This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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1
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2answers
572 views

Is “heartfelt” reserved for sad moments, or can it be used for happy ones?

I'm writing an email about something nice (a newborn child), and was about to use the word "heartfelt". Just then, I noticed I may have heard the word almost exclusively in the context of a sad ...
12
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9answers
17k views

Word for when one uses the wrong word in a sentence

Specifically, I'm looking for the term for when a person uses a word correctly, but intends a different meaning. For example: I empathize with you. When the person really means: I ...
4
votes
2answers
155k views

When to use “respectively”? [duplicate]

I have been wondering what it means when people use "respectively" in, before, and after sentences. For example: We are looking for a babysitter to pick up and supervise our kids ages 6 and 3, ...
2
votes
1answer
327 views

Proper usage of the word “racism”?

It seems that historical definitions of the word "racism" use it to mean something similar to "racial prejudice" and "racial discrimination", without any reference to which race has power or doesn't ...
1
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0answers
29 views

“Nothing but” usage [duplicate]

I have seen the phrase "Nothing but" used in many places. e.g.: Inertia is nothing but the mass of the object. Time is nothing but a line How did nothing but come into existence?
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2answers
237 views

Definition clarification for “effervesce”

I was wondering about one of the meanings of effervesce, "give off bubbles". I wonder if you could use effervesce for a solid, and how it's used in a sentence.
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “Not to be a dick, but—” mean? Is “Dickishness” an accepted, stand-alone English word?

There was a recommendation of a new book, How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide in www.Goodreads.com followed by this next sentence: “On the one hand, nobody wants to be a dick. On the ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Is “surveillance” adequate for observing a patient in a hospital?

Can this word be used to mean observing the patient's condition in a hospital in order to make a diagnosis?
2
votes
2answers
349 views

sewer pipeline or sewerage pipeline

Would one say: The sewer pipelines are old and need to be replaced. or ... The sewerage pipelines are old need o be replaced additionally: The sewer infrastructure ... The sewerage infrastructure ...
1
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2answers
719 views

How to use the word 'contrary'?

Is it right to say contrary to our interest to reduce the size of the paper I want to say that we want to reduce the size of the paper but we cannot do it, due to specific reasons.
1
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2answers
206 views

Strange sentence structure from a piece by Paula Gunn Allen

This lesson is in a pattern book. I want to know why the word about is repeated quite a few times in the text: My mother told me stories about cooking and childbearing; she told me stories ...
0
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1answer
3k views

Three formal ways to express “we got very good comments”

A question from a non-native speaker: For some reason I have to find at least three different formal ways to express "we got very good comments". The context is like "our paper got published and the ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Erf as term for plot of land in a town or city. Is this word only used in southern Africa?

The Free Dictionary website states and so does Wikipedia: erf [ɜːf] n pl erven [ˈɜːvən] (Engineering / Civil Engineering) South African a plot of land, usually urban, marked off for building ...
1
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2answers
319 views

Is automobiles only a “car”

If we go by the word it should be anything which can move(mobile) on its own. The etymology section under wikipedia suggest so. But dictionary, wikipedia etc. says that its meaning is car. My ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“as such that” vs. “such that”

I would like to see if the following sentence is correct: (context: the tool performs an analysis during which alarms may be raised) 1. we had set up the tool such that a raised alarm stops the ...
10
votes
2answers
72k views

“provide” vs. “provide with”

I am wondering if the following sentence is correct: We add the information their study provides with to our article. The context is: their study provides with some information. And we add the ...
1
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1answer
221 views

Are words like 'dog whistle', horse box', etc compound nouns?

Why do we say 'dog whistle' but 'dog's lead'; 'horse box' but 'horse's bridle'?
1
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between sophisticated and complicated

All, I see these words are used many times literally or verbally. But I really don't know what is the difference between them. Please review one of them which I got from a read. After an ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What English words employ the Spanish suffix '-ista'?

The Spanish suffix '-ista' denotes someone associated with something. This has been adopted into English in one example I can think of, namely a 'fashionista'. One would have expected many more but I ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

“Raising your voice”. Correct definition and usage

Raising your voice is speaking loud and clear (with emphasis), to point something out, mostly in a discussion (e.g. out of excitement). Raising your voice is speaking loud and clear, sharp, more of ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Error vs mistake and transmission vs transfer

I original message: Create a log file when mistakes occurred during transmission data between device and PC I think this wrong and should be: Create a log file when errors occurred during ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a word “issual”?

I have used and come across the phrase "issual of tickets" but when recently writing something my Word dictionary tells me that "issual" is not an actual word. Is that the case?
1
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2answers
7k views

Should I say “more exact”/“more precise”?

My understanding with the words exact, precise and accurate is that they are absolute. Meaning, there cannot be less accurate or more accurate. Is my understanding correct? If it's exactly 1 meter, ...
0
votes
3answers
822 views

Is this the right way to use “wouldn't”?

I apologize if this is a duplicate or anything for that matter but I didn't locate any questions on it. I have this phrase I wrote and it is confusing me a little bit. An OAHU Agent can help at ...
1
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3answers
486 views

Build, manufacture, produce - differences and contexts

to build, to manufacture, to produce something Are these synonyms, and what is the appropriate context for each of them? What would be appropriate in context of a complex product built in small ...
1
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2answers
4k views

What's the difference between “if” and “whether”? [duplicate]

Using whether is far more common. It is certainly more formal. I would like to know whether it is a true story or fabricated. But we can use if as well in the same sentence. I would like ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I use the verb “attached” for a piece of information supplied in the email body?

Please find attached the detail for my application. Is this sentence correct if I supply the detail in the email body, not in a separately attached file?
1
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1answer
540 views

'though however' used together

I have come across a video in which the speaker says something like What the Commons is, though however, is ... Why use 'though however' together? Is the sentence with double 'is correct? You can ...
0
votes
1answer
650 views

Usage of “withal” to mean “in addition”

I understand that 'withal' can be used as a preposition at the end of a clause to mean 'with' or 'therewith' but it can, I think, also be used to mean 'in addition' or 'together with'. Concerning the ...
3
votes
9answers
3k views

Use of the word “issue” as a euphemism for “problem”

I am submitting to a journal, and the guidelines require me to avoid use of the word "issue" as a euphemism for "problem". Thing is, as far as I know the two words are (or can be) synonyms: ...
1
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2answers
1k views

Lately, I keep hearing and seeing “embarrassed of…” used instead of “embarrassed by…”

It seems very awkward to me. You never hear "thrilled of you", it's "thrilled by you," so what happened to "embarrassed by you"?
7
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there any difference between “a few relatives” and “a few relations”?

In the following sentence I prefer saying relatives but I am unable to explain why. It's going to be a small wedding. Only a few friends and relatives have been invited On doing research I ...
-1
votes
2answers
108 views

Is “homogeneous…as” grammatically correct? [closed]

Here is the sentence: "A is made of a homogeneous material as that of B" Is this sentence grammatically correct?? or is there any more appopriate phrase?? Please help me out..
3
votes
1answer
318 views

Using pond as a verb to describe the formation of puddles

"The tenant complained that water is ponding in the parking area." or, "Due to the ponding of water in the lower lying areas, mosquitoes became a nuisance." "ponding" is not accepted by spellcheckers ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

When it's OK to omit “where?”

When it's OK to omit "where?" For example, is it OK to omit it in the following sentence? This is the one of the few places (where) you can breathe real air. In which situations one's not ...
1
vote
3answers
13k views

“misunderstand” vs “misunderstood”

If speaking or writing to someone and it becomes apparent they did not interpret something correctly, is it correct to inform them "you misunderstood" or "you misunderstand"? I'm not sure because the ...
0
votes
5answers
2k views

A better verb for “cement” in “cement one's interest”

Is there a better word for cemented in the following sentence? All the experiences I went through have cemented my interest in this field. I was told "cemented" doesn't quite fit in and I was ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

Is it common to use MRT to refer to subways all around the world?

According to The Free Dictionary: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mass+rapid+transit Noun 1. mass rapid transit - an urban public transit system using underground or elevated trains rapid ...
1
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2answers
224 views

Finding the correct interpretation of “Every X [units of time], at maximum/minimum.”

I've recently been involved in a discussion over different interpretations of the following sentence (paraphrased): Users may update their information every two weeks, at maximum. The intended ...
1
vote
5answers
454 views

Is “unsane” a word understood by a casual English speaker?

I have heard it used by some people e.g. Jacque Fresco, for example here. I know that people understand the meaning of the word "insane", but what about an average Joe and his understanding of the ...
0
votes
2answers
272 views

Does “supposedly” have a negative connotation?

Put another way, would using "supposedly" in the following sentence upset a neutral tone? A variant of qi gong is external qi gong, wherein a qi gong master supposedly directs the flow of qi ...
1
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1answer
742 views

The use of “black box” as a synonym of “mysterious”

Full details are provided so that the method is less mysterious. I would like to replace "less mysterious". Is the following proposal valid for (scientific) writing? Full details are ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I use “did” or “does” when asking a question about the meaning of what someone said?

Here are two example questions: What did he mean by that? What does he mean by that? Question 1 seems correct to me because it uses the past tense word 'did,' but the word could also signify that ...
0
votes
1answer
439 views

What is the contemporary usage of the word “blouse”, namely in North America?

I've red some definitions of the word "blouse" and not all of them agree. From Wikipedia A blouse is a loose-fitting upper garment that was formerly worn by workmen, peasants, artists, women and ...
1
vote
2answers
19k views

What does 'provision' exactly mean in a legal document?

Now I'm asked to look at a legal document(here) and answer the question that which provisions apply to a certain case. However, I don't know what the word 'provision' means in a legal context. ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Usage of “last evening”

I have heard my friend say yesterday evening or yesterday night. I tell her it's last evening or last night. While she may be correct in that it is the night of yesterday, why is it then called last ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Usage of “odyssey” and “splendid”

I started my odyssey on the splendid world of mathematics when... Is this a right way to use the word "odyssey"? Is "odyssey on sth." correct? Can I use "splendid" to describe the world of ...
0
votes
1answer
504 views

Correct use of 'majority'

I believe majority is correctly used with a plural noun — "majority of people" or "majority of voters". It's becoming used frequently with a singular noun — "majority of work" or "majority ...
1
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4answers
229 views

Can one observe an absence of something?

It seems to me that because there is an absence of something, it should be impossible to observe it. Therefore, if I wanted to say This is supported by the experimentally observed absence of... ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Let's go hike/hiking at the park

Which is correct and why? Let's go hiking at the park. or Let's go hike at the park. On the second example (hike), should that actually be let's go to hike at the park? Also works for things ...