7
votes
3answers
323 views

Why isn't “ecliptic” a proper noun?

Why isn't ecliptic a proper noun? There is only one, and it has a name. Example (context): ... the true Sun is not always exactly on the ecliptic for a hypothetical observer at Earth's center, ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Pronouns: a word class or a subclass of nouns?

In the recently published ‘Oxford Modern English Grammar’, Bas Aarts classifies pronouns with nouns and not as a separate word class. In this, he follows the authors of ‘The Cambridge Grammar of the ...
3
votes
3answers
637 views

Can “Can you, please, help me” be followed by “as to which”?

Can "Can you, please help me" be followed by "as to which"? For example, Thanks for telling me which button on that website I need to click. Well, I clicked on the needed button, but what I ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

What does “morally important” mean?

I didn't understand the usage. What does it mean and when can we use it?
0
votes
4answers
2k views

“All X are not made equal” - ambiguous meaning?

A phrase commonly heard in English (at least informal English) is something like the following: Well, this car is good, but all cars are not made equal! This would be commonly understood by most ...
0
votes
2answers
771 views

All X are Y. Then Some Y is X? [closed]

I have the following statement: All the actors are girls. All the girls are beautiful. The conclusions are given below: Conclusions: 1)All the actors are beautiful. 2)Some girls are actors. My ...
3
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the meaning of 'this is not here'?

What is the meaning of the phrase "this is not here"? I saw this on a door in a John Lennon video and wonder if this is a Zen phrase or specific English usage.
9
votes
7answers
27k views

Difference between “socket” and “outlet”

While translating a technical document I began thinking about socket and outlet. It seems like they're mostly interchangeable. Is that correct? Or is there a difference between the two?
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What does Rick Perry’s “God uses broken people to reach a broken world" mean?

In the New York Times article of September 17 titled “Egghead and Blockheads,” Maureen Dowd introduces that GOP Presidential candidate, Rick Perry made light of his bad grades at Texas A&M in his ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How to use articles? When to use “a”, “an”, “the”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any simple rules for article usage (“a” vs “the” vs none) When should I use “a” vs “an”? Can anyone explain to me when and where to use ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What do you call a pair of words which would be meaningless without one of them?

I am referring to a set of words that wouldn't make sense if one word or the other was omitted. Like barbershop quartet, or Cyber Security. What do you exactly call this set of words?
5
votes
6answers
69k views

What does “Subject to” + verb mean?

I know it looks so naive but I don't really quite understand "subject to" + verb pattern. Such as : These computers are subject to change. What exactly does it mean?
1
vote
4answers
3k views

How many times do you have to do a thing before it becomes a tradition [closed]

I recently heard an advertisement proclaiming that Bar-B-Q was a tradition at a local bar/restaurant. This seemed a little ludicrous to us and we began discussing how many times a thing had to be done ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “self-deliverance” mean?

What does self-deliverance mean? What I don't get is, self-deliverance means different depending on a context used. I mainly hear the word in music but not sure what it means.
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Was the term “Knights of the Round” ever commonly used?

There's an arcade game by Capcom called Knights of the Round, whose name always piqued my interest. It's based on the Arthurian legend of the finding of the Holy Grail. During the game ending, the ...
1
vote
1answer
456 views

How to derive a noun or adective or adverb from “nya”? [closed]

In Russian network jargon there is adjective "няшный" (originating from anime fandom's "nya"). It is somewhat related to "kawaii" (cute) or "nice", but not the same. However in English any attempts ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

What is a good word to describe a large geographical area [closed]

What is a good word (or a phrase) to describe a large, extensive geographical area, spanning several regions? I am not looking to use this in a particular context, but to help in conceptualizing a ...
6
votes
4answers
20k views

Synonymity of “is that so” and “really”

Do these have the same meaning? Oh is that so? Oh really?
0
votes
1answer
586 views

Is that a correct usage of present perfect?

What do you think about this sentence? Do you have bought the lesson book? Is that a correct usage of "Do you have bought"? Or should I say "Did you buy"?
2
votes
2answers
380 views

Usage of verb “hang”

I'm reading a grammar book. The book has a section to determine the right subject and verb. In an example they use From the ceiling hung the chandelier. Well, the verb is hung, and the subject ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

A word for someone trying to make people underestimate him

If someone is trying to make people underestimate him for some purpose, what would be a word for this kind of person or action?
0
votes
1answer
519 views

Is it possible to use the verb “torture” in a figurative sense?

Is it possible to use the verb "torture" in a tropical sense? I mean not in a physical sense. For example: Linda: "So what? Did you see Jack?" Tom: "Yes" Linda: "So did you talk to him ...
8
votes
4answers
14k views

What is the implication of “eye of the storm”?

I was confused by the following sentence found in this post: French bank shares, which have been in the eye of the storm, recovered sharply (BNP Paribas was up 13% on the day while Société ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Can someone please explain this pun?

There's a sentence that I keep reading over and over, and I can't quite grasp what's so funny about it. Perhaps, it isn't funny. Or perhaps, there's a meaning of a word in the sentence that I don't ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Is “gilded” usually associated with gold as an element or as a colour?

I know that gilded means covered or highlighted with gold or something of a golden color So it can be associated both with gold as a chemical element or just the colour. Some situations might ...
4
votes
3answers
769 views

In which way is /dɑːtə/ more formal than /deɪtə/?

Wiktionary lists two different UK pronunciations of data: /deɪtə/ (UK, US) /dɑːtə/ (Australia, UK formal) Under what kind of circumstances would the /ɑː/ sound be used? Which ...
3
votes
7answers
7k views

Do “asymmetric” and “dissymmetric” have different meaning?

I get that usually a- (or un-) and di- prefixes mean different things, e.g. uninterested and disinterested. However, both asymmetric and dissymmetric refer to the lack of symmetry (which the NOAD ...
-2
votes
1answer
3k views

In the classic old cowboy song, “I Ride an Old Paint”, what are the meanings of the terms, “fiery” and “snuffy”? [closed]

In the classic old cowboy song, "I Ride an Old Paint", what are the meanings of the terms fiery and snuffy, in the chorus? Ride around little dogies, ride around them slow / For the fiery and ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What are the pros and cons of learning English from movies and radio? [closed]

I dedicate one to two hours each day to learning English. I'm focusing on listening and speaking (and improving my accent, of course). I want to know what the pros and cons are of learning English ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

“1 out of 100 chickens is” or “1 out of 100 chickens are”?

I'm in an argument. To me "are" makes more sense. I understand the rationale for is because it's only one chicken, but chickens itself is plural. Help?
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Shotgun and front seats in the car

What does "calling shotgun" have to do with reservation of a seat near the car driver?
6
votes
4answers
21k views

Difference between “instantly” and “instantaneously”

Is there a case in which "instantaneously" can be used in which "instantly" cannot? If not, why does the former exist? If so, what are the circumstances dictating that usage?
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Is ‘Not a peep’ an idiom, or just plain statement?

I found a phrase ‘not a peep,’ in the Washington Post’s article (September 16) written by Eugene Robinson, which was captioned “Where are the compassionate conservatives?” In the article, Robinson ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

A word for “I am here!”

I will try to explain it as much as I can, so please bear with me. I am looking for a word which means/implies "I am here" but not for humans, please consider the sentence below: Using "...
1
vote
3answers
15k views

What's the difference between “I am busy right now” and “I am busy at the moment”?

What's the difference between "I am busy right now" and "I am busy at the moment"? I mean, is there any shades in meaning that would be implied in one, but not not in the other phrase?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Context to distinguish “we” inclusive versus exclusive [closed]

In English, "we" has no clusivity - context is needed to determine whether it means we-including-you or we-excluding-you. What context can a speaker provide to disambiguate without sounding awkward? ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Is “of which” a proper way to begin a relative clause? [closed]

Germany is subdivided into 16 (federal) states, of which Bavaria is the largest. The thing is that my dictionary is not perfectly clear about this, i.e. there is no direct translation available. ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

How do you pronounce “GUI”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pronunciation of GUI in British English The question is in the title. How do you pronounce the word "GUI"? (Graphical User Interface). Some of my colleagues call it "Guy". ...
0
votes
3answers
24k views

“I understand you” vs “I do understand you” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference in meaning between “I play” and “I do play”? What is the difference between "I understand you" and "I do understand you", and ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

“A classmate and I was” vs “A classmate and I were”

I'm writing a resume right now targeted towards a specific company. My girlfriend (a classmate) and I were (see, I don't know if that's the right word, hence this question!) the first from our school ...
2
votes
1answer
706 views

What is the proper (practical/efficient) way to analyze a sentence?

One is given the sample sentence: The fat blind man ran from the dog. What are the procedural steps to deduce the subject and predicate from the sentence? What are the general steps to ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Using exclamation points as part of a brand name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)? I am editing a text about a product whose name contains an exclamation point as the final ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the expression “to float someone's boat” possible outside of “Whatever floats your boat”?

According to the Urban Dictionary, the expression "whatever floats your boat" means [...] whatever "soothes your soul" or whatever "works best" Aka- Whatever you feel like doing. Is it possible ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Getting to the bottom of common nouns

What would you call a noun which lives at the very bottom of a hierarchy of common/proper nouns? For example, say we have the proper noun "Regent Street". The common noun is "Street", which is a ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Which is grammatically correct: “Let he who…” or “Let him who…”

Let he who believes in this prophet speak now what he knows. Let him who believes in this prophet speak now what he knows.
2
votes
6answers
271 views

“Know your customers' needs before they even…” - “talk” or “speak”?

What's the best word for that phrase? "talk" or "speak"? "Know your customers' needs before they even talk." or "Know your customers' needs before they even speak." The idea is to say "before they ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

A positive alternative to “smelling” to describe something with a pleasant odor

When one hears that something smells, one would generally assume that it smells bad. Isn't there a word which wouldn't bring to mind the idea of a bad odor? For example, how would you describe pot-...
7
votes
2answers
348 views

To lose someone something

A headline today reads UBS Says Rogue Trader Lost Firm $2 Billion In Unauthorized Dealing. Apparently, the meaning is that because of this trader, UBS lost $2 Billion. Yet, the headline somehow ...
0
votes
1answer
924 views

What does 'for such actions as …' mean?

Anyone can help to explain the meaning of for such actions as ... please? It's from the following context. Even when automatic archiving is enabled, you can use manual archiving for such actions ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

A word for when a word is used incorrectly (grammatically) but can still be parsed in a grammatically correct way?

Does such a word exist? An example: Do good. Supposing that my intention in saying "Do good!" was actually "Do well (on your test)!", the sentence still parses correctly as "Do good (deeds)!" I ...

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