This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
3k views

The right word for someone with a higher rank in military

What is a general word for someone in the military who has a higher rank than someone or a group of people ? For example someone can be a commander or captain, etc, but when an officer wants to ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Can “look” be transitive in the meaning “look at”?

For example: He examined the body indifferently, much like one would look a dead animal on a roadside. I would like to know if to look can be employed transitively like this. I'm sure I've read ...
2
votes
2answers
480 views

Can “respectively” be used with a single sequence if clear to what each item refers?

Typically, the word "respectively" is used to relate two sequences of identical lengths: ... expectation of finding two and three cats in the left and right room, respectively. Meaning, in this ...
1
vote
2answers
164 views

“transcend” in a negative context

Can transcend be used to imply a negative condition? For example, "an unappointed ruling elite that transcends both of the member groups." The implication would be that the elite group is comprised of ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “European Peninsula” a common name for Europe?

In this article, Europe was called the “European Peninsula”. Is that a common name for Europe? Here is the whole sentence from the article: We have seen that Ukraine’s fate is not yet settled, ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

“handy” instead of “mobile phone” (non-Germans) [duplicate]

Does anybody (non-German) ever use the word handy instead of mobile-phone in English?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the term “professional” justifiably reduced to “being paid to do something”?

I very often hear people call themselves professional at something they haven’t been doing long. On the rare occasions that I ask them how they feel able to qualify themselves as professional, the ...
6
votes
3answers
930 views

Is the word “Galapagos” transferable into adjective and verb to mean “outdated, fossilized” in English?

We have a word “Gala-kei-ガラ携” which is an abbreviation of “Galapagos (shortened as Gala” and “mobile phone (shortened as “Kei”) meaning outdated mobile phone as opposed to advanced smart-phones in ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

Admits the following description

I have a question about the sentence "The evolution of a process admits the following description". I checked then the phrase "admits the following description" in Ngram Viewer and found no ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

When to use unbeknown and unknown?

Recently, I've seen the word unbeknown, which was new to me. Is there any difference between unknown and unbeknown in meaning and/or usage?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the word “comparator” widely used outside of IT and computing — say, in statistics?

I came across the word “comparator” in the report of International Monetary Fund under the title, “Can women save Japan?” (WP/12/248) co-authored by Chad Steinberg and Masao Nakane “Japan has FLP ...
1
vote
2answers
262 views

Is “panko” a common word?

I recently found the word panko in a dictionary. It is derived from the Japanese word "パン粉" and means bread crumbs. Is panko a common word in English? For example, can I ask supermarket staff "Where ...
1
vote
2answers
342 views

Usage of “acknowledge” [closed]

Is it acceptable to write "We acknowledge Dr. AAA for his useful advice" to express gratitude or appreciation?
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Adding “one” to an expression like “more than the average”

Is it necessary to add the word "one" in the following sentence? Mary was clearly not a typical child; she was more quiet and inexpressive than the average (one). Does that one belong there?
5
votes
2answers
122 views

Is the phrase “Corporate Daddy” getting currency, or is it just a one-off coinage?

I was attracted to the word of the headline, “The Corporate Daddy: Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and the fight against inequality” of an article in New York Times (June 19), which was written by Timothy Egan, ...
-5
votes
3answers
572 views

appropriate usage of the word “Here”

Is it possible to begin a sentence with the word here? If so, can anyone please give an example? In a sentence like this one, is the use of here grammatically correct? Here, first we should know ...
0
votes
3answers
530 views

Is “Well-spokenness” a phrase in current use ?

I had never heard or read this before, but a job ad required "well-spokenness". The American Heritage Dictionary never even mentions "spokenness". Nor does the OED online. Although I think I ...
2
votes
2answers
459 views

Is the usage of “ma'am” in the Philippines correct?

In the Philippines, they use the honorific ma'am before a name, such as Ma'am Garcia or Ma'am Karen. I think this is incorrect use of the word ma'am, but I was told it is acceptable. Is this usage ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

Scheduled Immediately?

scheduled (adjective) :: included in or arranged / planned according to a schedule. schedule :: 1. a plan of procedure, usually written, for a proposed objective, especially with reference ...
1
vote
3answers
306 views

lexy - definition

I have just encountered this word on a news entitled " 'Unfriend' or 'Defriend?' Facebook Fans Debate", and here is the sentence: "No, unfriend is definitely more lexy," wrote another commenter. (...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Use of “that” when proceeded by people, proper nouns, or pronouns

"I admit that I am a student in college" I came across this sentence in an online post one day when a comment below it corrected the user, saying "that" should not be used when it is preceded by ...
2
votes
3answers
691 views

Use of 'ing' after to

"With our commitment to working towards finding alternatives for reducing environmental footprints....." or should it be ".... to work towards..." Got confused. Please guide me which one of these two ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “Both I and you fight for ourselves” correct?

Suppose two persons from different countries are talking with each other. How can I combine the following two sentences "I fight for myself. You fight for yourself." ... and make a single ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

What does ranked two places below mean?

If a statement says "India is ranked two places below China" What place does India hold if China is ranked 1? Is it rank 3 or 4? Also, is there any difference between the following two sentences? ...
2
votes
1answer
310 views

Upvote vs. Vote up

On StackExchange sites I usually use upvote. Elsewhere - vote up. What is the better variant - upvote or vote up? Is it context-specific?
0
votes
2answers
646 views

Too many commas in Harry Potter

The book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" starts with the line - "Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. " ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Can “texting” include emails?

Texting is a word for sending a text message via the Short Message Service (SMS) and available in cell phone services now, distinguished from email. But I would like to know how strictly you use ...
4
votes
4answers
308 views

Can the word “cloister” be applied to a Buddhist monastery?

My mother told me she visited a Buddhist monastery (before I was born), simply because there were so many of them in China, and it couldn't hurt just to visit one and check it out for fun. She didn't ...
0
votes
1answer
134 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
942 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
942 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
513 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
151 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
298 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
90 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
330 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
147 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
176 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
59 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
157 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
126 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
215 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
84 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
61k 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
20k 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 ...