English Language & Usage Stack Exchange Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Why were Scottish & Irish names once rendered with apostrophes instead of "Mac" or "Mc"

I have noticed in some Victorian and Edwardian texts that Scottish and Irish names beginning with "Mac" or "Mc" are usually written as "M" plus an apostrophe. An example ...

apostrophe scottish-english  
asked by Carfilhiot 52 votes
answered by herisson 86 votes

Is there a word for "all but the first one"?

Is there a word that refers to all items in a series except the first one? Example: The tests are successful only on the first run. On all subsequent runs, following the first one, the tests fail. I ...

asked by Alexander 20 votes
answered by Decapitated Soul 31 votes

What does "a shnip" mean?

It is the word used in a play. The paragraph in which it is stated is the following: Why does everybody sabotage me, Frank? I give work, I pay well, yes ? They eat what they want, don't they ? I ...

meaning slang german yiddish  
asked by minoosalesi 11 votes
answered by Lambie 37 votes

Idiom for something that a person does that further bolsters your belief about something

Example: I had by doubts about someone that he is a kleptomaniac and the other day I saw him stealing something and that action further strengthens my belief that he is a kleptomaniac. Any idiom for ...

asked by English--more exc than laws 4 votes
answered by Decapitated Soul 4 votes

Poetic technique for taking a usually comforting thing in a scary context?

Poetic technique for taking a usually comforting thing in a scary context? Context: I was wondering what the name of the poetic technique was, where one takes something which is usually light, ...

single-word-requests connotation poetry poetic-devices  
asked by Gill 4 votes
answered by livresque 10 votes

Order of Correlative Conjunction + Preposition

Which of the following sentences is correct? Are both grammatical? 1: I hope to see you in either France or Belgium. or 2: I hope to see you either in France or [in (optional)] Belgium. I have ...

grammar prepositions word-order syntax correlative-conjunctions  
asked by John B. 3 votes
answered by Xanne 0 votes

How is "eff and blind" used?

A crossword clue in the Times 2 Jumbo Crossword Book—an assemblage of crosswords published in the Times—reads "use obscene language". The answer given is "eff and blind", confirmed ...

british-english idiom-meaning  
asked by user02814 3 votes
answered by Showsni 12 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Difference between "Warm regards" and "Best regards"

Is there any difference between Warm regards and Best regards?

asked by Larry Morries 27 votes
answered by user14368 24 votes

"Thank you all" — wrong or right?

On many occasions after we complete a speech, we often consider thanking our audience. In this scenario, I am not sure if "Thank you all" is the right English. Should it be "Thanking you all" instead ...

grammaticality politeness progressive-aspect  
asked by samridhi 13 votes
answered by DavidR 10 votes

"Warranty" vs. "guarantee"

Is there any relation or difference between warranty and guarantee? What do they mean? In what situations do we use them? For example, I suppose we say When we buy something it has a warranty.

meaning differences nouns  
asked by munish 32 votes
answered by Daniel 25 votes

What is the difference between "house" and "home"?

What are the differences in meaning between house and home? When do I use one or the other?

meaning differences nouns  
asked by soheil bijavar 11 votes
answered by badspell 15 votes

If you are talking "on behalf of" you and someone else, what is the correct usage?

If you are talking on behalf of you and someone else what is the correct usage? On behalf of my wife and me On behalf of my wife and I On behalf of me and my wife On behalf of myself and my wife On ...

grammar pronouns possessives phrase-usage prepositional-phrases  
asked by Matthew Steeples 12 votes
answered by Sven Yargs 6 votes

"Take a rest" or "have some rest"?

Which one of the these is the correct, or can I use both? take a rest have some rest Or is there any better way to say that?

word-choice grammaticality idioms verbs  
asked by ahmed 14 votes

Which is correct (if any): "please let me know what do you think"? or "please let me know what you think"?

I find myself unsure which of the following is more correct: please let me know what do you think Or please let me know what you think My gut feeling tells me that it's the latter... Or ...

asked by Eran Medan 20 votes

Can you answer these questions?

"Everything's coming up X"?

I've heard several Americans say "everything's coming up X". Sometimes, it's a person's name, and sometimes, it can be anything. Example: https://youtu.be/ivW7z3wGAl8?t=175 Everything was ...

phrases american-english slang popular-refrains  
asked by Asaya C. 1 vote

Free hand: uncountable

Free hand [countable; singular] ​ Unrestricted freedom or authority: They gave the director a free hand to cut the budget wherever she wanted​ https://www.wordreference.com/definition/free%20hand ...

grammatical-number uncountable-nouns dictionaries  
asked by GJC 2 votes
answered by phoog 0 votes

Comparison (using Ellipsis)

I am trying to figure out when do we need to use an action verb explicitly and when can we omit it using the (ellipsis concept). For Example: John is taller than Jim [is] (I understood that here is ...

verbs verb-agreement comparisons ellipsis  
asked by Vkat007 1 vote
answered by Anton 0 votes
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