This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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6
votes
2answers
25k 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
470 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
votes
4answers
246 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
votes
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; ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Using term “shot dead”

I'm curious about newscasters using the term "shot dead" in describing the death of a gun shot victim. Is this correct? They would never describe a survivor as "shot live".
3
votes
5answers
391 views

Is cruel standard use as a noun in poetry? Are there terms for non-standard English specifically in regard to use in poetry?

I hope this question isn't off-topic. I heard a madrigal with the following verse which bothers me somewhat, grammatically. Cruel, wilt thou persever? Peace to leave ever? Peace shalt thou have and ...
10
votes
4answers
358 views

Can “inverted” be used to indicate that something is “inside-out”?

If something is inside out, can it be said that the object is inverted? My understanding of the word inverted is simply "the opposite state," but I would like to get a bit of clarification just to be ...
1
vote
1answer
302 views

What qualifies that as “Best practices”? [closed]

Previously asked here. We hear a lot of things about best practices, quite a lot, actually. However, the question I've linked to has a great answer for why it's important to evaluate best practices. ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Synonyms for “Almighty”

What is a perfect synonym for Almighty? For whom we could we use Almighty? Can Almighty be used for God?
3
votes
3answers
450 views

“to differentiate whether”

Is it valid to say to differentiate in combination with whether or can I only differentiate between things? Examples: He was not able to differentiate whether that wine was an expensive or a ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do we use “gubernatorial” as an adjective?

Both "govenor" and its adjective form, "gubernatorial", originally derive from the same Latin word "gubernare" (to govern) yet we use root "govern" in all contexts ("govern", "government", "governor", ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is a “fountain pen” so called?

I was accused of using a fountain pen the other day (guilty as charged). Does anyone know why it is called so? The mess of ink I get on the page, the table, my person, etc when refilling it is ...
2
votes
4answers
567 views

“Innocent” vs. “immature”

I'm trying to decide how to describe someone. He is not very wise, but that is also due to his ignorance. Should I use "innocence" or "immature" and can someone please explain the difference between ...
5
votes
3answers
320 views

Was I correct to use the word “establish” in my tweet? Should I have included adverbial “as”?

English is not my native language, but I'm a willing pupil and in most cases I'm pretty confident in my knowledge, but sometimes I hesitate to use particular words. I wrote this tweet recently: I ...
15
votes
4answers
34k views

How does one use the Latin word “cum” in a sentence?

I'm talking about the Latin cum, which I've seen used conjunctively, as in A-cum-B. What does it mean, and how do you use it?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What are all the ways the British use the word “lovely”? Especially towards pretty girls?

From watching many period dramas and plays set in England, as I like to do, I've become more acutely aware of the British overloading of the word lovely. In particular, I have two questions: What ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

When do you use what word to express that something consists of something else?

There are various ways of saying that something consists of something else: composed of comprised of contained in consist of Maybe there are more. Are there hard and fast rules when to use which ...
4
votes
3answers
14k views

The adjective “dashing”: can it be used to describe a woman?

Can you say of a woman that she is "dashing", meaning that she looks stupendous, graceful etc.?
1
vote
2answers
569 views

The history of the use of “man” [closed]

The pronoun 'he' used generically, as well as a lot of words including "man-kind" or generic "man" are sex-biased and are not acceptable. However, not so long ago, they were the proper used terms for ...
7
votes
7answers
21k views

Usage of the word “technically”

I use this word in my daily language even without knowing what it actually means. Technically speaking, there is no big difference between […] and […]. So what does this word imply, not in the ...
3
votes
9answers
28k views

Is the word “epic” being used correctly these days?

You know what I mean. The word "epic" has been overused for quite some time now. I was recently referred to Wiktionary as a trusted source, and I see this example in use: (colloquial) Extending ...
10
votes
3answers
595 views

Origin of the word “spraunce”

I was recently talking to someone who said a restaurant was spraunce, meaning it was well-presented and high-quality (that being the sense I was familiar with). We briefly discussed the fact that he ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“2 times”, “twice” and “2X”, when to use which and why?

I am not sure if 2X is even a valid word. What are the proper usages for each of the three?
2
votes
2answers
302 views

Is there a better / correct term for the de facto usage of ‘ironic’?

The word ‘ironic’ is known to be quite frequently misused, to the point that some dictionaries have actually started accepting the de facto usage as another definition, usually calling it situational ...
8
votes
1answer
257 views

Is this usage of 'curiously' correct?

I recently used a sentence similar to the following: Curiously, do you prefer black? Some people found it grammatically incorrect. That was a surprise, for I thought it was perfectly okay. ...
1
vote
0answers
95 views

What is the best rule for determining when to use “Who” and/or “Whom” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “who” and “whom” This is a topic that always causes me to take pause. I never really know if I am using who correctly or if whom would be ...
6
votes
3answers
582 views

Should “round” only be used to describe 2-d objects?

My high school teacher used to say, "No, the world is not round it is globular". Strictly speaking, is round more appropriately used to describe 2-dimensional objects (circle, oval, tire, plate or ...
0
votes
2answers
228 views

Another “ would” usage to maintain the same tense in the sentence

Touché on modify the joke to serve your best interest, although it'd probably lose its luster as you'd be disregarding traditionally Jewish stereotypes. Is this sentence grammatically correct? ...
8
votes
2answers
18k views

Which phrase is correct: “dependent on” or “dependent upon”

Which sentence is correct?  my project is dependent upon your project completing my project is dependent on your project completing.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it correct to say that something is “claustrophobic” if it makes someone feel claustrophobic?

For example, people often refer to an elevator as claustrophobic, but I'm curious whether it is more accurate to say that an elevator causes its occupants to feel claustrophobic.
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Usage of “many” vs “many a”?

Can someone please elucidate the difference between "many" and "many a"? In what context of usage should we add an extra "a" beside the word "many"? For example: Many times, I had seen ...
8
votes
3answers
858 views

How widely is “catch-22” used?

I have known for a long time that there is noun called “catch-22” in English. In some cases, I really would like to use it but I'm not sure if it is a well known term. AFAIK, it is used when you are ...
3
votes
2answers
465 views

Is the formation “[s]he” overly distracting?

Does the use of "[s]he" as a gender-neutral pronoun prompt eye-rolling in the reader or is it generally accepted? I know it cannot be pronounced, but it seems to me a helpful contraction in written ...
5
votes
3answers
15k views

What general rules govern the usage of “by” versus “through”?

What general rules govern the usage of by versus through? For example, which is correct in each of these cases: My house is heated by/through gas. I'll send it to you by/through mail. I'll ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Is “that of” used in an appropriate way?

Could you please tell me whether I use that of in an appropriate way or not? Here are the results of the calculations. That of calculation number four is pretty difficult to get.
12
votes
2answers
925 views

Guidelines for the use of the slang term “cise”

I heard an unfamiliar regional slang word used thusly: I'm gonna go cise (rhymes with ice) me a sandwich and then I'll be back. When I questioned the user, the speaker insisted it has been ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why isn't the ball used in football called “a football ball”?

We know that you need a ball to play cricket, golf, or tennis, and we refer to the balls used in those sports as "cricket ball", "golf ball" and "tennis ball" respectively: you take the name of the ...
2
votes
3answers
230 views

Short name for rearranging verb and adjective places in a sentence

The usual "Working Hard?" greeting can be rearranged to "Hardly Working!" reply. Is there a name for this process? In the above statement instead of using "rearranging" can one use "permuting" ...
2
votes
2answers
301 views

“Passed” versus “past” instance in a published novel

A certain book by a famous author has been released in a new second edition. Unfortunately, it appears some changes have been made for the worse. For instance, in the first edition you read the ...
7
votes
1answer
21k views

Starting a sentence with “rather”

I've sometimes heard people use rather for connecting two sentences where the second one sets counterexample to something negated in the first. This is not a meaningful sentence. Rather, it's an ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

“Loviest-doviest” or “lovey-doviest”?

I know that this term in its comparative form would 'lovier-dovier', but somehow I can't decide whether it is "loviest-doviest" or "lovey-doviest" Which is the correct form?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Does using the word “crony” necessitate a negative connotation?

I have always heard the word "crony" in the context of acquaintanceships between people exploiting their closeness for less than noble means. Despite its definitions in the usual places as simply ...
2
votes
2answers
202 views

Does using the word “prefer” contain an implication of “necessity”?

I would prefer you come in and not your friend to get the signature. Above is the sentence in the email I received from my supervisor. I was in another city so I had no choice but to ask my ...
4
votes
2answers
473 views

What is the relationship between fame and infamy?

In layman's terms, what is the relationship between fame and infamy? Is fame required to be infamous? Are they (definitively) mutual exclusive?
19
votes
10answers
7k views

How should “deceptively” actually be used?

I'm not sure if this is a duplicate question, but I couldn't find anything on here on the topic. I can't seem to figure out what is actually meant when using the word "deceptive," or rather, what is ...
6
votes
10answers
6k views

A Word that means “to adapt or improve, to conform to a higher standard”?

I need to find or invent a word that suggests a system might be "adapted or improved to conform to a higher standard". A verb, noun, adjective or even adverb would be acceptable, but so far I haven't ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

What makes “like” and “so” popular?

So, I was like, why does everyone say like and so in every sentence? Where did this trend come from, like, what started it, and is it actually grammatically correct to like, insert like into our ...
3
votes
2answers
49k views

What does N.B. stand for? [closed]

I have received letters for years, and some of the most common things in letters are post-scripts, however, there are also these funny little "N.B." which obviously do not stand for Post Script. What ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

On the use of “both”

I keep running into this debate with my thesis advisor. Are both of these forms correct? It can be seen that both the users are able to... or It can be seen that the both users are able ...