This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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0
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1answer
87 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
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2answers
16k 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
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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
927 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
272 views

Proper use of retrospective

I am writing a narrative essay and I am currently working on the final touches. Right now I am focusing my attention on the title. The essay is a look back on a couple days, several years ago that a ...
0
votes
2answers
725 views

Difference in Usage of Specificity & Specification [closed]

I found two noun words such as Specificity and Specification. When can we use Specificity over specification.
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Metaprogramming vs Meta-programming [duplicate]

Which usage of the prefix, "Meta" is correct, "Metaprogramming" or "Meta-programming"? Should the word be hyphenated or not?
1
vote
3answers
198 views

Voltage vs. Voltages

Is 'voltages' the plural for voltage? When requesting for someone to check voltage more than once, would you state that you're documenting 'voltages'?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Using “ran” as a past participle

I've got a document I'm reading, written by a co-worker. I know the co-worker in question grew up in the same Oklahoma town I did, although a slightly different part, and 15 years later. So while we ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Would you use the term “looker” to describe a man?

Both Merriam Webster and Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary define looker as a word used to describe an attractive person, usually a woman. ...
1
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2answers
303 views

The difference between “heathen” and “ungodly”

My student needed an adjective which means "irreligious" or "does not believe in God/a god." I suggested the words "heathen" and "ungodly". Would you say there's a difference between the two ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Which is more grammatically correct - “performance in” or “performance on”?

Which of the following is more grammatically correct? a. John's performance on the test shocked the teacher. (or) b. John's performance in the test shocked the teacher.
3
votes
1answer
12k views

Am I using 'thus' correctly in this paragraph?

I'd like to confirm if the use of 'thus' is correct in the following passage. If it's not, please explain why, and what an alternative would be. I believe the most important mission of a ...
0
votes
1answer
216 views

It's not affect, but can you “effect” something?

I understand the differences between affect and effect, and generally when to use them. However, in some cases while reading I have seen authors use the phrase "effect a change" (among others) ...
1
vote
2answers
531 views

Sunday as a Week Marker

When someone uses the phrase "the week of the [Sunday's date]" does that usually refer to the week preceding that Sunday or after it?
0
votes
1answer
84 views

This needs to be reprinted vs. this needs reprinted [duplicate]

What is the difference between using: this needs to be fixed; and this needs fixed Can they be used interchangeably? Is the second one grammatically correct?
38
votes
4answers
7k views

“Two yellow spots on its wings” vs “a yellow spot on both wings”

The bird has two yellow spots on its wings. versus The bird has a yellow spot on both wings. Do they mean the same? Which one describes more accurately the yellow spots of the following bird? ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Alternatives to the common construction “didn't used to”

I am hearing the use of this odd-sounding construction more and more frequently as of late. For example: I didn't used to smoke. I didn't used to work for McDonald's. I was trying to think ...
1
vote
3answers
135 views

Is “Lady Macbeth has plotted this out carefully and diligently” a correct use of “plot”?

Lady Macbeth has plotted this out carefully and diligently. Can I use the word "plot" in such a way? I know most people would want to replace that with "planned", but I don't want to keep using ...
0
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the difference between providing that and provided that? [closed]

Please tell me about this question and give me an example for each one. Is it conjunction or not? Thanks
1
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2answers
4k views

Is it correct to use the word “something” to describe a plural form?

Then, as I continued gazing at her, something came to my mind. They were the remnants of the dream I had before waking up. Is that grammatically correct? If not, what's the closest alternative? ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

Is “platonic” generally appropriate?

Specifically, I'm wondering about the definition about relationships: of, relating to, or having a close relationship in which there is no romance or sex. Is "platonic" generally appropriate? ...
0
votes
3answers
662 views

What's the difference in being extemporaneous,being spontaneous and being impulsive?

What's the difference in being extemporaneous, being spontaneous and being impulsive? Or, when, where, - in which situation - would you rather use them?
1
vote
3answers
435 views

Are academics considered “experts”, “professionals”, or both in their scientific field?

I wrote a proposal for a survey to be conducted at a conference in the field of requirements engineering. I decided that all attendants at the conference, both the ones coming from industry and ones ...
4
votes
2answers
507 views

What is the context in which 'ice breaking' is a good thing?

If you are on a frozen lake and the ice breaks you basically plunge into cold water. That could end badly. What is the explanation for 'getting to know everyone', or 'getting the conversation ...
2
votes
3answers
856 views

Difference between “infirmary” and “sick-bay”?

What's the difference between "infirmary" and "sick-bay"? Are they completely synonymous?
0
votes
1answer
139 views

A word that refers to a previously mentioned action [closed]

I am trying to refer back to the action "act swiftly" mentioned previously, but I am not sure if I am in the right direction. I thought of a few possible solutions as follows. An entire rephrasing of ...
1
vote
3answers
994 views

Can “retrospectively” be used in this manner?

The following is the paragraph which the word "retrospectively" is used. I meant to say something like " the government has learnt from the past events, and as a result, have implemented these ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the origin of the term 'going to wrack and ruin'?

'Wrack' refers to wreckage, vengeance and retributive punishment. From looking at its copious entry in the OED it is clear that the word 'wrack' has had a considerable history. But other than for this ...
1
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2answers
139 views

Is the following use of however correct?

There was no way, however; my mind was still wide awake. I always see however after semicolons but never like the case above. Is the example grammatically correct?
0
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2answers
1k views

“Enter information about your education history from secondary level onwards”: Is the word “onwards” inclusive or exclusive?

I was filling an application and I came across this sentence: Enter information about your education history from secondary level onwards. I am a bit confused. Do I have to include the ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How do you use “knack” in a sentence?

On this post here, it says: Another word which comes to my mind is "Knack". It can be used to show how someone has a specific talent. Again as an example - Tim is good with musical ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

What does “barely” imply?

When someone says, I barely understand that. Does he mean: He almost doesn't understand [which means he understands a bit] He almost understands [which means he doesn't understand] ...
-1
votes
1answer
162 views

Can you “empower” a goal rather than a person?

I want to write: "...to empower individual health." However, I can't think of examples where "empower" takes a direct object that is not a person. You can empower a person, but can you empower a ...
4
votes
6answers
10k views

Proper Use of “Disponibility”

I recently ran into a word that I hadn't encountered before in my life in this context: "Well, thanks a lot [BlackVegetable] both for your quick reply and disponibility." (It's in a comment on ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Comma usage when but is used between two adjective or adverbs

What is the rule regarding comma usage when but is used between two contrasting adjectives or adverbs? It is a vey interesting, but stupid question, and one that I have had a hard time finding a ...
1
vote
3answers
140 views

actual / wise or both [closed]

We had an exam today and here is the question on which I was confused. Fill in the gaps. Justin is a very hardworking student. His ideas and words are ___and useful. There were 2 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What does “cynical confidence” mean?

I know that cynical means something along the lines of believing the worst in people, but how does this word coincide with confidence? For instance, what would this line mean? The witness had a ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

Is it more correct to say “You have not yet <actioned>” or “You have not <actioned> yet”?

Having seen Correct placing and usage of "yet", it sounds like it may be correct to say either "You have not created any items yet." or "You have not yet created any items." Is one more ...
0
votes
2answers
286 views

“By/before/until/through” in the past

I need to express how an event occurred before-or-at a certain time in the past (non exclusive or, which of the two alternatives is the actual one is left open). For the future I would have used ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Using Manifest correctly

Can I use the verb manifest in the following sentence? We would quickly learn that obstacles can manifest in any neighborhood. Google's Definition: display or show (a quality or feeling) ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Found missing/Found to be missing?

Which one among the following is correct? These were found missing. or These were found to be missing. For me the former one sounds little bit odd since "found" and "missing" are next to ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Can I use excluding at the end of expression of interval?

I want to express the fact that first part one of an XML file extents from the beginning to the Parameters section, but it does not include Parameters section. Can I express it like this: The ...
0
votes
2answers
833 views

How do you express having a mutual acquaintance when you introduce yourself?

Let's imagine that Jack told me about his friend who is a lawyer, called Mark. And that Jack also told me that I have to mention to Mark that I know him (Jack). How can I introduce myself to Mark ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

Can someone be instilled with medication?

I am looking specifically for how to use the first definition given here: to cause to enter drop by drop (instill medication into the infected eye) but I imagine usage rules would apply equally ...