This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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3answers
759 views

“Martyr To” vs “Martyr For”

This book specifies the difference as: martyr for something: smb. who is made to suffer severely for a cause martyr to something: smb. who is acutely inflicted by something Oxford ...
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2answers
59 views

'Blowback' with 'much'

Jawad Sukhanyar & Rod Nordland, In Prison Release, Signs of Karzai’s Rift With U.S. (NYT): The amount of people advocating for a long-term relationship with Afghanistan is pretty small in ...
0
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1answer
496 views

Is it correct to use the word “wrongdoing” in this sentence?

Is 'wrongdoing' used appropriately in this sentence? The wrongdoing of spying on students is not only in the boundaries of law, but it is also morally inappropriate.
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3answers
332 views

Need help simplyfying sentences containing economic information

I am not very knowledgeable about economics and am trying to reword these two sentences: In 1964 the CDC 6600 cost around $7 million USD, though some sources site prices of up to $10 million. ...
30
votes
11answers
7k views

Is there a word/term for a question where the asker knows he'll criticise any answer?

What do you call it when a person asks somebody a question when they know they'll criticise any answer regardless? For instance, a man asks you something like "If you were recruiting staff would you ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Assist or/vs Attend?

Is it correct to say: it's very important to assist to the meeting? Is it similar to say It's very important to attend the meeting? if not, in which context is the word "assist" used? I ...
1
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2answers
706 views

Is this expression correct: “It is A and B who [verb]”?

I have no problem with the following sentence: In this book, [it] is the father who tries to murder her However, what if I want to substitute a plural noun (or two names) for father? Are the ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Can I use “appearance” in this context?

I have found the phrase "How Many Times Does a Word Appear in the Bible". In an XML document I do not want to use the verb appear, but rather the corresponding noun. For Example: Appearance of ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

One word for (have same size)

I am looking for a word that expresses same size characteristic. To be specific, we can say that "both DVD's are identical". However, identical might imply all characteristics resemblance. I am ...
2
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2answers
16k views

Is it correct to say “copious amount of”?

Which of the following are correct? I drink copious coffee I drink copious amounts of coffee I frequently hear people say #2 but it doesn't sound right to me (though "a myriad of X" doesn't ...
0
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2answers
79 views

Term for a body cast maker

What is the word used for a person who makes body casts? Is compounder a good word?
3
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3answers
753 views

Does “moonlighting” have a negative or neutral connotation?

We all agree that "moonlighting" denotes having a second job. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford Advanced Learner's don't define it in exactly the same way. For example, Merriam-Webster attaches a ...
0
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1answer
245 views

Passive voice in this sentence

I am a bit confused about these sentences below. The word "encumbered" baffles me. "Encumbered" is usually used in passive sentences. I am not able to understand the agent in these following ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Using “on” before days or dates

I've noticed that on many American TV shows, the speakers generally don't use the word "on" before names of days or before dates. For example: I'll see you Monday. Shouldn't it be: I'll see you on ...
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7answers
8k views

Another meaning of the vulgar word “slut”

I guess people who speak American and Philippine English will unanimously agree that the word "slut" is a very offensive term referring to a promiscuous woman. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

Is the verb “dose” used correctly in “an agent can be dosed into the tanks”?

Is this correct: For process stabilization an anti-foaming agent can be dosed into the tanks. I use "dose" because I want to emphasize that the amount of stuff put into the tank is carefully ...
0
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2answers
871 views

Why “would” instead of “will” in this sentence? Is it a rare use?

The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. What does would imply here? ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Is the following usage of the word “suggest” correct/common?

Sharing the first hours of the day with someone suggests you want to spend the rest of your life with that person. Is it correct/common to use the word like this? Does it sound weird? If so, ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

The word “afterclap”

Merriam-Webster defines "afterclap" as "an unexpected damaging or unsettling event following a supposedly closed affair." However, a pastor from Oregon, John Mark Comer, wrote an article about ...
1
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1answer
3k views

How to use “yet” to express something hasn't happened until current time

If I want to tell somebody that something hasn't happened yet, I'm not quite sure how to use/put the word "yet" correctly in the sentence. Sentence 1: I'm not sure that we will have a meeting ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Academia — Correct Interpretation?

When someone says, "It's all academic" or "This one's academic", I believe that, certainly within the realm of sports context, the outcome of a game has finally been decided. The end result is a ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

all but.. none but.. usage

I'm a bit confused with the usage of all but and none but: "We are all but defenseless" – should mean we are definitely defenseless? "None but misfortunes follow" – only ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Which verb is used for the word “activity” - “do” or “play”?

In an English test I had recently, there was this multiple choice question: There were lots of different activities for Jay to ... there. A - Make B - Do C - Play There was no extra ...
0
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1answer
232 views

Why do we no longer refer to Muslim and Hindu women as being 'in Purdah'?

The term purdah is used metaphorically in Britain for anyone who stays out of sight. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is said to go into purdah (away from the press)before he delivers his annual budget ...
13
votes
9answers
10k views

Does the word “master” denote masculinity?

The other day, I had a little argument with a friend. He asserted that if the principal of a school is a female, she would not be called a "headmaster", rather - a headmistress. But I disagreed with ...
1
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5answers
356 views

Word usage: feeble

Is it correct to say Feeble people are more at risk of flu-related complications. to convey the idea that there are different levels of risk in the population at risk? I could have said old ...
0
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1answer
91 views

Usage of “walking out clean”

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? "I just hope he walks out clean from the probe" If not, what is the correct form? EDIT: The context of the above sentence is a situation where you ...
1
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2answers
18k views

What is the difference between fog, mist and haze?

So, as the question says by itself: what's the context when I should use the word mist and the right context for fog? And haze?
1
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2answers
16k views

“In” or “At” sole discretion

We're drafting some legal stuff, and our lawyer used this phrasing... ...whether any particular enhancement is to be categorized as such shall be made in the sole reasonable discretion of ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of 'commas' vs 'commata'

I've learned quite recently, that plural form from comma is commata (but commas is also correct, such as index-indices-indexes). I've learned the rule for German, and I've checked the English version ...
1
vote
6answers
283 views

Verb similar to “synchronize” but not for time

I am looking for a word that describes adjusting status to conform another. Let us say the status of the account is active but in our system shows inactive. Synchronize describes the situation with ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

“Polarized” or “polarizing” opinions?

English is a foreign language to me, and one word that is particularly confusing is "polarize". In physics, it has contradictory definitions; when polarizing waves you remove inequality, but ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

The problem with the word “quite” [duplicate]

"Quite" is probably the most ambiguous word in the English language. Merriam-Webster defines it three ways: 1: completely, wholly, totally (quite mistaken) 2: to an extreme : positively (quite ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Formal way to describe sexual acts

I'm writing a statement of events that happened between me and my ex. It needs to be written formally but I don't how to write the following words in that way: "blowjob" and "eating her out." Thanks ...
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votes
6answers
4k views

Using “so” and “very” for ungradable adjectives

We generally use modifiers such as "so" and "very" for gradable/normal adjectives (water can be quite/so/very HOT, but not quite/so/very BOILING (an ungradable/extreme adjective). Yet would you say ...
1
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2answers
352 views

Proper use of retrospective

I am writing a narrative essay and I am currently working on the final touches. Right now I am focusing my attention on the title. The essay is a look back on a couple days, several years ago that a ...
0
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2answers
932 views

Difference in Usage of Specificity & Specification [closed]

I found two noun words such as Specificity and Specification. When can we use Specificity over specification.
1
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1answer
37 views

Metaprogramming vs Meta-programming [duplicate]

Which usage of the prefix, "Meta" is correct, "Metaprogramming" or "Meta-programming"? Should the word be hyphenated or not?
1
vote
3answers
261 views

Voltage vs. Voltages

Is 'voltages' the plural for voltage? When requesting for someone to check voltage more than once, would you state that you're documenting 'voltages'?
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Using “ran” as a past participle

I've got a document I'm reading, written by a co-worker. I know the co-worker in question grew up in the same Oklahoma town I did, although a slightly different part, and 15 years later. So while we ...
0
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1answer
3k views

Would you use the term “looker” to describe a man?

Both Merriam Webster and Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary define looker as a word used to describe an attractive person, usually a woman. ...
1
vote
2answers
332 views

The difference between “heathen” and “ungodly”

My student needed an adjective which means "irreligious" or "does not believe in God/a god." I suggested the words "heathen" and "ungodly". Would you say there's a difference between the two ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Which is more grammatically correct - “performance in” or “performance on”?

Which of the following is more grammatically correct? a. John's performance on the test shocked the teacher. (or) b. John's performance in the test shocked the teacher.
3
votes
1answer
17k views

Am I using 'thus' correctly in this paragraph?

I'd like to confirm if the use of 'thus' is correct in the following passage. If it's not, please explain why, and what an alternative would be. I believe the most important mission of a ...
0
votes
1answer
235 views

It's not affect, but can you “effect” something?

I understand the differences between affect and effect, and generally when to use them. However, in some cases while reading I have seen authors use the phrase "effect a change" (among others) ...
1
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2answers
610 views

Sunday as a Week Marker

When someone uses the phrase "the week of the [Sunday's date]" does that usually refer to the week preceding that Sunday or after it?
0
votes
1answer
87 views

This needs to be reprinted vs. this needs reprinted [duplicate]

What is the difference between using: this needs to be fixed; and this needs fixed Can they be used interchangeably? Is the second one grammatically correct?
38
votes
4answers
7k views

“Two yellow spots on its wings” vs “a yellow spot on both wings”

The bird has two yellow spots on its wings. versus The bird has a yellow spot on both wings. Do they mean the same? Which one describes more accurately the yellow spots of the following bird? ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Alternatives to the common construction “didn't used to”

I am hearing the use of this odd-sounding construction more and more frequently as of late. For example: I didn't used to smoke. I didn't used to work for McDonald's. I was trying to think ...
1
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3answers
142 views

Is “Lady Macbeth has plotted this out carefully and diligently” a correct use of “plot”?

Lady Macbeth has plotted this out carefully and diligently. Can I use the word "plot" in such a way? I know most people would want to replace that with "planned", but I don't want to keep using ...