This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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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 ...
0
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1answer
8k views

What is the difference between providing that and provided that? [closed]

Please tell me about this question and give me an example for each one. Is it conjunction or not? Thanks
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2answers
4k views

Is it correct to use the word “something” to describe a plural form?

Then, as I continued gazing at her, something came to my mind. They were the remnants of the dream I had before waking up. Is that grammatically correct? If not, what's the closest alternative? ...
1
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1answer
162 views

Is “platonic” generally appropriate?

Specifically, I'm wondering about the definition about relationships: of, relating to, or having a close relationship in which there is no romance or sex. Is "platonic" generally appropriate? ...
0
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3answers
762 views

What's the difference in being extemporaneous,being spontaneous and being impulsive?

What's the difference in being extemporaneous, being spontaneous and being impulsive? Or, when, where, - in which situation - would you rather use them?
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3answers
474 views

Are academics considered “experts”, “professionals”, or both in their scientific field?

I wrote a proposal for a survey to be conducted at a conference in the field of requirements engineering. I decided that all attendants at the conference, both the ones coming from industry and ones ...
4
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2answers
520 views

What is the context in which 'ice breaking' is a good thing?

If you are on a frozen lake and the ice breaks you basically plunge into cold water. That could end badly. What is the explanation for 'getting to know everyone', or 'getting the conversation ...
2
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3answers
1k views

Difference between “infirmary” and “sick-bay”?

What's the difference between "infirmary" and "sick-bay"? Are they completely synonymous?
0
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1answer
156 views

A word that refers to a previously mentioned action [closed]

I am trying to refer back to the action "act swiftly" mentioned previously, but I am not sure if I am in the right direction. I thought of a few possible solutions as follows. An entire rephrasing of ...
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3answers
1k views

Can “retrospectively” be used in this manner?

The following is the paragraph which the word "retrospectively" is used. I meant to say something like " the government has learnt from the past events, and as a result, have implemented these ...
4
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1answer
85 views

What is the origin of the term 'going to wrack and ruin'?

'Wrack' refers to wreckage, vengeance and retributive punishment. From looking at its copious entry in the OED it is clear that the word 'wrack' has had a considerable history. But other than for this ...
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2answers
141 views

Is the following use of however correct?

There was no way, however; my mind was still wide awake. I always see however after semicolons but never like the case above. Is the example grammatically correct?
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2answers
2k views

“Enter information about your education history from secondary level onwards”: Is the word “onwards” inclusive or exclusive?

I was filling an application and I came across this sentence: Enter information about your education history from secondary level onwards. I am a bit confused. Do I have to include the ...
2
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1answer
5k views

How do you use “knack” in a sentence?

On this post here, it says: Another word which comes to my mind is "Knack". It can be used to show how someone has a specific talent. Again as an example - Tim is good with musical ...
1
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1answer
5k views

What does “barely” imply?

When someone says, I barely understand that. Does he mean: He almost doesn't understand [which means he understands a bit] He almost understands [which means he doesn't understand] ...
-1
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1answer
186 views

Can you “empower” a goal rather than a person?

I want to write: "...to empower individual health." However, I can't think of examples where "empower" takes a direct object that is not a person. You can empower a person, but can you empower a ...
5
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6answers
13k views

Proper Use of “Disponibility”

I recently ran into a word that I hadn't encountered before in my life in this context: "Well, thanks a lot [BlackVegetable] both for your quick reply and disponibility." (It's in a comment on ...
0
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1answer
2k views

Comma usage when but is used between two adjective or adverbs

What is the rule regarding comma usage when but is used between two contrasting adjectives or adverbs? It is a vey interesting, but stupid question, and one that I have had a hard time finding a ...
1
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3answers
145 views

actual / wise or both [closed]

We had an exam today and here is the question on which I was confused. Fill in the gaps. Justin is a very hardworking student. His ideas and words are ___and useful. There were 2 ...
1
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1answer
2k views

What does “cynical confidence” mean? [closed]

I know that cynical means something along the lines of believing the worst in people, but how does this word coincide with confidence? For instance, what would this line mean? The witness had a ...
4
votes
1answer
10k views

Is it more correct to say “You have not yet <actioned>” or “You have not <actioned> yet”?

Having seen Correct placing and usage of "yet", it sounds like it may be correct to say either "You have not created any items yet." or "You have not yet created any items." Is one more ...
0
votes
2answers
295 views

“By/before/until/through” in the past

I need to express how an event occurred before-or-at a certain time in the past (non exclusive or, which of the two alternatives is the actual one is left open). For the future I would have used ...
1
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1answer
2k views

Using Manifest correctly

Can I use the verb manifest in the following sentence? We would quickly learn that obstacles can manifest in any neighborhood. Google's Definition: display or show (a quality or feeling) ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Found missing/Found to be missing?

Which one among the following is correct? These were found missing. or These were found to be missing. For me the former one sounds little bit odd since "found" and "missing" are next to ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Can I use excluding at the end of expression of interval?

I want to express the fact that first part one of an XML file extents from the beginning to the Parameters section, but it does not include Parameters section. Can I express it like this: The ...
0
votes
2answers
984 views

How do you express having a mutual acquaintance when you introduce yourself?

Let's imagine that Jack told me about his friend who is a lawyer, called Mark. And that Jack also told me that I have to mention to Mark that I know him (Jack). How can I introduce myself to Mark ...
2
votes
2answers
283 views

Can someone be instilled with medication?

I am looking specifically for how to use the first definition given here: to cause to enter drop by drop (instill medication into the infected eye) but I imagine usage rules would apply equally ...
2
votes
1answer
268 views

Placing however at the start of a sentence vs placing it in the middle of a sentence?

Basically, what's the difference between this: However, it didn't mean that I didn't have the potential to become a rock star. and this? It didn't mean, however, that I didn't have the ...
4
votes
3answers
385 views

Is yea an acceptable replacement for yeah?

I'm an amateur writer, writing almost entirely fanfiction, and I use the word 'yea' in my writings rather often instead of yeah. In sentences like "If you mean did that just happen? Yea." or "Yea... ...
1
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2answers
52 views

“Serial potential drop” or “series of potential drops”

I would like to use the word serial in the sense that it denotes a sequential arrangement of objects. In that regard, is it better to say "serial potential drop" instead of "a series of potential ...
2
votes
2answers
821 views

What is the meaning of 'the food chain'?

The OED confirms my long-held suspicion that the original use of the term 'food chain' is becoming supplanted by an altogether different meaning. The term 'food chain' was used extensively in the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the most preferred spelling of auto fill, auto-fill, and autofill?

When you are trying to say that something is automatically filled in, you use the word autofill, or if you were using past tense, autofilled. I see 3 main ways that people use it: auto fill / ...
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votes
2answers
181 views

Is it appropriate to say “ I used to be more frightened of spiders that he is now” [closed]

I'm not sure, because it doesn't sound and feel right.
2
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2answers
314 views

What is not a “coffin” but used to carry the corpse?

Coffin is box in which corpse is buried and is also used to carry the corpse to the grave. But Muslims carry the the corpse in cage sort of a thing, remove the corpse from it and then bury it. So ...
0
votes
2answers
614 views

What is the correct usage of the word “milquetoast”? [duplicate]

The google definition of this word states that it is a noun however in its own example of usage it is used as an adjective: "a frail, milquetoast character". I haven't found any reliable sources to ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Can you use “the legislator” as a general term to refer to the legislative power?

In Dutch, the term "de wetgever" (literally "the legislator", "the lawmaker") is often used to refer to the legislative power, the legislature. This is very often translated in English as "the ...
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votes
2answers
2k views

Can a regret be expressed? [closed]

I know that interest, dissatisfaction, condolence, apologies can all collocate with express, but I am not sure if regret can. I am thinking about the following sentence in particular: I would like ...
1
vote
4answers
279 views

Do we ask a waiter if we could have or get?

I have noticed a tendency among the younger generation, when ordering in a pub or restaurant, to say 'Please could I get beer-battered cod and chips', whereas I would and do say 'Please could I have ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to write previous surname when married?

What is the correct way of writing previous surname when married? E.g. John Johnson (former Davis) Is it correct to use 'former' or should it be 'previous' or any other word, or just '(Davis)' ...
1
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0answers
22 views

Might would? if i could? [duplicate]

How accurate is it to say I might would, if I could? Just reading on the intricacies of can and may and it got me curious.
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1answer
232 views

“Tradeoff” usage

How is this word to be used in practice when a subject is also mentioned? I am interested in both the static situation of dealing with/being into/being subject to a tradeoff and the dynamic process ...
0
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2answers
482 views

Am I allowed to start a sentence with “Composed”?

Composed of an assortment of ten libraries including inhibitor library, stem cell signaling compound library, and anti-cancer compound library, among others, our bioactive screening libraries ...
0
votes
1answer
162 views

Alternative word for pajama?

When I first saw the word "pajama", I felt it doesn't sound like an English word. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pajama says it's from Hindi and Urdu and showed up after 1883. I'm just ...
0
votes
6answers
49k views

Is it grammatically correct to say “Many more happy returns of the day ”?

Many people greet me "Many more happy returns of the day" on my birthday. I thought it is grammatically wrong. Can we use "many" and "more" at a time in a sentence. I thought that it is correct to ...
0
votes
1answer
7k views

Can the relative pronoun “whose” be used for animals, things and countries? [duplicate]

When I was a student of English as a foreign language, more years ago than I care to count, I was taught that the relative pronoun “whose” could only be used for human beings, i.e., when someone ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Word to describe a person who expresses his or her feelings frequently?

I'm looking for a word to describe a person (it can be a term of animal behavior) who expresses his or her feelings frequently, particularly through facial expressions.
2
votes
3answers
648 views

Informal Suffix Usage: -ity/ety

Sometimes in very informal or comic book language one will see phrases such as "bonkity bonk", "flippity-flop", and "knockity knock". Other examples include "crunchity", "swirlity", etc, etc. I have ...
1
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2answers
94 views

Is “so” always accompanied by “that”?

In the following question, why can’t answer three be the right answer to fill in the blank? The correct answer is supposed to be choice one. The new skyscraper was ____________ the buildings ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

what will be the alternate word for convey in the following sentence

I am writing my first official email in English which happens to be my second language. I am unsure about the correctness of the following sentence. Please help. The detected error is false positive, ...
1
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1answer
3k views

Use of less and lesser vs lesser and lesser

The consumer on an indifference curve is willing to sacrifice less and lesser of good y to get an additional unit of good x. This is an answer I got from a model answer paper while preparing for ...