This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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1
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2answers
2k views

Are we using “Aswaddumization” word? [closed]

"Aswaddumization" is a derived word from Sinhalese language(Sri Lankan native language ) and gone to English (as I heard), the meaning of "Aswaddumization" is cultivation of land. However, I cannot ...
4
votes
1answer
843 views

Why does “lemon” mean “inferior”? [duplicate]

Please see this example. The poster uses the word lemon in the last sentence. I understand in a general sense that this is being used to indicate something bad or more specifically of inferior quality....
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Can one say “find sanctuary”?

I'd like to use the expression find sanctuary instead of find refuge. Would it be fine?
1
vote
6answers
1k views

Repeated structures vs. repeating structures

I'm writing a paper about data mining. When I find some pattern periodically occur in some dataset, should I say: Repeated structures are found in the dataset. or Repeating structures are ...
1
vote
3answers
455 views

Can two automated systems “interface” between each other?

I'm trying to indicate unlimited interaction between two applications. Would the following work? Our developer API allows you to interface with [product] without limitation!
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Usage of the word “envy”

If Joe envied something, would it be proper to call that something "Joe's Envy"? Considering the usage in a team name but I am not sure if it makes sense.
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Use “you” or “one” in formal writing?

Sometimes people tell me that I should avoid using "you" in formal writing and insist on telling me to use "one" ("One should not use 'you'" as opposed to "You should not use 'you'"). Are there any ...
0
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3answers
396 views

one word for shocking and clever?

I am looking for one word which means both shocking and clever. Example sentence: Shocking and clever revenge story.
6
votes
5answers
60k views

Detail or Details? Read on for more detail/details

I'm writing a newsletter and have been given the following text: New stock has arrived & we're giving you the chance to grab it at 20% off for this weekend only! Read on for more details. I'...
2
votes
5answers
412 views

Opposite of “to put a good word in for”? “Backstab” doesn't work

I know that when I have an associate who I think highly of and is very capable of performing the job (or person for a relationship) [s]he is pursuing, I will want to find the "recruiters" and put a ...
5
votes
7answers
7k views

Is there a word that describes the swift and skillful covering of the natural emotions?

Some people become adept at completely hiding their natural reaction to a situation. Some may call this lying, or just control. Neither of these describes when it is done swiftly in the moment, and ...
6
votes
8answers
29k views

What is the difference between “Sofa” and “Couch”?

Is there any difference between the two? Which one is more common? Which of the two words is more appropriate if the "piece of furniture" is big, comfortable and expensive?
1
vote
2answers
282 views

Adjective “displaced” applied to an object

Can I apply the adjective displaced to an object, when I mean it is being used out of its typical environment? For instance: "the displaced ball floats around". (Assuming we're talking about a ball ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

What does “sell x for value” mean?

In the sentence "We sell you clothes for value.", what does "for value" mean? Is the above sentence even grammatically valid?
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Differences between “fortification nouns”

What are the practical differences between these nouns? Fort Fortress Fortification Stronghold Citadel Castle Palace Context In Norway we have a lot of old stone buildings, typically built for ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

to be unfamiliar with something how to express it while writing an academic essay [closed]

Is it true to say we are new to social media (in order to say that we are not familiar with social media) thanks
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a term/word for using an incorrect homophone

What would you call the following: Speak now or forever hold your piece.
10
votes
3answers
101k views

“In respect of” / “With respect to”

Is there a difference in meaning between, "in respect of" and "with respect to"? Is it grammatically correct to use, "in respect to...."? The full context I am concerned with currently reads: "My ...
2
votes
1answer
954 views

Is the use of 'has' appropriate with first person singular?

We have been learning since childhood that Has can only be used with third person singular but I have seen and heard people using has otherwise. For example, the other day I was reading that ...
3
votes
4answers
36k views

'upper-left corner' or 'top-left corner'?

In a square, which is the correct term: 'upper-left corner' or 'top-left corner'? To be more specific: in the context "the x-coordinate of the upper-left/top-left corner", which should I use?
1
vote
1answer
327 views

How to Reference a Figure Based on a Corresponding Table?

I am currently writing a thesis. So far, when I put a caption under a figure which was based on a preceding table, I worded the figure's caption to something along: Figure 1.2: Graphical ...
1
vote
4answers
419 views

Using “concrete” as synonym to “real”

Can I use the word concrete as a synonym to real in a phrase like this? Russian beer is a concrete shit. Maybe this phrase sounds like drivel for a native speaker?
2
votes
1answer
481 views

Is “closed press (remark / ceremony / meeting)” a popular English word?

I saw the word, “closed press” in Time magazine’s (August 15) article titled “Chris Christie lays out argument for 2016.” “Christie spoke at length about his record in New Jersey, emphasizing ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Stack of Paper vs. Stack of Papers [closed]

I question the usage of "stack of paper" vs. "stack of papers". I purchase a ream of paper, and set it on a desk. In that process, does it change from a ream of paper to a stack of papers - changing ...
4
votes
1answer
16k views

“Would it be” vs “Will it be”

I was writing an email to my colleague and as part of it I wrote Would it be possible for you to help me with this? I felt a bit awkward after sending the mail. Should it be would or will? I ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

“Despite” vs “In spite of” [duplicate]

Are despite and in spite of interchangeable? I prefer despite but the alternative sometimes scans better.
0
votes
3answers
93 views

30 v. the 30. Which would be more correct? [duplicate]

Would it be proper to say "I take the 30 to work" (meaning the I-30 freeway) rather than saying "I take 30 to work"?
1
vote
2answers
8k views

Everyone vs every one vs all [closed]

What would be the difference between these: Everyone of them rose from their seats. All of them rose from their seats. Every one of them rose from their seats. Which one is grammatically correct? ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Is this a proper usage of the word “gist”?

I am currently in a dilemma with my significant other. We woke up this morning and one of us said. Person 1: "I am going to brush my teeth and gist." Person 2's argument was that gist is an ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Usage of “toilless”

While reading a scientific paper I stumbled about their usage of the word "toilless" (they write it like that, even though I get corrected to "toil less" when typing it). As the whole paper is, to ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a “Thank you” (categorisation of)

Could someone advise me please what kind of word/phrase is "thank you" or a "thank you" if you prefer. For example in this sample letter what sort of phrase is "thank you"? Dear Sir, What ...
-2
votes
4answers
3k views

How to put “saved my time” in sentence? [closed]

If I want to say that I have to scan my computer for virus filtering but some information tell me that there is no virus issue in my system and saved my time because I don't need to do virus filtering ...
2
votes
1answer
21k views

Is “what a pity” used as often as “what a shame”?

As an ESL speaker, I'm puzzled by these two phrases... Is "what a pity" used as often as "what a shame" in an English-speaking country? Is there any difference between them in meaning or usage?
2
votes
2answers
837 views

“avocation” vs “hobby”

When do I use avocation and when do I use hobby? Or can I use them interchangeably? I need to choose between these two words or a url. Would www.kunalthehobbyist.com sound better or www....
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Where to use the word “tumbleweed”

What is the correct place to use the word tumbleweed? Can we use it as a metaphor for a person who always irritates us?
3
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it “good English” or “correct English” or something else?

Is it appropriate to say “I speak good English” or “I speak correct English”? I believe there can be varied replies depending on context, so let me narrow it a little; let’s say I want to convey how ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“feel tired” vs. “am tired”

Which of these two sentences is more appropriate in a given situation? I am tired. I am feeling tired. I know this might be a very childish question, but English is not my first language ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Is there a name for this kind of phrases? [duplicate]

I often times heard phrases like itty-bitty, nitty-gritty etc, the latter word followed part of the previous word's syllable(mostly ends with -y), I want to know the names for this kinds of phrases.
6
votes
3answers
170 views

What does ‘shines’ mean in “Bears defense shines in 24-17 loss to Panthers”?

There was the headline “Bears defense shines in 24-17 loss to Panthers" in today's New York Times Sport section. Cambridge English Dictionary defines “shine” as; to send out or reflect light. to ...
4
votes
9answers
13k views

What, exactly, is the point of beginning a sentence with “Well…”?

Sample conversation: Person 1: What did you think of the movie? Person 2: Well, the acting was great, but the plot was terrible. What does "well" actually add to the body of the sentence? I ...
5
votes
6answers
382 views

Can you “sound up a room” the same way you can light it up?

I'm trying to say that a certain individual adds noise to any place he goes. When someone, figuratively, enhances the mood of a room he enters we say "he lights up the room". Is there any way to use ...
2
votes
1answer
718 views

using “was” twice in this sentence

In this sentence should it be public "was" given or does the first "was" cover it? A notice was published in the newspaper, and the public given 30 days to comment.
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Is the “Sir” title appropriate to use in business meetings? [duplicate]

I'm assisting a daily phone meeting with people from Asia, Europe and North America. One of the Americans is using "Sir" sometimes to address the team leader. Is it appropriate to address a colleague ...
0
votes
2answers
426 views

what is the most appropriate structure of this sentence?

I want to say that I banged my head against wall because some one said something stupid, how to put it in a sentence? Is I banged my head against wall 'on' this stupidity? or I banged my head ...
2
votes
6answers
27k views

Usage of “being” in sentence

Why is being used in the sentence below, and what does it mean? Lisa is upset about not being invited to the party Are they trying to use the passive voice? If yes, how would the sentence look ...
22
votes
4answers
50k views

Can “sir” be used to address female officers?

The use of the term sir as a form of address for men, especially those of higher rank or status, is discussed in several prior questions including this one. They all indicate that the term is reserved ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

The first step “on becoming” or “to becoming” an employee [closed]

Do you say: The first step on becoming a permanent employee ... or The first step to becoming a permanent employee ...
0
votes
2answers
637 views

“Protagonist in” or “protagonist of”? [closed]

If I were to write an intro for a protagonist in say, a game, would I say he/she is the "protagonist of [title]" or the "protagonist in [title]"? Or does it matter?
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the proper preposition for “(job title) in / at / of (company name)”?

I am writing a cover letter for my job application, and I am not sure which preposition is proper to use at a sentence as below. "Hereby, I am applying for the position of AAA (position title) in BBB (...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Council, man, woman, or member? [closed]

If a board is called a Council, and those on it are now called Council Members rather than Councilmen and Councilwomen for the purpose of gender neutrality, please explain if there is a difference ...