This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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4answers
194 views

What is the expression for “high fever”?

It can not be high/low according to my understanding. Fever is fever. He is suffering from fever of high temperature. He is suffering from high fever.
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3answers
353 views

Can fiction be called prose?

I am categorizing ebooks and audio books of fiction and non_fiction works. For this I have created folders named: audio_fiction audio_non_fiction prose_fiction prose_non_fiction Does it ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

“at the cost of” vs. “at the expense of”

I usually use "at the cost of", but my editor made it "at the expense of". For example, the following sentence: The counts in Table 2 are all based on implementations that are optimized for ...
0
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2answers
68 views

Why is “be” here? People be like [duplicate]

In so-called memes and vines, I've seen sentences such as "People be like", "Boys be like", and so on. Every time, I wondered how be was in those particular sentences. Grammatically, how can be be in ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Et cetera and Et alii

As et cetera states "and the others" and et alii does "and others", it occurs to me that using etc. would need any specification which makes "the others" clear. I've usually seen times as many etc. as ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Can “extremely professional” have a negative connotation? [closed]

If someone is described as extremely professional, might there be a negative side to it? This is how I would take it in many contexts, and I'm wondering whether it's justified. If some chap at work ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Is it correct to say “audio sound”? [closed]

Is this sentence technically correct? I have to find audio sounds in a lot of multimedia data I want to know is it correct to use audio & sounds together ?
0
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5answers
63 views

Usage of “persons”

I know pretty well that the plural for 'person' is 'people'. But my literature professor used once the word 'persons' because, he said, he was using the word the same as it will be used 'individuals'. ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Man in blue shirt [closed]

Is it possible to omit the "shirt" and still have the same meaning? What if it wasn't "shirt" and it was some other type of clothing, would it still be possible? Edit: I meant as if there is no other ...
0
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0answers
30 views

Is it common to use the phrase “come with” without specifying with whom [duplicate]

We’re going to the pub. Want to come with?” I have heard this from an American colleague. Though this sounds odd to the majority of us, however, since I am not sure of the usage, I am asking how ...
1
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3answers
103 views

Season's Greetings usage

Season's Greetings: exclamation, noun [plural] UK US something written on a Christmas card as a way of expressing a Christmas greeting. (dictionary.cambridge.org) A ...
-2
votes
1answer
51 views

“I find myself” usage [closed]

Is this phrase correct? "You go home while I find myself something to eat" or should I use: "You go home while I will find myself something to eat" or "You go home while I find something to eat ...
0
votes
3answers
48 views

Last Thanksgiving

Would "last Thanksgiving" at the end of 2014 refer to November 27, 2014 or November 27, 2013? Technically, the most recent Thanksgiving would be the former but the Thanksgiving in the last year would ...
-3
votes
1answer
81 views

How to use “abhorrence” in a sentence? [closed]

How do I use the word abhorrence in a sentence? In my case, this is to express my extreme disgust of the Java programming language to a college. (no hate ^-^) I wrote it as: Is my abhorrence ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

When and How to use the term “hindsight”? [migrated]

hindsight=understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed. I heard many people (especially business people) use the term "hindsight", but I am not sure when to use it ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Is “to drape a medal” correct usage?

I am trying to describe the act of an official attaching a medal to a recipient's clothing (chest) during an awards ceremony. Is "to drape a medal" the correct usage? I don't think "to pin a medal" ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Meaning of the phrase “you're a caution”

I have encountered the phrase "you're a caution" in a movie in a suggestive, possibly judgmental context. How is this to be understood and where does it come from?
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Usage of adverbs like reasonably, practically, essentially, ridiculously, basically

I have recently noticed a phenomenon in English, that seems quite common. The phenomenon is regarding the usage of certain adverbs: Practically should mean in a practical manner. But it is often ...
-1
votes
0answers
37 views

Attributing to or Attributing with

Is this correct? You're attributing our performance at the the end with player x being on the field Or is it: You're attributing our performance at the the end to player x being on the ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Kudos Vs. bravo

Has the word kudos outdated the word or exclamation bravo! Here's what Google Ngram shows: ...
-1
votes
0answers
15 views

“All you should do is [infinitive]” vs “All you should do is to [infinitive]” [migrated]

All you should do is study hard All you should do is to study hard Is the one with to correct? When should I use to like that?
0
votes
1answer
69 views

“Amazed by how” vs “amazed how”

I am amazed by how friendly these people are. I'm amazed how friendly these people are. What is the difference between the usage with by and the usage without?
0
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2answers
76 views

Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?

Another Skeptics.SE user and I are discussing the meaning of the word "prescriptivism". (Yes, we are aware of the recursion involved.) In particular, I have cited a couple of examples of scientists ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Which answers are correct among five expressions? or have the same meaning? [closed]

A: I think she has had plastic surgery. B: Yes. She definitely is not a natural beauty. Yes. She definitely is not the natural beauty. Yes. She definitely is not in natural beauty. Yes. She ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

What is the meaning of “others” in this sentence?

I came across a sentence on a Wikipedia article, where "others" seems to have been used as a noun. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary says it can either be noun or pronoun. The sentence in question ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Conspicuous v. Ostentatious

Conspicuous means: 1. Easy to notice; obvious: a conspicuous flaw in the construction. 2. Attracting attention, as by being unusual or remarkable; noticeable. Ostentatious means: characterized by ...
0
votes
2answers
115 views

Do the following three expressions have the same meaning?

My flight is scheduled for 7 p.m. from New York. My flight is scheduled for New York at 7 p.m. My flight is scheduled for New York, 7 p.m.
1
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0answers
60 views

Descry, Espy, Spot, Spy

I know as a general rule that no two words are identical in meaning and use. I was wondering if I could get help in understanding the different meanings and uses of descry, espy, spot and spy. I know ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Would the slang version, yessir, of yes, sir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?

I use yessir as a slang form of yes, sir all the time. Is it even a word? Would the slang version, yessir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Circumstantial: Can anything be 'circumstantial' but evidence? [closed]

I have come across the word circumstantial but I have only ever seen it used in the phrase 'circumstantial evidence'. I would like to ask if anything can be 'circumstantial' apart from evidence. When ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Secure as a verb

Can you say "the state secures that people do not have any emotions"? Or does secure have to be followed by a noun or even a gerund? Like: "the state secures a lack of emotions" or "the state secures ...
7
votes
3answers
161 views

How did “owly” come to mean irritable or grouchy?

I am curious about the history of "owly" to mean irritable, grumpy, or uncooperative. The Word Detective explains (but doesn't substantiate) that the association derives from the fact that many owls ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

“Whatever” vs. “Whichever”

What's the difference between whatever and whichever? I'm curious because to me those two words seem to have very similar meaning. Here's one question, and the answer is whatever, not whichever. ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Does “in” mean “after” in “The passport will expire in 2 years”?

Ok, I have a passport issued on 1 Dec 2014 and will expire on 1 Dec 2016. So I should say "The passport will expire in 2 years". However "in" in the above sentence is a bit confused because "in" ...
4
votes
2answers
97 views

Difference between “abate” and “bate”

What is the difference between abate and bate? How are they used differently? Do they both mean the same thing? (from the Free Dictionary) The definition of abate is 'to reduce in amount, degree, or ...
0
votes
3answers
34 views

What's the proper usage of 'booking' when you are being booked?

If I'm attempting to be booked to do an event, and I'm saying: "we're now booking dates for such and such". Is that proper usage of booking? Or should I say, "we are being booked for dates in such ...
0
votes
4answers
60 views

Uncover a weapon

Looking for a word for "removing a cover from a weapon" in a sense of conflict escalation, like "I am ready to use something against you".
1
vote
4answers
93 views

Where does the expression “at a crack” come from?

The phrase at a crack is sometimes used to mean at one time. For example §§: Companies that have had generations of employees growing up under a no-layoff policy are now dumping 10,000 ...
3
votes
4answers
395 views

Can 'artificial' be used alone?

My dictionary defines artificial as made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural. But since any manufactured substance can only be ...
2
votes
3answers
66 views

Using “one” in a sentence multiple times, does it sound right?

I just came across the following sentence in the book "The theory of everything": If one keeps traveling in a certain direction on the surface of the Earth, one never comes up against an ...
1
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1answer
31 views

Is “commonliness” a valid word? [closed]

See title. And if not, how should one say "the commonliness(es) between her and me"?
1
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2answers
53 views

Divorce each other [closed]

This wiki article contains the following sentence: "Her parents divorced each other when she was six or seven years old." Is it necessary to say each other when the word divorce is used? ...
3
votes
4answers
176 views

Fear of asking girl out - is called …?

Fear or phobia of asking girl out, fear of rejection(that she would say no or even worse). Here, Soceraphobia (fear of her father/brother) is not involved. Mostly guys are feared by most compelling ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

“a while” vs “awhile”

Is there a difference between "awhile" and "a while"? If there is, what is it? I've been wondering this for awhile, but now I actually need the answer.
2
votes
1answer
50 views

“In case” vs “if”?

I was taught that "in case" does not mean "if". As in: I will give you my card in case you need it. (Take it and use in case of need in the future) I will give you my card if you need it. ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Use of the word “register”

Can the word "register" be used as in the following sentence? In the brackets is not a part of the sentence. The machine registers your name (on the machine itself). I reviewed few dictionaries ...
-2
votes
2answers
53 views

In favor for and In favor with [closed]

Which between these phrases "in favor with" and "in favor for" is appropriate to use? For instance, during classroom election, there are two nominees for president's position namely Tom and Jerry. ...
34
votes
19answers
5k views

Completing something just to finish it despite lack of interest - is called …?

Recently I started reading a novel that I was excited to read. After getting approximately 45% into it, I lost the pace. It started becoming slow and lousy. I thought to leave it unfinished but it ...
1
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2answers
40 views

Above and beyond

What does "above and beyond" mean and how is it used in a sentence? Some sources say it means exceeding expectations, some sources say it means 'in addition to'. Which is it? Is it both?
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Can a question starting with “how” be answered with a “when” reply?

So how did this lying issue start? Well, it began the night of my wedding. Can I answer that "how" question in that way? If not, what would be a better option? (Now that I think of it, I'm not ...