6
votes
4answers
5k views

How are diminutives formed in recent English words?

A large variety of suffixes were used to form diminutives in English. The Wikipedia page on diminutives shows these: * -k/-ock/-uck: balk, bollock, bullock, buttock, fetlock, folk, hark, hillock, ...
0
votes
7answers
1k views

Word that means common element

What's a word that means "common element"? Cars and Bikes share the common element that they are both wheeled vehicles.
2
votes
2answers
532 views

why differences in Object vs Subject

We have different pronouns to express objects vs subjects: he vs him who vs whom etc. What's the point? What extra information is communicated by expressing object vs subject? Shouldn't it be ...
19
votes
2answers
21k views

Can “due to” and “because of ” be used interchangeably?

Is it fine to use due to in place of because of ? How about the other way around? Are any of these sentences ungrammatical? He was lost because of the storm. He was lost due to the storm. He lost ...
8
votes
2answers
26k views

“Studying PhD at the university” or “studying PhD in the university”?

Which of these two sentences is correct: I am studying PhD at the university. I am studying PhD in the university. Should I use "at" or "in"? Or is there no difference?
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Using had twice [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “had had” mean? How does this differ from “had”? Is this correct usage? I had had enough food?
3
votes
8answers
14k views

Would you say “quote/end quote”?

A girl said, quote, I want a lollipop, end quote, as she walked past the candy store. Would you say it like that out loud?
5
votes
6answers
7k views

Simple yet interesting English game for class? [closed]

I'll be hosting an English activity this week. Could you share some interesting English games which impressed you the most?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Difficulty v. difficulties

Which form of "difficulty" should I opt for in the following sentence: They have immense difficulties easily accessing the texts. or They have immense difficulty easily accessing the texts. ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

a word like “visual”, “auditory”, except for touch

for smell it would be "olfactory". What is it for touch?
11
votes
10answers
19k views

How do you remember the difference between a “stalactite” and a “stalagmite”?

Is there a good mnemonic for remembering the difference between "stalactite" (hangs down) and "stalagmite" (points up)?
6
votes
6answers
38k views

Is it “end quote” or “unquote”?

When reading something that has a quote in the middle of it, is it proper to say "end quote" or "unquote" to signal the end of the quote? I've heard both ways.
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Usage on farewell remark

I found several forms of farewell remarks like these: Goodbye Good-bye Good-by Bye Bye-Bye Are these remarks equivalent in both written and spoken English ?
6
votes
1answer
16k views

“Answer to my question” or “answer on my question”?

What's the right usage: an answer to my question or on my question?
3
votes
1answer
174 views

“crenelated” writing?

What would it mean for writing to be "crenelated"? From this review: Lisa Zeidner of The New York Times Book Review elaborated: As usual, Gibson's prose is ... corpuscular, crenelated. I ...
4
votes
2answers
513 views

Books and other things with the same name

Is it proper to say "the book and movie Of Mice and Men" even though the two identical terms "Of Mice and Men" do not refer to the same entity? An alternative would be "the book Of Mice and Men and ...
13
votes
7answers
6k views

“Fluids” versus “liquids”?

What is the difference between fluid and liquid? I'm thinking of this in the context of drink plenty of fluids.
1
vote
3answers
384 views

Can you get files off-line?

Often times I hear people say "I got it offline" to mean they downloaded it from the internet, is this an accepted term or should it be "I got it online"?
7
votes
3answers
408 views

Usage of word “meat”

I am not a native English speaker and never lived in an English-speaking country, so I wonder how you would apply this word. Would you apply the term "meat" to the following things? Muscle tissue ...
3
votes
6answers
14k views

“Good at” or “Good in” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “At” vs. “in” before verb "He is good in painting" or "He is good at painting" — which one is correct?
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Enquiry about the bus route

Is this correct? Asking the driver or the another person: Does this bus go (or goes) to X? Do you go to X?
19
votes
2answers
16k views

Why is English written and read left to right?

Why is English written and read from left-to-right as opposed to right-to-left, top-to-bottom, or (not even sure any language does this) bottom-to-top?
1
vote
3answers
475 views

Asking about the university courses

What is the correct way to ask another person about the course he is doing/pursuing at a college or university? What course are you doing?
11
votes
5answers
9k views

How to use “you know”

For a non-native speaker like me, I am always wondering how to use you know correctly, as in the following sentence: Alright, well, for example, like on Saturdays, y’know, what I liked to do ...
0
votes
0answers
394 views

“A” or “an” with words beginning with the letter H [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A historic…” or “An historic…”? I am wondering when it's correct to use a/an with words beginning with the letter h. For example: ...
15
votes
5answers
79k views

Is a thumb also a finger?

The thumb has a different name compared to the other fingers (index, middle, ring, little) and it does not end with "finger". Also, when referring to the hand, I have seen literature where it is ...
61
votes
4answers
25k views

Why do eleven and twelve get unique words and not end in “-teen”?

In short, why is it not oneteen and twoteen, and we start at thirteen in English? In another thread, I supposed that despite that fact that people have ten fingers, amounts of items leading up to and ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Plural of “iPod Touch”

What is the plural of iPod Touch? Should it be iPods Touch or iPod Touches?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Rules about prepositions and duplicating 'to'

On occasion, I end up writing sentences that contain a duplicate word, often what is probably a preposition (or better yet, an adposition). The specific example that I just ran into involves a ...
3
votes
4answers
760 views

Superlative version or synonym of “Versatile”

I'm looking for comparative/superlative versions of versatile - synonyms which should mean "more versatile" and "extremely versatile" Here's the background: Over on meta.so, I've proposed a new ...
26
votes
4answers
6k views

Why do newspaper headlines use strange syntax rules?

Newspaper/news article headlines usually have different syntax rules, for example No copula. North Korea trip 'successful' Past events written in present. Qantas cancels flight out of frozen ...
21
votes
1answer
12k views

Words pertaining to the senses and the corresponding disabilities

I need help on finding words relating to the senses/perception. I mean this in a neuronic/biological or philosophy-of-mind kind of way. A word for... pertaining to the senses (Is it sensory?) ...
2
votes
1answer
320 views

What is a word processor and a type setter? (and a “powerpoint” type program)

What would you call: latex (a type setter) MS Word (a word processor) iWork Pages (a word processor) What about: latex MS Word iWork Pages Powerpoint Excel Is there a term for these ...
5
votes
6answers
20k views

Why does one run around like a blue-arsed fly?

I have been a bit busy recently; too busy to give this website the attention it warrants. In fact, I said to myself yesterday, I have been running around like a blue-arsed fly. I stopped to think: ...
11
votes
11answers
1k views

Word or phrase for writing that “reads fast”

Is there a word or phrase to describe technical writing that is quick to read? Some technical writing is so clear and concise, even a novice at the material will find himself flying through it. For ...
10
votes
11answers
12k views

What is a word/phrase for using a term for a popular special case instead of a generic term?

Some people use a term for a popular special case in place of a generic term. (Often this popular special case is a particular product in that category.) I think that this is a common phenomenon. ...
24
votes
5answers
28k views

How is SQL pronounced?

When I was learning SQL, I remember reading that it should be pronounced just like the word sequel; however, I worked with a bunch of techs who seemed to prefer S-Q-L. Is there a proper convention for ...
4
votes
0answers
9k views

Does one use spacing before and after a / slash in a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I write “comma/period” or “comma / period”? I'm trying to figure out what the correct spacing is for using a slash in a sentence. For example the question: "How ...
17
votes
1answer
6k views

What does the joke with the punchline about Chrome and Hollandaise mean, and why is it funny?

A joke goes like this: A friend at work had an unusual dental related problem recently. About a month ago he had to have a small steel plate inserted in his mouth. A week later he noticed the plate ...
7
votes
3answers
41k views

Is “pair of scissors” more correct than “scissors”?

My wife always gives me a hard time when I say scissors; she insists the only correct way to refer to that cutting device is "pair of scissors". Is "pair of scissors" more correct than "scissors"?
3
votes
3answers
6k views

'Heavy Traffic' or 'Lot of Traffic'?

Is it appropriate to say 'Heavy Traffic'? I am referring to traffic as in roads and vehicles in this context. Is using 'lot of traffic' more appropriate?
3
votes
7answers
889 views

“On the cloud” or “in the cloud”?

I would use this title for a blog about cloud computing. Which is correct — "on the cloud" or "in the cloud"?
16
votes
1answer
24k views

Which is correct: “you and I” or “you and me”?

I was told the correct usage is for example: "My wife and me" but I hear often "I and my wife" or "my wife and I". Google gives 34M results for "My wife and I" and 909K results for "My wife and me" ...
75
votes
5answers
29k views

Why is the word “pants” plural?

We wear a shirt, a jacket but a pair of pants. Why is pants plural?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the difference between “Cross Country Running” and “Trail Running”?

"Trail running" shoes differs markedly from "road running" shoes and "track running" shoes. I can understand these categories. But I also found an event entitled "Cross Country Running Event". Can the ...
21
votes
8answers
35k views

Is it poor form to start too many sentences with I?

I often find myself writing a lot of comments to blog posts and responses on forums, and have noticed a tendency to start a lot of sentences with 'I'. 'I think...', 'I had no idea', 'I used to...' ...
0
votes
5answers
4k views

Pairs in common idioms/phrases

There are phrases which pair things up. For example, "checks and balances", "bells and whistles", What is the rational behind this construct? Any more examples?
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Where did the expression “have at it” come from?

Couldn't find its etymology... anyone knows? What does its meaning break down to? Also, when should it be used best? Thanks.
1
vote
3answers
929 views

What do the parts of malevolent and malicious mean?

I understand what the different parts of maladjusted, maligned, and malcontent mean. But what about malevolent and malicious? Could someone break these into parts e.g. mal - adjust - ed and explain ...
4
votes
2answers
15k views

Meaning of “pro” before a noun

First, is "pro" an abbreviated form of "professional"? If yes, does "Pro American" mean "Professional American"?

15 30 50 per page