This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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0
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2answers
76 views

Is the word “visibility” misused? [closed]

I often hear or read the word "visibility" used in a way that sounds wrong to me. If something is visible it is able to be seen. Therefore visibility is the ability to be seen. When speaking of a ...
4
votes
1answer
58 views

'Evenest' vs 'most even' word usage and its history

When I am looking for the superlative form of 'even' which would be evenest, I was surprised that it's rarely used. [This 'even' which means something smooth and regular] The only source that I found ...
4
votes
3answers
197 views

Difference between “devotement” and “devotion”

I had never seen or heard of the word "devotement" until reading it in my Chinese girlfriend's brother's college application essay. To me, it's always been "devotion." However, I noticed that Google ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

The origin of “premium” as an adjective

The original meaning of premium is a reward given for some specific act or as an incentive; a prize. as per its etymology: Premium (n.) (Etymonline): c. 1600, "reward given for a specific act,"...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is there a difference in weight between “without flaw” and “flawless” [closed]

Is there a difference between the weight or impact between flawless and without flaws? It seems to me that flawless is rather close to perfect, and without flaws would be just mistakeless. Am I wrong ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Difference between gain and acquire [closed]

Both "gain" and "acquire" seem the same to me before I read this sentence in one of the ACCA exam questions. Here it is: The evaluation should analyse four specific scenarios (acquire and not gain ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

“Tonight let's go with the bottle of Cabernet *vs.* the Merlot.” [closed]

(Note that the home wine rack has 10 different kinds of wine in it.) I've been told now and again over the years that this kind of use of vs. (versus) is improper. Apparently it's supposed to only ...
7
votes
2answers
527 views

Meaning of the expression “old school”

What does the expression old school mean in the following paragraph? In the old school, we would say, "You look fine," but today, the kids say, "You look hella cool." From the sentence above, I ...
-2
votes
1answer
60 views

What is the meaning of the word 'some' in this sentence? [closed]

In 2012 the police massacred 41 striking mineworkers, shooting some in the back.
5
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2answers
137 views

Is “say to X” grammatically correct but not colloquial? [closed]

So I'm living in South Korea and nearly everyone who is conversational in English says "say to X" instead of "tell X." For some reason, they avoid using "tell X" or "told X" and they stick to "say to ...
-2
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the meaning of the word 'out' in this sentence? [closed]

The jury is still out on whether the strategy will work.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

N.B. (Nota Bene) vs P.S. (Post Script)

People use "N.B." at the end of a writing (say, a letter) to add a piece of information. Equally, I find people using "P.S." in the end of a writing (usually, a letter) to add a piece of information. ...
2
votes
0answers
279 views

“Para” and “Paras” vs “Paragraph” and “Paragraphs”

I find people using "para" for "paragraph" and "paras" for "paragraphs", even in formal English. See the example sentence: In para 2 of the plaint, the plaintiff has stated that he is entitled ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the word “You-ee” mean?

Someone was talking over the Telephone : I got a traffic ticket today doing a you-ee on Beverly Drive. What does the you-ee represent in the sentence above?
2
votes
1answer
218 views

“Connected by” vs “Connected with” vs “Connected to”

I want to know the difference and when to use which construction. For instance: The island and the city are connected with a bridge or The island and the city are connected by a bridge ? ...
7
votes
4answers
440 views

Does “narrowly avoiding” something always imply an action was taken?

In this BBC report, it says: Four-time defending overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher narrowly avoided being hit by a drone during an Alpine slalom race in Italy on Tuesday. A similar ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

About “will” and “promise” [closed]

Is saying that you will do something equivalent to saying that you promise to do something, such that not doing strictly what you said (e.g. late for 15 minutes with reasons) would be something as ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Is there a better word or phrase to describe a tangible and usable product?

I'm a graphic designer and I'm working on a new website. I want a category for things that you can touch, hold, and use such as booklets/books, car wrap, gift certificates, product packaging, etc. My ...
1
vote
4answers
83 views

Is it OK to write “avail myself of not being in office”

Situation: Someone needs my help with a technical problem (via TeamViewer session) and sent me an outlook invitation for a date where I'm officially not in office. Because of my absence notification ...
6
votes
3answers
113 views

Obtaining a property due to being part of a larger whole

I'm looking for a word which describes obtaining a certain property due to being part of a larger whole. E.g. a dinner set has a property "color". An instance of a dinner set could be white. ...
0
votes
1answer
205 views

What does “novelty” mean? [closed]

Good day! First of all, English is not my native language. I know that the word "Novelty" means "something new" but I encounter this word in many different contexts and most of the time I can't ...
0
votes
2answers
198 views

How to refer to someone who has depression(A noun for someone who has depression)?

What do we call a person who is suffering from depression? Usually I hear "X has depression" but can I say *"X is a 'depressive'"? I have heard the word depressive used as a noun before; but I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Can I use “be productive with something” as in “be successful at something”?

I am trying to phrase the value proposition for my productivity app, which aims to help people get going with activities they easily give up on. At the moment it reads like this: Thank you for ...
6
votes
1answer
102 views

When and by whom was the term “migration” first applied to computers?

To migrate in computing means: (verb Int or Tr) to ​begin using a new ​computer ​system, or to ​move ​information from one ​type of ​system to another. (Cambridge Dictionary) According ...
5
votes
2answers
124 views

What is the office establishment of a Commissioner called?

I have seen people using the word "Commissionerate" for the office establishment of a Commissioner. I have made search on the Free Dictionary and on Oxford Dictionaries. But, I did not find the word ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

‘For’ at the beginning of a sentence [duplicate]

I'm reading books in English and sometimes I see sentences like these: For are we not just at that point in the model where the slope will increase exponentially? What is the meaning of for in ...
6
votes
3answers
102 views

Is the term “graphic novel” restricted to works of fiction?

I have always understood "novel" to refer specifically to a long, written, fictional tale. Novelists are distinct from nonfiction writers. At my library, there is a section marked for "graphic novels"...
6
votes
1answer
449 views

Topless vs. Shirtless

If somebody asks me to describe the below photo, I would definitely say, "It is a picture of shirtless Putin on a horseback". The adjective topless is defined by Oxford Online Dictionary: (Of a ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Is it bad practice to say “a husband and his wife” because of redundancy?

Phrasing like "a husband and his wife" or "a daughter and her father" always irked me, for being a bit redundant. Surely, it is enough to say "man and his wife" (or in the case of same-sex marriages "...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Use of gerund vs bare-infinitive: overfilling vs overfill [duplicate]

How do I explain using "overfilling" instead of "overfill" in the following sentence? We needed to announce the party just a few days from the date to avoid overfill the salon.
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Can standards deem someone unworthy?

I've just written the sentence: people may recognize standards that deem them unworthy and weren't sure whether it is correct: can a standard deem you unworthy? Would it sound too odd, or merely ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Grammar of “so long as S+V, S is otherwise [adjective]”

So long as the receiving market is financially open and deep enough, which many emerging countries now are, that money is otherwise pretty indifferent to the merits of the economies it is parked ...
2
votes
1answer
448 views

Does 'droll' have a negative connotation?

I'd taken droll to mean something like drily amusing, but without any implied negativity. But I've often heard people say Very droll! in response to something that they appear to find mildly ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it “chalk it up to” or “chock it up to”?

Grammarist & Our beloved StackExchange both say that the phrase "Chalk it up to" dates back to, among other things, debts being tallied on a chalkboard. However, when I hear the phrase "chock it ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Can 'atypical' be used for 'difficult'?

Atypical, so far as I know, means irregular, unusual or not typical/normal. Here in India, people generally use 'typical' to mean difficult or hard. (A question about that was also asked here some ...
-3
votes
1answer
56 views

He “clipped on” vs. “clicked on”

TV Show Friends – the United States, sitcom. (Season 3 Episode 22) Rachel: Oh, Phoebe, are you still on hold? I was supposed to call my Dad back like two hours ago. Phoebe: Oh, yeah, he ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

How do I use the two meaning of the word “just” differently?

The English word "just" could mean "now" or "finally," for example: I just finished my homework. Does it mean "I finished my homework now" or "I finally finished my homework"? How do I use the ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

Is “sordid” the right word?

I have a character who is of questionable morals and happens to shamelessly kill people for a living. They neither care who they kill nor care whether their actions are wrong, so long as they get ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Usage of the word “erroneous”

Can the word 'erroneous' be used to apply to a person, as in the term 'erroneous spouses'?
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Why does “eastwardly” have two opposite meanings?

"Eastwardly" can mean either from the east or to the east. How does one use it without ambiguity?
1
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0answers
61 views

A term for a particular or general skill that needs to be improved and acted on?

The title says it all. I'm unable to come up with the term for something you have as a part of a skill-set that needs to be further improved upon. It may be something very simple that is also at the ...
3
votes
3answers
123 views

Is it correct to say “The learning curve has always been uphill”?

A quick google search on the word uphill gave me the following results: Uphill [adverb] : towards the top of hill or slope [adjective] : slopping upwards [noun] : An upward slop So, I'm trying ...
-2
votes
2answers
79 views

Which one sounds better— 'cannibalism' or 'eating human flesh'? [closed]

I was going through a text about ancient civilization. There, I found a sentence which says, "Some ancient human being recognized even cannibalism." After reading that sentence, I started to think ...
0
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2answers
193 views

What's the proper way to use English grammar for morning greetings? [closed]

Please advise me on the correct usage of the words sleep and slept. How was your night? Did you slept well? Is this sentence correct?
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Is the fixed phrase “belong WITH something” still in use? [closed]

As I was reading a myth, I bumped into a sentence like The creature does not belong with mankind I am not sure if it is still possible to use this expression. Has it not been replaced totally ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

If city life is urban, what do you call living in a forest?

I know that rural relates to living in the countryside, and urban and suburban refer to living in cities, towns or residential areas. But some places, like in upstate New York, have dense trees and ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Redeem into…?

I just saw a Bank of America commercial that had this use of redeem: Is the use of redeem with the preposition into standard...or possible? To me, it doesn't make sense. I looked on Google and ...
4
votes
3answers
202 views

Must “Eldest” Always Apply To People?

If you have a collection of things that are related to one another, can you use "eldest" to denote the oldest, or should that term only be used with respect to people? Another question on this site: ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

now it seems / as I see it now / as now I see it / to see it now / as for now / as of now What's the phrase I am looking for?

I came up with the following phrases to start the sentence, but I am not sure which one is proper. Now it seems, that ... As I see it now, ... As now I see it, ... To see it now, .....
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Is there a way of knowing whether you can make a compound word?

For example, can I make 'year round' year-round? Or resort style 'resort-style'? Is there a general rule to let me know that it will be correct, grammatically speaking? Thanks!