Questions tagged [phrasing]

Questions about how something should be put into words in order to express a certain meaning.

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9 votes
3 answers

"Half" or "A Half"

This argument has come up at work, and I actually found it pretty interesting. My colleague is arguing that you might say "a quarter of a pizza", whereas you'd just say "half of a pizza" rather than "...
BiscuitBaker's user avatar
21 votes
10 answers

Is "I believe x does not equal y" the same as "I don't believe x equals y"

Given x and y could be any phrase, do these phrases always mean the same thing? If not, what's the difference? I believe x does not equal y I don't believe x equals y
suryanaga's user avatar
  • 313
11 votes
7 answers

learn how to [verb] vs. learn to [verb]

"learn to [verb]" "learn how to [verb]" Is [1] merely a less formal version of [2]? If not, does [1] communicate something subtly different? Consider the following: In [2], the object of learning is ...
mattbrehmer's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers

"Should either be" or "should be either"?

Which is more correct: This rule specifies that an object should be either visible or invisible, but not partially visible. Or This rule specifies that an object should either be visible or ...
Promather's user avatar
  • 415
6 votes
3 answers

Wishing someone that something goes easily for them

I'm trying to phrase a sentence in which I'm wishing that something goes easily for someone, but can't get the wording to sound right, and not awkward. For example, someone may be studying for a test ...
Senseful's user avatar
  • 2,239
4 votes
2 answers

"Sorting on" vs. "Sorting by"

Recently asked a question of a colleague: Are you sorting this list by acronym? He responded: Yes, I’m sorting on acronym (ascending). Emphasis mine in each case. Is one correct and not the ...
John's user avatar
  • 599
4 votes
2 answers

Should I follow English conventions, or write what sounds better?

How a sentence sounds when read aloud or in your head can often "sound" different for each individual doing so; however, I was reading details regarding the usage of "data" and "datum" and was ...
Freesnöw's user avatar
  • 819
3 votes
3 answers

Another way of expressing "morally wrong" ideas

In an article I'm writing, I have the following sentence: "It might be a bit of a moral gray area to..." I go on to give an analogy to connect it to the topic I'm writing about, but I'm not liking ...
Mike Kuplevatsky's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

To be about; to be all about

I have a nagging feeling "to be all about" is vastly different than its "all"-less counterpart. This game is all about teamwork. To me this means the very basis, the fundamental ...
zeek's user avatar
  • 545