5
votes
2answers
683 views

Finding out the names of symbols

Is there a comprehensive list on the web where I can find the names of common symbols? Google unfortunately doesn't search on symbols, so it is pretty much useless there. Specifically, what is ` ...
2
votes
0answers
701 views

Difference between 'If ..was' and 'If …were' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? Hi, I have seen different usage of the phrase 'If..was' and 'If..were'. ...
5
votes
4answers
300 views

Communicate via written notes - although native speakers?

In another forum I read the following amazing thing: "In the middle 1980s, when I was in the Navy, the submarine I was in operated out of Holy Loch, Scotland. Our Xerox copier needed maintenance and ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Missing articles?

Aren't some articles missing in the following sentence? ... when traditional pattern of landscape became established. Or is it something else that is wrong with this sentence? Context.
3
votes
3answers
14k views

Idiot vs stupid

What is the difference between the subject words?
3
votes
1answer
242 views

“on most of the accounts”

On most of the accounts, life of a farmer is very hard. Is the use of the phrase 'on most of the accounts' right here? If not, what will be the best substitution?
7
votes
4answers
12k views

About the usage of term 'come again'

Last week I was attending a communications training program. The trainer said that the term 'come again' has sexual meaning in American English. I was surprised as I have seen many Americans using ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Abbreviations for nouns / noun phrases used as non-nouns

In an answer to another question, steven_desu argued that it was “technically incorrect” to use the word “e-mail” or “email” as a verb because it stands for “electronic mail.” I do not argue whether ...
3
votes
3answers
47k views

“Email me” and “mail to me”

Why is it correct to say "email me", whereas with the word mail we say/write "mail to me"?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Can “drive someone home” be used when the vehicle is a motorbike?

Can "drive someone home" be used when the vehicle is a motorbike? Can I use "ride someone home" with the same meaning as "drive someone home"?
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Rules to pronounce “cha-” words [duplicate]

I am puzzled on how to pronounce cha- words. For example, I know that "chameleon" or "chamomile" are pronounced with a hard "c" like in "camel", not with a soft "c" like in "change". "Charity", on the ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

“Ironic” vs “ironical”

I just read something where a phrase was described as ironical. To me the word ironical jars terribly. It just doesn't sound right at all. I would have said ironic. Is ironical a feature of American ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to answer “The applicant’s overall rank is ? out of ? ”

I am filling a reference form and I met 2 questions that I am not sure how to answer : The applicant’s overall rank is __ out of ___ Please describe the comparison group: __ If the ...
6
votes
2answers
327 views

Why Should One Capitalize Titles When Publishing?

What is the motivation behind capitalizing the first letter of each word except prepositions in news, articles and blog post titles?
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Is “Stick no bills” correct English?

'Stick no bills' sounds awkward. Shouldn't it be something like 'Do not stick any bills'?
12
votes
4answers
7k views

Where does the idiom “Queen Anne is dead!” come from?

Looking through the dictionary, I chanced upon an idiom which attracted my attention: "Queen Anne is dead!" The dictionary says that it means something about "The thing you've just said is ...
2
votes
2answers
846 views

How to pronounce “derivative” in the phrase “f ′ is a derivative of f ”?

How should I pronounce derivative in the phrase “f ′ is a derivative of f ”? Should I read it as [dɪˈrɪv.ə.tɪv] or [dɪˈrɪv.ɪ.tɪv]? I have heard it as [dɪˈrɪv.ə.tɪv] in this context, but Cambridge ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the first stanza in a poem called?

Is there a specific term for the first stanza in a poem?
3
votes
3answers
222 views

Why use the prep “to”, why not others like “of” in the following sentence?

There are three fundamental parts to the <locale> header.
9
votes
3answers
654 views

*all of us's friend

There's this funny gap I tried to write a paper once upon a time when I studied linguistics, and I'd like to know if anyone has insight into it. The construction in question is the possessive ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What does “urge to kill” mean?

I've got an answer to my comment at Stack Overflow, and I don't get what it means. I've googled and looked over several dictionaries with no help. Seems like it is some specific slang/phrasal verb, ...
16
votes
6answers
29k views

“Like something more” or “like something better”

When people like something more than something else, it's common for me to hear them say they like it better than something else. Is this proper English? I've always thought the word more fits better, ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “Paraguay”

The English article for Paraguay in Wikipedia mentions that Paraguay is pronounced as /ˈpɛərəɡweɪ/, which matches the pronunciation recommended by Merriam-Webster. However, inogolo recommends ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

“You both ordered drinks” or“ You both ordered a drink”

You both ordered drinks or You both ordered a drink or in stated differently: Both of you ordered a drink or Both of you ordered drinks should a drink be in its plural form?
3
votes
2answers
575 views

Introducing a paragraph that also contains colons

At work, sometimes I have to send people password reminders. Our experience shows that about half the time when people think they don't remember their password, they're actually mistyping their login ...
16
votes
5answers
26k views

Difference between “should” and “ought to”

What is the difference between You should go and You ought to go? I rarely use the latter.
3
votes
1answer
333 views

Is “sophisticated” appropriate in formal documents?

In German the word sophisticated is sometimes used as Anglicism in order to describe a very fashionable person, e.g. carrying a dog in a handbag ("It-Girl"). However, when looking up the word in a ...
8
votes
1answer
41k views

What is the meaning of “atleast” and is it different from “at least”?

I don't think atleast is an actual word, but I've found many instances of its usage. A simple google search for atleast reveal 13,100,000 hits. What is the meaning of atleast and is it different ...
24
votes
2answers
10k views

When do you use “learnt” and when “learned”?

Is learnt UK English and learned US? Is it that simple? I’m used to using learnt, but my US spellchecker says it is wrong.
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “grounds” (as in a chunk of land) singular or plural?

Am I correct that grounds, although sounding plural, is actually singular? More specifically, which is better: I view Fedora as a testing grounds for new ideas. or I view Fedora as testing ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

“A” vs. “An” in writing vs. pronunciation

When starting a word with a vowel, the preceding "a" becomes an "an". I often find that when writing words that start with letter "N" or "M", I will pronounce them "EN", "EM", etc. (This is because in ...
9
votes
2answers
9k views

Position of question mark when sentence doesn't end with question

This is something that has always bugged me. I am never sure where to place the question mark, or whether to place it at all when the end of the sentence does not finish with a question, or a number ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Does one stand by or at the bar?

When you are in the pub, ordering a drink from a bartender, which of the following is the correct way to say it? When both of you're stand by the bar ordering a drink, and a bartender asks to ...
6
votes
1answer
12k views

“bibs and bobs” - what does it mean and where does it come from?

Just exactly what is a bibs and a bobs? And where the heck did that expression come from, anyway?
5
votes
3answers
15k views

Can I say “Please find my yesterday’s and today’s daily reports in the documents.”

Can I say "Please find my yesterday’s and today’s daily reports in the documents."?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Can “advise” be used with the definition of “advice”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Advise” vs “advice” I've seen twice in in 30 minutes how someone had said that they wanted advise on [...] subject, or how they needed advise on ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Common Literary Techniques for Drama Texts?

Right now we're studying a piece on drama (Disclosure: This is for school, but not necessarily for an essay or homework - It's just further study on other literary techniques that are used within ...
11
votes
6answers
98k views

“Can/may/will you help me with this?”

Which word to use when we ask for help? Some conditions: We know that the person asked is able to do it. We don't know if the person asked is able to do it.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Use of the word “that”: [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there rules about using “that” to join two clauses? In the following, does the word "that" belong? "He said that we should go fishing."
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Where does “Let's roll!” come from?

Where does the idiom "Let's roll!" come from?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it correct to use “all this” instead of “all of this”?

I frequently see people write "all this", instead of "all of this". Is this a grammatically correct phrase? My intuition tells me that it's wrong (the spoken phrase "all this" is really a contraction ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the etymology of the word “spell” when used to mean a short period of time?

Every now and then - usually when talking with an older individual or someone from the United States Midwest or South - I hear the word "spell" used to mean a short period of time, such as: "Come sit ...
4
votes
2answers
841 views

The children are creating

In the lyrics of Friends Will Be Friends by Queen: Another red letter day So the pound has dropped and the children are creating. What does the phrase highlighted in bold mean?
2
votes
3answers
562 views

Double negation

How should I interpret the following lyric from America: we ain't had no time to drink that beer?
7
votes
7answers
5k views

Using or arguing a biased opinion as fact

I'm fairly sure there is a word or phrase to describe arguing emotively from an extreme, or biased, point of view as if your view is fact, but I can't remember what it may be. (I am wanting to use ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

What does this joke about milk going bad mean?

This is a joke from the TV series "Friends". — Can I borrow this? My milk's gone bad. — I hate that. I once had a thing of half-and-half. Stole my car. I'm thinking that it has something to do ...
50
votes
14answers
4k views

If an insertion in parentheses ends with a smiley, how do I distinguish between the two?

I know smileys are not part of written language (yet), and any questions about them are irrelevant to linguistics and are kind of not serious. So take my question with a smiley then. It bugs me ...
23
votes
2answers
851 views

Marking plural of code words

In my blog (which is about programming) I often use reserved words from different programming languages. Like this: When column is nullable in both tables, this query won't return a match of two ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

end-to-end alternatives

I just received an email that included the phrase soup-to-nuts meaning "end-to-end." Are there any other alternatives to this? eg cradle-to-grave? I want to include some in the reply email.
6
votes
1answer
2k views

A colon after “following”

When I reference to the next sentence or sentences using the term following, is the preferred way to use a colon or a full stop? An example: Consider the sentence 'I wash the clothes'. Replacing ...

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