3
votes
0answers
84 views

How to use “my” correctly in a plural possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “my wife and I's” correct, or should it be “my wife's and my”? Are the following sentences grammatically correct? If not, how should I ...
0
votes
0answers
111 views

What is the origin of the term “nose bleed” section? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the reason for calling cheap seats at the theatre nosebleed seats? When referring to the section of the stadium farthest from the stage/field, it is not uncommon ...
1
vote
6answers
10k views

Is “am going” a verb phrase?

What part of a sentence is the phrase "am going", as in "I am going to pray"?
3
votes
2answers
12k views

How did “heart” come to refer to the shape? [closed]

When and why was this first called a heart? As far as I can tell, the biological heart does not appear to bear it much resemblance.
1
vote
1answer
662 views

Does “end up with something” always mean possession? (Harry Potter spoilers)

Does "end up with an object" always mean possession? Can it possibly mean destruction? Here is the context. Source: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling. Characters: Harry Potter,...
4
votes
2answers
282 views

Was “oop” really more common than “oops” till 1990?

Ngrams shows a marked preference for oop over oops up until 1990: Is Ngrams to be trusted here? Is it strange that I've never seen oop in writing? Even Dictionary.com doesn't have anything more ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Why do we refer to the floors of buildings as stories?

Why do we refer to the floors of buildings as stories? Example: I live up on the sixth story.
8
votes
2answers
8k views

In reply to “Do they have…”, which is correct — “yes, they do” or “yes, they have”?

My daughter is in an 5th grade English class in Germany with a teacher who teaches British English. The teacher asked what is the correct response to Do they have some? My daughter, who has ...
7
votes
4answers
45k views

One for the money, two for the show

What does the expression [x] for the money mean? I remember hearing the topic title in a rap song (can’t remember which, might be Eminem), and there seem to be movies named after this pattern: ...
16
votes
5answers
15k views

How should I address a professor in the US?

I am always puzzled about how students address a professor in America. Perhaps "Professor + Last name" is the most formal way to do. Here are my questions: What if the last name of a professor is ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Use of “compensate” to mean “help pay cost”

Is using compensate correct in this context? We are appealing for your help. We've found a great deal for a software solution we want to teach our kids and it costs 1000 dollars and your ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Proper Apostrophe Usage with Initialisms: CCS' or CCS's?

I work with a company whose name is frequently reduced to an initialism (acronym). Let's say the name is "Cool Computer Systems" (CCS). I am engaged in an ongoing, bloody battle with the marketing ...
0
votes
4answers
947 views

Use of ' to indicate missing letters/text

You can write this ol' man 'ere when you mean this old man here But can the ' be used to indicate whole missing sentence parts? For example: 'been a pleasure! for It's been a ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Capitalize first words in a list? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Capitalization for a bullet list When using a list, like this: first item second item third item should the first word in each item be capitalized? I.e., is this better ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a word for “not pronouncing any r's”?

Some find it difficult to form an "r" sound, and some are able to, but just don't. I'm looking for a word which means "not pronouncing r's", without implying inability to pronounce them, though that ...
4
votes
7answers
3k views

What’s “maiden name” all about?

I was pondering the term maiden name when talking with British English speakers recently. They don’t seem to have that term. So my question is two-fold: Is there another term for maiden name, ...
2
votes
3answers
630 views

What does “edgy beat” mean?

Ólafur Arnalds mixes strings and piano with loops and edgy beats crossing-over from classical to pop. What does the writer mean by saying edgy beats? Does the writer mean it's not exactly classical, ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

“Software craftsman” as complimentary term for programmer

Is software craftsman a complimentary term for a programmer or is it just neutral?
4
votes
3answers
362 views

Is this usage of “woo” proper?

John doesn't actively participate in class discussion, unlike his classmates. He thinks they act a bit overly and he doesn't like to woo the teachers. Woo has two meanings: Try to gain ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“A wrong answer” vs “the wrong answer”

In English, when presented with a list (real or imagined) or answers that could be given to a question, and the correct one is not given, we will say that somebody has given "the wrong answer". ...
1
vote
3answers
380 views

Origin of “world-weary”

As a non native speaker, I thought that the words world weary referred to someone who carries the world on his/her shoulder or someone who wears/puts on the world. Then I noticed that the word weary ...
2
votes
3answers
86 views

Is it always possible to say ‘he was (time) in doing’ instead of ‘it took him (time) to do’?

I’m not so familiar with the expression ‘he was (time) in doing’, but it seems to be used here and there and obviously mean ‘it took him (time) to do. When would you want to use the phrase? Are they ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“Reseller” or “re-seller”?

Which spelling is correct — reseller or re-seller? I was writing a question on another Stack Exchange site, and I wrote reseller, but the editor underlined that as an incorrect spelling. Microsoft ...
2
votes
2answers
646 views

“Into” vs “in to” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa? Google Support: Visit Google.com. Search for NS lookup. Select a search ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the words that can't exist without their prefix or suffix? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What do you call words that look like a negation but are not? I found these poor orphaned words that only exist through the life-giving quality of their affix: feckless, ...
4
votes
3answers
653 views

A word encompassing both an IP address and the port used? [closed]

For example, if I were to connect to a service with the following address: 68.146.63.194:3609 Is there a word for this type of address? I suppose I could call it just a generic address but I was ...
12
votes
7answers
6k views

What do you call the body of water into which a river flows?

For example, the Nile flows into the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean is therefore the Nile's ____. Edit: I'm looking for a way to name the Mediterranean in relation to the Nile. The Nile is one of ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Origin of “milady”

Until a few months ago, I had always assumed this was "my lady". Is this anything more than an odd contraction of "my lady"? I couldn't find much on the etymology of this.
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“A number of programs” vs. “several programs”

I am always confused between "a number of programs" and "several programs" for saying "many programs". Google Ngrams show that both are widely used terms. Could someone tell me which one should be ...
9
votes
3answers
903 views

Pronoun immediately following its antecedent

Is placing a pronoun immediately after its antecedent in a sentence valid grammar? Is there a term for this construction? Some examples are: President Obama, he gave a speech last night. The ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Comma before “and”

I read this sentence on an educational website: Now times have changed and you are ready for situations involving forces in two dimensions. Shouldn't there be a comma before and, since the ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

Is “uncomplete” a word? [closed]

Or would I just use incomplete? Would there be any instance that one would uncomplete?
3
votes
2answers
716 views

Letter-writing tone as perceived by other nationalities

A question that has been bugging me for quite a while was raised by some communication between my employer and a partner organisation based in Dubai. It turned out that more than once, it's been ...
1
vote
0answers
118 views

Ending sentences with “etc” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When “etc.” is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it? What is the proper way to end a sentence with "etc."? Should there be two periods or ...
0
votes
1answer
815 views

Is this usage of “now” correct?

Consider this piece of a poem: Crouched at the elder's feet, the knight Now kissed his hand in exultation. The world before his eyes turned bright, Forgot his spirit's sore vexation....
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Using “to fix” as synonym of “to correct”

I often encounter the usage of "to fix" verb in the meaning "to correct". Was this a widespread use before the computer age? How would you conduct the other meaning of "to fix", i.e. to make ...
2
votes
1answer
268 views

Double 'not' in questions - how is it correct?

Suppose the following sentence: "Aren't the headers not covered by copyright?" Is this sentence correct?
19
votes
14answers
12k views

What do you call a person who is easily replaced?

I was thinking "interchangeable", but isn't really used on people. How do you describe someone who is easily replaced by another person. The implied connotation is that they have no inherent ...
0
votes
6answers
2k views

Alternatives to the term “crash course”

I am trying to find alternatives to the term crash course, in reference to a training session that intends to get you started with a topic quickly.
1
vote
2answers
8k views

What are the adjective counterparts for “sense” and “sensibility”?

What are the adjective counterparts for "sense" and "sensibility" as in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility? Would the one for "sensibility" be "sensible"? What is the one for "sense"? Does it have ...
22
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the antonym of the prefix retro-?

A coworker and I are discussing the word "retromingent", which means urinating backwards. We are wondering what the opposite would be: the word that means urinating forwards. What is the opposite of ...
7
votes
1answer
57k views

“Canceling” or “cancelling” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is “L” doubled? I'm confused about the two spellings. In which contexts do I have to use canceling or cancelling? Google returns 15.6 million results with ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Where and what is the well those cheap drinks come from?

In the U.S. when someone orders a 'well drink' they are typically intending to order a drink (i.e. "vodka tonic, well") with the cheapest of the liquor the bar has available Where did the "well" ...
0
votes
2answers
340 views

Structure of title

If the title of a book is in two parts and the parts are separated by a colon, which is the main part and which is the optional or dependent part. An example of such a title is "The Quest for ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Can last names be shortened just as first names?

I know first names are usually shortened in verbal communication for reasons that I am not clear about. For example, Andrew becomes Andy. But is it also the case for last names? If yes, what is the ...
2
votes
2answers
740 views

“I've decided not to leave A.I. Town” versus “I've decided to not leave A.I. Town” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Order of “not” with infinitive Last month I decided to change my residence and shift to another town. After some days, due to some reasons, I cancelled my ...
0
votes
4answers
5k views

Meaning of “cavorting with various women”

I've heard of the expression cavorting with various women. Apparently, Google says the original expression is cavorting with the enemy, but I take that the definition is slightly different then. What ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of “whiffling and waffling”

I heard the expression whiffling and waffling all over the place but can't find a definition for it. Maybe it's a misspelling. What does it mean?
2
votes
5answers
106k views

Where does the phrase “on the lam” come from?

According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, lam means: "flight," as in on the lam, 1897, from a U.S. slang verb meaning "to run off" (1886), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow from the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Usage of “than”

Buying on margin means borrowing money from a broker to buy more securities than can be purchased with one's own money alone. I was wondering if than in the above example is a conjunction or ...

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