0
votes
1answer
428 views

Why is this ‘loved’ italicized? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Usage of italics in writing “But I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathetic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one’s ever understood me like you, Tom...I’m so ...
15
votes
3answers
27k views

“Denoted by” or just “denoted”?

In a mathematical context (explaining a formula just written) the following seems unobjectionable: "The set of unitary polynomials has been denoted by P". My question is whether it sounds right to ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is “head over heels” used as if it were exceptional rather than commonplace?

Most people spend part of each day standing, and if they have normal anatomy their heads are over their heels in this position. Even sitting or lying down, the head is higher than the heels (if not ...
3
votes
1answer
809 views

What is the meaning and usage of the word “dense”?

I often come across people saying to each other: I don't want to be too dense here, but… What does the term dense imply in such contexts?
1
vote
1answer
155 views

“Loviest-doviest” or “lovey-doviest”?

I know that this term in its comparative form would 'lovier-dovier', but somehow I can't decide whether it is "loviest-doviest" or "lovey-doviest" Which is the correct form?
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Does using the word “crony” necessitate a negative connotation?

I have always heard the word "crony" in the context of acquaintanceships between people exploiting their closeness for less than noble means. Despite its definitions in the usual places as simply long-...
2
votes
2answers
241 views

Does using the word “prefer” contain an implication of “necessity”?

I would prefer you come in and not your friend to get the signature. Above is the sentence in the email I received from my supervisor. I was in another city so I had no choice but to ask my friend ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it okay to say “Yes, we do” in answer to “Are you having a good time?”

How to correctly answer the question "Are you having a good time?" Imagine a parent coming into a room, in which his 12-year-old son is having his birthday party with his classmates. Kids are really ...
11
votes
5answers
49k views

Does the word after a question mark start with a capital letter? [duplicate]

Should I write it like this? Or perhaps like this? Should I write it like this? or perhaps like this? What about after an exclamation mark or semicolon?
20
votes
5answers
113k views

Is using “fruits” as the plural of “fruit” acceptable?

I've always understood the plural of fruit to be fruit, not fruits. I was looking at some marketing material and they used the word "fruits" in the following context: A unique infusion made with ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

What does ‘shpritz’ mean?

I came across the word shpritz in the following sentence of a New York Times article (May 12th) titled, "At 100, Still a Teacher, Quite a Character": At 100 years old, Ms. Kaufman is still ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there an 'official' way to suggest a new word become part of the English language? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English Creating a new word What are the criteria to adopt new words into English? I've always been told, at least ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Proper usage of “status quo”

I was attending my college re-union and a speaker just said that "Having an ebook reader is status quo". Apparently, it means that it is in vogue or in fashion. I do not think it is the correct ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any significance in little curls joining the st and ct in old books?

I've been reading a facsimile edition of Defoe's Captain Singleton and have noticed a little quirk of the text; where an st or a ct appear, they are joined with a little curl over the top, but nt, rt ...
18
votes
4answers
20k views

What follows next in the sequence “unary, binary, ternary…”?

I looked on Oxford's online dictionary and was able to find the names identifying orders of a given degree: primary secondary tertiary quaternary quinary senary septenary octonary nonary denary -- ...
3
votes
6answers
8k views

How do you pronounce 'news'?

My coworker and I have been having this discussion for a day or two... What is the most correct way to pronounce 'new' or 'news' ? Does it rhyme with 'few' ? or 'snooze' ? Does 'new crew' rhyme? I ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Are uncountable nouns singular?

Is the following correct (those referring to the uncountable noun information)? If SO reports on that information, what are the metrics on those? Or should it be the following? If SO reports ...
14
votes
8answers
32k views

Meaning of “go figure” and its origin?

Sometimes, people use a colloquial phrase of "it figures" or "go figure", which is kind of an acknowledgement of the correctness of a fact, or something like that. It's also sometimes abbreviated even ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Opposite of anthropomorphise

To anthropomorphise is to ascribe human features to something, such as an animal. Is there a word that means the opposite, namely to deny a feature exists in an animal because it is assumed to be ...
4
votes
2answers
670 views

What is the relationship between fame and infamy?

In layman's terms, what is the relationship between fame and infamy? Is fame required to be infamous? Are they (definitively) mutual exclusive?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Hyphen in the noun 'switching-off'? Or gerunds of compound verbs, more generally?

I'm currently proof-reading my girlfriend's Ph.D. thesis (neither of us are native speakers) and I came across the following sentence snippet: "the switching-off induces eddy currents", and the word '...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

What are the meaning and possible origin of “word!” and “word up”?

Several times, I have had conversations, all over instant messenger, finish with "word" or "Word up G". As it ends a conversation, I am guessing it is like "goodbye". My question is what is the ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Catenatives followed by infinitives and gerunds

What is the difference in meaning when the catenative verb “like” is followed by an infinitive, or by a gerund? For example: Do you like ski jumping? vs. Do you like to ski jump? Also, ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Is this grammatically correct? “You see a dirt block, above which a stone block”

Is this grammatically correct? You see in front of you a dirt block, above which a stone block. If not how should it be fixed?
6
votes
3answers
918 views

Using “RSVP” as a noun

RSVP literally means "Please respond", however it seems to have turned itself into a noun in common usage: "What's your RSVP for the party?" "I'm attending" Is it acceptable to refer to a ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How to ask a knowledge question without causing offence?

By "knowledge question", I mean any sort of question intended to check whether the listener already knows the answer or not. For example: Are you familiar with how an operating system works? Do you ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Difference between wreath, garland, and laurel

Dictionary definitions: wreath an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring and used for decoration or for laying on a grave. garland a wreath of flowers and leaves, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the past tense of “dive”? Of “spell”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: UK English: Is "dived" a valid word? Spelt and Spelled “Dreamed” vs. “dreamt”, “leaped” vs. “leapt”, “lighted” vs. “lit” Evolution of irregular verbs over the last century ...
6
votes
6answers
15k views

Phrasal Verbs. Rules and Tricks

Are there any rules or tricks that might explain how phrasal verbs are formed to understand their meanings?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Could “lolcat” be used to mean “something funny”?

The lolcat came from a problem with the Stack Overflow API. Is this usage of lolcat generally understood?
1
vote
2answers
356 views

Grammar: Use of 'that' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence Which of the following is correct in British English? 1) There are 100 people going to the party, so I expect it will be a good ...
14
votes
4answers
411 views

“They had whatted the car?”

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language says this: Echo what is syntactically very different from the interrogative pronoun what. It can replace words of more or less any category, and can ...
19
votes
10answers
14k views

How should “deceptively” actually be used?

I'm not sure if this is a duplicate question, but I couldn't find anything on here on the topic. I can't seem to figure out what is actually meant when using the word "deceptive," or rather, what is ...
4
votes
6answers
4k views

Is “let go your hand” grammatically correct?

Wherever "let go of your hand" is used, can "let go your hand" be used in its place? Is there any difference at all?
4
votes
3answers
627 views

Meaning of 'patchy at best'?

Its social web services initiatives have been patchy at best, so Google hasn't managed to muscle in on Facebook or Twitter like it has with Microsoft and Yahoo.
9
votes
5answers
30k views

Differences between “coordinate” (n.) and “co-ordinate” (n.)

I can't seem to spot any differences or usages where one would use the hyphenation version versus the non. According to Online Etymology they both point to coordinate. I can see co-ordinate (v.) ...
8
votes
4answers
11k views

A word for the meaning of “abuse of the authoritative/political power” [closed]

I need a single-word for the meaning of "abuse of the authoritative/political power".
0
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the meaning of “judgmental comments”? [closed]

What is the meaning of "judgmental comments" and where can it be used?
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Word that means “Simultaneously relaxed and focused”?

I saw George Will on TV and he used a word (and immediately defined it) but all I was heard was the definition, not the actual word. "Emmetropic" is the closest I can come to finding a word that ...
7
votes
2answers
854 views

Do “soon” and “recently” have antonyms?

Are "a long way in the future" and "long ago" the best phrases or are there single words to describe these very common concepts? I am probably missing something obvious.
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Etymology of a strange sense of “kick”, as in, “I'm on a Sailor Moon kick right now”

[I'm not really on a Sailor Moon kick. ^_^] Still, the use of the word kick to denote the feeling of a "current or temporary pleasure" is pretty strange, isn't it? How did it evolve from its ...
8
votes
3answers
629 views

Strange English mnemonic: 'S' before 'N', except after the 15th century

Whilst on my previous Angevin history kick, I strolled upon the word demesne, and of course had to look it up at the Online Etymology Dictionary, trying to figure out in what sense it differed from ...
2
votes
2answers
581 views

Does the incorrect pronunciation of a word make it incomprehensible? [closed]

Not being an English native speaker, I find there are many words I pronounce differently from how an anglophone would (and differently from the phonetics prescribed in typical dictionaries). However, ...
19
votes
6answers
15k views

He's good people. Just him. The one guy

I think this is a Midwestern thing, but where does the phrase "good people" come from? I'm referring specifically to the usage: "I like Bob. He's good people."
28
votes
6answers
138k views

What does “pax” mean in the context of the apartment rental?

I'm looking at apartment ads in Singapore, but I don't understand what pax means. Here's an example: View 8pm today @ Hdb Approved HDB 1+1 Blk 3 Jalan Kukoh (Chin Swee Rd): 15 min walk ...
5
votes
3answers
298 views

Strange verb string tonal pattern

In a sentence involving a string of verbs as a list (as opposed to modifying each other), the standard American English tonal pattern for that string almost always begins high and decreases in pitch ...
8
votes
3answers
537 views

What difference does using 'had' make to those two verb tenses, and if so, what is it?

What is the difference between if I had studied and if I studied? Can you provide an example of when one usage would be more appropriate than the other?
7
votes
3answers
43k views

“Thank both of you”

Is there a trace first person pronoun before the utterance "thank you", making it shorthand for "I/we thank you"? A ramification of this question is an expression of gratitude I just heard that didn'...
4
votes
4answers
359 views

What's a nice way to phrase this?

I want to get across the idea that I can't work with this person because I don't agree with the amount of pay he has written in the contract (or just contract terms in general). I just think writing ...
6
votes
5answers
13k views

Word with meaning of “taking advantage of somebody”

I need one word with the meaning of "take advantage of somebody for personal benefit", is there any one?

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