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
667 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
16k views

“At the time” versus “at that time”

If I want to say that during the accident there were no passengers, how do I phrase it? There were no passengers at the time. There were no passengers at that time.
3
votes
2answers
182 views

What is the meaning of 'is' in this sentence?

I'm reading 'Black as Snow' by Nick Nolan and encountered this sentence. "It's never easy." Libby laughed while clinking her cup with is. "But it works." What's the meaning of 'is' in this ...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

“Let's burn that bridge when we come to it” – is this sort of idiom mixing considered a pun, and if so, does it have a specific name?

I couldn't come up with a short title, but the upside is that there is not much needed to be said in the body of the question! For @dmr (and others), it mixes “let's cross that bridge when we come ...
1
vote
3answers
485 views

What's the difference between “I must help her” and “ I have to help her”

To me "I must help her" sounds wrong. I feel that I would rarely say this. On one website they say that 'must' is more for personal obligations (e.g. I must help my mother.) and that 'have to' is ...
4
votes
2answers
444 views

Why is she saying “bang him on the counter” when he is a small living thing?

It says on a dictionary that ‘bang’ means to hit violently or noisily. However, I think the following bang means merely put or place because the object is a rat and because Ron ‘placed him’ after the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What does military plane’s escort (of an American Airlines flight) was “out of abundance of caution”’mean?

I listen to AP Radio News, and I heard the following report on September 12: “Two military planes were sent to intercept an American Airlines flight headed for New York from Los Angeles after reports ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

<something> and <something> is enough or are enough?

You don't have to call me again to confirm about our meeting - just this one e-mail from you and my reply to it is well enough. Should it be "is" or "are" in this case?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a word for place and year of birth and death?

Imagine a form like this one: year of birth: place of birth: year of death: place of death: How would you name that form?
1
vote
1answer
328 views

Derivations of operation, operable vs. reparation, reparable

After a little thought I decided irreparable derives from repairable, but a few seconds later, decided it stems from reparation, "like operable from operation". Looking the words up, I found I was ...
5
votes
1answer
402 views

Is there a term for a euphemistic term being used literally?

Is there a term for using a word that's often a euphemism to mean exactly what the word means? For example, in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, what would the act of using the word "seamstress" to refer ...
9
votes
2answers
449 views

Term for not recognizing faces

I remember a term for someone who has difficulty remembering faces. I was reading several years ago, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and my friend told me that Humpty Dumpty had that disorder(he told ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of “Circle around with”

All too often my boss will say to me "I'll circle around with you later" I assume it means "I'll catch up with you later" or something of the sort, but I feel the "circle" implies some sort of ...
6
votes
2answers
27k views

Is “performance” singular or also plural?

When I have to use information and performance I'm always confused. However, I'm asking whether when I'm referring to more than one piece of information of performance I should use "information/...
40
votes
10answers
124k views

“Race” is to “racism” as “religion” is to what?

I've heard "racist" being used in a few cases to describe bigotry towards people of a certain religion. It's a bit annoying because it implies that all people of a religion are the same race, which is ...
6
votes
3answers
417 views

What is the correct usage for 'nominate'?

Can one say "have you nominated" or would you require an object, "have you nominated yourself"? Context is that of an election, for example.
1
vote
0answers
107 views

Dogs' or dogs's? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Me and a friend are wondering whether the right form of the possessive for the plural of a word (say dog) would be ...
3
votes
7answers
13k views

What's a word for “a thoroughly enjoyable experience”?

What's a word for "a thoroughly enjoyable experience"? Something like the opposite of a "trial"?
1
vote
3answers
13k views

Pronunciation of “i” in the words like “direct”, “organization”, etc

I'm a nonnative speaker of English and I've always been unsure about the pronunciation of "i" inside words like direct, organization, etc. I was thinking that it's a matter of choice between American ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Indirect questions using “do you think”

When we ask an indirect, closed question we usually use if: Will he be home soon? Can you tell me if he'll be home soon? Do you know if he'll be home soon? Why do we not use if with do ...
7
votes
2answers
945 views

Where did “sorry” get its vowel sound?

Sorry has two pronunciations in my dictionary: ˈsärē and ˈsôrē. The first is the one I am interested in because, as someone pointed out to me, the or pattern in English is nearly always pronounced as "...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Dissecting an English sentence using a pattern

I am trying to make a script that can dissect an English sentence. The problem is, I have no idea how to dissect an English sentence when the words are not familiar. I know what the nouns, verbs, etc ...
1
vote
2answers
573 views

“Cancel” versus “close” versus “abolish” when referring to a debit/credit card

What is the difference (semantical or local/cultural) between cancel, close vs. abolish when referred to a debit/credit card?
4
votes
5answers
676 views

Analogy for arising difficulties

I'm looking for a metaphor or analogy for experiencing more and more difficulties (after getting more familiar with a certain teaching or art). I think I have seen a few in the past but I can't think ...
2
votes
2answers
281 views

Meaning of a saying about the difference between L.A. and New York [closed]

What is the meaning of the following? The difference between L.A. and New York is that in New York when you get robbed, you see the gun... UPD: Below is a part of the original discussion: ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “crossed signals” mean in this context?

While reading Experts Exchange(EE) Community Newsletter, I came across a new phrase. I'm trying to understand, what does crossed signals mean in this context? Excerpt from the Newsletter: This ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does “hard cheese” mean “bad luck”?

Particularly in British English, a common saying in response to someone's complaining about something is, "hard cheese". This basically means, "tough luck". How did this expression come about; what ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Are sentences that have multiple “WH Question” words considered grammatical?

Are sentences that have multiple "WH Question" words considered grammatical ? For example, is the following sentence grammatical: Tomorrow, where are we meeting at what time to do what ?
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Does “to flatline” only means “to die”, or can it refer to an actual flat graph?

I was looking at this ngram which features a flat line meaning absolutely no usage of the word I was looking for. I thought about describing it in these terms: The Google ngram clearly flatlines ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

As “postscript” is one word, why do some abbreviate it as “p.s.”?

'Postscript' is a single word in modern English, and Dictionary.com states that it's even based on a single Latin word, postscrīptum. So, why do some abbreviate it to p.s. (or P.S.), as on this ...
3
votes
5answers
558 views

Analogy for an absurd way to teach something?

I recently found out that someone is being taught the programming language Python to learn math. This seems quite absurd, and I could have sworn I had heard an analogy about something like this, but ...
15
votes
10answers
77k views

Difference between “I'm fine” and “I'm good”

When my coworker in the US asks me "How are you?" I usually answer "I'm fine", but the last time I told him "I'm good" and he replied "I'm glad to hear that". It looks like "I'm fine" means "I'm OK" ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

“Each” vs. “both”

I have this sentence: Each of the datasets HapMap 6 and CEU HapMap 610 is stored in two schemas. Background: a schema is a namespace within a database. Possible variations include: [Each of/...
12
votes
7answers
19k views

Origin of the of the phrase “feeling blue”

Where did the expression "feeling blue" come from?
2
votes
5answers
3k views

“Vitriol” vs “caustic comments”

In choosing whether to use the expression He spewed his usual vitriol or He spewed his usual caustic comments does one carry more weight than the other?
7
votes
10answers
3k views

Adjective for “Visual Cacophony”

What is an adjective that describes something very visually crowded or busy? Cacophonous is perfect, but it describes sound.
8
votes
5answers
954 views

A pedant's plea for a proper pun

This problem has plagued me occasionally, and I'm finally asking: What is the proper grammar (specifically, verb use and capitalization) in the following pun situation? The only Windows I want to ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the proper phrasing “SMS” or “SMS Message”?

I know that "SMS" stands for "Short Messaging Service." But, The term SMS is used as a synonym for all types of short text messaging as well as the user activity itself in many parts of the ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is “Saturday” Romanic?

Sunday and Monday are named after the sun and moon (English < Germanic), and Tuesday through Friday are named after Anglo-Saxon/Germanic gods. This seems consistent enough so far, but then we come ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “to allege” and “to claim”?

What is the difference between to allege and to claim? Can I use them interchangeably? Or perhaps I can only allege something illegal? For example, from CNET: Over the past several months, the ...
5
votes
5answers
578 views

Why is the common meaning of logical terms ('and', 'or') incongruous from that in math?

If someone wrote that they want "nuts and bolts", they would get a bunch of hardware they could attach things with. If this was software or math, they would only receive nothing, because things are (...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the early recorded use of “white trash” and has its meaning changed over time?

I am reading The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, written in 1885, and came across a passage describing poor white Southerners who had no property or slaves but who were nevertheless coerced or ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Should broader types be capitalized?

I'm seeing that I get a red squiggle under the words asian and european. When I right-click either, it wants to capitalize the word. I wouldn't think a general type of thing gets capitalized, such as "...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Is there a difference between saying a place is “well-lighted” versus “well-lit” or is it just stylistic? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the difference between “well-lighted” and “well-lit”? I feel that "well-lit" means there is enough light whereas "well-lighted" implies ...

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