1
vote
1answer
189 views

What is the etymology of “hautboys”?

Strangely, Etymonline.com doesn't give an etymology. I looked up Dictionary.com, and came up with: 1565–75; < Middle French hautbois, equivalent to haut high ( see haughty) + bois wood ( ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

What does “default” mean in financial sense?

I've heard word "default" used in a financial sense. My intuition tells me that the defaulting party is asking for protection against its creditors, but I don't see how that is different from say ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the secondary part of a book/play title called?

It''s quite common for academic papers and such to have a short title intended to catch the casual browsers's interest, followed by colon and a longer more explanatory alternative. I know this is a ...
3
votes
4answers
246 views

Should I say I “post a post” on a forum?

If I want to say I wanted to create new post (topic, question) but I forgot to do so. should I say I wanted to post a post but I forgot to do so. or should I say I wanted to post but ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

The meaning of “Even if I should”

Consider the following: Even if I... Even should I... These all mean the same thing, right? What about Even if I should... Does that have the same meaning? "If you should ever," is ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does a verbose person talk “nineteen to the dozen”?

Though it is by no means common, I've heard this expression multiple times recently, and I'm wondering why it isn't "eighteen" to the dozen, or "thirteen", or "twenty". Where did "nineteen" come ...
2
votes
5answers
807 views

Synonym for 'description'

Preferably a short one. 'Description' fits my purpose very well, but is longer than I'd like (3 - 5 letters are ideal). It's going to be used as a heading, umbrella-term, button or similar for ...
1
vote
3answers
760 views

Word usage 'when you go'

Is there any thing wrong in the following sentence: Could you please inform me when you go. Can I use 'when you go' like this?
2
votes
3answers
11k views

Which of these two sentences is correct (“processes” vs. “process”)?

Which of the following two sentences is correct? Read more about the processes behind my projects. ...or... Read more about the process behind my projects. The one on top looks right ...
0
votes
2answers
420 views

How to associate a participle with an exact word in a sentence like 'List of items'?

I have a problem with a sentence "A list of items grouped by category". There are two possible ways to understand this sentence: (A list of items) that is grouped by category A list of (items that ...
3
votes
3answers
489 views

What does “it tastes like horspy” mean?

I heard an expression today but I did not know how it is written or what it is. And I could not find it with Google. It's something like: it tastes like horspy Any pointers?
6
votes
1answer
5k views

“I love to [verb]” vs “I love [gerund]” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Catenatives followed by infinitives and gerunds “I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something” What is the difference between "I love to sing" and ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the term for an integer one larger than a given integer?

I'm looking for a concise term to say a number must be exactly one higher than a previous number. None of "subsequent", "incremental", or "next" seem to convey the restriction that it must be ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

Is “Tasks for life” correct?

"Tasks for life" - Would such a phrase be apropriate for a brand ? Is it correct to say it that way ? I want to create a task managing site, where people would manage their tasks in life. PS: English ...
1
vote
3answers
45k views

“Any news for” vs. “any news on” vs. “any news about”

It seems all three are widely used on the Internet according to Google, but "any news on" seems to take the lead. Are all three correct? If not under what situation, or what subject behind it should ...
0
votes
1answer
603 views

What is a G2K company?

What is a G2K company? I assume G2K does not mean good to know. SMB/SME companies don't have the resources to hire 1-3 social managers, incorporate listening and engaging platforms like a G2K ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between “utter” and “speak”?

E.g. speak vehemently utter vehemently When should one use speak and when utter?
3
votes
4answers
200 views

Determining who wrote what parts of a book, e.g, the Bible

Is there a special word for determining who wrote what part of a book, e.g., the Bible?
1
vote
1answer
570 views

Meaning of “cut loose and cause havoc” in the following sentence

When Uncle Fred suggests to his nephew a visit to a suburb, once an estate owned by an uncle when he was younger, Pongo is amazed and relieved, believing the suburbs do not hold anything like the ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

What is the reason or proper usage of “price” and “pricing”?

Here are my examples: We need to change the price of this item. We need to change the pricing of this item. To me the second option feels right but why?
-5
votes
1answer
132 views

Why don't we use the indefinite article in “what hassle”?

Why don't we use the indefinite article in "what hassle"? I think hassle is used as noun here which means "Irritating or inconvenience". What exactly is the problem with "what a hassle" (as hassle is ...
2
votes
2answers
628 views

Syntax in poetry

Could you please explain why the syntax in the following stanza is wrong? Surrounded by that sturdy assertiveness that walled England the din of traffic in my mind quietens,
2
votes
3answers
698 views

Gender, generally associated with “toad” characters in English fiction and folklore

Common noun for a toad ("жаба") is of female gender in Russian. From all English literature that I read, I can remember only one toad-like character: Mr. Toad from The Wind in The Willows, and he is ...
3
votes
1answer
601 views

Would one call this situation ironic, sarcastic or …? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the similarities and differences between “irony” and “sarcasm”? Say I buy myself a CD of an album titled Scratch and the actual CD has a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference between “I'm in love with her” and “I love her”?

What's the difference between "I'm in love with her" and "I love her"?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “grounds” (as in a chunk of land) singular or plural?

Am I correct that grounds, although sounding plural, is actually singular? More specifically, which is better: I view Fedora as a testing grounds for new ideas. or I view Fedora as testing ...
4
votes
3answers
396 views

Term for “elderly-sitter”?

There's like people who do baby-sitting, that is look after infants and toddlers for the parents. What do we call people who do this for the elderly? For example, my friend hires a "elder-sitter" for ...
1
vote
2answers
409 views

'Left on the gas' meaning

This is an excerpt from this article. (The annual conference at) Hong Kong will be momentous as much for what is approved as for what is turned down or left on the gas. Does 'left on the ...
2
votes
4answers
627 views

Synonym or short phrase for 'entablature'

I am not sure if this word has multiple meanings, but I am using it in an architectural context. Classical orders have distinctive columns with distinctive capitals. However, when I say each style ...
1
vote
1answer
429 views

More accurate terms for one-sided business information?

I like to use the term "one-sided" when I come across to very misleading, too much marketing or even wrong information in annual letters. My observations can be flawed so I am very hesitant to use ...
4
votes
3answers
702 views

“The me of the past”

When talking about one's self in the past, is "the me of the past" grammatically correct? I'm trying to make a sentence like this: The me of the past who was popular with girls, I'm jealous of ...
0
votes
1answer
641 views

“____ and me” versus “____ and I” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: When do I use “I” instead of “me?” Which is correct, “you and I” or “you and me”? While reading an article from a ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What does “Five times over!” mean here?

I came across a sentence while reading Newspaper and I'm wondering what does the sentence mean in this context. This news article completed with the sentence Five times over!. What does it mean ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views

Meaning of “shouldn't see one woman”: singular or multiple [closed]

In this example (no pun intended, of course): I shouldn't see one woman on Twitter today being that it's National Sandwich Day. Does it mean that I'm not likely to see any or just one woman?
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Is there a name for this kind of punny transference?

First came John Guare's play Six Degrees of Separation, which was later turned into a film. It was about the web of interconnections that binds all of humanity together. Later came the well known ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Word for “distance in time”

I need the correct English word for the German expression (zeitlicher) Abstand. Abstand means "distance", and zeitlich means "in time". The "distance" between building maintenance dates is about ...
3
votes
2answers
709 views

Meaning of “I've been doing this long enough to drink”

Here is the context I've been a software developer for twenty-one years -- among other things, that means I've been doing this long enough to drink! ;-) But seriously, though, I can't imagine ...
3
votes
3answers
346 views

Confused with Present Participle + Noun pattern, does the “copied file” refer to the “original file”?

Patterns: Past Participle + Noun In my understanding Past Participle + noun means the action applied to the noun as follows: He murdered a little girl = The little girl was murdered by him. The ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What does 'knee-jerk reaction' mean?

What does knee-jerk reaction mean? From NYT article: Another senior Socialist, who declined to be identified, said the party could not afford knee-jerk reactions.
1
vote
1answer
89 views

How do you call the fact of taking a personality test?

I am looking for a noun that represents the fact of a user taking a personality test. I was thinking about examination, but it sounds like education/certification. Context (unnecessary): My website ...
2
votes
1answer
745 views

How have British English U and non-U speech changed between the 1950s and now?

How have British English U and non-U speech changed between the 1950s and the present day?
1
vote
0answers
231 views

Word for trade name that has become synonymous with the proper term for an item? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a word/phrase for using a term for a popular special case instead of a generic term? As the title of this question indicates, I was wondering if there is a ...
11
votes
3answers
64k views

What is the difference between “Per year” and “Per annum”?

I know per annum is from Latin, but what are the real-world differences between these two phrases? Is one used in certain contexts and the other in other contexts?
3
votes
2answers
291 views

What is “petrololine”?

I received an email today, which seems to well and truly have done the rounds. It begins with the following: "I don't know what you guys are paying for Petrololine", and goes on to mention both Petrol ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a “dead ringer”?

Elena is a dead ringer for Katherine This means Elena looks exactly like Katherine... but what is a "dead ringer" and what does it have to do with it?
20
votes
8answers
21k views

Are there any expressions that describe going from a bad to a worse situation?

Are there idioms or expressions in English that describe going from one bad situation to one that's even worse? I heard "between a rock and hard place" but this describes a dilemma not really a ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

Why do we say “Japan earthquake” and not “Japanese earthquake”?

Isn’t earthquake a noun and the preceding word an adjective? Isn’t “Japanese” the adjectival form of “Japan”?
3
votes
4answers
3k views

What does “at best” signify in “this slowly becomes annoying at best”?

What does this mean: This slowly becomes annoying at best I cannot understand what the last two words of this phrase signify.
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Adding “re” prefix

Can all verbs have "re" attached to the front of the word? I play Scrabble with a friend who feels that in the English language you can put "re" in front on any verb, and not just the ones listed in ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the verb phrase “to save face” a calque of an Asian idea?

Is the verb phrase to save face a calque of an Asian idea? The reason I ask is that I'm not aware that the sense of the word face, as its being used there, is used with any other word than save, and ...

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