4
votes
2answers
440 views

What does “You might want to put 30% down for yourself” mean?

In the movie Law Abiding Citizen, there is this dialog when Clyde is having meal in the cell at about 48 minutes: Clyde: Oh, excuse me, waiter? [The waiter looks at Cyde] Clyde: You ...
3
votes
3answers
392 views

Can “whose” refer to a first-person subject in the third person?

This question came from a friend. It is from a college entrance exam for non-native English speakers. Link the following sentences with "whose": I was a small kid. My classmates laughed at ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between “It won't be soon” and “It won't be soon enough”?

I have heard this expression "It won't be soon enough" quite often, in fact more often than simply "It won't be soon". I wonder if the word "enough" in the first one adds some additional meaning to ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

If trinity means 3 in one, what's the word for one in one, 2 in one, 4 in one, 5 in one? [closed]

Just curious. Christians have this trinity doctrine. What if, after extensive research, Pope discovers that we have 5 "monotheistic" Gods rather than 3, for example. What would the doctrine name be?
3
votes
2answers
140 views

What does “load the case” mean?

New Yorker December 15 issue carries the review on the recently released comedy, “Young Adult,” written by Diablo Cody, directed by Jason Reitman, and starring Charlize Theron as a heroine. It ...
5
votes
5answers
447 views

“In person” equivalent for inanimate objects

This is much easier to explain by example. So you might hear someone say this photo of her is ok, but she looks much better in person. I am looking for the equivalent of "in person" that applies to ...
-1
votes
3answers
188 views

Why is the word “before” vanishing from common use?

Just in the last four years, I've noticed that the word prior is increasingly used in place of before. Prior has become customary enough that people commonly leave off 'to' in employing it: "Most of ...
3
votes
3answers
231 views

Can the word “orbital” mean expensive/high?

I have heard someone say "As a consultant, Dave can charge orbital fees, so we would rather have you do it." I tried to look up "orbital" but did not find what I was expecting.
-2
votes
4answers
291 views

Is “At the foundation of everything good is (the cause of goodness / success) a popular idiom, or just a set of words?

Time magazine (December 16) introduces Mitt Romney’s new TV campaign commercial as follows: “New Mitt NH TV spot hits twin goals: Romney as economic savior and Romney as a man who can relate to ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is it reasonable to use “by so far”?

Is it reasonable to say: "This is going to be the most amazing day by so far!" ? I mean the "by so far" part. English is not my first language, but I caught myself typing so and started wondering ...
1
vote
5answers
971 views

How to correctly express volume units

I have to replace imperial units with metric units in a text, and since this is not technical writing , I have to maintain the prose style and clarity. This is a troubling phrase: "...the air in 1 ...
0
votes
2answers
233 views

What is the social context of “pizzazz”?

The word can also be written "pzaz" and "pizazz". I have found some definitions, but I want a synonym. As English is not my natural tongue, I also don't exactly know what it means socially. Is it the ...
21
votes
9answers
33k views

What is the difference between “English” and “British”?

As an American, I naively think of British and English as exact synonyms. I know I'm wrong, but I just don't know in what way. I am vaguely aware that people in the UK hold strong opinions about one ...
1
vote
0answers
442 views

Describe the detailed phonetic environment for the appearance/presence of /ɜ:/. [closed]

One recent vowel phoneme in English is /ɜ:/. It would seem that this sound only developed in a certain phonetic environment, or to phrase it differently: it only appeared under certain conditions.
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a single word for “copied & pasted”? [closed]

I'm looking for a single word alternative to "copy & pasted" in: I copy & pasted that into the document.
6
votes
5answers
13k views

How to spell “the youzhe” as in the abbreviation of “the usual”

The usual is a common reply to what will you order? or what are you up to?. It is often abbreviated, in Canada, to the first syllable of usual, as in the youzhe. How would you spell this abbreviation? ...
2
votes
3answers
581 views

Can the feminine pronouns be gender-neutral? [closed]

I know this sounds weird but I've been noticing a lot of texts on the Internet like this one: "Any citizen is concerned with her well-being ...". The word in question is "her". To me it seems like in ...
6
votes
4answers
512 views

British slang for “being reassigned to the unsophisticated and remote regions or villages”

I am stumped in trying to remember the British expression used as a derogatory slant on being relegated, demoted, assigned to a lower position, reduced in rank, or (quite literally) being reassigned ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a single word meaning 'to grow and flourish'? [closed]

Can anybody tell me if there a single word which has the meaning 'to grow and flourish'?
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Use of “deadpool” as a verb

I recently came across this term while examining a set of properties in a JSON feed relating to a startup company: ... "deadpooled_year": null, "deadpooled_month": null, "deadpooled_day": null, ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

I <verb> and am <rest of sentence>

I sometimes find myself writing something like this: XXX is a project I admire and am very interested in. The "I <verb> and am <something>" feels strange here. It somehow sounds more ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Proper capitalization of commonly used acronyms

I was always under impression, that acronyms ought to be written all caps. However reading BBC News site very often I see some of the common acronyms written as proper names (first cap). For example ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Do British speakers have problems understanding Jamaican speakers? [closed]

I'm still learning English but I think that, at the moment, my level is becoming acceptable (I can keep a real conversation with a native speaker without problems). The point is that I've been ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“nibble” vs. “nibble on”

I've been told by a native speaker that the verb "to nibble" can be used both with and without a preposition. So, is there a difference between I would definitely like to nibble on one of those ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Stabbing and running, how are they related?

When you literally run through some where, e.g. I have run through the streets of London it is quite clear what is meant. At a slightly more figurative level one might say, I will run ...
4
votes
3answers
324 views

Is “nuancedly” an existing word?

I was typing the following sentence in Microsoft Word: This theme is outlined more nuancedly in this novel. but it marked the word "nuancedly" as being non-existent. I did a search on Google ...
2
votes
6answers
4k views

Single word meaning “pregnant woman”

Does such a word exist? It has occurred to me that the "woman" part is redundant, since only women can be pregnant (except for Arnold Schwarzanegger in Junior)
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Past simple with today

For example, I want to say that I found a ball today. But "today" means action in present, am I right? I've already searched the Internet and it seems the right way is this: I found a ball today ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

What does the “work” part mean in the following English words: network, clockwork, etc?

I know several English words with "work" word as a second part: network, clockwork. Maybe someone can give more examples. They have some meanings in common - they are close to "machinery" or "system", ...
5
votes
2answers
418 views

How is “apostrophe s” used here?

I heard someone on a TV show say: What's it all mean? As far as I know, 's could be the short form of has and is. But in this case, it seems more like to be the short form of does. Am I correct? ...
0
votes
2answers
826 views

What's the meaning of “lapdog”? [closed]

What's the meaning of lapdog in this context? Cablegate revealed that some countries cooperated with the U.S. more than others, for example. Sweden played lapdog. Austria annoyed the U.S. etc. ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Etymology for the phrase “butterflies in stomach”

How did the phrase "butterflies in stomach" originate or what is the story behind this phrase?
1
vote
3answers
96 views

Can one compensate down? Is that an appropriate use of the word compensate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Usage of “compensate” as a recompense for gain instead of loss Can the word compensate be used to adjust downward, i.e., compensate down?
2
votes
2answers
660 views

What does “call past” mean?

What does the expression "call past" mean? See some usages below: I called past the supermarket on the way home from the office. He just called past and asked to gather the team in the ...
1
vote
3answers
203 views

Should my child's name contain “Inn”? [closed]

I have a simple but important question about naming my first child. I named her, as Jae-in Kim. (pronunciation is , of course, same as Jane in English name) but it is so common that hundreds, maybe ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

Is there a word for a 60th of a second?

I was thinking that there should be a word for a 60th of a second, is there? Our hours and minutes are split into 60ths so it makes sense to me. Also, 60fps (frames per second) is a common framerate ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “There’s nothing bulldog about Britain” mean?

I came across the phrase “There’s nothing bulldog about Britain hovering somewhere in the mid-Atlantic,” in the following sentence of New York Times (December 12) article, titled “The British Euro ...
2
votes
3answers
366 views

“To do this or do that” or “to do this or *to* do that”?

I saw on the bottom of an email: To change your email preferences or unsubscribe from certain messages, click here. Is that correct or should it be: To change your email preferences or to ...
-2
votes
1answer
205 views

Shorter word for 'Settings' [closed]

I am creating an application which has a button which opens the settings pane, but there is just not quite enough space on the screen for the whole word (in a readable font size). Is there a shorter ...
2
votes
9answers
634 views

Word meaning “absorbs everything around him”

I'm looking for a word to describe my son. Basically, he sucks in virtually everything around him - music, books, adult conversations, etc - and adds that to his mental image(s) of how the world ...
0
votes
4answers
13k views

Pronunciation of “Porsche” over time

Is there an official pronunciation for Porsche? I grew up pronouncing it with a silent final e ("Porsh"). However, I've increasingly heard it was pronunced with a neutral e sound at the end ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Use of the adjective “spurious” to indicate properties of that which flows from a noun

While chatting with a co-worker, a repeated assertion was made (in the pithy style of Inigo Montoya to Vizzini) that my usage of the term spurious was incorrect when conveying that the output of an ...
4
votes
6answers
420 views

Word for hope-instilling? [closed]

What's a good word for hope instilling, as in "it is (hope instilling) to see that the first thing we teach our children is to say hello"..
2
votes
3answers
506 views

Word for the building/structure in which primates are kept [closed]

What is the word for monkey keeping facilities at the zoo? Birds are kept in an aviary, monkeys are kept in a ___.
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it proper to have consecutive adverbs?

Is it proper grammar to have consecutive adverbs in a sentence? e.g. "It was not exactly accidentally.... My thought is that is probably is not proper, especially in this case. The above could have ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Plural of “talent”

In the context: We are always looking forward to incorporating new talents to our team! Is it OK to pluralize it? Why?
14
votes
5answers
5k views

Term for something that appears complex but is actually very simple

The Japanese have a term for something that appears simple but is actually very complex in detail: Shibui. It should be said that this is only one aspect of Shibui, as with many Japanese ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

A proper name for Microsoft software

I've been doing some research and experiment with Microsoft software such as SQL Server 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Exchange 2010. Now I have to write a report on what I've done. I need a proper name ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

Does the comma here draw special attention to an additional fact?

In the latest issue of The Economist there is the following sentence:- "And in China, unlike India, you can shop at Walmart, most of the time." Firstly, shouldn't it be "...unlike in India? Else it ...
2
votes
4answers
817 views

What is the adjective for the attitude displayed in this situation?

I'll describe a situation that might sound random and sudden, but I'm sure we keep seeing now and then; I'd like to know if there's any suitable adjective that you can think of. 'Oily' and 'smarmy' ...

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