3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is this sentence truly a fragment?

Microsoft Office is claiming a statement I recently made is a fragment, however I do not agree with its opinion. Bob, to my knowledge that resource is currently unsupported. Can anyone provide ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Changed upon the blue guitar?

I had seen the following excerpt from this poem in a rhetoric workbook a while ago as an example of a word construction: They said, "You have a blue guitar, You do not play things as they are." ...
6
votes
1answer
327 views

What is the term for giving an action or phenomenon somebody's name, e.g. “Doing a Lord Lucan”?

A friend of mine is keen on taking the glory (or adverse publicity!) when something goes wrong on a job he's working on and he likes to give it his name, e.g., "this is turning into a right Simpson of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Which is correct: “full context” or “complete context”?

"For the full context, see this." vs. For the complete context, see this." Are both identical in meaning? Do I need the article "the"? Please explain.
12
votes
4answers
660 views

Is there a word for “part of a route”?

I'm building a software application where I calculate which way to take between two different places. I call the complete path for a Route (correct?). But what do I call each part of the route? The ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is “bream” pronounced as “brim”?

Every time I catch an Acanthopagrus australis, commonly known as a yellowfin bream, I wonder why its name is prounced "brim", (as in the same way you would pronounce the brim of a hat). ...
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

Heraldry symbols description

I'm reading Game of Thrones, in English, and when some Heraldry shields are shown as the novel goes, I have some doubts about the meaning on some words. Or given the context some words don't mean what ...
4
votes
11answers
455 views

Fetched later/deferred and gotten now

I have two questions. Is there a noun for something which should be deferred? What would be the opposite for something which should be "fetched later"?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“To enable him to escape” vs. “to enable him escape”

I have been coming across this kind of sentence more and more: She gave him a key to enable him to escape capture. She gave him a key to enable him escape capture. Which sentence is correct? ...
2
votes
3answers
16k views

What is the tense of “I would have been happy to…”?

I would have been happy to let you use the money, if you would give me a date to leave. Is this a past present tense? I need to explain this statement I made, correctly.
1
vote
4answers
1k views

What is the verb X if X relates to “prerequisite” as the verb “require” relates to “requirement”?

The context of this question is naming a function in programming. I'd like to find a good name for a function that takes a parameter of type prerequisite. For instance, if I have a function that ...
11
votes
12answers
3k views

Words to describe a semi-literate person

I once had a manager whose level of literacy was lacking to the extent that he would nearly always return my technical reports with sections rewritten such that they became either ungrammatical, or ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Hex, curse, spell, jinx, charm

I'm listening to some Harry Potter audio books, and there are so many words describing the work of the spell. One can be cursed, charmed, hexed or jinxed. What's the difference?
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Is “I can't go on, I'll go on” an idiom or not?

What does the following phrase mean? I can't go on, I'll go on. And is it an idiom or not? I've found it in a Gogol Bordello song. The text is in Forces of Victory.
-6
votes
2answers
175 views

Wrapping with “of” [closed]

How should the following sentence be wrapped: Data compression of file system or Data compression of file system "of" should stay on the upper line, or should be placed in next line?
2
votes
3answers
98 views

A Semi-Independent Chapter (of an organization)

I have a chapter of an organization that would like to position itself as less strongly affiliated with the parent organization. They want to be under the umbrella but not as consolidated as full ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Using 'very' with a noun

Are these correct ways to use very with a noun? She is the very girl I want. On the very year of 2012, comes the end of the world. This is the very company everyone wants to work for. ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the word for an image hidden inside a painting?

My father-in-law has a painting by Vu Cao Dam of two girls and a man on horseback. He found a hidden fox in the painting, and today we were looking at it and found some more. What do you call it ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

A man's breast vs. a woman's breasts

Why is it that breast is used when referring to a man's chest, but breasts is used for a woman's? Could breast also mean a woman's chest, or do breasts have to be used when referring to a woman's ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Where did the expression “to up the ante” come from?

I know what it means, but I cannot understand where it could have come from.
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is “busy” pronounced “bizzy”?

Of all the ways I could come up with to pronounce the word "busy", "bizzy" would be very low on my list. At least "bussy" or "boosy". Why "bizzy"?
14
votes
9answers
63k views

What does “double-down” mean when used in a context other than Blackjack?

I saw the phrase “double-down” in the following sentence of the Washington Post article (June 28, 2011) titled “Why Michele Bachmann is no Sarah Palin.” “Palin is notorious for doubling-down on ...
1
vote
3answers
117 views

Is it correct to speak of an object as “cover” ? or to say “behind cover”?

In gunfights, fighters protect themselves from shots by staying behind objects. It's called taking cover and staying behind cover. But cover, just like shadow, is the consequence of the position of ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does the ending -ough have six pronunciations?

There are "cough", "tough", "bough", "through", and "though" (and "hiccough", if you're not from the U.S.); each of which has a different pronunciation for the ending "-ough". Why is this? Edit for ...
8
votes
5answers
35k views

What's the opposite of “precede”?

In the particular context that I'm in, I was writing about several lines of programming. For simplicity, let's call them: line a line b First, I described line a. Great. Then I wanted to write ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Hyphenating spelled-out fractions with large numerators and/or denominators

I find myself in the awkward position of needing to systematically spell out fractions where the numerator, the denominator, or both have three or more digits, and I'm not sure about the hyphenation. ...
11
votes
2answers
7k views

Why “themselves” and “himself”

In the earliest grades of elementary schools, students learn that "hisself" and "theirselves" are not words. I do not understand why this is. If you wanted to refer to 'his' sock, you would say "his ...
0
votes
4answers
390 views

What is a word for “one entity widening conditions for another”?

I'm searching for a word that means "A widens conditions for B". I mean that A has a positive influence on B and thanks to existence of A, B can exist in more tough conditions.
16
votes
3answers
13k views

Why do we use 'did' with questions using the simple past tense?

Where did you go last night? Where went you last night? Is there a reason we say the first of the previous two sentences as opposed to the last one? I know the second sentence is ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons. What does "the faster we counted our spoons" mean in the citation above?
18
votes
4answers
24k views

Is it a “driver license” or a “driver's license” or a “drivers license” or…what?

I've often wondered why my Ohio license is called a "driver license". It is awkward to say it like that. Wouldn't something like driver's license be more appropriate? Or driving license (like ...
2
votes
2answers
54k views

How should a date be written? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Date formatting in written English Which of these is the correct way to write a date? 1- Wednesday 5th of June, 2010 2- Wednesday 5th June, 2010 3- Wednesday the 5th of ...
7
votes
6answers
32k views

Being in love with someone

Is there a difference between loving someone and being in love with them? I sort of think that being in love with someone might imply that there are reciprocal feelings, but I'm not sure. If someone ...
1
vote
3answers
489 views

Car, Bus, Airplane, Truck excluding Bicycle

There are a lot of vehicles: cars, buses, airplanes, trucks excluding bicycles. There are a lot of vehicles: cars, buses, airplanes, trucks but bicycles. There are a lot of vehicles: cars, ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Use of prefixes mis- and mal-

The prefixes mis- and mal- basically mean the same thing. Mal-, from French, meaning "bad, badly, ill" and mis-, from Old English, meaning "bad, wrong". In some cases, mis- can derive from mes- ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

Seconds has/have passed

Which is proper? The method will be fired after the specified duration of seconds has passed. OR The method will be fired after the specified duration of seconds have passed.
3
votes
2answers
16k views

Pants — “is it” or “are they”?

This question has come straight from this great question title: Pants — why is it plural? I just thought that if somebody hadn't already edited the title, it is either written right, or all editors ...
2
votes
3answers
856 views

Look who's talking

English isn’t my main language, so maybe this isn’t a tough one. Is there a metaphor to say “he’s talking about this deed as a wrong one but he certainly does it too’? In Spanish, you could say ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

“On which” or “upon which”

Today, I am writing technical documentation that instructs the user how to install software to a server. I encountered the following sentence and am unsure which is correct: When installing to a ...
1
vote
4answers
867 views

Is “Sheath” the right word for describing exterior covering of the plane?

Can I use this word? Or is there a more suitable one?
1
vote
7answers
3k views

What would you call these people?

What would you call a person who searches around the block looking for useful & used stuff to buy? Also what would you call a person who sells stuffs that are no longer being used at home?
5
votes
5answers
718 views

Adverb for “Cannot be topped”

What's a good adverb to indicate an attribute that cannot be improved upon? I wanted 'untoppably' to be a word, but it isn't. Optimally and its synonyms come to mind, but it doesn't really have the ...
4
votes
3answers
16k views

'Provided that' followed by two conditions

In a sentence where 'provided that' is followed by two conditions, is a second instance of 'that' required, optional or wrong? 1: [statement A], provided that [statement B] and [statement C] ...
1
vote
2answers
606 views

First-person narrative of a story occurring at the moment

When narrating a story from the first-person perspective in the present tense, would the following be correct? I wake up at 7 am and see no sunlight entering my room. Thinking I'm up too early, I ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

Noun for enable (“enability”, “enabliness”)?

I need a noun to describe the state of being enabled/disabled. Do any exist? UPDATE: For example, I have some device (or software control), which can be in an enabled state or a disabled state. Let's ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

What does it mean to “eat glue”?

I have come across this phrase a time or two and can't seem to make any sense out of what it means. As a web developer and in the context of this graphic, I have a little idea what it may mean, but ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Are “fault” and “default” etymologically related?

Fault and default sound rather similar to me as a German, but are they really related? I am interested in default as used in default value for some configurable setting in computer programs.
20
votes
8answers
24k views

Are there any expressions that describe going from a bad to a worse situation?

Are there idioms or expressions in English that describe going from one bad situation to one that's even worse? I heard "between a rock and hard place" but this describes a dilemma not really a ...
0
votes
1answer
825 views

How can I tell when an abbreviation is an acronym?

I know an acronym is an abbreviation that can be pronounced as one word, but when is an abbreviation pronounced as one word? Making myself clearer, how do we know whether or not it is pronounced as ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

“Directly” in the meaning of “As soon as”

I've just read my first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. In it, I have found several instances of the word "directly" being used in a way I am not familiar with. It appears to have the meaning "when" ...

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