0
votes
2answers
3k views

What does “You have successfully split a hair that did not need to be split” mean?

What is the meaning of the following sentence? You have successfully split a hair that did not need to be split. Source: this post on the Programmers Stack Exchange.
28
votes
14answers
44k views

What is a word/idiom for 'unable to decide'?

Let's say I have an important decision to make and I can't decide between two competing things (like break up with a girl or not break up with her). What would be a word/idiom to express that?
1
vote
1answer
8k views

Meaning of 'no earlier than X days after Y'

I am having trouble understanding the following notice on the American Airlines AAdvantage (miles account) website: Note: Mileage credit requests can be submitted no earlier than 15 days after ...
1
vote
2answers
401 views

the usage of “otherwise” [closed]

In this article, I don't quite understand the following sentence: Instead of bothering to sort out that little difficulty, let's see why it is in fact enough to let B be the set of all bilinear ...
2
votes
2answers
66k views

Rule to determine when to use the prefix “im” vs. “un” to negate a word starting with “p”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Negation prefixes: un-, dis-, a-, in-, … The prefix un is commonly used to negate a word, but is is quite rare with words that start with the letter p; the prefix ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Pioneers Often Die with Arrows in their Backs

What's the meaning of Pioneers Often Die with Arrows in their Backs I mean i can roughly gauge it to be the first to move dies, but why arrows in the backs ?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

The usage of “being” in passive voice

I was reading the following sentence on the Internet and did not understand the usage of "being" in it: They might have been being thrown away. "They" refers to spoons here. I guess it is the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“Referenced in” or “referenced from”?

Which of these sentences is more correct? ABC should not be referenced from file X. ABC should not be referenced in file X. ABC should not be referenced by file X.
15
votes
3answers
131k views

“Analysis” vs. “analyses”

The (U.S.) National Institutes of Health website has a webpage that states that it contains reports, data and analyses of NIH research activities I feel as though this sounds awkward. Would ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Which is more correct “fewer than hundred people” or “less than hundred people”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is “less” appropriate vs. “fewer”? Which is more correct "fewer than hundred people" or "less than hundred people"? According to my grammar ...
-4
votes
3answers
361 views

How to write “only for female” on jeans tag

We want to indicate that jeans are for only female on the tag. Only female Only woman For woman For women For female Which one is viable? Are there any better one?
1
vote
2answers
359 views

Expression for “cold headhunting”

Is there an expression for the case when someone receives an email from a recruiter with whom he had no previous contact? I am looking for a term other than headhunting, like salesman knocking on cold ...
4
votes
2answers
11k views

“John Doe”, “Jane Doe” - Why are they used many times?

I posted a question ( http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/92215/john-doe-jane-doe-why-are-they-used-many-times ) and they told me to post that question here. So I'm doing it. I received ...
18
votes
2answers
7k views

What's the reason for calling cheap seats at the theatre nosebleed seats?

I've never heard of this idiom before today and thought it was an especially curious one. What's the origin of calling the cheap seats the nosebleed seats at the theater?
21
votes
5answers
38k views

Recur vs. Reoccur

Is there any difference between the verbs reoccur and recur? Several sources suggest that they are synonymous, but some fine-tuners suggest that there is a nuanced difference, such as Grammarist, ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

Which is standard: “log on/off” or “log in/out”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Logging in or on? UI Terminology: Logon vs Login on Stack Overflow On Windows computers, the terminology log on/off is used. In SE and on many sites, log in/out is ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Where did the expression “every last one” come from?

There is, after all, only one last one. Why did it become common to say "every last one"? Dictionary.com has a definition for last as follows: 8. individual; single: The lecture won't start ...
7
votes
2answers
20k views

“I would have never said” vs. “I would never say”

I know a lot of questions have been asked about would or would have but I haven't found any answers that help me understand this three-party conversation, with C possibly a native speaker: A: How ...
0
votes
4answers
5k views

Is “Forgive my being late” grammatical?

Is it grammatically correct to write "forgive my being late to this discussion" as an alternative to "sorry that I'm late to this discussion"?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Contrapositive and Contranegative

What do contrapositive and contranegative mean and when are these used with respect to positive and/or negative? I specifically have this article in mind. The word contranegative is used in the ...
2
votes
4answers
8k views

“I'll see you” is the same as “I'll miss you”?

In a drama, there is a goodbye scene and the dialogue between sister and brother like below. sister: Thanks, Kevin... I guess it's that time. brother: I'll see you, Sis. Don't get lost. (his ...
1
vote
3answers
663 views

What does “a slightly overblown cartoon figure” mean?

“Harry! Good-o!” said Bagman happily, looking around at him. “Come in, come in, make yourself at home!” Bagman looked somehow like a slightly overblown cartoon figure, standing amid all the ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

What does “you and the rest of the world” mean?

I sometimes see ‘you and …’ in English, for example “you and the other nine”, “You and your big mouth!”. This makes me sensitive to you and something. “Okay,” said Harry slowly. “But … are you ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

“Why isn't this line formatted correctly, but formatting work(s) here on Meta?”

If you look here, you can see last revision, from Cody Gray, that he changed "this line of code does not work correctly on stackoverflow but works here on" to "this line of code does not work ...
5
votes
6answers
26k views

“By the way” in formal writing

Can I say "By the way" in an official document or professional meeting and other important/formal times? I never saw any film which would include these words.
3
votes
6answers
590 views

Is the word “single” necessary to be added when specifying a thing?

I think the word single is not necessary because the article a or an has done the job. So the phrase "a single object" should be simplified as "an object". What do you think?
0
votes
2answers
181 views

A MPR vs AN MPR [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? I searched google for "a MPR" and "an MPR". The first one returns about 52000 hits while the second one ...
3
votes
2answers
14k views

Past tense of RSVP [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Past participle of a verb created from an acronym Since RSVP has morphed into a verb, I was wondering the correct way of using its past tense. "Only 1 person RSVP'd to ...
5
votes
1answer
807 views

Etymology of million vs. millennium

Why is it that a period of one thousand years is a millennium, but one million is a thousand thousands?
14
votes
4answers
75k views

“Pricey” vs. “Pricy”

I've recently encountered these two variations of the spellings for the informal word for "expensive." My dictionary and the online dictionary seem to indicate that both of these spellings are ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

What does the “that little bubble of accidental arrogance” meaning? [closed]

... as you initially did, that their design was just behind. It's nice to see an idea that pops that little bubble of accidental arrogance. The above sentence is from Nick Johnson's blog on ...
1
vote
3answers
16k views

“Living in the South” or “Living in the south”?

The sentence I'm wondering about: Living in the [S/s]outh during the early 1900’s, the most decisive factor of a man’s life was determined at birth: the color of his skin. Should South be ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

“Are you happier?”

I was reading an English book. This is a snippet of a conversation below: But please tell us... do you like your job? Are you happier? I am confused at happier. Why not use happy?
0
votes
5answers
975 views

“I like living by ocean” , “I like living by the ocean” or “I like living by the sea”?

Which is the correct sentence: "I like living by ocean" , "I like living by the ocean" or "I like living by the sea"? I want to say I love ocean and I like staying nearby ocean. Update: I had been ...
7
votes
4answers
31k views

Difference between “On your mark, get set, go” and “Ready, steady, go”

Watching Kipper with my son tonight, I was struck by the phrase "Ready, steady, go!" I don't often hear this sequence. In my upbringing, it has been mostly "On your mark, get set, go!" I had ...
0
votes
5answers
17k views

Mow the lawn, cut the grass, mow the yard, cut the yard …what is correct?

This weekend I mowed the yard. My neighbor says he cut the grass. Did I cut the grass, or maybe I mowed the lawn, or did I cut the yard? When does one mow, and when does one cut? Is it grass, or ...
2
votes
2answers
9k views

“They don't use either of them” versus “They don't use any of them”?

If there are only two alternatives, which is more correct, "They don't use either of them" or "They don't use any of them"? I am pretty sure than "any" is more correct, but can I use ...
4
votes
5answers
374 views

How could I express the idea that one person is learning the habits of other person?

I want to express the idea that one person is becoming like another person. I was thinking to use color, as in "Mr. X is getting colored in Mr. Y." Is this a common usage?
5
votes
5answers
622 views

Can 'one' replace an antecedent?

Over at Judaism.SE someone asked a question with the title (1) What is the source for not walking with one's hands behind his back and someone else edited it to read (2) What is the source ...
18
votes
8answers
7k views

Ripe with Opportunity? Or Rife?

The Grammarist says I should use rife with rather than ripe with. So far so good and I agree. But is there an exception for ripe with opportunity? Googlefight overwhelmingly prefers ripe, and I like ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Term for people not in any way involved in a crime/incident

I'm looking for a word that refers to the people (general population) who were not involved in an incident. To be particular let's say the incident is a "crime". That is, one you take away the ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the proper/formal names for these rooms? [closed]

Question 1: We just moved into a new house with a very unique layout. I'm wondering how to describe some of the rooms using formal definitions. The main floor has an open-air space that is pretty ...
10
votes
9answers
15k views

To “have someone's number”

Where does the saying I've got your number come from?
5
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there a more eloquent word for a zigzag? [closed]

The title pretty much says it all. Is there a more eloquent word for a zigzag? Edit: Allow me to clarify, I'm referring to the shape of a zigzag, a picture is attached below.
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a term for the part of a sentence that is in the form “Customers who …” or “Products that …”?

For the purpose of building a dynamic user interface within an software application I wish to separate parts of a set of phrases which would be in the form of the examples below. Examples: ...
3
votes
2answers
362 views

What is a 'snake-oil program'?

What is a snake-oil program? Source Stay Safe Online article
-2
votes
1answer
9k views

In this sentence “Me and you” or “You and I ” is correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct, “you and I” or “you and me”? Consider this conversation: "Hey, we've been seeing each other for a couple of months" ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Correct placing and usage of “yet”

Sometimes I see the sentence Have you done something, yet? Is it correct to write it that way? If not, what would be correct? If it is correct, why is it?
15
votes
6answers
5k views

What's the most accurate term for phrases such as “storm in a teacup” and “making mountains out of molehills”?

Are phrases such as "storm in a teacup" and "making mountains out of molehills" best described by one of these terms: anecdote proverb saying expression metaphor If not, which term is the right ...
4
votes
2answers
672 views

“Lots of milk and sugar” or “lots of milk and (lots) of sugar”

When asking how someone wants their tea, they reply: "lots of milk and sugar". Is that to be interpreted as "Lots of milk and sugar" or "lots of milk and (lots) of sugar" according to the rules of ...

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