2
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the origin of the phrase “caught red-handed”?

I'm just wondering: why "red"?
6
votes
5answers
481 views

Is “i.e.” in this situation incorrect?

I.e. is used when we would like to use a situation as a kind of clarification. Suppose I was to write something like this: Nano-boxes are used in medical science i.e. cancer treatment, where ...
3
votes
4answers
268 views

Phrase: “This area is being supervised by video”. Can “video” really supervise?

In the city of Potsdam I have seen the following label on the main station building: "This area is being supervised by video". The meaning of the phrase is pretty clear, but can "video" be really ...
3
votes
5answers
440 views

Can you actually “stand to the right” on escalator?

In Copenhagen Metro on every escalator you can see 2 labels: "Stand to the right" "Walk to the left" I had an impression that prepostion "to" is used when you describe a direction of the moving ...
19
votes
7answers
98k views

Pronunciation of “cache”

I have been pronouncing the word "cache" as kaysh. I know a few people who pronounce it more like cash, cashay or even catch. After consulting a few dictionaries, it turns out that the correct ...
2
votes
5answers
237 views

Is it correct to say 'struck an example'?

When teaching people, is it correct to say: 'The author struck an example.' ? Can anybody give me another word used to mean 'give an example' when using examples or parables to teach people.
5
votes
3answers
401 views

Was I correct to use the word “establish” in my tweet? Should I have included adverbial “as”?

English is not my native language, but I'm a willing pupil and in most cases I'm pretty confident in my knowledge, but sometimes I hesitate to use particular words. I wrote this tweet recently: I ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Meaning of “magazine” from 1845

My wife and I were reading Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, translated into English in 1845 by Henry Beveridge, and we came across this phrase in the first book, chapter 5, section ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the exact phrase of Shakespeare’s for the phrase meaning “It’s not yet the worst when you are saying it’s the worst (situation).”?

I once posted a question in this forum asking what is the counterpart saying to Japanese proverb, “There’s no wild pig larger than the mountain (from where it emerges)” and am thankful for receiving ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

How is a' in mathematics pronounced?

It often happens that two or more similar values are distinguished with the ' symbol, e.g. a, a', a'' and similar. How is this pronounced?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Are em dashes acceptable in lists?

I often see lists written as follows (using em dashes to elaborate a list item): Item 1—explanation for item 1 Item 2—explanation for item 2 Is this generally correct, or are colons preferable?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

The difference between “shy” and “ashamed”

What is the difference between shy and ashamed as in the following example? He is not shy to tell the truth. He is not ashamed to tell the truth.
4
votes
1answer
9k views

The difference between “have a lunch” and “have lunch”

Is there any difference between I am not having a lunch tomorrow. and I am not having lunch tomorrow. This is a follow up question of : About the use of future tense.
3
votes
2answers
836 views

About the use of future tense

Which is better: "I am not having lunch tomorrow unless I am really hungry." "I am not having lunch tomorrow unless I will be really hungry." Something else
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Question? or Question? sentence structure

I'm not exactly sure on how this should be structured. I have a question, or, question that reflects first question. Does the media change the way we think? or Does it have no effect on us?
3
votes
4answers
22k views

Difference between “introduction to” and “introduction of”

What exactly is the difference between "introduction to" and "introduction of"? For example: should it be "Introduction to the problem" or "Introduction of the problem"?
9
votes
4answers
867 views

What's the opposite of “retaliate”?

What would be a single word to mean: "to do something positive to someone because they have done or said something positive to you", when you want to return the favour with something equal or better. ...
26
votes
5answers
287k views

Should there always be a comma after “therefore”,“However” etc.?

Should you always type a comma after "therefore","however" etc. in the beginning of a sentence? Also, when these (and similar) words are used in the middle of a sentence, should there be a comma or ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

Has English adopted any common morphemes from languages that are not Greek, Latin, or French?

Has English adopted any common morphemes from any "exotic"-type languages? By that, I'm trying to exclude our most frequent borrowings; i.e. French, Latin, and Greek, from which nearly all our ...
17
votes
4answers
62k views

How does one use the Latin word “cum” in a sentence?

I'm talking about the Latin cum, which I've seen used conjunctively, as in A-cum-B. What does it mean, and how do you use it?
6
votes
2answers
5k views

How did “everloving” become a completely generic intensifier?

Most of the uses of the word everloving I can think of involve either vulgar or violent contexts, so you must excuse the following example: He'd finally crossed my last nerve, so yesterday, me and ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Is the phrase “man is mortal” grammatically correct? [closed]

Or, must it be "Every man is mortal"? How about "Tree is mortal"? In another sense, "A detailed description of a man", "A detailed description of man" or "A detailed description of Man"?
4
votes
2answers
629 views

Use of “although” with a modifier

Is it grammatically correct to use "although" in a modifying clause, but without a conjugated verb? Example: Although not regarded as nocturnal, the Black Bear of North America is active at night ...
6
votes
1answer
517 views

A phrase misheard as 'San Ababis'

I was reading the blog Futility Closet today, and they mentioned a story of a Fillipino father naming his son 'San Ababis', after 'the patron saint of America' - because he heard soldiers repeating ...
9
votes
5answers
13k views

“Lower number” vs. “smaller number”

Is −9 a smaller number than −8? And is −9 a lower number than −8? What is the difference between lower and smaller here?
3
votes
3answers
218 views

Does “decoration” have to be visual?

When I hear the word "decoration" I assume it must be visual. However various definitions don't really require this to be the case (such as "The process or art of decorating or adorning something"). ...
4
votes
3answers
11k views

What is the exact meaning of the “oh so <adjective>” idiom?

I routinely find this expression in newspaper, magazines, blogs... My guess is that it's used to report a widely shared opinion, but I couldn't find any confirmation of this. Or maybe it's just used ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

A common word for person/company/organization?

As we can say principal for user/group/role, is there a common word for person/company/organization?
9
votes
3answers
41k views

Is “homework” countable?

I was wondering if "homework" is countable? I remember it is an uncountable noun when I learned English in middle school. Suppose now I would like to ask my teacher to hand back my graded ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

“Should” cannot replace “if?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Are “should” and “if” interchangeable at the beginning of a sentence? A special use of “should”? For sentences that begin with ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Can “shrugging” only be done with shoulders?

Please compare He shrugged. and He shrugged his shoulders. Is there anything else that can be shrugged, besides shoulders? To me it sounds like duplication when used in this way. I'm aware ...
8
votes
4answers
38k views

“will be able to” vs. “can”

Consider the following: He will be able to do it. He can do it. They mean the same thing, right? Can "can" replace "will be able to" in any sentence? What is the difference, if anything? ...
4
votes
8answers
444 views

What's the correct word for saying a certain position can be stood on?

I'm making a game with tiles and I need a good word for describing whether or not a character can stand on a certain tile. There is "walkable", but this describes movement, which is not the case. ...
3
votes
2answers
356 views

How does negation affect the use and understanding of “or” and “and”

I'm trying to make more sense of how negation effects how a sentence is parsed and understood if and's and or's are used within them. Pop quiz: You are trapped on a bus with a bomb going 50 MPH. You ...
2
votes
2answers
951 views

How to choose an abbreviation for a given word?

I was trying to find a proper abbreviation for the word dictionary. Dict. or Dic. or something else? Obviousely there won't be a short form for each English word. But if there does exist one, how ...
10
votes
4answers
306 views

What is “outheroding”?

I have been reading Scott's Ivanhoe recently and have come across a word I cannot find a meaning for: outheroding. In the novel it appears in a discussion of footwear: Fur and gold were not spared ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is it right to 'Hmmm'?

While in a online conversation(by typing), how do you let know the other person that you are there listening to him/her? I suppose it would be annoying to type 'okay' or 'yes' all the time and right ...
1
vote
3answers
385 views

What is the time you spend on a thesis called?

I finished my thesis today and the title page must contain the starting-date and the finishing date of my work on the thesis. What is this time frame called? It should not only include the time I ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it, “It seems different”, but “It comes across differently”?

Both phrases describe the manner, appearance, air, etc, of a subject. Why does the former use an adjective to modify the subject, while the latter uses an adverb to modify the verb phrase?
1
vote
0answers
994 views

Having a singular subject and a plural object - which form to choose for the verb? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: In special cases, can you use “one such family are” vs. “one such family is”? [Singular] Is/Are [Plural]? I often encounter sentences like ...
10
votes
4answers
40k views

Should it be 10 US$ or US$ 10?

Which is correct to use in a sentence, 10 US$ or US$ 10. Perhaps USD should be used instead or even something else?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“Pretend to not” vs. “Pretend not to” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Order of “not” with infinitive The following are both accepted as grammatically correct, right? You pretend to not notice. You pretend not to ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Different ways to say “even if”

Are all of these grammatically correct and equivalent? Even if I fail Even should I fail Even if I should fail What are the differences, if any? Could the last example be ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What are all the ways the British use the word “lovely”? Especially towards pretty girls?

From watching many period dramas and plays set in England, as I like to do, I've become more acutely aware of the British overloading of the word lovely. In particular, I have two questions: What ...
20
votes
6answers
11k views

What do you call those divisions of a book bigger than a paragraph but smaller than a chapter?

In printed books, or at least in novels, there are often major breaks within a chapter more important than paragraphs. Often they are separated by a greater amount of whitespace than paragraphs and ...
2
votes
2answers
207 views

“Canalized” usage in “a great impact which can also be canalized”

I'm in doubt if this is the correct usage of the word canalized: In the US a researching team found that pure entertainment, such as TV series or movies, have a great impact which can also be ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Case of USD — “United States Dollar” or “United States dollar”

What is correct, United States dollar or United States Dollar? In the examples below the emphasis is mine. Example 1 (context) The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD; also abbreviated US$) ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Does British English have a word for dry, starchy savoury snacks that are not fried slices of potato?

Everyone, the world over, enjoys savoury snacks, particularly dry, starchy ones. Far and away the most popular kind in the Anglosphere are the ones made from deep-fried (sometimes baked) thinly-sliced ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What would you call someone who needs to watch the news every day?

My friend claims there are people who have or are perceived to have some disorder where they must watch the news every day or they feel very agitated. Disregarding the truth of such a claim, what ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

“make it to there” [closed]

Consider the following two phrases which are both about going to some place: If I can't make it there If I can't make it to there Isn't the second phrase grammatically correct, whereas the ...

15 30 50 per page