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Questions tagged [word-usage]

This tag is for questions about correctly using a word. The word has to be provided within the question. The question should be limited to the usage of one word. For the usage of complete phrases there is the tag phrase-usage.

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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do we say "commit" a crime?

How did the word "commit" become so associated with performing a criminal act ("he committed a crime", "she committed a robbery" - also generally applies to errors, ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
38 views

Seeking clarification or options for Snoutband [duplicate]

I understand Snoutband refers to a person who often interrupts a conversation to correct and/or contradict the speaker. Could it also refer to a person who butts in AND has to out do the person ...
Michael G. O'Connell's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
45 views

Commented book, annotated book, a book with marginalia [closed]

Is it correct and idiomatic in English to call a book with marginalia a commented book? Or is it better to call it an annotated book? Or maybe both versions sound really odd and it is better to refer ...
jsx97's user avatar
  • 301
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

When to use the possessive with 's in "Contact photo" or "contact's photo"? [duplicate]

"Click on a contact photo" or "click on a contact's photo"? "The contact photo is there" or "the contact's photo is there"? "It means the contact updated ...
jsmith's user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
4 answers
108 views

"as tall as the building" or "as high as the building"

"The new building will be as tall as the Empire State Building" and "The new building will be as high as the Empire State Building." Which one is correct?
jo W's user avatar
  • 29
-1 votes
0 answers
24 views

Reasons for doing something and reasons to do something :do that make a difference? [duplicate]

You attended a XXX workshop...Your teacher has asked you to write a review… The content should include: … The reasons for joining it … This is my writing task and I am pretty confused about ...
sativaoryza's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of "Wa’al"?

What is the meaning of "Wa’al"? Here is a quote from Charles Dickens' A Message from the Sea: “Wa’al, my good sir,” said the captain cordially, “the present question is, and will be long, I ...
POP POP's user avatar
  • 131
1 vote
0 answers
34 views

Using the terms gesture, gestural and gesturality

I am trying to understand the difference between, and I'm not sure how to describe it, something like: agree, agreeable and agreeability; approach, approachable and approachability etc...I'm ...
Ch Mait's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
114 views

Is "bet" only used by vulgar people? [closed]

My cousin says "bet" is only used by vulgar people, and that "wager" is used by gentlemen. I disagree. We're talking about risking money on an outcome. I wonder if the fine people ...
Ciro Andrade's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
59 views

How common is “you lot” for a group of exactly two persons and under what circumstances can it be used as such if any?

Something about “you lot” tells me that it can't really be used with a group of two persons and requires a somewhat bigger group being addressed as a unit, to what extent is that correct and if not ...
Zorf's user avatar
  • 139
-1 votes
1 answer
48 views

Is the statement, "pursuant Bachelors of Science: Computer Systems Engineering" proper English?

In a resume does it make sense to simply add the word pursuant in front of the degree to indicate that the degree was not obtained?
Jesus Gonzales's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
76 views

"He didn't know *families* had cooks."

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part II Cambridge Choir, chapter 25) William, the chorister, is spending some of the Christmas holiday with his friend Martin Mussey's family. 'Flo, ...
philphil's user avatar
  • 361
4 votes
2 answers
73 views

Why "when we first begun" in Amazing Grace?

In the hymn Amazing Grace, the final verse reads thus: When we've been there 10,000 years Bright shining as the sun We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we first begun Given that we ...
Leonard Blavatsky's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
336 views

Why is “cold X” a bad thing and “hot X” a good thing in English?

There are many, many terms in English that include hot or cold in them. I will give a small sample of such terms: Hot hot job hot fix hot offer warm regards Cold cold calls cold emails cold hearted ...
Free Palestine's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
176 views

“He feels himself expanding”?

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part II Cambridge Choir, chapter 20) William, the chorister, is enjoying himself The putting on of his cassock and the graceful. weighty swing of the ...
philphil's user avatar
  • 361
0 votes
1 answer
31 views

Usage of “Effects” [duplicate]

I came across this sentence: “This new patch commit can be cherry-picked directly to the main branch to fix the bug before it effects more users.” I find the usage of “effects” here to be weird. Is ...
Uri Greenberg's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
658 views

Can "go into" ever be used to mean "used in" or "made of"?

I have heard people say this, and finally have a written example: "The lower grade wood would go into window frames." https://thehistoricdistrict.org/viewtopic.php?t=304
Stephen Waterhouse's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

be mint doing sth, what does it mean? [closed]

From Youtube video, I heard two girls talking of a horse: "Thorn(horse) was mint playing polo-cross". From none-native speaker's understanding of my own, I took the word "mint" ...
Kevin Cheng's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
62 views

Is the prefix "for" in "forgo" used as a preposition? [closed]

For the majority of usage, the term "forgo" is utilized as a verb. Morphologically speaking, how does the "for" within "forgo" function? Is it a preposition, ...
My Info's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
127 views

Understanding "smack" in C.S. Lewis's diary

When C.S. Lewis met Tolkien for the first time, he noted down in his diary: "He is a smooth, pale, fluent little chap. . . . No harm in him: only needs a smack or so." What is the meaning of ...
WooCashM's user avatar
-7 votes
4 answers
144 views

Is it idiomatic to talk about "murdering" a dog?

Kristi Noem has kicked off a firestorm of criticism when her book came out in which she says she shot her dog for killing chickens etc. But these two commentators talk about "murdering" the ...
S K's user avatar
  • 1
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Can the word "christen" be used in an entirely non-religious context to describe the naming of something like a building?

Is it appropriate (and culturally sensitive) to use the term christen in a sentence such as: The building was christened the Stone Center in memory of Dr. Stone, whose research made it possible. ...
vy32's user avatar
  • 428
4 votes
1 answer
193 views

The use of the adjective fraught

I recently read an article online and came across this sentence: "The process is fraught with both potential benefits and drawbacks." Based on my understanding of the definitions provided by ...
hh_sonja's user avatar
  • 353
0 votes
1 answer
62 views

Confused about including the inclusive

As an English literature lover, I am confused trying to write in English according to the new inclusive language, for example : "he speaks French quite like a french man but speaks about France ...
Carvel's user avatar
  • 9
0 votes
1 answer
46 views

What preposition should I use with "proficuous"?

Proficuous: useful or profitable. But how to use? Cash proved proficuous for/in/at securing the deal.
Ray Woodcock's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
78 views

Would you put a possessive pronoun before "destitution" in this sentence?

Would you say this: This story tells of a young man who asks for his inheritance early, then squanders it in a foreign land, leading to destitution. or this: This story tells of a young man who ...
Riley 's user avatar
  • 111
3 votes
1 answer
64 views

'By', 'according to' or 'following' when speaking of following regulations, protocols, etc

I have a blank spot regarding the use of the preposition by in the meaning of according to and following. Since by is the shortest option of the three, I would be happy to use it in place of according ...
Евгений Шумилин's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
36 views

What does this use of 'median' mean? [closed]

I was reading Paul Graham's latest essay https://www.paulgraham.com/google.html: If you're not sure what technology to get good at, get good at programming. That has been the source of the median ...
Alvin Cao's user avatar
  • 111
-3 votes
1 answer
50 views

Is "lack of apathy" a correct usage to express "lack of interest"? [closed]

From the online dictionary, apathy = lack of interest However I saw a poster in a news article where it was mentioned as -- "lack of apathy". Is that a correct usage in its context?
iammilind's user avatar
  • 311
5 votes
1 answer
136 views

Is a series of religious (Christian) writings read and meditated on for growth a 'devotion' or a 'devotional'?

Both 'devotion' and 'devotional' are commonly used in Christian language and writings. Which is correct? I've examined my current dictionary and found 'devotional' is not listed. Looking at a much ...
Analytikos's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
81 views

Use of the word "tongue" to refer to a specific language

One of the meanings of the word "tongue" is "language". The word is still in use in certain expressions ("mother tongue" being one of them), and I know that in the past, ...
Al-cameleer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

Lead vs Conduct

I would like to express some secondary professional activity in not so strong / embellishing style. Think, some knowledge/experience sharing inside the company, more informal rather than formal. If I ...
RandomJGuest's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
183 views

What does the word "leggit" mean?

I've just finished Call of Duty Black Ops II, and there was one word whose meaning I couldn't find even on the Internet. This is leggit, and it's a verb. I have a link to a YouTube video with this ...
user500689's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
84 views

Much-Watch: How is this construction allowed?

I have received an email from Crunchyroll today, titled “Discover Today’s Much-Watch Anime!”. From the title, I immediately assumed that it’s about today’s “must-watch” anime series. The email ...
wordsalad's user avatar
  • 415
1 vote
1 answer
60 views

What's it called when person A's shoulders are in person B's shoulders in a reassuring way, and B's hands are on top of person A's hands?

What's it called when person A's shoulders are in person B's shoulders in a reassuring way, and B's hands are on top of person A's hands? If there's not a word please help me describe it in a clear ...
lila.popelier's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
211 views

Is 'clinicality' a word? Is 'Woolfesque' a word? [closed]

The only online dictionaries in which 'clinicality' appears are Wikitionary and WordSense. I have not found conclusive evidence that it is not a word. I am better acquainted with English than with my ...
hamlet 's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
49 views

A word(s) describing a person with control/power over an important aspect of others lives. They abuse that power to harm others and personal gain [duplicate]

I am in need of a word(s) or term(s)for a person who willingly, openly, and unapologetically abuses the power or influence they have over other peoples lives,more precisely; people who have control or ...
Andrew Wilson's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
21 views

Which is grammatically correct - "recidivisously" "recidivistly" or "recidivistically" as a valid adverb form of recidivist? [duplicate]

Per How do you know if a derivative word is actually an English word? & its cited previous answer, What are the criteria to adopt new words into English? - I am imagining that it is "...
MmmHmm's user avatar
  • 131
1 vote
0 answers
74 views

Do men use "Well" to start a sentence more often than women?

Do men use "Well" more than women to start a sentence? Is there research out there?
llola's user avatar
  • 35
0 votes
3 answers
92 views

Is ‘with in’ in the phrase ‘be used with in construction’ grammatically correct? [closed]

In the ‘2. p. Grammar’ section of the ‘Webster’s New World College Dictionary’, I found the phrase ‘be used with in construction’. The phrase ‘in construction’ is idiomatic and has an adjectival ...
Hyeen Soo Han's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
248 views

Is "factoral" a legitimate word, or could it be a typo?

I recently encountered the term "factoral" used twice in The Oxford Handbook of Karl Marx, without any occurrences of "factorial." Below are the excerpts for reference: "As ...
NJKDN's user avatar
  • 23
0 votes
0 answers
104 views

What is the term for someone who unnecessarily defends someone else?

I got a conversation with my husband about noticing more and more that people seem to be butting in and trying to defend people who don’t need defending: people getting angry over situations that they ...
TripleGoddess 's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
179 views

Use of "animal" as a synonym for non-human animal

Why not just use 'animals' to indicate (factual) 'animals' (including humans)? When indicating something involving animals and humans, it's common to use "animals and humans" rather than ...
library's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
1 answer
68 views

What is the difference between two cases of "impact", with and without "on/upon"?

I see Oxford Learner's Dictionary offers two examples for entry of "Impact". The meaning is "to have an effect on somebody/something". One example is with proposition of "on/...
Jiancheng Zou's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
78 views

Count off to split into teams

In school group projects or sports, how do you command the students/players to count off 1-2-1-2-1-2 or 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3 etc. to split into two or three (or more) teams, respectively? I gather you do ...
Vinski Ratalahti's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
193 views

When is "some" used as plural and when is it used as singular?

I am trying to explain to an ESL student how to understand when to treat "some" as plural and when to treat it as singular. One clear rule is when "some" is the subject followed by ...
Leanne Bellamy's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Can you actually "want a need"? [closed]

I know it's a mouthful, but can you, actually? I ran across this line in my recent reading: For example, in Little Caesar, Rico has power and every material need he could ever want but he has no ...
desmo's user avatar
  • 649
4 votes
3 answers
907 views

"Intra": can it be used just like "sub" or does it have extra nuance?

I'm editing a draft academic paper at the moment that distinguishes between the variety that exists between several groups, on one hand, and the varieties that exist within one of those groups, on the ...
James Camien McGuiggan's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
58 views

Meaning of "sense" in English [closed]

I used to use the word "sense" when I wanted to ask about the point\purpose of a particular thing (for example a book, or a game.) Is it a correct usage, though? For example: What's the ...
venor's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
29 views

‘can’ or ‘could’ in a statistical proposition

Relating specifically to a statical/data based use, ie ‘ the assessment of motor function and cognitive testing can identify a specific pattern of problems that can indicate conditions such as MS’ – ...
Baggie58's user avatar

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