2
votes
3answers
842 views

Personal pronouns for animals

In my native language German, every animal has an article. This is understandable, if one wants for example to distinguish a male pig (boar) from a female pig (sow). But if one just talks about the ...
23
votes
5answers
15k views

What does 'sucker for' mean?

I recently came across a couple usages of 'sucker for' which indicates that it means 'crazy about', 'enthusiastic for', or 'interested in'. For example, 'I am a sucker for sports.', seems to say, 'I ...
6
votes
4answers
930 views

Is “Englishnization” an acceptable term?

There's a company named Rakuten in Japan, which introduced "Englishnization" a couple of years ago. They adopted an internal policy where all the employees are expected to speak English as an official ...
2
votes
4answers
806 views

Is this usage of “inside” correct?

This text is taken from a children's reader. It's about some children who find a doll house that is an exact reproduction of their home. Biff opened the little house. Everyone looked inside. "It ...
3
votes
3answers
564 views

Is there a word for my ex-spouse's new spouse?

With modern high divorce rates, a lot of people get married more than once in their lives. Saying "my ex-wife's new husband" is a bit awkward. Is there anything more graceful? I came across it in ...
-2
votes
1answer
726 views

A word for a person concerned with spelling

What do we call a person who is concerned with words' spelling? This person likes words without spelling mistakes. If this person's name is typed incorrectly or if the person sees incorrect spelling, ...
-3
votes
2answers
785 views

What is a common word that describes men who don't attract women

How do you refer to men who are unable to get women for courtship? Context of the question: A man might want a woman for sex, just for sex, for marriage, for a relationship that might not necessarily ...
8
votes
1answer
508 views

Capital Letters from 1700 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Capitalisation of nouns in English (historically) After reading a recipe from 1747, I noticed that all of the nouns are capitalized. Is that a normal thing for that era? ...
3
votes
4answers
332 views

How should the word “brutal” be used in marketing?

I noticed that some companies use the word brutal for marketing their products. Examples: brutal performance – a data storage software markets itself with this, they mean that their software is ...
6
votes
6answers
9k views

Coney and rabbit: what’s the difference?

Are the words coney and rabbit full synonyms in English? Are there any slight differences in usage or meaning? Are there any cases when one word is more appropriate in the modern writing or speech ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

A proper definition for “hogget”?

This is the meaning of hogget in the Collins English Dictionary: a sheep up to the age of one year that has yet to be sheared the meat of this sheep So, is a lamb a hogget? This ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“He has to do it. Hasn't he (to)?”

He has to do it. Hasn't he (to)? Is the 'to' correct/ incorrect/ unnecessary? Is that a case of an infinitive in interrogative tail (question tag)?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“Once upon a time” vs. “a long time ago”

How is the meaning of "once upon a time" different from "a long time ago"? Literally, is that what it means? There seems to be repetition in once and upon a time. How is this sentence broken up?
2
votes
3answers
263 views

Translating when speakers reference themselves by name

In some cultures, people might call themselves by their name. For example, if a woman's name is May, she might say in her native language May has a very important thing to say. When translated ...
-1
votes
1answer
349 views

Won't or doesn't? If either works, what's the difference? [closed]

The weather is windy and the wind is blowing outside. I am sitting in front of the TV, but it …………… turn on and I don’t know what I should do to fix it.
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “Better never than late” the saying as popular as “Better late than never”?

There was the following sentence in Maureen Dowd’s column in New York Times (September 1): We all know Republicans prefer riches-to-riches sagas, and rounding up immigrants, if the parasitic ...
7
votes
1answer
265 views

What do we call the “repetition” construct (if it's even proper English)?

I've sometimes seen this construct, used to avoid repetitive handwriting, but I don't even know if it's proper English. If it is, what is the name of this construct? I have no idea what to search for ...
0
votes
1answer
747 views

Apostrophe `s` and adjective [closed]

I'm a bit confused if I can use adjective after a noun with apostrophe s. I broke Jim's fragile figure. I broke fragile figure of Jim. For example, which of these two sentences is correct?
3
votes
1answer
265 views

“On the third floor stood a salesman with [number] artificial legs”

On the third floor stood a salesman with one artificial leg. On the third floor stood a salesman with two artificial legs. On the third floor stood a salesman with three artificial legs. ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

“She did not report for work” vs. “she did not report to work”

Which of the two is grammatical or is better in style — "report for work" or "report to work"? I've always used the first, "report for work", following the pattern of "report for duty", which I ...
1
vote
3answers
264 views

How do I reexamine for the first time?

I'm about to examine something. This something has been examined before by somebody else. How do I say in one word (or more) that I'm about to examine this something for the first time, but it is not ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

What do I call my paid account? [closed]

I have created a web application that has two offerings, one is free, the other is paid. The paid version has exactly the same functionality as the free version, it's just that it can be used with ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Which is the suitable preposition for a perspective?

Consider several well known phenomena. I would like to describe these phenomena from a different point of view. Do I allow a different perspective on these phenomena, of the phenomena, at all ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

From the statistics point of view, does an estimator may have a bias or it may be biased?

Will it be correct to state that a statistical estimator may be biased, or that I must state that the above estimator may have a bias? Is it acceptable to add the /-ed/ to the word bias in the above ...
0
votes
2answers
116 views

How to rigorously define independent clauses? [closed]

Consider the following sentence: The independent filmmaker Ira Sachs’s drama “Keep the Lights On,” which opened on Friday, is neither an especially good movie nor an especially bad one, but ...
3
votes
1answer
416 views

What is the “bin” in “loony bin”?

A question on ELU gives some background on the use of looney. Etymonline's entry for bin has "receptacle", "all from L.L. benna 'cart,' M.L. benna 'basket.'" Loony bin seems to be analogous to police ...
0
votes
3answers
78 views

“Replacing variables with their equivalence classes” vs. “… with their equivalence class”

In my thesis I have the following sentence: One can construct a new query by replacing all the variables in Q with their equivalence classes. I doubt that this sentence is grammatically correct, ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

It's not “probability” but…? [closed]

I have values between 0 and 1, like [0.9, 0.8,...], indicating that a value closer to 1 is more probable than one close to 0, but without all the values adding up to 1. I guess I can't call it ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Collective Noun for Fire

What is the collective noun for fire? A ____ of fires. To clarify: This is actually a school curriculum text question and I have never heard of such a collective noun. This is an example I can ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“Paintings on walls and ceilings” and “painting of portraits, landscapes”

I am creating a portfolio of painter's works and I need to categorize them. There will be two global categories: Paintings on canvas Painting on walls and ceilings The paintings on canvas divide ...
0
votes
2answers
761 views

-er rather than -lier as an adverbial comparative form

In modern German, one can make tief into the comparative tiefer, regardless of whether the word is used as adjective or adverb. In English, I now have a sentence in which I want to do the same thing ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

What's the correct way to imply that a course is not taken online?

I'd like to know how I should write on my CV that some courses I've taken were taken online (i.e. on websites, through videos and such) while others were actually taken on an institute/school etc. ...
-3
votes
2answers
260 views

Choosing between 'I' and 'me' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct, “you and I” or “you and me”? Which one is correct to say: “It's me” or “It's I”? “It is ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Did you ever hear(see, do, anything else) vs. Have you ever(seen, done, and so on) heard? [closed]

What's correct? If both, what is the difference between these questions? An example from The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: MacDonald turned over the letter which Holmes had handed ...
2
votes
2answers
768 views

Uncountable nouns

When is it possible to use an indefinite article before uncountable nouns? Only when they are defined in some way? music, art, love, happiness advice, information, news (It was a good ...
7
votes
3answers
821 views

“Golden crown” vs. “gold crown”

In case of the need to describe the color of a crown which is shown as part of an image, which is correct: a golden crown, or a gold crown? Is it important if it is made of gold or not, but the color ...
-1
votes
2answers
369 views

Meaning of the word 'orthodox' in sentence? [closed]

"If I can not succeed in an orthodox way, at least I can succeed in a criminal world." What does the word orthodox mean in this case ?
13
votes
2answers
917 views

Canadian spelling: why?

As a Canadian, I feel that our spelling tendencies—sometimes British, sometimes American—fit quite well with our geographic, historic and cultural placement between these two bigger countries. I have ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the origin of “a cut above/below the rest”?

Where did the phrases "a cut above the rest" and "a cut below the rest" come from? I'm supposing they came from the same source. I feel it something very obvious, but I don't know what.
16
votes
6answers
654 views

Where does the phrase “run code” or “run software” come from? Why “run”?

Historically speaking, it makes sense to me someone would say run "the computer". Early computers (not a human computer) were mechanical machines with moving parts that could achieve a velocity deemed ...
3
votes
2answers
264 views

Perfect tenses in conditionals

Why does one sometimes use the perfect tense in conditions of the first type? Say, I will do something if you have done something. I did something when he had done something. instead of, ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

Term for easing up sails in a heavy storm

What is the correct verb (or phrase) to describe the action of reducing a boat's sail power in a heavy storm? So far, I've only come up with reefing the sails, but that refers to the furling of the ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

In a jet cockpit: “console” or “instrument panel”?

What is the correct term for the panel containing standard indicators such as the altimeter and airspeed indicator in a jet aircraft cockpit? Is it called console or instrument panel, or are both ...
-2
votes
1answer
58 views

“Clustering in trades” or “Clustering of trades”? [closed]

Should I say "I examine the impact of clustering of trades by traders...." or "I examine the impact of clustering in trades by traders..." Some people are telling me of but in sounds better to me.
5
votes
3answers
370 views

Is an ellipsis a distinct punctuation mark?

The ellipsis looks like three consecutive periods, but many type faces have a distinct glyph for an ellipsis. Is this an aesthetic distinction, or is the ellipsis actually a different punctuation ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Words having two prefixes incorporated

There are prefixes of time and order (pre-, post-), of location (sub-, super-), for expressing the reversing of an action (de-, dis-), and go on. English words may take prefixes from one or two of ...
4
votes
4answers
161 views

Complement of digress?

Is there a verb that means "to return from a digression"? The best I can think of is a phrase like "Getting back on topic, . . ."
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a smiley at the end of a sentence like a period?

How do you treat an emoticon at the end of a sentence? He probably caught his cold from the kids at school :( Should there be a period after the :(, or should I go straight into the next ...
2
votes
3answers
15k views

Are “eery” and “eerie” equally acceptable spellings?

I used "eery" yesterday in a text and was corrected jokingly by my correspondent to "eerie." Looking at it after the fact, neither 'looks' right to me and both get through auto-correct with no red ...
-1
votes
2answers
182 views

Correct sense of “practical”

The definition of utilize is to use something, especially for a practical purpose. What does practical mean here? Definitions of practical from OALD: connected with real situations rather ...

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