11
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the plural form of “iPad 2”?

With the introduction of the iPad 2, I find myself hesitating when trying to refer to several of them. Is it iPads 2 or iPad 2's?
0
votes
2answers
397 views

Is this sentence that uses many forms of “have” grammatical?

Look at the following sentences. If I had have had to have, having had have previously had, it wouldn't be so difficult. But since I have not had to have, not previously having had, it will be ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Describing directions using the clock face

In Polish you can give relative directions (most often in military context) by using the clock dial analogy — you're at the centre and each number between 1 and 12 is a direction. For example, "...
6
votes
1answer
924 views

What does 'should' mean in this sentence?

'She walked through the forest, and who should she see, but the Big Bad Wolf!'
0
votes
3answers
459 views

Are “come round” and “visit” interchangeable?

Some friends will come round for dinner. Some friends will visit for dinner. Some friends will visit me. These are OK, but "some friends will come round me" isn't OK. The answer is ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

“Nice to see you, to see you nice!”

Look at this famous phrase used by a British talkshow host when saying goodbye to his audience: 'Nice to see you, to see you nice!' Nobody in the UK (including my grandmother who was a frequent ...
11
votes
7answers
31k views

What's the origin of the stock phrase “tall, dark, and handsome”?

Most everyone has probably heard the phrase "tall, dark, and handsome" being used to describe the physical qualities of a perfect male romantic match. Where did this phrase come from, and who, if ...
5
votes
5answers
564 views

“BookList” or “booksList?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: “User accounts” or “users account?” Is it correct to say “lesson count” or “lessons count”? I'm wondering whether or not ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Advice for using multiple same-gender personal pronouns in the same sentence

I have often struggled with sentences that contain two characters of the same gender. For example, if there are two females, Alice and Carol, then the following sentence can be confusing. Alice ...
1
vote
1answer
512 views

How do I refer to a number in an image in a scientific paper?

I'm note sure if this is the correct place to ask this, but if I have a schematic illustration that contains numbers to enumerate interesting details. How do I refer those numbers in a text that ...
1
vote
3answers
18k views

What's the meaning of “a staple amongst the community”?

In this context: trying to become a staple amongst the community
7
votes
4answers
2k views

“Connotation” vs. “Definition”

There seems to be some ambiguity between the connotation and definition of a word / word group / phrase. The dictionary entry seems to be that a definition is more of a primary description of a word ...
3
votes
3answers
309 views

“Help save the planet with your mobile phone”

Does "help save the planet with your mobile phone" have a different meaning or connotation than "help save the planet using your mobile phone?"
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“It stands without reason” or “it stands to reason”

This question appeared in a previous question. Should I write "it stands without reason that accuracy is of utmost importance" or "it stands to reason that accuracy is of utmost importance?" The ...
3
votes
6answers
425 views

“It's” versus “its” frequencies

My hypothesis is that in informal writing (say something like Stack Exchange questions) "it's" is massively more common than "its". Is this true? Are there any data to support it? Concrete ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “destruction” and “deconstruction”? [closed]

I am Hungarian, and I can completely understand the words destruction, construction, and deconstruction, although the corresponding Hungarian words are rarely used. I don't know if the con- possesses ...
3
votes
3answers
208 views

“Called himself doing”

A friend of mine was telling me a story about one of their colleagues and they said the following sentence: "Mike called himself cleaning up the lunch table, but he left spaghetti sauce streaked all ...
13
votes
2answers
16k views

How did “tongue-in-cheek” get its current meaning?

A statement is said to be tongue-in-cheek if it is not to be taken seriously. How did this meaning come into vogue? Where did it originate from?
3
votes
7answers
976 views

What's a word for “widespread,” but not so wide?

I want to say that something is trying to attain widespread use. However, when I say widespread use, I really want to say that it is trying to be used by a few people (not necessarily that widespread)...
1
vote
4answers
579 views

Synonym for “It is easy to acknowledge accuracy to be a very important feature”

What is an alternative expression for : "It is easy to acknowledge accuracy to be a very important feature". The word Accuracy should remain in the sentence. In an academic context.
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Where does “funk” and/or “funky” come from and why the musical reference?

Free your mind and your ass will follow - The Mothership has landed!! Why 'funk', of all words to describe such bootilicious music?
1
vote
1answer
277 views

who vs that as a pronoun [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to use: who/that I have seen many writers using "that" as a pronoun in cases where "who" should be used. For example, a book author says I apologize to those of you ...
17
votes
9answers
28k views

What does “No Thanks!” mean?

Alice: Do you want some cookies? Bob: No thanks! Does it mean that Bob doesn't want cookies but still is thankful or its just opposite of thanks?
3
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the origin of “nonchalance?”

While reading a newspaper I saw the word nonchalance, looked up in dictionary, and dictionary says, it is a negative word meaning "indifference; carelessness; coolness." It looks like the opposite of ...
9
votes
2answers
14k views

Differences between “technic” and “technique”

Are those synonyms? Is one more acceptable in a certain dialect than the other? I checked their definition on The Free Dictionary but it's still not clear to me.
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Number agreement between subject and object

The other day, my father and I were expecting my brothers to come home. Upon hearing a car enter the driveway, my father said, "Your brothers are here." When I looked at the door, I could see that it ...
23
votes
3answers
51k views

Where does the term “Smurfing” come from?

In multiplayer online gaming, the term "Smurf" (noun) is used to refer to an experienced player who creates a new account for the purposes of being matched against inexperienced players for easy wins. ...
7
votes
3answers
634 views

What does “I can prove it on an abacus” mean?

I've got a feeling it means "I can prove it in a very simple and an ostensive way". Is this so? Update: The context. http://www.laddertheory.com/commoncriticisms.htm Search for "abacus".
12
votes
6answers
24k views

“Chair” or “chairman?”

Is it right to use chair, but not chairman in this example? He served as the Department Chair from 1995 to 1999.
3
votes
4answers
12k views

“Most random” vs “Randomest”

Is "randomest" even a word? People do tend to use it very casually. If "randomest" is a word, so should be "randomer", isn't it? I personally think it should be "more random" and "most random". Am I ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of M'year, S'year etc. in academic biographies

Reading scientific papers, I often see at the end of them, in the biographies of the authors, some abbreviations like the following: (S’70–M’72–SM’86–F’91). I think that they are correlated with ...
1
vote
2answers
811 views

Where to use these words exactly: “simple,” “simplicity”

I just want to know how to use these words and in which context: simple and simplicity.
3
votes
4answers
919 views

Can I use two prepositions in this example, or is one better?

I want to say "the reality of and outlook on crime in Europe" without using two prepositions. Can I say "the reality and outlook on crime in Europe?" Can you lead me to a grammatical reference for ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

Is my worst enemy my best friend (interpreting negative adjectives applied to negative nouns)? [closed]

"The worst student" is the student who is bad at things. In this case, "worst" simply describes the noun. Following this logic, your "worst enemy" would be the person who is very bad at being your ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

What expression do you have in English as a counterpart to Japanese saying “Earthquake, Thunderbolt, Fire and Father"?

As you know, we Japanese experienced tremendous disasters of Magnitude 9 earthquake accompanied by tsunami exceeding 10 meter high in northeastern regions recently. Living in the country always under ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Meaning of “scared the hell out of someone”

The phrase I read on yahoo.com is the following one. Tendulkar never scared me, says Akhtar. The Pakistani maverick pacer said it was Adam Gilchrist and Brian Lara who scared the hell out of him....
7
votes
4answers
20k views

Proper answer to “excuse me”

What is a proper reply for excuse me? Like for thank you, you can say no problem or welcome. I don't know what a proper reply for excuse me would be.
4
votes
2answers
183 views

Referring to “the assertion made in the US Supreme Court's majority opinion”

I want to refer to an assertion that is part of the written majority opinion in a particular case, put forth by the US Supreme Court's majority for that case. Question spurred by my attempts to do ...
4
votes
1answer
671 views

How can I describe preparing before travel?

If I am preparing before my travel and I pack my things, how can I better describe this process in conversational speech, "packing up one's things" or "I pack up one's things"?
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Etymology of the word “broker”

I’ve had this personal hypothesis in the back of my mind for many years now about the etymology of the word “broker”. I have gathered a few pieces of the puzzle (many of them in French and a few of ...
3
votes
2answers
354 views

What is the nuance of ‘Slipping’ when you say ‘I started slipping my classes short writing assignments?’

I found an op-ed article titled ‘Teaching to the Text’ in today’s New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/opinion/20selsberg.) interesting as a non-native English learner. However, I stumbled on a ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Can “who” as a relative pronoun sometimes be omitted?

Somebody once observed two things: people often omit the relative pronoun "who" or "whom" to avoid having to worry about which is grammatically correct however, in all cases where it can be omitted, ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Difference between “to foot the bill” and “to fill the bill”

I already knew the expression, "to foot the bill," and there is also, "to fill the bill." I initially thought this was just a variant, but on closer examination it seems to be an altogether different ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the meaning of “clubbed to death?”

What is the meaning of "clubbed to death?"
14
votes
9answers
12k views

Is there an alternative to the word “coincidence” to describe when two say the same word spontaneously?

Is there a word to describe a scenario where two people having a conversation utter the same word/phrase together, simultaneously, and unconsciously? Something else than just a coincidence.
7
votes
0answers
346 views

Pronouncing “00's” (as in 2000's) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the name of the first decade in a century? When talking about decades in the 20th century, it is customary to refer to them using only the last two digits. For ...
2
votes
2answers
527 views

Can single quotes be used as double quotes for the purposes of denoting words?

I've noticed a whole spate of questions here on this StackExchange using single quotes ' ' as a substitute for double quotes " " , in their function of denoting words as words. Is this usage kosher ...
1
vote
2answers
173 views

Any better term than “Postscript”?

There was a Postscript section in my English Course-book, which simply teaches the colloquial English phrases as in "Give me a lift", "Let me have a look", "There is no point", etc. But "postscript" ...
3
votes
2answers
757 views

Usage of the word “meet” in the context of a phone call/video conference

Is it acceptable English to use the verb meet in the context of a phone call or a video conference? To provide a bit of background, I am writing an email to a business associate overseas. There is ...
16
votes
8answers
18k views

Can you still call a woman “handsome”?

On the recommendation of some regulars here, I managed to watch the movie The Madness of King George over the weekend, and found it excellent. Anyway, one funny scene in the movie is when King ...

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