This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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3
votes
4answers
453 views

“Pomp” without “circumstance”

Is the word pomp ever used without being followed by circumstance? It seems as though the word is only ever used to denote pomp and circumstance. Are there other uses?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Use of “relax” as noun [closed]

I looked up relax in various English dictionaries and it is always listed as a verb only, the noun being relaxation. However in my mother tongue (Italian) relax is normally used as a noun. Is this ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

“Wallpaper” vs “background”

In terms of electronic screens (computers, cell phones, PDAs, tablets) what would be more accurate to say: wallpaper or background?
3
votes
3answers
553 views

Is “prepper” a word that an average English speaking person understands?

Is prepper a word that an average English speaking person understands (and also uses)?
4
votes
3answers
607 views

Can “status quo” be used in regards to micro topics?

I was having a discussion with my fiancee about whether or not she was going to take my name when we get married. As of right now, the plan is that she will keep her current last name. When asked if ...
1
vote
3answers
286 views

Usage of “Do you know x?”

I'd like to say something like "You do know grappa, don't you?", intending to mean "You have indeed heard something about (or tasted) grappa (an alcoholic beverage), haven't you?" Does this (the first ...
4
votes
3answers
435 views

Does the word “catching” apply to people?

If we can say "I am running to catch the train", is it also appropriate to say that "I am going to the office early to catch the boss"?
1
vote
1answer
242 views

Is “do(es)” used to mean either single or plural subject? [closed]

I wonder if the following usage of "do(es)" properly or commonly used: If money doesn't concern you, what else do(es)?
3
votes
2answers
476 views

Can the word “luxury” be used as a concrete noun?

I was wondering if we can use the word "luxury" to refer to a "luxurious item", For example, are the sentences below considered grammatical? : I have a luxury. I have one luxury. I have three ...
4
votes
4answers
866 views

Definite article before scientific terms

I'm writing up my dissertation and I'm really confused where to use "the". Examples: In this experiment, (the?) heat transfer coefficient was calculated, allowing to estimate (the?)frost ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is “Give (get) space” a common usage for “give (get) flexibility / freedom”?

NSNBC (March 26) reported that President Obama was overheard telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to “give him space" until after November during his meetings in South Korea on missile defense, ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “quite unique” correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are the rules regarding absolute modifiers too absolute? Reading the sentence below, written on The Telegraph, it can notice the phrase quite unique. I never ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Use of “discriminate” as verb

Is the following sentence correct? They are discriminated because of their skin colour. My gut feeling tells me discriminate (in this sense) has to be followed by against. Dictionary examples ...
2
votes
3answers
344 views

Using “to” before the second item in a list

Which one is correct? The test is established in order to promote the development of Business English major and to strengthen the competitiveness of Business English graduates in the job market. The ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

It's ideal for “you” or “yourselves” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it correct to use “yourself” and “myself” (versus “you” and “me”)? Are both It's ideal for you and It's ideal for ...
3
votes
2answers
591 views

Use of “groin” as a verb [closed]

I came across this line when reading Owen's Strange Meeting: It seemed that out of the battle I escaped Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped Through granites which Titanic ...
17
votes
3answers
119k views

“Consist in” vs. “consist of”

I would like to have this clear once and for all: What is the correct use of consist in / consist of? "Meditation consists in/of attentive watchfulness." "The body consists in/of cells." ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“England-born” or “English-born”

Which of the two statements is correct? He was an English-born businessman. He was an England-born businessman. The same confusion arises in India-born and Indian-born as well. Moreover, ...
6
votes
5answers
10k views

On the use of “it is shown”

I am refereeing an academic paper where the authors constantly use the construct "it is shown that (blah)" immediately followed by a demonstration of (blah). I don't recall seeing this construct used ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Words with multiple uses

I was posed a question the other day: "Can you think of a word that can be used as a Noun, Verb or an Adjective?" One such word would be "light". Is there a rule for identifying such words? (See ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

Are “nil” and “null” interchangeable?

Are nil and null interchangeable? For example, My bank a/c has a nil balance. My bank a/c has a null balance.
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it acceptable to call a hot dog a sausage?

This sounds like a silly question, but I've heard some very strong opinions about this, so I find this intriguing. A hot dog is a type of sausage (at least according to Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia, ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

How to use “offset” when talking to a vendor?

I am having a problem with the word offset. This is what I'm going to type to my vendor: If we do not receive your Statement of Account by 30 Mar '12, all payments will be "offsetted". Is it ...
7
votes
9answers
6k views

“Problematic” versus “problem”

A reviewer of my thesis told me that I am wrongly using the word problematic. He suggested that I use problem instead. I have since read the definition of both words and neither correspond to the ...
7
votes
1answer
13k views

What's the difference between 'fowl' and 'poultry'?

As the title says, I'm interested in the semantic difference between these two words. OALD gives the definition of fowl as "a bird that is kept for its meat and eggs, for example a chicken." Poultry ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Use of “suspicion” as verb [closed]

My coworker says things like I suspicion that it happened the other day when nobody was here. I would say I suspect it happened or I have a suspicion that it happened. What my ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Dropping L in compound adjectives. Is it “skillful” or “skilful”?

We have been taught at school that when a word ending in "LL" helps form a compound word, "LL" becomes "L" (e.g. skill -> skilful). I have also come across the usage of this adjective as skillful ...
5
votes
2answers
17k views

“Popular with” vs “Popular among”

Prof. Sat is not popular with/among his students. Which usage is correct here and why?
1
vote
1answer
8k views

Use of the singular or plural “is” or “are” in ambiguous situations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: [Singular] Is/Are [Plural]? In this sentence: The only exception are questions that are narrow enough that they can be reasonably answered definitively with one or ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Nonplussed defines its own antonym?

I recently encountered this word while reading an article and found that its two basic definitions are "Bewildered" and "Unfazed." How can the word mean both these things as they seem to be direct ...
2
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it correct to say “I'm not urgent to do something”?

I know it is correct to say "Something is not urgent for me". But it is correct to say I'm not urgent to do something. If not, how do I state that I really want some problem to be resolved – ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What do you call the thing you get at the hospital when you break your leg, etc.?

When you break your leg or any of your appendages you get a binding, you know, the white thing to fix your arm or leg. What is that called? I find the words gypsum, cast and plastery in the ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

“knowing you as well as I do”

The situation is that one of my friend's roommates took part in a test of narcissism and got a score of 14. My friend wanted to get in a dig at that guy, so he said"Well, knowing you as well as I do, ...
7
votes
7answers
93k views

What is the proper usage of the phrase “due diligence”?

I have encountered the phrase "due diligence" in the business world. The usage examples I have seen (mostly emails) cannot exactly be considered grammatical canon. An internet search produces ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

“Offer an opinion” or “give an opinion”

Our company is about to relocate. Employees have been asked for input on the new campus. My thought was to preface my email with I would like to offer my opinion ... but should it be I ...
3
votes
2answers
800 views

Is “learning yourself” the same as “learning by yourself”?

(Other than the first also meaning to learn about oneself...) Is learning yourself the same as learning by yourself? How much do these two phrases differ? In India's spoken English, the former is ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

What is correct: “bind to” or “bind with”?

What is a correct phrase: “bind to” or “bind with”? If both are correct, when should I use the first form, and when the second?
3
votes
3answers
386 views

Can an object be clumsy? [closed]

I was writing something in English when the word clumsy came to my mind to describe a French concept "inélégant". However, I use clumsy to describe an object and I am not sure it is appropriate. Here ...
2
votes
1answer
780 views

Using “on” vs. “in”? [closed]

Consider the following sentence: I am developing an application to be installed on Android. And this: This has been a major flaw in Android... To be clear I am unsure of the usage of "in" ...
5
votes
1answer
999 views

Where does the phrase “It's a good job that …” come from?

In a recent link the phrase "It's a good job that..." is used. I take it to mean the same as It's a good thing that ... but I've never in my almost 50 years of English heard job used like that ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Is this a correct use of 'whom'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the rule for using “who” or “whom”? "The negative may be insecurity, in lieu of an absolute authority whom can to confirm your ...
2
votes
3answers
114 views

Something similar to “plepentry envoy”

Long time ago I heard a word that to the best of my recollection is "plepentry envoy" I have googled a few variants, but "pleopentry envoy", "pelepentry envoy" etc. but nothing similar is coming up. ...
6
votes
2answers
14k views

Difference between “no” and “nope” [closed]

When is it correct to use no and nope? Is there any difference between them?
8
votes
5answers
54k views

“In recent years” vs “in the recent years”

Do we write in the recent years or in recent years? For example, In the recent years, the influence of blablabla on blablabla has grown rapidly. In recent years, the influence of blablabla ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

What do you call someone who is asking for information? [closed]

A petitioner? I'm not sure... Any suggestions?
0
votes
3answers
919 views

Is this slogan proper English? [closed]

We are a group of web developers, creating our online presence ... We chose this slogan, "Web passionate young powers at your service" Is this proper English? Does this hold any "contempt" ...
9
votes
2answers
468 views

Usage of “cancel” and “cancel out”

It seems that cancel and cancel out can be used in the same way. For example, A cancels B or A cancels out B. In which context is one preferred over the other?
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Do you make a difference between “anybody” and “anyone” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a subtle difference between “somebody” and “someone”, “anybody” and “anyone”? Not being an English native, I’m ...
1
vote
3answers
541 views

Is it correct to say 'two/three parter movie'?

I have been wondering about this for sometime now. I often hear people say two-parter. Is it correct/formal? I want to describe a documentary movies consisting of three parts. Three-parter movie? ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do we “scotch” a rumour?

The etymology of the verb to scotch is unclear. Here is the origin note from Oxford Dictionaries: early 17th century (as a noun): of unknown origin; perhaps related to skate1. The sense 'render ...