6
votes
4answers
2k views

What exactly does “President Obama will ‘fold faster than a lawn chair’” mean?

In today’s Washington Post’s “Today’s Quote,” picked up from the comment of Former Reagan Budget director David Stockman in an interview with The Daily Beast (hat tip to Political Wire), I came across ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the perfect word that brings to mind a red-headed woman?

I'm not talking an artificially-dyed Hollywood redhead, either. I'm looking for a word that perfectly recapitulates the kind of redhead who has lots of freckles, an extremely light complexion, and the ...
4
votes
4answers
376 views

Term for “over stimulation”

I'm looking for a certain word, usually being said about the current generation, something like attention deficit caused by over stimulation (like people don't want to wait for more than 30 seconds ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is “Chop Gate” pronounced so strangely?

I was passing through the hamlet of Chop Gate (in North Yorkshire) the other day, and heard it referred to as "chop yat" (tʃɒp yæt). This source here concurs with that pronunciation. Does anyone know ...
7
votes
5answers
45k views

What does “going blue” mean?

I'm familiar with the expression to feel blue, but I recently stumbled upon the expression to go blue on two different websites in one week. Vork from The Guild goes a bit blue Source: http://...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Can “…” mean the same thing as a semicolon?

Can a semicolon be replaced with "..." (an ellipsis) in a sentence? Is there any difference at all?
0
votes
1answer
133 views

New sentence after semicolon

After a semicolon what follows isn't capitalized like at the beginning of a sentence. However, what if it were? Would that be incorrect?
8
votes
4answers
34k views

Alternatives to leading a sentence with the conjunctive adverb “However”

The word "however" is used to lead off a sentence that counters a previous thought. Are there any alternative words or phrases that can substitute? I'm even looking for old English and obsolete words ...
1
vote
2answers
13k views

“has gone by” or “has gone bye?”

Is it correct to say, "so much time has gone by", or should "by" be replaced with "bye?" What are some other things someone can say with "by" at the end?
8
votes
3answers
343 views

Are vowel ligatures common in any disciplines these days?

Are there any areas of writing, literature or science where æ or œ are still used? Are there contexts where they are still considered mandatory?
0
votes
3answers
12k views

“Too much time has passed.”

Too much time has passed. Is this grammatically correct? Wouldn't it be better to say Too much time has passed by. or Too much time has gone past.
5
votes
0answers
4k views

How many tenses are there in English and what are they? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How many tenses are there in English? The number of grammatical tenses in English makes it confusing as to what they are exactly and what types of tenses there are. This ...
0
votes
2answers
879 views

Usage of “an” before nouns beginning with an “h” where that “h” is not silent [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A historic…” or “An historic…”? Such as an heinous crime an hideous monstrosity an hallucination This always looks wrong to me. I ...
2
votes
2answers
964 views

Can “;” be used to replace the word “but”?

Are these two sentences both correct and equivalent? People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars", but it's not true. People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars"; it's not true. Is ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

“If I were” or “If I was”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? “Was” versus “were”—word usage in Stack Overflow Ad ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

Is it correct to say “I fancy your photos”?

Is it correct to say "I fancy your photos"? If yes, what would that phrase mean? How different would the meaning be from "I like your photos"? In what context would "I fancy your photos" sound natural?...
2
votes
1answer
546 views

Should I use a comma or semicolon to separate these ideas?

I can no longer remember her face, too much time has passed. I can no longer remember her face; too much time has passed.
11
votes
5answers
92k views

When to use “me” or “myself”?

Which one is correct: Someone like me... or Someone like myself... Is "like myself" ever correct?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are not all grains called “grains”?

In most languages, the word used for a single caryopsis seed is a good equivalent of grain — it is not only the translation for this kind of seeds, but also the translation for other meanings of the ...
44
votes
9answers
112k views

What is the correct usage of “myriad”?

The vast majority of the time when I see the word "myriad" it is in a sentence like "He had a myriad of things." However I don't like the extraneous words so I normally use it like "He had myriad ...
3
votes
4answers
15k views

What is this phrase, “I hope we catch up,” called when “catch” may be confused with what's done with a baseball?

I asked someone “I hope we catch up soon” and he imagined himself being lightly or violently tossed in the air hoping someone will catch him. Obviously a non-native English speaker. Is there a term ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

“Instant” vs. “instantaneous”

What is the difference between instant and instantaneous? Which is correct in this sentence? It had an almost __ response time.
3
votes
1answer
7k views

When you have 5 instead of 4, what's the word instead of “quadrant”?

...or, to phrase it differently, like one of those silly SAT questions... please help me fill in this blank: 4 is to 5 as "quadrant" is to ???? (Does that make sense?)
3
votes
3answers
885 views

Difference between “sky” and “air”

"The bird is flying in the sky" or" The bird is flying in the air" kindly explain the difference in detail...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did Old Testament scholars choose to employ “to know” in a sexual sense?

For those of us not familiar, the verb to know once had an archaic sexual sense, often found in the Old Testament, and as illustrated in the following story found in Genesis 19: 4 But before they ...
23
votes
22answers
25k views

Is there a single word for “one who speaks/boasts a lot about everything”?

I'm looking for a single word to most aptly describe a person possessing the following "qualities": Appears to be superior in every technology/skill under the sun, which he deems worthy of knowing ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

How to name a part of a piechart

Which term best suits to describe a part/slice/share/portion of a piechart, disregarding what the chart is about ?
11
votes
5answers
63k views

Is the response “I am fine, thank you. And you?” outdated?

This is what I learned from the middle school English class 10 years ago as the correct way to respond to "How are you?". The textbook was co-published by Longman, I suppose it was British English. ...
2
votes
1answer
354 views

To 'know' a person — online versus in person

I searched and couldn't find anything — though that surprises me. It feels like there are hard to express differences between knowing a person in real life - people I work with, people I went to ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What do you call the publisher's logo on the title page and spine of a book?

There is a word for the publisher's logo at the bottom of the title page and on the spine of a book, but I can't recall it.
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do we say 'commentator' instead of 'commenter'?

Another thread addresses the Englishness of the words. My question is different and a lot more convoluted: I hope I can make it plain and simple. I. There are straightforward nouns of action and ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

What is another word for an identifier?

Edit: Give a better explanation of my problem. I am writing a computer program. I like to make analogies within my code to help me express the intent when I read it months down the line and it all ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

Are 'consecutively' and 'successively' the same? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the difference between “successive” and “consecutive”? Are 'consecutively' and 'successively' the same? Can they be used in place of each ...
7
votes
5answers
15k views

Difference between 'hallucination' and 'illusion'

The following quote is found on The Basics of Philosophy page: Representationalists argue their case from the "epistemological fact" that it is impossible to have experience beyond the sensory ...
1
vote
4answers
607 views

What's the meaning of 'a court of'?

A formal written or spoken statement, esp. one given in a court of law
2
votes
5answers
3k views

Purchase price/cost/worth/value/… — which one?

I have a table called purchases and it stores details about purchases of items in a store. One of these details is the amount of money that were payed for items. How should I call this detail (or ...
4
votes
2answers
786 views

What's the meaning of “learned a thing or twelve”?

And in those 10 years I can say that I may have learned a thing or twelve. What's the meaning of "learned a thing or twelve"? Is it an idiom?
4
votes
3answers
12k views

Why is it a “night on the town” and not “night in the town”?

Question as in the title. I commonly use the phrase "out and about in town" in speech. I'm not sure if my usage is correct because of the "night on the town" phrase.
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the difference between “image” and “glyph”?

What is the difference in meaning between image and glyph? Both terms are used in programming IDE to represent a picture that will be drawn. I'm confused since sometimes these terms used alongside ...
5
votes
5answers
13k views

More than an intermediate but less so than an expert

What is a word for a person with more expertise (in certain field) than an intermediate but less so than an expert?
6
votes
4answers
296 views

“His head” or “their head”?

I was disappointed to see a favorite storybook from my childhood has been edited. (Harry, the Dirty Dog; ISBN-13: 978-0064430098) I distinctly remember the text written as follows: ...but ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Are the tense and syntax in this sentence correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Future tense usage: “When you see it …” When he will arrive, he will call you. Please let me know if the tense and syntax in this sentence are ...
5
votes
6answers
12k views

What are common word sets for describing ranks in a profession? [closed]

What are some sets of words used to describe rank in different professions (music, engineering, science)? I'm thinking about words similar to novice, amateur, and professional. In the European guild ...
13
votes
11answers
32k views

“Environmentally-friendly” vs. “Environment-friendly”

"Environmentally-friendly" sounds completely normal to me. So does "Environment-friendly". But I'm pretty sure I favour the former (despite the fact that I normally prefer the shorter of any two ...
0
votes
1answer
483 views

Is the word “will” some conjugation of the verb “to be”?

I have the impression that the phrase "will be" is using the verb "to be" twice. Is that correct?
1
vote
4answers
134 views

Naming 1, 2, 3, … millennial celebrations

I know that after 100 years there are centennial celebrations, after 200 years bicentennial, tricentennial, etc., Similarly, are there terms for 2000, 3000, etc., years of celebration?
9
votes
1answer
11k views

What is a finite verb?

What's a finite verb? It's not just the opposite of an infinitive, is it? Can I get some examples?
0
votes
5answers
566 views

Is saying “someone who is in trouble and who can’t be talked out of it” a quite natural expression?

I found the expression in a story about a 24-year-old pilot who landed his plane on a beach and who "'could not be talked out of it' when he was in trouble." It was in today’s New York Times, in an ...
12
votes
5answers
10k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
19
votes
11answers
50k views

What is the correct pronunciation of the word “solder”?

I have been listening to a podcast where the host pronounces the word solder as "sodder" or "sod-der", even "saw-der". Same thing happened when the lecturer of one of my EE classes pronounced the word ...

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