This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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0
votes
1answer
127 views

Usage of “granularities” (in plural form)

I wonder whether it is correct to use the word "granularity" in its plural form. For example: X and Y are commonly used granularities in Z research. This study can be conducted at both ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a word to describe a piece of land surrounded by river(s)?

I was wondering if there is a word that describes a piece of land that is being surrounded by river(s)? Is "island" appropriate for this? I always thought the word Island means a piece of land ...
2
votes
5answers
887 views

Best word for health problems

What is the best word for pain and health problems caused by a disease? I want to use it as term for a collection of symptoms, that I gather. For example: [headache, stomachache, nausea] but ...
3
votes
2answers
901 views

Rail vs railway

What's the difference between rail and railway? Hold your horses - I know I can consult a dictionary on this one, and I have, but it's still not clear to me which of the two I should use in ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Is it okay to use “Sure thing” as a reply to my boss?

I was wondering whether sure thing — when I mean certainly — is too casual in a business environment, or whether it could be used under certain circumstances. (I’m not a native speaker of English.)
4
votes
2answers
495 views

Males, Females, Girls and Guys

Is there a predominant pattern of usage of the terms girls and guys based on age of the described individuals? Are the patterns the same in the US and UK? At about what age is it considered ...
1
vote
3answers
140 views

Equivalent phrase/single-word for `prognosis (without intervention)`

Consider a situation when without any effort/intervention into the process consequences are predefined to be bad. How do you call such a bad-prognosis?
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Necessity of “that” as a conjunction

A simple Google search reveals that the word that can be used in many ways: as a pronoun, determiner, adverb and conjunction. I'm wondering about its usage specifically as a conjunction. Take the ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

Degree Certificate and Diploma

I am hoping to apply to a master's program in the USA. They ask for a "Diploma/Degree Certificate", but I don't really know what that means. When I looked for the definition I found only "Degree", as ...
0
votes
1answer
285 views

As a noun, “abandon” is almost always preceded by the word “reckless”. [duplicate]

Feel free to correct me if you don't share the same experience, but in my own experience, usage of the word "abandon" as a noun without being apart of the phrase "reckless abandon" is extremely rare. ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

The usage of … number(s) of [closed]

Here we wish to make sure the usage of ... number(s) of ..., which one below is correct? An even number of people An even number of cards Even numbers of people Even numbers of cards An odd ...
0
votes
1answer
322 views

“okay” vs “good” in questions starting with “Is it okay/good” [closed]

Is it better to use "good" instead of "okay" in question starting with "Is it okay/good", or isn't? For example, Is it okay/good to eat tonight? Is it okay/good to break the rules? (I ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

What words do you use to describe an unmatched couple? [closed]

What words do we use to describe an unmatched couple, for instance, the female is much more attractive than the male, or the other way around? If we found that a girl is out of the league of her ...
0
votes
1answer
144 views

Another 'me' versus 'myself' usage question

I am quitting a job. I wrote a letter of resignation and have come upon the following sentence: "Moreover, I believe [name of restaurant] will be better suited to have an employee that is different ...
-1
votes
2answers
172 views

captilization of words with abbreviation

I always used to capitalize first letter of words that have abbreviation. For example, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). I do this more often when i mention the ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Is “pejorative” used correctly in “no pejorative bone in his body”?

He doesn't have a pejorative bone in his body. This is meant to describe a timid, non-confrontational person. Is pejorative being used correctly here, in a figurative sense?
1
vote
2answers
155 views

Usage of the adjective “smooth”

Smooth is a very common term and has a lot of meanings; my question is on smooth meaning: Ingratiatingly polite and agreeable. Is smooth commonly used with that meaning and is it a synonym of '...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

Usage of the term 'non-reproducibility'

Studies on genetic factors of schizophrenia are characterized by high heterogeneity and non-reproducibility. Is the usage of term 'non-reproducibility' appropriate in the above sentence? Is there ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

usage of terms “as well as ” and “as well” [closed]

Can anyone describe the usage of the terms "as well as" and "as well" in sentences? Are they interchangeable?
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Can I use the word “softworks”? [closed]

I see Bethesda Softworks, a well-known video game publisher, uses the word as a part of its name, and I'm pretty sure it's made up, but I like it. I would like to use it in the same sense as they do, ...
11
votes
6answers
57k views

Perception of the phrase “kindly let us know…”

Recently, I talked to a native speaker about the proper usage of the word “kindly”. I frequently use phrases like “kindly let us know whether you agree with the suggested approach” in business ...
21
votes
5answers
19k views

Is ‘hero’ applicable to females?

There was the following sentence in today’s (June 4) New York Times written by its Op-Ed columnist, Nickolas Kristof under the headline, “There’s a Kind of Hush.” “Aung San Suu Kyi should be one ...
0
votes
1answer
403 views

looking for appositive that-which phrases

I asked sentences having an appositive that-which phrase like the following sentence in English Language Learners. The insect propagates best near "disturbed land," that which is being cultivated ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Usage of “As …” in the beginning of a sentence, Any alternatives?

I use the following type of sentences a lot, because I do not know any alternatives: E.g. As my child grows over time, I become older. By which I mean that I my child is growing, and I am ...
0
votes
1answer
22k views

What's the difference between “someone” and “somebody”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between "someone is waiting for me" and "somebody is waiting for me?" Please make it clear for me.
0
votes
2answers
338 views

What does “rooster tail”(ing) mean?

"The Winnebago galumphs across the landscape, scattering cows. It catches a wheel and sprays a rooster tail of red dirt." "catches a wheel"? And "rooster tail"? If "Catches a wheel" means the ...
8
votes
5answers
191 views

What is the plain alternative to “fossilized language”?

I was drawn to the word, “fossilized language” appearing in the following sentence of the New York Times’ (June 13) article titled, “Southern politicians try to hold back the tides.” “It’s always ...
5
votes
4answers
496 views

Is “behind” the correct use

When I spell my name, I usually say it's "Marie" with "ke" behind it. (My name is Marieke, I'm from Holland). Is this correct? I just think of it as the first letter of a word is in front so the ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

Usage of “along with”

Python, along with its related packages numpy scipy is / are used to make the statistical analysis. What should it be, is or are ? I was pretty confident it would be is. But someone more ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Correct use of “x times lower”

In scientific writing numbers are often compared and if something is twice the size of something else, let's say A is 13 to 17 times the size of B this can be written as A is 13–17 times ...
5
votes
3answers
565 views

Explain something: anything [closed]

Any seems synonymous with some in some examples, such as "Is anyone home?". And any seems synonymous with every in some examples below, and definitely not in others. On the internet I encountered a ...
1
vote
1answer
216 views

“Communiqué”? English?

Is the word "Communiqué" an English word? It originated from French but does it have mainstream English usage? I have used it in my scholarship essay for an English writing course - Well I intend to (...
1
vote
2answers
529 views

What does “honking” mean in this context?

Joel Spolsky: We started with Stack Overflow, a Q&A site for programmers about programming questions. StackExchange is an attempt to bring that same technology to other fields besides ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

conceived of as vs. conceived as

When I want to write that some something has been "taken to mean" or "understood" or "interpreted as" XYZ, I sometimes use the phrase "to conceive of something as XYZ, where XYZ usually is a longer ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

Etymology of “Feeding the dragon”

I have heard the phrase "feeding the dragon" used to describe pouring time, resources, and energy into a situation that is self-perpetuating, caught in a positive feedback loop with negative ...
0
votes
4answers
309 views

Can we use “eat / bite” metaphorically in place of “accuse / slam”?

Time magazine (May 27) reported that Mrs. Obama accused House Republicans of their weakening school nutritional standards at White House meeting with school leaders and experts. I was drawn to the ...
0
votes
4answers
23k views

Polite swearing words? [closed]

I hate to swear, i.e to say "fuck you" or whatsoever of those words. However sometimes I get angry and I wish there are words that could be a polite replacement for those swearing. I wish there's a ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

A person who can read lines of “hand”? [closed]

A person who can read lines of "hand" ? Is there a word of such a person. As far as I am concerned there is that I am missing?
2
votes
2answers
9k views

What is opposite of “Love”? [closed]

In a argument with my friend who lost her love, I came across her experience of life and what she said is : Opposite of love is NOT Hate. why, Because in love people have feeling and think about ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Usage of 'USED TO' : part 2.different than existing question [duplicate]

Another question about used to does exist here. But this question is slightly different. It concerns with two types. Which is more appropriate? First, doing or do? Second, were or did? Which of ...
2
votes
4answers
102 views

Term used for a quantum or package of medication

Whats the best term to describe how medication is counted? For instance, "these pills come in 12 per pack 24 per pack or 100 per pack". I'm trying name a column for a database, and I'm trying to ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

Can the term “G-Man” be used to describe a Government official who is not an FBI agent?

Earlier today I was doing Merl Reagle's crossword and one of the clues was "Fraud fighting Fed." The answer turned out to be "T-Man," being short for "Treasury Man." So, this got me thinking... ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

How can I properly reword: “This particular ”X“ is not unique in this regard.”

Editing an essay, I recently found myself stuck trying to rewrite the sentence: "This particular journal publication is not unique in this regard." It "sounds wrong" to use the word "this" twice in ...
5
votes
2answers
487 views

Can “mode” be used as “mean” and “median” are?

It'd be normal to hear sentences like these: The mean ticket price for the concert was $56.50. The median ticket price for the concert was $61. But what about: The mode ticket price for ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Kvetch - Meaning

I was just reading a book (The Help) and came across a usage of "kvetch" that didn't quite fit with how I thought it was used. A publisher is talking about a person's writing style and comments that ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

“the above” is correct, “the below” is not?

I have often read "None of the above" at the end of multiple-choice questions (and I guess this is shorthand for "None of the above items"). Recently, in answering a help center email with my answer ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Is there a gender-neutral pronoun? [duplicate]

I've noticed a tendency in recent technical literature to use feminine pronouns, instead of the more traditional masculine. For example one might write she [the user] enters her password. It's not ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Explaining the structure of a thesis

The following sentence, and in particular the bold part, has no entry in google. Does it sound natural to native speakers? The work in this thesis is organised around three research themes of ...
0
votes
1answer
17k views

Is “humbleness” a word? [closed]

I am curious if "humbleness" is a word that can be used in place of the word "humility." Example usage: A certain amount of humbleness is necessary to fit in with the office environment.
4
votes
6answers
117k views

Alternative ways of saying “hope life is treating you well”

In a letter to an acquaintance, what's the best way to express literally hope that everything is good at their end? "I trust you are well" sounds a bit too formal?