This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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2
votes
3answers
189 views

Is the phrase “produces meaning” valid?

Please consider these sentences: The word X produces meaning Y The word X produces meaning Y in sentence Z Is "produces meaning" valid in that sentence? If so, which seems to be more valid ...
3
votes
4answers
446 views

Can we use “off-chance” in a scientific paper?

In an article that I'm writing, I would like to say that some special ideas are at a disadvantage concerning their consistency in producing results. In other words, we use those approaches in the hope ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a good word for the identifying characteristics of something?

For example, let us say we were conducting a study of facial features and we were comparing hair color, nose type and eye shape. Those three characteristics would identify something or someone. What ...
2
votes
2answers
295 views

Is is right using expressions like “before her coming here” in place of “before she came here”

I often use expression like these I came to this place before him getting here (rather than using before he got here). We were having a lot of fun before before her getting here (instead ...
-1
votes
2answers
3k views

Right usage of word “Galvanize”?

Please consider below meaning of dictionary Galvanize: shock or excite (someone), typically into taking action What is the right usage of this word? Please consider below sentences A sudden ...
5
votes
3answers
515 views

In natural disasters: died or killed?

What is appropriate to use in cases of death in natural disasters: killed, or died? Lets say, I wanted to say, "Earth destroyed this morning, everyone [died|got killed] in a parallel universe." I am ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

pride vs. proudness [closed]

Until yesterday I did not even know that the noun proudness exists. I always thought pride was the only possible noun for the adjective proud. Is there actually a difference between the two nouns ...
26
votes
4answers
894 views

Can “née” be used for entities other than people?

The qualification née is typically used to signify the name a woman previously had, most likely before her marriage. However, today I've seen it in a Spiegel article applied to a company name: ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

Incorrect usage of “prevaricate”? [closed]

Today, while reading an online article, I came across the following comment: Young people regret their mistakes. Old people regret not deciding. In the contest of prevaricating between which ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Usage of the word 'coordinate'

Have a look at the context: Contents | |--- 1. Fundamentals | | | |--- 1. Browsers | | | |--- 2. Servers | | | |--- 3. ...
1
vote
2answers
417 views

Usage of “sitting still”, “standing still” etc

I'm occasionaly came across the phrases: "sitting still"; "standing still"; "lying still"; etc. For most cases the usage is clear (humans for example). But sometimes it is not clear what verb to ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Is it appropriate in a sort of business related mail using “'em”, contracted form of “them”? [closed]

I was writing an email today, and I was supposed to write a phrase like this "did it for all of 'em", even though I eventually changed it to them as them as that looked a little informal to me, I am ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

When should “such forth” be used?

I was just having a conversation with a friend and I said "see how far from the access point each device is, so that I can do some relocation and such forth". She said that using such forth at that ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it common to use “grocery” as a verb?

My favorite NY-Times columnist Maureen Dowd who consistently supplies me the material for posting questions in EL&U site begins today’s (December 8) article titled “A Lost Civilization” with the ...
0
votes
1answer
670 views

What do you think if you see an image with its description “last night at New York”?

I saw that a friend of mine who moved to New York City 3 months ago posted a picture on Facebook. She described it as "last night at New York." The first time I read it, I thought she meant that it ...
-3
votes
1answer
82 views

Looking for a word that states an instance is immutable [closed]

If I have something that I don't want to change, is it proper to attach "candidate" to the end of it? So if someone applies for a job with an application, I would consider them to be a candidate, but ...
1
vote
1answer
13k views

Can the word “personnel” ever be singular? [closed]

Can personnel be used in reference to a single person? See the example below: Testing must take place by a qualified personnel other than the requestor.
5
votes
3answers
208 views

Usage of the word “genocide”

I am wondering whether the word genocide can also be used for the killing of a group of people based on their religion, for example: 'the Sikh genocide'. I have never seen it used that way, I have ...
1
vote
2answers
315 views

What is “there” in expression “Are you out there?” [closed]

What does there signify in expressions like "Dude are you out there?" or "I am there for you"? It is not referring to any previously mentioned location, right?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do words become derogatory or politically incorrect?

I know how words can become racist but I'm not sure how a word becomes derogatory or politically incorrect. If seems as though once one does, a new term is created to replace it that is not derogatory ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

How one refers to a third person without specifying the sex or number? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? Is there a generalized way to do this. Who is it used in modern media ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is the origin and scope of usage of the phrase “So long…” used to bid goodbye? [closed]

We often colloquially use the phrase so long to say goodbye. For eg. So long, we'll see you next week or He said so long and left. What is the origin of this phase? Rather, how did it come into ...
-1
votes
2answers
224 views

Is it common to say “something was coming from front?” [closed]

I usually say it when I am supposed to describe something coming from front on roads. But somehow it does not feel natural even though it syntactically it is correct. so what is the natural expression ...
-2
votes
2answers
818 views

Which meaning is more common for expressions like “over the bridge”? [closed]

While asking for the location of my airport’s window in the United States, I was told that it was over the bridge. My first impression was that it must be above the bridge, but since there was ...
7
votes
9answers
4k views

Is saying 'who cares' rude or maybe even disrespectful?

Two people are talking about what tasks should be finished on time, and what tasks should be put off until later. The conversation was like below: A: I don't think those tasks are important. We ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What are “up” and “down” in “up there” and “down there”?

"Up there" and "down there" are two of the most frequent expressions that I, myself, use often. I really don't know whether they are just expressions used to refer to a place to go ("I went down ...
11
votes
10answers
2k views

What is it called when you “refill” a debit card?

How it is called (in the US) when you go to the bank or an ATM to add cash to your VISA/MasterCard debit card? That is, when you add cash to the bank account which is tied to that card. Is it ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

What to say when someone says, “What's up?”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is an appropriate response to “what’s up” greeting? Response to “What's up?” in various conversations I recently came back from US, Over there I noticed people ...
1
vote
3answers
808 views

Is “my place” correct and common in British English?

I was recently told that "my place", such as in "let's go to my place" is not commonly used in British English? Is that the case and what would you say instead?
3
votes
4answers
3k views

“Planning for next year” vs. “planning for the next year”

I would like to start planning for next year. In the above sentence, there is no definite article before the words next year. Should it be present, as in the following sentence which sounds far ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

“Times of their choosing” or “times of their choice”

Should we use choosing or choice in the sentence below? You may find that engaging the required range of participants requires traveling to participants' home or workplace, at times of their ...
1
vote
2answers
179 views

What's the reason behind using “innings” more frequently than “inning”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where did the singular “innings” come from? Is there any difference between inning and innings? I think both can be used interchangeably. But I haven't seen inning ...
1
vote
4answers
6k views

Is it appropriate to use “sport”, “champ”, or “kiddo” to call a child (e.g. your son)?

I'm Spanish, just in case some of you think this question is kind of silly. I watch TV series in English very frequently to practise my listening skills. The words I've heard in relation to children ...
12
votes
5answers
518 views

The use of “real” in the following cases [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Real quick question If you listen real close... Can you swing by real quick... Sentences like the above two are what I often hear in daily life. If I didn't ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Can “zealot” have a positive connotation?

A zealot is a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals. I have never seen this word used with positive connotation, but could it (without ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Reason vs. purpose

Just now I wanted to explain why I was doing something, then I wrote "the purpose of doing something is blablabla". Immediately I wondered why I didn't write "the reason of doing something is ...
4
votes
1answer
556 views

How do I use the word “obtain” together with mathematical formulas?

Until now, I thought that one can use the word "obtain" together with "that", as in By ... we obtain that a²+b²=c². (Many mathematicians who like me are not native speakers are doing this!) Now ...
1
vote
0answers
650 views

What is a “group of managers” called? [closed]

What is the term used for a "group of managers"? For example He has a fleet of managers or He has a legion of managers Though the sentences above might not be correct. I want to know that ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

the use of both to show emphasis and experimentalist and theoretician communities [closed]

In your opinion is both superfluous in the following sentence? Efforts from both experimentalist and theoretician communities, started to increase over the last decades in order to turn the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “sound approach” an accepted phrase?

English is not my first language, and in my language (Bosnian) we write just as we speak ; so from time to time, I encounter phrases which I know I have heard before, but am not sure if I am writing ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

What is a relish tray versus a veggie tray?

I have heard both of the terms "relish tray" and "veggie tray" used somewhat interchangeably. It seems as though there is some overlap between the two based on some simple Google Images searches ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

How does the parenthetical “that is” function?

It's the last sentence of an article in The Economist. Some of the powerful elders might have faded from the scene. Mr Xi and Li Keqiang might then have a freer hand to promote their own people, ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

“Thus” vs. “Thusly”

I read an article that used "thusly" and was wondering if there is any grammatical credence to it. The quote: The issue started when Sokolowski quickly ran out of storage capacity in his 32GB ...
3
votes
3answers
498 views

Odd usage of “penchant”

Penchant is synonymous with words such as "inclination" and "leaning." Does the sentence below correctly use the word "penchant"? Joe has a penchant against the UCLA Bruins.
14
votes
2answers
607 views

How (and when) was it that the verb 'go' began to mean 'say' in common usage?

i.e. "So then she goes, 'Hey!' and I go, 'What?' because I was on my way out..." I was musing about this the other day, so I decided to try to find out. Unfortunately, my skills lie in different ...
6
votes
2answers
774 views

Are there “X -scolds” formula words that go current other than “deficit scolds”?

I was interested to find the word, “deficit scolds” in Paul Krugman’s article titled “Hawks and Hypocrites” in New York Times (November 11). It appears in the following sentence: Back in 2010, ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is there any word for 'do not' or 'do not have'?

I was trying to test my algorithm to create sentences that express the lack of something. I found saying for instance: I lack 5 apples weird as compared to I do not have 5 apples While ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Can “You are an officer and a gentleman” be used to praise a good deed done by a person completely unrelated to armed forces?

Can "You are an officer and a gentleman" be used to praise a good deed done by a person completely unrelated to armed forces? I would like to praise a friend of mine for an act of kindness. Is it ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

Is this usage of “luxury of knowing” correct?

I would like to use "luxury of knowing" phrase. I searched for its meaning in internet. It seems that it is used in a song Lori McKenna – The Luxury of Knowing and a movie A Few Good Men Lori McKenna ...
0
votes
3answers
14k views

“My hand is paining” or “my hand is hurting” [closed]

After a series of pull-ups, Mr P tells me my hands are paining my hands are hurting What is the rationale behind using paining and hurting? What is the difference? Is one of them more appropriate ...