This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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13
votes
10answers
5k views

Word for someone who is extremely up-to-date with the latest facts (news or research)

I seek a word for one who is up-to-date, enlightened, and extremely well informed about the latest developments or research in a particular field. An example is a person who complains about a recent ...
1
vote
5answers
6k views

How to say that you are going to do something really soon? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Do it very quickly” vs “do it ASAP” Quite often I need to say that I will do something really soon - e.g. in a few hours, but not sure how much ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Can “grammatical” mean “grammatically correct”? [closed]

I have been seeing phrases like, "That sentence isn't grammatical" etc. recently, and at first I wrote them off thinking, "Oh, well that technically isn't right, but I get what he's saying so I'm not ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is the word “encomprise” used in modern English? [closed]

If one googles the word encomprises, there are 5K+ pages, that have this word. I personally have heard people in the USA use it with a meaning of include. Official dictionaries, on the other hand, ...
-1
votes
4answers
408 views

Can we use “use unfriendly” as an adjective?

I was wondering according to American English if this is a valid grammatical sentence: This item is a little use unfriendly. It sounds ok but I was wondering if "use unfriendly" (I mean without ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

When to use “and” as opposed to “&” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to use & instead of “and” Is there a rule as to when to use "and" as opposed to using "&"? eg. Andy and Steve's duties were to grade, guide ...
3
votes
2answers
369 views

'Repeat the year' in English is 'redoubler une classe' in French. Would it be possible to say 'redouble the year' or 'redouble the course' in English?

When I googled 'redouble the year' I was directed to French sites, and I noticed that it is indeed used. Now, I want to have a confirmation from English native speakers. Can 'redouble' be used for ...
7
votes
4answers
634 views

“Highest building of/in the world”

Which is correct? The Chrysler building was the highest building in the world. Today, it is the seventh highest building in the USA. or: The Chrysler building was the highest building of ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Origin of “good night” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the origin of the word “goodbye”? These are probably the most used two words in our day-to-day conversations. We normally use superlative degrees all ...
5
votes
4answers
13k views

“You aren't in” vs. “You're not in” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “They are not”: “they're not” versus “they aren't” I noticed that you aren't in and you're not in are two ways to shorten you ...
3
votes
2answers
30k views

What does “but” mean in “Life is but a dream”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The construction of “Known but to God” What does "but" mean in this case and what other uses is this word used in the same context. I'm trying to explain ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Examples that actually mean the opposite of their original meanings [closed]

I have learned that in English, some words have been used to mean the opposite of their original meanings, for the purpose of often negative intensions such as sarcasm, irony, ... For example I ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do we have two words to describe post-mortem medical examination?

Autopsy is defined as inspection and dissection of a body after death, as for determination of the cause of death; postmortem examination. Necropsy is defined as the examination of a body ...
8
votes
2answers
15k views

Correct usage of “viz.”?

Are these two sentences examples of the correct use of "viz."? This book is dedicated to my family, viz. my parents and two sisters. The purpose of this book is twofold, viz. 1) to show that [...]; ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“Auspicious” vs “auspices” [closed]

The two words auspicious and auspices seem so similar yet have almost opposite meaning. Is auspicious a good time or a lucky connotation while auspices is said to be an omen? If I said the weather ...
4
votes
2answers
263 views

Was “oop” really more common than “oops” till 1990?

Ngrams shows a marked preference for oop over oops up until 1990: Is Ngrams to be trusted here? Is it strange that I've never seen oop in writing? Even Dictionary.com doesn't have anything more ...
2
votes
4answers
924 views

Use of “compensate” to mean “help pay cost”

Is using compensate correct in this context? We are appealing for your help. We've found a great deal for a software solution we want to teach our kids and it costs 1000 dollars and your ...
0
votes
1answer
663 views

Is this usage of “now” correct?

Consider this piece of a poem: Crouched at the elder's feet, the knight Now kissed his hand in exultation. The world before his eyes turned bright, Forgot his spirit's sore ...
6
votes
2answers
294 views

Is “grounds” ever used for things other than coffee? [closed]

I've never seen the word grounds (meaning sediment/dregs; definition 12 only) used to describe anything other than coffee; are there any other usages of grounds of that meaning, or has it become a ...
0
votes
1answer
387 views

Is it possible to use the verb “torture” in a figurative sense?

Is it possible to use the verb "torture" in a tropical sense? I mean not in a physical sense. For example: Linda: "So what? Did you see Jack?" Tom: "Yes" Linda: "So did you talk to him ...
1
vote
4answers
290 views

When do we consider English speakers' familiarity as a proof?

English, like many other languages, has its own usage of words and convention that can only be captured by practicing and speaking with natives. For instance, if non-English speaker come up with a ...
2
votes
1answer
235 views

To or for usage: Places

Which of these is correct? She is leaving for the USA. or She is leaving to the USA.
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Use of “minute or two” to mean “moment” in the early 20th century?

In what seems like at least half her novels, Agatha Christie writes that one character waits for a "minute or two." At first I thought that these characters were actually sitting there and pondering, ...
3
votes
3answers
348 views

Can you use “say” to refer to things on the internet?

When referring to something you read on the internet, can you use "say?" For example, can you say, "he said it on a forum" when speaking about a message someone posted. Or does say only refer to ...
0
votes
2answers
143 views

Having trouble understanding this text

The text runs: If your front door is directly opposite your back door the Qi will just charge straight through your house and out the back without stopping for a cup of tea. If you stand in the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Using hyphenated words in technical writing?

I always get confused when using hyphenated words in my research papers. Is there any specific rule for using hyphenated words? For example, which one of the following is the correct usage of co ...
1
vote
0answers
70 views

All Right vs Alright when starting to speak [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it "alright" or "allright"? When giving a speech or presentation it's common to hear the speaker (including myself when I present) start out by ...
10
votes
10answers
35k views

“Integrity” vs. “honesty”—what's the difference?

In what situations would you say that someone "has integrity" as opposed to "behaves with honesty"? For instance, if an employee is meticulous about reporting his hours, does he have integrity or is ...
9
votes
6answers
84k views

Madam vs. Ma'am

I suspect that the answer to this depends on region, so insights from multiple areas would be beneficial: It has been my impression that in the US addressing a woman as "Madam" is considered ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

Differences among point, grade and mark

I do not know how they are different when they are used as a grading system ? Can I say a pointing system or a marking system?
6
votes
5answers
13k views

“Dear Professor” vs “Dear Mr”: differences between British and American usage

In British English, is it acceptable to address a professor as "Dear Professor X" when writing a formal or informal letter? Does it sound natural? Why I am asking this question: I was looking ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “since I'm” now an acceptable alternative to “since I was”?

In a recent episode of the television show Entourage, Ari Gold (a 40 year old man) says: I've known her since I'm 19. In an episode of Sex and the City, a character, who is 15, tells Carrie: ...
17
votes
9answers
21k views

Do native English speakers use the word “touristic”?

A word usage that always annoys me and feels like Euroenglish to me is "touristic". I don't believe I've ever seen it printed or heard it used by a native English speaker and I've travelled in most ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Difference between “spirit” and “soul”

What is the difference between spirit and soul? Is the word soul used for only human beings? For instance, He [Descartes] thought the brain worked as a center for the spirits of the soul.
11
votes
2answers
3k views

If I can say “videos”, can I also say “audios”?

Audio and video seem to me very similar words by usage. I often hear the plural form for video, but is there a plural form for audio? Can I say audios? I've never heard it being used.
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“Educative” vs “insightful”

Between insightful and educative, which is more appropriate in the following sentence? The article is very well written and very educative/insightful. When I use Google ngrams, it gives a higher ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Word for someone who prepares reports

The situation I am thinking of is where someone within a company runs queries on a database and formats the information (with or without commentary) into a report. Is there a single word that ...
3
votes
2answers
386 views

What does 'cloying smoke' mean?

I understand "cloying" to mean something good that becomes distasteful in excess. Here is a sentence I read today from this article: But the aerial assault on the stubborn blaze, which blanketed ...
2
votes
2answers
279 views

“Longer running time” vs “high performance”

I am always confused about the correct usages of words like longer, less, higher, high etc., for comparing performance of two programs. For example, if a program A completes its work in 10 seconds, ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What does “turn off” mean here?

Could it be a typo for "and one by one they will be turned off"? CNN: Many of the existing space telescopes, Hubble included, are nearing the end of their lifetimes, and one by one they will turn ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Usage of “just”, “only” and word-order [intended meaning]

I've got these sentences, which meanings are correct (my interpretations are in brackets): Use of only: (1) Only in 1996, Ford sold a rebadged Mazda 626 GV over here as its rebranded Japanese ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

Usage of “infinities”

What is the usage of the word infinities? Is the term infinite infinities correct, and how is it used?
0
votes
3answers
427 views

Why are some adjectives placed after a noun?

How would you explain these words: Corporate America, Revenue Canada, ServiceOntario, etc.? Edit: To clarify my question, why is corporate America more popular than American corporate or American ...
15
votes
4answers
12k views

Is there a difference between “leading edge” and “bleeding edge”?

It seems to me that "leading edge" is the more established phrase, while "bleeding edge" is basically the same thing but the user has adapted the phrase for extra (rather meaningless) emphasis. Or is ...
3
votes
3answers
463 views

Why do exciting things “rock”?

Rock (v): 6. Slang. to be very good, impressive, exciting, or effective: This show really rocks. So where did this odd usage originate?
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Meaning of “suboptimal” [closed]

I find myself using the word suboptimal quite a lot. In my understanding it is an understatement in itself, as suboptimal is not optimal at all and the subject needs drastic improvements. Is this ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

When should I use “finish” instead of “complete,” and vice versa?

I am confused about when to use finish instead of complete and vice versa. May you help me in understanding when to use those words?
0
votes
2answers
10k views

When should I use “is”, and when “does”? [closed]

I know this is really basic, and I know the answer internally, I just find that I can't articulate it. When would you use "is", and when is "does" more appropriate? E.g. "The sun is green", vs "The ...
2
votes
4answers
17k views

Difference between “unto” and “to”

What are the differences between "unto" and "to"? It seems that in many contexts where the word "unto" is used, "to" could be substituted and would be perfectly correct. It reminds me of ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

'Potential' as an adjective

Here is one of those things that I have simply never thought about until recently. I have a friend who speaks English as a second language and so still has a few overhanging errors in his speech; One ...