6
votes
3answers
8k views

A single word for “Someone who cannot say no to anyone asking for help.”

I happen to be this type who always finds it hard to turn down someone who asks for my help. You know, like when people ask to borrow some money, ask to take them to see a doctor, ask to help with ...
12
votes
6answers
11k views

What is the opposite of “abbreviation”?

What is the opposite of "abbreviation"? For example, if ELL is an abbreviation for English Language Learners, then English Language Learners is a(n) _______ for ELL. I'm looking for a word that will ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

What does “disarm and waylay one's heart” mean?

In Salinger's "Paula" there is the following passage: "I so desperately want our baby born safely, darling. I’m afraid of falling. I’m afraid of a thousand things." Mrs. Hincher paused, suddenly ...
0
votes
1answer
127 views

What does “blow over someone's quest” mean?

What do the following sentences intend to convey to the reader? One blew over the industrialist's quest. One blew over the ford's quest.
-1
votes
2answers
116 views

The Case of the Missing Verb, or can a perfectly good word fail to exist?

Is it possible for an action to lack a verb? For example - to answer my own question - there is a verb for smell bad ("stink"), but there is no counterpart for to smell good. Is there?
6
votes
3answers
463 views

An idiom/phrase for someone whose opinions must be accepted by other people

(As a follow-up to the question,) Suppose there is a group of people, and suppose in this group opinions and ideas of a specific member of the group is always accepted by other members and they obey ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a word for “to make humble” with a positive connotation?

The word "humiliate" carries very negative connotations; is there a verb for "making someone humble" or "giving someone humility" in a positive way? For instance, "Having children of my own ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“On the first of every month” vs. “every first of the month”

What is the difference between the following two? On the first of every month... Every first of the month...
2
votes
1answer
731 views

Is absence of the person needed in “On someone's behalf”?

In the middle of a conversation he had with my father, [Mr. X] asked him: “What does your son want to do in future?”. “He wants to do religious studies,” my father replied. He talked on my behalf ...
2
votes
1answer
361 views

Telling the time “3:15” in American English

Which of the followings is the most common way to say 3:15 in American English? A quarter past three A quarter after three Three fifteen Also, in the last example "three fifteen", ...
2
votes
4answers
830 views

Difference between “fun” and “interesting”

In Japanese, there is no difference in definition between fun and interesting in their adjective forms. I know that fun also has a noun and verb form in English, but I am wondering is there any ...
3
votes
3answers
121 views

What is the verb for “apoplexy”?

In the following sentence, He [the verb] apoplexy a few years back and was suffering from numbness on the left side of the body, hence the need for a cane to walk. what is the appropriate verb ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

What's the difference between “made from” and “made of” [duplicate]

What's the difference between "made from" and "made of"? Could anyone give me some examples?
0
votes
2answers
63 views

What tense do I use?

I'm writing a history essay, and I don't know what tense to use in a case such as the below. In A.D. 7, Dave kills/killed a cow. Is it supposed to be killed or kills? Your help is greatly ...
2
votes
1answer
391 views

“Do you like my present” vs. “do you like your present”

When my daughter received the present I bought to her, I asked her: Do you like my present? Is this correct? Or I should say: Do you like your present?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Confusing sentence from reddit

There was this reddit thread to see who can create the most confusing sentence. Judging by the upvotes, I am guessing it is indeed a correct sentence. If so, can someone decipher this work of art? ...
1
vote
2answers
142 views

Vocabulary: an event, usually an unplesant one, that might or might not happen

I kept searching for an English word whose definition I remember, but not the specific term. I have searched but cannot not find it. This is the definition: an event, usually an unpleasant one, ...
5
votes
2answers
475 views

Is a “blue bird” the same as a “bluebird”?

Is “blue bird” in the following quotation from Lady Chatterley’s Lover referring to an actual bluebird? The lush, dark green of hyacinths was a sea, with buds rising like pale corn, while in the ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

'Happy Christmas to all, all be epicures too.'

'Happy Christmas to all, all be epicures too.' Can anyone explain what, if any, precisely means, or adds, 'all be epicures too' after 'Happy Christmas to all'? Is it idiomatic English?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Any vs. ”any other“ and ”every“ vs. ”every other"

Can you please clarify what difference in meanings exists between the sentences in the following two pairs: Tom is taller than any boy present in the class. Tom is taller than any other ...
3
votes
6answers
895 views

Is there a word that conveys 'keeping someone wondering purposely'?

Scenario: Someone publicly says, "We have made a decision" in reference to an important choice, but no matter how many people ask what the decision was, the person does not say. Later, when asked ...
2
votes
2answers
483 views

Omission of verbs

This following sentence is puzzling me. Neither can I understand the meaning, nor can I reason the grammatical soundness of the sentence. Some symbols acquire a multitude of meanings, some widely ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Multiple Ands but might still be correct? [duplicate]

I just wrote an interesting sentence and I'm on the fence on if it seems proper. I left it as a comment over on StackOverflow so the content may not mean much to you, but the structure interests me: ...
0
votes
3answers
489 views

Correct usage of 'was not having' or 'did not have'?

Is the sentence 'The man was not having any change' grammatically correct? Or does I have to be 'did not have'?
-1
votes
1answer
365 views

Is “reduce” transitive or intransitive?

Is the verb reduce used incorrectly in the sentence below? Would you personally choose to replace reduce with an alternative such as drop or fall? The birth rate has reduced over the past 10 ...
12
votes
2answers
257 views

Is there a name for this type of sculpture?

On a recent outing I discovered a number of these. Essentially, you look through the hole in the middle and you are facing a landmark, city, specific location, etc. Whilst this one is clearly ...
6
votes
3answers
598 views

A word for the feeling of not being able to stand the smell of alcohol

Is there a word for the feeling someone may have who recently had a blackout or was so hungover that they can't even stand smelling something alcoholic? You know what I mean; the feeling that makes ...
15
votes
1answer
917 views

What do you call exaggerations like “I'm starving”?

For example, when you are a little hungry and you say "I'm starving", or when you are so tired and you say "I'm dying". What do you call these type of expressions? Just exaggerations? I don't know how ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What is a “Web tailer”?

Yet another question from Salinger's Ocean Full of Bowling Balls. Holden writes to his brother from a camp: Ask him if he ever read corinthans. Corinthans is in the bible and is very good and ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

“Here is/are” followed by plural

Here is the documents needed. Here are the documents needed. Which is grammatically correct and why? My guess would be the second one because of the plural form.
1
vote
2answers
616 views

What is correct form of writing: “users names” or “user names”? [duplicate]

Let me ask you a question which I've derived from my programming practice: Let's assume, I have a number of users represented by their names: John, Pete, Stanislaw, Marc, ... What words should I use ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

“after abusing it for three years” vs “after having abused it for three years”

I was writing a blog post about my phone this morning, and this is how I started it: Last week, after abusing it for over three years, I retired my trusty old HTC Desire and replaced it with an ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

On the target of “not”

I would like to know the target of the word "not" in the following sentence. The problem is that Britons were never given a chance to vote on whether they wanted the CCTV cameras set up or not. ...
4
votes
2answers
344 views

“that” omission, subject-verb distance [duplicate]

when can we remove 'that'? I've heard different opinions I bought the book that is required for this course I bought the book required for this course I recommend that you take my advice I recommend ...
0
votes
2answers
260 views

Use of the word “neglect”

Can you use the word "neglect" in the following way? The townspeople/inhabitants neglected their town/city. Firstly, thank you so much. Some background about me. I am British born and have been ...
3
votes
4answers
520 views

Antonym for “necessary”?

A thesaurus may suggest ‘optional’ as an antonym for ‘necessary’ but this isn't the word I'm looking for. I need a word which means ‘cannot be included’ as in the phrase, “The country code is ...
0
votes
1answer
228 views

Conditional sentences in business writing

I found this question strange. Complete the sentence with a correct word: When you contracted with us to find the right candidates for that position, we .... to send you a list of potential ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

not a moment too soon - is it fast or slow? [closed]

Is this late or early? It's a bit unclear to me. Because this question body wasn't meeting good quality standards of this site, I had to write this additional sentence.
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Doubtless or doubtlessly?

To my surprise I found that doubtless is used as an adverb without appending the "-ly". Doubtless, some of you will know more examples. It feels wrong, but then again, I am not a native ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

Are hatters really mad? [closed]

Given the winter festival and the wearing of hats on stackexchange, I'm reminded about the expression "as mad as a hatter." Does the term "mad" here apply to derangement or anger management issues? ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Where in the world does “a lift” mean “a ride in the car”?

In the United States and Canada, when someone asks you for "a lift" or you offer "a lift", you are speaking about riding in a car with them. However, in England and other places, a "lift" is an ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Use of “ahoy” before “hello”

The word hello seems to have become popular with the coming of the telephone. Did our ancestors greet each other with ahoy before that?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How is “gone” pronounced?

I'm a native Spanish speaker who's trying to grasp some of the subtleties of (American) English pronunciation. I think the sounds that give me the most trouble are the triplet of low back vowels: /ɑ/, ...
5
votes
4answers
471 views

What is a “blue card” in this context?

I'm reading Salinger's "Ocean Full Of Bowling Balls" and came across the "blue card". I wonder what that means in that context. I found that "blue card" is currently used for immigrant agricultural ...
1
vote
5answers
125 views

A phrase for 'a free, informal space for learning'

What could be a short phrase for 'a free and informal space for learning?'
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Is it correct to say “source to” instead of “source of”?

Is it correct use to as preposition in the following sentence? Books are the best source to knowledge. I have mostly seen of as being used with source, for example "source of knowledge". But I ...
2
votes
1answer
296 views

“For all” or “for each”

In mathematical context, or in the context of mathematical logic, is there a difference between: This is valid for each x. and This is valid for all x. ? If both have the same meaning, ...
2
votes
3answers
113 views

The article of X in “a change of X”

Why can we say "a change of address", "a change of plan", etc. without any articles in front of "address" and "plan"? Aren't they countable nouns? Is it some kind of idiom for "a change of X" or a ...
1
vote
1answer
235 views

What is “a torn man”?

How can we understand "a torn man"? I found it in Love Is a Fallacy. I sat down in a chair and pretended to read a book, but out of the corner of my eye I kept watching Petey. He was a torn man. ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Working a noun or a verb in this sentence?

"Working for the man". Does "Working" act as a noun, verb or something else in this case and why? If I said, "I am working for the man." Then clearly working is a verb. However, I'm confused by the ...

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