This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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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
385 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
741 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
430 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
28k 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
51k 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
658 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
206 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it correct to use “branch” to describe type of industry?

I've always used the word branch when describing the type of industry, line of business or operation category. Please note that I'm not referring to a part of a concern structure as in "Scranton ...
-1
votes
1answer
310 views

Meaning of 'prime', 'set'. Theater dance

I've encountered such phrases inside an agreement document: a) ...at the completion of each four primes.. or DANCER will participate in all dances prepared for the prime The context here ...
-1
votes
2answers
53k views

What's the exact meaning of “will be held”? [closed]

I frequently read "This meeting will be held next Wednesday..." and sentenctes like that. I understand it means "this will take place", but I am curious about the exact meaning of "be held". ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Synonym of 'election' with less political meaning

I will give some details regarding how I am going to use it. It has to go along good with the word 'room'. Consider a game where players (in a special room) vote upon a list of activities which they ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Usage of 'halcyon' to describe something other than a period of time

Can I use the term halcyon to mean calm or tranquil when describing something other than a period of time, especially a place or setting? For example, does the following sentence seems unnatural or ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Second name or Surname in British English

I have recently been told by a Londoner that "second name" is the most common way of referring to one's surname. She explained that it arose from the fact that most people just use their first and ...
6
votes
3answers
17k views

Smaller vs. less vs. lesser

I am confused as to some of the vocabulary that can be used to compare numbers and quantities, and would very much appreciate some clarification. I suppose it is safe to say that 1 is smaller than 2....
3
votes
8answers
6k views

Need one word that defines funny, clever but also blunt

I have a colleague who comes up with really very clever and funny things to say, but they are also very blunt. Is there a word (or two) that can describe this?
2
votes
4answers
194 views

Is this the right use of “ensure”?

This sentence in some of my company's copy has been bothering me for a while: "The new iDirect X3 modem comes with a one year warranty — which [company] will double to two years — insuring your ...
1
vote
3answers
941 views

What are the common words to describe the different parts of the sea? [closed]

OK, this is an attempt: I remained there, gazing at the sea. Its color was light green in the part closest to the shore, turned slightly darker in the middle, then abruptly changed to dark ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Can “alight” be used in reference to inanimate objects?

Merriam Webster says that alight means, among other things, "to descend from or as if from the air and come to rest." So, the question is: Can one use alight in a sentence like "A small kite ...
1
vote
1answer
657 views

Is “voluminous” more commonly used to describe women's (not men's) hair?

Is the word voluminous more commonly used to describe women's hair? What's the male counterpart? Actually I'm not very sure about my statement. But judging from Google Images. It seems like it is ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

“Inside of a house” versus “inside a house”

I'm confused as to when to use of. I've heard "inside of a house" and "inside a house." Which one is correct?
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Can “born” be used with creatures that come from eggs?

I have just seen this post on facebook. It says "This two-headed turtle was born on June 18th..." so I wondered if the word "born" can be used with animals that lay eggs. Is there another word for ...
0
votes
1answer
500 views

specific term for words that imitate sounds

I often in children's literature come across the rrrrrrrrrrrrS when a plane take off and the bumpity-bump when someone falls, etc. and I am wondering if these are called with a specific term? written ...
-2
votes
3answers
214 views

drink vs drink of

I am having trouble with these two sentences: He drinks of the spring. He drink the spring. Are these two sentences correct? Do they have the same meaning? By the way, is there ...
1
vote
2answers
474 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
86k 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
votes
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
126 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
195 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
690 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
517 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
47k 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
462 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). http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/opinion/...
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
520 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
48k 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
114 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
60 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
4k 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
328 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
794 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 ...