1
vote
3answers
719 views

Gender, generally associated with “toad” characters in English fiction and folklore

Common noun for a toad ("жаба") is of female gender in Russian. From all English literature that I read, I can remember only one toad-like character: Mr. Toad from The Wind in The Willows, and he is ...
30
votes
5answers
27k views

Is it a good practice to refer to countries, ships etc using the feminine form?

While talking about ships and countries, is it a good practice to use the feminine form? For example: "Her economy" - while referring to a country's economy "Her flag (or deck etc)" - while ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Singular or plural noun in a sentence after using both in a related conjunction?

Occasionally when I am writing a sentence, I end up in a situation where I do not know whether to use the singular or plural form of a noun because I used both just prior to it in a conjunction. For ...
5
votes
3answers
568 views

Castle Caladan - why a “pile of stone”?

Frank Herbert's Dune book begins with a sentence that describes Castle Caladan as a pile of stone that has been home to 26 generations of Atreides Dukes. Not being a native English speaker, I am left ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

When to use “just”

The word just is one of those overused words that carries little meaning and appears to just clutter up a sentence (oops, did it again). When is the use of just justified? What are better, clearer ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

“My another account” vs. “my other account”

A little debate going on here so I just want to know which one it is; I'm saying it's my other account since my another would be my one other account. The other person insists they both can be used; ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Compact rephrasing of “In contrast to previous work, our method …”

I am writing an abstract for a paper, where I say the following: "In contrast to previous work, our method does not rely on ...." Then, about three sentences later, I would like to use a similar ...
3
votes
1answer
304 views

“It is black's turn” or “it is blacks turn”?

Is it black's turn to move in chess, or is it blacks turn?
1
vote
2answers
182 views

Common word for discount and supplement

I need a common word that in its meaning include either discount or supplement.
7
votes
2answers
9k views

Is there a word that means “the wife of one's brother”?

In some of the non-Latin-based languages that I know there is a special word for your brother's wife. Is there such a word in English? Usage would be something like: She is my __ (My brother's ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

What does “make it cross” mean?

I believe it's a British phrase. I found it in that website, as: Fiat's Panda can offer an affordable route into 4x4 ownership. You just have to make it Cross. If you happen to know more ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Creating a new word [duplicate]

If you invent a new word, how do you go about getting this recognised as a real word in dictionaries?
1
vote
1answer
332 views

Why does spelling matter? [closed]

If I write mispelling as supposed to misspelling why does it matter? The meaning still exists. Everyone knows what I meant to write. There is no ambiguity. Why do some people consider the proper ...
4
votes
2answers
63 views

Owner vs. operator of a machine

The owner of a machine may be a company, while the person operating a machine (push buttons, feed material, etc) may be an employee of said company. But is the company also the operator of the ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

How to name a 15-minute period?

In Dutch, we have the word "kwartier" to denote a 15-minute period. It is derived from the word "kwart", which means quarter. It is very common to use this word in both spoken and written language. ...
11
votes
5answers
58k views

Which is correct — “a year” or “an year”? [duplicate]

The word year when pronounced starts with a phonetic sound of e which is a vowel sound making it eligible for being preceded by an. Yet, we tend to write a year. Why?
3
votes
4answers
5k views

Anyone for pudding?

I saw a reference to blancmange in an answer to another question and it got me thinking about pudding. It is very common in British English for the word pudding to be used as the general term for ...
22
votes
5answers
195k views

What is the difference between “sardonic” and “sarcastic”?

Basically, sardonic and sarcastic both stand for mocking gestures, but what is the difference in their contextual use? Are there any other words that represent a similar gesture?
17
votes
11answers
5k views

Adjective used to mean “smellable”

An object that can be seen is visible. Something that can be heard is audible. What's a similar word to indicate that something is smellable?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

A depends on B, is A dependant, or is B dependant?

If A is dependant, what does one call B?
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Proper use of the word “lousy”?

Is the sentence below correct? The place is lousy with hippies I looked it up on merriam-webster.com but they said that lousy was: infested with lice Close, but not quite there...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

“Many lost their life” or “Many lost their lives”

Many individuals lost their individual life. or Many individuals list their individual lives. Each person has one life right?
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Why does “tanking” at something mean failing at it?

Why does tanking at something mean failing at it? As an example: Mate, I tanked that maths exam.
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How to understand the word cascade in CSS?

Why it is called cascade, instead of inheritable, or derivable, or chained, or something else? Maybe I have misunderstood the word? And, when should I use the word cascade in my own software ...
18
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is there a slash within “n/a”

not available is not not/available, and not applicable is not not/applicable. Why is it n/a?
3
votes
3answers
223 views

Who is ‘Sarah Palin impersonator’?

Further to my question about the meaning of "If you must know" in Washington Post’s article on CPAC conference which I posted this morning in the forum, I stumbled on a phrase: the Sarah Palin ...
6
votes
0answers
276 views

What is the name for a word that is both singular and plural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a term for words that have identical singular and plural forms? Oddly enough for a computing tutor, I encounter the need for this term fairly often. I'm of ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

A word for “rate of change”

Physics problems are usually written like: The rate of change of the soup's temperature ... Is there a common English word that captures "rate of change" or "speed of change" in a single word, ...
4
votes
1answer
615 views

St. John's greatest dinner: how to indicate a possessive of a noun which already ends apostrophe - s [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: If the cricket ground Lord's is a possessive, what if you want to describe something belonging to Lord's? Here's a tricky one that I can't quite figure out the ...
3
votes
4answers
11k views

How does “if you must know” differ from “you may (might) know”?

In the following Washington Post's article (Feb. 13) reporting the outcome of CPAC 2011, I found the phrase if you must know. I think this phrase means though it may not be essential knowledge that ...
2
votes
4answers
578 views

Which is larger a “chasm” or a “gulf?”

For the meaning: figurative: a profound difference between people, viewpoints, feelings, etc. Is a chasm or a gulf generally interpreted as being a larger difference? A: The gulf ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: To hyphenate or not? What is the proper way to spell "side dish"? Is it: "side dish" or "side-dish"? Also, Is it "ham-fried" or "ham fried"? Basically, when do you use ...
17
votes
13answers
40k views

What do you call someone who betrays his/her spouse?

What do you call someone who betrays his/her spouse? Is the word different for men and women? Is it different for people who are in a relationship and not still married?
6
votes
5answers
6k views

US Equivalent to the Oxford English Dictionary

Apologies if this question is inappropriate for the site. In the US, what would be equivalent to the OED? The de facto standard. I know there's the New Oxford American Dictionary but in the US does ...
2
votes
6answers
4k views

Similar words that change from “-ter” to “tre”

I just found out that luster in British English was actually lustre. This was something that I did not know before. Are there any other words that behave like this? Why? (According to what?)
1
vote
1answer
479 views

“Let's”: similar contractions?

First, I'm aware of this question: "Let's" vs. "lets": which is correct? What I want to know is if there are other similar constructions formed by contracting a verb with ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

What are the subjects of these questions? [closed]

1.Do you think I did well in my Spanish examination? 2.Who won the music festival?
1
vote
2answers
68k views

How to use would or could in English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should we use “can”, “could”, “will”, “would”? I am not a native English speaker and this would/could thing always ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is a transportation by road called a “Shipment” but a transportation by seaways called “Cargo”?

I was just reading an article concerning a product trade and transports between countries and came through these words that made me wonder about their differences.
3
votes
7answers
156k views

What is the difference between “skeptical” and “cynical”?

Both the words "skeptical" and "cynical" refer to a doubtful mood, but what is the basic difference between them?
2
votes
3answers
296 views

What are alternatives to the verb “study” (in the meaning of “research”)?

When writing scientific discussions (articles, book chapters, reports, ...), I frequently feel short on synonyms of the verb study, which I use extensively in sentences such as “in the next section, ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the difference between latch and lock?

I know what a lock is. But what is a latch? It seems that it is similar to a lock. What's the difference?
6
votes
2answers
370 views

Why are “he”, “she”, and “it” distinct in the singular, but all “they” in the plural?

Other languages have gender-specific third-person plural pronouns (e.g., ellos and ellas in Spanish). English does not, despite the masculine/feminine/neuter distinction being obligatory in the ...
1
vote
3answers
630 views

Do “willingness” and “effort” imply different things?

In a post on Meta Stack Overflow, I used the word "willingness" in the following context: [X] is showing a willingness to learn. I justified this because [X] had posted a question asking to have ...
3
votes
4answers
349 views

About the 't' in 'listener' [duplicate]

The 't' in 'listener' is not pronounced, and these kinds of words always make me misspell them. Instead of memorizing each of them, can you give me some advice/insight/cause? How common are these ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

“ē” and “iː”: I want a tutorial

My English textbook use “iː”, and I find some online dictionaries use “ē”. Where can I find information about this phonics system?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What part of speech is “chiropractic”?

"Chiropractic" sounds like an adjective because of the "ic", but the title "Doctor of Chiropractic" seems like a noun. Am I just confused?
5
votes
1answer
693 views

Capitalization of “Assembly Language”

This Wikipedia article does not capitalize "assembly language," for understandable reasons. It uses it as an indefinite article, i.e. "an assembly language." But how should it be written when using ...
35
votes
2answers
4k views

Why do you drive on a “parkway”, and park on a “driveway”?

I've always been fascinated by these two words, as they seem to have the exact opposite meaning as expected. Is it because of the etymology? Or perhaps the meanings were switched at some point in ...
16
votes
1answer
83k views

What is the difference between “in-between” and “between”?

Do in-between and between have different meanings? What is the difference between in-between and between?

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