This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
18k views

Difference between “I will call you” and “I give you a call”?

What is the difference between I will call you and I give you a call?
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What modal verbs do natives use nowadays?

We are being taught English by a native speaker from Alaska. He states that many of modal verbs we were taught are outdated and have been replaced. E.g.: We must ➙ We have to May I ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

The use of “as” [closed]

My question: In the following sentence, what part of speech is the word as? He visited the United Nations, or the UN, as it is more commonly called. Is it merely a conjunction? If it is not, ...
2
votes
3answers
114 views

Is “womb owners” an accepted word?

I was a bit surprised to find a word, “womb owners” in the article titled, “Women can be funny, admits Jerry Lewis (sort of)” in Time Magazine’s online edition (April 15, 2014). The article begins ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What does “where's waldo” mean in this context?

The student thinks that he can where's waldo their way to the answer Now, does it mean it's gonna be a cinch or a sisyphean task? Again, if I add a little detail, The student thinks that he ...
1
vote
1answer
422 views

Difference between “Generally, I am…” and “I am generally…”?

Revisiting my CV, I have stumbled over a small question. I originally wrote: “I am generally willing and able to relocate worldwide.” Today, I noticed I could also write: “Generally, I am ...
0
votes
3answers
466 views

“All your battery needs can be found here” Is this correct?

I found this on the battery stand in a supermarket: "All your battery needs can be found here". I don't remember the exact wording, but what surprised me is that needs can be found on a supermarket ...
3
votes
3answers
227 views

Does the type of play on words in “Some people are immune to good advice” have a name?

On Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman remarks, "Some people are immune to good advice." Similarly, a friend of mine described a weekend as "a celebration of procrastination". Does word play that juxtaposes ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Usage of “In present-day”

Does the sentence In present day technology, the method can be broadly applied. correctly translate the idea that Now, with the development of inexpensive desktop computers, the method can be ...
1
vote
3answers
218 views

Usage of “whereabouts”

Is a noun "whereabouts" used not only for something moving (e.g. person) but for something still? For example: Do you know his whereabouts? vs Whereabouts of the building they searching is still ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

What is meant by “communities of colour”?

When referring to the race and ethnicity does the word "coloured" mean anyone who is not white? For example "a distinct form of racism simply associates communities of colour with pollution." Also, is ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Entertainment-related compounds

Ok I just want to ask and confirm a few compounds. 1) games shop or game shop - a place where you can buy video games 2) amusement arcade or arcade - a place where people went to play arcade ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Meaning of “appreciate the calm”

From a web development book: Instead of taking a moment to appreciate the calm, developers have taken advantage of the stabilizing front-end platform to pile on a whole new wave of front-end ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the word “institutional” mean in this context?

Racism and sexism are examples of institutional practices that result in discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race or gender. The dictionary definition of institutional is ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

“Fast” vs “Quickly” vs “Speedy” vs “Rapidly”

A similar question has been asked. However, is it possible to give (general) differences in usage of fast, quickly, speedy and rapidly? And with respect to the top answer: Are quick and fast ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

The urban are urbanised, the urbane are ?

The two words 'urban' and 'urbane' are of related meaning; according to etymology one the child of the other. But how do we form verbs from these separate adjectives? We can speak of 'urban' ...
1
vote
4answers
9k views

Ways to say “Can't be bothered!”

How else can I express a feeling similar to "can't be bothered!" Words or phrases would be appreciated as well as variations from across the English speaking world.
5
votes
1answer
131 views

The video will start presently

Presently * meaning "in a very short time, soon", is a widely accepted term, but why does its usage meaning "at the present time, currently" still remain an open area for dispute? Disputed usage: ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a comma necessary before “for which”?

Is a comma needed in this sentence? Is for which used correctly in this sentence? We define message codes for which security is well defined.
2
votes
1answer
865 views

Are “kinda”, “sorta”, “oughta” and “sposta” acceptable in formal writing?

I get that sorta, kinda, sorta-kinda (this one I quite like though) oughta and sposta imitate speech but it still niggles me to find them "in print", especially when the overall tone is formal. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Correct use of bound/bounded

I am not sure how to correctly use the word bound in this context: All partial sums of two given sequences are bounded by a positive constant. All partial sums of two given sequences are ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of “here” at the end of a sentence and how should it be used?

I have had a few international friends ask about "here" when used at the end of a sentence such as "I could use a little help here!" or "buy me some time here!". I would like to better explain this to ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

I am allowed back in a week, am I banned or suspended?

The past few years I have noticed the increase of the word "banned" when a person gets suspended, especially in the context of American sports. 10 years ago I never heard that someone was banned for ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

Where is the term clockwork used?

I was watching some cartoon show with a bunch of rugrats over the weekend and the term clockwork toy was used. It seemed to be referencing a wind-up toy. Is there any part of the English speaking ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Initial “See, …” or “Look, …” usage

Which is correct to say 1. "Look , The situation was like that..." or "See, The situation was like that ....". 2. "Look , I am not involved in it..." or "See, I am not involved in ...
13
votes
6answers
6k views

In the context of cooking, what is the difference between “flipper” and “spatula”?

I'm genuinely confused about this because at first I thought a spatula was a cooking tool resembling a flat pallet attached at an angle to the handle that could be used for activities such as flipping ...
-2
votes
1answer
138 views

Is this a correct usage of the word “only”?

"Only a single DVD movie is at least 4.7 GB, So there should be a lot of data on the Internet."
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Better name for filter condition operators?

I’m developing a data filtering system and am a little confused regarding how to name the condition operators for this system. Which of these cases are preferable (or quite applicable) for filter ...
0
votes
4answers
190 views

“Waiting on” and “waiting for” [duplicate]

While purchasing in Walmart, after sliding my card the card machine was saying "Waiting on cashier". What does "waiting on" mean in this case and how it differs from "waiting for"? Would that be ...
1
vote
3answers
328 views

Word that means “able to be prioritized” suitable for scientific publication?

I'm looking for a single word that means "able to be prioritized" that is suitable for use in a scientific paper. "Prioritizable" is essentially what I want, but in my searching this does not appear ...
1
vote
1answer
245 views

Can something be “ratable”?

As I explained in my other question, I'm writing up specs for a website with learning materials for our alpha testers to comment on. Among others, I'm describing the rating system, which has multiple ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Use of the word 'relishing'

Recently when talking to a friend about the lack of elevators in Asia he told me. You should be relishing stairs As a native English speaker the use of the word 'relishing' here sounded strange ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is 'biasedness' a real word?

I am curious about the usage of word biasedness, I am unable to find it in Oxford's advance learners dictionary but on the internet. When tried to consult some expert, he said that it's a colloquial ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between deep space and outer space?

Outer space is frequently defined as the area outside the atmosphere of Earth (or another planetary or stellar body). Deep space is defined as either a synonym for outer space (Google's definition) ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Why don't you say “good work” in English?

I am an Italian student and I am writing a thesis comparing our two languages. I am aware of the fact that you don't say "good job" or "good work", in order to wish someone the best in his/her job. I'...
3
votes
4answers
734 views

Can a book have a feeling?

I was drawn to the expression, “The book feels expressive” in the following sentence of the article titled “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Family” in The New Yorker February 4 issue: “In any case, ...
0
votes
1answer
521 views

“What do we do?” usage

If one means next, as if waiting for orders or instructions, is it possible to use the expression what do we do? Or should we say what are we going to do? Is there a reason to prefer one over the ...
0
votes
4answers
288 views

Is “leading” a superlative adjective?

Is "leading" a superlative adjective? In the following sentence, does "leading" mean "best"? China's leading singer, Xue is holding a concert today. Should I necessarily say "one of China's ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Can you say “accurate to”?

For example: The building is accurate to its schematics Is this invalid use of the word "accurate"?
1
vote
2answers
139 views

Is it OK to use hyperopic to refer to farsightedness metaphorically?

I have seen the word myopic used metaphorically to refer to a person who is very short-sighted (can't anticipate the consequences of their actions). Of course myopic is also used in the medical sense ...
2
votes
3answers
460 views

What does “Cultures are circular” mean?

There was the following sentence in the commentary of Joshua Rothman, the New Yorker’s archive editor on Amy Chua’s memoir, “Tiger Mom” under the title, “The Battle hymn of the Tiger Family” in the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How should 'beseech' be used in a sentence?

How should 'beseech' be used in a sentence? Are any of these correct? I beseech you to help me find Magrathea. I beseech your help in finding The Silver Bail of Peace. I beseech to you ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Analyst vs analyzer/analyser?

What are the scenarios where the meanings of these differ? What is the difference between their meanings and if any, why? I have observed that the term 'analyst' is specifically used in cases of ...
2
votes
2answers
129k views

“Having said that” vs. “That being said” [duplicate]

I want to know the meanings of these phrases Having said that and That being said, the difference between them, and in which context I can use both of them. According to my first understanding of ...
0
votes
3answers
183 views

On the evolution of the meaning of “few”

Was the word "few" used exclusively to refer to groups of eight people (or things) at some point of time? There is a well-known verse in the New Testament which implies the plausibility of such a ...
1
vote
3answers
694 views

A word meaning “the state of obeying a rule”

Is there a word that means "the state of obeying a rule". I'm thinking since it can be said that something 'adheres' to a rule that 'adherent' would fit the bill, but somehow it doesn't sound quite ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Insolvable, insoluble, and unsolvable

When speaking of a problem that has no solution, do the words insolvable, insoluble, and unsolvable have different shades of meaning? How do you decide which to use?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Difference between domain and dominion

Can anybody give me more examples on how to use these words? I know for sure than you should not use dominion as domain for the Internet but apart from that sight difference both words seem to be ...
0
votes
1answer
17k views

Does the electricity “go or cut” “off or out”? [closed]

Which of the following choices are correct? While I was reading a book last night, suddenly the electricity ______. cut off cut out went off went out What are the differences ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Can 'post' and 'after' used interchangeably?

I notice few colleagues use 'post' almost everywhere. Today one of them said 'lets meet up post noon' and I thought shouldn't it be 'afternoon'? I could be okay with 'post lunch' but somehow 'post ...