0
votes
1answer
237 views

practice vs practise sentence question [closed]

Do both these sentences work? (British form) she needs more English practice. she needs more English practise.
2
votes
2answers
237 views

Correct usage of the word “decimated”? [closed]

I was reading this article about humans destroying 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years and noticed the word "decimated" in the introduction. I thought decimated meant to destroy a tenth or ten ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Some + Countable Noun: True Only When Plural?

Assume there are multiple books on a shelf. At least one book is red. At least one book is blue. Sentence in dispute: Some of the books are red. Is this sentence false if only one book is red? ...
-1
votes
1answer
57 views

A tool for fixing things also being broken: Irony? Or a better term?

Concrete example: A web site's feedback form for site errors is broken; so I can't use the feedback form to report that the feedback form is broken. Is this Irony or some other English word?
0
votes
2answers
63 views

“Online Chinese course” or “Chinese online course”?

I intend to teach Chinese online. But I was just wondering which course title would be appropriate and if there's any difference: Online Chinese course Chinese online course They sound a bit ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “pass peach seeds” an idiom or just a figurative expression?

I was drawn to the phrase “pass peach seeds” in Thomas Harris’s novel “The Silence of the Lambs,” which I started to read last month and from whose text I have posted several questions, including one ...
1
vote
1answer
367 views

“My dread lord” or “Dread my lord” in Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2 [closed]

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2 What wouldst thou have, Laertes? Laer. My dread lord, Your leave and favour to return to France; This text is from the second quarto(Q2). In the ...
2
votes
4answers
79 views

Noun usage of “optimum”

Another teacher came to me with a potential test question. In the text, she uses "optimum" to refer to the fastest route for a lifeguard to save a swimmer. I forget the exact wording. "The optimum, ...
0
votes
1answer
505 views

Can “what” be plural? [duplicate]

I searched The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) for "what make you". 10 results were returned. Here are some of the results. GROSS: So what happens, in a way, is that this young star ...
1
vote
3answers
126 views

What is awkward about this construction?

From a Murakami novel: Just as he appreciated Sara’s appearance, he also enjoyed the way she dressed. I am reading an article that criticizes Murakami's style and writing. I am curious, what ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

How far out does “in-law” go? [closed]

The sister to a husband becomes the wife's sister-in-law. If the sister in-law was to marry a woman, would she also become the wife's sister-in-law? If so can you keep calling the family of your ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Is “majorily” a word? [closed]

For years I have been using "majorily" in a sentence to identify the majority class. For example: "The balloons were majorily red, with a few blue balloons scattered about." or "When it comes to fish; ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

In a regular sentence, I could add more information by using dashes - like this - or commas ,like this, but what if I want to do that in a list?

I'm writing a story where only certain people know something about my MC. I list the people like this: Only my coaches, my best friend - Alicia, who’s also my cousin -, and her parents. I add ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

“In such case” and “in such a case”

Could you please explain me the difference in meaning and usage of in such case vs. in such a case ?
16
votes
3answers
19k views

It's all downhill from here

The phrase "it was all downhill from there" seems to have two, contradictory meanings. The first indicates that things have since gotten a lot worse. For example (from ...
-4
votes
1answer
79 views

Morphemes Need help really bad [closed]

I need help with some mutliple choice If the word glub means 'a silly remark' a possible verb meaning 'to say something silly' could be: a) glubber b)glubby c)glub d)glubberish e)glubbly
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any mutually unintelligible English dialects?

Are there any mutually unintelligible English dialects? So far I've only been able to learn is that English is highly intelligible among its different dialects, but no actual statement that all ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Do people pluralize “WiFi” with an “s”?

I'm in a friendly argument with a supervisor about this one, and I'd like some data: Does one say "WiFis" when referring to multiple WiFi networks, or does one say "WiFi"? I suppose alternately, one ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

What's a career-threatening injury if you don't do it for a living?

How would I describe a 'career-threatening/career-ending injury' when I'm talking about someone who didn't do it for a living? In this particular example, a middle-aged man who loved Sunday cricket ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

Are there other acceptable juxtapositions of polysemes?

An advert for BBC iPlayer read [I've dropped the comma]: Making the unmissable unmissable. The first 'unmissable' obviously has the sense 'too good to miss', and the second 'always accessible' - ...
2
votes
1answer
237 views

Treasure Island: What is a squire as Mr Trelawney's?

I'm reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and wonder what is a district squire, as Mr. Trelawney in the novel. Squire, as wiki explains: Beginning in the Middle Ages, a squire was ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“to vest” vs. “to invest (as a metaphor)”

With "to invest" used as a metaphor, the following sentence seems ok: "Devolving decision making to the lowest level in corporations enables the individual to feel more invested in the overall ...
1
vote
4answers
30k views

What are words that are spelt the same but pronounced differently? [duplicate]

Words like "read", "wind", "live" and "lead" are spelt the same, but have different meanings: Lead1 (leed): cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why isn't a definite article used before “a labyrinth”?

The following is from NY Times. "The decline is the result of the rise of untraditional business structure, the effects of a more globalized economy, and a labyrinth of subsidies and tax ...
25
votes
13answers
4k views

Is there any “swearword” in English not associated with excrements, the genitals, sexual activity or religion?

SWEARWORD - A popular term for a word or phrase that is obscene, abusive, and socially offensive. For some reason, all of them seem to be associated with excrements, sex and religion. This ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

the function of “the” in the following sentence.

The following sentence is from NY Times. "Another corporate structure being exploited now more than ever is the master limited partnership." In the sentence, the concept of "master limited ...
2
votes
3answers
112 views

Good word for “framer” (not in the constitution sense)

Is there a good word for a person who frames another person (for a crime, etc.)? Looking for something in the vein of "snitch" Thanks!
4
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the origin of “have a gander”? (When meaning “look”.)

The phrase "have a gander" meaning "have a look" is common in the UK. (Also can be "have a goosey gander" or just "have a goosey".) What is the origin/meaning of this phrase? I always assumed that it ...
1
vote
4answers
374 views

Style of technical warnings. Why is it acceptable to omit verbs?

Dear language professionals, What are grounds for using shortish phrase "Life vest under your seat" on the warning sign on the planes. Is it stylistically caused? If this style allows main verb ...
1
vote
3answers
149 views

Verb synonyms for 'come/spring to mind'

What are some more formal synonyms in the form of a verb, preferably one word? thesarus.com produced 'strike', but it is transitive and sounds too grating. 'Arrive' sounds noncontextual.
3
votes
1answer
86 views

What does the “removed” mean in this sentence?

Boston College, two weeks removed from upsetting USC, took a home loss to Colorado State, 24-21. Host Pittsburgh, two weeks removed from an impressive 3-0 start, stumbled for a second straight game, ...
0
votes
1answer
309 views

use English or local language for the address when writing a formal letter? [closed]

I am writing a cover letter in English to The Netherlands. I don't know whether to use English when writing the address or Dutch (in the letter, not on the envelope). All the terms are translatable to ...
2
votes
5answers
462 views

would if faced with the same circumstances

I argue instead that politicians have in fact behaved rationally or at least no differently than their Western counterparts would if faced with the same circumstances. I understand the meaning of ...
1
vote
2answers
185 views

Shifting verb tenses when reporting past events

In the following sentence, is it appropriate to shift the tense? (The tense which is shifted is in italics); They were lucky enough to have escaped the clutches of the Giant. However, they had ...
2
votes
4answers
458 views

About the definite and zero article meaning generic concepts

I have been having a trouble with the idea of the definite article meaning generic concepts. Recently, I came upon a question asking which one is correct between " The Chines invented the paper" and ...
1
vote
5answers
137 views

Looking for a good title for specific job

A friend of mine is trying to sell his products, but he has no shop for selling them. In this case he want to hire someone for advertising his products by going to shops and stores and convince them ...
2
votes
2answers
285 views

The definite article implying the generic idea of something

I know that the definite article "the" can be used to mean a generic idea of something as in "the lion is the king of the animals." In this sentence, the in "the lion" is used to imply the general ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Pardon my ignorance, but how would the word 'ignore' convert to a noun in this context? [duplicate]

I was talking to a co-worker about the fact that he ignored certain guidelines when writing his code. He is fairly aware of the established guidelines and a well-defined copy of the same is present ...
3
votes
3answers
634 views

What is the difference between “rate” and “grade”?

What is the difference between "rate" and "grade"? When I am awarding points 0-20 for a homework assignment, do I rate the homework or do I grade it? Or perhaps both are appropriate?
1
vote
1answer
80 views

How to use a comma properly [closed]

Hello I am what I would consider under educated in a way. I never studied much in school. Either way I am here now.Never fully understanding when to use a comma. My lack of knowledge often scares me ...
0
votes
1answer
233 views

Nonetheless or nevertheless? [duplicate]

I have looked up the difference but I cannot decide which word to use. I am talking about my high school experience. "There was always something to be done, from [this] to [that]. ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

“Used to be + verb” or “Was used to + verb” for passive voice

Which one is right? "My exorbitant tuition in MIT used to be paid by my sister." OR "My exorbitant tuition in MIT was used to be paid by my sister."
1
vote
2answers
435 views

Respect level languages in English [closed]

I would like to ask about respect level languages in English. I was taught to always use "would like to" instead of "want to" to express politeness and respect. However, I am not sure whether this ...
2
votes
3answers
617 views

What was Princeton 6 in Jamaican English?

I got an Old Raggae album and started listening to "Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy (youtube) After listening several times, I could start making out the English words (lyrics): A me seh one thing Nancy ...
-2
votes
1answer
153 views

First mass ceremony by a new priest

What is the name for the first mass ceremony conducted by a new priest? For example, in the catholic church, a priest for the first time transforms bread and wine into Eucharistia. After this mass, ...
-1
votes
1answer
125 views

When did “sale” become “sales event”?

It seems like during this generation somebody decided that a "sale" wasn't adequate to describe the selling of discounted goods. Can anyone shed light on the emergence of the "sales event," which ...
0
votes
0answers
131 views

Conjunction confusion

folks. I'm back again with another grammatical quandary. I recently encountered this statement: "...cuts to the bone and through the heart.", which I called into question in a strictly anatomical ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

Was “an unicorn” ever correct?

According to Biblehub and Bible Gateway, King James's Numbers 23:22 says: God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. I don't have a hard copy to check. Is that ...
0
votes
1answer
190 views

What is another word for an weak or unsatisfying (to the viewer) smile?

I'm writing a poem about someone who smiles in a very vague way that leaves something to be desired. I've thought about words like unreadable, empty and vague, but not really "enigmatic". Their smile ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Connotation of “sweety”

Here's the social set up. I'm talking to a girl on-line whom I've never met. After a few short messages I'm pointing out that she's not that devoted to the conversation and I'm suggesting that we go ...

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