This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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1
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2answers
451 views

“peered out the plane” vs “peered out the plane window”

Is it OK to omit window in the following sentence: Mary relaxed her body as she peered out the plane. Clear turquoise water and miles of white sand started appearing on the horizon. Is it ...
3
votes
2answers
80k views

“Housewife” vs. “homemaker” [closed]

What is the difference between a housewife and a homemaker? When can we use housewife, and when can we use homemaker? I am a housewife. I am a homemaker. Which of the above examples is ...
-1
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2answers
4k views

What's the difference between “you guys” and “you folks”? [closed]

You guys and you folks seem to have similar meanings. Do they have any differences? Thanks a lot
5
votes
2answers
121 views

When “especially” is at the end of a list, does it apply to the whole list or only the last item

English is my second language, so be gentle if this seems silly ... This sentence puzzles me: China's prolonged silence about its destruction of the Feng Yun 1-C satellite, which it launched in ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

word “suggested” for already accepted proposal

Is it possible to say "suggested" about something that was suggested and got accepted/approved? Is it common? For example, I suggested a tag synonym on this; the suggestion got a few votes and ...
2
votes
2answers
677 views

The usage of “savor” in The Great Gatsby

In Chapter 1 of The Great Gatsby, part of a sentence went like this: ... a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

reflexive pronoun use [duplicate]

Which is better? "You" vs. "Yourself" (referring to God) "Draw us close to You." or "Draw us close to Yourself." "Bring us back to You." or "Bring us back to Yourself."
2
votes
3answers
149 views

Can I use the word “reincarnated” for a body part?

Basically, can I said something like this? But what really turned heads were her hands. They looked incredibly delicate and soft, so much that some started believing they were the reincarnated ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Fox and dog terms as applied to women

My curiosity here arises from the fact that it seems bizarre that "fox" and "dog" (not terribly dissimilar creatures - see Belyaev's fox experiment) would have such opposite meanings when used in ...
1
vote
2answers
499 views

Defining or Describing

Sometimes, when someone asks you for a "definition," he/she bugs you because you either "defined" when you should have "described" the subject in question or vice versa. What does this mean?
29
votes
6answers
44k views

Is “evidence” countable?

As a native English speaker, I am often asked by friends and colleagues to correct their manuscripts. One of the most common mistakes I find is the use of the noun evidences. Now, the dictionary ...
2
votes
2answers
456 views

Is “gaze de naval” English idiom, French idiom or a half-breed?

I was drawn to the word,“gaze de navel” appearing in New York Time’s (July 6) article titled “Goodbye Old World, Bonjour Tristesse” written by Maureen Dowd). ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Can “immigrant” be used to mean “person who moves from rural area to city”?

I have looked up the word 'immigrant': it says that it refers to people who come to live in a different country. Can I also use this word to refer to people who move from rural areas to the city?
4
votes
2answers
502 views

What does “chemical Mickey” that drives a man to love-making mean?

I happened to read an old article about the mechanics of “human Love” which appeared in TIME magazine (Jan. 28, 2008) under the title, “The science of romance: Why we love,” and was drawn to the word, ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

“I can command English.”

I saw a sentence: "I would like to be a scientist who can command English." What do you think about usage of "command"? Should we say " ...who has a good command of English."? Could you please ...
1
vote
3answers
44k views

“kindly requested” vs “requested kindly” & “provide with us” vs “provide us with”

I am a contracts engineer working in the construction industry in the Middle East. A part of my job description is to manage official correspondence with the client. I am not a native English speaker, ...
-6
votes
1answer
112 views

Shred off heat? [closed]

I heard a phrase which I'm not sure it's this but I liked it. It was a classical radio station in Southern California. It was a hot day and radio was playing a song about ice and snow, and the ...
-1
votes
2answers
59 views

Can 'filtered' be ambiguous?

I'm working with algorithms that filter their input (that is, remove part of it), and I'm not sure this phrase is unambiguous: This function returns the filtered elements. Is it obvious that ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Is the word “author” correct for the artist who created particular painting?

Recently, on another SE page, I've asked a question about a painting that was used as a decoration in a particular movie. It contained the following sentence: What is the name and author of that ...
1
vote
1answer
313 views

What is the difference between “Have got sb by the balls” and “Sb being over a barrel” in describing somebody in predicament?

I found two intriguing idioms in a pair in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s “The Forth Estate” (page 592) that I came to the last part at length. A media mogul, Dick Armstrong (seemingly ...
0
votes
3answers
726 views

Existence of “multi” in US English

I have kept the "Check Grammar" option in my browser On, so whenever I write anything wrong as per US English it gets underlined. This is also the case with "multi". When I use this word in ...
4
votes
2answers
421 views

Does the phrase 'human race' allude to the idea of a relay?

Describing the history of humanity as a 'race' might seem odd to a listener who hadn't heard it before. Is the image behind this phrase alluding to the idea that human beings reproduce and pass on ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Regionalism or just bad English?

I've encountered a particular type of writing occasionally and it being, derp, in writing, it's hard to tell whether there's an accent behind it. The English used seems to me to be simply incorrect, ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Crank call vs Prank Call

What is the exact difference between the two? When and how to use them on specific occasions?
3
votes
1answer
143 views

When does the “historic/historical” in “historic/historical records” refer to the documents or to the events?

After checking many Web sites, I found much inconsistency in whether "historic records" or "historical records" is used. Which of these terms simply means "a document, created at any time, which ...
-1
votes
1answer
684 views

“I got to watch this movie” or “I got an opportunity to watch this movie”?

Ok, recently, I made an update on a website like this : So, finally I got to watch this movie ... Basically, what I was trying to say is that "I got an opportunity to watch this movie". I was ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

How to use “learn you” [closed]

While I was reading "The Adventures of Tom sawyer",I came across this phrase. Huck said ,"I will learn you." Is it right to say like that?Or we should say "I will learn from you"?
5
votes
2answers
460 views

Has the term ‘weapons of mass distraction’ gotten currency as a metonym for web sites and lowbrow mass media contents?

I found the term ‘weapons of mass distraction’ in the article titled “Social Networking in the 1600s” in the Sunday Review section of June 22 New York Times, which begins with; “Social networks ...
2
votes
1answer
478 views

What does “deepest summer” mean?

I am new to this English stack exchange, I asked this question on the movie stack exchange Though it was a question from a movie it's also related to English Language. I will be simply pleased and ...
1
vote
1answer
487 views

Compliments — for people, things or both?

Are compliments applicable both to people and things, or to people only?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What's another word for “perfect analogy” / “non-analogy”?

Is there a word to mean an analogy so perfect that it is no longer considered an analogy? For example, what may be a suitable word in the sentence below? : ...The analogy eventually breaks down, ...
2
votes
3answers
531 views

Is the adjective “nothing loath” still in common usage?

Google Ngram Viewer shows a decline in the use of “nothing loath” since the 1970s unlike its antonym “loath” which is still widely used. Would it be appropriate for me to use it or has it become ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Which word to use, “again” or “anymore”?

I'd like to describe an action which I'm used to do but I won't do it in the future. Which word is correct, for example: Just a little more work, I'll never need that tool again. Or: Just a little ...
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

designtime vs. design time, are both valid?

I have seen people using Runtime and designtime for a computer program. Is designtime a valid word?
0
votes
1answer
435 views

Is it correct to say “under the shelter of X, a Y was taking place?”

Is it correct to say the following? All that could be heard was the wind blowing, and giant waves crashing against the rocks in the beach. Under the shelter of the inn, a barbecue was taking ...
1
vote
2answers
15k views

How to use the word “petrichor” in a sentence? [closed]

What are the ways in which the word petrichor which means scent of the rain, might be used? Can we use a phrase like "the pleasant petrichor"?
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Can “in its own right” be used to mean “in itself”? [closed]

I’d like to use the phrase “in its own right” to mean “in itself” as in: This subject has no practical application, but is interesting in its own right. Is this a correct usage of the phrase? ...
1
vote
2answers
11k views

“by myself” against “ by my own” [closed]

As a Spanish speaking person, I think I have a very good level of English, but I still get confused with the use of “by myself” versus “by my own”. Can someone please give me some key ideas (and ...
-1
votes
1answer
4k views

Use of “to be having”

I am confused with the usage of "to be having". He is assumed to be having the diamonds. or He is assumed to have the diamonds. Which one is correct?
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the distinctions between the insulting names “jerk”, “a--hole”, “bit-h”, “c-nt”, and “dipsh-t”? [closed]

The insulting names jerk, a--hole, bit-h, cu-t, and dipsh-t are defined by most dictionaries as to generally used to describe someone who is foolish, contemptible, obnoxious, and disagreeable, but ...
2
votes
2answers
415 views

“She hasn't said but a few words to me…” or “She has said but a few words to me…”?

"She hasn't said but a few words to me since last winter." or "She has said but a few words to me since last winter." Which of these is right? I think the latter is heard more often, but ...
0
votes
3answers
310 views

What part of speech is “righteous” in this sentence?

I'm wondering about the word class. It does not mean to make righteous just, but to declare or pronounce righteous. As far as I know the word "righteous" or "just" is an adjective. But in the ...
0
votes
4answers
323 views

Usage of “channelize”

Do you find this usage wrong? Instead of channelizing our energy to fight against poverty we are promoting industrialization, which will continue to increase the rich-poor divide.
0
votes
2answers
2k views

“off of the counter” vs “off the counter” [duplicate]

Is the word of necessary? For example: Take the towel off of the counter. vs. Take the towel off the counter.
-1
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2answers
1k views

“I bicycle” - “I ride bikes” - “I bike” [closed]

What's the best way to say it? "I like to ride bicycles" is correct but pretty lame sounding... Is "I bicycle" correct? Or is it too obscure to be good usage?
4
votes
1answer
940 views

How do we write years before AD 1000?

For years with 4 digits, usually we write it this way: George was born in the year 1732. or George was born in 1732. What about years with three, two, or even one digit? Are these ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Can the word “facing” be used both ways?

Can the word "facing" be used both ways? To write major water problems facing the world or challenges and opportunities facing low- and middle-income countries and their citizens ...
0
votes
3answers
952 views

Can the acronym “R.N.A.” be used at the end of an e-mail? [closed]

There was the following statement in New York Time’s (June 1) article titled, “Sabbath Gasbags, Speak up.” - http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/opinion/sunday/sabbath-gasbags-speak-up.html?hp “My ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Can “wet” be used for liquids other than water?

Wet can be used to describe being dowsed in liquids such as beer, milk, juice, urine etc. All of these, however, are water-based. Can wet be used for a liquid that has no water? Can you be wet by ...