This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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3
votes
2answers
12k views

Grammar: For vs to? [closed]

In my mother tongue both for and to have the same meaning, therefore it is hard for (is it being correctly used here?) me to know when I should use one instead of the other. After some google's ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

English usage: Every vs all?

Today I was writing a simple message to be shown to the user whenever at least one field was not supplied. Every/All fields must be supplied. I'm in doubt about the usage of Every vs All, which ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between “pangalactic” and “transgalactic”?

I am building a game and trying to give some fancy names to some objectives in my game. So, I was wondering about the difference between the words pangalactic and transgalactic? Does any of them ...
29
votes
8answers
31k views

If someone is electrocuted, do they have to die or can they just be injured?

Is it correct to say I electrocuted my friend if he was only injured by electricity?
5
votes
3answers
172 views

Does a whole “compose” its parts?

I just wrote a sentence like this and I'm wondering I've used the word compose correctly. In order to find the length of the train, you'll need to measure the individual cars it composes. Is ...
6
votes
3answers
21k views

Is there some difference between “north-east” and “northeast”?

I have two dictionaries (one American English, the other British English) and they differ in writing the word “northeast”. Does this mean that in American English you should use “northeast” and in ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Usage of “ever” in a negative statement

I know that "ever" can be used to express the strengthened negation but would it work like that? I created a session but nobody ever joined. Is it possible? It does not sound right to me. If ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do we say that someone “practices” law or medicine?

I’m wondering why we refer to providing legal or medical services as a practice of law or medicine, respectively. For example, we say that a lawyer practices law or a doctor practices medicine. This ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to use' cover off' instead of 'cover up'? [closed]

Is it possible to use' cover off' instead of 'cover up'? cover up sense of unworthiness
0
votes
1answer
504 views

Correct usage of the words “blow” and “fit” [closed]

Does the following sentence have correct use of the word 'blow' and 'fit' ? (separate sentences) A sudden gust of wind made the candles blow off. I'm very busy, I had to fit ten appointments ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

Is “postchoice” a well-used word?

I came upon the word postchoice in the following sentence of Time magazine’s (May 28) article titled “The optimism bias,” dealing with the benefits of positive thinking: According to social ...
6
votes
3answers
595 views

What's the difference between England, Britain, and the United Kingdom? [closed]

I'm a little confused over which regions of the world these terms are really referring to. Also, when is it appropriate to refer to someone as British vs. English?
7
votes
3answers
819 views

“Have” vs. “Is” + Verb

The phrases have expired and is expired are in practice more or less identical. Formally, of course, they are different in that the former uses expired as a verb with have as its auxiliary, whereas ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How to answer grammatically ambiguous tricky questions [closed]

Here are some examples : 1) The mangoes (will ripe/ripe/will ripen) over time said John. 2) The least considered in the latest Terrorist attacks (are/were/was) the innocent victims. My choice for ...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

How to document a change to an earlier proposal

I wrote an e-mail proposal to send to a client but after asking a co-worker's opinion I decided to reformulate it. Now I have to describe what has been done but I'm not sure if the expression below ...
2
votes
6answers
251 views

Usage of the word “insert”

My textbook set a test question: Check the usage of the word "insert" in the following sentences: It is his habit to insert new topics in the discussion. The country is planning to ...
-2
votes
2answers
441 views

Mean or Median? [closed]

My textbook sets this question: In each of the following sentences, a word has been used in sentences in different ways. Choose the option corresponding to the sentence in which the usage of the ...
2
votes
4answers
640 views

Is “At Worst” used only in the future context?

I have checked numerous examples where "At worst" is used in the future context. At worst, we will go to jail. At worst, teacher will expel us. Can we use "At worst" in the past context?
10
votes
2answers
252 views

Usage of “brook” to mean “burp”?

Has anyone ever come across ?brook (not too sure about spelling) used instead of burp? I brooked/I burped. Was that you brooking/burping? It may be derived from Scottish Gaelic.
4
votes
3answers
8k views

Cleanse vs Clean

Do you know what is the difference between Cleanse and Clean? I don't have a clear idea of when to use one or the other as verbs or nouns, or if there is some key difference I'm not aware of.
-3
votes
1answer
842 views

Then or Than, Which to use when comparing time? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it absolutely necessary to use “than” over “then” in a comparison? Which sentence is grammatically correct? "I have been here for less ...
3
votes
2answers
284 views

Does paralepsis require explicit invocation?

(I apologize for the title, it's the best I could do to phrase it concisely.) Paralepsis (Wikipedia suggests the spelling Paralipsis) is defined as: a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer ...
-2
votes
1answer
341 views

Is Millenial a common term? [closed]

I would like to use the word "Millenial" in an article. This is a reference to people between (roughly) 18-30. Is this a common enough term to use? Will the average reader know exactly what I am ...
8
votes
3answers
526 views

“It will be more of a sucks for him …”

I've seen the disparaging sense of sucks as a verb ("sucks to be you", "that sucks!"), but this particular usage from Price Caspian seems a little odd: Lucy heard Edmund say, "No, let me do it. It ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

“He gave her a gesture while leaving the room.” - Is this sentence correct?

The intended use of the sentence is for a scenario where a guy gives a positive indication (with facial expressions) to an employee before leaving the presentation room. Is "give a gesture" ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

“rumor” vs “unfounded rumor”

If I'm not wrong, "rumor" means: A story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth and "unfounded" means: Having no foundation or basis in fact If so, what is the difference between an ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “leisurely” still acceptable as an adverb?

I am used to seeing "leisurely" as an adjective exclusively, as in "walking at a leisurely pace." But today I read it used as an adverb in a New York Times review of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer." ...
1
vote
2answers
168 views

Is this headline as redundant as it seems?

Drunk driver found hiding after hit-and-run Is it necessary to write "found hiding"? It seems like the only time you can find something is when it is hidden or missing. Is this statement ...
3
votes
3answers
16k views

If 'pre' is previous, 'post' is after, what is current? [closed]

We were discussing something like pre-boss era, post-boss era. What word describes the era where the boss is still there?
2
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the difference between disseminate and distribute

The original confusion arose when I read the following sentence. --> you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication, or any of its contents, is strictly ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

When to use the plural of “nature”?

Someone told me that the word nature should not be plural in my sentence. I would argue, however, that it is obvious that it requires an "s". The problematic sentence is as follow: We must exploit ...
1
vote
2answers
305 views

Assembler, Installer, Fitter

Say, you buy some new office furniture. You get the furniture parts delivered including the service to put the different parts - for example the desk top and the desk legs - together to complete ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Word order again?

I have been thinking about word order and its meaning, thus when we have for instance: Planet of the apes or Apes planet Proposal for extra work or Extra work proposal Which is the more ...
-2
votes
1answer
205 views

Word for - an item that belongs to a group or list [closed]

This is one of those word / phrase on the tip of my tongue things. What is a technical word or phrase for an item that belongs to a group? Some Context I am creating a relational table (database) ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

what does “into the blue” / “to the blue” exactly mean?

What does it mean? And when is it used? If someone says: "To the blue", "into the blue"? What to except?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “which [noun] …” correct? [duplicate]

I came across this literature recently: An Owner may apply for a Change of Name of a registered Greyhound by submitting to the GBGB the appropriate form duly completed, which form shall include ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

Can the verb “solve” be applied to the noun “challenge”?

For example, "John was asked to solve a complex challenge." I find this to read very awkwardly, as if someone told me they solved a banana. Is this a case of verb-noun mismatch?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Can the word 'pre-order' be used for an item already in production?

As I understand it the term pre-order refers to ordering an item that hasn't been released yet, probably as a concatenation of pre-release order. However I just received an email from Farnell ...
-2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “agriculture” a verb? [closed]

Can I say to agriculture the land? If not, what would the alternative be?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I use “way how to” to express a method of doing something?

I always thought that this phrase is wrong. That I can use either "the way to do something" or "how to do something". However, I find the phrase way how to very often in various places and that puts ...
3
votes
3answers
555 views

On the expression “some… and not others”

I want to ask a simple question. One often uses some and and not others or but not others together. For instance: (1) Why does cancer attack some tissues but not others? (2) Why do ...
41
votes
8answers
7k views

Can I “wear an umbrella”?

Does it make sense to say the following? Yesterday I wore an umbrella and a coat.
0
votes
3answers
3k views

How offensive is to call a girl “Barbie doll”? Why?

I remember I had a conversation where I have told a girl she was Barbie doll. I just meant she looked beautiful like a Barbie doll: blond, and with blue eyes. Needless to say, she was really offended, ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Is the plural form of “Mercedes” a disused word?

In the picture below: 1) are there two Mercedeses? Or, 2) are there two Mercedes? Can we infer from this nGram that the plural noun "Mercedeses" is a disused word, hence the sentence 2) ...
2
votes
1answer
662 views

Usage of 'represent' to mean 'present again'

Can the word 'represent' be used to mean 'present again'? Is the usage in the following sentence correct? "You cannot represent a bounced cheque.'
3
votes
3answers
3k views

“Cherry picking” - What is the correct usage?

Cherry picking A quick Google search yields the following definitions: Definition One Cherry picking is the act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular ...
-2
votes
2answers
174 views

Can I say “the table was covered by a scatter”? [closed]

Can I say "the table was covered by a scatter"? Is it correct?
6
votes
2answers
5k views

“These sort of things”: is it grammatical? (2,670,000 hits on Google) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What sort of thing? I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “Colorless, Tasteless but Not Dangerous" by Dwight Garner in The New ...
3
votes
4answers
10k views

“I am back to city” vs. “I am back in city”

Which is the correct usage when I tell someone that I am back? I am back to [some city] Or I am back in [some city]
4
votes
2answers
41k views

Is “received with thanks” stilted English?

I just got a receipt which said "Received with thanks the sum of ..." Thanks stands for gratitude, so this looks fine to me as far as grammar is concerned. But is this old-fashioned and/or stilted? ...