This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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1
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2answers
581 views

The history of the use of “man” [closed]

The pronoun 'he' used generically, as well as a lot of words including "man-kind" or generic "man" are sex-biased and are not acceptable. However, not so long ago, they were the proper used terms for ...
7
votes
7answers
24k views

Usage of the word “technically”

I use this word in my daily language even without knowing what it actually means. Technically speaking, there is no big difference between […] and […]. So what does this word imply, not in the ...
3
votes
9answers
30k views

Is the word “epic” being used correctly these days?

You know what I mean. The word "epic" has been overused for quite some time now. I was recently referred to Wiktionary as a trusted source, and I see this example in use: (colloquial) Extending ...
10
votes
3answers
615 views

Origin of the word “spraunce”

I was recently talking to someone who said a restaurant was spraunce, meaning it was well-presented and high-quality (that being the sense I was familiar with). We briefly discussed the fact that he ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“2 times”, “twice” and “2X”, when to use which and why?

I am not sure if 2X is even a valid word. What are the proper usages for each of the three?
2
votes
2answers
309 views

Is there a better / correct term for the de facto usage of ‘ironic’?

The word ‘ironic’ is known to be quite frequently misused, to the point that some dictionaries have actually started accepting the de facto usage as another definition, usually calling it situational ...
8
votes
1answer
266 views

Is this usage of 'curiously' correct?

I recently used a sentence similar to the following: Curiously, do you prefer black? Some people found it grammatically incorrect. That was a surprise, for I thought it was perfectly okay. ...
1
vote
0answers
95 views

What is the best rule for determining when to use “Who” and/or “Whom” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “who” and “whom” This is a topic that always causes me to take pause. I never really know if I am using who correctly or if whom would be ...
6
votes
3answers
601 views

Should “round” only be used to describe 2-d objects?

My high school teacher used to say, "No, the world is not round it is globular". Strictly speaking, is round more appropriately used to describe 2-dimensional objects (circle, oval, tire, plate or ...
0
votes
2answers
233 views

Another “ would” usage to maintain the same tense in the sentence

Touché on modify the joke to serve your best interest, although it'd probably lose its luster as you'd be disregarding traditionally Jewish stereotypes. Is this sentence grammatically correct? ...
8
votes
2answers
21k views

Which phrase is correct: “dependent on” or “dependent upon”

Which sentence is correct?  my project is dependent upon your project completing my project is dependent on your project completing.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it correct to say that something is “claustrophobic” if it makes someone feel claustrophobic?

For example, people often refer to an elevator as claustrophobic, but I'm curious whether it is more accurate to say that an elevator causes its occupants to feel claustrophobic.
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Usage of “many” vs “many a”?

Can someone please elucidate the difference between "many" and "many a"? In what context of usage should we add an extra "a" beside the word "many"? For example: Many times, I had seen ...
8
votes
3answers
899 views

How widely is “catch-22” used?

I have known for a long time that there is noun called “catch-22” in English. In some cases, I really would like to use it but I'm not sure if it is a well known term. AFAIK, it is used when you are ...
3
votes
2answers
481 views

Is the formation “[s]he” overly distracting?

Does the use of "[s]he" as a gender-neutral pronoun prompt eye-rolling in the reader or is it generally accepted? I know it cannot be pronounced, but it seems to me a helpful contraction in written ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

What general rules govern the usage of “by” versus “through”?

What general rules govern the usage of by versus through? For example, which is correct in each of these cases: My house is heated by/through gas. I'll send it to you by/through mail. I'll ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Is “that of” used in an appropriate way?

Could you please tell me whether I use that of in an appropriate way or not? Here are the results of the calculations. That of calculation number four is pretty difficult to get.
12
votes
2answers
949 views

Guidelines for the use of the slang term “cise”

I heard an unfamiliar regional slang word used thusly: I'm gonna go cise (rhymes with ice) me a sandwich and then I'll be back. When I questioned the user, the speaker insisted it has been ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why isn't the ball used in football called “a football ball”?

We know that you need a ball to play cricket, golf, or tennis, and we refer to the balls used in those sports as "cricket ball", "golf ball" and "tennis ball" respectively: you take the name of the ...
2
votes
3answers
245 views

Short name for rearranging verb and adjective places in a sentence

The usual "Working Hard?" greeting can be rearranged to "Hardly Working!" reply. Is there a name for this process? In the above statement instead of using "rearranging" can one use "permuting" ...
2
votes
2answers
325 views

“Passed” versus “past” instance in a published novel

A certain book by a famous author has been released in a new second edition. Unfortunately, it appears some changes have been made for the worse. For instance, in the first edition you read the ...
8
votes
1answer
23k views

Starting a sentence with “rather”

I've sometimes heard people use rather for connecting two sentences where the second one sets counterexample to something negated in the first. This is not a meaningful sentence. Rather, it's an ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

“Loviest-doviest” or “lovey-doviest”?

I know that this term in its comparative form would 'lovier-dovier', but somehow I can't decide whether it is "loviest-doviest" or "lovey-doviest" Which is the correct form?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Does using the word “crony” necessitate a negative connotation?

I have always heard the word "crony" in the context of acquaintanceships between people exploiting their closeness for less than noble means. Despite its definitions in the usual places as simply ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

Does using the word “prefer” contain an implication of “necessity”?

I would prefer you come in and not your friend to get the signature. Above is the sentence in the email I received from my supervisor. I was in another city so I had no choice but to ask my ...
4
votes
2answers
490 views

What is the relationship between fame and infamy?

In layman's terms, what is the relationship between fame and infamy? Is fame required to be infamous? Are they (definitively) mutual exclusive?
19
votes
10answers
8k views

How should “deceptively” actually be used?

I'm not sure if this is a duplicate question, but I couldn't find anything on here on the topic. I can't seem to figure out what is actually meant when using the word "deceptive," or rather, what is ...
6
votes
10answers
6k views

A Word that means “to adapt or improve, to conform to a higher standard”?

I need to find or invent a word that suggests a system might be "adapted or improved to conform to a higher standard". A verb, noun, adjective or even adverb would be acceptable, but so far I haven't ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

What makes “like” and “so” popular?

So, I was like, why does everyone say like and so in every sentence? Where did this trend come from, like, what started it, and is it actually grammatically correct to like, insert like into our ...
3
votes
2answers
55k views

What does N.B. stand for? [closed]

I have received letters for years, and some of the most common things in letters are post-scripts, however, there are also these funny little "N.B." which obviously do not stand for Post Script. What ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

On the use of “both”

I keep running into this debate with my thesis advisor. Are both of these forms correct? It can be seen that both the users are able to... or It can be seen that the both users are able ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between 'speculative', 'hypothetical' and 'conjectural'?

What is the difference between 'speculative', 'hypothetical' and 'conjectural'?
2
votes
3answers
6k views

What does 'hip' exactly mean?

A friend of mine said he would like to bring the word 'hip' back in to fashion. I thought of 'hip' as a body part, so I didn't understand him until he said," Riding horses is seriously great; I mean ...
1
vote
2answers
532 views

What is the common root between “contumacious” and “contumelious”?

I'm interested in understanding the meanings of the 2 words : contumacious - Wilfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient and contumelious - Arrogantly insolent in the context of their word ...
16
votes
2answers
22k views

People's names as names for genitalia?

How did Peter, the surname, Johnson, and the nicknames for William(Willy) and Richard(Dick), come to mean penis? Was the first instance of these usages, related to a specific person? Are there more ...
4
votes
2answers
24k views

When would I use “might as well” instead of “may as well”?

If I understood the NY Times correctly, the words might and may are interchangeable except might is used to convey a greater level of uncertainty. Examples: I'll probably need gas for tomorrow's ...
2
votes
4answers
531 views

Word for “makes progress towards?”

If one has a goal, then one can say that certain activities make progress towards that goal, lead to completion of the goal. Is there a concise word for "is relevant to, makes progress towards [a ...
3
votes
0answers
229 views

Why do we say “odd” when describing numbers? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where did the “odd” in “N odd years” come from? When we speak about numbers, we usually associate "odd" with it. For example, "We have 70-odd ...
34
votes
3answers
35k views

Why use the word “copy” in “do you copy that”?

I notice "do you copy that?" is used in movies to ask for confirmation in telephone/interphone conversation. I only know copy means make things duplicated, so why use it in "do you copy that"? Is ...
9
votes
7answers
17k views

What's an easy way to remember when to use “affect” or “effect”? [duplicate]

Is there an easy way to remember when to use the word affect or effect in a sentence? It is very confusing, and I still get them mixed up.
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Can sound be “blurry?”

Can sound be considered "blurry?" I have heard of visual things being "blurry." Examples of this include blurry photographs or blurred vision. Is the word "blurry" restricted only to vision? I ...
4
votes
2answers
771 views

What is the difference between Philanthropy and Philanthropism?

In a the context of a paper, there's a paragraph-title: "Philanthropism in American culture", I'm in general only familiar with the word philanthropy, hence I'm not sure what an appropriate title ...
1
vote
3answers
14k views

Difference in meaning between create/make/have impact

Came across "create a great impact" today, and I have never seen "impact" used with "create" (as far as I can remember). Is there a difference in meaning and usage between: create an impact have ...
10
votes
5answers
9k views

What preposition should one use with “redundant”?

I realize it's usually better to just say "A and B are redundant". But, I've also seen A is redundant with B ... to B ... of B all with basically the same intended meaning. Are any of these more ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I acronymize “Health, Safety, and Environment” as “HSE” or “SHE”?

Which abbreviation is most used for "Health, Safety and Environment"? I keep seeing different abbreviations, and a quick search on Google shows that they are all used widely. But does anyone actually ...
4
votes
2answers
511 views

Am I using “namesake” correctly?

I am writing an essay about (among other things) Gutenberg's printing press and Project Gutenberg. I want to say something along the lines of "Gutenberg's press was so popular that current things are ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Difference between “inflammable” and “flammable” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are not infamous and inflammable the opposite of famous and flammable like incomplete, inactivity, inappropriate and so on? I'm very confused by the existence of ...
3
votes
3answers
769 views

Thieves' words for their victims

What words might a thief (of any variety) use to describe the victims of his theft? Con artists in film often use "mark", for example. Is there other jargon specific to the con branch* of crime? How ...
9
votes
2answers
18k views

What's the difference between “apparel” and “clothing”?

Those two words seems referring to one thing.
8
votes
2answers
895 views

Obama's use of “bemused”

I generally see the definition of "bemused" to be synonymous with "confused" or "puzzled", and that it is wrong to use it as a synonym of "amused". However I tend to see it used — as Obama did ...