This tag is for questions about correctly using a word.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

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
468 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
250 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
813 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
272 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
47k 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
212 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
430 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
503 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
191 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
790 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
743 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
339 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 ..."?
5
votes
5answers
15k views

Difference between “to enhance” and “to improve”

What is the difference between the verbal synonyms "to enhance" and "to improve"? Do they have exactly the same meaning?
1
vote
1answer
158 views

Usage of the word 'warming'

I was just wondering how exactly the word warming is used with different sentences which actually gives different meaning. For e.g., My house warming ceremony Global warming How it is ...
2
votes
1answer
812 views

“They perform” vs. “they are performed” in specific context

Our experiments include simulated falls by several subjects. They perform in a user-independent setting, where, for each test video, the subject appearing in the test video does not appear in ...
-2
votes
1answer
304 views

Is there a difference between 'eventually' and 'in the future'? [closed]

I was at a yoga class and the instructor said something about how a posture will 'eventually or in the future allow you to roll your spine out.'. And then I wanted to know, is there a difference ...
-2
votes
1answer
210 views

Is 'promptus' a valid word? [closed]

I did a Google:define on Promptus and think it has Latin origin. But since I don't see it in the English dictionaries, I am not sure if I can use it at all in my conversation.
-1
votes
1answer
530 views

Is “regardless” a word I shouldn't use? [closed]

Is it true that "regardless" is a word I shouldn't use because it is obsolete? If it is, what shall I use instead?
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Use of “Pretty cool, huh?”

Would it be grammatically correct to use "Pretty cool, huh?" or would you need to use e.g: "Pretty cool, right?" I think that the "huh" would be asking a "what?", although that doesn't make sense in ...
-2
votes
2answers
271 views

Each vs Every (Best way to make generalizations)

Example: There is a specific school. Every student in that school can take an Art class. They have that right, but they may choose not to take. What is the best way to say it by emphasizing that ...
2
votes
2answers
20k views

With “I bid you farewell” being a normal phrase, would the phrase “I bid you sleep well” also be correct? [closed]

I'm trying to pinpoint the correct application of the verb "to bid" in order to use it in unconventional situations
-1
votes
1answer
96 views

Usage of “flock” for a singular subject

Turned on by by his pheromones, she flocked to him. Can we use flock when we have a singular subject? What might be a better alternative to the verb? Something like ran, but with a connotation of ...
0
votes
1answer
610 views

Is the phrase “refuse the idea” wrong?

It doesn't sound right, but I might be mistaken. A quick search shows that people do use it, but they could be wrong as well (I suspect the phrase is ok, and I am wrong).
0
votes
3answers
340 views

Is it right or wrong to use forms of words that aren't in any dictionaries? [closed]

I want to use the word ataractically in a formal piece of writing. A derived form of ataraxia, I'd like to use it in a sentence like this: This is the most ataractically candid thing I've ever ...
-2
votes
1answer
103 views

Incentive Structure Biased [closed]

Can nonhuman things have bias? Politicians are subject to an incentive structure biased toward the adoption of projects and programs with highly visible immediate benefits and well-hidden costs. ...
2
votes
3answers
11k views

Appropriate use of “littlest”

I recently had a debate with a friend about whether "littlest" was a word. I took the stance that it was not. I find now that basically every time I make such a claim these days someone can hold up ...
-1
votes
1answer
189 views

How do you stop using “you” in every question? [closed]

I post questions on stackexchange sites and I'd like them to sound more professional. However, they usually start like this: How do you.... How can I make my questions sound more professional? ...
2
votes
5answers
594 views

Is there a name for spelling differences in words like _grey/gray_, _color/colour_, etc.?

Is there a categorical name for differences in the spelling of a word when the word keeps the same meaning and the same sound?
2
votes
1answer
10k views

“Overlaid” or “overlain” as an adjective [closed]

I have a set of three images, which I have put on top of each other in an image editing program and made transparent. I would like the filename to describe what I have done with the component images. ...
7
votes
5answers
27k views

Does “turning down the air conditioning” make it warmer or colder?

As the title says, I've heard two possible meanings for turning down the air conditioning: It could mean set the target temperature lower (i.e. colder) or make it work less (i.e. warmer). Turning ...
0
votes
1answer
947 views

What should I say to people when I am passing them by?

I am talking about situations when you want to greet someone, without stopping to talk to them. In Russian, people usually say "добрый день" which means "hello." This is a greeting, not a valediction. ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

Purchase vs. Order [closed]

What is the difference in meaning between Purchase and Order? Is there a preference for Purchase vs. Order in some cases/regions/dialects etc. Specifically in e-shops, when should we use purchase ...
29
votes
1answer
122k views

Difference between “zeros” and “zeroes” [duplicate]

Are there any differences between “zeros” and “zeroes”? Is any of them more correct, more often used, more modern? Are there differences e.g. between British English and American English in the usage ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

Is the word 'request' by itself as polite form of asking for something?

Is there a difference in the degree of politeness between saying 'I request that you...' and 'Could you, please, ...'? I realize that I could say 'I kindly request...' or 'I would like to kindly ...
0
votes
2answers
13k views

Grammatically incorrect sentence?

I just appeared for GATE 2013. In its aptitude section, I was totally confused. The question was to identify the grammatically incorrect sentence. The sentences were: 1. He is of Asian origin. 2. ...
0
votes
2answers
669 views

Which is better, “customer number” or “customer count”?

I want to express the number of customers my company has. Is it better to use customer number or customer count?
7
votes
3answers
27k views

“situation where” vs. “situation in which”

In my mother tongue I can use the word where not only to describe something connected to a location, but also to substitute in which. My question is: Is it correct to use where in a sentence like ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Is “outstaffing” a real word?

In Russia a lot of companies provide "outstaffing" services , but I am not sure whether it's used outside post USSR countries. Is "outstaffing" a real word? Update: "Outstaffing" is when one company "...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

Is “much” used for emphasis in “much to your surprise”?

What is the main difference between these sentences: To your surprise, he is alive. Much to your surprise, he is alive. Is much only used to emphasize your surprise? Can I have a ...