This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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3
votes
4answers
107 views

Is it possible to use “demotivate” with something not related to studying or job?

The question is in the title. Actually, I need something of a synonym to "disencourage" and "demotivate" was the first word that came to my mind. Also, if it's possible to use "demotivate" with ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

Is there an art to lying? [closed]

1.) "If you believe that deceivers are colorful folk who mislead with elaborate lies and tall tales, you are greatly mistaken." 2.) "If you yearn for power, quickly lay honesty aside, and train ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

The full form of “ma'am” [closed]

I asked what she dreamed. Jenny Tier Bishop laughed and ruffled my wet hair. "You," she said, "are an inquisitive little boy." "Yes, ma'am," I said. These sentences are from "Dreams Do Come True" by ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

A diploma and a degree cetificate: the difference in use in the USA and GB

They seem to be used in Britain and the USA as synonyms denoting an official paper. But as I understood from dictionaries' definitions and from the answers here, in Britain they mostly use a degree ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

G.B. Shaw and Phonetics

G.B. Shaw (the playwright) campaigned for a "universal alphabet," on and off, throughout his career. He (and some others) did have a point when they said that the English alphabet is anything but ...
1
vote
3answers
101 views

What word could I replace “importantly” with in this sentence?

I am looking for a synonym to the word "importantly" in this sentence (as well as other grammar tips because this sentence is messing with my brain): "Perhaps more importantly, I learned the ...
0
votes
0answers
76 views

Is it acceptable to say “He is the best lawyer, bar none” and add “no pun intended”

I would like to know if it is OK to say "He is a topnotch lawyer, bar none - no pun intended" as part of my review to my lawyer.
4
votes
3answers
54 views

Just Googling it

Today in class a student was reading the title of an article for group discussion: "Just googling it is bad for your brain." http://qz.com/519155/just-googling-it-is-bad-for-your-brain/ The student ...
3
votes
2answers
61 views

About the usage of “though”

Is the usage of "though" in the following sentence correct? It's said that it is a picture of a rabbit, but I'm sure enough that what I see is, though, a fish. Don't mind the contents. What I ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Destigmatise -usage, meaning

Could someone explain the meaning of the word "destigmatise" and how can I use it? Is it a colloquial word? Thank you in advance!
3
votes
2answers
100 views

How to reference individuals in a non-mutual relationship based on perspective

I am having difficulty with how to reference individuals on two sides of a non-mutual relationship based on perspective. For example, consider two people in an extreme scenario: Person A and Person ...
3
votes
2answers
61 views

What does “Lamar Odom did not appear to be an ingénue along for the ride.” mean?

I was drawn to the word, ‘ingénue’ being used in reference to a male sportsman in the New York Times’ (October 15) article reporting that Lamar Odom, basketball star who won two N.B.A. titles with the ...
8
votes
4answers
434 views

Use of the word “emit”

I came across this article http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/scientists-discovers-light-emiting-mysterious-alien-planet-338945. The web link uses "emitting" in an attributive manner which we have all seen ...
2
votes
3answers
51 views

Can a tree “uneasily frowning” be synonymous to a tree “hauntingly frowning”?

In the sentence "the trees uneasily frowned on....", I was wondering if saying "the trees hauntingly frowned on....." is synonymous. From the look of the definitions of the words "uneasily" and ...
0
votes
3answers
83 views

Should I use “have” or “had” in this sentence?

The person I'm talking to says something like "Did you just insult my sense of humor?" Then I reply "I didn't say you __ one" Should I use "have" or "had"? I'm trying to convey that he doesn't have ...
0
votes
1answer
199 views

What is the use of word “Greetings!…” while sending an email? [closed]

I have seen many people who start writing their email like as follows.. Dear XXXX Greetings!!!. Thanks etc... I just want to know the meaning of the word greeting in this ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Can code be 'factored'? Is this the correct word? [closed]

Within software development 'refactoring' is a common term. I am reviewing a document containing the phrase "How much code change it requires will depend on how well the code is factored." Is the ...
0
votes
3answers
101 views

Helplessly vs. Haplessly [closed]

Due to lack of knowledge, they roam haplessly in search of jobs. Due to lack of knowledge, they roam helplessly in search of jobs. Which of these two words seems to be the better fit?
1
vote
3answers
109 views

How to express the call of nature to other people? [closed]

One feels the need to go to toilet. He/she has to say it to them politely. What would be the polite and impolite expressions? To seniors, to juniors, to friends. (Please give some examples that can ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

Understanding the original meaning of face-off in hockey

Face-off means: (ODO) (chiefly North American) A direct confrontation between two people or groups: last night’s vice presidential face-off. (Ice Hockey) The start of play, in which the ...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

What does “type” mean in this text?

I'm reading this book, and there is a love scene in which I don't understand the usage of the word "type". Here I quote a large chunk containing the word in question: The whole affair was the ...
2
votes
3answers
135 views

Do any style guides advocate the alternating use of “he” and “she” as a gender-neutral pronoun?

I don't like the options that are usually given in the "gender-neutral pronoun" debate. The singular they offends my prescriptivist sensibilities. His/her constructions are clunky and look terrible. ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

The term for misspellings that change the meaning of a sentence? [duplicate]

I am looking for the term that describes the use of a certain word in a sentence in place of the correct one; a word that happens to look very similar to the one actually needed, but has a different ...
5
votes
2answers
609 views

When to use “nugatory”?

Definition of nugatory given by the Oxford Dictionary: Of no value or importance Short and simple. So it is basically the same as useless, right? If so, then why is there a need to use it? Why ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

Use of the word “when.”

In the following sentence, "People eat garlic when it is raw or cooked." is "when it is raw or cooked." an adverbial clause or an adjective clause? The way I see it, this clause can either talk about ...
-1
votes
2answers
112 views

Which word is appropriate: arrange or rearrange

in the following sentence which word is most appropriate: arrange or rearrange? The rules for Building A House are mixed up. Cut out the rules and arrange/rearrange them into the correct order. ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Why is it a misconception and not a misconcept?

A misconception is: a mistaken thought, idea, or notion; a misunderstanding: had many misconceptions about the new tax program. (AHD) Despite the different nuances in meaning the above ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Can I use “reinstate” in this context?

I am developing a program, which splits data into small messages. I send these messages one by one to another program in a random order. The other program can restore the original order of the ...
3
votes
2answers
227 views

Why adjective can be placed after “eat” as in “garlic can be eaten raw”?

Edit note: This question with some good answers does not explain (or ask) why it is an adjective that's used as opposed to an adverb in this type of construction: Is this an objective complement or ...
1
vote
2answers
231 views

What is the word for the intense desire to physically hurt a person? [closed]

I'm looking for a word that essentially means the intense desire to hurt/maim/injure someone - using it for one of the characters in a short story I'm writing. Thanks!
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Congratulate “to” - How correct is this? [closed]

"We congratulate you to this most important result " - I came across this usage in a speech of fair importance, hosted on a distinguished portal. This speech may not have been delivered in English, ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Is “The weirdests” correct?

I am French and have a question regarding a plural form of some words. I work on an English language website and want to list "the weirdests" issues I have discovered. This link title would be ...
0
votes
4answers
82 views

specific word for this term [closed]

"After rain, when raindrops _________ on leaves and falls intermittently with blow of wind." I want to say here raindrops (collected) (stayed) on the leaves but it doesn't seem appropriate at all. So ...
1
vote
5answers
126 views

person going against the odds and winning

What can be the one word for a person who goes against the odds and finally emerges as a winner.? is "rebel" the correct word?
1
vote
3answers
131 views

Is there an alternative meaning of “dated someone”

When you say you dated someone, does it always mean you are trying to go out with someone (as in this implies something more than friendship) ? Can I say I dated my families and friends? Am I using ...
6
votes
3answers
125 views

Alternative term to 'loyalize'

To loyalize is a term which means: To make someone loyal to a cause. (Wiktionary) 'Loyalize' Customers by Remembering Their Needs. (www.linkedin.com) Unluckily the term is ...
1
vote
3answers
298 views

Can anyone think of a metaphor describing something good that's always present? [closed]

I'm writing an essay and looking for something to compare to music. Thanks :)
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Use of word racist in specific case [duplicate]

Maybe this question is too simple for this site, and I should post it on the english-learners-site, but I will give it a try. Lets say we have 3 scenarios: A person who hates all followers of a ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

forced break usage

Let's say I need to go on a trip, and thus will be skipping some of my gym sessions. Can I say I'm taking a *forced break* from gym or another phrase should be used here?
1
vote
1answer
36 views

How to introduce new terms that may be used interchangeably in a formal context?

I am writing a scientific paper. I was thinking whether there is any difference in the following. Technique X, also known as technique Y, is the most commonly used process to ... or ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Upper, but not downer

I was thinking of bounds for functions yesterday and it occurred to me that a bound from above is an "upper bound" (not "higher"), whereas a bound from below is a "lower bound". Is there any ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Can “validity” be “improved” or “increased”?

There are a number of webpages where one can read about "improving the validity" of a scientific process or measurement. Indeed, the entire Wikipedia page for Validity in statistics (which is the ...
1
vote
1answer
423 views

Does a woman who has never been married have a maiden name?

I watched a movie recently in which one of the characters states that his mother doesn't have a maiden name. It really struck me as something odd (I am not a native English speaker), I would have ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Subsume - usage

Can you use 'subsume' as an verb of replacement? For example: Medea subsumes her pain into others' suffering.
2
votes
1answer
29 views

Usage of “chance of you being”

When i do my homework, I see this phrase: "About any chance of you being covered". I dont know why we use "being covered" here. What structure is this? Please help :)
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Can “it wasn't” be replaced with “not” in most situations?

Examples: It wasn't that we didn't care about the dog. Not that we didn't case about the dog. If it wasn't for the help she got from her church, she'd probably be on the streets. ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Word for multiple “and”s in a sentence?

My English teacher told me the word for multiple "and"s in a sentence, but I can't remember what it is. I think it starts with an A or a P. It's been bugging me.
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do we walk on “dry land” when we should be just walking on “land”?

land |land| noun the part of the earth's surface that is not covered by water, as opposed to the sea or the air. Many writers in countless books and various writings use the ...
1
vote
1answer
639 views

“Challenged by” or “Challenged with”? How to decide whether to use “by” or “with”?

Freedom was challenged with/by the clashing wills of powerful states and evil designs of tyrants. Which one to use "by" or "with"?
-1
votes
1answer
58 views

Usage of the word “explorer” - need advice

I would like to combine the words "event" and "explorer" to "eventexplorer". But I am actually not sure if that works. Can I use this combination to describe something like "people who discover new ...