This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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2
votes
1answer
73 views

Am I using 'thus' correctly in this paragraph?

I'd like to confirm if the use of 'thus' is correct in the following passage. If it's not, please explain why, and what an alternative would be. I believe the most important mission of a ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

It's not affect, but can you “effect” something?

I understand the differences between affect and effect, and generally when to use them. However, in some cases while reading I have seen authors use the phrase "effect a change" (among others) ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Sunday as a Week Marker

When someone uses the phrase "the week of the [Sunday's date]" does that usually refer to the week preceding that Sunday or after it?
0
votes
1answer
41 views

This needs to be reprinted vs. this needs reprinted [duplicate]

What is the difference between using: this needs to be fixed; and this needs fixed Can they be used interchangeably? Is the second one grammatically correct?
32
votes
4answers
6k views

“Two yellow spots on its wings” vs “a yellow spot on both wings?”

"The bird has two yellow spots on its wings." versus "The bird has a yellow spot on both wings." Do they mean the same? Which one describes more accurately the yellow spots of the following ...
3
votes
4answers
228 views

Alternatives to the common construction “didn't used to”

I am hearing the use of this odd-sounding construction more and more frequently as of late. For example: I didn't used to smoke. I didn't used to work for McDonald's. I was trying to think ...
1
vote
3answers
68 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
votes
1answer
86 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
1
vote
2answers
151 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
vote
1answer
120 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
votes
3answers
91 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?
2
votes
2answers
98 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
votes
2answers
238 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
votes
3answers
84 views

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

What's the difference between "infirmary" and "sick-bay"? Are they completely synonymous?
0
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
83 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
34 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
53 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?
1
vote
1answer
41 views

How does 'worth' differ from 'value' and how are they synonyms? [closed]

Why do we say "he is worth a lot of money" when we neither mean to buy, or sell, nor express great regard for the wealthy man, but "his contribution is worthless" even when the person is being ...
0
votes
2answers
101 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
votes
1answer
131 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
vote
1answer
166 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
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
470 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
votes
1answer
138 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
vote
3answers
96 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
vote
1answer
269 views

What does “cynical confidence” mean?

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
138 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
98 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
vote
1answer
62 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
votes
1answer
120 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
22 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
63 views

How right to say “I'm came from somebody”

Let's imagine, Jack told me about your friend, which is lawyer. For example, lawyer's name is Mark. And He[Jack] said me: you have to say to Mark, that you know me. How I have to introduce myself to ...
3
votes
2answers
82 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
57 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
92 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... ...
2
votes
2answers
40 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
165 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
91 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 / ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

“Dispirit” or “dispirited” [closed]

I used the following sentence in an article. What happens if you want to improve your business processes by integrating all your dispirit workflows into one? The point I wanted to get across ...
-3
votes
2answers
61 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
votes
2answers
99 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
80 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
79 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
81 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
122 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
131 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
vote
0answers
15 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.
-1
votes
1answer
61 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
votes
2answers
95 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 ...