7
votes
2answers
709 views

Do the German 'von' and English 'from' share the same root?

I was wondering whether von and from shared the same common root. They do have a quite close meaning, and the pronunciation sounds similiar too. EDIT I had already looked at the relative Wiktionary ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Should “the” precede “word”?

What is the rule on using articles in front of "word"? For example: Please remove the word "judge" from your vocabulary.
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Which is clearer: “Achieved on 50 days” vs. “achieved 50 times”?

One explanation: Hit the daily reputation cap on 50 days Another explanation: Hit the daily reputation cap 50 times Which is clearer between the two? Which is more prone to lead to ...
17
votes
4answers
8k views

How long has the f-word been in use as an abusive term?

When was the f-word 'invented'? Who invented it? Has it always had the derogatory meaning that it does today. Is it a recent invention?
0
votes
1answer
448 views

What is “dismal”?

I've struggled with this word for about 2 years (no joke). Every time I see it, I look it up, kind of understand what it means in that context, and then gleefully forget. Please help me understand ...
0
votes
2answers
269 views

About the word 'finite'

Everything is transient and finite, existing in the medium of time What's the finite thing? Do you agree with it?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How to interpret this kind of sentence?

I have a question related to an example sentence below. I always have slight doubt in interpreting sentences which have this kind of clauses being connected. Consider this sentence: The book ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How to pronounce “E = mc²”

How do we pronounce E = mc²? This is a physics equation.
2
votes
4answers
410 views

Is “What is bounty?” grammatically correct?

Jeff Atwood argues that "What is bounty?" is correct here, but is this really the case?
17
votes
6answers
35k views

Cell phone? Cell? Mobile phone? What's the “correct” term?

What's that type of phone called that you don't need a cable for and you can use everywhere in the world (provided there's coverage ;-))? And what differences are there between the regions? ...
3
votes
6answers
5k views

“I have no money on my cell phone account” or “my cellphone is out of money” or how?

Situation: Soon you will not be able to use your cell phone because you almost have no money left on your cell phone account. How would a native English speaker quickly and naturally describe this ...
2
votes
5answers
11k views

“I have no charge on my cellphone” or “my cellphone is out of charge”?

Situation: The batteries in your cellphone are running out of charge. How would a native English speaker quickly and naturally describe this situation?
1
vote
7answers
29k views

“Commitment” vs. “dedication”

I use both interchangeably. What's the difference?
5
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the difference between “subscription” and “membership”?

A friend of mine is trying to coin the correct English word for the people paying for his company's services. My initial choice was "subscriptions", but I'm not so sure about "membership". Do you ...
6
votes
3answers
482 views

Writing “A , so B, so C…” for series of implications

Is it correct to write A, so B, so C... to represent a series of implications? For example, He is sick, so he is on leave, so you have to do his work, so you cannot leave now, so please let her ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

“Should” versus “would”

The NOAD reports the following notes about should and would: The traditional rule is that should is used with first person pronouns (I and we), as in I said I should be late, and would is used ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

What does “pray” mean in phrases like “pray proceed”?

Is this an archaic form of "please proceed"? I have never heard in in speech but sometimes it appears in novels. My version of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" is full of it, apparently in place of ...
8
votes
2answers
20k views

Is “should” ever used as past tense of “shall”?

Looking at the dictionary, I read that should has origin as past tense of shall. In the modern English, is should ever used as past tense of shall? ORIGIN Old English sceolde: past of shall.
2
votes
1answer
127 views

“used word” or “word used”?

The word used in that context should be gusto. The used word is wrong. Is it correct to place used after word? When should I use word used, and when used word?
5
votes
2answers
17k views

Usage of “neither . . . nor” versus “not . . . or”

First, this is not a dupe of: "Not bad either" versus "not bad neither" nor a dupe of: "Neither Michael nor Albert is correct" or "Neither Michael nor Albert are ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “a friend of his” a used phrase?

I know that a friend of mine is a used phrase, but is the phrase also used with other personal possessive adjectives? I met a friend of his.
3
votes
6answers
279 views

How would someone who needs to read a story from A to Z be qualified?

When I'm beginning to watch a movie, or read a book, I tend to want to watch or read the whole story through, even if it is a story of questionable quality or if I know the end. And I don't want to ...
34
votes
6answers
21k views

Why is “primer” pronounced with a short “i” sound?

This word—used to mean an elementary textbook, not a painting material—annoys me to no end. Does anyone know why, exactly, "primer" is pronounced with a short "i" sound? I don't know why, call it ...
5
votes
1answer
220 views

Is there a technical term for the degeneration or evolution of words?

Based on this question, I was curious if there is an actual term that describes how words' meanings change or become deprecated over time.
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Question directed to someone or at someone?

That question was directed at Sasha OR That question was directed to Sasha what is the difference?
6
votes
7answers
14k views

Is the expression “may or may not” semantically void?

I personally have a hard time accepting the use of "may or may not." To me, it seems as if "may" and "may not" effectively cancel each other out, so the semantics of the sentence in which it appears ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is the correct usage of “Diagnose (verb)” losing its ground?

In spite of many references on the correct usage of ”Diagnose”, usage of passive construction followed by a with-phrase – e.g. “The patient was diagnosed with cancer” — and usage of patient as object ...
8
votes
6answers
13k views

Definite article before schools, colleges, and universities

Is the always used before the name of a school, college, or university?
1
vote
1answer
412 views

What does “to smack of one of your gags” mean?

Here is the full sentence: This whole story is starting to smack of one of your gags.
2
votes
3answers
13k views

What is the difference between engagement and promise?

If I have a previous appointment, what can I say instead of appointment? Previous engagement? Promise? And I wonder exactly what they both mean. (I thought they were similar.)
13
votes
5answers
47k views

What is the correct usage of “vis-à-vis”?

I hear people use the term vis-à-vis all the time in place of what I believe should more correctly be for example or that is. What is the most generally accepted correct and appropriate use of ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What does ‘ticket to oblivion’ mean? Is this a frequently used phrase?

I found a phrase – ‘Ticket to Oblivion’ in today’s Washington Post article titled ‘State of the Union ‘response’ often a mixed-blessing for the responder.’ I understand this phrase refers to ...
3
votes
2answers
592 views

Why does “The Punisher” get an article in his name and “Spiderman” doesn't?

Why not Punisher vs. The Spider-man ? Is the word "the" used however we feel like? Could I call them "Punisher" and "The Spider-man"?
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Is a whole cake still a “piece”

If someone eats an entire cake, is it correct to say that he ate just a piece of cake? Can a whole cake still be considered a piece of cake if consumed in one sitting?
2
votes
3answers
416 views

Which is correct: “Grails” or “The Grails”?

Should it be Grails has integration with jUnit or The Grails has integration with jUnit If the correct answer is the one without the "The", then why? P.S. (The) Grails is an open source ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

What is “hoolihan” in “Old Paint” song?

Lyric is: I ride an old paint, I lead an old dan I'm goin' to Montana to throw the hoolihan They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw Their tails are all matted, their ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

Style Question: Use of “we” vs. “I” vs. passive voice in a dissertation

As I'm not a native speaker and just finishing my dissertation in Computer Science, I wonder what style I should be using. In German (my native tongue) most dissertations, school-books and scientific ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What are “modal-verbs”?

Are they the same as the "verbs-of-being" I was forced to painstakingly memorizetaught in Middle School? I.e. Be Am Is Are Was Were Being Been Have Has Had Shall Will May Can Might Could Should ...
0
votes
3answers
370 views

Somebody has posted a link to my profile in twitter. Could you tell me what he wants to say?

This guy posted a link to my profile on Twitter, could you tell me what he wants to say?
0
votes
1answer
232 views

relevant to+dependent on a specific place, situation or condition

context sensitive? i.e. 'provide a set of solutions through _ mediums'
27
votes
3answers
45k views

“All but” idiom has two meanings?

Here's two ways I've seen the "all, but" idiom used: "Close all tabs but this one" (Any modern application with a number of tabs might have this as an option.) It means "close all the tabs, but not ...
8
votes
6answers
78k views

Is 'hair' singular or plural?

When one says I was washing my hair, is it singular or plural? What is the singular for hair?
3
votes
5answers
2k views

When to use “GOP” versus “Republican Party”

I've read lots of professional articles that use the two terms interchangeably, sometimes within the same paragraph. Are the two terms really semantically identical? In formal writing, are there any ...
2
votes
1answer
749 views

Synonym: Medium or soothsayer

I don't know if many of you watched the new Matt Damon movie Hereafter. Near the end of the movie, the little boy who lost his twin brother meets Matt Damon in the Book reading room, and says ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the plural of “copy” when applied to the output of copywriters?

If a Copywriter produces several articles for printing, what are his works collectively known as? I feel the answer is not copies as this would indicate it is several articles reproduced from an ...
-5
votes
3answers
1k views

“Do you know where I might find them” VS “Do you know where I may find them” [closed]

What is the difference among the following questions: Do you know where I might find them? vs Do you know where I may find them? vs Do you know where I could find them? vs Do you ...
1
vote
2answers
229 views

Verb agreement in the sentence

Every morning right after I went to the bathroom, I tell myself In the sentence above should went and tell agree? Is above correct?
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Indefinite article in the “An [adjective] [number] [plural noun]” construction

I wasn't sure how best to phrase the title of this question. I'm interested in constructions of the following form: An estimated 50 people died in the bombing. 'An estimated' could be ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Position of adverb 'globally' in sentence and meaning of sentence

Please help me make sense of this sentence with regards to 'globally'. In the global arena, xxxxxx has been described as the solution to the challenges facing the commodities market globally ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What do you call the process immediately after peeing?

Despite a provoking title, I am looking for a word, phrase or eloquent sentence to describe the process a male performs after taking a piss, that is, shaking off remaining pee off the tip of his ...

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