This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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1
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3answers
244 views

“Half” for unequal divisions

A topic came up today concerning the usage of the word "half". I was describing a separation of labour into two obviously unequal groups. A colleague corrected me, saying that the word "half" ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “orientate” a word? Does it matter where you are when using it? [duplicate]

Is orientate a word and if so how is it different than orient? I found this definition of it says "Generally considered an error in American English." does this mean it is not wrong for British ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Can “about” and “around” be used interchangeably in some cases?

Example: He paced about/around the room. Can those words be used interchangeably? If that's the case, which one is more common?
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between “Employment” and “Job”?

I cannot understand the differences between the nouns (they both seem to mean "work"). For example: when we hire an employee, we have to define payroll and benefits for them. So which word better ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

'Hope' vs. 'wish' in unlikely situations

Although 'hope' and 'wish' have many different uses, I've seen the basic difference often summarized as: 'wish' is for imaginary, unlikely or impossible things, whereas 'hope' is for more likely or ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to use namely correctly

Is this a correct use of namely: We will investigate two different research questions: 1. Is there a correlation between age and income? 2. Does university education lead to higher income? ...
3
votes
4answers
494 views

Does “nattering” have a negative connotation?

I hear people saying that they're "having a natter" with their friends, or 'If you want to have a natter about starting a project, give me a call!'. On different websites there are different ...
8
votes
3answers
26k views

Did they “ask” or “pose” a question?

I am currently in the process of writing a paper in computer science and I wanted to know if I solved a question posed by those guys or asked by them. When should I use "posed a question" and when ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

“I'm to arrange the meeting”

The principal told me to arrange a meeting. Which of the following (if either) is correct, and why? The principal says I'm to arrange the meeting. The principal says to me to arrange the ...
-2
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3answers
118 views

Is “They won't tell me where is the office” correct? [duplicate]

Which sentence is correct? They won't tell me where is the office. They won't tell me where the office is.
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Can I say “disbursal of information”? Can one disburse anything other than money or assets?

So, as the title says: Can I refer to the disbursal of abstract things like information? Should I? If I were to write "the disbursal of information" to imply that people were being tightfisted with ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

Agreement of articles and prepositions

Which of the following sentences would you consider most acceptable, and why? Please assume knowledge of the difference between the definite and indefinite articles here and that they are used ...
1
vote
3answers
192 views

Difference between “The car is” and “The car is blue” in the word “is”

I, being a native English speaker, and having snoozed through some of my grammar lessons in elementary school, sometimes cannot express differences that I feel exist in certain grammatical constructs. ...
2
votes
2answers
467 views

Do you say “I have gone diving before” or “I have been diving before”?

Which is correct and common expression, "I have gone diving" or "I have been diving" "Have you ever gone diving?" or "Have you ever been diving?" As for skating, snowboarding, snorkeling and ...
3
votes
1answer
10k views

Are “the fact of the matter” and “as a matter of fact” the same?

For a long time, I had only known the phrase "matter of fact" to be used in "as a matter of fact..." However, for quite a few days, I have also been hearing, "the fact of the matter is..." in news ...
0
votes
3answers
529 views

“Martyr To” vs “Martyr For”

This book specifies the difference as: martyr for something: smb. who is made to suffer severely for a cause martyr to something: smb. who is acutely inflicted by something Oxford ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

'Blowback' with 'much'

Jawad Sukhanyar & Rod Nordland, In Prison Release, Signs of Karzai’s Rift With U.S. (NYT): The amount of people advocating for a long-term relationship with Afghanistan is pretty small in ...
0
votes
1answer
440 views

Is it correct to use the word “wrongdoing” in this sentence?

Is 'wrongdoing' used appropriately in this sentence? The wrongdoing of spying on students is not only in the boundaries of law, but it is also morally inappropriate.
1
vote
3answers
309 views

Need help simplyfying sentences containing economic information

I am not very knowledgeable about economics and am trying to reword these two sentences: In 1964 the CDC 6600 cost around $7 million USD, though some sources site prices of up to $10 million. ...
30
votes
11answers
7k views

Is there a word/term for a question where the asker knows he'll criticise any answer?

What do you call it when a person asks somebody a question when they know they'll criticise any answer regardless? For instance, a man asks you something like "If you were recruiting staff would you ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Assist or/vs Attend?

Is it correct to say: it's very important to assist to the meeting? Is it similar to say It's very important to attend the meeting? if not, in which context is the word "assist" used? I ...
1
vote
2answers
620 views

Is this expression correct: “It is A and B who [verb]”?

I have no problem with the following sentence: In this book, [it] is the father who tries to murder her However, what if I want to substitute a plural noun (or two names) for father? Are the ...
1
vote
1answer
83 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
4answers
1k views

One word for (have same size)

I am looking for a word that expresses same size characteristic. To be specific, we can say that "both DVD's are identical". However, identical might imply all characteristics resemblance. I am ...
2
votes
2answers
13k views

Is it correct to say “copious amount of”?

Which of the following are correct? I drink copious coffee I drink copious amounts of coffee I frequently hear people say #2 but it doesn't sound right to me (though "a myriad of X" doesn't ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Term for a body cast maker

What is the word used for a person who makes body casts? Is compounder a good word?
3
votes
3answers
646 views

Does “moonlighting” have a negative or neutral connotation?

We all agree that "moonlighting" denotes having a second job. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford Advanced Learner's don't define it in exactly the same way. For example, Merriam-Webster attaches a ...
0
votes
1answer
207 views

Passive voice in this sentence

I am a bit confused about these sentences below. The word "encumbered" baffles me. "Encumbered" is usually used in passive sentences. I am not able to understand the agent in these following ...
2
votes
2answers
951 views

Using “on” before days or dates

I've noticed that on many American TV shows, the speakers generally don't use the word "on" before names of days or before dates. For example: I'll see you Monday. Shouldn't it be: I'll see you on ...
16
votes
7answers
7k views

Another meaning of the vulgar word “slut”

I guess people who speak American and Philippine English will unanimously agree that the word "slut" is a very offensive term referring to a promiscuous woman. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

Is the verb “dose” used correctly in “an agent can be dosed into the tanks”?

Is this correct: For process stabilization an anti-foaming agent can be dosed into the tanks. I use "dose" because I want to emphasize that the amount of stuff put into the tank is carefully ...
0
votes
2answers
699 views

Why “would” instead of “will” in this sentence? Is it a rare use?

The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. What does would imply here? ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Is the following usage of the word “suggest” correct/common?

Sharing the first hours of the day with someone suggests you want to spend the rest of your life with that person. Is it correct/common to use the word like this? Does it sound weird? If so, ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

The word “afterclap”

Merriam-Webster defines "afterclap" as "an unexpected damaging or unsettling event following a supposedly closed affair." However, a pastor from Oregon, John Mark Comer, wrote an article about ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How to use “yet” to express something hasn't happened until current time

If I want to tell somebody that something hasn't happened yet, I'm not quite sure how to use/put the word "yet" correctly in the sentence. Sentence 1: I'm not sure that we will have a meeting ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Academia — Correct Interpretation?

When someone says, "It's all academic" or "This one's academic", I believe that, certainly within the realm of sports context, the outcome of a game has finally been decided. The end result is a ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

all but.. none but.. usage

I'm a bit confused with the usage of all but and none but: "We are all but defenseless" – should mean we are definitely defenseless? "None but misfortunes follow" – only ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Which verb is used for the word “activity” - “do” or “play”?

In an English test I had recently, there was this multiple choice question: There were lots of different activities for Jay to ... there. A - Make B - Do C - Play There was no extra ...
0
votes
1answer
218 views

Why do we no longer refer to Muslim and Hindu women as being 'in Purdah'?

The term purdah is used metaphorically in Britain for anyone who stays out of sight. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is said to go into purdah (away from the press)before he delivers his annual budget ...
12
votes
9answers
9k views

Does the word “master” denote masculinity?

The other day, I had a little argument with a friend. He asserted that if the principal of a school is a female, she would not be called a "headmaster", rather - a headmistress. But I disagreed with ...
1
vote
5answers
331 views

Word usage: feeble

Is it correct to say Feeble people are more at risk of flu-related complications. to convey the idea that there are different levels of risk in the population at risk? I could have said old ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Usage of “walking out clean”

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? "I just hope he walks out clean from the probe" If not, what is the correct form? EDIT: The context of the above sentence is a situation where you ...
1
vote
2answers
15k views

What is the difference between fog, mist and haze?

So, as the question says by itself: what's the context when I should use the word mist and the right context for fog? And haze?
1
vote
2answers
13k views

“In” or “At” sole discretion

We're drafting some legal stuff, and our lawyer used this phrasing... ...whether any particular enhancement is to be categorized as such shall be made in the sole reasonable discretion of ...
2
votes
1answer
913 views

Usage of 'commas' vs 'commata'

I've learned quite recently, that plural form from comma is commata (but commas is also correct, such as index-indices-indexes). I've learned the rule for German, and I've checked the English version ...
1
vote
6answers
249 views

Verb similar to “synchronize” but not for time

I am looking for a word that describes adjusting status to conform another. Let us say the status of the account is active but in our system shows inactive. Synchronize describes the situation with ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

“Polarized” or “polarizing” opinions?

English is a foreign language to me, and one word that is particularly confusing is "polarize". In physics, it has contradictory definitions; when polarizing waves you remove inequality, but ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

The problem with the word “quite” [duplicate]

"Quite" is probably the most ambiguous word in the English language. Merriam-Webster defines it three ways: 1: completely, wholly, totally (quite mistaken) 2: to an extreme : positively (quite ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Formal way to describe sexual acts

I'm writing a statement of events that happened between me and my ex. It needs to be written formally but I don't how to write the following words in that way: "blowjob" and "eating her out." Thanks ...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

Using “so” and “very” for ungradable adjectives

We generally use modifiers such as "so" and "very" for gradable/normal adjectives (water can be quite/so/very HOT, but not quite/so/very BOILING (an ungradable/extreme adjective). Yet would you say ...