3
votes
7answers
7k views

Do “asymmetric” and “dissymmetric” have different meaning?

I get that usually a- (or un-) and di- prefixes mean different things, e.g. uninterested and disinterested. However, both asymmetric and dissymmetric refer to the lack of symmetry (which the NOAD ...
-2
votes
1answer
3k views

In the classic old cowboy song, “I Ride an Old Paint”, what are the meanings of the terms, “fiery” and “snuffy”? [closed]

In the classic old cowboy song, "I Ride an Old Paint", what are the meanings of the terms fiery and snuffy, in the chorus? Ride around little dogies, ride around them slow / For the fiery and ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What are the pros and cons of learning English from movies and radio? [closed]

I dedicate one to two hours each day to learning English. I'm focusing on listening and speaking (and improving my accent, of course). I want to know what the pros and cons are of learning English ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

“1 out of 100 chickens is” or “1 out of 100 chickens are”?

I'm in an argument. To me "are" makes more sense. I understand the rationale for is because it's only one chicken, but chickens itself is plural. Help?
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Shotgun and front seats in the car

What does "calling shotgun" have to do with reservation of a seat near the car driver?
6
votes
4answers
21k views

Difference between “instantly” and “instantaneously”

Is there a case in which "instantaneously" can be used in which "instantly" cannot? If not, why does the former exist? If so, what are the circumstances dictating that usage?
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Is ‘Not a peep’ an idiom, or just plain statement?

I found a phrase ‘not a peep,’ in the Washington Post’s article (September 16) written by Eugene Robinson, which was captioned “Where are the compassionate conservatives?” In the article, Robinson ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

A word for “I am here!”

I will try to explain it as much as I can, so please bear with me. I am looking for a word which means/implies "I am here" but not for humans, please consider the sentence below: Using "...
1
vote
3answers
15k views

What's the difference between “I am busy right now” and “I am busy at the moment”?

What's the difference between "I am busy right now" and "I am busy at the moment"? I mean, is there any shades in meaning that would be implied in one, but not not in the other phrase?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Context to distinguish “we” inclusive versus exclusive [closed]

In English, "we" has no clusivity - context is needed to determine whether it means we-including-you or we-excluding-you. What context can a speaker provide to disambiguate without sounding awkward? ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Is “of which” a proper way to begin a relative clause? [closed]

Germany is subdivided into 16 (federal) states, of which Bavaria is the largest. The thing is that my dictionary is not perfectly clear about this, i.e. there is no direct translation available. ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

How do you pronounce “GUI”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pronunciation of GUI in British English The question is in the title. How do you pronounce the word "GUI"? (Graphical User Interface). Some of my colleagues call it "Guy". ...
0
votes
3answers
24k views

“I understand you” vs “I do understand you” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference in meaning between “I play” and “I do play”? What is the difference between "I understand you" and "I do understand you", and ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

“A classmate and I was” vs “A classmate and I were”

I'm writing a resume right now targeted towards a specific company. My girlfriend (a classmate) and I were (see, I don't know if that's the right word, hence this question!) the first from our school ...
2
votes
1answer
706 views

What is the proper (practical/efficient) way to analyze a sentence?

One is given the sample sentence: The fat blind man ran from the dog. What are the procedural steps to deduce the subject and predicate from the sentence? What are the general steps to ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Using exclamation points as part of a brand name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)? I am editing a text about a product whose name contains an exclamation point as the final ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the expression “to float someone's boat” possible outside of “Whatever floats your boat”?

According to the Urban Dictionary, the expression "whatever floats your boat" means [...] whatever "soothes your soul" or whatever "works best" Aka- Whatever you feel like doing. Is it possible ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Getting to the bottom of common nouns

What would you call a noun which lives at the very bottom of a hierarchy of common/proper nouns? For example, say we have the proper noun "Regent Street". The common noun is "Street", which is a ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Which is grammatically correct: “Let he who…” or “Let him who…”

Let he who believes in this prophet speak now what he knows. Let him who believes in this prophet speak now what he knows.
2
votes
6answers
271 views

“Know your customers' needs before they even…” - “talk” or “speak”?

What's the best word for that phrase? "talk" or "speak"? "Know your customers' needs before they even talk." or "Know your customers' needs before they even speak." The idea is to say "before they ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

A positive alternative to “smelling” to describe something with a pleasant odor

When one hears that something smells, one would generally assume that it smells bad. Isn't there a word which wouldn't bring to mind the idea of a bad odor? For example, how would you describe pot-...
7
votes
2answers
349 views

To lose someone something

A headline today reads UBS Says Rogue Trader Lost Firm $2 Billion In Unauthorized Dealing. Apparently, the meaning is that because of this trader, UBS lost $2 Billion. Yet, the headline somehow ...
0
votes
1answer
926 views

What does 'for such actions as …' mean?

Anyone can help to explain the meaning of for such actions as ... please? It's from the following context. Even when automatic archiving is enabled, you can use manual archiving for such actions ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

A word for when a word is used incorrectly (grammatically) but can still be parsed in a grammatically correct way?

Does such a word exist? An example: Do good. Supposing that my intention in saying "Do good!" was actually "Do well (on your test)!", the sentence still parses correctly as "Do good (deeds)!" I ...
6
votes
4answers
12k views

On Saturday afternoon or in the Saturday afternoon?

She said she would give me her final answer on Saturday afternoon. Should it be in the or on in this case?
0
votes
2answers
272 views

Word for very-fine, see through

Uh, I know there is a word starting with d. it sounds kinda like diophanus or something similar. It referes to very fine clothing, nearly see through clothing. I really don't know the word. Any help ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

What's the appropriate term for a non-annual commemoration of an event?

The word "anniversary" literally means a day that commemorates and/or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event. The "ann" in "anniversary" comes from the ...
7
votes
2answers
11k views

The meaning and origin of “hedge your bets”

What exactly does it mean? And what is the origin of the phrase "hedge your bets"?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“Seal the Deal” literally?

I am familiar with "seal the deal" only as an expression. I assume it has a history in literal use. If so, was "seal" the process of stamping/imprinting, or the process of securing a containing ...
20
votes
2answers
190k views

'I get it' vs. 'I got it'

When someone tells me something, how should I respond, "I get it" or "I got it"? I have a feeling that "I got it" means "I already knew the thing before you told me," and "I get it" means "Now I know ...
6
votes
5answers
14k views

Which is correct, “on-line” or “online”?

I am still seeing uses of on-line, though I think it is incorrect. For example: A web browser enables a user to go on-line/online. Can you tell me which is the more appropriate to use, on-line ...
2
votes
4answers
298 views

What's the word for a migration from a manual-based system to a IT-based system?

For example, a company that has been using traditional mail can switch to e-mail. I want a generic term for such migrations (other example, tracking system, scheduling, etc.). Perhaps also Question &...
1
vote
4answers
4k views

Is there a difference of meaning between “edit” and “modify” in this context?

Please, do not edit this file. versus Please, do not modify this file. Is there a difference? Is any of them preferred over the other?
13
votes
4answers
69k views

Semantic difference between “engine” and “motor” [closed]

Is there a semantic difference between engine and motor? In some cases, would the use of one or the other word be technically incorrect?
4
votes
1answer
34k views

Proper use of the phrase “of all time”

I have a client who insists on using the following sentence in his web site: Lance Armstrong is the most successful American bike racer of all times. I think that "of all times" should be "of ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why isn't “muscle” pronounced “muskle”?

It comes from the Latin musculus (meaning mouse) and Latin has only hard c's. The "c" has somehow become soft or silent during evolution. Why did this happen? Also, if muscle is pronounced mussle, ...
11
votes
6answers
10k views

Am I misusing the semicolon?

Is the semicolon in the following sentence misused? How can I miss you; we've never met? I feel that the sentence, to be grammatically correct, must be split into its individual parts.
5
votes
2answers
254 views

What do you call “gift CDs” that you select music for manually?

Is there a special word or phrase for a CD with a carefully picked playlist you made for a particular person, often given as a gift?
11
votes
4answers
9k views

“Paradise” vs. “heaven”

What is the difference in use between "paradise" and "heaven"? I feel that heaven is more spiritual, something that probably couldn't even be imagined. When you say paradise, you can denote something ...
5
votes
3answers
704 views

generic term for “A-hed”? (quirky article at the bottom of the front page of the Wall Street Journal) [closed]

The Wall Street Journal usually has a quirky article on the bottom of the front page, on anything from paper clips to tugboat racing to borscht manufacturers. Their name for it is an A-hed. Is there a ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

How does an “agency” differ from a “company”?

When should a company be called an agency? Typically advertising and recruitment companies call themselves agencies, is there a reason other than tradition for this?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the style of writing used in the Summa Theologica called?

St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica has a very distinctive and consistent style. It seems as though his style of writing starts with a proposition and then lists some objections, then a reply, then a ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

What's the difference between 'envy' and 'jealousy'?

Do you have to be jealous of someone in toto as opposed to a specific thing they have or do? Is the fear of losing that person a key component of jealousy, whereas you can be envious of someone you ...
7
votes
3answers
466 views

Punctuation of an exclamative question

What is the proper way of writing an exclamative question: What are you doing!? What are you doing?! or is it better to just leave it as a simple question?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a word for someone who wants to preserve others' cultures?

I'm searching for the word for someone who believes in the preservation of other people's cultures. Does anyone know of a good word for this? I don't think "anthropologist" is a good word, as that ...
2
votes
3answers
976 views

“Will be able to”

One of my friends told me that "will be able to" is a wrong phrase. Able doesn't fit with will. Is this true?
5
votes
2answers
227 views

What is a 'star rose'?

I'm reading a book and encountered the words star rose. What does it mean? The context is listed below. As JavaScript’s star rose, discontent came from all corners. Some pointed to its numerous ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Why “homophobia” and not “sexualism” or similar?

A phobia is an irrational fear of something. An intolerance to something is usually an -ism, not a -phobia, as in sexism racism ageism Yet people who object to homosexual practices or discriminate ...
1
vote
1answer
666 views

Is it incorrect to say “…it's not, is it? Or is it?”

The sentence I was thinking of is: Someone's blocked you in. It's not me, is it? Or is it? It certainly reads oddly, but I've heard it used in general speech quite often. As I understand it, ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the etymology of the word “dinlo”?

dinlo n. stupid person; idiot Suggested etymology from urban dictionary a Romany (gypsy language) word that has been adopted widely by the east coast. Sorry if this language offends but I ...

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