This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
10k 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
756 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
5k 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
512 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
111 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
346 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
376 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
689 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
281 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
216 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
14k 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?
4
votes
3answers
272 views

Parallelism with “in order to”

Which of the following is grammatically correct, or are they both gramatically correct? We use this product in order to increase work efficiency and to streamline testing. We use this product in ...
2
votes
4answers
766 views

Can “famous last words” be used in positive way as a response in conversation?

I came across the phrase, ““famous last words.” I took it literally as the last word delivered by famous people. But Wikipedia defines““famous last words” other than this sense as: used in a ...
4
votes
3answers
118 views

Can we say “front of spring” or merely “beginning of spring”?

In an answer to a Writers SE question, I used the phrase “a bright morning at the front of spring”. John M. Landsberg commented: Nice revision, but note we wouldn't say "the front" of a season. ...
3
votes
2answers
14k views

Correct usage of “all expenses paid”

I am confused on how to properly describe an all expense paid vacation. Is it an all expenses paid vacation or an all expense paid vacation, and are there any hyphens between all, expense or ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Indian English use of “only”

I am from Bangalore and people here tend use the word only to emphasise something in a sentence. For example: We are getting that only printed. What is the proper way to put it?
10
votes
2answers
460 views

In the armpit or under the armpit?

Which is the right thing to say? Put the thermometer in the armpit. Put the thermometer under the armpit. Put the thermometer under the arm.
3
votes
2answers
247 views

Is it correct to say “don't let it trouble you”?

I am wondering if it is correct to use the sentence "Don't let it trouble you." Would native speakers find it natural?
3
votes
4answers
787 views

Usage: dismiss someone's concerns

I have a question about the phrase "dismiss someone's concern" Suppose the following is a paragraph that is from a recommendation letter: I was worried about her performance due to the demanding ...
2
votes
2answers
265 views

usage of i.e in a sentence [closed]

My professor tells me that the word i.e should be written with a brace and quotations outside it For example: "(i.e)" is that the correct way?
6
votes
4answers
45k views

Is “regardless of whether or not” proper grammar?

I have a sentence like this: I will go to the store regardless of whether or not it's raining Meaning that the weather has no bearing on my intent to go to the store. The "regardless of whether ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Is schmuck really an obscene word?

Schmuck is supposedly an obscene Yiddish term for the male sex organ, yet it appears all of the time in the media as an American idiom for a jerk. Can one use it in polite company?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Justice as a title … where does it come from?

In the US supreme court judges, among others, are called "justice [name]". Where is this use rooted? Obviously the term comes from Latin "justitia" originally, but that means justice as in the the ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

What might be an appropriate term for a long-term, very serious, girlfriend? [duplicate]

In the USA, where I live, it is becoming increasingly common that men and women are making committed relationship decisions, but choosing to remain unmarried. However, they live together, raise ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How did the term “esquire” come to be used for lawyers?

Esquire, as I understand it means "mister." But in modern usage it is an abbreviated American appendage to names that indicates one is a lawyer, and it is used for men and women. How did that happen? ...
1
vote
2answers
211 views

Can the name of a country always convey the name of a nation?

There is an old name of a country and its description: Persia: The land and people in southwestern Asia from the ancient Sassanian empire to the modern nation state of Iran, prior to 1935. I ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Usage of 'duplicate copy' [closed]

Given a sentence Please sign on the duplicate copy of this letter. Am I correct in thinking that either duplicate or copy should be used, not both of them?
0
votes
2answers
422 views

What to call an item that's neither an accessory nor a piece of jewelry

First let us paint a picture together. Think of an individual whom wears clothes (like the lot of us); this individual also has an item around the wrist, which is not an item that affixes to another ...
4
votes
4answers
490 views

Does “lying” only refer to something you know is not true at the time you speak it? [closed]

Is it proper to use lying to refer to something one says one will do (or not do) and then later fail to follow through on, either due to neglect or forgetfulness? I have heard twice in the same week, ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “tomorrow” as any specific day in the future a proper usage of the word? [closed]

I find it confusing when tomorrow is used to speak of a day in the future other than the following day. Is it proper to use it in reference to any specific day in the future? I am aware that the ...
-2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “unmissable” a valid word?

I noticed an advert on TV advertising "unmissable" shows coming up. MS Word marks it as a spelling mistake, but the Mac OS is OK with it. I don't particularly like it.
0
votes
2answers
187 views

Which preposition do I have to use in this case?

Which one of the following is correct? tutor of a tutorial group tutor for a tutorial group tutor in a tutorial group And is it tutorial group about a topic?
0
votes
2answers
768 views

Difference between “value” and “valorize”?

Beyond the definitions of both words, I can't find which is best in which context. If I mean giving impontance to something, which one should I use? If I mean giving more value ($) to something, ...
1
vote
3answers
7k views

starting a sentence with 'when reading …'

Is it possible and good English to start a sentence with 'When reading...'? Exactly it's about the following one: When reading your offer it seemed to me as if this position is made for me. bg, ...
4
votes
4answers
740 views

Religious use of “exegete”

I've noticed quite a number of religious professionals of late have used phrases such as "let's exegete this text" or "we need to exegete Paul's meaning here." Of course, an exegete is one skilled in ...
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of “yet” and “but” [closed]

I want to convey "Something is important. But it is hard to achieve". Can I use "yet" as in the following sentence? It is an important yet non-trivial task. Also, can I use "yet" to connect ...
-1
votes
2answers
338 views

Using the adjective “expressive” to mean an object allows for expression?

My intention is to say that systems of a particular type allow users to express ideas on them. I wanted to give the concept a more concise/general name, as a title for such systems. I called them ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Can we use “commiseration” and “condolence” interchangeably?

On what occasions can we use these terms and are they perfect synonym for each other to use interchangeably? Can we say to someone who has lost a friend "our commiseration to ..."?