0
votes
1answer
3k views

What does “Way to read the room” mean?

I'm translating a movie and there's one sentence I could not understand. In the movie a doctor tells his friend: Doctor: Find something sharp to penetrate his skull.(to help the patient). ...
7
votes
5answers
864 views

How toffee-nosed is “toffee-nosed”?

Not being a speaker of British English, I was much amused on discovering the new adjective toffee-nosed. The American Heritage dictionary doesn't list it at all, but I found a definition in Collins: ...
1
vote
3answers
155 views

One single word for sandbox/training/workshop/root-cause-analysis/experimenting environment

We are asking our management for budget to create a new development environment, which will be as similar as possible to the production environment and which purpose will be: Training newcomers ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Can 'more + [adjective] + [plural noun]' be ambiguous sometimes?

The government would have to take more fundamental steps to address the minority's disquiet. Is this sentence ambiguous? May the implied meanings include: The government should increase the ...
4
votes
1answer
931 views

Is saying “can you do this for me” rude? [closed]

I recently got into a conversation with a freind who said it's rude to directly ask people without using the word "please" or converting the question to an indirect one. In the US this is the norm and ...
3
votes
1answer
467 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs. Past Continuous

Every now and then I come up with a sentence, that eventually undermines my confidence as to whether it's correct or not - just a part of my OCD issues I guess. Same thing happened yesterday and ...
1
vote
2answers
842 views

Is there a difference between “scaffold” and “scaffolding”?

Apparently scaffolding is always a substantive while scaffold can be used both as substantive and as verb (to scaffold). I'm interested in the substantive meaning of both words. Google image ...
-2
votes
1answer
69 views

Can a hyphen or dash always mean “to”?

Is it sufficient to say shot-shot where the hyphen would stand for to? Would a dash work, as in London–Brighton? I have a sentence like this: ... is the mean change in the mean energy of the ...
0
votes
4answers
3k views

How to say fractions like “7/8” or “546/823”

I have come across the following three spoken variants for the fraction ⅞: Seven by eight Seven over eight Seven into eight I am also aware of seven-eighths but I don't want to use that as it ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

“P-U-L-L” vs. “P-U-double L”

I have heard some people spell double letters individually, e.g. "B-B", "C-C", or "D-D". But I have also heard others use the word double instead. Is there any dialectical preference? Is there any ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a word or a common phrase for this motion of the hands

I want to describe this motion with words. What would be the concise way? (Actually it's this motion but with the hands closer to the lap than the face but that's not very important)
1
vote
2answers
146 views

How does 1:30 sound? [closed]

Someone overheard me say "How does 1:30 sound?" and suggested that the preferred way to phrase this question (i.e., when scheduling a meeting) would be to ask "How does 1:30 work?" or "Does 1:30 sound ...
-2
votes
3answers
989 views

I'm requested to send me [closed]

Is it correct to say "I'm requested to send me the new invoice"? What about this: "I'm requested you to be there on time"
2
votes
1answer
248 views

Is “attemptee” actually a word?

I've seen the word online: American woman jumps into West Lake to save suicide attemptee... But then I tried the dictionary and didn't get any results. Is attemptee actually a word?
0
votes
1answer
186 views

Are roller coasters proper names?

I want to write a sentence like this: I look up at the new roller coaster they built called Superman. Superman is the name of the roller coaster. Do I need to do anything special with the name? for ...
2
votes
2answers
924 views

Expressing sudden interruption in written, narrative speech

The title is self-explanatory, but whatever: What is the lexical technique for expressing sudden interruptions in written, narrative speech? For example: I was walking down the street when— ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

“I would've been” or “I should've been”

When on a job interview and asked: Tell us more about yourself. How do I say something like: ...Well, I would've been a father but sadly my son died due to cord constriction... My son died ...
0
votes
1answer
291 views

“Due to lack of / For lack of”? [closed]

Which of these statements is grammatically sound? : I would like to point out that I have already graduated and have marked 5th year in the question regarding the current status of my education due ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

What do you call your nephew's wife? [closed]

What do you call your nephew's wife? My niece? My niece-in-law? My nephew's wife?
0
votes
1answer
236 views

“Can” vs “Able to”: People/Animals vs. Inanimate Objects

I’m wondering if the English grammar “rule” given below, which I have heard from numerous non-native speakers, has any validity. “can” is used for people, animals, and inanimate objects. ...
2
votes
2answers
692 views

Confusing sentence, work or works?

Please have a look at this sentence: "Multiple citations of my work during the short time since their publication indicate its quality." Here work is referring to many publications. I have a ...
1
vote
5answers
980 views

Is there a common expression for someone who “always holds a mobile phone in hand”?

I would like to know if there is a typical expression or phrase, used by native speakers, for someone who always has their mobile phone in their hand. I would prefer a spoken expression rather than ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

to have more work given her

Mrs. Carey was shy about bathing a boy, and of course the Vicar had his sermon. But the Vicar insisted that Philip should be clean and sweet for the lord's Day. Mary Ann said she would rather go than ...
0
votes
1answer
150 views

Dating Colloquial Expressions and Slang

I remember hearing "be more chill" meaning, "calm down" in the nineties but it was not in common use ten years later - although "chill" as a verb with the same meaning lingers on. The expression "I'll ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it correct to say “I realized that you are truly lost.”

Is it correct to say "I realized that you are truly lost." instead of "I realized that you were truly lost"? Because realized is past tense, I'm not sure whether using "you are" instead of "you were" ...
4
votes
2answers
569 views

Words for describing an events start time

I am trying to classify events into two distinct groups. Event, in this context, means a public event which people might go to. This includes a broad collection of things including concerts, plays, ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

What mind stands for [closed]

The difinition of mind that parts of individual feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons is a common presence in dictionaries,however,what it stand for?Brain?
1
vote
2answers
611 views

A subset of our services were/was? Grammar

I am unsure of whether it should be was or were. The was/were refers to the subset rather than services. (which is obviously plural) So I think the question becomes: is it subset were or subset ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What's a modern equivalent of “fie on thee”?

Is there a modern equivalent to the archaic expression "fie on thee"? I'm aware of expressions such as "damn you" and the like, but I'm looking for something less strong.
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Do you capitalize after starting a sentence with a number in parentheses?

My boss wants business proposals to start with a numbered list in sentence form. She wants the numbers in parentheses and the sentence to continue on with no capitalization. Microsoft word keeps ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Should one use quotation marks around single letters in text?

It's my brother's first year studying English and the book they use at school has sentences like: A is for Animal B is for Beast C is for Continent D is for Den and so on. ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

How common is ' to trickle down' used in contexts unconnected to finance, wealth, etc.?

I have been using trickle down in contexts totally irrelevant to economy and similar concepts. Here is an example: Any change involving a particular part of an ecosystem will trickle down, in due ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

'do' or 'does': “do/does money and power control the world?” [duplicate]

Can you please help me with the correct form of this question?
3
votes
1answer
507 views

Where in the U.S. do people change the stress of umbrella, adult and TV to the first syllable?

Is it just a small percentage of the population in that region who stress the first syllable, or is it widespread? In other words, if I visit such region will I find almost everyone talking like that ...
1
vote
6answers
3k views

Is there a word for someone who is bad with grammar?

Im writing a short story, but i can't find the correct word to use. "He was so ___ that he could not distinguish dot from comma."
0
votes
2answers
451 views

Why does a company's name spelled like a name, even if it's spelled differently in its logo? [closed]

There are companies which spell their name in their logo in a non standard way, specifically in all caps or all lower case. Some examples are: Intel Acer Yahoo! Yet, when their names are ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Hyphenating measurements [duplicate]

A construction that I have been seeing a lot lately that seems surprising to me is "The 8-foot-long bridge ...," with two hyphens. It seems surprising to me (or maybe I'm just noticing it) that ...
4
votes
8answers
1k views

Opposite of respectively

When responding to questions about multiple subjects, people will simply answer the questions in that order, adding 'respectively' to the end to make it clear which response applies to which subject. ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

A photograph 'depicts' its object. Is there a comparable verb for audio recordings?

A photograph 'depicts' its object. Is there a comparable word for audio recordings? For example, "The recording [verbs] The Beatles playing Been a Hard Day's Night."
1
vote
4answers
190 views

Participation v Participancy

I'm really curious as to know when you'd use participancy over participation. Right now Chrome is telling me that participancy is wrong and not a word. I always believed it to be a word and it is in ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

There is any relation between “I'm fired” and “I'm on fire”? [closed]

I'm not english native speaker, and joking with a collague in my work we start a wordgame between "You are on fire?" "No, I'm fired". Because I'm spanish bachelor I want to know if there is any ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Is “mustn’t be doing something” deontic or epistemic?

Do the following sentences have a deontic or epistemic meaning? He must be studying now. He mustn't be studying now.
0
votes
1answer
219 views

Meaning of “Her eyes opened, her mother’s blue”?

This passage is from "Should Wizard Hit Mommy?" by John Updike. What does the the italicized sentence refer to? The little girl (not so little any more; the bumps her feet made under the covers ...
0
votes
1answer
252 views

What words can I use to express a “great time”? [closed]

What words can I use to express a "great time"? I am trying to write an essay and I just need words that expresses a great time to make the essay sound interesting.
3
votes
4answers
200 views

Is there a word for words about words?

There are several words for types of words. For example, a "synonym" is a word for words with similar meanings, "demonym" is the word for a word describing a resident of an area, and "noun" is the ...
16
votes
13answers
7k views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who works hard at night and does not sleep?

All the words or phrases I know for people who stay up at night merely describe the habit of not sleeping (e.g.: a night owl or insomniac) I am looking for a word or phrase with an emphasis on ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

“How much X is in Y?” vs “How much X is there in Y?”

First: How much money is there in a bank? Second: How much money is in a bank? Honestly, both of them are the same for me, but who knows.. I am not a native speaker.
1
vote
1answer
364 views

Signing yourself as Mr or Mrs

I was always taught never to sign a letter, note or article I'd written as Mr. John Smith. It was ingrained into me that my my name was plain John Smith and it was for others speaking or referring to ...
2
votes
3answers
75 views

On using a plural for an action to be performed multiple times

I've always wondered which of the following is correct: "I would like to give a speech on the 12th and the 17th" "I would like to give speeches on the 12th and the 17th" In this scenario, I'm ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

“List of Xs” vs “X list”

Is there a difference in meaning between "List of Xs" and "X list"? For example, does "task list" means the same thing as "list of tasks"? What about grammar? Can they be used interchangeably in a ...

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