Questions tagged [usage]

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

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34
votes
2answers
294k views

“On a page” or “in a page” for a web page

Which is the correct usage: Something on a page OR Something in a page By page, I mean a web page, not a physical book page.
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Should “Holler Nuff” be considered archaic?

I faced this expression when I was reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. At first, it was easy to understand, because "Holler" and "Nuff" make sense in the context. However, I had ...
2
votes
1answer
392 views

Reference material for change in English usage over time [closed]

How words have changed in meaning and usage over time is frequently a hot topic both on here and the wider community, and I find it fascinating. Are there any good reference works which document this ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Being “onboarded into the platform” vs “onboarded to the platform”

In this context, a platform is an on-line service. The process of registering new users is known as onboarding. I do not know if describing such process as onboarding users to the platform or ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Is it grammatically right even though a comparative isn't used?

Semantically, syntactically, and linguistically, is it right that a comparative isn't used as in 'I'm cute than her?' I think it's just related with usage or choice of a word, so there's no problem ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

Usage of adverbs like reasonably, practically, essentially, ridiculously, basically

I have recently noticed a phenomenon in English that seems quite common. The phenomenon is regarding the usage of certain adverbs: Practically should mean in a practical manner. But it is often ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Why does “public” refer to the government?

I'm a non-English native and was quite surprised with the meaning of "public" refering to "belonging to government" or "provided by government", etc. In my past ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Using “the” before a company name whose first word is “The” [duplicate]

I am working on edits for a training manual that was sent to me. The author consistently uses the word "the" before the company name, whose first word is "The." Is this proper to ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Can a person be described as 'oriented'?

She knows her way in life. She knows what's good for her and what is bad. In short - she is **oriented**. Is this a possible and correct use of the word "oriented"? Thanks
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How many legitimate uses of “could of” / “would of” / “should of” are there? [closed]

After some bad calls using search/replace, I'm curious how many legitimate forms of "could/would/should of" there are. I'm interested in uses that do not derive from, and cannot be replaced by "could ...
1
vote
0answers
110 views

The meaning of Let us not or Do not let us

As far as I know, the negatives of Let us are Let us not and Do not let us. And Let us has two different meaning: one is a suggestion and the other is an imperative. Then doesn't Let us not or Do not ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Using 'is“ or ”are" [closed]

What is the right way to write the following sentence Profit and Loss Statement and Income Statement are the same thing. Profit and Loss Statement and Income Statement is the same thing.
1
vote
3answers
7k views

Difference between 'acoustic' and 'acoustical'

"Acoustic" and "acoustical" are both used as adjectives, and both are used often in combinations such as "acoustical engineering", "acoustic energy", "acoustic model", etcetera. Some of these ...
16
votes
5answers
30k views

“Thus” vs. “Thusly”

I read an article that used "thusly" and was wondering if there is any grammatical credence to it. The quote: The issue started when Sokolowski quickly ran out of storage capacity in his 32GB ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

'quickest': adverb

Page 442 of Collins Cobuild English Usage reads Quick is an adjective. You do not usually use it as an adverb. Instead you use quickly. In writing, you usually use more quickly. He began to speak ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Test or testing

Which one is grammatically correct? "for test purposes only" or "for testing purposes only" . Can I use them interchangeably.
6
votes
4answers
5k views

What is a word for something that you desperately want and/or craved for, but NEVER GOT?

Take this situation; Everyone was given ice cream at the birthday party, except for Todd. After Todd got home, he felt very disheartened that he never got the chance to taste the ice-cream there....
0
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0answers
24 views

Is it OK to say '“an earlier way to do something”?

I want to describe a method that can help achieve some goal earlier than conventional method. Is it OK to say "an earlier way to do something"?
1
vote
0answers
427 views

Difference between “burnt” and “burned”

According to most dictionaries, both the words burnt and burned are past tenses of burn. What is the difference between the two and can they be used interchangeably?
0
votes
2answers
94 views

Is the Usage “I are” proper English? [closed]

So I'm reading a 19th-century novel called The Count of Monte Cristo, and I came across this particular usage, which is: [H]e continued," let us make all possible speed. I are most anxious to ...
1
vote
2answers
328 views

“Value as” vs “Evaluate as”

I am writing an essay about time and its characteristics. In the introduction, I have a sentence, "It [time] became one of those rare things people evaluate as priceless." As far as I am ...
6
votes
7answers
86k views

1 o'clock in the morning OR 1 o'clock at night?

Could you help me on this? In my native language I would speak about the "night" starting from around 11 pm till 4 in the morning. So every time I see an English phrase like "2 o'clock in the morning" ...
4
votes
2answers
107k views

Which is correct “What does this mean or what does this means” [closed]

Please help me understand when should the plural forms be used... Ex. What does this mean or what does this means .. He rides well or he ride well etc
0
votes
0answers
100 views

When do you close? vs Until what time are you open?

I have just came across this situation. At I can't get rid of this question what should I say when do you close or until what time are you open? it might sound really silly question, but when you ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

How might we parse the phrase “put [something] out to board” to better understand its meaning?

The phrase is found in John Cheever's The Swimmer: He wondered if the Lindleys had sold their houses or gone away for the summer and put them out to board. I understand the phrase to basically mean ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Founding father/mother or founding figure?

I'm quoting an author who is known as the "founding father" of a scientific discipline. However, I feel that I want to make it sound less patriarchal. Of course, many disciplines had women ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

Can a Figure discard something? [closed]

I have been criticized for the following usage of to discard: Figure 7 shows [...]. It is striking to observe that [surprising fact]. However, [tempering the previous fact]. Thus, Figure 7 clearly ...
0
votes
1answer
127 views

Got it and I got it

If a boss says to an employee: I need you to get this project done by today. Then, the employee replies: 'Got it.' or 'I got it.', some youtuber expresses these two answers mean differently. The ...
0
votes
2answers
338 views

the X event after next…Th

Is it grammatically correct to say "at the steering committee meeting after next"? The idea is that there are meetings every two weeks, but the intention is for something to be presented not at the ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

The clause starts with “be”? [duplicate]

We write when we need to remember something, be it an idea, a quote or the outcome of a study. In the second clause, the beginning is be. What is the grammatical rule behind it?
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Usage of under the aegis

I really want to use the phrase 'under the aegis' in a small paragraph but want to be grammatically correct. I am planning to write "thankful to xxxx for taking me under their aegis" or &...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

“sic” with “explicitly” (and other adverbs)

I was reading a Wikipedia article on Fermat's principle that quoted some older English text, and one bit confused me: The principle of Fermat, although it was assumed by that mathematician on ...
1
vote
2answers
18k views

Difference between *product*, *material*, and *item*

I am confused regarding the differences between these 3 words. Can you clarify them for me? By searching I learned that A "product" is a manufactured (and often branded) object or commodity. ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

'All my life could be described as a chain of failures'. Is this sentence grammatically correct? [closed]

I'm a non-native speaker of English. Perhaps my question would seem a little bit silly. All my life could be described as a chain of failures. It seems to me that all my life is a disaster. All my ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

How to use the word 'Earth' [duplicate]

I am using both words 'Earth' (in the sense of the planet Earth) and also 'earth' (in the sense of land, minerals,soil, etc) and the proofreading software shows an error asking me to make them both ...
0
votes
1answer
268 views

Is it correct to write “Request to Help” as a subject line for an email?

I sent an email to the IT Dept. to ask for a technical help. I had googled some suggestions for a suitable subject line and found "Request to help...". I used it, but then I thought it was not be ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Use of “but” by Jack London

The subordinate clause "From the way..." I understand the meaning of, however the main clause's meaning I do not. Would, if rephrased as, "I wouldn't wonder this time but what he [would ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

“International themed” or “internationally themed”?

Would you say “an international themed party” or “an internationally themed party”?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“based on” usage

I'm a little bit confused when I use a sentence like "It is divided based on glasses of milk". I'm not sure, is "based on" used as an adverb or in the passive voice? I want to know for sure whether I'...
2
votes
5answers
171 views

The expression 'time without number' seems wrong. But it's been published by two highly regarded sources, so how is this justified?

How are we to understand the following sentence as being grammatical? If it isn't, why should we excuse it's not being so? For thirteen years she had been a schoolmistress, and during those years ...
1
vote
6answers
360 views

Proper usage of “trying”

Let's say there is an atmospheric condition where the water in a bucket partially freezes then reverts back to a completely liquid state and vacillates back and forth but never actually freezes. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
696 views

Speak of the Devil [closed]

In native English people say "Speak of the devil and he doth appear" when someone walks in unexpectedly when they are speaking about him oblivion to his appearance in a short while. But the same ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

“in” versus “at”

1 - I'm at home. 2 - I'm in the home. 3 - I'm at the home. I understand that the above three sentences are correct. If all the above are correct, then why this one is wrong? 4 - I'm in home. What ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What's your poison - origin

The question "What's your poison?" is an informal way of asking someone what they would like to drink. Apparently it has been used in this way since the mid-1800s. I read recently that the ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Is there a semantic difference between 'supply-demand gap' and 'demand-supply gap'?

I have confirmed that both 'supply-demand gap' and 'demand-supply gap' have been used, although the latter is by far more common. I wonder if X-Y gap suggests that X was higher than Y, or vice-versa? ...
3
votes
3answers
54k views

“Named” vs “called”

Over on Stackoverflow, I keep seeing questions wherein posters say: *I have an item named SoAndSo (a table, a file, etc.). Shouldn't it be: *I have an item called SoAndSo. Is "named" an acceptable ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Nutrition Information vs Nutritional Information: Why is the first more common than the second?

We've probably all seen at some point a panel on food packaging that lists quantities of sugars, fats, vitamins, minerals etc. found in the food. Some packages I come across label this table as "...
36
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

I don't like either X or Y vs. I don't like X or Y either

Do the following two sentences mean the same thing: I don't like either cherry juice or soda. I don't like cherry juice or soda either. Although they both convey the idea that the speaker doesn't ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Is (the reason ) “is his expecting otherwise” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

(1) "But maybe the fear in his eyes" "Is him expecting otherwise." I understand it is not grammatically correct (indirect object) but please provide more info as to why it's not. ...

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