This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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-2
votes
2answers
414 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
590 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
770 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
293 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
479 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
786 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
265 views

Assembler, Installer, Fitter

Say, you buy some new office furniture. You get the furniture parts delivered including the service to put the different parts - for example the desk top and the desk legs - together to complete ...
0
votes
1answer
189 views

Word order again?

I have been thinking about word order and its meaning, thus when we have for instance: Planet of the apes or Apes planet Proposal for extra work or Extra work proposal Which is the more ...
-2
votes
1answer
185 views

Word for - an item that belongs to a group or list [closed]

This is one of those word / phrase on the tip of my tongue things. What is a technical word or phrase for an item that belongs to a group? Some Context I am creating a relational table (database) ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

what does “into the blue” / “to the blue” exactly mean?

What does it mean? And when is it used? If someone says: "To the blue", "into the blue"? What to except?
2
votes
2answers
899 views

Is “which [noun] …” correct? [duplicate]

I came across this literature recently: An Owner may apply for a Change of Name of a registered Greyhound by submitting to the GBGB the appropriate form duly completed, which form shall include ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Can the verb “solve” be applied to the noun “challenge”?

For example, "John was asked to solve a complex challenge." I find this to read very awkwardly, as if someone told me they solved a banana. Is this a case of verb-noun mismatch?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Can the word 'pre-order' be used for an item already in production?

As I understand it the term pre-order refers to ordering an item that hasn't been released yet, probably as a concatenation of pre-release order. However I just received an email from Farnell ...
-2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “agriculture” a verb? [closed]

Can I say to agriculture the land? If not, what would the alternative be?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I use “way how to” to express a method of doing something?

I always thought that this phrase is wrong. That I can use either "the way to do something" or "how to do something". However, I find the phrase way how to very often in various places and that puts ...
3
votes
3answers
485 views

On the expression “some… and not others”

I want to ask a simple question. One often uses some and and not others or but not others together. For instance: (1) Why does cancer attack some tissues but not others? (2) Why do ...
40
votes
8answers
7k views

Can I “wear an umbrella”?

Does it make sense to say the following? Yesterday I wore an umbrella and a coat.
0
votes
3answers
3k views

How offensive is to call a girl “Barbie doll”? Why?

I remember I had a conversation where I have told a girl she was Barbie doll. I just meant she looked beautiful like a Barbie doll: blond, and with blue eyes. Needless to say, she was really offended, ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the plural form of “Mercedes” a disused word?

In the picture below: 1) are there two Mercedeses? Or, 2) are there two Mercedes? Can we infer from this nGram that the plural noun "Mercedeses" is a disused word, hence the sentence 2) ...
2
votes
1answer
580 views

Usage of 'represent' to mean 'present again'

Can the word 'represent' be used to mean 'present again'? Is the usage in the following sentence correct? "You cannot represent a bounced cheque.'
3
votes
3answers
2k views

“Cherry picking” - What is the correct usage?

Cherry picking A quick Google search yields the following definitions: Definition One Cherry picking is the act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular ...
-2
votes
2answers
174 views

Can I say “the table was covered by a scatter”? [closed]

Can I say "the table was covered by a scatter"? Is it correct?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

“These sort of things”: is it grammatical? (2,670,000 hits on Google) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What sort of thing? I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “Colorless, Tasteless but Not Dangerous" by Dwight Garner in The New ...
3
votes
5answers
9k views

“I am back to city” vs. “I am back in city”

Which is the correct usage when I tell someone that I am back? I am back to [some city] Or I am back in [some city]
4
votes
2answers
37k views

Is “received with thanks” stilted English?

I just got a receipt which said "Received with thanks the sum of ..." Thanks stands for gratitude, so this looks fine to me as far as grammar is concerned. But is this old-fashioned and/or stilted? ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Use of “whatever” vs “whatsoever”

The city posts signs near my house that read: Dump no waste whatever The meaning is clear in context: don't dump any waste here. But the sign sounds incorrect. To me, it seems "whatever" ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Usage of the word “nemesis”

I came across the following GRE question: The adjective "Faustian", derived from the German legend of Faust, the protagonist whose pride and vanity lead to his doom, has come to denote acts ...
3
votes
2answers
312 views

Is “starboard” used for land vehicles?

Is it correct to use "starboard side" to refer to the "right-side" of a land vehicle (e.g. cars / trucks / lorries / motorcycles) ? Wiktionary seems to accept specifically ships, boats, and ...
1
vote
3answers
353 views

Usage of “which”

Is the following sentence correct: "They have the Supreme Court on their side which ruled in their favor." What I want to say is that they (some group of people) have the Supreme Court on their side ...
9
votes
4answers
30k views

Is 'useable' preferred in certain regions, or just an alternate spelling of 'usable'?

I rarely use spell checkers, but today when I did use one, it suggested changing the word 'useable' to 'usable' (i.e. to drop the first 'e'). This seemed immediately intuitive and I thought I'd just ...
7
votes
2answers
15k views

Which is correct: “anytime” or “any time”?

Is it "any time" or "anytime" or are those two things different?
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Difference between “kindness” and “generosity” [closed]

Is there a difference between kindness and generosity? For example, I have benefited a lot from your kindness and generosity. The difference in my mind is subtle but I think it is a significant ...
4
votes
4answers
223 views

Prepositions used with “renovation”

I've been asked to approve a bronze plaque reading "Capital improvements and renovation to this organ were made possible by...." The organ builders objected that "renovation to" is a barbarism. It ...
2
votes
1answer
227 views

What are single views of an online banner ad called?

I am developing a web application for managing banners, advertisements, etc. I am not sure what the correct name for one 'view' of a banner is. I need to name it somehow to be able to report ...
3
votes
10answers
2k views

Better word for blackmail or extortion

A while ago I used the word blackmail in a situation, just to learn that the word didn't fit. I am left wondering whether there is a better choice. I probably have to explain the situation (I'll try ...
3
votes
2answers
877 views

'pick' as an alternative for 'pick up' (transport)

A lady (of West Indian ancestry) said at a Church meeting this weekend: "He picked me at the station." Obviously, she meant what I would mean by saying: "He picked me up at the station," which would ...
2
votes
2answers
828 views

Usage of noxious, nocuous and their opposites

I came across the word nocuous. It seems that this word is rarely used (and even the spell-checking of my browser does mark it as a mistake). Noxious, in comparison, is used way more often. ...
7
votes
4answers
22k views

Duplicate vs. replicate vs. reduplicate

What is the difference in usage between these three apparently-synonymous words: duplicate, replicate, and reduplicate. (Definitions from ODO) duplicate: make or be an exact copy of replicate: ...
1
vote
1answer
456 views

Why do websites have Caucasian as a race? [closed]

It is an archaic, racist in (in the derogatory sense towards non-caucasians) and technically incorrect if sub-sets of "Caucasian" - such as Middle Eastern - exist in the same list. Moreover what is ...
22
votes
4answers
84k views

Why does “puce” mean two different colors depending on where you live?

I always thought puce was green, then saw on Wikipedia that it is purplish-brown. Further research tells me that it's generally regarded as purplish-brown in the United States, whereas Europeans think ...