1
vote
0answers
40 views

Is Midnight at the start or the end of the day? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should “midnight on…” be interpreted? It seems that at least in common usage people understand midnight to mean the point at which the day ends, ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How offensive is to call a girl “Barbie doll”? Why?

I remember I had a conversation where I have told a girl she was Barbie doll. I just meant she looked beautiful like a Barbie doll: blond, and with blue eyes. Needless to say, she was really offended, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Can “show-stopper” have a negative connotation?

If not, what word do I mean to use when I use "show-stopper" negatively? It seems that in high-tech culture a show-stopper is a development problem that prevents forward progress, or an unacceptable ...
5
votes
7answers
8k views

Is there a word that describes a person who constantly exaggerates?

Is there a word that describes a person who constantly exaggerates? Exaggerating both facts and their emotions? Edit: the word should have a negative connotation, as if you are criticizing someone ...
7
votes
6answers
51k views

What is the plural of “equipment”?

What is the plural form of the word "equipment"? Is the word "equipment" singular? Context: for tools/objects
1
vote
5answers
381 views

One word that refers to a proof of concept for an unfinished video game?

My friend and I are making a video game. Occasionally we want to release little tech demos that demonstrate our progress. A demo would not at all be the finished game, but would rather show off some ...
4
votes
10answers
631 views

Word for someone who is burned out at work

Could someone suggest a cool word or expression for someone who is tired at work? Such a person is not doing his job properly and is waiting to quit; basically, he is not interested in his job and ...
1
vote
2answers
328 views

Some of us + Noun [closed]

I don't know why we can use Some of us + Noun like this: Some of us boys are planning to drive throughout the country during the summer holidays. Can anyone explain it for me?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “implement to” mean?

On UEFI page we can read: Acknowledging that you understand a license is required to implement to the Specification does not now or in future commit you either to completing an Adopter's Agreement ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the plural form of “Mercedes” a disused word?

In the picture below: 1) are there two Mercedeses? Or, 2) are there two Mercedes? Can we infer from this nGram that the plural noun "Mercedeses" is a disused word, hence the sentence 2) ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Meaning of “cookbook” in title of instructional book

I see many instructional books where the title of the book includes cookbook! What is the meaning of cookbook in this situation? Example: Python Testing Cookbook.
0
votes
1answer
611 views

Meaning of “beaten to the punch”? [closed]

I just read about a guy that was beaten to the punch several times. I couldn't find a meaning of that using my dictionary or Google, so what does that mean?
0
votes
1answer
170 views

Prefixing a two-word technical term with “sub-”

I have the term "verification code" and need a term for a particular code that is part of it. Normally, if the term were only "code", I'd use "subcode". How would I correctly prefix "verification ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it ever more appropriate to use “cognizant” over “aware”?

In every sentence I have ever read that uses the word "cognizant," the word could easily be replaced by "aware." On top of that, "aware" sounds much less pretentious and to-the-point. Are there ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

Is saying “an obsolete remnant” redundant?

Is saying "an obsolete remnant" or "an old remnant" redundant (or tautologous), or can the adjective be necessary to convey what I'm trying to say? (I imagined "remnant" already carries the ...
1
vote
3answers
790 views

Phase transition: 1st order, first-order, 1 superscript st - order

I have read several articles from non-native speakers about phase transitions. They are roughly classified in different orders, depending on the behavior of thermodynamic potentials at the phase ...
-2
votes
1answer
178 views

“He'd so much as touched” meaning [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I so much as look” doesn't make any sense to me I found the following in a book: Goyle reached toward the Chocolate Frogs next to Ron ---- Ron leapt ...
12
votes
2answers
633 views

Roy Hodgson's “Church in the centre of the village” expression

Listening to the current England football manager, Roy Hodgson, speaking on the radio, he used a very curious expression while speaking about his team: "We have to try to get back to putting the ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

Two dots on the “i” instead of one? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Whereäs” as an alternative spelling of “whereas” Is it spelt “naïve” or “naive”? Someone I talked to used two dots in this word: ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between “pajama”, “pyjama” and “paijama”

Which is the correct word: pajama, pyjama or paijama? Is there a difference between these three?
3
votes
3answers
244 views

Can one suppress the pronoun “one” in a list?

On another site it sometimes happens that I give answers like: The first formula is correct but not the second one. This is probably grammatical, but I find the formulation a bit clumsy, ...
0
votes
2answers
150 views

“Separate procedures for every combination” vs. “a separate procedure for every combination”

Which form of this sentence is correct and why? Therefore, in a real life system with multiple source and output data formats, separate procedures would have to be written for every ...
1
vote
2answers
15k views

Copy on vs. copy in

When copying someone in an email, should we say copied in or copied on? I was almost positive that in was the only correct usage until I hit google and was surprised to see on more prevalent. Could ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

How can I answer back? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to answer a negative question without ambiguity? If someone ask you this question "Don't you have exam? " how can I answer back using only (Yes and No). that's ...
4
votes
7answers
10k views

What is the term for someone who has a last name that can also be a first name?

What is the term for someone who has a last name that can also be a first name? For example, Brian Stella.
5
votes
5answers
11k views

When to use “generally”, “usually”, or “normally”

Generally speaking what are the usually accepted usage scenarios for the above mentioned words in a normally occurring English vernacular? In short, what are the rules/guidelines for using generally, ...
1
vote
2answers
643 views

Another name for sub-sub-group

I have a group that is named "Service Group". Within that service group, there are service sub-groups. Within those service sub-groups, there is another level down. Is there another word that is ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

Difference in meaning between did you speak to… and have you spoken to…? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? What's the difference in meaning between "Did you speak to the landlord this morning?" and "Have you ...
2
votes
1answer
645 views

present tense with past perfect?

I came across something really strange today in class. Because it was an anecdote, the story changed from past to present. Then, in the same sentence, the writer used the past perfect tense with the ...
2
votes
5answers
6k views

“Conception” vs. “inception”

A friend of mine just stated: I'm unimpressed by iOS6, most of the "features" they are introducing have been there since Android's conception. I was about to correct him, believing inception to ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Meaning of “bust on somebody”

What does it mean to bust on somebody? For example, I bust on my girlfriend.
4
votes
4answers
359 views

“With such stature comes increased responsibilities”: is there only a banal typo?

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in a news article titled "F.A. Gives Sir Alex the Hair-Dryer Treatment" by Jeffrey Marcus in The New York Times (November 12, 2009). ...
2
votes
2answers
443 views

Past perfect events timeline

In the following example: He had walked away when she looked at him. If it is correct then which event came first? "She looked at him" should come first before "He had walked away" but here to me, ...
7
votes
6answers
5k views

Why is “taking a biscuit” a bad thing in the UK?

So, I'm reading up on a list of English Idioms and I see two that bear a striking similarity. "Take the biscuit (UK): To be particularly bad, objectionable, or egregious. "Take the cake (US)": ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “xeno-”

I actually want to present this question in two parts: 1) First of all, xenos comes from ξένος. Nevertheless, it is pronounced with "z" instead of "ks" (/ks/). How come? 2) Let's take the word ...
4
votes
3answers
414 views

Usage of consecutive infinitives of purpose

Is it possible to modify an infinitive of purpose with another infinitive of purpose if the action of the first one is not yet carried out? Ex. Jack brought beans home to give to his mother to plant ...
5
votes
3answers
339 views

“Being incognito, I naturally add up”

I was interested in the following piece which appeared in an article titled "Let's Be Philosophical" by Russel Baker in The New York Times (January 25, 1987). It was that incident, in fact, that ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

“Did it close” vs “Has it closed”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? What's the difference between the following? Did the shop close? Has the shop closed? I suspect ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Pronunciation of “quasi-”

How is the prefix "quasi-" pronounced? Are there any situations (e.g. depending on the word it prefixes or is part of) in which it would be pronounced differently?
3
votes
3answers
20k views

“features and characteristics”

In English, the phrase "features and characteristics" is often used. However, I, as a non-native English speaker, can't understand the difference between them. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What does the word “hacking” or “hacker” come from? [closed]

Is there a history behind the word "hacker" and "hacking"? Could it have anything to do with "hashing" i.e. using a hash function?
3
votes
3answers
283 views

When and how is the word 'scene' used for a group of people, and what are alternatives?

In German, the word 'Szene', which translates literally to 'scene' and has an identical meaning in the context of a movie or a play, has a second use in referring to a group of people that form a ...
2
votes
3answers
557 views

Noun or non-finite subordinate clause?

Consider the following sentence: The government wants to encourage understanding of science. Now, "to encourage understanding of science" is a non-finite subordinate clause functioning as an ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What does “raise holy hell” mean?

What does "raise holy hell" mean? Is it a common phrase to use? I Googled the phrase, but couldn't find any definition. It is used in the following context: In the end it was Stanley Stewart, ...
1
vote
3answers
374 views

Correct capitalisation of 'jargon' words used as acronyms

In a technical role at work we use many three letter acronyms to describe 'things' that we work with or processes that we follow. When writing these up, I'm unclear if capitals should be used or not. ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Meaning of “give a pony”

I came across this phrase while reading an article by Paul Krugman on the New York Times website. Here's the quotation (emphasis added): … non-GIPSI [the group of Eurozone nations – Greece, Italy, ...
2
votes
3answers
459 views

What's the meaning of “lost” in “lost prophet” in general and in this particular context?

The sentence is: Admittedly, for every lost prophet there is a crank who is simply lost. This is from an article in The Economist, here: http://www.economist.com/node/21542193 I gather from ...
2
votes
5answers
13k views

Difference between “novel” and “fiction”

Both novel and fiction refer to a book in which the story is just imaginary. But what's the difference between them and what are the scenarios to use them right?
3
votes
1answer
317 views

The meaning of 'School blows dogs'

I don't understand the meaning this phrase: School blows dogs. I heard this phrase in a film. There was boy who didn't like to go to school and he uttered this phrase to his father. He says it with ...
1
vote
3answers
321 views

A word appears to be missing in this sentence

The following sentence appeared in a report in The Guardian: All eight will appear in court on Monday charged with grievous bodily harm and damaging property. Should not causing be added before ...

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