2
votes
4answers
3k views

To put on the thinking cap

I found this expression: to put on the thinking cap, What does it mean and how to use?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is ‘Hit rewind’ an established idiom?

I found a phrase, ‘hit rewind’ in the headline of the article of May 29 New York Times reporting that VHS cassettes that seem to be dead long ago are still surviving and widely used among immigrant ...
6
votes
6answers
957 views

The word 'not' often doesn't mean total negation in mathematical sense?

Consider the following conversations: X1: I paid $10 for that hamburger. Y1: That's not cheap! X2: I pay $1 for broadband Internet access. Y2: That's cheap! X3: I paid $1 for a hot ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

When is it appropriate to use “late” when referring to someone who has passed?

I could never figure this out. Is this structure only for those who have recently passed? The late Steve Jobs... Or can I use it to refer to someone who died a long time ago? The late George ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it correct? I “am trying fixing this”?

Actually, I'd like to know if is correct to say: "I am trying fixing this", or should use the more obvious "I am trying to fix this"? If the first one is correct, is there a name for this kind of ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Present perfect and present perfect continuous for actions in progress [duplicate]

My grammar book says that both present perfect and present perfect continuous, when used with "for, since, etc", express a situation that began in the past and continues to the present. When used ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the acronym PIGS (or PIIGS) offensive?

To my Spanish ears, the acronym PIGS (for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) or PIIGS (for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) sounds offensive. The Spanish equivalent “cerdo” is a strong word ...
4
votes
1answer
441 views

Intentional double negation

Is there a name for this manner of purposely speaking in double negatives, e.g. I wouldn't say no to a cup of tea! I've noticed it as a habit of some people, perhaps often going along with a ...
4
votes
4answers
304 views

Prepositions used with “renovation”

I've been asked to approve a bronze plaque reading "Capital improvements and renovation to this organ were made possible by...." The organ builders objected that "renovation to" is a barbarism. It ...
5
votes
3answers
75k views

“Shot” or “shooted”

Which is correct: shot or shooted? Where and when is the form shooted used?
1
vote
2answers
440 views

Word to describe bringing up pets

What is the word to describe bringing up your pet? Raise sounds odd. Breed sounds weird. Rear seems to be more for farm animals.
2
votes
2answers
711 views

Word for person who can't remember paths? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Term for person who forgets directions or routes Is there a specific word for describing a person who gets lost easily? What to call a person who can't remember paths ...
2
votes
0answers
568 views

Can I write a colon after punctuation? [closed]

I often write a list after writing "e.g." and I want to follow it by adding a colon to show the start of a list, particularly before a bullet pointed list. How should I punctuate this (assuming it is ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

What part of speech is “back” in “put the book back on the table”?

Put the book back on the table. I'm having trouble. I think it is a preposition.
13
votes
5answers
740 views

Can one “marry one's wife”?

I was vacantly reading the paper the other day when I came across a strange formation in the obituary: "he married his wife in 19XX". I was rather taken aback by this; surely he can't marry his own ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do street parking signs say “no stopping or standing”?

I see redundancy here. If one stands a car on the street, isn't it necessary to stop first? It would seem the most logical and efficient use of language for the sign would be "no stopping." Or do ...
2
votes
1answer
260 views

What are single views of an online banner ad called?

I am developing a web application for managing banners, advertisements, etc. I am not sure what the correct name for one 'view' of a banner is. I need to name it somehow to be able to report ...
5
votes
1answer
492 views

Etymology of “settee”?

I was reading Cochrane's Memoirs of a Fighting Captain when I came across this:- However, at 3.00pm, as a large settee was running into the mole of Ciotat, we discharged two shots at her, which ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

using “the”+adj without a noun

Is the following sentence good/legal/understood English? Meditation melts the coarse and solidifies the subtle. If it isn't, how can this be otherwise expressed, in a neat and concise way?
0
votes
2answers
163 views

Origin of “tragically named”

I've recently come across the phrase "tragically named". I first thought the author invented it but I've googled it all over the place. The first time I saw its usage was on ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

English parts of speech — better new treatments

Can anyone please recommend a better treatment of English parts of speech / word classes than that offered by most traditional grammars? Many of the latter stick with the sacrosanct 8 of antiquity, ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the use of ellipses… rude? [closed]

Coming from the UK and in my experience in writing to people on-line, it seems that some cultures that use the English language do not understand that ellipses in communication can come across as ...
0
votes
2answers
693 views

Double negations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a rule about double negations that aren't meant as double negations (e.g. “We don't need no education”)? Meaning of “you don't need no memory” and ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“Let's see who wins” vs. “let's see who will win”?

I have seen the following sentences: Let's see who wins. Why not "who will win"? Let it be decided tomorrow who will win. Why not present here, then?
-5
votes
1answer
797 views

The correct way to say something is hired on an hourly basis

Which of the following is correct? We hire our bicycle... by the hour. by hours. by an hour. for hours.
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the phrase “the alive animal” grammatically correct?

Is it wrong to use the phrase "The alive animal"? Is it alright to say, "The animal was alive."?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What do you call a person who takes pleasure in the success of others? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the antonym for Schadenfreude? I often like to watch the successful moments in the events of sportsmen and I take great pleasure in seeing them succeed so ...
-3
votes
2answers
335 views

Meaning of “Nothing is working here like the rest of the world?” [closed]

I would like to know whether this phase has negative impact or it can be positive.
0
votes
2answers
211 views

“through any vehicles” is this an idiom? [closed]

In a letter I came across a sentence Despite of feeling bad for losing one of the best students so far yet for any further specific info/ query you are welcome to get in touch with me through any ...
19
votes
1answer
712 views

Does this device to restrict access to roads have a generic name?

I'm sure we've all seen these devices which can "lock" and "unlock" vehicle entry and exit to an alley / road /etc. They consist of one or several hefty steel or concrete "pillars" less than a metre ...
0
votes
4answers
639 views

Meaning of “backwards” [closed]

What's the meaning of backwards here? Does it mean it's going towards a worse state? English is hands down the most comprehensive and efficient language. The language of an advanced civilization ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is meant by “Cash it in” in Joe Biden's phrase, “I began to understand how despair led people to just cash it in.”?

The article of New York Times (May 2) titled “Biden shares tales of loss with military families” quotes the line in Joe Biden’s 2007 memoir - “I began to understand how despair led people to just cash ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Confess/admit” something good?

When using "confess" or "admit", the following word usually means something bad or something that the speaker is reluctant to say. I wonder if it is proper to use a word which means something good ...
2
votes
1answer
43k views

Origin of “Why, hello there” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does the use of “why” as an interjection come from? This is a common English phrase that I'm sure everyone has heard before. However, I find it ...
3
votes
2answers
17k views

Went to vs have been to

What is the difference between saying, I have been to New York and LA; I went to New York and LA? I know one is simple past and the other is not. I am looking for how they are used from a ...
22
votes
9answers
37k views

Why is 'c*nt' so much more derogatory in the US than the UK?

What accounts for the strong disapproval of anyone using the word 'cunt' in the US, when the sentiment doesn't exist to the same extent in the UK? To be clear, it's still a strong word to use in the ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

phrase to describe the diversity of age range of a group of people

Would it be correct to use "chronologically diverse" to describe a group of people whose ages range from very young to very old? If not, what would be a better phrase to use?
1
vote
2answers
21k views

What is the rule for shortening people's names? (E.g. Michael → Mike) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Changes in English names of people How do we shorten names in general? For example, Almond → Al, Michael → Mike. I remember seeing a Wikipedia page on which frequently ...
-1
votes
1answer
272 views

Use of holier-than-thou phrase [closed]

Can I use the phrase (new to me) holier-than-thou like don't give holier-than-thou attitude. And what is more possibilities of using this phrase? What is the correct pronunciation of the phrase? ...
0
votes
1answer
414 views

Nuances/shades-of-meaning online? [closed]

Is there an online reference resource devoted to commentary on the finer points of usage, connotation, and word choice in English? (E.g. what nuances/shades-of-meaning/usage considerations would ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the difference between cunning, crafty and wily?

The definitions are quite similar, but what are the differences in meaning between them, exactly? cunning: having or showing skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit or evasion crafty: clever ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

“Inputs are invalid” vs. “Inputs were invalid” [closed]

Applications send a warning message if the received inputs from the user are invalid. Is "are invalid" correct or should it be "were invalid"?
12
votes
2answers
9k views

Where does the phrase “get a bye” come from?

This question inspired me to look at the etymology of "get a bye". The earliest mentions in a sporting context that I found while searching Google Books were in the Coursing Calendar, the 1872 edition ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

It is I who am at fault? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “It is they who lied” or “it is them who lied?” What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical? Which one of these is correct? It is I who am at ...
1
vote
5answers
9k views

“Put it into the refrigerator” or “Put it in the refrigerator”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa? I am sorry if the question is silly, but I think I heard both options spoken by ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What does 'a slither of' mean?

While reading a book, I came across this sentence: [...], finishing with a slither of lemon tart or apple cake. Looking up the word slither I didn't get any satisfying results. On OALD I found ...
1
vote
3answers
276 views

Mailshot or Newsletter?

I'm developing a web based application that allows people to send email to many customers, for advertisement purposes. What's the correct name for that? newsletter or mailshot? EDIT: to avoid ...
1
vote
5answers
785 views

What is the word for “making something proper”

I am thinking along the lines of "normalize" -- something like proper-ize. -- UPDATE -- In one of my comments, I presented an example... a disorganized mess (for example, a cluttered desk) that ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Tendency of using pronouns 'she/her' when talking about a random person

Reading different specifications and manuals I've noticed that more often and often pronouns she or her are being used when some unknown person's behavior is described. For example: "when user opens ...
2
votes
2answers
404 views

take into (an) account

Coming from an articleless language, I often have problems with things like this: take something into account take something into an account Are both phrases correct? If yes, is there a ...

15 30 50 per page