This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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2
votes
2answers
168 views

“Cleaning area” or “cleaning surface”?

Question: The English term for: the total area of a building/floor in m2/Sq Ft that needs to be cleaned Is that called the "Cleaning surface", or the "Cleaning area"?
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Using 'generify' to mean 'to make generic'?

Can one use the term generify to mean 'to make generic'? E.g. a software programmer being told: 'generify this segment of code'. If not, what may be a single word replacement of this phrase?
1
vote
3answers
906 views

“Can I have one apple from your box?” vs “Could I have one apple from your box?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “can” or “could”? I was doing some reading on usage of can and could. I understand that can is used when asking for ability, and could for willingness. I ...
6
votes
2answers
365 views

Usage of “terrorist”

Has the word terrorist evolved in meaning or context in recent times?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Reason for the current trend to use «she» as the gender-neutral pronoun?

There are some questions on gender-neutral pronouns both here and on Writers. User Christine Letts writes: In academia, there is currently a movement toward using the feminine pronoun at all ...
6
votes
1answer
11k views

Which of these is the correct usage “working [with / on / in]”?

I am trying to update my profile. Which one of these is the correct sentence that I should use in my profile? I am a developer working on Microsoft technologies. I am a developer working in ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

When and how did “momentarily” come to mean “in a moment”, rather than “for a moment”?

"Momentarily" used to mean "for a moment" only, and not "in a moment". Thus, newscasters could be divided into two clear groups: those who would say "we'll be back momentarily," and those who would ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

'Ours' meaning 'our home' - where is it used outside the UK, if anywhere?

In expressions like: Let's go back to ours and have some food. There's a party at ours on Friday. There's a bottle of brandy at yours, isn't there? 'ours' and 'yours' are synonyms for ...
10
votes
2answers
631 views

How flexible is “a dozen”?

How flexible is the measurement "a dozen"? If there are nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand people at a rally it is acceptable to say one million people attended, but if eleven people are arrested ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “one of the co-founders” ever correct?

Compare to "one of the founders". Does it depend on the specific person you're talking about? Google has 7M+ results for the phrase but I can't search it on NGrams successfully because of the hyphen. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is it called 'renewable energy'?

There's a lot of buzz these days about 'renewable energy', and with Germany's recent decision to close down their nuclear plants by 2012, activists are talking about moving to completely 'renewable ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

“Met” vs. “met up”

Do these two terms mean two different things? as in: I met up with Julie when I went to town/I met Julie when I went to town.
4
votes
2answers
439 views

“Groom” in Marriage?

Groom for me as I know it means a man who tends to the horses, or and in the verb form, it is to take care of one's appearance. Then, why is it used to refer to the man of the marriage? Is there any ...
9
votes
2answers
26k views

Usage of “in figure” vs. “on figure”

I saw both versions ("in figure" and "on figure"), however---what is more correct? And is there any difference? EDIT: In scientific papers, standards and other publications, "figures" can be found. ...
6
votes
2answers
33k views

Why do we use the word “thereof”?

Firstly I am not very good in English, so pardon me, is my question sounds too silly. Why we use "thereof"?
12
votes
1answer
490 views

Doing drugs vs having breakfast

Why do we do drugs but have food? Or even have a beer, which is alcoholic beverage thus a sort of drug too. In both cases we consume something. Is there a rule for this?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What makes a question rhetorical?

according to Wikipedia: A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply. Example: "How much longer ...
6
votes
4answers
276 views

Does the word “gentleman” retain the distinction “of leisurely lifestyle” anywhere in British English?

I've been watching a great deal many British period films lately, and having done so has made me grow acutely aware to the nuance of the word gentleman. Once upon a time, a gentleman wasn't just some ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Usage of “implicate” and “imply”

Looking at what's reported in the NOAD, one of the meanings of implicate is the following: convey (a meaning or intention) indirectly through what one says, rather than stating it explicitly; ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Using term “shot dead”

I'm curious about newscasters using the term "shot dead" in describing the death of a gun shot victim. Is this correct? They would never describe a survivor as "shot live".
3
votes
5answers
443 views

Is cruel standard use as a noun in poetry? Are there terms for non-standard English specifically in regard to use in poetry?

I hope this question isn't off-topic. I heard a madrigal with the following verse which bothers me somewhat, grammatically. Cruel, wilt thou persever? Peace to leave ever? Peace shalt thou have and ...
10
votes
4answers
427 views

Can “inverted” be used to indicate that something is “inside-out”?

If something is inside out, can it be said that the object is inverted? My understanding of the word inverted is simply "the opposite state," but I would like to get a bit of clarification just to be ...
1
vote
1answer
319 views

What qualifies that as “Best practices”? [closed]

Previously asked here. We hear a lot of things about best practices, quite a lot, actually. However, the question I've linked to has a great answer for why it's important to evaluate best practices. ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Synonyms for “Almighty”

What is a perfect synonym for Almighty? For whom we could we use Almighty? Can Almighty be used for God?
3
votes
3answers
589 views

“to differentiate whether”

Is it valid to say to differentiate in combination with whether or can I only differentiate between things? Examples: He was not able to differentiate whether that wine was an expensive or a ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do we use “gubernatorial” as an adjective?

Both "govenor" and its adjective form, "gubernatorial", originally derive from the same Latin word "gubernare" (to govern) yet we use root "govern" in all contexts ("govern", "government", "governor", ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is a “fountain pen” so called?

I was accused of using a fountain pen the other day (guilty as charged). Does anyone know why it is called so? The mess of ink I get on the page, the table, my person, etc when refilling it is ...
2
votes
4answers
677 views

“Innocent” vs. “immature”

I'm trying to decide how to describe someone. He is not very wise, but that is also due to his ignorance. Should I use "innocence" or "immature" and can someone please explain the difference between ...
5
votes
3answers
349 views

Was I correct to use the word “establish” in my tweet? Should I have included adverbial “as”?

English is not my native language, but I'm a willing pupil and in most cases I'm pretty confident in my knowledge, but sometimes I hesitate to use particular words. I wrote this tweet recently: I ...
16
votes
4answers
48k views

How does one use the Latin word “cum” in a sentence?

I'm talking about the Latin cum, which I've seen used conjunctively, as in A-cum-B. What does it mean, and how do you use it?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What are all the ways the British use the word “lovely”? Especially towards pretty girls?

From watching many period dramas and plays set in England, as I like to do, I've become more acutely aware of the British overloading of the word lovely. In particular, I have two questions: What ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

When do you use what word to express that something consists of something else?

There are various ways of saying that something consists of something else: composed of comprised of contained in consist of Maybe there are more. Are there hard and fast rules when to use which ...
4
votes
3answers
18k views

The adjective “dashing”: can it be used to describe a woman?

Can you say of a woman that she is "dashing", meaning that she looks stupendous, graceful etc.?
1
vote
2answers
635 views

The history of the use of “man” [closed]

The pronoun 'he' used generically, as well as a lot of words including "man-kind" or generic "man" are sex-biased and are not acceptable. However, not so long ago, they were the proper used terms for ...
8
votes
8answers
30k views

Usage of the word “technically”

I use this word in my daily language even without knowing what it actually means. Technically speaking, there is no big difference between […] and […]. So what does this word imply, not in the ...
4
votes
9answers
36k views

Is the word “epic” being used correctly these days?

You know what I mean. The word "epic" has been overused for quite some time now. I was recently referred to Wiktionary as a trusted source, and I see this example in use: (colloquial) Extending ...
10
votes
3answers
684 views

Origin of the word “spraunce”

I was recently talking to someone who said a restaurant was spraunce, meaning it was well-presented and high-quality (that being the sense I was familiar with). We briefly discussed the fact that he ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“2 times”, “twice” and “2X”, when to use which and why?

I am not sure if 2X is even a valid word. What are the proper usages for each of the three?
2
votes
2answers
316 views

Is there a better / correct term for the de facto usage of ‘ironic’?

The word ‘ironic’ is known to be quite frequently misused, to the point that some dictionaries have actually started accepting the de facto usage as another definition, usually calling it situational ...
8
votes
1answer
273 views

Is this usage of 'curiously' correct?

I recently used a sentence similar to the following: Curiously, do you prefer black? Some people found it grammatically incorrect. That was a surprise, for I thought it was perfectly okay. ...
1
vote
0answers
96 views

What is the best rule for determining when to use “Who” and/or “Whom” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “who” and “whom” This is a topic that always causes me to take pause. I never really know if I am using who correctly or if whom would be ...
6
votes
3answers
654 views

Should “round” only be used to describe 2-d objects?

My high school teacher used to say, "No, the world is not round it is globular". Strictly speaking, is round more appropriately used to describe 2-dimensional objects (circle, oval, tire, plate or ...
0
votes
2answers
266 views

Another “ would” usage to maintain the same tense in the sentence

Touché on modify the joke to serve your best interest, although it'd probably lose its luster as you'd be disregarding traditionally Jewish stereotypes. Is this sentence grammatically correct? ...
9
votes
2answers
30k views

Which phrase is correct: “dependent on” or “dependent upon”

Which sentence is correct?  my project is dependent upon your project completing my project is dependent on your project completing.
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it correct to say that something is “claustrophobic” if it makes someone feel claustrophobic?

For example, people often refer to an elevator as claustrophobic, but I'm curious whether it is more accurate to say that an elevator causes its occupants to feel claustrophobic.
6
votes
2answers
18k views

Which preposition should I use here: “thinking of” or “thinking about”?

Thinking of getting an external keyboard Thinking about getting an external keyboard Which one is grammatically correct and why?
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Usage of “many” vs “many a”?

Can someone please elucidate the difference between "many" and "many a"? In what context of usage should we add an extra "a" beside the word "many"? For example: Many times, I had seen that . ...
8
votes
3answers
990 views

How widely is “catch-22” used?

I have known for a long time that there is noun called “catch-22” in English. In some cases, I really would like to use it but I'm not sure if it is a well known term. AFAIK, it is used when you are ...
3
votes
2answers
504 views

Is the formation “[s]he” overly distracting?

Does the use of "[s]he" as a gender-neutral pronoun prompt eye-rolling in the reader or is it generally accepted? I know it cannot be pronounced, but it seems to me a helpful contraction in written ...
5
votes
3answers
21k views

What general rules govern the usage of “by” versus “through”?

What general rules govern the usage of by versus through? For example, which is correct in each of these cases: My house is heated by/through gas. I'll send it to you by/through mail. I'll ...