This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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10
votes
3answers
489 views

Is the word “borderline lunacy” a ‘stand-alone’ phrase or just an accidental combination of ‘borderline’ and ‘lunacy’?

I saw the word borderline lunacy in the scathing comment of a Republican strategist on Mitt Romney’s statement en route to London, Israel and Poland in Washington Post’s (7/31) article titled “Does ...
1
vote
5answers
459 views

Are monkeys a subset of apes? [closed]

I wonder if "ape" is the generic, more general term than "monkey". Can one say that all primates (including monkeys) except lemurs, humans and some other few species are apes?
1
vote
3answers
737 views

What is the adjectival form of “primate”? [closed]

To say a man is close to a primate, what should I use, "primatic" or "primative"?
5
votes
3answers
12k views

Cause for vs cause of

I read this sentence somewhere today, but I think that the of would fit better here than for, don't you think? The cause for the original problem will be analysed in the normal maintenance hours. ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Which is correct or more common when talking about medicine: “buy drugs” or “buy medicine”?

I mean it in the sense of buying medicine, for example for common cold or other diseases. When talking about buying medicine, which of these sentences is more correct or more commonly used: "go to ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

Quotation mark usage in the sentence given

A leading article in Britain's Independent newspaper has the following (my emphasis): It is also evident, albeit in a different form, in the Global Investment Summit that opened on Thursday with a ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

“Something worked perfectly” vs “something worked perfect”

While grammatically the former one seems to be the only correct form (English is my second language, so let me know if I'm wrong here), the latter one appears to be used quite extensively, and I ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Usage of A/An dependent on preferential pronunciation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “An SQL Server database schema” or “a SQL Server database schema”? How is SQL pronounced? I'm looking at a splash screen for a Structured Query ...
5
votes
1answer
536 views

Need clarify the use of word “locates” in the sentence

My English teacher asked a quiz question: The dancing club ___ north of this district a. lays b. lies c. locates d. lain The answer was given as c. locates. I feel something ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

how to use “especially”? can we use “especially” after the special object we want to mention about?

Can we use especially after the special object we want to mention? In the following, does especially apply just to Australia? First, the reading proves the significance of a mandatory voting ...
-3
votes
1answer
625 views

What's the difference between publisher, published, and published by? [closed]

As I understand, a publisher is an organization which prints a book. But I'm still confused between published and published by. Is publisher and published by the same thing? Does published mean the ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the definition and usage of “tids and bits”? [closed]

What is the correct definition and usage of the term "tids and bits"? I tried googling but nothing turns up, not even a definition.
18
votes
9answers
24k views

Are “heterosexual” and “straight” exact synonyms?

Of course, heterosexual and straight are interchangeable in most contexts, but there are times when I find myself wanting to make the distinction of whether the attraction to the opposite sex is ...
3
votes
5answers
42k views

Difference between “Thanking you” and “Thank you”?

I always use in my letter "Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration." But one of my colleagues said thanking you was not correct usage of English, it should be thank you. So my ...
2
votes
2answers
458 views

Failed Experiment? [closed]

Is it proper to use the phrase "failed experiment" at all? And if so, should it refer exclusively to experiments that had some ineluctable flaw in the process of their implementation or can it also ...
4
votes
1answer
719 views

Origin of using the phrase “folks” to refer to parents

Why can the phrase "your folks" be used to refer to "your parents"? What is the origin of this usage?
2
votes
2answers
831 views

How to describe time “offset”?

My friends and I are in different time zones, so I'm trying to say, We have a 10 hours time offset Is that right for this situation ? If not, what's the right replacement of offset here ?
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Could “bastard” have a positive connotation?

I'd always thought that the word "bastard" had a negative and impolite meaning, but when I came across this wine (Fat bastard Chardonnay) I started to doubt my belief. Can some native speaker explain ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Grammar: For vs to? [closed]

In my mother tongue both for and to have the same meaning, therefore it is hard for (is it being correctly used here?) me to know when I should use one instead of the other. After some google's ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

English usage: Every vs all?

Today I was writing a simple message to be shown to the user whenever at least one field was not supplied. Every/All fields must be supplied. I'm in doubt about the usage of Every vs All, which ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between “pangalactic” and “transgalactic”?

I am building a game and trying to give some fancy names to some objectives in my game. So, I was wondering about the difference between the words pangalactic and transgalactic? Does any of them ...
29
votes
8answers
27k views

If someone is electrocuted, do they have to die or can they just be injured?

Is it correct to say I electrocuted my friend if he was only injured by electricity?
5
votes
3answers
165 views

Does a whole “compose” its parts?

I just wrote a sentence like this and I'm wondering I've used the word compose correctly. In order to find the length of the train, you'll need to measure the individual cars it composes. Is ...
6
votes
3answers
18k views

Is there some difference between “north-east” and “northeast”?

I have two dictionaries (one American English, the other British English) and they differ in writing the word “northeast”. Does this mean that in American English you should use “northeast” and in ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Usage of “ever” in a negative statement

I know that "ever" can be used to express the strengthened negation but would it work like that? I created a session but nobody ever joined. Is it possible? It does not sound right to me. If ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do we say that someone “practices” law or medicine?

I’m wondering why we refer to providing legal or medical services as a practice of law or medicine, respectively. For example, we say that a lawyer practices law or a doctor practices medicine. This ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to use' cover off' instead of 'cover up'? [closed]

Is it possible to use' cover off' instead of 'cover up'? cover up sense of unworthiness
0
votes
1answer
486 views

Correct usage of the words “blow” and “fit” [closed]

Does the following sentence have correct use of the word 'blow' and 'fit' ? (separate sentences) A sudden gust of wind made the candles blow off. I'm very busy, I had to fit ten appointments ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Is “postchoice” a well-used word?

I came upon the word postchoice in the following sentence of Time magazine’s (May 28) article titled “The optimism bias,” dealing with the benefits of positive thinking: According to social ...
6
votes
3answers
563 views

What's the difference between England, Britain, and the United Kingdom? [closed]

I'm a little confused over which regions of the world these terms are really referring to. Also, when is it appropriate to refer to someone as British vs. English?
7
votes
3answers
719 views

“Have” vs. “Is” + Verb

The phrases have expired and is expired are in practice more or less identical. Formally, of course, they are different in that the former uses expired as a verb with have as its auxiliary, whereas ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How to answer grammatically ambiguous tricky questions [closed]

Here are some examples : 1) The mangoes (will ripe/ripe/will ripen) over time said John. 2) The least considered in the latest Terrorist attacks (are/were/was) the innocent victims. My choice for ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

How to document a change to an earlier proposal

I wrote an e-mail proposal to send to a client but after asking a co-worker's opinion I decided to reformulate it. Now I have to describe what has been done but I'm not sure if the expression below ...
2
votes
6answers
224 views

Usage of the word “insert”

My textbook set a test question: Check the usage of the word "insert" in the following sentences: It is his habit to insert new topics in the discussion. The country is planning to ...
-2
votes
2answers
413 views

Mean or Median? [closed]

My textbook sets this question: In each of the following sentences, a word has been used in sentences in different ways. Choose the option corresponding to the sentence in which the usage of the ...
2
votes
4answers
588 views

Is “At Worst” used only in the future context?

I have checked numerous examples where "At worst" is used in the future context. At worst, we will go to jail. At worst, teacher will expel us. Can we use "At worst" in the past context?
10
votes
2answers
246 views

Usage of “brook” to mean “burp”?

Has anyone ever come across ?brook (not too sure about spelling) used instead of burp? I brooked/I burped. Was that you brooking/burping? It may be derived from Scottish Gaelic.
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Cleanse vs Clean

Do you know what is the difference between Cleanse and Clean? I don't have a clear idea of when to use one or the other as verbs or nouns, or if there is some key difference I'm not aware of.
-3
votes
1answer
767 views

Then or Than, Which to use when comparing time? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it absolutely necessary to use “than” over “then” in a comparison? Which sentence is grammatically correct? "I have been here for less ...
3
votes
2answers
273 views

Does paralepsis require explicit invocation?

(I apologize for the title, it's the best I could do to phrase it concisely.) Paralepsis (Wikipedia suggests the spelling Paralipsis) is defined as: a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer ...
-2
votes
1answer
289 views

Is Millenial a common term? [closed]

I would like to use the word "Millenial" in an article. This is a reference to people between (roughly) 18-30. Is this a common enough term to use? Will the average reader know exactly what I am ...
8
votes
3answers
476 views

“It will be more of a sucks for him …”

I've seen the disparaging sense of sucks as a verb ("sucks to be you", "that sucks!"), but this particular usage from Price Caspian seems a little odd: Lucy heard Edmund say, "No, let me do it. It ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

“He gave her a gesture while leaving the room.” - Is this sentence correct?

The intended use of the sentence is for a scenario where a guy gives a positive indication (with facial expressions) to an employee before leaving the presentation room. Is "give a gesture" ...
0
votes
1answer
777 views

“Hope” versus “I hope” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is there omission of subject in sentences like “Thought you'd never ask.” Is it correct to use hope without subject? I have seen may times something ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

“rumor” vs “unfounded rumor”

If I'm not wrong, "rumor" means: A story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth and "unfounded" means: Having no foundation or basis in fact If so, what is the difference between an ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “leisurely” still acceptable as an adverb?

I am used to seeing "leisurely" as an adjective exclusively, as in "walking at a leisurely pace." But today I read it used as an adverb in a New York Times review of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer." ...
1
vote
2answers
164 views

Is this headline as redundant as it seems?

Drunk driver found hiding after hit-and-run Is it necessary to write "found hiding"? It seems like the only time you can find something is when it is hidden or missing. Is this statement ...
2
votes
3answers
14k views

If 'pre' is previous, 'post' is after, what is current? [closed]

We were discussing something like pre-boss era, post-boss era. What word describes the era where the boss is still there?
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between disseminate and distribute

The original confusion arose when I read the following sentence. --> you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication, or any of its contents, is strictly ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

When to use the plural of “nature”?

Someone told me that the word nature should not be plural in my sentence. I would argue, however, that it is obvious that it requires an "s". The problematic sentence is as follow: We must exploit ...