21
votes
14answers
2k views

A word for: someone who is easy to talk to

I want to convey the idea that such and such person is very easy to talk to. I know that: 'talk to-able' is not a word, obviously. I can always say, "He is very easy to talk to." But I am looking ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Which word(s) are considered to be spelled the least phonetically? [on hold]

Of all the dictionary words, which are considered to have a pronunciation least like their spelling? Also, slightly different question, but I believe that some English surnames can have surprising ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Is this a common expression? [on hold]

"That's a lot of things to take all at once. The world turned upside down on him, poor kid."
1
vote
1answer
45 views

how can I use “fewer” and “more” with numbers?

I have never heard anyone use words "fewer" and "more" when talking about the fact that a certain number of items is greater than a certain number of other items by a constant. For example if the ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Can the word mnemonic be used adverbally?

A mnemonic is a memory device for reducing something diverse and complicated to an easily -remembered pattern. For example, for the order of planets in the solar system, I learned as a boy the ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Descry, Espy, Spot, Spy

I know as a general rule that no two words are identical in meaning and use. I was wondering if I could get help in understanding the different meanings and uses of descry, espy, spot and spy. I know ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Would the slang version, yessir, of yes, sir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?

I use yessir as a slang form of yes, sir all the time. Is it even a word? Would the slang version, yessir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?
-1
votes
0answers
32 views

What does the expression make it clean mean when used by a gangster reffering to a crime? [on hold]

I am not sure what it means exactly. Does it mean do not leave any evidence behind?
3
votes
2answers
45 views

Comma or period after break from quotation?

In quotations such as "I'm hungry," he said, "I want to eat dinner." Do you end the word said with a comma or period?
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Omitting subject or be verb in the second clause [on hold]

Which one is the most natural? Such set is called an empty set and it is denoted by 0. Such set is called an empty set and is denoted by 0. Such set is called an empty set and denoted by 0.
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Using adjectives after verbs?

In a lot of sentences when speaking people use adjectives after verbs. In some examples it sounds right, however, and I was wondering if such uses were valid in formal writing. The only example I ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

What does “perceptive” mean in this context?

I became his first love and the mother of his first child and, as such, I have a unique perceptive to share on this man who has fascinated the world. It is taken from the NOTE TO THE READER ...
4
votes
2answers
49 views

“Elements are zero” vs “elements are zeros”

This is a sentence from Wikipedia: A sparse matrix is a matrix in which most of the elements are zero. Should this be more correct: A sparse matrix is a matrix in which most of the elements ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Is there a concise term or abbreviation for “Decimal Places”?

Is there a concise term or abbreviation for "Decimal Places"? I have a table that I'm trying to squeeze in information and the column header is wider than the information it contains. Context: ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

contract/contractor/contracting [on hold]

I'm soliciting a position as a contractor (avoiding the status of a permanent employee). Which is correct (or better than any of these)? I am looking employment in a contract capacity I am looking ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Is “Tomorrow, I will buy it” correct? [on hold]

My brother and I are having a discussion, whether it is grammatically correct (or any native speaker would ever say a sentence): Tomorrow, I will buy it. I think it is not correct, it strikes me ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

What is the difference between took and taken? [on hold]

What is the difference between took and taken? As an example assume a monkey is in a well, and someone is trying to say they would have taken the money out. Are both of these sentences grammatically ...
-1
votes
1answer
55 views

Where am I hiding? [on hold]

I am covered and therefore not to be seen in a group photo in which i have posed. I want to emphasize my missing in the photo to others.
7
votes
2answers
403 views

Sultanas and raisins, I'm confused

Most Christmas pudding recipes call for both sultanas and raisins. It is my understanding that a raisin refers to any dried grape. A sultana is both the name of a seedless grape, originating from ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Antonym for “discombobulate”

I'm looking for a good antonym to discombobulate. I'm aware that the word is made-up American slang and as such there is no such thing as to be combobulated. If a person is anything but ...
4
votes
5answers
123 views

A proverb or idiom in English for people who pick up a new language very quickly

There's a proverb in my language which goes like --he/she spent just one night with the hen and ended up clucking the following morning. This saying can be used either positively or negatively. I'm ...
-1
votes
0answers
60 views

Do people understand what it means to play with semantics? [on hold]

I get confused when people dumb me down saying I shouldn't play with semantics. I don't like it. Why do they do it? What can I say to them to help me out in these situations? Thank you in advance
-3
votes
1answer
53 views

How do we know if learning some of the new words are necessary or a waste of energy? [on hold]

Sometimes I receive emails with the name " word of the day" ,but I don’t know how understandable this words are for the others, if I search it on Google Ngram tool I still don’t know this site ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Circumstantial: Can anything be 'circumstantial' but evidence? [on hold]

I have come across the word circumstantial but I have only ever seen it used in the phrase 'circumstantial evidence'. I would like to ask if anything can be 'circumstantial' apart from evidence. When ...
4
votes
3answers
68 views

False attribution to increase authority

What is the practice called of falsely attributing an anecdote or piece of writing or fact to another source to give it more authority or authenticity, or to avoid the appearance of self-promotion? ...
-2
votes
2answers
32 views

Should I use a comma in this sentence [on hold]

Should I use a comma before can As a further research the relation of whether a firm has adopted IT framework and the number of failed IT investment projects, can be empirically examined.
2
votes
2answers
38 views

*free of charge* used with other adjectives and a noun

Do you write or say other adjectives before or after the adjective free of charge used together with a noun? Is it better to put other adjectives before or after free of charge? Do you put an ...
9
votes
13answers
2k views

Opposite of “trendy” without a negative meaning

I am looking for an opposite to the word trendy without giving a meaning that those who adopted the trend are old-fashioned in hindsight. For example, Service Oriented Architecture is the trend as ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Was the pronunciation of “symmetry” different in the past?

First published in Songs of Experience in 1794, the first stanza of the poem “The Tyger” by William Blake is: Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What “tabloid”, “bikini”, “heroin”, “escalator”, “trampoline”, and “aspirin” have in common [on hold]

This is a puzzle for Christmas. What do the following words have in common? tabloid, bikini, heroin, escalator, trampoline, aspirin
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Coordination of nouns with determiners

These sentences are from some data set used for evaluating programs that automatically process languages, but I am doubtful about their grammaticality. (1) A man and woman are talking (2) The boy and ...
0
votes
0answers
6 views

Attempt or try? Which word [migrated]

How can I explain to ESL pupils what the difference is between "an attempt" and "a try" (as nouns). For example: Why can I say "I passed first try", but not *"this is a try to create a perfect ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

How does 'notwithstanding' mean 'in spite of'?

notwithstanding = [preposition] In spite of [adverb] = Nevertheless; in spite of this: Etymonline: late 14c., notwiþstondynge, from not + present participle of the verb withstand. A ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

What verb tense does the phrase “is been living” belong to? [on hold]

I have seen the following phrase: We're been living here since April. And I'm confused what is the verb tense that is used here. I thought it might be Present Perfect Continuous, which is a ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

What does 'spite' mean in 'in spite of'?

in spite of = 1. Without being affected by the particular factor mentioned [From the same page as above:] spite = [mass noun] 1. A desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone I ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Concept of “none” in the English language [duplicate]

None of them are/is I don't know if this is the place to ask, but: In German you would say "none of them is" and it totally sounds wrong to me to say "none of them are". As German and English ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Secure as a verb

Can you say "the state secures that people do not have any emotions"? Or does secure have to be followed by a noun or even a gerund? Like: "the state secures a lack of emotions" or "the state secures ...
2
votes
2answers
246 views

What do you do when you move under a low barrier?

Do you duck under it, crouch under it, or is there a better term? This lower position is held only for a very brief moment, so you don't duck under it and remain crouched. The focus is on the quick ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

What does “clog the pipes” mean? [on hold]

Please tell me what does clog the pipe mean in this sentence? Delegators people who love telling people what to do clog the pipes for others by coming up with busywork.
0
votes
2answers
61 views

How well does my second sentence connect with the first one? [on hold]

I am not sure in what category this question will fall, if any. If it needs to be altered, I will alter it. The following is the ending of a piece of writing: I will make a difference to people's ...
-1
votes
1answer
83 views

Is the last line from The Great Gatsby grammatically incorrect?

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. I am having a debate with a friend about the use of separated adjectival phrases at the end of sentences, and I ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

punctuation if dash introduces question-sentences

He worried--why X; what will happen if Y? It seems that this construction expresses the idea best, but it creates a few punctuation questions. Should the first semicolon be question-mark? Is there ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Question on indefinite article (Part 2)

when it comes to an English, article really trips me up so I ask another question regarding article(definite/indefinite). I was studying English grammar and ran into below sentence: "Make sure the ...
6
votes
2answers
260 views

“Who are” vs “who is” [on hold]

Sentence: it's not what's on the table that matters, but who (is/are) in the chairs. I thought are might be correct because of plural chairs, but family members disagree.
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

which of these sentence is ok to use? [on hold]

Somewhere in the middle of the argument, she kiss me with her eyes and I kiss her with my words.... or Somewhere in the middle of the argument, she kisses me with her eyes and I kisses her with my ...
-4
votes
1answer
36 views

reducing ambiguity in the construction [on hold]

X's strength and Y's belief have helped X work with people. They will help X in the future. or "His determination and belief in his purpose have helped him work with people. They will help him ...
4
votes
3answers
82 views

What's the opposite of “further down” in “further down the road”?

Suppose that there is a road which is 1000 meters long. I enter the road and after 500 meters I see Matthew. Matthew says: "James is walking somewhere further down the road". Then I drive further and ...
6
votes
2answers
104 views
+100

How did “owly” come to mean irritable or grouchy?

I am curious about the history of "owly" to mean irritable, grumpy, or uncooperative. The Word Detective explains (but doesn't substantiate) that the association derives from the fact that many owls ...
4
votes
10answers
162 views

Climactic act of reaching one's limit and turning to the sky/God/universe for answers

I'm looking for a word to describe the dramatic moment when, after being pushed to the limit, someone drops to their knees and turns to the sky/God/universe. In other words, this is the moment when ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Is it acceptable to use yes as a question tag?

I am aware that, for example, Russian and German speakers tend to use yes as a question tag (most likely because it is acceptable in their native language), as in You will come to the party, yes? ...

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