This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

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2
votes
2answers
320 views

The word 'opprobrium'

Free Dictionary states that one of the definitions for 'opprobrium' is Disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy. Dictionary.com states it means the disgrace or the ...
4
votes
1answer
358 views

Please help explain this long sentence

It bore an engraved escutcheon, a herald's wording of which may serve for a motto and brief description of our now concluded legend; so sombre is it, and relieved only by one ever-glowing point ...
1
vote
4answers
448 views

“Removals Service” or “Removal Service”?

Take for example the tag line: "reliable removals service". Is this correct grammar/usage? Or should it be just "removal", singular? To me, "removals" seems more correct because it is describing ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“Dysfunction” as a verb?

I wonder if it is possible to use the noun "dysfunction" as a verb. It is certainly a noun, but in general use it seems to mean something far more awful and much less technical than "malfunction". ...
0
votes
3answers
818 views

Is “setup” an acceptable noun in formal writing?

I'm editing a draft of a scientific paper which repeatedly uses the word "setup" to refer to the, well, experimental setup. Example: The dimensions of the setup are 250 mm × 250 mm × 50 mm. ...
-1
votes
1answer
262 views

Where does the word “valuable” fit best? [closed]

Which sentence sounds better or correct ? I have acquired many characteristics that will play a valuable role in my profession. I have acquired many characteristics that will be valuable in ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Has the suffix “-trix” acquired a pejorative meaning in recent years?

A couple days ago I needed the correct word for a female aviator, which I figured was aviatress. A dictionary.com search provided aviatress, aviatrice and aviatrix as acceptable choices. ...
4
votes
2answers
989 views

Is “Would rather have had one’s tooth pulled than doing,” an idiom or common saying?

I found the following quote from Sally Ozonof the MIND Institute of the University of California, who discovered that some children who exhibit symptoms of autism recover completely in “Quotation of ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

“You are likely to [verb]” vs. “you are like to [verb]”

In a recent answer to another question, a fellow poster just used the following turn of phrase: The nearest you’re like to get is [word][.] I only ever saw and used "you’re likely to..." myself, ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

Is prefixing “@” to address a person becoming an English standard?

In order to address or reply to a person, is prefixing an "@" symbol in front of their names becoming a standard in English? This is really useful in e-communications wherein a parts of message can ...
0
votes
3answers
504 views

“Attempts to acquaint” vs. “attempts at acquainting”

The research study is an eye-opener and attempts to acquaint/attempts at acquainting us with the problems of poor nations. For me, attempts to acquaint sounds more apt. But I am not sure ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

Does the word “newbie” have a negative connotation?

Imagine that I'm running a friendly and informal online business. I would like to introduce my service to the new customers by a blog post that entitles, 'Are you a newbie to XYZ.com?'. Will that ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

“Through” vs. “by” in this sentence

While solving a question, I came in to a situation where I was left wondering between two of the choices. The sentence was: Acquisition of certain specific skills can be facilitated by/through ...
4
votes
2answers
836 views

Is “titular” the appropriate word for a song that only uses the album title in its lyrics, not title?

Is a song on a music album considered to be the titular song if it doesn't share the title of the album, but incorporates it into the lyrics? If not, is there another appropriate term for this lyrical ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

What is the specific nuance of “ask against”?

English is not my native tongue. I am helping another non-native to translate as precisely as possible a sentence that comes from an astrological reading: indicating that the question is asked ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Can you expand your insight “to” a person?

For example, in a case where someone already has insight, and they later developed an insight into a certain person, could it be said as, He expanded his insight to Joe.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is developing an insight for someone the same as accepting them?

A definition of insight is: The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing. So according to this, if you develop an insight for a person, it means you've ...
11
votes
2answers
835 views

What does the term “kerplewy” mean?

What does the term mean and what is the best way to use it? And, I also wanted to know if there is any information about where it comes from. And by the way, how do we pronounce it?
1
vote
2answers
8k views

“Continuing” vs. “continued”

So, just a few minutes ago we had this question asking whether one could substitute ongoing availability with continuing availability and what the difference would be, if any. Apart from the question ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

Do Americans use the term “garburator” or is there a better equivalent?

Is it obsolete to use the term garburator to refer to a garbage disposal unit in a kitchen? If it is, do we have a better term to replace it with? Also, what is the etymology of this word?
1
vote
2answers
291 views

Using the word “deadbeat” as an adjective

BBC quotes President Obama: America is "not a deadbeat nation", US President Barack Obama has said, as he warned Republicans unconditionally to approve a rise in the US debt ceiling. It appears ...
2
votes
1answer
191 views

“To consolidate cost”

Is it correct to use the expression "consolidate cost" when you add cost figures in a specific period of time? The context is a description of what a piece of code is doing: consolidate cost over ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

“Sport” as an informal appellation

I was watching a film ostensibly set during the American Progressive Era (1900 to 1918 or so), in which two teenaged boys used the line "Ah, be a sport, Charlie!" That got me to thinking, was ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

How to use the word “wagered”

In a game of slot machines, can you call a payline you bet on "a wagered payline"? I am not sure if it is the payline that is wagered, or my money are wagered on (upon?) this payline.
2
votes
4answers
289 views

Can “conceived” be used as “assumed”?

For example: Jack thinks he's responsible for killing his mother and thus for his uncle’s conceived hatred towards him. Here, I mean to say that Jack assumes his uncle hates him (of course, ...
0
votes
2answers
290 views

Question regarding the use of “rather than” [closed]

Can you please tell me whether the following sentence is correct? Would you improve it (for example using appropriate punctuation)? Hence several attempts have been made to cope with rather than ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Does the expression “web technologies” have a euphemistic/promotional character ?

In German, I sometimes come across the expression “Webtechnologien” as a direct adoption of “web technologies”, which usually relates to software, programming, web development. I've always found the ...
0
votes
2answers
176 views

On the usage of “epitomized”

Epitomized by right captainship, the ship reached safely to the harbor. I'm emphasizing the capabilities of the captain here. Is this correct usage?
1
vote
1answer
236 views

Is there a word like applicality? [closed]

I have seen the word applicality being used at some places but couldn’t find its meaning when I looked it up on the internet. Example usage: But because law doesn’t exist doesn’t mean it can’t be ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the usage of word, “Deck” as a package of paper limited to cards?

I felt nostalgic to find the word ‘copy deck’ in the latest EL& U question, “Is subcopy a word?”followed with the statement: “A copywriter just sent me over a copy deck that had the word ...
1
vote
4answers
410 views

Can you use “procure” to mean “think of”?

He procured a proper way to fix his relationship. He thought of a proper way to fix his relationship. Are those equivalent? Is the use of "procure" here unnatural and weird? Or does it work ...
0
votes
1answer
975 views

Is it common to use the word “commute” instead of “go” in conversation? [closed]

I talked to a Canadian person yesterday. She used the word "commute" instead of "go" or "get." For example, she said "I commute to work by car." and asked me "How do you commute to work?" It was a ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Is this an incorrect use of the word 'Synonymous'?

"Robespierre is synonymous with the Great Terror in the French Revolution". As far as I know, when things/words are synonymous with one another it's because they have a similar meaning. However, ...
-2
votes
1answer
91 views

The usage of relationship [closed]

I want to express that the sleeping time has no much relationship with the activity and ... But the following sentence looks very strange. Please help me paraphrase this one: No absolute ...
3
votes
4answers
20k views

Is it appropriate to write RIP for expressing grief? [closed]

I came to this question after I saw a Facebook post about someone who passed away with everyone posting rip as a comment. Wikipedia tells me the following about the abbreviation of RIP: "Rest in ...
25
votes
5answers
20k views

Why does “corn” mean “maize” in American English?

I keep hearing "corn" as a synonym of "maize". This is widely popularized worldwide by popcorn. However, this is American English! In British English, "corn" can mean any type of "grain", especially ...
5
votes
2answers
977 views

Can supper and dinner be used interchangeably? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Lunch” vs. “dinner” vs. “supper” — times and meanings? Wikipedia states that the words supper and dinner can be used interchangeably. But I am not thoroughly convinced ...
0
votes
1answer
18k views

When to use “include” and “including”?

I know that include is a verb while including is a preposition but they made me confuse when it comes to their usage. I usually confuse when to use include with including. Most Thais like ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

When is “place” used as “home”?

Today, while chatting, I just made a sentence: I want you at his place at 9. But I am not sure when to use place with the meaning, home, or work place? Is it correct usage? What will be the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between “improvisation” and “extempore” [closed]

What is the difference between improvisation¹ and extempore² and where should one use each of these terms?
-1
votes
4answers
687 views

Are these terms considered uncivilized to native English speakers? [closed]

One of my friends is preparing to go to America for higher studies. So he needs some suggestions regarding proper language usage out there. He needs opinion on usage of slang words. I am posting the ...
0
votes
3answers
468 views

Can we use “liaison” casually?

Then there was the Mad Russian, who made her laugh and behaved impossibly badly and proposed to her daily. Some other shorter-lived liaisons, now forgotten. Then Henry. — William Nicholson, ...
2
votes
1answer
17k views

Usage of “isn’t it” in the sentence

Being a non-native speaker of English, I am less aware about the distinction between Asian and standard English. While conversing with my client, I came to realize that isn't it is used wrong in this ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Using the word “Phalanx” as a title [closed]

Is there a verb for phalanx? I searched online dictionaries, but I didn't find it. Can I use Phalanx as a title of my story? I am just wondering whether I should use a verb, or a noun for titles.
7
votes
6answers
10k views

What do students call their teacher in class? [closed]

Well, years ago I was an English teacher in an English Teaching Institute. In the country I live, students call their teachers by saying "Mr. Teacher" or "Teacher" (literally translated) in schools. ...
0
votes
2answers
337 views

Can less be used without any comparison?

Can I use "less" in sentences like this: 1 Why do we have so less number of students for this class? 2 My song collection is very less. "Small" sounds better in both examples, but I would ...
1
vote
2answers
10k views

Why do we say “I envy you your <something>”?

That construction has always bothered me. People will say it's because you envy a person not a thing, and that on the surface is okay, but then why isn't it I envy you for your thing, or because of ...
1
vote
5answers
839 views

Does “Smugness” imply “Having or showing low opinions of others”?

I have a little confusion whether "smugness" implies a "low opinion of others" in contrast to a "high opinion of oneself" I have consulted ODO and wiktionary; they showed the meaning of "Smugness" is ...
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

Usage of “even if” [closed]

Could you please suggest me the usage of "even if" in the English sentence? For example, is the following statement correct grammatically? Even if this approach scale for a large number of ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is “dispreferred” a mainstream word in English?

I just recently came across the word dispreferred in a linguistic document. I have never heard the word used before, rather I generally hear something like "preferred something else" in everyday ...