8
votes
2answers
206 views

Get a high speed connection without roaming charges instantly

I saw this message on an advert: Get a high speed connection without roaming charges instantly. I am pretty sure that a better way to say it is: Instantly get a high speed connection ...
16
votes
3answers
87k views

Does the casual use of “a la ___” in English preserve the French meaning?

In English, we use a la carte and a la mode, but it is also common for people to add their own word to the basic construction. For example, one might comment on someone's dancing: He showed us ...
4
votes
3answers
510 views

When President Obama makes a speech by using teleprompter, is he stuck to the script?

I saw a phrase, stuck to the script in the following sentence in New York Times (Jan. 27) article reporting this year’s Academy Award nomination, The Academy Award nominations, announced this ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of terms of shoe laces

What does "lace-up", "open-throat or wide-set" and "closed-throat or close-set" mean in How to Select Shoes to Wear With a Man's Suit: Wear lace-up shoes for your most formal occasions. ...
15
votes
3answers
7k views

Why “motherboard” is used to refer to main board of computer

Why is motherboard used to refer to the main board of a computer? What is the relationship with the word mother here?
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are there different ways of indicating gender for animals?

Why are there different ways of indicating gender for animals? For instance, by inflexion we get: lion (male) & lioness (female) where the female is distinguished from the male. Here the male is ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the use of present perfect continuous with a time reference in the past imply an intention to finish, and if yes, how to avoid it?

I guess the question sounds a bit intimidating, but the real-life example I am referring to should be easy for a native speaker. I am proofreading, or rather copy editing, a research paper intended ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

Difference between 'turn up' and 'turn out'

This occurred to me when I was drafting an email. I wanted to mention in the email that something that I had estimated earlier to take 5 days was not as complex, and I could finish it in 1 day. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the differences among ‘Rules’, ‘Standing Rules’, and ‘Bylaw’?

Recently I was given a document titled Standing Rules of an English speaking club of a local community, which was written in English, and asked to study the contents. I wondered what difference ...
9
votes
12answers
5k views

What's the word for “overly proud of your education”?

A friend and I are trying to remember a word to describe someone who is overly proud of their education. An example usage would be: Does that email make me appear too ___? Where the ___ is the ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

Why is it “I better not (+verb)” instead of “I better don’t (+verb)”?

This question will seem weird to a native speaker because “I better don’t” sounds inherently wrong and unusual. But if you think about it, it’s an irregularity; normally when a verb is negated and ...
9
votes
9answers
10k views

Is the verb “redouble” just a redundant way to say “double”?

A colleague and I were reading a corporate memo that contained the phrase 'redouble our efforts'. His claim was that the word redouble was equivalent to double and simply nonstandard. (Similar to, ...
1
vote
2answers
807 views

What is the demonym for Norfolk, Virginia?

According to this Fritinancy entry, the demonym for Norfolk, England is "North Anglian," rather than "Norfolker" or "Norfolkite," for historical reasons. What about Norfolk, Virginia, in the United ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Help with sentence: don't come in

Which of the following is correct: 1) Don't come in, I'm busy. 2) Don't come in; I'm busy. 3) Don't come in. I'm busy. 4) Don't come in I'm busy. And why?
1
vote
3answers
386 views

How to say that someone will execute none of two actions

What is the correct way to say it: "I will not do it nor do that", "I will do neither it nor do that" or some other way? Edit: I think I did not expressed my doubts well. What I am looking for is ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Is “means” plural or singular?

Which is correct? There is no means to listen what he is saying. There are no means to listen what he is saying.
3
votes
2answers
29k views

Is one more correct: “lucky for me” or “luckily for me”?

Is it "more" correct to say "Luckily for me" or "Lucky for me"? I found a few sites that discussed this (including m-w.com, under the rubric "hopefully") but I'm still not sure if one is specifically ...
12
votes
4answers
45k views

How would you define “Fluent” level in English?

Most of us heard about such levels as Beginner, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced. As I understand "Fluent" is the highest level when describing someone's English. But how would you ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Question mark usage/position when sentence ends with a declarative quotation?

Who said "I am hungry?" The quotation is not a question, but do I put "my" question mark there anyway? This is related to, but not the same as Position of question mark when sentence doesn't ...
4
votes
4answers
765 views

Third alternative to “between” and “among?”

I want to express possibilities on a scale while providing 3 common examples. blue-----------------------orange---red If I say "Houses in this neighbourhood vary among blue, orange and red," this ...
8
votes
5answers
25k views

What is the difference between “owing to” and “due to”?

"Due to" seems more common than "owing to" in modern English. Is "owing to" simply an old-fashioned way of saying the same thing, or is there a rule to using it?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Pronunciation of verbiage and foliage

To my ear, the former should be pronounced "vurb-ij" and the latter "fohl-ee-ij" (the endings may vary among "aj", "edge" and "ij"). I occasionally hear people say "vurb-ee-ij" and often hear ...
10
votes
2answers
68k views

Is it “slough” or “slew”?

Which is the proper word to use to indicate a large amount of something - "slough" or "slew"? Eg: StackExchange now has a slough of potential new sites in Area51. English.stackexchange.com has a ...
23
votes
5answers
21k views

Difference between “computation” and “calculation”

If the words computation and calculation are not perfect synonyms what is the difference between them? Which one describes more accurately what is done by a person computing or calculating something ...
2
votes
3answers
403 views

Abbreviations for higher SI prefixes?

"Bit" and "byte" are monosyllabic and therefore short enough to throw around. "Kilobyte" is expressed as "K". "Megabyte" turns to "meg", and "gigabyte" to "gig". Is there a convenient/conventional ...
30
votes
3answers
303k views

What is a good way to remind someone to reply to your email?

Sometimes some of the emails to people senior to you in the company are left unanswered. What are the ways to politely remind the person that he needs to reply to your email (which he might have ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Pronunciation of voiceless alveolar fricative /s/ as ʃ (/sh/) in slang?

Observed some words get pronounced with a /sh/ rather than /s/ in certain situations. Stripes as "Shtripes" (from some "The Wire" episode) Screw it as "shcrew it" (from a rap song) In both ...
31
votes
6answers
107k views

Which is correct, “neither is” or “neither are”?

Bob: "Can I set the font color? Can I customize the text?" Frank: "Neither of these options is available. Sorry!" Is "neither is" always correct or should one use "neither are" in some cases and ...
2
votes
2answers
820 views

What's the plural of quantum?

As in a number of the smallest de facto units of anything you can have in the universe? Currently in the running in my mind: Quanta Quantums
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Use of “only” and word-order

I'm writing an automobile website and some of my paragraphs contain the word "only". I understand the following. As far as I'm aware, this is right: Only the Volkswagen Polo, Golf, Passat, Passat ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Free as in 'free beer' and in 'free speech' [closed]

This phrase is all over the internet. They will say that something is free as in 'free beer' and free as in 'free speech'. I have never really understood this. Are these the examples of two different ...
5
votes
4answers
543 views

Source for etymological study

It has always been interesting for me to know how words are made and where they are coming from. Is there any reliable source for etymological studies? any books, or dictionaries out there?
6
votes
4answers
6k views

How to indicate possession when using abbreviation “Dr.”

I often run into a case where I need to say I have a doctor's appointment, but how would I properly punctuate it if I wanted to use the abbreviation Dr. instead of the word doctor? Dr.'s appointment ...
28
votes
3answers
139k views

What does “For what it's worth” mean?

I hear it often, and can usually derive a sentence's meaning with or without it. What does it really mean? When would one use it?
7
votes
6answers
6k views

Why does English need an article before any noun?

In my native language, we can say: I have dog Because I don't want to say a dog (one dog, how many dogs) or the dog (that dog, the listener don't care which dog). p.s. after 3 years later, I ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Using an uncountable noun and 'none'

Today I came across the following sentence: We asked for help and were given none. It feels and sounds right to me. However, after decomposing none into not one, it becomes apparent that you ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Do Americans use the world 'turtle' as a generic word to mean 'tortoise'?

Obviously there are two different animals — a tortoise and a turtle. But I have been told by a colleague that in the US the word turtle is used to describe both. I find this odd as for example the ...
3
votes
2answers
545 views

Is “public listed” an adjective?

The series in the sentence below and its positioning sound awkward. Micro, small and large are all adjectives, but public listed? Has the rule on parallelism been violated? And should anything be ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

When should I use “see” vs. “refer”?

I have this question on using see and refer in technical documentation especially for cross-references information. I use see when mentioning another section in the same document, for example, for ...
2
votes
2answers
302 views

Is it “GPL License” or “GPL license”?

Every time I write GPL license the spelling checker of my Mac OS X keeps to underline license in green; if I write GPL License, the spelling checker doesn't underline License. When I hover the mouse ...
7
votes
7answers
18k views

Does “pants” more commonly mean “trousers” or “underpants”?

In the UK, I've heard pants being used as slang for underpants (or was it in Bridget Jones' Diary?), whereas in India it almost exclusively means "trousers". Describing the meaning of "put your pants ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Etymology of “Sidejacking”

How did the term "Sidejacking" come out? What is its origin?
7
votes
4answers
22k views

What is the meaning and usage of the word “beknownst”?

I've used "beknownst" and "unbeknownst" a couple times but I never really bothered to look it up until now. But it's not in most of the online dictionaries websites I frequent. I'm under the ...
2
votes
5answers
815 views

In what context or situation (if any) would the words “try to see me” make sense?

If there is such possible situation, please, describe it. Please don't insert any punctuation between those words and keep their order intact.
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Ending a clause with a preposition, rule of thumb or hard rule? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it okay to end a sentence in a preposition? So we've all heard the admonishments from our teachers not to end a clause with a preposition A plumber visits a ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What does the word “only” mean in this sentence?

I recently met a quiz question and I am not sure what it means. The question is as follows (no context): We only need to save the stack pointer for a non-leaf procedure. Just for reference, the ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

Should “anymore” only be used in a negative statement or question?

I don't know why this is so, but I've always believed that the word anymore should only be used in a question or negative statement. Do you go there anymore? Don't do that anymore. But I often ...
18
votes
9answers
8k views

“Who” versus “whom” with multiple verbs

Which of these phrases is more correct? The man who I know to be unhappy The man whom I know to be unhappy Is one of the verbs in the phrase more important, thus determining the noun case, ...
6
votes
6answers
13k views

I need an adjective to precede the word “commitment”

I'm looking for an adjective that has a close meaning to strong, undying, relentless... the school’s __ commitment to bring change. I'm writing a personal statement for a school.
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Can “modality” mean “having modes?”

A widget has one button. This button performs different functions depending on the widget's mode at the time the button is pressed. Can this be said to have modality, or a modal design?

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