This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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0
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2answers
92 views

Can we say “He drunk water?” [closed]

I know about the comparatives - drink,drank,drunk. But when I just used it in the sentence "He drunk water!", Someone pointed that it was wrong and that the verb "DRUNK" must be used only when someone ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Import and export preposition usage

Consider the following phrases: The car was imported from Detroit. The car was exported from Detroit. The car was imported to Detroit. The car was exported to Detroit. Are these all semantically ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Can things make smells?

I have read that things "produce" smells. Something creates a certain smell, is OK, I believe. I could not find "something makes a smell" during my online search, however. I wanted to say, "The milk ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“X style,” vs “X-style.”

Example: He rose from the dead Jesus style. He rose from the dead Jesus-style. Similarly: This was my first time digging goat excrement. Not an item in my list of things to do before ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Couple, few and several [duplicate]

During typical conversation, how would one define couple, few and several? I have read the actual definitions; however, they appear to be a bit vague. My thoughts are: A couple is two. A few is ...
0
votes
2answers
115 views

Is “terribly beautiful” a common use of the word terribly? [closed]

My brother mentioned the phrase terrible in French is used for both good and bad sometimes. Is this true for English? I have heard people use the phrase "terribly beautiful" in a context of ...
0
votes
3answers
89 views

How Do You Use The Word 'Abode'? [closed]

How do you use the word 'abode' when you are talking about someone's home, not the past tense of 'abide'. Is this sentence grammatically correct? "Everyone remains in their abode."
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Especially or specially [closed]

Please explain the difference between especially and specially ? Especially: ADVERB 1 Used to single out one person or thing over all others: 2 To a great extent; very much: ...
6
votes
6answers
195 views

Shift to “must” for negation of “have to”?

According to englishpage.com, if have to or must expresses certainty, the negative form uses must not. Example: That has to be Jerry. They said he was tall with bright red hair. => That must not ...
-1
votes
1answer
126 views

Is there a way to specify a person just by hair color? [closed]

You can say: "Look, there is a blonde woman." or "Look, there is a gray woman." If I am talking about hair color. But at the moment I say brown or black it is about skin color. And red just ...
-2
votes
1answer
68 views

Indorse or Endorse? [closed]

When I was still working in the office, my Boss usually asks me to make an Indorsement/Endorsement. I used, the ENDORSEMENT, but I come to read my Professor's endorsement which is spelled as ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

“Financier” in British and American English

I am teaching English to a group of university students whose major is Finance, and whose native language is not English. I have no background in economics in general or finance in particular. I am ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Usage of “which” or “that” [duplicate]

I'm a bit confused with the correct answer in this phrase: In Florida, you can explore the Everglades or the beaches, _______ are relaxing places. Is it "which are relaxing places" or "that ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Use of the word “presently”?

I'm reading Bleeding Edge, by Thomas Pynchon, and his use of it strikes me each time as needless. Sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. Its general use seems to me almost comic, perhaps like in ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

“Obsequy” as a more concise synonym of “sycophancy”

Yesterday I was composing some text and found myself in need of a concise, formal word denoting an act or practice of servile, insincere flattery. As I mentally searched for the right word, the ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

What is the difference between “illness” and “disease”?

Are there any differences when those words are used? By whom they are used? Google n-gram All English English fiction: I would guess that "illness" is rather a term which is used in spoken ...
1
vote
4answers
368 views

Does 'affect' imply negative effect?

when I say A affects B, does it imply that A has a negative effect on B?
3
votes
1answer
73 views

What kind of wordplay is this?

In his book Humorous English, Evan Esar gives example uses of devices he broadly labels synonymics. He writes of synonymic puns: Many a wife sends her husband to an early grave with a series of ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Is this proper usage of the word “talks about”?

We were on the subject of borders within the EU/Europe; we were not talking about the actual EU and Europe borders. Europe and the EU are two different things. "Europe has open borders" works as ...
4
votes
3answers
176 views

Usage of “well-intended” vs. “well-intentioned”

It seems to me that the adjective well-intended is properly applied to an action, whereas well-intentioned is properly applied to an actor. For example, suppose John observes that Mary's car is dirty ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Is it allowed to use however with in spite of

Can you please tell me if it is allowed to use "however" with "in spite of" at the beginning of the sentence such as: The proposed model is efficient. However, in spite of positive impacts such as a, ...
11
votes
7answers
5k views

What word starts with “pro”, ends with “ive”, and means generally-accepted or -expected [closed]

A front page article in USA Today this morning refers to Hillary Clinton as the "prohibitive Democratic front-runner." I know that prohibitive is the wrong word here, but I can't remember the right ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Does “this generation” associated with a calendar date identify a generation unambiguously?

This question arises from the commentspace in this question on stats.SE. My comment was: Last I checked Terry Tao was the pre-eminent mathematician of this generation? To which another ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

open my heart / open up my heart

In a translation I am trying to decide whether I should use open my heart / open up my heart which is better do they have the same meaning?
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Socket or outlet, which one do you use when explaining to a child? [closed]

I'm just curious.... In the USA, how do you explain to a child 'don't put anything in the electrical outlet' or 'don't play with a wall socket'?? How do you say the same thing around the globe?
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Another way of saying “hanging by a thread”

Instead of using "Hanging by a thread" in the context of someone walking endlessly in the desert and being barely able to continue, what is a better choice of phrase?
2
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the correct usage of 'as to'?

I became curious about how to use 'as to.' I remember I've seen it several times in many sentences, but I cannot be quite sure of its correct usage. For example, am I using it right when I say "Would ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

'In doing this' or 'by doing this'? Which is more common in this context? [closed]

In doing this or by doing this? Is the following sentence correct as is? In doing this, [the products] benefit from greater diversification and wider reach. ('In doing this' refers to the ...
2
votes
4answers
192 views

Is it appropriate to use “reunion” for meeting only one person after a long time? If not, what's the alternative?

I met a childhood friend after over 15 years. It was myself, my spouse (who had never met the friend), and this friend. Would I use reunion for this situation, as it always makes me feel it's for a ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Electronic module or unit?

I make circuit boards with micro controllers that I mount inside plastic cases. I've always referred to them as electronic control modules. But what is really the best word for these? Electronic ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Is “a half dozen” necessarily 6, or can it be 5-7?

In my answer to a question on the SF & Fantasy stack, I assumed that "half a dozen" is imprecise enough to mean anywhere from 5 to 7. Another user challenged that assumption and stated that since ...
0
votes
5answers
160 views

searching for a suitable synonym for “ a group of people ” ex. young people , old people , etc

I specially want to use this word after "adolescent" . better said, I'm looking for a nice paraphrasing for " young people ".
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Question on word-usage: synergetic, synergistic, or synergy

In environmental psychology there is a specific cumulative effect which has been referred to in literature as: synergetic effect E.g.: Potential synergetic effects between local road traffic ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Subject of drip the verb

drip verb 1. let fall or be so wet as to shed small drops of liquid. "the tap won't stop dripping" synonyms: dribble, drop, leak More antonyms: gush (of liquid) fall in small drops. "water ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Correct?: To come upon such positive resonance

I am trying to find a good translation for the German Auf eine positive Resonanz stoßen Can one say Something comes upon such positive resonance when I want to express that something is ...
5
votes
3answers
128 views

When do we use stitch and sew? Can we use them interchangeably?

Would you use sew when it talks about wound? I hear some people using stitching while they talked about trousers and clothes.
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Can we use “therefore” before “before”?

Can I use "therefore" like this in a sentence? "Many Companies have various software systems which need to exchange data between one another despite their using different protocols. Therefore, ...
1
vote
3answers
56 views

Specious versus facile

How do you differentiate between the uses for the words specious (apparently but not actually valid) and facile (apparently neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue). ...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

Proportionate or proportional? [closed]

I'm writing up some maths notes, and I'm unsure about the wording of a sentence. Which should I write? In the degree system of measure, angles are measured proportionate to 360 degrees ... Or ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

How common is the French loanword “métier”?

Our daughter lives in Leeds and is a scientist too, although not in my field, her speciality is haematology. My son lives in Manchester at the moment, for the music scene, he says. He writes his ...
3
votes
4answers
445 views

Usage of cotton

I know for sure that cotton can describe objects such as cotton clothes, cotton field, or cotton seed. However, I have a few questions. 1: Can cotton refer to the soft, gathered, and fluffy state of ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

Breathe vs. breath, why so much misuse? [closed]

I know the difference between the two. Breath is a noun and breathe is a verb. It was taught to me that way and I've never mixed them up in any way because their different pronunciation reflects ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

his very first novel vs his first novel [duplicate]

In a reading comprehension exercise for my students there is a sentence: "What was it like to become famous with your very first novel?" Does it mean that the author wrote more than two books? ... ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

What is the noun of 'to forsake'?

What is the noun of forsaking somebody, that is, the act of forsaking? Forsookenment? ;)
1
vote
3answers
99 views

What is a term for sarcastically downplaying something?

I remember reading the term for it years ago, but I can no longer remember what it is. It is when someone downplays a situation, usually sarcastically. They are fully aware of the problems of the ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Referring to something: choosing between “this + {noun}” versus “such + {noun}” [closed]

Recently, I've had a discussion with someone regarding how to know how to choose among the words "this" and "such" in written text, but could not find any usage style guidelines on this topic. ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

If I'm “dictating” am I recording what you say or telling you what to do? [closed]

In a document that I'm writing, I am trying to state that, in the course of conducting a user interview, I am "not simply dictating the desires of the user." My intention is to indicate that I am not ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

Why is dissatisfactorily not a word?

Unsatisfactory, unsatisfactorily, and dissatisfactory are real words, but why is dissatisfactorily not a real word? I understand the difference between the two forms (un- vs dis-): What's the ...
5
votes
4answers
328 views

To outstay vs. overstay one's welcome

I came across the expression "outstayed my welcome" in the following excerpt of a novel I glance around and see that the café has filled up with people ordering lunch and that a couple is queuing ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Usage of “indisposed”

I have sometimes heard the word "indisposed" use as synonymous for "unavailable." Especially in the context of leaving a message. For example: "Hello. You have reached X. I am currently ...