English Language & Usage Stack Exchange Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

What does the phrase "Shop the edit" mean?

I have seen this phrase used in several fashion ads and on clothing sites (mostly women's). I am assuming it is AME, but I do not know. Here are some sites that I see the phrase being used: Neiman ...

asked by FeliniusRex Score of 18
answered by Laurel Score of 23

What is the subtle difference between the words "hallmark" and "trappings"?

I've scoured many dictionaries for the difference between the two words listed in the question. However, is there a distinction? What separates "hallmark" from "trappings"? ...

meaning differences vocabulary  
asked by xbladefate25 Score of 11
answered by TaliesinMerlin Score of 18

Is there any difference between "nexus" and "locus"?

As the question implies, I'm interested in only the semantical aspects of the two words I've listed. I've looked up these two words on some online dictionaries. After some searching, I've noticed that ...

meaning vocabulary linguistics  
asked by dragon Score of 10
answered by Tuffy Score of 21

Is there any difference between "congenial" and "genial"?

As the question implies, I'm interested in only the linguistic distinction between the two words I've listed. I've looked up these two words on some online dictionaries. After some searching, I've ...

meaning differences synonyms vocabulary  
asked by xbladefate25 Score of 7
answered by Kate Bunting Score of 14

Bot, za and the like

The trend of using the last part of words, bot for robot or za for pizza for instance, appears to be from the late ‘60s as suggested by Etymonline: The method of minting new slang by clipping ...

word-usage slang  
asked by Gio Score of 5
answered by Laurel Score of 7

Word for count of undesirable events

TLDR: name for count of hiccups? I'm trying to find a short¹ word for the count of undesirable events, up to some number of experiments, and tending to increase with the number of experiments as ...

single-word-requests word-choice  
asked by fgrieu Score of 4
answered by The_English_Teacher Score of 1

Idiom for gift or gesture that isn't good enough

I'm looking for a term used when a gift/gesture/allowance of some sort isn't anywhere near good enough, and was done largely for the sake of appearance. Often used in a political context. For example,...

phrase-requests idioms  
asked by ashaquick Score of 3

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Grammatical Names and Grammatical Functions

What is the grammatical name and grammatical function of the part of the sentence that is in bold? What the teacher taught was not in the students' text. The principal ate what was left in the pot.

asked by user45446 Score of 6
answered by Victor A. Atarah Score of 3

"Could you please" vs "Could you kindly"

I am a non-native speaker of English. When communicating with a professor, would it be better to use could you kindly send me the document or could you please send me the document? I know both are ...

word-choice politeness  
asked by nemoy Score of 32
answered by Barrie England Score of 26

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

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

grammaticality adjectives word-order past-participles  
asked by vs4vijay Score of 18
answered by TrevorD Score of 19

Should I put myself last? "me and my friends" vs. "my friends and me" or "my friends and I"

I've always been taught to put myself last when referring to myself in the same sentence as others but the usage of "me and..." seems to be everywhere these days. The misuse of the word "me" instead ...

grammaticality pronouns word-order politeness  
asked by soutarm Score of 71
answered by Noldorin Score of 49

What do CI, CIM, CID, CIB mean?

I was talking to a friend about a girl, and he mentioned that “She can pretty much CI anything, CIB, CIM or CID.” I’m wondering what these mean. The context was sexual experience. Sorry if I missed ...

abbreviations euphemisms  
asked by user71457 Score of 1
answered by Bradd Szonye Score of 2

When "etc." is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it?

Example: It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. VS. It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc.. Update What happens if the abbreviation is inside parentheses, do you place a dot ...

phrases abbreviations period  
asked by Shimmy Weitzhandler Score of 203
answered by Jimi Oke Score of 96

Formally introducing yourself in an email

I am composing an email to a work associate who I have never had any dealings with before. I'm struggling to think of a formal yet succinct way of introducing myself. In person, I would probably say: ...

formality email  
asked by Urbycoz Score of 14
answered by silves89 Score of 32

Can you answer these questions?

There seems (to be) a... vs. There seems (to be) little

There seems to be a problem. There seems a problem. In this type of construction, the version with to be, such as (1), is much more productive than the one without, such as (2). See this Ngram: ...

be existential-constructions to-be-deletion  
asked by JK2 Score of 3

'On board' as a complex PP

Consider the below sentence. On board the ship there is a crew of wise men. To which category of speech does 'board' belong in the above sentence? Insofar as I understand, 'board' is a constituent ...

asked by Eric Score of 2

What do you call someone or something that generates insights?

What is the appropriate word for someone (or something) that gives you insights? Example sentences for context: Ann is our best ???. She always provides us with amazing insights. This software is a ...

single-word-requests business-language  
asked by peterrogov Score of 1
answered by the_fens Score of 0
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