6
votes
2answers
5k views

How did “everloving” become a completely generic intensifier?

Most of the uses of the word everloving I can think of involve either vulgar or violent contexts, so you must excuse the following example: He'd finally crossed my last nerve, so yesterday, me and ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Is the phrase “man is mortal” grammatically correct? [closed]

Or, must it be "Every man is mortal"? How about "Tree is mortal"? In another sense, "A detailed description of a man", "A detailed description of man" or "A detailed description of Man"?
4
votes
2answers
628 views

Use of “although” with a modifier

Is it grammatically correct to use "although" in a modifying clause, but without a conjugated verb? Example: Although not regarded as nocturnal, the Black Bear of North America is active at night ...
6
votes
1answer
517 views

A phrase misheard as 'San Ababis'

I was reading the blog Futility Closet today, and they mentioned a story of a Fillipino father naming his son 'San Ababis', after 'the patron saint of America' - because he heard soldiers repeating ...
9
votes
5answers
13k views

“Lower number” vs. “smaller number”

Is −9 a smaller number than −8? And is −9 a lower number than −8? What is the difference between lower and smaller here?
3
votes
3answers
218 views

Does “decoration” have to be visual?

When I hear the word "decoration" I assume it must be visual. However various definitions don't really require this to be the case (such as "The process or art of decorating or adorning something"). ...
4
votes
3answers
11k views

What is the exact meaning of the “oh so <adjective>” idiom?

I routinely find this expression in newspaper, magazines, blogs... My guess is that it's used to report a widely shared opinion, but I couldn't find any confirmation of this. Or maybe it's just used ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

A common word for person/company/organization?

As we can say principal for user/group/role, is there a common word for person/company/organization?
9
votes
3answers
40k views

Is “homework” countable?

I was wondering if "homework" is countable? I remember it is an uncountable noun when I learned English in middle school. Suppose now I would like to ask my teacher to hand back my graded ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

“Should” cannot replace “if?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Are “should” and “if” interchangeable at the beginning of a sentence? A special use of “should”? For sentences that begin with ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Can “shrugging” only be done with shoulders?

Please compare He shrugged. and He shrugged his shoulders. Is there anything else that can be shrugged, besides shoulders? To me it sounds like duplication when used in this way. I'm aware ...
8
votes
4answers
38k views

“will be able to” vs. “can”

Consider the following: He will be able to do it. He can do it. They mean the same thing, right? Can "can" replace "will be able to" in any sentence? What is the difference, if anything? ...
4
votes
8answers
444 views

What's the correct word for saying a certain position can be stood on?

I'm making a game with tiles and I need a good word for describing whether or not a character can stand on a certain tile. There is "walkable", but this describes movement, which is not the case. ...
3
votes
2answers
356 views

How does negation affect the use and understanding of “or” and “and”

I'm trying to make more sense of how negation effects how a sentence is parsed and understood if and's and or's are used within them. Pop quiz: You are trapped on a bus with a bomb going 50 MPH. You ...
2
votes
2answers
948 views

How to choose an abbreviation for a given word?

I was trying to find a proper abbreviation for the word dictionary. Dict. or Dic. or something else? Obviousely there won't be a short form for each English word. But if there does exist one, how ...
10
votes
4answers
306 views

What is “outheroding”?

I have been reading Scott's Ivanhoe recently and have come across a word I cannot find a meaning for: outheroding. In the novel it appears in a discussion of footwear: Fur and gold were not spared ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is it right to 'Hmmm'?

While in a online conversation(by typing), how do you let know the other person that you are there listening to him/her? I suppose it would be annoying to type 'okay' or 'yes' all the time and right ...
1
vote
3answers
383 views

What is the time you spend on a thesis called?

I finished my thesis today and the title page must contain the starting-date and the finishing date of my work on the thesis. What is this time frame called? It should not only include the time I ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it, “It seems different”, but “It comes across differently”?

Both phrases describe the manner, appearance, air, etc, of a subject. Why does the former use an adjective to modify the subject, while the latter uses an adverb to modify the verb phrase?
1
vote
0answers
989 views

Having a singular subject and a plural object - which form to choose for the verb? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: In special cases, can you use “one such family are” vs. “one such family is”? [Singular] Is/Are [Plural]? I often encounter sentences like ...
10
votes
4answers
40k views

Should it be 10 US$ or US$ 10?

Which is correct to use in a sentence, 10 US$ or US$ 10. Perhaps USD should be used instead or even something else?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“Pretend to not” vs. “Pretend not to” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Order of “not” with infinitive The following are both accepted as grammatically correct, right? You pretend to not notice. You pretend not to ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Different ways to say “even if”

Are all of these grammatically correct and equivalent? Even if I fail Even should I fail Even if I should fail What are the differences, if any? Could the last example be ...
5
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
11k views

What do you call those divisions of a book bigger than a paragraph but smaller than a chapter?

In printed books, or at least in novels, there are often major breaks within a chapter more important than paragraphs. Often they are separated by a greater amount of whitespace than paragraphs and ...
2
votes
2answers
207 views

“Canalized” usage in “a great impact which can also be canalized”

I'm in doubt if this is the correct usage of the word canalized: In the US a researching team found that pure entertainment, such as TV series or movies, have a great impact which can also be ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Case of USD — “United States Dollar” or “United States dollar”

What is correct, United States dollar or United States Dollar? In the examples below the emphasis is mine. Example 1 (context) The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD; also abbreviated US$) ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Does British English have a word for dry, starchy savoury snacks that are not fried slices of potato?

Everyone, the world over, enjoys savoury snacks, particularly dry, starchy ones. Far and away the most popular kind in the Anglosphere are the ones made from deep-fried (sometimes baked) thinly-sliced ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What would you call someone who needs to watch the news every day?

My friend claims there are people who have or are perceived to have some disorder where they must watch the news every day or they feel very agitated. Disregarding the truth of such a claim, what ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

“make it to there” [closed]

Consider the following two phrases which are both about going to some place: If I can't make it there If I can't make it to there Isn't the second phrase grammatically correct, whereas the ...
3
votes
5answers
532 views

“The place where we promised to meet”

This is talking about a promise to meet at a certain place. However, is it grammatically correct? Is it badly phrased? It seems that it can be misinterpreted to mean that at a certain place a promise ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

What is the correct version of “upfront”, “up front” or “up-front”?

I can't find a definite spelling of this term. Different resources on the Internet show all three versions of it. What is the correct way of spelling it?
3
votes
9answers
36k views

The phrase “God willing.”

Does "God willing" have a religious connotation to it? What are some other phrases that mean the same thing but don't have this connotation?
4
votes
3answers
292 views

Jealousy and hate

Is this grammatically correct? Why does "jealousy and hate" sound more natural or better than "hate and jealousy." Isn't "jealousy and hatred" more grammatically correct than either?
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Usage of “not comparable”

Can the phrase "not comparable" be used in a negative context? For example, if someone says the latest pirates movie is not comparable to the previous versions, can it mean it is so bad?
3
votes
3answers
61k views

What is the precise meaning of “Pretty Good”?

Once I used "pretty good" as a reply to one of my friends' question "How are you today?", I was under the impression that the "pretty good" will weigh much more than just "good", means "very good" or ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

“Certificate of residence” vs. “certificate of residency”

Certificate of residence vs. certificate of residency — which one to use, when and why? Please quote a reputable source.
18
votes
1answer
21k views

Ones or one's: Which is the correct usage?

I've been confused about this as long as I can remember. Should it be: One should do ones duty. or One should do one's duty. I'm guessing it should be the latter. But that doesn't sit well ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Alternative to “separately from”?

I want to say something like: The system stores the crazygonuts data separately from the data feed. I think this is wrong (maybe I am wrong in that), but I'm not sure exactly why. One ...
4
votes
5answers
74k views

Part of speech of “very,” “extremely,” “really,” and “quite”

While working on developing the lexicon in one of my constructed languages, I encountered a slight difficulty in using standard classifications for words like very, extremely, really, and quite. To ...
1
vote
0answers
182 views

Is “Can not” a valid usage in English, or I can not use that and must use “cannot”/“Can't”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Why is “cannot” spelled as one word? Is “can not” unambiguous? Is "Can not" a valid usage in English (American English if it differs), or I can not use ...
2
votes
6answers
14k views

What does “In some ways” exactly mean?

What does the expression "in some ways" exactly mean, as in The English language is limited in some ways, and perhaps most limited in its ability to express love. Is it generic (like in many ...
6
votes
3answers
693 views

In “Winnie the Pooh”, Why isn't the Hundred Acre Wood plural?

When I read some of these Winnie the Pooh stories to my kids at night, the place where the story takes place is the Hundred Acre Wood, not Hundred Acre Woods. Why is that?
1
vote
5answers
624 views

speaking about conditional past event using had (verb)… would (verb)

If the author had spent any time in China, they would know that an “engineer” in China is NOT the same as an “engineer” in the USA. This is a mistranslation. An “engineer” in China is equivalent to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the origin of “your mother” as an answer to any question?

I'm just curious, as the term "your mom" as an annoying answer/reaction to any question/comment is also used in other languages. So what is its etymology? UPDATE I even found a reference on ...
13
votes
5answers
45k views

Is there a semantic difference between “pedophile” and “pederast”?

If I understand the etymology of pedophile and pederast, both mean child lover. Is there a difference in their connotation? In some recent local news stories that discuss changing sex offender laws, ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is there a known reason that English has so many short words?

Anyone who has played scrabble-like games in English and other languages cannot help but notice that English has an extremely high number of two and three-letter words. Is there a known ...
8
votes
4answers
768 views

Are there any indications that English is going to split into different languages in the next hundred years? [closed]

Are there any indications that (global) English is going to split into different languages in the next hundred years?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there an English word containing the vowels ɤ or ɐ, and if not, which similar-sounding vowels are there in English? [closed]

I need examples for English words which contain the sounds ɤ (close-mid back unrounded vowel) and ɐ (schwa, an unstressed neutral vowel). But I am not sure if there are such words at all. If there ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

What's up with all the words ending with “-eth” in the Bible? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What happened to the “-est” and “-eth” verb suffixes in English? How were they once used? With all this rapture thing going on now, I noticed ...

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