite new to the ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Would you use the term “looker” to describe a man?

Both Merriam Webster and Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary define looker as a word used to describe an attractive person, usually a woman. ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

What is the correct usage of the word “milquetoast”? [duplicate]

The google definition of this word states that it is a noun however in its own example of usage it is used as an adjective: "a frail, milquetoast character". I haven't found any reliable sources to ...
-1
votes
2answers
81 views

Can a regret be expressed? [closed]

I know that interest, dissatisfaction, condolence, apologies can all collocate with express, but I am not sure if regret can. I am thinking about the following sentence in particular: I would like ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

To 'link' or 'relate' two items?

I'm developing a system in which users can 'link' separate items by using a 'Link' button. In the database, this 'link' is called a 'relation'. I'm inclined to change the text of the button to ...
1
vote
4answers
873 views

What is the difference between “responsibility” and “obligation”?

I must admit that I am confused with these two words. For so long a time, I have been using them interchangeably. I have consulted the dictionary (of course) but I can't seem to pinpoint the glaring ...
0
votes
2answers
163 views

Was the verb “bring” once used as a noun?

In the book of Amos (KJV, Amos 4:1), we find the verb bring is capitalized in the middle of a sentence. This is in sharp contrast to the same verb written in v. 4 in lower case letters. Finding a ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

How common is the word “nostalgia”? [closed]

I have spent most of my life not knowing the meaning of the word nostalgia. I have looked it up. But as I was talking to someone about the experiences he had, he used the word as if it were a common ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Usage of myriad as a noun

Can the word myriad be used in a stand-alone fashion, without a subsequent of prepositional? He rose to address the myriad, and wept. The word is a noun, and this usage sounds poetic to me, and I ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

strong will or strong wills? [closed]

Idiomatically we do say "a strong will". But can we say "strong wills"? The context is The optimism and (the) strong will(s) of the handicapped children touched me deeply. Also, do I need a "the" ...
0
votes
2answers
789 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Usage of the word “truancy” in a workplace context

I recently made this personal discovery of the word truancy. It means: the action of staying away from school without good reason I am wondering if there's a parallel to this word for workplace ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Can a self studying college drop-out call himself a student?

I have dropped the college this year but I am still studying/learning without college using books and internet resources. WordWeb defines student as "A learner who is enrolled in an educational ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Isle vs. Island

Some islands are called isle like "Isle of Man", "Isle of Tortuga" and the "British Isles". Other islands are called island, like "Island of Malta" or "Island of Cyprus". What is the difference ...
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
943 views

Is “stationery” the name of the store that sells pens, pencils, paper, school things, etc.?

In Brazil we call this store by the generic name of papelaria, something like "paper store". What is the correct name for this? Is "Stationery" the name in any country that speaks English? I read ...
4
votes
7answers
335 views

Using the word “coon” as part of a company name

I'd like you to ask if it's ok to use the word "coon" as part of a company name? The website isn't related to racoons at all, but has a racoon head in the logo. Will it offend visitors? As a foreigner ...
7
votes
3answers
719 views

Can an affirmation be negative?

I'm angry. I'm not angry. Are both (1) and (2) affirmations? I ask because Merriam-Webster defines affirmation as 'a positive assertion', so this make me confused as to whether (2), ...
2
votes
1answer
306 views

Stack of Paper vs. Stack of Papers [closed]

I question the usage of "stack of paper" vs. "stack of papers". I purchase a ream of paper, and set it on a desk. In that process, does it change from a ream of paper to a stack of papers - changing ...
0
votes
3answers
289 views

Where to use the word “tumbleweed”

What is the correct place to use the word tumbleweed? Can we use it as a metaphor for a person who always irritates us?
2
votes
2answers
358 views

Can “immigrant” be used to mean “person who moves from rural area to city”?

I have looked up the word 'immigrant': it says that it refers to people who come to live in a different country. Can I also use this word to refer to people who move from rural areas to the city?
-1
votes
1answer
247 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
165 views

Compliments — for people, things or both?

Are compliments applicable both to people and things, or to people only?
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How to use the word “petrichor” in a sentence?

What are the ways in which the word petrichor which means scent of the rain, might be used? Can we use a phrase like "the pleasant petrichor"?
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Usage and spelling of “wordlength” and “bitbreadth”

As far as I know, these are the meanings: wordlength — for instance, 4 bytes when the bitbreadth is 32 and 8 bytes when the bitbreadth is 64. bitbreadth — for example, 32 or 64 or 4 bits for a ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Hypernym for injured and dead

I'm working on some project that deals with natural disasters. I need to find the most proper word that can be used to refer to someone who either was injured or died in a disaster. Can I use ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Meaning of the word “findings”? [closed]

I need to find a word to define the products you see in the capture. The best match I've found is findings. Is this word the correct one? Is there a better word for these products?
0
votes
2answers
59 views

How frequent is the use of 'Appropriation' in American English compared with British English?

How frequently is the word 'Appropriation' used in American English? In what contexts might young people commonly hear it?
1
vote
1answer
235 views

“Choices” vs. “options”

Are the two words synonyms? Is it grammatically correct to say "you have two choices, this or that?" Isn't that one choice? Should it not be "you have one choice, this or that" or "you have two ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Word to describe a sensation of death coming over your entire body?

This is the context where I want to use the word: He closed his eyes. The living did not come to mind, neither friend, nor family—only the dance of death, plain to see. The dancing figures of ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Does “approbate one's flaws” make sense?

I'm going for a little stronger word than accept and I like the word approbate. To approbate my flaws. Does it work?
3
votes
4answers
522 views

Religious use of “exegete”

I've noticed quite a number of religious professionals of late have used phrases such as "let's exegete this text" or "we need to exegete Paul's meaning here." Of course, an exegete is one skilled in ...
3
votes
1answer
220 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 ..."?
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

Is “rightsayer” a word? [closed]

Is "rightsayer" a word that describes someone that believes themselves to always be right?
2
votes
2answers
277 views

“Dysfunction” as a verb?

I wonder if it is possible to use the noun "dysfunction" as a verb. It is certainly a noun, but in general use it seems to mean something far more awful and much less technical than "malfunction". ...
0
votes
3answers
286 views

Is “setup” an acceptable noun in formal writing?

I'm editing a draft of a scientific paper which repeatedly uses the word "setup" to refer to the, well, experimental setup. Example: The dimensions of the setup are 250 mm × 250 mm × 50 mm. ...
13
votes
6answers
747 views

Does the word “newbie” have a negative connotation?

Imagine that I'm running a friendly and informal online business. I would like to introduce my service to the new customers by a blog post that entitles, 'Are you a newbie to XYZ.com?'. Will that ...
0
votes
1answer
894 views

What is the difference between “vocabulary” and “word”? [closed]

Why does my English teacher usually point out my mistake when I wrote the following sentence? I learned a lot of new vocabulary. -> I learned a lot of new vocabulary words. Why do I have to put ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Using the word “deadbeat” as an adjective

BBC quotes President Obama: America is "not a deadbeat nation", US President Barack Obama has said, as he warned Republicans unconditionally to approve a rise in the US debt ceiling. It appears ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

“To consolidate cost”

Is it correct to use the expression "consolidate cost" when you add cost figures in a specific period of time? The context is a description of what a piece of code is doing: consolidate cost over ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does “corn” mean “maize” in American English?

I keep hearing "corn" as a synonym of "maize". This is widely popularized worldwide by popcorn. However, this is American English! In British English, "corn" can mean any type of "grain", especially ...
0
votes
3answers
215 views

Can we use “liaison” casually?

Then there was the Mad Russian, who made her laugh and behaved impossibly badly and proposed to her daily. Some other shorter-lived liaisons, now forgotten. Then Henry. — William Nicholson, ...
-1
votes
5answers
92 views

Alternative for “seats” in expressions such as “40% of the total seats are reserved for students of backward cast”

All of the leading educational institutes have 60% of their seats reserved for students of backward castes. It is a fairly common expression and a sad fact in India. What would be an alternative to ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

“He knows his counterparts in each branch”

Can I use the word counterpart this way: He knows his counterparts in each branch. The context is that he works as the marketing manager in one of the company branches. And the counterparts ...
4
votes
3answers
789 views

Usage of the word “demise”

Is it appropriate to use demise in the following sentence: it is with deep sympathy that we announce the sad demise of ... It sounds archaic and I was not sure whether it was used correctly. How ...
4
votes
2answers
299 views

Using the word 'kind' for a category

I found on englishplus (accessed on 23 Dec 2012) that the phrase 'kind of animal' refers to a category of animal. If you are using an expression like kind of, sort of, type of, or variety of, ...
2
votes
4answers
717 views

Is it common to use “grocery” as a verb?

My favorite NY-Times columnist Maureen Dowd who consistently supplies me the material for posting questions in EL&U site begins today’s (December 8) article titled “A Lost Civilization” with the ...