0
votes
1answer
129 views

J.A. Gagarin's flight vs J.A. Gagarin flight

1) Is it Ok to leave the initials or would you drop them? Writing his name in full seems odd since it isn't Gagarin who is the point of discussion. 2) Is it Gagarin's or Gagarin? Is there any ...
8
votes
2answers
698 views

Long lived slang

Every year new slang words enter the popular lexicon but which ones actually 'stick'? Every since I can remember, 'cool' has been an acceptable word whereas 'groovy' passed out of usage in the 70s. Is ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

“in the year 1908” or “in the year of 1908”

Do we need preposition "of" after a year? Freud is a visitor at James’s Sussex residence, Lamb House, in the year 1908
4
votes
1answer
217 views

Meaning of “shed all gentlemanly reticence”

Please explain the meaning of the text in bold, taken from this Bloomberg article. Ah, yes. They have shed all gentlemanly reticence over dragging former allies into court.
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How should I greet a close friend from the United States?

I (male) have a very good (female) friend over in the south-western United States that I met one year ago and we're exchanging mails or messages from time to time. We're both not older than 22 and I ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Is there a rule about double negations that aren't meant as double negations (e.g. “We don't need no education”)?

How can you explain that this double negation is not a double negation? Is there a rule in English about this kind of sentence? PS / Do I have to mention Pink Floyd Copyright ? :-) Edit : Since ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Under what circumstances should I use 'requisite' and 'required'?

The context of this is in the writing a technical document. The statement I am writing is something of the ilk: The package then updates the [requisite/required] number of tables. I was ...
24
votes
4answers
40k views

Changes in English names of people

Why is Robert called Bob and John called Jack sometimes? What is the history of or reason for this practice in changing the English names of people?
4
votes
3answers
264 views

Can “run-through” be possibly a noun?

Can "run-through" be possibly a noun? Is it possible at all? If yes, can you, please, come up with a sentence that would contain this noun? Can you also, please, describe a situation, in which that ...
6
votes
3answers
435 views

Professors and Students

When I was learning English back in school (in the nineties), there were pupils and teachers. Now there seem to be students and professors, where a "professor" can be anyone who happens to teach ...
13
votes
4answers
45k views

What's the difference between “yet another” and “another”?

What's the difference between yet another and another?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How to say *heathenous?

I want to decry an act or object as having heathen-like qualities. I would call it *heathenous, except apparently this word is neither in the dictionaries nor oft-seen by google.
1
vote
2answers
226 views

How could Ronald Reagan be compared with God in Sarah Palin's list of American authentic, and why?

Further to my question about the usage of ‘Blood libels’ I posted yesterday, I found the following lead-copy of an article referring to Sara Palin’s rhetoric in today’s Washington Post. It seems the ...
3
votes
2answers
688 views

“He thought that that might be awkward.”

"He thought that that might be awkward." I know this sentence is a bit awkward, but is it grammatically incorrect?
21
votes
2answers
19k views

“noone”, “no one” or “no-one”?

What is the correct form? Does context play a role? Are there noticeable trends towards the awkward "noone" or is it just a by-product of careless orthography on the Internet?
1
vote
4answers
484 views

Is “Actor Peter Fonda found dead body inside car” correct?

"Actor Peter Fonda found dead body inside car" - that's the title that Yahoo first chose for its news article confusing so many people Is this kind of title correct? (They just changed to "Police: ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

I sent vs I sent out

Which one is correct and why: I sent out the inquiry to the support team vs I sent the inquiry to the support team Even though the question is specific to "sent out", please verify the ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

“Place” or “Site”?

I'm looking for the most appropriate term to refer to places/sites where you can do something specific. In my case it's going out for taking photos. Which of these two words would best suit that use? ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is this correct: “.. get us one of them thousand foot perimeters.”

In a recent Daily Show episode, Jon Stewart said this (position: 00:40 in video): Can the rest of us get us one of them thousand-foot gun-free perimeters? I am not a native speaker, so I am ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Is it okay to say “What was the number of…” meaning “How many…”?

Is it okay to say "What was the number of" meaning "How many"? For example, "What was the number of students that came here yesterday?"
2
votes
1answer
330 views

Where is the modifier in “the majority of senators”, “a number of students”, “the range of documents”?

Where is the modifier in "the majority of senators", "a number of students" and in "a range of documents" in these sentences: The majority of senators will be fired tomorrow. A number of students ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I determine subject and subject complement in “A side-effect is the spread of commercialese to other domains.”?

Consider this example: Commercialese is an instrument of art, designed to enrich and invigorate our language—surely you will all agree with this—, and we should encourage newcomers to learn ...
1
vote
6answers
8k views

“least” vs. “lowest”

What is the difference between least and lowest? Websites announce as "Lowest prices", but not "least". Least is the superlative degree. low > lower > least ?
7
votes
9answers
14k views

Is “architect” a verb and a noun?

I hear the word architect used as a verb in the technical field and now more often in other industries and groups, for example: We need to architect a better solution to the problem. I am ...
2
votes
3answers
494 views

“it's” vs “its”: what happened lately?

During the course of the last 6-12 months (approx.) online I've seen more and more the mistake of using "it's" in place of "its" and the other way around. While my habits might have slightly changed, ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “jsfiddle”

English isn't my native language. I don't trust my pronunciation too much. I don't know how to pronounce the domain name jsfiddle.net. There isn't any video about jsfiddle, so I can't learn the ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

What is the difference between “venom” and “poison”?

What is the difference between “venom” and “poison”? Both in usage and in meaning.
10
votes
4answers
31k views

“Time is of the essence”… of what?

I'm having a hard time understanding the purpose or meaning of the definite article, the in the common phrase, Time is of the essence. My first thought is that it refers to the task that is ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

How much exactly is increased when it is “increased by 1.1”?

I saw it in a text book, and a similar problem that also appeared in the book is "3 times faster", which is already asked. Simply speaking, the book says: Unfortunately, it increases the CPI by ...
14
votes
7answers
59k views

What do all capital letters typically refer to in writing?

In many error messages and conversations, I come across words in all capital letters, as demonstrated in the examples below. ERROR: Please type your e-mail address. or ME: I can't make it ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Colon use when introducing a list split across sentences

I understand that a colon should be used to introduce a list: We required three ingredients: eggs, milk and butter. However, what happens if there is a full stop between list elements? We ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it correct to write “a 5-mm-thick layer”?

Do I need hyphens? Should I use the indefinite article or zero article?
7
votes
5answers
8k views

Which one is more correct: “works at a university” or “works in a university”?

My relative is a fairly big academic and works at a university. Is this correct? or should I have used in instead?
2
votes
2answers
4k views

What part of speech is “unless” in the following sentence?

Unless disciplined, a dog becomes a household pest. Is the use of unless in this sentence correct? It sounds to my naive ear to be fine, but I always think of unless as a conjunction, which does ...
0
votes
3answers
867 views

Formulation: “I like to see the beauty in ugly things” [closed]

What would be a good way to express the following: "I like to see the beauty in ugly things"? (This is related to drawings, paintings and photography.)
10
votes
6answers
25k views

Is it true that Chinese speakers have troubles with 'r's and 'l's in English words?

It is such a sterotype that Chinese speakers mix up 'r's and 'l's that I always assumed it to be true. Is this the case and, if so, why? The tongue position is totally different.
3
votes
2answers
370 views

What is the the role of the two a’s in “we planned to meet a few times a year”?

How can I rewrite this sentence without the two a’s? We planned to meet a few times a year. I think this would be the best way to show the role that the two a’s play in the sentence.
7
votes
1answer
372 views

Is 'Blood libel' an established expression?

I came across the word, 'Blood libel,' apparently associated with Ms. Sarah Palin's agressive statement which was zeroed in at Democratic lowmakers in today's Washington Post. Neither Concise Oxford ...
5
votes
1answer
884 views

Name for a work attitude

I am looking for a name for a work attitude that can be described as the person treating their job as something of their own. To take some examples, they treat every single project or piece of work ...
5
votes
3answers
13k views

What does the phrase “before too long” mean?

What does the phrase "before too long" mean? Excerpt from where I read this phrase: The response to the SDK has been quite good and I expect to start hearing about some great apps and success ...
4
votes
1answer
538 views

What is the term for words that can be used as the opposite of themselves?

What is the term for words that can be used as the opposite of themselves? I know there are a few of them out there, it is possible to 'Dust a cake with Icing' and if the cake were on a shelf for a ...
20
votes
4answers
9k views

Is it true that only the positions of the first and last letter in a word matter, the rest can be scrambled?

I read this sometime ago, Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabridge uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to avoid sexist language?

I have observed that I use a lot of sexist terms; it comes naturally to me! I have resolved to be "perfectly" non-sexist from now onwards. I would like to know how to avoid sexist language. Yes, ...
6
votes
11answers
2k views

Fun and enjoyable ways to practice pronunciation?

English is not my native language and I'm really proud of being able to write it quite well. I have lots of problems with pronunciation though. In Finnish most words are pronounced the same as they ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

“Cuddle”, “snuggle” or “huggle”

There is a ton of words with similar, yet slightly different meaning that describe this kind of physical affection where we touch a loved one. What is the difference between cuddle, snuggle and ...
7
votes
7answers
8k views

Why is “resolved” used ahead of a question in a debate title, instead of saying “the Subject, topic” or alike?

I’m now reading a book titled “Competitive Debate – The Official Guide” by Richard E. Edward. In it, there is the following sentence: The topic for public forum debate are selected by a comitee of ...
4
votes
4answers
494 views

Can snow be dry?

Disclaimer: There are a lot of questions packed in but their answers are interdependent. Different textures of snow can be described as "wet" and "dry". Considering that water is the quintessence of ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

What does the expression 'Do the fish' mean?

I just recently heard this expression and couldn't quite figure out its meaning from the context, unless it means something like "take the bait." Is this a common expression? Is it perhaps an ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

“Yes, I thought it was very good.” Why “thought”?

Here is a sentence from "Essential Grammar in Use" book by Raymond Murphy: Did you enjoy the film ? Yes, I thought it was very good. The correct answer in key section is "thought", but why not ...
2
votes
4answers
359 views

More colloquial term for “confidant”

Is there a more colloquial term for a "confidant", or someone who has been entrusted with sensitive information to be disclosed only under certain conditions? This is related to my previous question ...

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