6
votes
2answers
302 views

Unorthodox article placement

In my English class yesterday we looked at the following example: Monica is such a beautiful woman. We learned that the above sentence could also be written as: Monica is so beautiful a ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

Source for the Adage: “The first liar is always believed most.”

In a couple of books and articles I've come across an adage, “the first liar is always believed most”: Now, I talked to the captain first, but I want you to know that great old saying, “The ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

“Recently” vs. “lately”

I haven't seen Mr. John __. Which is correct, recently or lately? My uncle has been to Germany lately. Why is the correct answer in the second example lately and not recently?
-3
votes
3answers
2k views

Word for “to use someone's own tactics against them”

I'm looking for a word to describe using someone's own tactics against them. A formal word is preferable but a colloquialism will work as well.
0
votes
1answer
3k views

For which reason vs For that reason

I know that 'which' and 'that' open non-restrictive and restrictive clauses, respectively. However, intuitively, it seems to me that they don't have the same functions in the phrases 'for which ...
4
votes
1answer
228 views

Plurals in phonetic spelling

If I spell doing as doin' then how should I spell doings? Would it simply be doin's?
0
votes
1answer
205 views

Should “Applied Cryptography” be capitalized? Is it a proper noun?

I'm trying to write a cover letter for a fairly prestigious job, and I'm aiming for (arguably too much) perfection in my cover letter. I don't want to be turned away only because the hiring people ...
2
votes
1answer
236 views

What does “deepest summer” mean?

I am new to this English stack exchange, I asked this question on the movie stack exchange Though it was a question from a movie it's also related to English Language. I will be simply pleased and ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

“However” vs. “but”

In the question sentence: He is seventy-five, he still__ (but, however) pays regular visits to his old mother. Which word can be put in the blank? The answer books says "however" but it sounds ...
-2
votes
1answer
214 views

What is the meaning of “Startup guy”? [closed]

I read the expression Startup guy very frequently, especially in public profiles like the one at https://twitter.com/alexisohanian What does this mean?
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Right verb for 'pass'

I've a function that takes one or more arguments and I want to say the way to pass parameters. For instance: you can pass (maybe give?) a number and a string to that function. What is the right verb ...
1
vote
4answers
122 views

Position of “than”

Which of the following sentence structures is correct, or sounds better? They grow at a faster rate up to three years after treatment than comparable plants. They grow at a faster rate than ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

“The” before person name and context indication

I'm a native French speaker and the following is translated from French: A production still in which the beauty of the natural elements and colours evoke the Renoir of A Day in the Country (1936) ...
3
votes
0answers
1k views

Are there any words in English meaning “goodbye forever”? [closed]

I'm not a native speaker. I want to know if there is any word that you use to express that yourself and the listener will not have a chance to see each other again, or that it is incredibly unlikely ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are news headlines in present tense if they refer to past events?

In news papers we see headings like this "India signs a pact with Russia" "Sachin hits another century" "Obama wins presidential election" These are completed events, aren't they? ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Prefix im- is for opposite or asserting

Is the prefix im- used in a negative sense, as in, the opposite of the word following it, e.g. Impenitent = "not penitent" Or it is used in the positive sense that supports the word following ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

The ambiguous “until”

As a non-native English speaker, It seems to me that the word "until" is quite ambiguous. It's been told that when it's used with a date it includes the date. (Does "until [date]" mean ...
0
votes
1answer
194 views

Linking two sentences with a comma?

I'm wondering if the following sentence is correct? Please let me know your thoughts on these issues, I welcome your feedback.
4
votes
2answers
176 views

What's the most elegant way to say “surmountable objection”?

"Surmountable" sounds so much weirder there than "insurmountable".. As in: Was that a rejection? At the time it seemed like maybe he just had a few surmountable objections...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Singular to plural noun

Many nouns that end in ‑f are made plural by changing the ‑f to ‑v‑ and adding ‑es. +----------+-----------+ | Singular | Plural | +----------+-----------+ | half | halves | | leaf | ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

“Thence” to allude to the past

I see that "hence" means roughly "from this fact/time/place/source", while "thence" means roughly "from that fact/time/place/source". Usage such as "half an hour hence" is typically (although perhaps ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Is there a context where 'to neglect' and 'neglecting' are not compatible? [duplicate]

I believe that to infinitive as a subject can be replaced by a gerund form, which is why To get up early is good. always has the same meaning as Getting up early is good. But a ...
0
votes
1answer
379 views

Is this sentence in the Future Continuous?

Would be obliged if someone could clarify whether the following is in the Future Continuous tense. The Earth will be three degrees hotter by the year 2050. It seems so but I need to be ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Usage of “Who's to Say X”, Followed by Defending X, or Attacking X?

I have seen two different uses of "Who's to say X". It appears to me, that the author could either defend X in a sarcastic or ironic way, or could attack X by presenting evidence contrary to X. My ...
1
vote
1answer
285 views

Compliments — for people, things or both?

Are compliments applicable both to people and things, or to people only?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a Latin, or English, phrase or acronym for “in summary”?

Is there something similar to TLDR that can be used in professional emails and messages?
4
votes
2answers
96 views

“the writing is on the wall” vs. “the handwriting is on the wall”

This morning I heard on NPR someone mention that: "The handwriting is on the wall". I had a notion that it was a biblical allusion, which was confirmed by: ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Better wording for “Among other [stuff]”

I have the following problem. I need to say Among other information, [the message] will contain information about the following... I don't like the repetition of "information" here. I thought ...
4
votes
3answers
9k views

made of vs made up of

I'd really value your thoughts on this one. I'm familiar with the following use of 'made of': The shirt is made of silk. But I'd like to know if anyone thinks using this phrasal verb as a ...
3
votes
3answers
624 views

What is the difference between the words “stream”, “flow” etc.?

What is the difference in meaning and usage between the nouns “stream”, “flow” (“pour” is excluded from this list based on comments) and probably other words with similar meaning? What is more ...
0
votes
2answers
413 views

Is there a specific term in English for the smell of the early morning?

I'm not looking for words like "freshness" for example, but a word that is used exclusively to denote this specific smell.
2
votes
4answers
327 views

Use of “permission” in technical writing

In a request for proposal (RFP) I am attempting to edit the following sentence-fragment which isn't grammatically correct: "...except for staff permissioned to update..." My problem is with the ...
1
vote
4answers
524 views

Is there a specific word in English (a noun) for the strong smell of spaces like cellars, basements and storerooms?

Due to the lack of sunlight, usually located fully underground in the house and kept shut almost all the time , basements tend to release a very strong odour that fills your nostrils whenever you open ...
-2
votes
3answers
1k views

Everybody knows that […] VS Everyone knows that […] [closed]

I was wondering if we should use one expression rather than the other? For example the sentence could be: Everybody knows that global warming is an important problem Or Everyone knows that ...
3
votes
1answer
472 views

What does ‘a lunch best forgotten’ mean?

There is the following sentence in Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “The Fourth Estate.”: He droppped into three newsagents on the long walk into Kingston, and purchased Time, Newsweek, and local ...
0
votes
1answer
398 views

meaning of the phrase “bound together by some necessity of nerve that excluded him”

Could you help me with the meaning of the phrase “bound together by some necessity of nerve that excluded him” in the extract below? What does "nerve" mean here? Does it mean "courage" or "nervous ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

Which is right — “all the three” or “all three” in a situation of specific objects?

Let's imagine, I'm speaking about someone's three specific cars, which are over there, there, and there. Now I'm saying that I have installed a new sound system in all of them. Which is right: ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

“Should” in the past?

What is the way to say that something "should be done" in the past? I know there is a "should have" structure, but it is used for situations, when something was to be done in the past, but it wasn't. ...
0
votes
2answers
566 views

“Either A or B”: what exactly is the subject? [closed]

My brother had this pair of questions on a Year 7 English exam. Consider this sentence: "Either Michael or Susan will have to do night shift tonight." Which is the subject? ...
1
vote
1answer
497 views

Document names and proper nouns/definite articles

I'm a translator and not a native speaker of English and have some troubles understanding definite articles. Any feedback for my problem would be of great help for me. What is the rule for document ...
6
votes
2answers
545 views

Indirect “be” question; word order

Caveat: There are a great number of similar questions I have found, but none has explained this specific thing. If the answer does exist and I have overlooked it, please let me know. So, I was under ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a name for when the same word is used at the beginning and end of different phrases/sentences?

Is there a name for when one phrase ends with a word that starts the next phrase. For instance: life is a peach and cream Or sunscreen in the eye for detail Or (from Dave Eggers' ...
1
vote
1answer
713 views

Can I use “it” to refer to a person?

Is using "it" to refer to a person ok? If it is, why? Q)Who is your teacher? A)It is Mr. Red.
-1
votes
1answer
180 views

Is there any relationship between the English word “seize” and the French word for “16”? [closed]

The number 16 is "seize" in French. Based on research through standard channels, I find it unlikely that our English word "seize" derives from this, but I've always been curious about the connection ...
-1
votes
1answer
125 views

How should I write sounds? [closed]

How should I write "boom," when it's the sound of a cannon? Or "creek," when it's the sound of a door? Or "wham," when it's the sound of an impact? Should I use quotation marks? Italics? Both? ...
0
votes
2answers
748 views

which Allowed to or which allowed doing? [duplicate]

I haven't found any threads on this topic so I decided to create a new one. Please have a look at the usage of the verb allow in this sentence: "This report was presented to the external ...
2
votes
3answers
688 views

What's another word for “perfect analogy” / “non-analogy”?

Is there a word to mean an analogy so perfect that it is no longer considered an analogy? For example, what may be a suitable word in the sentence below? : ...The analogy eventually breaks down, ...
4
votes
2answers
222 views

What is the term for an item that facilitates the tying of things together?

Is there some piece of equipment or item that allows you to tie two or more strands of rope threads of fabric together? I imagine that (1) and (2) will be different items. If such things do ...
-5
votes
1answer
111 views

Program is written in C++ or Program is written on C++ [closed]

Which is right: This program is written in C++. or This program is written on C++.
2
votes
1answer
154 views

“…must be running”

I'm trying to understand the meanings of must with a lexical verb in present continuous. Usually "must" means the judgement of the speaker (epistemic modality). Can it have a non-epistemic meaning ...

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