This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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0
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2answers
40 views

What is the meaning of “to inquire of the court whether the jury might not find a special verdict”?

At the trial, after the testimony had been concluded, the foreman of the jury (a lawyer by profession) inquired of the court whether the jury might not find a special verdict, leaving it to the ...
0
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0answers
26 views

Speak to or talk to? [duplicate]

Consider this: I call my friend at his home and his mother picks up. What is the right thing to say? Hello, may I speak to Daryl? Or Hello, may I talk to Daryl? Similarly, Hello, may I speak ...
0
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2answers
40 views

Correct use of word “Proficiency”

Can the word 'Proficiency' be used for non-living objects like Machinery,etc.?
1
vote
1answer
73 views

“I have 4 people in my family” vs “I have 5 people in my family”

Recently, a colleague created a warm up question: How many people are in your family? And the model answer was: I have 4 people in my family; my mother, my father, and my 2 brothers. ...
4
votes
2answers
397 views

“I shoulda 'STOOD' IN BED?”

I've heard folks use "stood" as a kind of past-participle of the verb "stay" - as in: "I shoulda stood in bed". I had always thought it was some kind of uneducated regionalism... But, it's New Years, ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

“Lest” or “Or?”

Colloquially, I would always use or where I would formally use lest. For example, "go to sleep, or you'll be tired" versus "go to sleep, lest you be tired." Has this usage of or been around for ...
0
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0answers
87 views

Tone: Caustic vs. Acerbic vs. Satiric

I'm having some trouble determining which of these three tone words would best apply to the excerpt below, taken from Richard Seaver's letter in the Coca Cola Letters: "We note with sympathy your ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

From the horse jockey to the disc jockey

Jockey was first used to refer to a person who rides a horse in races from the second half of the 17th century: Etymonline says that jockey (n.) is a variant of the name Jack: 1520s, "boy, ...
3
votes
3answers
99 views

What is the phenomenon called, when things start resembling what you are thinking about?

like when Tom is hungry he sees jerry as a hot dog. When you are searching for something every other thing appears that it is the very thing you are searching for. EDIT: So as suggested in the ...
0
votes
2answers
60 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
43 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
101 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
78 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 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
62 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
245 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
47 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.
8
votes
2answers
127 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
57 views

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

The jury is still out on whether the strategy will work.
6
votes
3answers
178 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
69 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 ...
17
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?
3
votes
1answer
75 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
339 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
74 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
51 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
64 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
72 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
71 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
64 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
44 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
72 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
72 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
22 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
95 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
117 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
68 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
49 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
43 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
2k 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
50 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
54 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
48 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
65 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
62 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
101 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
vote
0answers
54 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 ...