This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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6
votes
3answers
13k views

“Measure” vs. “measurement”

Measure has a lot of meanings, but I am not sure whether it is or is not a partial synonym of measurement. Let's say that I have an algorithm, and I measure its execution time under different ...
1
vote
2answers
386 views

“Has dated well” vs. “has aged well”

Star Wars is a film that has dated well. The intent being that Star Wars has not shown its age as much as other movies. I would think "hasn't dated" or "has aged well" would be more correct but ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

Are “revisited” and “revisiting” temporally different? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using -ed vs. -ing in the “needs washed” construction I used "revisited" in a sentence not unlike this: In the past we decided policy X should be applied ...
9
votes
4answers
9k views

Asking about the date on which something happens using “effective”

How is the word "effective" or "effect" used to indicate from which date a new rule / change will be applied? I am not sure which of the following is correct: These changes will take effect from ...
13
votes
10answers
4k views

Word for someone who is extremely up-to-date with the latest facts (news or research)

I seek a word for one who is up-to-date, enlightened, and extremely well informed about the latest developments or research in a particular field. An example is a person who complains about a recent ...
1
vote
5answers
5k views

How to say that you are going to do something really soon? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Do it very quickly” vs “do it ASAP” Quite often I need to say that I will do something really soon - e.g. in a few hours, but not sure how much ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Can “grammatical” mean “grammatically correct”? [closed]

I have been seeing phrases like, "That sentence isn't grammatical" etc. recently, and at first I wrote them off thinking, "Oh, well that technically isn't right, but I get what he's saying so I'm not ...
1
vote
2answers
957 views

Is the word “encomprise” used in modern English? [closed]

If one googles the word encomprises, there are 5K+ pages, that have this word. I personally have heard people in the USA use it with a meaning of include. Official dictionaries, on the other hand, ...
-1
votes
4answers
396 views

Can we use “use unfriendly” as an adjective?

I was wondering according to American English if this is a valid grammatical sentence: This item is a little use unfriendly. It sounds ok but I was wondering if "use unfriendly" (I mean without ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

When to use “and” as opposed to “&” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to use & instead of “and” Is there a rule as to when to use "and" as opposed to using "&"? eg. Andy and Steve's duties were to grade, guide ...
3
votes
2answers
365 views

'Repeat the year' in English is 'redoubler une classe' in French. Would it be possible to say 'redouble the year' or 'redouble the course' in English?

When I googled 'redouble the year' I was directed to French sites, and I noticed that it is indeed used. Now, I want to have a confirmation from English native speakers. Can 'redouble' be used for ...
7
votes
4answers
626 views

“Highest building of/in the world”

Which is correct? The Chrysler building was the highest building in the world. Today, it is the seventh highest building in the USA. or: The Chrysler building was the highest building of ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Origin of “good night” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the origin of the word “goodbye”? These are probably the most used two words in our day-to-day conversations. We normally use superlative degrees all ...
5
votes
4answers
12k views

“You aren't in” vs. “You're not in” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “They are not”: “they're not” versus “they aren't” I noticed that you aren't in and you're not in are two ways to shorten you ...
3
votes
2answers
28k views

What does “but” mean in “Life is but a dream”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The construction of “Known but to God” What does "but" mean in this case and what other uses is this word used in the same context. I'm trying to explain ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Examples that actually mean the opposite of their original meanings [closed]

I have learned that in English, some words have been used to mean the opposite of their original meanings, for the purpose of often negative intensions such as sarcasm, irony, ... For example I ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do we have two words to describe post-mortem medical examination?

Autopsy is defined as inspection and dissection of a body after death, as for determination of the cause of death; postmortem examination. Necropsy is defined as the examination of a body ...
8
votes
2answers
14k views

Correct usage of “viz.”?

Are these two sentences examples of the correct use of "viz."? This book is dedicated to my family, viz. my parents and two sisters. The purpose of this book is twofold, viz. 1) to show that [...]; ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“Auspicious” vs “auspices” [closed]

The two words auspicious and auspices seem so similar yet have almost opposite meaning. Is auspicious a good time or a lucky connotation while auspices is said to be an omen? If I said the weather ...
4
votes
2answers
241 views

Was “oop” really more common than “oops” till 1990?

Ngrams shows a marked preference for oop over oops up until 1990: Is Ngrams to be trusted here? Is it strange that I've never seen oop in writing? Even Dictionary.com doesn't have anything more ...
2
votes
4answers
850 views

Use of “compensate” to mean “help pay cost”

Is using compensate correct in this context? We are appealing for your help. We've found a great deal for a software solution we want to teach our kids and it costs 1000 dollars and your ...
0
votes
1answer
642 views

Is this usage of “now” correct?

Consider this piece of a poem: Crouched at the elder's feet, the knight Now kissed his hand in exultation. The world before his eyes turned bright, Forgot his spirit's sore ...
6
votes
2answers
285 views

Is “grounds” ever used for things other than coffee? [closed]

I've never seen the word grounds (meaning sediment/dregs; definition 12 only) used to describe anything other than coffee; are there any other usages of grounds of that meaning, or has it become a ...
0
votes
1answer
374 views

Is it possible to use the verb “torture” in a figurative sense?

Is it possible to use the verb "torture" in a tropical sense? I mean not in a physical sense. For example: Linda: "So what? Did you see Jack?" Tom: "Yes" Linda: "So did you talk to him ...
1
vote
4answers
287 views

When do we consider English speakers' familiarity as a proof?

English, like many other languages, has its own usage of words and convention that can only be captured by practicing and speaking with natives. For instance, if non-English speaker come up with a ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

To or for usage: Places

Which of these is correct? She is leaving for the USA. or She is leaving to the USA.
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Use of “minute or two” to mean “moment” in the early 20th century?

In what seems like at least half her novels, Agatha Christie writes that one character waits for a "minute or two." At first I thought that these characters were actually sitting there and pondering, ...
3
votes
3answers
345 views

Can you use “say” to refer to things on the internet?

When referring to something you read on the internet, can you use "say?" For example, can you say, "he said it on a forum" when speaking about a message someone posted. Or does say only refer to ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Having trouble understanding this text

The text runs: If your front door is directly opposite your back door the Qi will just charge straight through your house and out the back without stopping for a cup of tea. If you stand in the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Using hyphenated words in technical writing?

I always get confused when using hyphenated words in my research papers. Is there any specific rule for using hyphenated words? For example, which one of the following is the correct usage of co ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

All Right vs Alright when starting to speak [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it "alright" or "allright"? When giving a speech or presentation it's common to hear the speaker (including myself when I present) start out by ...
10
votes
10answers
33k views

“Integrity” vs. “honesty”—what's the difference?

In what situations would you say that someone "has integrity" as opposed to "behaves with honesty"? For instance, if an employee is meticulous about reporting his hours, does he have integrity or is ...
9
votes
6answers
75k views

Madam vs. Ma'am

I suspect that the answer to this depends on region, so insights from multiple areas would be beneficial: It has been my impression that in the US addressing a woman as "Madam" is considered ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

Differences among point, grade and mark

I do not know how they are different when they are used as a grading system ? Can I say a pointing system or a marking system?
6
votes
5answers
12k views

“Dear Professor” vs “Dear Mr”: differences between British and American usage

In British English, is it acceptable to address a professor as "Dear Professor X" when writing a formal or informal letter? Does it sound natural? Why I am asking this question: I was looking ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “since I'm” now an acceptable alternative to “since I was”?

In a recent episode of the television show Entourage, Ari Gold (a 40 year old man) says: I've known her since I'm 19. In an episode of Sex and the City, a character, who is 15, tells Carrie: ...
17
votes
9answers
19k views

Do native English speakers use the word “touristic”?

A word usage that always annoys me and feels like Euroenglish to me is "touristic". I don't believe I've ever seen it printed or heard it used by a native English speaker and I've travelled in most ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Difference between “spirit” and “soul”

What is the difference between spirit and soul? Is the word soul used for only human beings? For instance, He [Descartes] thought the brain worked as a center for the spirits of the soul.
11
votes
2answers
3k views

If I can say “videos”, can I also say “audios”?

Audio and video seem to me very similar words by usage. I often hear the plural form for video, but is there a plural form for audio? Can I say audios? I've never heard it being used.
2
votes
3answers
1k views

“Educative” vs “insightful”

Between insightful and educative, which is more appropriate in the following sentence? The article is very well written and very educative/insightful. When I use Google ngrams, it gives a higher ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Word for someone who prepares reports

The situation I am thinking of is where someone within a company runs queries on a database and formats the information (with or without commentary) into a report. Is there a single word that ...
3
votes
2answers
377 views

What does 'cloying smoke' mean?

I understand "cloying" to mean something good that becomes distasteful in excess. Here is a sentence I read today from this article: But the aerial assault on the stubborn blaze, which blanketed ...
2
votes
2answers
271 views

“Longer running time” vs “high performance”

I am always confused about the correct usages of words like longer, less, higher, high etc., for comparing performance of two programs. For example, if a program A completes its work in 10 seconds, ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What does “turn off” mean here?

Could it be a typo for "and one by one they will be turned off"? CNN: Many of the existing space telescopes, Hubble included, are nearing the end of their lifetimes, and one by one they will turn ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Usage of “just”, “only” and word-order [intended meaning]

I've got these sentences, which meanings are correct (my interpretations are in brackets): Use of only: (1) Only in 1996, Ford sold a rebadged Mazda 626 GV over here as its rebranded Japanese ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

Usage of “infinities”

What is the usage of the word infinities? Is the term infinite infinities correct, and how is it used?
0
votes
3answers
418 views

Why are some adjectives placed after a noun?

How would you explain these words: Corporate America, Revenue Canada, ServiceOntario, etc.? Edit: To clarify my question, why is corporate America more popular than American corporate or American ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

Is there a difference between “leading edge” and “bleeding edge”?

It seems to me that "leading edge" is the more established phrase, while "bleeding edge" is basically the same thing but the user has adapted the phrase for extra (rather meaningless) emphasis. Or is ...
3
votes
3answers
441 views

Why do exciting things “rock”?

Rock (v): 6. Slang. to be very good, impressive, exciting, or effective: This show really rocks. So where did this odd usage originate?
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Meaning of “suboptimal” [closed]

I find myself using the word suboptimal quite a lot. In my understanding it is an understatement in itself, as suboptimal is not optimal at all and the subject needs drastic improvements. Is this ...