Questions tagged [word-choice]

This tag is for questions about choosing the best word FROM A GIVEN SELECTION for a particular context or meaning. The selection to choose from must appear in the question. If you do not know the word already, use single-word-requests.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
374 votes
22 answers

Is there a correct gender-neutral singular pronoun ("his" vs. "her" vs. "their")?

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun when referring back to a singular noun phrase? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her questions ...
Nulldevice's user avatar
  • 3,907
228 votes
21 answers

What is a feminine version of 'guys'?

I commonly use the word 'guys' to refer to a group of males colloquially. It's colloquial but not rude, off putting, condescending, patronizing (though I wouldn't use it with a group of men at a board ...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 71.3k
182 votes
12 answers

When to use "If I was" vs. "If I were"?

If I was... If I were... When is it correct to use "If I was" vs. "If I were" in standard English?
KV Prajapati's user avatar
  • 2,051
172 votes
3 answers

"Replace with" versus "replace by"

I often see "replace with" and "replace by" used interchangeably, but this doesn't sound right to me: I replaced that component by this one. I would use "with" in such a sentence. "By" only seems ...
ntoskrnl's user avatar
  • 1,823
166 votes
4 answers

"More clear" vs "Clearer": when to use "more" instead of "-er"?

Which one of these adjectives is correct? I can see that both of them are being used, I'm just not sure which one is grammatically correct. Are there any general rules to follow as to the use of one ...
Mysterion's user avatar
  • 7,318
157 votes
4 answers

"Unselect" or "Deselect"?

If I want the user to revert their operation of selecting an item, should I say: "Unselect the option" or "Deselect the option"?
Muhammad Hasan Khan's user avatar
149 votes
11 answers

What is the difference between "complicated" and "complex"?

I can't understand: what's the difference between complicated and complex? They seem to be used interchangeably. Are they actually different at all?
Nobody's user avatar
  • 1,599
143 votes
17 answers

When should I use "a" vs "an"?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...
Caleb Hearth's user avatar
  • 4,980
139 votes
9 answers

The plural of "index"–"indexes" or "indices"?

A table may have one index, or it could have more [...]? Is it indexes or indices? I'm just asking this because I've noticed they're both used quite often. Even Wikipedia seems to support both ...
Wim ten Brink's user avatar
134 votes
3 answers

What is the difference between "till" and "until"?

What is the difference between till and until? When to use till or until? Please explain with examples.
LifeH2O's user avatar
  • 1,785
125 votes
2 answers

Is it "bear" or "bare" with me? [closed]

Is it "bear" or "bare" with me?
mafu's user avatar
  • 4,429
124 votes
13 answers

What is the word for things that work even when they aren't working (e.g. escalators)?

I'm looking for a word (or phrase) to describe mechanisms that are perfectly functional even when they aren't functioning as expected. Examples of these include: Escalators & Electric Walkways: ...
Eric Kigathi's user avatar
  • 1,273
123 votes
24 answers

"Lunch" vs. "dinner" vs. "supper" — times and meanings?

I've seen cases where a noon-time meal is referred to as dinner, and the evening meal is called supper. There's also lunch around noon followed by dinner in the evening. Is there a particular ...
Jeff Ferland's user avatar
  • 1,361
120 votes
19 answers

How do native English speakers respond to "Thank you"?

In my school and university I was taught to say "Not at all" or "Don't mention it" in response to "Thank you!". Now I rarely hear these phrases used, but rather something like "You're welcome", "It's ...
rem's user avatar
  • 10.3k
111 votes
14 answers

"Email" or "e-mail"?

Which way of writing the word: "Email" or "e-mail" is correct? Both variants seem to be in wide use. If both ones are okay, maybe there is a difference in contexts they have been used (one is more ...
rem's user avatar
  • 10.3k
111 votes
8 answers

Which is correct: "__ is different from __" or "__ is different than __"?

As someone who learned English later on in life, I was taught that different from is the correct grammar to use: this is different from that. However, it seems these days everyone uses different than ...
Jin's user avatar
  • 1,323
110 votes
3 answers

Difference between "delete" and "remove" [closed]

I am writing a mobile application that will, as a part of its functionality, display a list of recorded thoughts. Now I am deciding the textual content of the menus and that left me thinking whether ...
Maxim V. Pavlov's user avatar
101 votes
6 answers

What's the difference between a graph, a chart, and a plot?

A graph, a chart, and a plot can all refer to the same thing. Is there any even somewhat consistent distinction in these three words? (I mean, in this particular sense of the words; it is not ...
Kevin Reid's user avatar
  • 1,134
100 votes
9 answers

"A few" vs. "few"

I have few friends. I have a few friends. I thought "few" means just one, two or even none. "A few" typically means more than two. However it seems to me some people say "few" when they really ...
grokus's user avatar
  • 3,674
97 votes
3 answers

Why is there no "autumntime" or "falltime"?

Why is "autumntime" (or "falltime") not a word? wintertime => sure springtime => fine summertime => lovely But apparently autumn/fall has no equivalent. Why?
CupawnTae's user avatar
  • 1,325
96 votes
3 answers

"Maximum" vs. "maximal"

What is the difference in usage between maximum and maximal? When would you use one or the other? Maximum can be a noun or an adjective: This is the maximum it can be set to. This is the ...
nickf's user avatar
  • 1,999
95 votes
5 answers

Which is correct, "dataset" or "data set"?

I write dataset instead of data set, in the same way I write database instead of data base. Looking at some English dictionaries, I don't find dataset. Does that mean dataset isn't correct and I ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 59.1k
92 votes
10 answers

Equivalent of "both" when referring to three or more items?

What would be the correct word to use when referring to three or more items, in the same manner as the word both? For example, using two words, with the word both: "There are several ...
Wipqozn's user avatar
  • 1,184
91 votes
5 answers

"Consist in" vs. "consist of"

I would like to clarify this once and for all: What is the correct use of "consist in" vs. "consist of"? "Meditation consists in/of attentive watchfulness." "The ...
Shivadas's user avatar
  • 1,340
87 votes
4 answers

What's the difference between 'resolve' and 'solve'?

What's the difference between 'resolve' and 'solve'?
Yousui's user avatar
  • 5,675
86 votes
28 answers

Idiom or word for a very crowded place

There is a popular idiom in Russian for describing a really crowded place: "(there's) no room for an apple to fall" ("яблоку негде упасть"). I struggle to think of anything similar in English, and ...
RegDwigнt's user avatar
  • 97.2k
84 votes
2 answers

"Have a look" vs. "Take a look"

What is the difference between Have a look and Take a look (meaning/connotations)? For example: Have a look at the question. Take a look at the question. For some reason I only found first version, ...
Loom's user avatar
  • 1,265
84 votes
6 answers

Is it "Yours faithfully" or "Yours sincerely"?

When should one sign a letter with "Yours faithfully" or "Yours sincerely"?
Julius A's user avatar
  • 2,051
83 votes
6 answers

"Extensible" vs. "extendible"

Where does the adjective form extensible come from and does it connote anything different than extendible? What's the difference, if any, between the two?
AspWri88's user avatar
  • 873
81 votes
1 answer

Which is correct: "feedback is welcome" or "feedback is welcomed"?

I am used to writing feedback is welcome. Is that correct, or should I write feedback is welcomed? Why?
apaderno's user avatar
  • 59.1k
79 votes
8 answers

What is the difference between 'make decision' and 'take decision'?

What is the difference between make decision and take decision? When to use the one and when the other?
darius's user avatar
  • 1,261
78 votes
12 answers

What is the difference between "it's up to you" and "it's down to you"?

I see both "It's up to you" and "It's down to you" in conversations. So what's the difference?
hamed's user avatar
  • 873
76 votes
14 answers

"Based on" instead of "based off of"

I sometimes see cases where off is followed by of, and it sounds awkward to me. For example, I would prefer This story is based on a true story. to This story is based off of a true story. ...
Mehper C. Palavuzlar's user avatar
76 votes
5 answers

"Fill out a form" or "fill in a form"

Does one fill out a form or does one fill in a form? I've gotten different answers from the people I've asked. Google search results: fill in a form — 14,200,000 fill out a form — 7,000,000
aviraldg's user avatar
  • 1,622
76 votes
4 answers

Why is it "behead" and not "dehead"?

The be- prefix in behead doesn't seem to match similar words like become, besmirch, or befuddle. Of course, the same prefix could serve different roles depending on the word. What role is be- serving ...
Zairja's user avatar
  • 6,901
74 votes
4 answers

"Effect" vs. "Affect"

I've noticed that some people use effect and affect interchangeably. What are the differences between these two and when are the proper situations to use each of them?
Mysterion's user avatar
  • 7,318
74 votes
4 answers

"Relation" versus "relationship"

What is the difference between relation and relationship? Some say that relationship often refers to social connections. For instance, She has a close relationship with her daughter. How about the ...
Fountain's user avatar
  • 1,463
73 votes
2 answers

"Dear Sir or Madam" versus "To whom it may concern"

When is it appropriate to use the terms Dear Sir or Madam and To whom it may concern? The rules I was taught state that Dear Sir or Madam should be used when you're writing a letter to a person about ...
Pops's user avatar
  • 5,955
71 votes
13 answers

What's a less offensive substitute for "rep-whores"?

This is a frequently thrown-around term on Internet forums in general and Stack Exchange specifically. Although it conveys a lot of meaning, I'd much prefer a phrase with a less offensive origin. ...
KyleMit's user avatar
  • 897
71 votes
10 answers

Is "errored" correct usage?

If "errored" is not a valid word, then how should I say: The program errored at line 44 I guess I could say: The program threw an error at line 44 But why is "errored" wrong? Is there a better ...
JD Isaacks's user avatar
  • 1,615
71 votes
10 answers

Alternatives to "and/or"?

As a programmer, I have no problem with seeing or using "and/or" in technical documentation. For example, I can upvote an answer that satisfies me and/or mark it as accepted. That's perfectly good ...
RegDwigнt's user avatar
  • 97.2k
70 votes
11 answers

"Less" vs. "fewer"

I've just received a memo which says (effectively) As more people leave, there will be less people available. I want that word to be fewer. Are there guidelines for which word ought to be used ...
J.T. Grimes's user avatar
  • 6,833
70 votes
3 answers

"Solution for" or "solution to" a problem?

I need to find a solution to/for this problem. Can to and for be used interchangeably here? Is one of them just plain wrong?
mvexel's user avatar
  • 1,563
70 votes
9 answers

What is the correct usage of "myriad"?

The vast majority of the time when I see the word "myriad" it is in a sentence like "He had a myriad of things." However I don't like the extraneous words so I normally use it like "He had myriad ...
jhocking's user avatar
  • 1,633
69 votes
4 answers

What is the purpose of using the word "automagically" when we already have "automatically"?

Is there a difference between the two? I see it used regularly in the tech community to mean automatically. Has the word been adopted into any recognised dictionary? For example: That was the day ...
Treffynnon's user avatar
69 votes
5 answers

"In the Internet" vs. "on the Internet"

When should I use "in the Internet" and when "on the Internet"?
bootleg's user avatar
  • 1,153
68 votes
8 answers

Which term correctly identifies those who enjoy programming/technology: "geek" or "nerd"?

Which term correctly identifies those who enjoy and are involved with programming and technology, geek or nerd?
Moshe's user avatar
  • 2,165
68 votes
7 answers

Which is the correct spelling: "grey" or "gray"?

What is the difference? Or is there any? Which would be more British English?
Wok's user avatar
  • 1,549
68 votes
7 answers

Is "substract" (versus "subtract") a proper word?

I read an article recently where the author used "substract" instead of "subtract". I'm more familiar with the latter word but after doing a bit of googling, it seems that both words are being used, ...
Jonn's user avatar
  • 2,404
68 votes
5 answers

Difference between "I have got" and "I have gotten"

I see these two expressions are used almost identically in different contexts. Is there a difference between I have got and I have gotten?
Anderson Silva's user avatar

2 3 4 5