-5
votes
3answers
485 views

Is there a synonym for laziness or procrastination [closed]

...that starts with the letter 'w', 'h', or 'e'? I'm in desperate need of such a word to fit the essay I'm writing :D
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “get somebody off the couch” a well-established idiom?

I found the phrase, “get (sb.) off the couch” in the headline of the article of Time.com (June 24) and also in a caption of YouTube. Each reads: Jobless graduates: Six ways to get your kid off the ...
7
votes
3answers
47k views

What's the difference between these names of moving water?

What is the difference between these forms of moving water? Creek Brook Stream River Are there other forms of moving water that I am missing?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

When a question is followed by a bulleted list, where does the question mark go?

Where do I put the question mark when I want to ask about a list of items? For example: Should we mention other books by Charles Dickens, such as: A Tale of Two Cities: a novel describing ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

“Sites like Facebook do/does use …”

When I am talking about plural ("Sites"), should I use does or do? In case I'm talking in plural, I should use "do". But "like Facebook", is singular. So which one is correct?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“I would have a car, which would ALLOW me to take myself from point A to point B faster”

Is there such a sentence with "s" ("which allows me to ....")? I'm talking about myself, it means I'm talking in first person (singular)
4
votes
2answers
654 views

How do I correctly pluralize acronyms? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? Plural form of the acronym LASER I was just writing an email asking a supervisor about downloading multiple ...
1
vote
1answer
241 views

I want to use the suffix -orama with rate (rating)

So, I've seen the suffix -arama, but I am also used to -orama, which is the correct to use along 'rate'? souce: ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

'Conscribed' vs 'conscripted'

I'm wondering about the usage of the words 'conscript' and 'conscribe' in terms of the meaning they share. I went to use the word 'conscripted' as in "conscripted for duty", and the word 'conscribe' ...
5
votes
4answers
17k views

“Me being” versus “my being” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gerund preceded by possessive pronoun (e.g. “He resents your being more popular than he is”) Until a few months ago, I had always thought that sentences like ...
3
votes
3answers
353 views

Usage of 'customs' in lieu of 'immigration'

Over at the Travel SE beta (it's in private beta so I'm not sure how many here will be able to access it), I came across a question whether the OP uses "clearance through US Customs" when I'm ...
29
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the origin of “daemon” with regards to computing?

Daemon has an interesting usage in computing. From my local dictionary: a background process that handles requests for services such as print spooling and file transfers, and is dormant when not ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

When should single quotes be used? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the Difference in Usage Between Using Single and Two Quotation Marks/Inverted Commas? I know that they are used inside double quotes for a quotation within a ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Please use other door?

"Please use other door" signs are common. But would you ever say this? Or would you say "please use the other door"?
2
votes
5answers
340 views

What do you say when you want to express that the only hope is gone?

I want to use the phase "ray of hope". But I'm talking of the situation when earlier it was there but not anymore. Do I say "killed the only ray of hope" or "doused the only ray of hope" or "take away ...
2
votes
5answers
270 views

What's the opposite of 'formless'?

In some meditative traditions, there are absorption states called jhanas. Four of them are formless jhanas - jhanas without form - and four of them are jhanas with form. Is there a word corresponding ...
6
votes
6answers
13k views

Where did 'love someone to the bones' come from?

Where did the expression 'love someone to the bones' come from? And is the meaning 'love someone too much' correct for that?
4
votes
7answers
2k views

“I'm only grandfathering you in because of Serena.”

In Gossip Girl Season 4 Episode 19 "Petty in pink," Blair says the following sentence to Serena's cousin Charlie after she tried to explain to both of them about her plan. I'm only grandfathering ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Ellipses at the end of unfinished lists

After reading a question wrongly posted on programmers.SE and especially the post at PR Daily quoted in one of the answers, I have some doubts about the usage of ellipses. In French, ellipses are ...
10
votes
5answers
9k views

Where does “on one's last legs” come from?

To be on one's last legs means to be worn out, tired, run down, and ready to die or otherwise cease working. Some examples I've found are Grandfather is on his last legs. He'll be on his way to ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of [to be] + had

While discussing What does "I was had" mean? I've found there are some not so common usages of had in English like: I have/had been had (meaning "to get fooled") but further Google ...
3
votes
2answers
14k views

“That hurts” or “that hurt”?

I checked on the Internet, it's all out there, sometimes it is "That hurt" and sometimes it's "That hurts", so which one is correct?
5
votes
4answers
153 views

Use of “it” in titles

Is the following question title grammatical or not, despite some missing articles? Way of obtaining Chomsky normalform, does it influence performance of CYK parser? P.S.: is there an English ...
12
votes
4answers
18k views

What are the origins of the word “nice”?

The word "nice" tends to be used in rather a wishy-washy sense these days. In general use it tends to mean anything that is satisfactory. But what are the origins of this word? What did it originally ...
1
vote
3answers
71k views

Difference between “then” and “than” [closed]

I am having difficulty trying to distingush between then and than. What I find confusing is their pronunciation, and when to use them. For example: He walked, stopped, than/then picked up a ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

What does “I was had” mean?

Maybe he would help me with Deborah's pablum, take turns pushing the wheelchair. It's good to have someone. That reminded me that I had someone -- or perhaps I was had. In any case, Rita would ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Should we avoid using words that have alternate offensive meaning [closed]

There are many English words that could be used to refer to something innocent that also has a common slang meaning, such as pussy, ass, bitch, etc. For convenience' sake, should we avoid using ...
6
votes
10answers
3k views

A far away place

Is there an English idiomatic expression to indicate a place which is very far away from the speaker's location? Something like in the middle of nowhere but not necessarily implying that the ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“It did the job” meaning

Does it mean "it could be better but is ok" (small disappointment), or "it really worked!" (surprise and content)? Depends on the context? Also, is there a difference between "That did the job" and ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

“What were you thinking…”

I want to ask about what emotion motivated someone to do something. Can the phrase "what were you thinking when you..." be used for this? It seems kind of unnatural to ask, "what were you feeling when ...
1
vote
2answers
337 views

What does “bar hate” mean?

The controversial law will also bar hate speech and harassment. What does it mean in the example above?
1
vote
4answers
5k views

Electronic or electronics for the adjective

Is it correct to say "electronics products" or "electronic products"?
3
votes
3answers
891 views

Word for “on this side of the ocean”

I'm looking for a word akin to 'cismontane' that refers to oceans or seas. Does this exist?
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Where does “otay” come from?

I've heard a few people (all native English speakers) recently use "otay" in place of "okay", both in writing and when speaking. Where does that word come from? For that matter, is it a word at all? ...
9
votes
4answers
19k views

What are alternative responses for when someone sneezes?

Question: What is an appropriate English response to reply when someone nearby sneezes? Background: I am American by birth, and was raised to respond 'God Bless You' when someone sneezes -- though I ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is rose up here, and what does it mean “out of it”? And pantomime demon

He never finished what he was going to say for at that moment something happened. The high-backed chair in front of the fire moved suddenly and there rose up out of it - like a pantomime ...
2
votes
3answers
316 views

Meaning of “my fool of a sister can't get at you”

Another phrase/sentence I don't understand from Narnia Book 1 Magician's Nephew: Digory was quite speechless, for Uncle Andrew looked a thousand times more alarming than he had ever looked before. ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

What's a Denver accent sound like?

I'm trying to learn to imitate the accent of someone from a slummy area of Denver (for a roleplaying game). Info on different local accents is welcome; a sound bite would be especially useful. If you ...
1
vote
1answer
228 views

'where they would all' vs 'where they all would'?

I just read this but it didn't sound too natural to me: ... trying to predict where they would all end up. Maybe I'm wrong here but I thought that, in this case, all is changing they, so I'd ...
0
votes
3answers
691 views

Which symbols can I use as shorthands to convey specific meanings?

For example, "/" (slash) can be used to mean "or" for two things that are interchangeable: I am taking my car/automobile to meet with my date/girlfriend. Are there other symbols like this that ...
0
votes
3answers
207 views

Is “driving the reins” used as a deliberately erroneous phrase?

In her blog post introducing Blog Overflow, the estimable Rebecca Chernoff committed the following, uh, sentence: Have someone driving the reigns. After cringing (read: screaming in pain) and ...
20
votes
16answers
21k views

What is a synonym for “girlfriend”?

I'm in my mid 40s and dating this lady of a similar vintage. I am trying to find a good word to describe our relationship, but "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" seems inappropriate for us. It reminds me of ...
-3
votes
2answers
28k views

“can hardly” vs. “can't hardly” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Can hardly wait” versus “can't hardly wait” These two seem to be opposites of each other because of the additional "not" in one of them. ...
2
votes
5answers
8k views

'Shelled' vs. 'deshelled'

Are they interchangeable? Do they really mean the same thing in this context? As in the sentences: I really enjoy these already shelled pistachios. I really enjoy these already deshelled ...
0
votes
4answers
451 views

What is the meaning of “drains” in here?

"I expect someone lives there in secret, only coming in and out at night, with a dark lantern. We shall probably discover a gang of desperate criminals and get a reward. It's all rot to say a house ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

“can hardly” vs. “there's no way”

Does "can hardly" mean the same thing as "there's no way?" I can hardly ____________ There's no way I can _______ Do these two mean the same thing? What's the difference, if any?
2
votes
3answers
882 views

What is the difference between a catch and a handle?

What is the difference between a catch and a handle? Ain't they the same thing? But here it said they got no handle but a catch: It was very dark and dusty and draughty and they stepped from ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “all rot” mean in here?

I expect someone lives there in secret, only coming in and out at night, with a dark lantern. We shall probably discover a gang of desperate criminals and get a reward. It's all rot to ...
2
votes
3answers
218 views

Can the word 'aggregation' be used to mean a collection of people?

I'm wondering if one can use the word "aggregation" to mean a team or a collaboration of sorts, or even a certain collection of individuals in general, not just objects. Any thoughts?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Understanding appositives and the use of the m-dash ( — )

My understanding of a dash is that it sets off a lengthy appositive, but can also be used to introduce a summary. Consider the following passage from Stephan Jay Gould: If evolution worked ...

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