8
votes
2answers
674 views

Substituting “do” after modals

Occasionally I hear native English speakers, typically those from outside the U.S., say things like: Are you going to the concert this weekend? Yeah, I might do. That is, rather than saying I ...
1
vote
2answers
971 views

Use of medical words

When charting on a patient, and a choice is high cholesterol, should both be capitalized?
8
votes
6answers
4k views

What possessive forms are used for mutual 1st person ownership? [duplicate]

I want to talk to someone about the house that my wife and I own. Saying, for example, "My wife's and my house is awesome," sounds a bit funny to me. What's the best way to express this? ...
9
votes
1answer
505 views

Is there a word for the use of a nationality to change the meaning of a noun?

In phrases such as Russian Roulette, Dutch Courage and French Letter the nationality changes the meaning of the noun. Is there a word for this?
29
votes
8answers
104k views

Is it correct to say Person A is the “spitting image” or the “splitting image” of Person B?

I understand that when trying to describe a person who has a resemblance to another, the common term is spitting image. As in: Person A is a spitting image of Person B. Here's my issue, I've ...
3
votes
2answers
412 views

What is a good substitute that is less localized than “secular”?

I am having trouble using the term "secular" to convey a sense of bringing a religiously neutral ground to government, society, and culture. What term is better than "secular", that is less localized ...
1
vote
6answers
2k views

word to describe one's ability to speak truthfully in a given situation

I'm looking for a word that has the specific connotation/denotation about the speaker's ability to speak truthfully based on their knowledge of the subject that they are speaking about. For example: ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Is this correct: “Once you'll figure out how this works, you'll love it”

Is this sentence correct? Once you'll figure out how this works, you'll love it What I am trying to convey is: The person that I am addressing does not understand a certain concept. I want ...
43
votes
7answers
5k views

Is there a difference between “disc” and “disk” for naming digital storage media?

I thought that a disc was a disc, and it is sometimes spelled disk. I now have got an indication that those two are not the same thing. In this answer on Graphic Design, I wrote floppy disc in the ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

May, might confusion

When should I use each of the following: This may help. This might help. I always get confused about the use of may and might.
1
vote
3answers
386 views

How commonly is “but” used in sentences?

Usually, whenever I post a question on Stack Overflow, I have a habit of using the word but excessively. Is there an alternative word can I use?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Sun shining up a dog’s arse?

There used to be (probably still is) a saying that had the sun shining up a dog’s arse ocasionally. Can you remind be how it went?
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Words that are pluralized in the middle?

This is purely a curiosity, but I'm fascinated by mid-word pluralization, even if the word in question is a compound word. For example, passersby or standersby. No others have occurred to me. Can ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What does 'outsize character' mean?

I saw the following sentence in today's New York Times: Despite questions about their coach's outsize personality, the Jets have won three playoff games in two seasons under Rex Ryan. As the ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Educational course nomenclature

I am looking for a noun to describe an individual meeting of a course, as in a course of study at a university. Class is not an option in this case. Thoughts?
5
votes
8answers
2k views

What's a better word for “pensive” in this situation?

I just used the word "pensive" to describe the feeling of a system administrator's state of mind while waiting for a long-running task to complete successfully, but I don't think that's the right ...
2
votes
2answers
393 views

Can 'Rock-God' be applied to musicians other than rock musicians?

I saw the following sentence in today's New York Times. I understand 'Rock-God' means an artist almost deified by fans because of his or her performance and reputation. Can 'Rock-God' be applied to ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Meaning of “meta-”

I am trying to figure out the meaning of prefix "Meta-" in English. Quoted from Wikipedia Meta- (from Greek: μετά = "after", "beyond", "with", "adjacent", "self"), is a prefix used in ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

Should “an” be used before words beginning with “h”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A historic…” or “An historic…”? Should an be used before words beginning with 'h'? What about when the 'h' is silent and is ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Differences between “audio” and “sound”?

What is the difference between "audio" and "sound"? Is it possible that a beeping noise could be considered one but not the other?
14
votes
7answers
3k views

What does “they made bones” mean?

Context: an old (70+ years old) Londoner is being interviewed about his past as a lighterman on the River Thames and says the following: Three big wharves there, they've flattened, all gone. One ...
2
votes
1answer
942 views

Does one use a hyphen in between 'other' and 'hand' when saying “on the other hand”?

When I was typing this sentence "And on the other hand, some user actions don't trigger the same response." my spell checker mentioned that I might put a hyphen between 'other' and 'hand' and use ...
3
votes
3answers
382 views

Which one is the proper alternative ? niche / field / area / domain

I'm developing software that asks user to specify a niche / field / area / domain of the document he is uploading. It can be business proposal, technical documentation, official stuff, correspondence, ...
2
votes
6answers
686 views

Kilo as 1 024, Mega as 1 048 576

Under SI, the kilo prefix refers to 1,000 and mega refers to 1,000,000. In strict computer terms, kilo refers to 1,024 (210), mega refers to 1,048,576 (220) and giga is 1,073,741,824 (230). The ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the abbreviations most commonly used on the Internet? [closed]

Every so often I see various abbreviations used on forums and blogs and whatnot, such as FYI (For Your Information) and AFAIK (As Far As I Know). What other common abbreviations are there, and what ...
95
votes
4answers
163k views

When “etc.” is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it?

Example: It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. VS. It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc.. Update What happens if the abbreviation is inside parentheses, do you place a dot ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Do Americans say “don't” as often as the British?

this is really a question for Americans. When watching US TV or films, it's often my impression that, while using all the other contractions, Americans don't seem so keen on 'don't', but use 'do not' ...
12
votes
8answers
27k views

What is the origin of the phrase “when push comes to shove”?

"When push comes to shove" means "as a last resort" or "if absolutely necessary". Does anyone know why the phrase came to be used in this way?
2
votes
2answers
445 views

could or can + would?

If I could make it back to the office, I would come. Should I use could or can here?
8
votes
2answers
22k views

“Do you not” vs. “Don't you”

I live in the UK and I mostly hear people saying Don't you..., but some people say: Do you not...? What is the difference and which one is more correct? You can put any example really. Something ...
5
votes
2answers
795 views

“Can't it also be” or “Can't it be also” in a question?

They both have plenty examples available, but which one is preferable? "Can't it also be" — 1,310,000 Google results "Can't it be also" — 1,430,000 Google results
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Can ‘although’ be used in this way?

We still haven't got a sponsor although the fact that we've written to dozens of companies. What's wrong with ‘although’ in the sentence above?
3
votes
3answers
892 views

“Me” versus “I”

He was almost as bad at English as me. He was almost as bad at English as I. The first one sounds better as-is, but not when you change the second one to He was almost as bad at English as I was. ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Capitalization of User Interface Buttons

Being an amateur programmer and a bit of a perfectionist, I often find myself wondering about capitalization in user interfaces. If you look towards the top of this very website, you'll notice the ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What’s the etymology of the word “unstable”, in the context of software?

Approximately when in the history of computing did unstable come to be commonly used to refer to computer software? Can this time in history be linked to the release of a certain product (no jokes ...
7
votes
7answers
21k views

What does “fine-grained” mean?

I always see "fine-grained" in technology articles. What does it mean?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What does “draw back a stump” mean?

What does it mean to "draw back a stump" in this sentence? "Keep touching me like that, and you'll draw back a stump."
1
vote
2answers
14k views

Should I use “told you” or “have told you” in this example?

Sentence: She obviously has a legit excuse, although she could have been more responsible and told you in advance
0
votes
2answers
645 views

What is the meaning of the preposition “back” in the following sentence?

We learned how to test-drive the repository back in Section x.x, Creating and Reading Records, on page xxx.
3
votes
6answers
435 views

How do you say 'Twisted' Congress power balance?

Currently Japan’s ruling party (Democratic Party) holds a majority in the Lower House, but fewer seats in the Upper House than the opposition party (Liberal Democratic Party). We call the state of ...
1
vote
2answers
681 views

on Wall Street vs on the Wall Street

Why is the article before "Wall Street" extraneous?
1
vote
1answer
223 views

What's the meaning of 'symbolic swipe'?

I saw the following sentence in today's Washington Post: House Republicans cleared a hurdle Friday in their first attempt to scrap President Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul, yet it was ...
9
votes
11answers
175k views

Which is correct: “drive safe” or “drive safely”?

When someone is going to drive their car somewhere, I always used to say "drive safely" to them. Recently I was told I should say "drive safe." (From: Would you ask someone to drive safe or to ...
16
votes
4answers
9k views

Should the names of seasons be capitalized?

When you are writing about the seasons, should you capitalize their names? For example, would you say: I love the colors of the leaves in Autumn. Or should you say: I love the colors of the ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Present perfect vs. Past perfect for finished actions [duplicate]

When is the perfect tense used? All examples illustrating perfect are always answer to the same question. So there is no way when I can simply said: I have written a note or I had written a ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

What are the reasons that its decision to open itself automatically or not is based on?

Is the following phrase grammatically right? "When Twitter shows a notification, what are the reasons that its decision to open itself automatically or not is based on?" This question is probably ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the meaning of “Ye Olde Timers got Ye Olde Tired of this.”?

In a blog article posted by Joel Spolsky, there is a sentence saying "Ye Olde Timers got Ye Olde Tired of this." I don't know what the meaning is. I've checked the definition of "Ye olde" in wiki, but ...
1
vote
5answers
480 views

“Listening up and down?”

Is "listening this music album up and down" correct English? It's supposed to mean "listening over and over again", but I've never seen it used.
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Etymology of “Scantily clad”

I'm aware of the meaning of "scantily clad", the internet gives some good clues on that (Side question: Does it have erotic implications in itself?). However, what do the actual words mean ("clad" ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

Which goal is whose?

Here is the situation: Kids in a small yard are about to play soccer. There are no goalposts in that yard (or "goals" or whatever you call it, I mean those metal frames on each side of the soccer ...

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