5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did Australian English change from spelling words like 'honor' to 'honour'?

I know there are other questions comparing the US and UK usage of o and ou in words like colour. My question is specifically in regard to Australian English. I was always taught that here in Australia ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What is it called when a non-verb is used as a verb?

This is in very common use on the internet. I just read this: "[The] hotel employee walks in, I say "uh, puppy" and she just NOPEd the [heck] out of the room." This is often done by adding 'd to ...
3
votes
3answers
284 views

Meaning of quintuple-quote punctuation: '' ' ''

In a book my daughter is reading, I found the following usage of the unfamiliar symbols: But those words dont help. So I reach over, wipe away his tear with the side of my thumb, and say the only ...
1
vote
3answers
15k views

Proper way to say you haven't met someone

What options are there to politely say you haven't met someone yet? For example if you have a common acquaintance online who asks if you know each other. "I haven't had the pleasure to meet him yet" ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Difference between “notable” and “noteworthy”

Which would be more appropriate in this case? I currently do not have any affiliation that would be notable in the context of this election I currently do not have any affiliation that would ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

“Support team lead” or “support team leader”

Which is correct: support team lead or support team leader? I think team leader should be correct since leader is a persona while lead looks more like a verb. But I see some multinational companies ...
2
votes
2answers
351 views

Correct meaning of paraphrase

I've always understood paraphrase to mean the repeat a quote without using the exact words. However, recently I've seen increasing use of the word paraphrase to mean repeating a famous quotation ...
2
votes
1answer
579 views

Why are “bollocks!” so often “old”?

Prompted by this question (How old is “Bollocks!”?), I wonder why it's so often "old bollocks". Where I live (South-East England), "giving it all that old bollocks" is a fairly common expression in ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

“Whether they are congruent”

A geometry test asks a student to find the length of two pairs of line segments and then instructs the student to tell whether they are congruent for each pair. Is the student obligated to tell ...
2
votes
1answer
537 views

“Description to follow”

My co-worker sent me a message with the text below: "description to follow" Actually this is the only text inside of the message where there are some pictures attached. I got what it says "...
11
votes
3answers
284 views

Why is it “a defeated Napoleon, not “the defeated Napoleon” who rode off the battlefield and into exile?

I noticed an infinite article; ‘a’ was used before ‘defeated Napoleon’ in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s novel, "Fales Impression" : “General Sir Harry Wentworth sat at the right hand of ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Is the plural “bosoms” an acceptable word? Or is it always “bosom”?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bosom I found recently that even an elderly educated woman was referring to her bosom in the plural, as her bosoms. Please settle my discomfort finally, and clarify ...
2
votes
0answers
162 views

Why it is so important capitalize 'i'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why should the first person pronoun 'I' always be capitalized? I'd like to understand the phenomen, why writer's person is so important in English, that i can't ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Origin of @name convention

When people refer to me on stackexchange websites they call me @broiyan. Where did this convention arise from? If it were taken from my email address, the @ symbol would be at the other end of my ...
37
votes
1answer
17k views

“Referer” or “referrer”

First of all, I'm speaking of webpage referral. Second, let me quote Wikipedia: The misspelling referer originated in the original proposal by computer "scientist" Phillip Hallam-Baker to ...
5
votes
4answers
10k views

Is “I feel like a piece of meat” popular phrase? Isn’t it embarrassing for women to use this phrase?

I found the phrase ‘I felt like a piece of meat’ (at a meeting),’ in the article of Washington Post (September 20) titled ‘In early Obama White House, female staffers felt frozen out.’ The article ...
1
vote
4answers
577 views

Can you use the word “transient” as a verb?

I want to explain how data on a server is only there for a short period of time. So I'd like to use the following sentence: The data transients the server. Is this usage correct? EDIT #1: The ...
6
votes
2answers
336 views

Is “grounds” ever used for things other than coffee? [closed]

I've never seen the word grounds (meaning sediment/dregs; definition 12 only) used to describe anything other than coffee; are there any other usages of grounds of that meaning, or has it become a ...
4
votes
5answers
78k views

What is the name of this type of word: “Mr.”, “Ms.”, “Dr.”?

What is this type of word called: Mr., Ms., Dr.? In the document I am using, it is referred to as the "prefix", but I don't think that is correct.
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How to write “calf's liver” on menu [closed]

Calf's liver as an item on a restaurant menu is certainly correct, but one also sees calves liver written down. What certainly is wrong is calves' liver, except if one assumes that many calves were ...
3
votes
2answers
796 views

The meaning of proffer

I have encountered the word proffer a few times and most of these times I find the word to be completely interchangeable with offer. When and why is this word used? Am I misunderstanding the word? ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Can “whore” mean “to hoard things”?

We're used to the word "whore" in reference to a prostitute or (less commonly) as a verb meaning to prostitute oneself. Looking in a few online dictionaries, this is the first and only meaning. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

“Exact a price” versus “extract a price”

I recently heard someone use the phrase "extract a price". He was referring to a scenario in which an action had an associated cost. To me, it seems the correct phrase should have been "exact a ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

Words for personal views on life, society, world

I am looking for words for the view of a person on his life or others' lives; words for the view of a person on the whole society, nation, country and/or the world; By "view", I mean what things ...
2
votes
5answers
672 views

Words for not keeping up with supposed pace

I was wondering if there are some words that describe the characteristic of some person that does not keep up with some supposed pace. For example, in orchestra performance by a team, one performer ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

How to use the possessive form when referring to someone else and yourself? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “my wife and I's” correct, or should it be “my wife's and my”? How to use the possessive form when referring to someone else and yourself?...
3
votes
3answers
18k views

“My parents' friendship with…” vs. “my parent's friendship with…” vs. “my parents friendship with…”

Which of these is correct please, if any? my parents' friendship with Sally's parents my parent's friendship with Sally's parents my parents friendship with Sally's parents What is the ...
2
votes
2answers
839 views

Meaning of “type cast solid”

In George Orwell's 1984, Part 1 Chapter 5: Just once Winston caught a phrase -'complete and final elimination of Goldsteinism'- jerked out very rapidly and, as it seemed, all in one piece, ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Can “and” mean “in order to”?

For example, in the sentence I went to town and did some shopping. Can we safely assume this means I went to town in order to do some shopping? In other words, did the person go to town in ...
3
votes
2answers
582 views

What is “taking gongs”?

What is the meaning, if any, of the expression "taking gongs"? I know what a gong is (a large Oriental cymbal). But I don't understand the expression in the context of the following article: http://...
4
votes
4answers
75k views

What's the difference between “my love” and “my lover”?

What's the difference between "my love" and "my lover" ? Or do they have the same meaning ?
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Single word for delaying a decision with only one option?

Can anyone tell me a single word that describes delaying a decision, although there is only one option?
3
votes
2answers
93 views

What's the term for an unsecured wifi network that requires logging in through a browser? [closed]

Is there a name for the kind of wifi network that is open (doesn't have WEP or WPA protection or whatever; you can connect to it freely), but which requires you to log in (through a local web page) ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Which was the original word- “pock” or “pox”?

I once laughed when a child with chicken pox pointed out to me a single spot, calling it a "pock". I had been under the impression that they had mistakenly thought the word "pox" was plural, and so ...
3
votes
10answers
1k views

A single word for labelling someone a disbeliever in a particular religion despite them adhering to it

Can anybody provide a single word for labelling someone a disbeliever in a particular religion despite them adhering to that religion?
3
votes
3answers
325 views

Is there any pragmatic implication in ‘Beaky has enjoyed London’ here?

It says on a grammar book that in some cases, the present perfect form has pragmatic meanings. Joan has broken the teapot. (I have to get a new one.) I’ve had a bath. (I’m now clean.) Is ...
0
votes
2answers
198 views

Can I say “Draw a triangle around the strawberry”?

Can I say "Draw a triangle around the strawberry" when I want someone who is reading a book, in which there is a picture of a strawberry, to draw a triangle in that book in such a way that the ...
1
vote
2answers
446 views

Meaning of “precise-looking”

In George Orwell's novel 1984, Part one, Chapter IV, there is a sentence: In the corresponding cubicle on the other side a small, precise-looking, dark-chinned man named Tillotson was working ...
12
votes
6answers
8k views

If you're using a quote with a period but do not want to end the sentence, do you keep the period?

For example. If I want to quote a passage from a writing, that says The cake is not a lie. and my sentence is: The book by author states that "The cake is not a lie." however studies show ...
6
votes
4answers
578 views

Have I got a little story for you

There is a song called "Alive", by Pearl Jam. The opening line is: Son, she said, have I got a little story for you Despite the subject-auxiliary inversion ("have I"), which would be expected in ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“Writer's writer” — who can say it?

When someone says: This author is a writer's writer. I understand that as meaning the author is accomplished and generally excellent. It's a bit fuzzy in my mind how it can mean this, but I can ...
13
votes
7answers
43k views

Words with most meanings

I am not a native speaker and it sometimes surprise me how many different meanings some words have. An example is the word call - when I was learning English I thought it was only "shout" or "to ring ...
1
vote
5answers
5k views

Metaphorical antonym of “crutch”

Often times something is referred to as being a "crutch" for something, meaning they rely on it. What would be a suitable opposite to this metaphor? EDIT: To rephrase: What's a good metaphor/term for ...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

What do you do when a sentence ends with a decimal?

In a sentence like "The answer is 0.8." the period looks awkward after "0.8". Is there a rule for a situation like this? Sometimes I put a space before the period like this: "The answer is 0.8 ." ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How did “tot” come to mean a measure or ration?

How did tot, A measure of spirits, especially rum. get that meaning? It seems to have come to mean a specific ration, as in the daily tot of rum given to a sailor in the Royal Navy (well, no ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the correct way to punctuate sentences that end with proper nouns who also contain punctuation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)? Pardon the example usage, but given a proper noun that contains punctuation (e.g., the title ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the origin of the idiom “let something rip”?

I would like to know the origin of the idiom "let something rip". Does anyone here know where this usage comes from?
2
votes
3answers
381 views

Are pronouns optional? [closed]

To resolve an issue on Christianity.SE I'd like to know whether it would be legitimate to forgo ever using pronouns to refer to the Holy Spirit. So, is it required to use a pronoun when the subject ...
7
votes
7answers
14k views

How to conclude long “whether … or” clauses

I have found that the form "whether this or that" does not work so well in long sentences. Intuitively, it seems that putting an "if" after the "or" makes it flow better, but is that grammatically ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

What word describes the dislike of non-human (extraterrestrial) species?

In this Science fiction question, I use the world "Racist" to describe the human predominance of the Empire, in Star Wars. Someone suggested xenophobic : Well, this is getting a bit into ...

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