This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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6
votes
3answers
95 views

Is the term “graphic novel” restricted to works of fiction?

I have always understood "novel" to refer specifically to a long, written, fictional tale. Novelists are distinct from nonfiction writers. At my library, there is a section marked for "graphic ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Topless vs. Shirtless

If somebody asks me to describe the below photo, I would definitely say, "It is a picture of shirtless Putin on a horseback". The adjective topless is defined by Oxford Online Dictionary: (Of a ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Is it bad practice to say “a husband and his wife” because of redundancy?

Phrasing like "a husband and his wife" or "a daughter and her father" always irked me, for being a bit redundant. Surely, it is enough to say "man and his wife" (or in the case of same-sex marriages ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Use of gerund vs bare-infinitive: overfilling vs overfill [duplicate]

How do I explain using "overfilling" instead of "overfill" in the following sentence? We needed to announce the party just a few days from the date to avoid overfill the salon.
2
votes
2answers
50 views

Can standards deem someone unworthy?

I've just written the sentence: people may recognize standards that deem them unworthy and weren't sure whether it is correct: can a standard deem you unworthy? Would it sound too odd, or merely ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Grammar of “so long as S+V, S is otherwise [adjective]”

So long as the receiving market is financially open and deep enough, which many emerging countries now are, that money is otherwise pretty indifferent to the merits of the economies it is ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Does 'droll' have a negative connotation?

I'd taken droll to mean something like drily amusing, but without any implied negativity. But I've often heard people say Very droll! in response to something that they appear to find mildly ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it “chalk it up to” or “chock it up to”?

Grammarist & Our beloved StackExchange both say that the phrase "Chalk it up to" dates back to, among other things, debts being tallied on a chalkboard. However, when I hear the phrase "chock it ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Can 'atypical' be used for 'difficult'?

Atypical, so far as I know, means irregular, unusual or not typical/normal. Here in India, people generally use 'typical' to mean difficult or hard. (A question about that was also asked here some ...
-3
votes
1answer
54 views

He “clipped on” vs. “clicked on”

TV Show Friends – the United States, sitcom. (Season 3 Episode 22) Rachel: Oh, Phoebe, are you still on hold? I was supposed to call my Dad back like two hours ago. Phoebe: Oh, yeah, he ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

How do I use the two meaning of the word “just” differently?

The English word "just" could mean "now" or "finally," for example: I just finished my homework. Does it mean "I finished my homework now" or "I finally finished my homework"? How do I use the ...
4
votes
2answers
65 views

Is “sordid” the right word?

I have a character who is of questionable morals and happens to shamelessly kill people for a living. They neither care who they kill nor care whether their actions are wrong, so long as they get ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Usage of the word “erroneous”

Can the word 'erroneous' be used to apply to a person, as in the term 'erroneous spouses'?
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Why does “eastwardly” have two opposite meanings?

"Eastwardly" can mean either from the east or to the east. How does one use it without ambiguity?
1
vote
0answers
54 views

A term for a particular or general skill that needs to be improved and acted on?

The title says it all. I'm unable to come up with the term for something you have as a part of a skill-set that needs to be further improved upon. It may be something very simple that is also at the ...
3
votes
3answers
46 views

Is it correct to say “The learning curve has always been uphill”?

A quick google search on the word uphill gave me the following results: Uphill [adverb] : towards the top of hill or slope [adjective] : slopping upwards [noun] : An upward slop So, I'm trying ...
-2
votes
2answers
67 views

Which one sounds better— 'cannibalism' or 'eating human flesh'? [closed]

I was going through a text about ancient civilization. There, I found a sentence which says, "Some ancient human being recognized even cannibalism." After reading that sentence, I started to think ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

What's the proper way to use English grammar for morning greetings? [closed]

Please advise me on the correct usage of the words sleep and slept. How was your night? Did you slept well? Is this sentence correct?
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Is the fixed phrase “belong WITH something” still in use? [closed]

As I was reading a myth, I bumped into a sentence like The creature does not belong with mankind I am not sure if it is still possible to use this expression. Has it not been replaced totally ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

If city life is urban, what do you call living in a forest?

I know that rural relates to living in the countryside, and urban and suburban refer to living in cities, towns or residential areas. But some places, like in upstate New York, have dense trees and ...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

Redeem into…?

I just saw a Bank of America commercial that had this use of redeem: Is the use of redeem with the preposition into standard...or possible? To me, it doesn't make sense. I looked on Google and ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

Must “Eldest” Always Apply To People?

If you have a collection of things that are related to one another, can you use "eldest" to denote the oldest, or should that term only be used with respect to people? Another question on this site: ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

now it seems / as I see it now / as now I see it / to see it now / as for now / as of now What's the phrase I am looking for?

I came up with the following phrases to start the sentence, but I am not sure which one is proper. Now it seems, that ... As I see it now, ... As now I see it, ... To see it now, ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Is there a way of knowing whether you can make a compound word?

For example, can I make 'year round' year-round? Or resort style 'resort-style'? Is there a general rule to let me know that it will be correct, grammatically speaking? Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
51 views

What kinds of phonetic or phonological linguistic gaffes are there? (mondegreens, eggcorns, spoonerisms) [closed]

I was wondering what other sorts of phonetics-based linguistic gaffes there are. I don't mean the typical grammatical or syntactic error. Rather, I mean things like "eggcorns": eggcorn ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

On a side note vs. on a different note?

Is it grammatically correct if I write: On a side note, should I expect an e-mail/telephone call from you confirming my NHO date? I am not sure if you are able to obtain/verify all the required ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

From pharos to lighthouse

Pharos and lighthouse indicate: a tall structure topped by a powerful light used as a beacon or signal to aid nautical navigation. Ngram shows that lighthouse usage has been preferred ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Is there anything wrong with the usage of “the more exciting” this sentence?

Nearly all of the editors of the magazine agree that of the two articles to be published, Fujimura's is the more exciting. Shouldn't it be "the more exciting one"?
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Is unuseful more useful than useless?

I was wondering if the word unuseful is different from useless. I want to use the former to mean "not very useful", and be less offensive sometimes than to use the latter, which means "of no use at ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

“Take heed” vs “pay heed”

Are there any difference in meaning between "take heed" and "pay heed"? I notice from Google Ngram that "pay heed" is becoming more common as "take heed" is becoming less used. However, it seems ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Unpossible / Impossible

While reading Richard II, I came across the word unpossible: BUSHY: For us to levy power proportionable to the enemy is all unpossible. This is the only use of unpossible in all of Shakespeare's ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

Usage of the “non” word when describing something which does not belong to a project (or any organizational group)

The dictionary contains many words which start with "non", e.g. non-acceptance or nonacceptance (with a hyphen and without it). I tried to find out if I can build a new word by using the word "non" ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

How to express the relationship that two numbers are not equal? [closed]

I know that for two numbers x and y, relationships like x < y (and x <= y sometimes) are called inequalities. Note here, there is an order between x and y, for example (3 < 5). But what's ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

In which circumstances is the expression “I have an ask” more appropriate than “I have a request”?

I found the following definition for ask as a noun. a demand or situation that requires a specified degree of effort or commitment. Example: "it is a big ask for him to go and play 90 minutes" ...
1
vote
3answers
441 views

How do “augment” and “increase” differ?

Definition of augment by Dictionary.com: to make larger; enlarge in size, number, strength, or extent; increase Definition of increase by Dictionary.com: to make greater, as in number, size, ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Is mediocrely a word?

I've checked some online dictionaries and have not found it in some while it does exist in others and so wonder if it's a word or not and unsure how to be sure about such things? Given a word, how can ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

What's the meaning of “piqueur” and “game” in the following context?

In the grey dawn the game was turned and the branch broken by our best piqueur. A rare day's hunting lies before us. Google says piqueur is a French word means whipper in English. But I still ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

A Shoe 'in White' / 'in a White' / 'in the White'

I was watching an American sitcom where this exchange took place (between a customer who wants to buy a pair of shoes and a storekeeper, let's assume) : shopkeeper: Okay. Um, how about these? ...
-1
votes
1answer
59 views

So, “I feel amazing” is not grammatically wrong but it is not popular right?

amazing: very surprising, especially in a way that makes you feel pleasure or admiration; Ex: That's amazing, isn't it? (Source) amazed: very surprised; EX: I was amazed at her knowledge of French ...
-1
votes
2answers
57 views

Which one is more appropriate, “many a time” or “many a times”? [duplicate]

I used to think that phrases starting with 'many a ' were notionally plural but singular in usage. So, which one is more appropriate here?
0
votes
1answer
75 views

How do you use “What” in a sentence?

So I am writing this essay and I am not sure how to use the word "what" in a sentence. The sentence is What encouraged me to work hard is what encouraged me to study hard or should it be: ...
10
votes
2answers
223 views

AmE “gas” vs. BrE “petrol”

One of the most conspicuous differences in AmE vs BrE usage is probably that of gasoline (gas) vs petrol to refer to: a light fuel oil that is obtained by distilling petroleum and used in ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Usage - “Given the understanding” vs “Find/Found”

I'm not a native English speaker. Grateful for sources to cite on any subtle difference in the meaning and usage of "given the understanding" and "find/found" in demonstrating the writer's ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Construe vs. construct

It seems, perhaps obviously, that "construe" and "construct" have nearly identical etymologies. Since that is true, is there a reason--as for "use" instead of "utilize"--that one should use the more ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Is “ice-jam” used in British English?

Would it be correct to use the term ice-jam, meaning ice formations in the water, in British English?
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Czechia or Czech Republic? [closed]

I recently visited Czechia or did I visit the Czech Republic? If I visited the latter why did I not also visit the Slovak Republic instead of Slovakia?
0
votes
4answers
57 views

slang-ism vs slangism vs slang [closed]

I came across the following sentence here in this community: It is a slangism for "optimal" or "tuned". I was about to edit it to the following: It is slang for "optimal" or "tuned". I ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What word means “things that can't coexist togther”?

I am writing an essay and I wanted to say that the things I like about a large university and the things I like about a small university can't exist together. For example the small supportive ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

“Three way” vs. “Threesome” [closed]

My apology if I'm disrespecting the forum with such question, but after all we are here to learn. Are three way and threesome different from each other? Have I written "Three way" correctly?
3
votes
7answers
112 views

What word means both “advantages and disadvantages”?

So I am writing an essay and I can't find the word I want to use. The sentence says: When I travelled to England there were pros and cons. The sentence doesn't sound right and if I change it to: ...