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Questions tagged [general-vs-specific]

The tag has no usage guidance.

2
votes
2answers
72 views

“receive” is to “send” what “???” is to “scatter”

I am looking for a word in English that is a synonym for receive but is specific for the process of another scattering something to many rather than just sending individually. If one entity sends ...
-1
votes
0answers
18 views

Question about articles

I was wondering, why do we say 'I'm drinking orange juice'. Not, 'I'm drinking the orange juice'? Is it because in the first case, we aren't specific about which orange juice we're drinking? Any ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

'the' usage : used to mark a noun as being used generically [duplicate]

The question: The definite article 'the' has many usages. However, I cannot quite understand one usage, that is, 'used to mark a noun as being used generically'. What does it mean by 'noun being used ...
2
votes
4answers
459 views

What do we call personnel who serve VIPs?

What do we call personnel who serve VIPs in a formal ceremony or dinner? What I can find through Google is “servers” or “waiting staff”. But are there any other words or phrases that fit the ...
1
vote
2answers
685 views

Is there a term specifically applying to a three-word portmanteau?

Oxford Dictionaries define a portmanteau as A word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others, for example motel or brunch. I've also heard the term apply to three- and four-word ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why can't “sandwich” be used as an uncountable noun, like “pie”?

Why can we say: I like pie best. I like pies best. but we can only say: I like sandwiches best? My experience tells me that "pie" can either be sort of a generic concept or a specific thing. Yet "...
1
vote
1answer
542 views

Running for the 4th time versus for a 4th time

Which of the two is correct and in what context can either be used? I read a poster where they had written that a course is running for a 4th time. However I have not read such a sentence before so ...
0
votes
2answers
793 views

Term describing both point of pickup and dropoff point, unambiguously excluding transit between points?

Is there a term which is concretely associated with a place for pickup and drop-off (like "taxi stand," requiring embarking and disembarking)? It must also immediately exclude the "dual" case of ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Is there a term for a particular word used in the general sense?

I read that the word "Professor" means "Highest grade of faculty" in some contexts, and is a general term for many types (Associate Professor, Adjunct Professor, etc) in other contexts. Why would we ...
2
votes
4answers
438 views

What is it called when you modify an older work to be more acceptable to modern audiences?

Let's say you have a play that makes a bunch of short jokes. Someone goes to remove the short jokes so as to make it more acceptable to modern audiences. What is this called? (Generally, a word that ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

“the deed” “the mortgage” can they convey general meanings?

I reckon there are three types of general meanings in English using the definite article: (1) The I-phone is a popular gadget nowadays. (2) The steel industry is the business of producing steel. (3)...
1
vote
3answers
486 views

Question about Generic Statements for Plural Nouns

Sentences are: "The rainforests are in danger." "Rainforests are in danger." So in this case, I think that they are both correct sentences...but: "Guitars are musical instruments." "The guitars ...
3
votes
3answers
713 views

Word for someone obsessed with an unreal or alternate universe (eg. trekkie, but in general)?

Is there a general term for someone obsessed with an unreal or alternate universe/reality? Like a Trekkie or someone obsessed with Star Wars, such that they research and spend time philosophizing ...
1
vote
3answers
650 views

Subjective General Knowledge

Is general knowledge only defined in relation to a specific group or in relation to the entire population? I can think of two meanings. General knowledge for a group of people is information you ...
0
votes
1answer
455 views

Using “the” before the name of a railway station

Should I use "the" before the name of station ? "the Shanghai Station" or "Shanghai Station" or "Shanghai station" or "the Shanghai station"?
0
votes
1answer
288 views

Article usage and of phrase

Here are two examples: A: I heard there were those in this town who collect the LP. B: Yes, over there, Tom and Gina. They are the collectors of the LP you are looking for. In general, the collectors ...
4
votes
1answer
326 views

Can an adjective change the use of zero versus definite article?

I have a little issue with the use of zero versus definite article, since I tend to abuse the former one. Consider the following sentences: The issue described above influences the quality of ...
4
votes
1answer
546 views

Why do we qualify “dish washer” or “car wash” but not “clothes washer”?

In theory, any mechanical device that is used to wash another object could be called a "washing machine". However, the term (at least in the US) is almost exclusively used for machines that wash ...
0
votes
1answer
448 views

“I went into a restaurant, and the waiter…”

"We went into a restaurant. And the waiter introduced us to seats upstairs." In this sentence, when the speaker said "the waiter," does it necessarily mean there was only one waiter and he/she showed ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

collocations such as “bird of prey” and generalization [duplicate]

I got a question about the usage of generalization of collocations. There is a word such as "bird of prey" to refer to birds eating animal flesh. And one way to generalize reference of a noun is to ...
1
vote
3answers
985 views

Distinction between pre-hire onboarding and post-hire onboarding [closed]

Wikipedia talks of onboarding as "the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders." And about....
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a word that means English-Language-Centric?

There was an argument about how someone spelled "Revolution" and they said "No, I did not write it incorrectly. I used the Spanish version: 'Revuloción' without the accented o to make my life a little ...
2
votes
1answer
286 views

Where to look up more general terms for a word?

A few minutes ago, I was in need (for coding purposes) of finding a more general term for notions such as city, village, town, etc. Now, whereas I could just try a few options (e.g. locality? ...
-1
votes
1answer
130 views

When someone is available = When someone is free?

I left a voice mail saying "Can I speak to Cindy when she is available?". Does it sound weird at all? It was to an office.
-1
votes
4answers
7k views

“Talking to someone is nice.” or “It is nice to talk to someone.” but “It was nice, talking to you.” Why?

General statement: a. Talking to someone is nice. (verb as subject in front position = gerund) or b. It is nice to talk to someone. (verb as subject after dummy subject 'it' = full infinitive) ...