This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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4
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2answers
3k views

What's a reception room / parlor / parlour / drawing room?

What's a reception room/parlor/parlour/ drawing room? I'm thinking, is it just another word for the living room of my house?
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4answers
2k views

Asking a permission to ask a question by saying the word Question, followed by the actual question

My Mom does something that irks me. Either when she calls me, or sends me an e-mail, she says or writes "Question." Then asks whatever question it is. I find this rude. In my opinion starting the ...
1
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1answer
5k views

How to use it's vs is?

I've seen that people use "how easy is it to […]?" and "how easy is to […]?" Another example could be: I couldn’t ignore the barrage of research showing how easy it is to screw up your kids. ...
3
votes
1answer
217 views

'co-opt' in US usage

'co-opt' in US usage means to take over for a purpose for which it was not really intended, having a slightly inappropriate connotation, while in the British usage it means to choose or elect as a ...
3
votes
1answer
942 views

'Conscribed' vs 'conscripted'

I'm wondering about the usage of the words 'conscript' and 'conscribe' in terms of the meaning they share. I went to use the word 'conscripted' as in "conscripted for duty", and the word 'conscribe' ...
3
votes
1answer
892 views

Usage of [to be] + had

While discussing What does "I was had" mean? I've found there are some not so common usages of had in English like: I have/had been had (meaning "to get fooled") but further Google ...
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3answers
24k views

Difference between “then” and “than” [closed]

I am having difficulty trying to distingush between then and than. What I find confusing is their pronunciation, and when to use them. For example: He walked, stopped, than/then picked up a ...
2
votes
3answers
170 views

Can the word 'aggregation' be used to mean a collection of people?

I'm wondering if one can use the word "aggregation" to mean a team or a collaboration of sorts, or even a certain collection of individuals in general, not just objects. Any thoughts?
2
votes
2answers
5k views

How does one write “day in and day out”

I work like a dog day in and day out. day-in and day-out? day in, and day out? , day in and day out? Please advise.
2
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3answers
8k views

What is the difference between “little” and “a little”?

I would like to know how these two words differ in usage. Which one is singular? Which one is plural? I would greatly appreciate if you could provide me with a sample usage of these phrases.
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3answers
15k views

Usage of “as per”

Could you show me how to use the word as per in a sentence? Can I make sentences something like the following: I changed the image as per the suggestion of my boss. Or could you give me an ...
1
vote
2answers
418 views

A data compromise

I know that security people use the verb "to compromise" with the meaning of "to break", for example in "the integrity of the account has been compromised". But is it okay to also use the noun ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

what does “provide for” mean?

Interviews that asked past behavior questions demonstrated superior validity for predicting performance because they provide for an assessment of motivation to apply knowledge/skills more ...
4
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4answers
3k views

Can you say “raise an animal”?

It was said as a way to comfort someone who had just broken up with her boyfriend, and someone said something like "go raise a dog". I know it's okay to say raise an animal; I just feel so weird ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it more correct to say “repeat”, or “resay”?

Telling a person to repeat something they have said sounds better to me, but is it more correct to ask them to resay what they said? If I say something then resay it, then I have said it again. I ...
2
votes
2answers
368 views

Is “gets” the correct tense to describe a continuous process in “John gets mentored on a daily basis”?

John gets a mentor to guide him throughout his life. — OR — He gets mentored on a daily basis. I believe this is just as acceptable as the simple past: John got a mentor to guide him ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Where did the phrase “shut up” as an expression of disbelief or amazement originate?

I recently heard shut up used according to this definition in Urban dictionary. shut·up (shuht-up) --interjection 1. An expression of disbelief. 2. Amazement; astonishment. I've only ...
3
votes
4answers
395 views

Is integer a commonly understood term?

Is it common for an English speaking person to understand the word "integer" (i.e. the whole numbers ..., -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, ...)? Or should I not use that word outside the domain of mathematics or ...
10
votes
5answers
15k views

“Know about” vs. “know of”

Recently one of my friends told me that there is distinct difference between 'know of something' and 'know about something' expressions. 'know of' is used when you have personal experience with what ...
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vote
3answers
26k views

“As of late” or “as of lately”?

The title pretty much summarizes my question. For example, in the following sentence She has developed an accent while living overseas, which as of late(ly) became more pronounced. I usually ...
3
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4answers
4k views

How to distinguish between “blasphemy” and “sacrilege” in a non-religious context?

On cooking.stackexchange, somebody asked how to make a chili which isn't too hot. I suggested mixing chiles and sweet peppers, and added the tongue-in-cheek remark that some chefs will consider my ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

Usage of “ain't”?

As far as I understand, "ain't" can mean either "isn't" (ain't no sunshine) or "hasn't" (you ain't seen nothing yet). Are there any rules when "ain't" is used? Does it have a different meaning than ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Use of “facetious”

I received an e-mail including the following sentence: I am not asking for a facetious grade change, just one that would allow me to pass. What the writer means is that the request isn't ...
9
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1answer
3k views

What is the difference in usage between crenulate and crenelate?

I've long been familiar with crenulated edges, but until today I wasn't aware of crenelated. Looking at the definitions, they seem to describe the same kind of feature, that of notches on an edge that ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Using “actual” to signify “current”

The New Oxford American Dictionary gives two meanings for actual: existing in fact; existing now; current How common is the second of these meanings? Is it something that can be used without fear ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Can an image be redacted, or just text?

Looking at the definition for redact, it sounds as if it specifically applies to text. Can it be used with images and diagrams as well?
10
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4answers
13k views

Using “skies” instead of “sky”

Why do people use "skies" instead of "sky" (when, indeed, we only have one sky)? Reach for the sky/skies! and I'm glad to finally see some blue skies. I'm glad to finally see a blue ...
12
votes
4answers
775 views

What are the possible meanings of positive “any more”?

Ordinary any more [usually with negative or in questions] to any further extent; any longer: she refused to listen any more Positive any more is the use of the adverb any more in an ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does “love child” imply “out of wedlock”?

The etymology of love child says it derived as a polite form of "love brat" which was used around the 18th century. My question is when two people are in love and they have a child, could you not ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Damage vs. Damages

The word damage is non-count and its plural turns into a different definition (court-awarded money). Am I incorrect in thinking that damages can also be used to indicate various types/kinds of damage? ...
4
votes
2answers
340 views

What is the correct word to accompany “ A survey…”?

As in, do we say "A survey on xyz systems" or "A survey of xyz systems"? My initial thoughts were to use " A survey on..." because I thought "A survey of..." would refer to survey conducted by XYZ; ...
2
votes
2answers
162 views

“Cleaning area” or “cleaning surface”?

Question: The English term for: the total area of a building/floor in m2/Sq Ft that needs to be cleaned Is that called the "Cleaning surface", or the "Cleaning area"?
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votes
4answers
3k views

Using 'generify' to mean 'to make generic'?

Can one use the term generify to mean 'to make generic'? E.g. a software programmer being told: 'generify this segment of code'. If not, what may be a single word replacement of this phrase?
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vote
3answers
826 views

“Can I have one apple from your box?” vs “Could I have one apple from your box?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “can” or “could”? I was doing some reading on usage of can and could. I understand that can is used when asking for ability, and could for willingness. I ...
6
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2answers
346 views

Usage of “terrorist”

Has the word terrorist evolved in meaning or context in recent times?
8
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3answers
3k views

Reason for the current trend to use «she» as the gender-neutral pronoun?

There are some questions on gender-neutral pronouns both here and on Writers. User Christine Letts writes: In academia, there is currently a movement toward using the feminine pronoun at all ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Which of these is the correct usage “working [with / on / in]”?

I am trying to update my profile. Which one of these is the correct sentence that I should use in my profile? I am a developer working on Microsoft technologies. I am a developer working in ...
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6answers
2k views

When and how did “momentarily” come to mean “in a moment”, rather than “for a moment”?

"Momentarily" used to mean "for a moment" only, and not "in a moment". Thus, newscasters could be divided into two clear groups: those who would say "we'll be back momentarily," and those who would ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

'Ours' meaning 'our home' - where is it used outside the UK, if anywhere?

In expressions like: Let's go back to ours and have some food. There's a party at ours on Friday. There's a bottle of brandy at yours, isn't there? 'ours' and 'yours' are synonyms for ...
10
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2answers
520 views

How flexible is “a dozen”?

How flexible is the measurement "a dozen"? If there are nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand people at a rally it is acceptable to say one million people attended, but if eleven people are arrested ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “one of the co-founders” ever correct?

Compare to "one of the founders". Does it depend on the specific person you're talking about? Google has 7M+ results for the phrase but I can't search it on NGrams successfully because of the hyphen. ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is it called 'renewable energy'?

There's a lot of buzz these days about 'renewable energy', and with Germany's recent decision to close down their nuclear plants by 2012, activists are talking about moving to completely 'renewable ...
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3answers
3k views

“Met” vs. “met up”

Do these two terms mean two different things? as in: I met up with Julie when I went to town/I met Julie when I went to town.
4
votes
2answers
330 views

“Groom” in Marriage?

Groom for me as I know it means a man who tends to the horses, or and in the verb form, it is to take care of one's appearance. Then, why is it used to refer to the man of the marriage? Is there any ...
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2answers
18k views

Usage of “in figure” vs. “on figure”

I saw both versions ("in figure" and "on figure"), however---what is more correct? And is there any difference? EDIT: In scientific papers, standards and other publications, "figures" can be found. ...
6
votes
2answers
24k views

Why do we use the word “thereof”?

Firstly I am not very good in English, so pardon me, is my question sounds too silly. Why we use "thereof"?
12
votes
1answer
469 views

Doing drugs vs having breakfast

Why do we do drugs but have food? Or even have a beer, which is alcoholic beverage thus a sort of drug too. In both cases we consume something. Is there a rule for this?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What makes a question rhetorical?

according to Wikipedia: A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply. Example: "How much longer ...
6
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4answers
245 views

Does the word “gentleman” retain the distinction “of leisurely lifestyle” anywhere in British English?

I've been watching a great deal many British period films lately, and having done so has made me grow acutely aware to the nuance of the word gentleman. Once upon a time, a gentleman wasn't just some ...
4
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2answers
5k views

Usage of “implicate” and “imply”

Looking at what's reported in the NOAD, one of the meanings of implicate is the following: convey (a meaning or intention) indirectly through what one says, rather than stating it explicitly; ...