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Top new questions this week:

Single word for being half in this world, half in some other spooky plane of existence

I'm looking for a word meaning being part of our mortal real world, and part of the fey/spirit world. The moors are haunted by Sigwiff, an ancient witch cursed to the form of a wolf. Part ghostly ...

asked by Erics 22 votes
answered by Jonathan Moore 60 votes

Is there a heavy usage of the word "bonfire" in English?

I wonder if the word "bonfire" is very often used in the English language. Maybe in different contexts than just the burning of something for fun, which is the main translation as I understood. I ...

asked by Stefan Korn 20 votes
answered by NeilB 43 votes

Phrase/Word-pair for a variant of master-slave relationship

We are designing an electrical system in which the two primary sub-systems work in a manner such that the first one controls the power for the second one (and handles some primary tasks), and the ...

single-word-requests phrase-requests  
asked by shivams 16 votes
answered by TaliesinMerlin 19 votes

Origin of the word "delete"

What is the history of the word "delete". It's from Latin "deletus", but I wonder how and why this word was borrowed in English. Usually, words directly borrowed in English are from religious, ...

etymology latin old-english  
asked by Quidam 7 votes
answered by user2474226 7 votes

Origin of old English word "offrian"

I know that Latin and old French are implicated, but where does the old English "offrian" come from? I mean: what is the word evolution from the root? Which root exactly: why this "ian" ending? ...

etymology latin old-english  
asked by Quidam 6 votes
answered by TaliesinMerlin 8 votes

Why you're laughing vs Why are you laughing?

Recently I was talking to my friend in English. He started laughing and I asked him Why you're laughing man? Someone told me you should say Why are you laughing? and this one is totally wrong. I got ...

grammar questions speech subject-verb-inversion  
asked by kambiz_mbi 5 votes
answered by Tanner Swett 3 votes

Is there such a thing as Intrusive-L (as opposed to Intrusive-R)?

Most of us have heard plenty of examples of the so-called Intrusive-R. It is a feature of non-rhotic dialects, including British RP and some New England dialects. It occurs between two vowels that are ...

pronunciation dialects phonology phonetics intrusive-r  
asked by Robusto 5 votes
answered by Araucaria 10 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

"Have a look" vs. "Take a look"

What is the difference between Have a look and Take a look (meaning/connotations)? For example: Have a look at the question. Take a look at the question. For some reason I only found first ...

meaning word-choice verbs  
asked by Loom 58 votes
answered by Matthew Kramer 74 votes

"Belated happy birthday" or "happy belated birthday"?

What's the correct sentence? Belated happy birthday! Happy belated birthday!

grammaticality adjectives word-order past-participle  
asked by vs4vijay 15 votes
answered by TrevorD 14 votes

What's the difference between a gerund and a participle?

What is the difference between a gerund and a participle?

differences gerunds participles verb-forms  
asked by Arlen Beiler 40 votes
answered by nohat 36 votes

What is the difference between "sardonic" and "sarcastic"?

Basically, sardonic and sarcastic both stand for mocking gestures, but what is the difference in their contextual use? Are there any other words that represent a similar gesture?

differences adjectives collocation  
asked by ikartik90 26 votes
answered by Robusto 7 votes

When to use "me" or "myself"?

Which one is correct: Someone like me... or Someone like myself... Is "like myself" ever correct?

grammar pronouns personal-pronouns reflexives  
asked by user7145 19 votes
answered by Alenanno 24 votes

When is it necessary to use "have had"?

I have read a few sentences that contain "have had". I would like to know in what kind of situations we should use use this combination.

present-perfect perfect-aspect  
asked by Gopi 47 votes
answered by Kosmonaut 83 votes

What is the correct abbreviation for the word "numbers"?

What is the correct abbreviation for the words numbers and number? Nos. No. Nos No Possible example usage: "Number of guests" where the word number is abbreviated "Numbers 10–15 are located in ...

asked by Ahmad 31 votes
answered by check123 30 votes

Can you answer these questions?

He was studying or he studied?

Is it correct to say "Jimmy learned how to rock climb when he was studying at Carleton College" or is it better to say "Jimmy learned how to rock climb when he studied at Carleton College"?

grammar verbs british-english past-tense  
asked by lydia.livi 1 vote
answered by Mo Nazemi -1 votes

What would be the correct term for a single instance of a multiverse?

I am trying to write (some fiction) about how the (singular) universe got shattered into a multiverse (collective noun?) I tripped up when I wanted to refer to one of the instances (or branches if ...

terminology irregular-plurals  
asked by DarcyThomas 1 vote
answered by ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow 0 votes

Deceptively attractive

If I mention that someone is not good looking once you see them up close, does that make them “deceptively attractive” or “deceptively unattractive?” My friend and I are having a discussion about ...

asked by tom.harps 1 vote
answered by Englishmonger 0 votes
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