This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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-1
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I use “Baby Steps” in a sentence [closed]

I want to convey that I am putting myself to something new to achieve a dream/goal. Hence I thought of using the phrase "baby steps" in a sentence as follows: "As I am laying my Baby Steps towards ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Phrase for “suddenly wake up from a dream”

What is a natural thing to say when you suddenly wake up from a dream? The impression I have in mind is of something like burst/tear apart or escape from the dream scene by waking up.
2
votes
1answer
366 views

Usage of “accrue” in “it accrued to me to gently ask” [closed]

A newage hippie Facebook friend just sent me this. I was just wondering if it was syntactically correct, It accrued to me to gently ask if you could consider extending the same respect, you would ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Correct use of “happen”

A friend of mine told me that the following sentence is incorrect (copied from an exercise) Do all sentences tell us what the speaker would like to happen? He claims that it should read: Do ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

“My late friends” — they're not dead!

Context: We're discussing about how we used to get penalized in school for being late to classes, many years ago. I wanted to say: In my old school, it was hilarious to see my late friends get ...
0
votes
2answers
816 views

Can we say “probable” where we have to say “possible”?

Can we say probable where we have to say possible? What is the exact meaning of that? I have searched this, but I didn't get the perfect example of that.
6
votes
2answers
48k views

How to say hello to a group of people?

When entering a place or meet a group of people or starting a speech, how do you say hello to the audience (from a few to thousands of people). I know that this depends on the situation. I think it is ...
4
votes
1answer
383 views

“puzzled why” vs “puzzled as to why”

Is "puzzled why" correct as well? Is it just a choice of style? Or is there a difference in meaning? And if so, I'm curious (as to) what that difference is.
1
vote
2answers
19k views

Is it correct to say: please refer to my resume? [closed]

In my cover letters, I give a summary of my resume. Then, I want to say that if you need more info about my resume, please refer to my resume. I feel that this is not the correct usage. If that is ...
1
vote
5answers
33k views

Understanding “as of”, “as at”, and “as from”

I'd appreciate your assistance in helping me particularly understand how to use the phrase "as of" properly. What is the proper interpretation of the following sentence? "I need you to get me all ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

Why are animal names used as vulgar slang for body parts?

Asking this question in strict propriety out of genuine curiosity, why is that in (American) English animal-related names are used for vulgar names for the private body parts? In fact, all of the ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

How frequent is the use of 'Appropriation' in American English compared with British English?

How frequently is the word 'Appropriation' used in American English? In what contexts might young people commonly hear it?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Did I use “albeit” correctly in this sentence?

Did I use "albeit" correctly in this sentence? Here is the essay (which is word-for-word, albeit some segments I took out).
3
votes
2answers
603 views

Which word is technically correct in English: debrick or unbrick?

With certain electronic devices if you make a mistake you can brick (used as a verb) the device, so it ends up in a defunct state. So the device ends up being bricked. What is the correct term to ...
3
votes
4answers
10k views

To give someone the 411

"To give someone the 411" is short for information but is this phrase common in the US and/or in Britain and is it still up to date or outdated?
-1
votes
2answers
11k views

Do I use a comma before “that” or “which” here?

Let's say I'm describing what some person is currently doing, and I say: He is reading articles which he is summarizing in his blog. Is this sentence (and specifically, this usage of "which") ...
1
vote
1answer
225 views

Usage of the word “implies” when sure of a result

If I have a proven without a doubt that drinking cyanide means certain death, is it correct to write the following? The result of the study implies that drinking cyanide leads to certain death.
0
votes
1answer
813 views

How should I use the phrasal verb “to d**k around”?

To waste time Stop dicking me around and get to the point. Would you please stop dicking around with her? To take advantage of You're dicking him around, you know? Don't ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Objectivity vs. Objectivism vs. Objectiveness [closed]

What are some clear-cut distinctions between objectivity, objectivism, and objectiveness?
1
vote
1answer
222 views

“Curious X”: X is the subject or an object

When 'curious' is used as an adjective (e.g., in the construction "A is a curious B"), there is ambiguity as to whether the noun it modifies is:- The subject: A feels curious (e.g., "Humans are a ...
4
votes
2answers
885 views

Word for 45° rotated

We are writing a mathematical article. We are describing objects (unit squares) rotated only 0° and 45°. For easier use we call 0° rotated "axial". What should we call 45° rotated? Using just ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Is “to circuit” a common verb in colloquial language?

My boss asked me to have a look at a presentation he'll be giving next week; checking if he didn't forget anything. While skimming over the document, the following sentence was somehow bothering me: ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Word meaning relating to or involving humans or people

I need a word to fill the blank in this sentence: "The hurricane was one of the most blank-deadly events in history." The human death count was recorded, but not the death count not for other ...
2
votes
5answers
778 views

“stop to do something” vs. “continue to do something”

A transcript of a recent speech by Barack Obama contains the following sentence: Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue ...
-2
votes
4answers
5k views

Can “predeceased” be used before any event?

When a person dies, it is common to say the person was predeceased by other people such as his parents, his brother, and others. However, I am wondering if these statements are correct: His ...
18
votes
3answers
154k views

How to use “no pun intended”?

The phrase "no pun intended" is often added after someone made a pun or something that could be considered a pun. If this should be taken literally (i.e. it really was unintentional), then I'm not ...
3
votes
2answers
336 views

Is code written by a programmer “handcrafted”?

The immediate definition of "handcrafted" that I found was: "Make skillfully by hand.". In the same way a woodsman would craft a wooden toy with tools, a programmer using tools such as a computer and ...
2
votes
1answer
9k views

Could “Instead,” be used as the first word of a sentence without any following “of”?

Would the following sentence be correct? If not, I am looking for an adverb to express the meaning of “instead”. Our team could have won the match if our coach had interchanged the goal keeper ...
-4
votes
1answer
744 views

Why is the noun 'sex' uncountable? [closed]

According to the definition of the noun 'sex' in dictionaries, it means 'the PHYSICAL ACTIVITY that two people do together in order to produce babies or for pleasure.' If so, why isn't it countable? ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

What does “maze-bright” mean?

From searching online, I haven't found any dictionary entries for this phrase, however it seems it has something to do with Tryon's rat experiment, and it's often used in HR to describe a certain type ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “workflow” a word? [closed]

I'm trying to reference a business process in which a document has to be approved by several different people before it is finalized. I want to be able to say things like: We've modified the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the difference, if any, between “divine providence” and “Providence” (with a capital p)?

ODO defines providence as: providence: [mass noun] 1 the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power: they found their trust in divine providence to be a source of comfort ...
-7
votes
2answers
506 views

Can I use “lardy-dardy” to describe a man's gay lisp and gesture?

Can I use "lardy-dardy" to describe a man's gay lisp and gesture? If this is not OK, I have three more questions. How else can I ever use lardy-dardy? Which word should I be using instead? Is ...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Can you “cram” a liquid?

I heard a joke last night about cramming one's mouth with a liquid. I've looked at several definitions, including this one, which seem to allow cram to be used in this way by saying something like: ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“Choices” vs. “options”

Are the two words synonyms? Is it grammatically correct to say "you have two choices, this or that?" Isn't that one choice? Should it not be "you have one choice, this or that" or "you have two ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

Origin of the double meaning of “Swear”

It's always been on in mind, how can a single word have two meanings so opposite as "Swear" has? More specifically, how did the word "Swear" assumed its good and bad face? Was it born as good and ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a difference between “plagiarizer” and “plagiarist”?

Dictionary.com lists plagiarist as the noun form of plagiarism and lists plagiarizer as the noun form of plagiarize. I do not see the distinction of the separate entries and expected both words to be ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Word to describe a sensation of death coming over your entire body?

This is the context where I want to use the word: He closed his eyes. The living did not come to mind, neither friend, nor family—only the dance of death, plain to see. The dancing figures of ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Does “approbate one's flaws” make sense?

I'm going for a little stronger word than accept and I like the word approbate. To approbate my flaws. Does it work?
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Can one use “hopefully” in an absolute sense?

Bill Bryson, author of the recent best-seller "A Short History of Nearly Everything", in one of his books says: We must never use hopefully in an absolute sense, such as "Hopefully it will not ...
-4
votes
3answers
334 views

Fill in blanks {who vs whom} [duplicate]

Please provide a answer with {WHO/WHOM} to the following sentence : Agencies have informed us that he was one of those __ they arrested last month. Please note: I am aware of usage of both the ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Can the word Gentoo be used in a derogatory way?

I was reading a Wikipedia article on Gentoo Penguin and came across the following Paragraph. The application of Gentoo to the penguin is unclear. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that Gentoo ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between “active” and “busy”? [closed]

What's the difference in meaning between saying "I'm an active person." and "I'm a busy person."?
-1
votes
1answer
369 views

Is “along” correct in “You were the best along with person X and Y”?

You were the best along with person X and person Y. When I want to tell someone that he was one of the best in the group of people, but not the only one, can I use the word along? Or is together ...
0
votes
1answer
675 views

What is meant by common terms in software company names? [closed]

A set of terms occurs frequently in software company names. Some are pretty obvious like "-soft," "software," and "apps/applications." However, some are not so obvious (at least to me). What is the ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

Is 'edit' a correct term for the act of editing? [closed]

Can we refer to the action of editing as to an edit? For example as in this sentence, "I paid a lot to get that edit done, it was a long text". Or "Free photo edits for the first 100 customers".
1
vote
1answer
163 views

On TopGear, why is “Who would like to see. . . ?” replied to with “yes”?

I was always wondering, why is "Who would like to see [something]?" replied to with yes or yeah by the crowd on TopGear? Is it just for the sake of convenience or lack of better expression for this ...
3
votes
4answers
13k views

“Normalise” or “normalize” (British English)?

Is normalise perhaps obsolete in British English, and normalize preferred instead? I have done some Googling, it seems British English dictionaries prefer normalize, but I haven't found any ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it derogatory or offensive to call a detective a dick?

The word dick is generally considered offensive and is marked so in dictionaries. But there is also a meaning of detective that it carries. I usually find no derog indication for this meaning. Is it ...
-2
votes
1answer
6k views

If I am saying “Someone and Myself's (possession)”, what would the correct usage in this phrase be? [duplicate]

I was just wondering how to properly use the phrase, I am trying to talk about something that belongs to both my friend and myself so how would I say that? My friend and myself's? or a different way?