7
votes
3answers
18k views

Is there a difference in meaning between “from the beginning” and “since the beginning”?

He’s been with us from the beginning. Is there a difference between from and since in the context of the quoted sentence?
7
votes
3answers
5k views

To refer back to “one or more”, should I use “it” or “them”?

In one computer program, there is an option to specify one or more arguments (software packages in this case). I am writing the help documentation, so I'm wondering what phrase to use to explain that ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the meaning of the vernacular “beasted”?

Is anyone familiar with the vernacular term "beasted", used as a verb? e.g. I beasted my exam. My colleague's teenaged son used this exact phrase in a text-message. And she had no idea whether ...
3
votes
1answer
410 views

meaning of “grapes in my mouth” [closed]

Lyrics from The National's Ada: Stand inside an empty tuxedo with grapes in my mouth waiting for Ada I've not come across the phrase before, nor can I find an attributed meaning. One of the ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

To use “test” as an adjectival noun, is the proper form “test” or “testing”?

When I write a document, I am confused when to use test or testing in my document. For example, which one makes a better statement below? A test engineer vs A testing engineer software test tool vs ...
6
votes
3answers
535 views

Structure of “As I passed by there looked out from it the face I showed you this afternoon”

While reading Oscar Wilde's The Sphinx without a secret, I came across the following passage: 'One evening,' he said, 'I was walking down Bond Street about five o'clock. There was a terrific crush ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“However, this book is anything but” meaning

What's the structure and meaning of this sentence in the following text: A friend lent this to me before I headed over to Italy and France this summer. I was a bit skeptical at first as he's ...
6
votes
3answers
31k views

“Being ran”, “being runned” or something else? [closed]

The past tense of run is ran. However, you couldn't say something was being "ran" poorly i.e. the business was ran poorly. However, saying "runned" would be wrong as well. What would be the word to ...
4
votes
1answer
217 views

We haven't been able to use the fan for a fortnight

In a John Clarke and Brian Dawe interview, the phrase,"we haven't been able to use the fan for nearly a fortnight." What metaphoric expression was this phrase actually referring to? I've googled for ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Single word for “mixed metaphor”

Mixed metaphors are usually speech mistakes by people, and are very amusing. Here are a few examples.Is there a single word for denoting mixed metaphors?
7
votes
3answers
109k views

What does “Ms.” stand for? [closed]

In letter writing, there are four different titles to address: Mr. Mrs. Miss. Ms. What does Ms. stand for? Apparently as Mrs. and Miss already stand for female titles, Ms. stood for ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

Pronunciation of “err”

I use to pronounce this word so that it rhymes with 'her', but recently I've been told to pronounce it like "air". Which pronunciation was it originally, and which pronunciation was correct?
2
votes
1answer
3k views

“2 times”, “twice” and “2X”, when to use which and why?

I am not sure if 2X is even a valid word. What are the proper usages for each of the three?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Can “snob” be used as a verb?

I commonly see "snob someone off", where the word they should correctly use is snub. Is using "snob" as a verb forever a no-no? Is it creeping towards accepted usage?
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How rude is “naff”?

"Naff" is a word I infrequently use as a mild version of "shit". If something is a little bit bad or dull, it is "naff". I have just come across (via The Slate Gabfest podcast) one of the alleged ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the origin for left being used to indicate socialist/liberals, and right is used for capitalists/conservatives on the political spectrum?

It seem like it's completely arbitrary, so I'm curious what the reason for having one direction to mean one thing over another.
5
votes
0answers
757 views

Omitting “that” when connecting clauses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Use of “that” in a sentence How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem What exactly is the recommendation, when I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Do you capitalize Bill as in “Senator, please support this Bill”

I was wondering if I need to capitalize it because my teacher highlighted it but without giving a reason.
11
votes
4answers
15k views

“Vision” is to “visually”, as “hearing” is to what? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pertaining to the Senses Hello. If I want to say my project has great graphics, I say it is visually stunning. Now, what would I say, following a similar format to ...
29
votes
3answers
27k views

What does “P.U.” (in reference to stinkiness) stand for?

"What does {holding nose} P.U. mean?" my son asked me tonight. I told him I didn't know, and he laughed and said "It means stinky, Mommy!" Very funny and well said, but it left me wondering. A ...
2
votes
2answers
327 views

Is there a better / correct term for the de facto usage of ‘ironic’?

The word ‘ironic’ is known to be quite frequently misused, to the point that some dictionaries have actually started accepting the de facto usage as another definition, usually calling it situational ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Ambiguity when a sentence contains multiple possessive pronouns

I have a question related to another one that I have asked. In the following sentence, whose father is being referenced? Billy’s friend and his father were there. In the following re-structured ...
8
votes
1answer
298 views

Is this usage of 'curiously' correct?

I recently used a sentence similar to the following: Curiously, do you prefer black? Some people found it grammatically incorrect. That was a surprise, for I thought it was perfectly okay. ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Word for something that is modified

I am using the word modifier to descrive something that modifies something else. What word should I use to describe what is being modified? For example, in the sentence, Fat John ate slowly ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

Does the expression ‘Someone, who took his while presumed innocent, will get bail any time soon’ sound natural?

I found the line, ‘Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who took his while presumed innocent will get bail,’ in the following paragraph of New York Times article (May 17), titled ‘Hotel Keycard of I.M.F. Chief May Tell ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “no-op” mean?

In the Remarks section of a Microsoft dbset.add page I read Remarks: Note that entities that are already in the context in some other state will have their state set to Added. Add is a no-op if ...
2
votes
5answers
663 views

“Sounds almost like” vs. “almost sounds like”

Which sentence structure is more accurate? ... that sounds almost like a command. ... that almost sounds like a command.
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “misapprehension” and “apprehension”?

I can't quite get my head around the difference between misapprehension and its opposite apprehension. I understand the latter, but the former still eludes me.
1
vote
0answers
100 views

What is the best rule for determining when to use “Who” and/or “Whom” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “who” and “whom” This is a topic that always causes me to take pause. I never really know if I am using who correctly, or if whom would be ...
6
votes
3answers
727 views

Should “round” only be used to describe 2-d objects?

My high school teacher used to say, "No, the world is not round it is globular". Strictly speaking, is round more appropriately used to describe 2-dimensional objects (circle, oval, tire, plate or ...
4
votes
4answers
853 views

What do you call the additional paper used during exam and homework?

When doing exams or homework, one might need some extra paper to make a rough sketch, before writing his solution into another paper that must be turned in. The extra paper does not need to be turned ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

What does it mean to be “in suspense”?

What does it actually mean to be "in suspense"? It's not a place, or a verb. How would you define "suspense"?
2
votes
1answer
727 views

Overusing “and” and how to fix it

Several months ago, I was writing a fan-fiction story set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and I ended up constructing this sentence: "...Sonic and his allies and Dr. Robotnik and his allies..." ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What does the phrase “touch space” mean?

Recently some of my colleagues has started using the phrase "touch space" a lot, for example in sentences like "I just called you to touch space", or "I will touch space with him tomorrow". I can ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Correct form of object of sentence with grouped possessive and personal pronoun?

Lets say the object of a sentence is a possessive, of more than one nouns. Something that is say both someone else's and my own. IE Tom's and mine, as in the sentence This meeting requires Tom and ...
28
votes
3answers
17k views

How does the “be-” prefix change the words to which it is applied? How did it come about?

What does the be- prefix change when applied to adjectives and verbs? There are many such words that seemed to be coined of this process, for example: behold, beget, befallen, beridden, ...
0
votes
2answers
295 views

Another “ would” usage to maintain the same tense in the sentence

Touché on modify the joke to serve your best interest, although it'd probably lose its luster as you'd be disregarding traditionally Jewish stereotypes. Is this sentence grammatically correct? ...
19
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a general rule for the prefixation of “un-” and “de-” to words?

Given the different questions we have seen about the prefixes "de-" and "un-", I have grown curious if there is a overarching rule for terms that need undoing. “Unselect” or “Deselect”? “Unregister” ...
89
votes
10answers
85k views

“Unregister” vs “Deregister”

The concept of "undoing a registration" is widely used in my line of work. While most dictionaries define unregister as the proper verb for it, several widely used and highly considered sources also ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the sentence, “we should not roam about in the hot sun”?

I would like to know the meaning of "we should not roam about in the hot sun".
2
votes
2answers
23k views

When to call first name or last name? [closed]

For example, a man's name is Jeff Smith. My question is: When should I call him "Jeff"? When should I call him "Smith"? When should I call him "Jeff Smith"? in western.
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Is there a short word or slang for “matchmaker”?

I'm trying to find an appropriate name for kind of a dating website. The purpose of the website is to match between people, hence the description - matchmaker. However this word isn't catchy enough. ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I use “will” or “would” here?

I doubt they will exchange the 20 inch monitor. OR I doubt they would exchange the 20 inch monitor. Which is correct, and why?
0
votes
1answer
7k views

How to use “supposed to”, in particular while writing official letter to ask for leave

How do we use supposed to? In particular, should I use this while writing an official letter to ask for leave?
4
votes
6answers
55k views

Forming valid one word sentences

I remember my English teacher saying that there are only two valid ways to make a one-word sentence: A question: Why? Where? A command: Go! Stop! Is this correct?
2
votes
2answers
627 views

“Time needed to complete a work” — is this correct?

Is the usage of "a work" correct here? My supervisor, who is not an English teacher, advised me to use "a task" instead. Usually, though, I would not mind either way. Does somebody have another ...
14
votes
3answers
53k views

Origin of the phrase “Now we're cooking with _”

I have heard this phrase as: Now we're cooking with gas. Now we're cooking with grease. Now we're cooking with heat. Now we're cooking with fire. Which of these is the original version, and ...
3
votes
3answers
324 views

Why was the 'hoodie' given the name 'hoodie'?

There were plenty of pieces of upper-body garments/clothing, which had a hood, before the 'hoodie'. Was it simply that no one had thought of the name up until then? Or was there something ...
14
votes
3answers
39k views

What is the difference between “clothes” and “clothing”?

Do some google I find that clothes work like objects like: You should pack your clothes. → Yes You should pack your clothing. → No Can you tell me the main difference between clothing ...
22
votes
9answers
5k views

What overarching category do “street,” “road,” “avenue”, etc. belong to?

Apple belongs to the category of Fruit. What category do street, road, and avenue belong to?

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