2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “e'er” a true English word?

Are poetic contractions, such as "e'er", "o'er" and "ne'er" (and other less common ones), English? As in officially recognized?
4
votes
3answers
16k views

“Punctuality is the politeness of kings.”

Can someone please explain the meaning of: Punctuality is the politeness of kings.
2
votes
1answer
4k views

I've been through that stage “ages ago” or “ages before”

Like in the title, I wanted to say something like "I'm no longer that way, it was long long ago", so should it be "ages ago" or "ages before"? For some reason, the first instinct was "ages ago", then ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference in meaning between “pattern” and “rhythm”?

What is the difference in meaning between pattern and rhythm? It seems to me that the former is more American-English and the latter more British-English. Are these more or less synonyms or are there ...
1
vote
4answers
606 views

“I'd be a * if anything” meaning

What does "I'd be a * if anything" mean exactly? Examples: #1: Let's see, I bought a Phenom 1 motherboard, and two Phenom II motherboards recently. Can't remember how many between 486 and ...
2
votes
1answer
492 views

Need alternative to “brave smile”

I need to describe someone giving "a brave smile" (for the benefit of others) but that phrase is such a cliche. Is there an alternative that means the same? S.
17
votes
6answers
39k views

Etymology of 'teaching grandma to suck eggs'?

This is such a strange idiom, all I could find with a Google search was the meaning of it, but not where it came from. When you're telling somebody something they already know well, it's sometimes ...
1
vote
1answer
9k views

How to use it's vs is?

I've seen that people use "how easy is it to […]?" and "how easy is to […]?" Another example could be: I couldn’t ignore the barrage of research showing how easy it is to screw up your kids. ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“Toys out of the pram” expression

Can the expression "toys out of the pram" be applicable for describing that someone is having a bad day?
3
votes
4answers
14k views

“Fermentor” vs. “fermenter”

I am curious to know the correct usage of these words as it seems to be misused often. See http://meta.homebrew.stackexchange.com/q/202/59 for a related question.
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the polite way to acknowledge a pregnant lady after a long hiatus? [closed]

I knew her well, but I see her again when she's 7-months pregnant. Do I say, "Congrats on the upcoming baby?"
3
votes
3answers
183 views

Ten bagger baseball explanation

Why would a "ten bagger" refer to baseball? Where is the ten involved in it?
2
votes
3answers
836 views

Percentage expression

Is it correct to say "15 percent less than 25"? To me, it doesn't make 100% sense.
6
votes
3answers
278 views

Is “latte” a countable noun?

I have learned that liquids are uncountable, except for measurements such as "three cups of water." So, does "three lattes" in this context refer to three cups of latte?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

“You were already having been going to do that!”

From one of the Futurama episodes: Farnsworth A: You people and your slight differences disgust me. I'm going home. Where's that blue box with our universe in it? Farnsworth 1: Oh, ...
13
votes
3answers
9k views

“Pretty please with sugar on top”

Where does this expression come from? I understand when it's used, but I was wondering about its origin.
5
votes
2answers
9k views

when to use the expression “hanging from the rafters?”

I've heard of the expression "hanging from the rafters" but I am unsure when is it appropriate to use. Has it got any negative connotations?
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Situations where to use “Shake and bake, baby”

In which situations is appropriate to use the expression "Shake and bake, baby"?
11
votes
2answers
23k views

Origin of “man!”, “(oh) boy!”, and “oh brother”

Where did these interjections: man! (oh) boy! oh brother come from, and why are they all male? If you don’t know their current meanings as interjections, it sounds very strange to say Man! when ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the origin of the knock-knock joke?

Almost everyone knows about knock-knock jokes. Who made them up, and why did they catch on?
3
votes
1answer
221 views

'co-opt' in US usage

'co-opt' in US usage means to take over for a purpose for which it was not really intended, having a slightly inappropriate connotation, while in the British usage it means to choose or elect as a ...
6
votes
3answers
11k views

Difference between “spine” and “backbone”

Is there a difference between spine and backbone in use or in meaning? I think they both mean the same and can be replaced by each other. However, I'd say backbone is used more in figurative speech, ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Meaning of “The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, / But that is much”

What did the poet mean by the following lines? The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, But that is much. — Edna St. Vincent Millay I am not able to understand the meaning ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

When All Authorities Agree

In Michael Gilleland's blog "Laudator Temporis Acti" - he had a post titled "When All Authorities Agree" and he quoted Cecil Torr from "Small Talk at Wreyland": There is no stopping a mistake ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Synonym for “proud parents”

I'm looking for a synonym for "proud parents" or "thrilled parents" (of a newborn child) but don't want to use proud as it looks bit show-offy.
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Pronunciation of “Wales” and “whales” in Scotland

I was brought up in Japan and I was taught that w and wh are pronounced differently. But after I came to the US I learned that they mostly sound the same. Now I watched this Youtube video where Craig ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Does “Thanks a Lot” sound too casual for showing gratitude to someone in a higher position

I'm thinking probably... because of "a lot"
2
votes
3answers
126 views

“Apache are” or “Apache is”?

What is more correct when I'm talking about Apache 2 (HTTP webserver)? It is Apache or They are Apache I think it's "Apaches are". What's correct?
-5
votes
3answers
486 views

Is there a synonym for laziness or procrastination [closed]

...that starts with the letter 'w', 'h', or 'e'? I'm in desperate need of such a word to fit the essay I'm writing :D
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “get somebody off the couch” a well-established idiom?

I found the phrase, “get (sb.) off the couch” in the headline of the article of Time.com (June 24) and also in a caption of YouTube. Each reads: Jobless graduates: Six ways to get your kid off the ...
7
votes
3answers
47k views

What's the difference between these names of moving water?

What is the difference between these forms of moving water? Creek Brook Stream River Are there other forms of moving water that I am missing?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

When a question is followed by a bulleted list, where does the question mark go?

Where do I put the question mark when I want to ask about a list of items? For example: Should we mention other books by Charles Dickens, such as: A Tale of Two Cities: a novel describing ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

“Sites like Facebook do/does use …”

When I am talking about plural ("Sites"), should I use does or do? In case I'm talking in plural, I should use "do". But "like Facebook", is singular. So which one is correct?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“I would have a car, which would ALLOW me to take myself from point A to point B faster”

Is there such a sentence with "s" ("which allows me to ....")? I'm talking about myself, it means I'm talking in first person (singular)
4
votes
2answers
655 views

How do I correctly pluralize acronyms? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? Plural form of the acronym LASER I was just writing an email asking a supervisor about downloading multiple ...
1
vote
1answer
241 views

I want to use the suffix -orama with rate (rating)

So, I've seen the suffix -arama, but I am also used to -orama, which is the correct to use along 'rate'? souce: ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

'Conscribed' vs 'conscripted'

I'm wondering about the usage of the words 'conscript' and 'conscribe' in terms of the meaning they share. I went to use the word 'conscripted' as in "conscripted for duty", and the word 'conscribe' ...
5
votes
4answers
17k views

“Me being” versus “my being” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gerund preceded by possessive pronoun (e.g. “He resents your being more popular than he is”) Until a few months ago, I had always thought that sentences like ...
3
votes
3answers
353 views

Usage of 'customs' in lieu of 'immigration'

Over at the Travel SE beta (it's in private beta so I'm not sure how many here will be able to access it), I came across a question whether the OP uses "clearance through US Customs" when I'm ...
29
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the origin of “daemon” with regards to computing?

Daemon has an interesting usage in computing. From my local dictionary: a background process that handles requests for services such as print spooling and file transfers, and is dormant when not ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

When should single quotes be used? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the Difference in Usage Between Using Single and Two Quotation Marks/Inverted Commas? I know that they are used inside double quotes for a quotation within a ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Please use other door?

"Please use other door" signs are common. But would you ever say this? Or would you say "please use the other door"?
2
votes
5answers
342 views

What do you say when you want to express that the only hope is gone?

I want to use the phase "ray of hope". But I'm talking of the situation when earlier it was there but not anymore. Do I say "killed the only ray of hope" or "doused the only ray of hope" or "take away ...
2
votes
5answers
270 views

What's the opposite of 'formless'?

In some meditative traditions, there are absorption states called jhanas. Four of them are formless jhanas - jhanas without form - and four of them are jhanas with form. Is there a word corresponding ...
6
votes
6answers
13k views

Where did 'love someone to the bones' come from?

Where did the expression 'love someone to the bones' come from? And is the meaning 'love someone too much' correct for that?
4
votes
7answers
2k views

“I'm only grandfathering you in because of Serena.”

In Gossip Girl Season 4 Episode 19 "Petty in pink," Blair says the following sentence to Serena's cousin Charlie after she tried to explain to both of them about her plan. I'm only grandfathering ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Ellipses at the end of unfinished lists

After reading a question wrongly posted on programmers.SE and especially the post at PR Daily quoted in one of the answers, I have some doubts about the usage of ellipses. In French, ellipses are ...
10
votes
5answers
9k views

Where does “on one's last legs” come from?

To be on one's last legs means to be worn out, tired, run down, and ready to die or otherwise cease working. Some examples I've found are Grandfather is on his last legs. He'll be on his way to ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of [to be] + had

While discussing What does "I was had" mean? I've found there are some not so common usages of had in English like: I have/had been had (meaning "to get fooled") but further Google ...
3
votes
2answers
14k views

“That hurts” or “that hurt”?

I checked on the Internet, it's all out there, sometimes it is "That hurt" and sometimes it's "That hurts", so which one is correct?

15 30 50 per page