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For questions on how and why certain words are used in varying ways within various contexts.

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7 views

How to use the word perspective [on hold]

Can someone have a wrong perspective? Equally, can someone's perspective be corrected? (And why?)
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20 views

Is using “Sirs” when addressing a group of men incorrect? [duplicate]

When I was in the Army, I was taught that you addressed an individual officer as "Sir" or "Ma'am". You address groups of officers as "Gentlemen" or "Ladies", not "Sirs" or "Ma'ams". Example: ...
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27 views

Usage and grammar of 'be to' [migrated]

I just came across a passage about Sir Winston Churchill on the Internet. He was to spend most of the next four years of his life with the Regiment in Bangalore and the North West Frontier in ...
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2answers
47 views

Am I using the word 'leverage' correctly ?

The sentence is, "I want to leverage my understanding of topic A with the knowledge of topic B to prepare myself well for a particular career". I want to convey that I already know topic A and ...
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0answers
24 views

you look like *insert family name* around the eyes

On the HBCU Sport's forum under the topic "Sayings that Old Folks Say", one African American wrote "you look like insert family name around the eyes". Why would they say "around the eyes"? Does it ...
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0answers
31 views

Correct word useage

English is my native tongue, yet I am often confused by word usage in the language. An example of this would be the difference between "clothing" and "clothes" used as nouns. For example, a store ...
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0answers
22 views

Chaucer presents the Parson as a striking contrast to the Friar having qualities such as being selfless, poor, and a devoted figure of the church [closed]

“Chaucer presents the Parson as a striking contrast to the Friar having qualities such as being selfless, poor, and a devoted figure of the church”. My question is to do I need a comma after parson?
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14 views

Smart-Shaming: A Threat to the Age of Information

I would like to inquire if the above mentioned title is correct. I will be using it as a title for my article on our school's newspaper.
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0answers
28 views

Do English speakers ever call the electric outlet a “tap”? [closed]

Do English speakers ever call the electric outlet a "tap"? If not, is the word "tap" used in the electrical field in any way?
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2answers
43 views

Why look at but listen to?

Can anyone explain please why we look at something but listen to it?
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4answers
5k views

At what point did “gross” come to mean “disgusting”?

The first time I heard "gross" being used to mean "disgusting" was probably around the late 1980s, and at the time I felt it was some sort of a corruption of "grotesque"... I'm wondering if there is ...
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1answer
31 views

“was always” or “is always” [closed]

I found so many tings in my life, but the most beautiful thing "was always" you. I found so many tings in my life, but the most beautiful thing "is always" you. which one sounds more natural? if in ...
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34 views

Which name should I use?

I want to display my asian name in English style. For example, my name is LinQing Zhang, then which of the following is appropriate to be used as an English version, Linqing Zhang or Lin-Qing Zhang? ...
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1answer
44 views

“Lots of X(s)” vs “many X”

Clunky title, sorry. An example: "Lots of pizza" sounds right, as does "many pizzas." "Lots of pizzas" does not sound right (in my dialect; I think it's fine in others), nor does "many pizza." "Lots ...
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2answers
40 views

Difference between applying, using and practising a “method”?

I am making an introductive paragraph to a how-to article titled "How to learn English words effectively": Learning words is of paramount importance, when it comes to learning a second language e.g....
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2answers
32 views

Can the verb “bias” not be used as a verbal in a sentence? (American English)

Whenever I see the verb "bias" being used in a sentence, it is always used as a verbal. Can it be used as a verb (example please!)? If it cannot, is there a special name for verbs that can only be ...
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1answer
26 views

Read in Marta Perry’s “Katie’s Way”

What does the phrase “sixteen to the dozen” mean? I read it in a book concerning a couple of teenagers chatting.
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0answers
16 views

Is usage of some with not right here? Should it be “some is not”?

Some of the content in the site is in Finnish, but some not.
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15 views

Is “about” as an adjective, commonly used?

I found in the longman dictionary that about as an adjective can be used to mean that something will happen very soon. For example, we can say: We were just about to leave when Jerry arrived. ...
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1answer
33 views

usage of Shall and Will

What is the correct usage? I shall update you or I will update you. in short, what is the difference between Shall and Will ?
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0answers
13 views

“A company that builds” or “A company building”

What is a better way of saying that VMC is a software company building software? A: VMC is a software company that builds solutions for human mobility. B: VMC is a software company building ...
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0answers
58 views

“The Cultural Code is the unconscious meaning we apply to any given thing”. Is it OK to apply “unconscious” to “meaning” in this way?

"The Cultural Code is the unconscious meaning we apply to any given thing". This is a definition of cultural code by Clotaire Rapaille that is cited widely. As not a native speaker, I'm not sure if ...
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2answers
53 views

Semantics of #just[x]things [closed]

I've recently had a heated discussion in German with another person over the use and semantics of the hashtag #just[x]things – this happened on an anonymous location-based German social network called ...
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23 views

Follow vs. Observe vs. Conform the/to Quality profile

Quality Profiles service is a thing in software called SonarQube. A Quality Profile define your requirements for a software project by defining sets of rules. I'm wondering what would be the best ...
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26 views

Is 'Glass industry is as old as 9th century' correct?

Here is the previous question I asked a few days ago, and am still having some confusions. Can I use 'as ancient as' VS 'as old as' with a specific 'Century' This is an example I found on the ...
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1answer
26 views

What can be the one word substitute for the phrase(if it is one) “ past present and future ”?

I need a one word substitute for "past present and future " which can be apt for a title of a magazine( college)
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31 views

What are the rules surrounding a hyphen for words with the prefix “half”?

I'm trying to find out what rule governs the use of a hyphen in compound words with the prefix "half". I've searched dictionaries and n-grams and all I've found is: "half" does not seem to follow the ...
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1answer
33 views

Is it a must to add “that of” when using “different from”?

Is it ok to say "the flow structure of wave-driven flow is much different from single-direction flow" or must I say "the flow structure of wave-driven flow is much different from that of single-...
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1answer
69 views

Is 'below-listed' a word & if yes can it be used with a noun to indicate its position

Is 'below-listed' a word & if yes can it be used this way? "The below-listed information is for guidance purposes & might change with time, so read the T&Cs attached with the product at ...
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1answer
25 views

Type of usage with descriptions/accuracy

Sarah Smith as Melanie Cross, a teenager whose parents are outside of the site; younger brother of Angie. Sarah Smith as Melanie Cross, a local widow of a hoarder; suspicious about the ...
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1answer
35 views

How do I be good?

In the ad wherein Steve Martin promotes his master class I note that, at some point, he asks this: How do I be good? Is that usage standard in the English-speaking world? Or is it just some kind ...
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1answer
58 views

Is it possible that using “whom” these days can slow down and confuse readers and listeners? [closed]

In casual conversation, even in written discourse, has English evolved to where using “whom” can slow down readers and confuse listeners ?
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0answers
27 views

Celebs and royals watch wedding to Jack Brooksbank

Can you have a wedding to someone? I know you can wed someone or be wedded to someone, and you can have a wedding of a couple, but I am not sure about this. Wedding is usually used as a noun, but I ...
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2answers
32 views

Which one is correct? (Past simple vs Past perfect)

I took an English test today and I wasn't sure about how to fill these gaps: "After he ... his homework, he ... his bedroom." finished/cleaned or had finished/cleaned, maybe another option?
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1answer
74 views

Why is “Rectangled” not accepted usage? [closed]

Why is “Rectangled” not accepted usage (MS Word (and MS Outlook) always consider it a mistake)? For example, here is the usage in a sentence: Select the “CTF” entry (rectangled above), and then ...
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1answer
54 views

Can we use the phrase “go for it” in formal essay [closed]

Good evening everybody, Can I use "go for it" as a way to express choosing something in a formal essay, a report to be more precise. Further education took the lead in the number of students ...
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1answer
42 views

What is “injury woes”?

I believe it is a fixed phrase (‘injury problems’ does not work as a substitute) and can admit that there is no account of a singular form (‘injury woe’). So, it makes the said phrase an idiom. I ...
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1answer
37 views

Which of these questions about the duration of a course is correct?

I have to ask about the duration of the course. I've made 3 questions: What is the duration of the course? Or How long is the course? Or How long does the course last? Which one sounds better?
4
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1answer
119 views

If my boat is sinking should I bale or bail the water out?

From various literary examples it appears that I should manually 'bail' out the water to keep afloat but the automated water removal system in my vessel is a 'baling pump'. While there is this, I ...
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1answer
112 views

Is this use of “made” past tense or subjunctive tense?

I'm a senior Computer Engineering student, and I'm taking a required Ethics course this semester. We just wrote our first paper, and each of us had to grade the paper of another student in the class. ...
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1answer
70 views

Can the preposition “pace” only be used for a parenthetical purpose?

Definition of pace from Merriam-Webster: (Entry 3 of 3): contrary to the opinion of — usually used as an expression of deference to someone's contrary opinion. The MW provides the following ...
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1answer
73 views

Is there a punctuation problem here “Policeman shoots dead Apple area manager for not stopping his car”?

I did come across a sentence in a news sharing application "Policeman shoots dead Apple area manager for not stopping his car" (Apologies for this gruesome news) But it's weird that it can be read ...
2
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3answers
89 views

Spoonerisms in the English language

As a native French speaker, I am a big enthusiast of spoonerisms. I used to write a few texts full of them, mainly for my own pleasure! But I have to be honest...the underlying meaning was bawdy most ...
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1answer
28 views

Isn't 'but' unnecessary here?

You have but to be attracted by anything, to fall in love with it, you become engrossed with it, and all else goes for nothing, and you won't even look at it. Doesn't this mean the same if the ...
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1answer
76 views

What is the difference between “lisible” and “legible”?

What is the difference between "lisible" and "legible" ? These are two different words that direct towards the meaning "can be read" but can someone explain in detail ?
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1answer
68 views

Usage of the idiom “to set the Thames on fire”

I wonder whether the idiom "to set the Thames on fire" is currently in use and universally understood. Will it be correctly understood outside the United Kingdom? Would it be correct to say "to set ...
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2answers
69 views

“What is more”, “What's more” too informal for academic writing?

A coauthor of mine used the expression "what's more" in a scientific paper. My gut feeling was that this is not a commonly used expression in formal writing, but I could not find clear evidence for ...
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1answer
32 views

Slow to do and slow in doing

Is there a difference between "slow ( or quick) to do something" and slow ( or quick) in doing something? Various dictionaries list both uses but don't make any remarks as to their usages. Do they ...
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1answer
46 views

Which of the following is the correct usage of: meteor/meteorite

I hope a meteor falls on your head. or I hope a meteorite falls on your head. And why? Definition of meteor: 1 : an atmospheric phenomenon (such as lightning or a snowfall) 2a : any of ...
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1answer
57 views

Correct use of the word 'extant'

Consider the following sentence: "Is there anything you could say which would still be extant in 24 hours time?" Does it make sense to use the word 'extant' to mean that some proposition would still ...