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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.

2
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0answers
1k views

Activable or Activatable?

A guy suggested changing my word from "activable" to "activatable". Chrome's spell checker also suggests that. However, I can see activable in most dictionaries (1, 2, 3) while I don't see activatable ...
2
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0answers
38 views

Specific use of the word “contrast”

Can one use the word contrast in the following way? I brought the yellow balloon into contrast by darkening its borders. Or does one have to adhere to in contrast to... or contrasted with...?
2
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0answers
1k views

Expired - Non-Expired

I have to classify users, like Expired users and users who are not expired. Shall I use the term Non-Expired to indicate that a user is still valid and has a long enough validity period? Is there ...
2
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0answers
314 views

Can the word 'proficient' only be applied to humans?

Is the term 'a proficient system' correct English? Or can the adjective proficient only be used to describe humans? At least one dictionary (NOAD) defines the word in a way that makes it seem more ...
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0answers
16 views

Can this sentenced be better phrased to remove redundancy?

I am not sure if I am allowed to ask questions like this, but as a foreign speaker, I am confused on how I can rephrase my sentence better. A counseling services specially designed for ...
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0answers
30 views

'Czech'/'Swiss' to refer to the country?

An increasing number of my friends in India and the United Kingdom use 'Czech' to refer to the Czech Republic (and a smaller number do the same with saying 'Swiss' for Switzerland). When politely ...
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0answers
26 views

Using “Mix of” with one object

"Mix of" is most frequently used to show that two or more items are included in the creation of something. Is it still grammatically correct to use "mix of" when there's only one item, but the item is ...
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0answers
47 views

Help me understand the usage of “edition” in “Apple Watch Edition”

I am not sure how to put this, but shouldn't it be < Apple Watch > < _____ Edition >? In my understanding, it is usually product followed by edition, and something to indicate what edition it ...
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0answers
26 views

What is the meaning of “spread” in this sentence?

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: This year's interim budget is being regarded as a big spread for farmers. Does it mean "extent or amount of something" or "a large meal (although not in ...
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0answers
57 views

Word or phrase that everyone knows or has heard of, but no one knows its underlying meaning

What word or phrase can describe terms like: Wi-Fi AM/FM AM/PM RSVP "etc." "i.e." and so on? In other words, what word or phrase could be used to describe a word or phrase that "everyone knows ...
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0answers
16 views

Can participant be used for devices or machines

I have a technical documentation where robots are working together in a team. They are referred to as participants (lower case!). Is this correct in English? How should it be called? (field bus) ...
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0answers
25 views

Introduce a concept versus give an introduction to the concept

Looking for a shorter way to write In this chapter, I give an introduction to concept A in an academic text, I realized a subtle difference in (academic) English: I introduce concept A: I am creating/...
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0answers
28 views

Should say “his own wife” or “his wife”?

I was narrating a movie to my friend where I made a statement like “his own wife killed him” where my friend said it doesn’t sound right to say “his own wife” and corrected me to say it as just “his ...
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0answers
62 views

What is the difference between 'Corporate' and 'Corporation'?

I've done an extensive search but didn't find anything on that. Is 'Corporate' (as a noun) simply a shorter form of 'Corporation'? Also, if a condition dictates that 'a company name can't include ...
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0answers
30 views

Is the term “carriage return” outdated in a (near) post-typewriter world?

When we say "Return key" or "Enter key", either are clear in meaning to those with even very light keyboarding experience. But "Return" is a diminutive of "Carriage Return". Fully saying/writing "...
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0answers
35 views

How long has the singular noun 'archive', as opposed to 'archives', been in current use?

My question arises through the fact that, when Michel Foucault introduced 'archive' as a singular noun in his 1969 Archaeology of Knowledge, he was more or less inventing a new word. 'Archif' and '...
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0answers
35 views

What verb to use with the noun “groundbreaking”?

I need some help with the noun groundbreaking. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Edition, it is The act or ceremony of breaking ground to begin a construction project. My question ...
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0answers
97 views

Is there one word for “not challenged enough”?

I was typing an essay and wrote unchallenged to mean that the subject didn't feel challenged, but then I realized that unchallenged means "undisputed" and the definition that I thought isn't really ...
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0answers
226 views

The usage of word “ain't”

What is the use of ain't and "not/no" in a single phrase? The question is that we usually use ain't in our writings, but when it comes to a usual expression "ain't not" or "ain't no" does the meaning ...
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0answers
29 views

Type of usage phrases/conjunctions

She'd lived in Seattle her whole life, grew up there. *They have got no family I know of, no children. Would these types of usage be informal only and require conjunctions in formal writing.
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0answers
30 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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0answers
35 views

Which is the meaning of “palm-to-forehand”?

I am reading a science-fiction short story and I met this sentence that I can't understand. You can read the whole sentence in the attached file. "Palm-to-forehand" What does it means? Think you ...
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0answers
188 views

Usage of “first” without “second”

My question is about my contract at work. My employer started providing us with an "on call" phone for the week we are on call to contact us in case of emergency call-ins. For the past 20 years they ...
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0answers
71 views

Tear (eye water) vs Tear (rip and rend)

I'm working on a fiction story titled "The War of Tears". Now most people would read the last word, Tears, as the water that comes from ones eyes when emotional. However, I want it to be Tears, as in ...
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0answers
236 views

The curious case of “These following + a plural” vs “The following + a plural”

From my understanding, the following + a plural generally serves as an introduction, letting the reader know that they're about to be presented with a list of some sort. Example: The following ...
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0answers
275 views

What does “notwithstanding” mean in the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution?

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the ...
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0answers
99 views

What's the syntax of “purport”?

I keep reading in some style/usage books that "purport" shouldn't be turned passive because the sense of the verb is "already passive." Thus, Three people were arrested Sunday at the Smithsonian ...
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0answers
31 views

“Conducting” trading

I wrote the following sentence and my teacher told me "conducting" should be replaced with "doing" My experience in investing comes from trading options, which I have been conducting since October ...
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0answers
46 views

Coordinating conjunctions connecting subordinate clauses

(A coordinating conjunction is a word that joins two elements of equal grammatical rank and syntactic importance.) (website definition) Subordinating conjunction used as a subordinate conjunction: (...
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0answers
445 views

Help me please..What need have you~

I saw this sentence below. “If I can verbalize my anxiety, what need have you to focus on my body language, smells, or other physical or psychological signs that might accompany these feeling?” And ...
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0answers
75 views

are “sort”, “type” and “kind” always exchangeable?

Cambridge dictionary has an article on "sort, type and kind" and explains that they all "generally" mean the same thing. Based on their definitions (Merriam-Webster), indeed, they all mean more or ...
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0answers
36 views

Is it accepted usage to “register to” a system

The following sentence looks ungrammatical to me, but I am not sure if the usage is acceptable or not: You have successfully registered to the system I am thinking it might be preferable to put in ...
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0answers
25 views

Does it “rile” you?

I live in India and am a Doctorate (in Maths, not English). A few years back, my social circle consisted purely of Mathematicians/Physicists. Just about time, cause I happened to join a trekking club ...
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0answers
423 views

“The base of this decision is on…” or “The basis of this decision is on…”?

I was reading an email and I came across the sentence The base of this decision is on the overall performance. Is this correct? Should it be the following? The basis of this decision is on the ...
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0answers
60 views

Using importune

I am learning the meaning and usage of 'importune'. I came to know that mostly the word takes the form 'importune someone'. But there a couple of statements I do not understand regarding it. After a ...
1
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0answers
907 views

“Chapter” vs. “Section” or “Topic”

With the popularity of online help (available on the Internet), book-based terminology, such as "chapter" and "book", don't make much sense. For example, as far as the reader is concerned, there are ...
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0answers
179 views

exhibition v.s. inhibition

In my experience... Inhibition is commonly used in different ways, say to render difficult, or to hide, to restrict or hinder, etc. Exhibition can be something like making and art show, presentations,...
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0answers
183 views

What is the difference between scourge and bane?

I've picked up this word 'scourge' from Jerome K. Jerome's book "Three men in the boat" and when I actually used it with a native-speaker (Australian) she wouldn't understand it asking me what does ...
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0answers
907 views

meaning of Break a deal

I just listened to this news: http://one.npr.org/i/592647800:592647801 (Please listen at 00:10) And I am not sure whether she is saying “South Korean officials who broke a deal” or “who brought a ...
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0answers
54 views

Is there a term for noises which CAN'T be written as normal text?

Hard to give examples, as if I'm able to do it, I won't be asking this, but consider some sounds made by the tongue. I'm giving examples of sounds which CAN be written to give you an idea: Dog ...
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0answers
38 views

Idiomatic significance of “for one”

for one is an idiomatic expression, used mainly in the form of " I, for one" meaning: that you think your opinion or action is right, even if others do not: The rest of you may disagree, ...
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0answers
47 views

“I am having fun with my stay in Japan.” Does this phrase sound natural?

I am wondering if this phrase sounds natural. Also, how about the phrase below? "I am having a good time with my stay in Japan." Do these sentences mean almost the same as "I'm enjoying my stay in ...
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0answers
53 views

What does “discursive,” mean and how should it be used?

What does "discursive" mean, and how should it be used? Its definition includes digressing from subject to subject; fluent and expansive rather than formulaic or abbreviated; but also, proceeding by ...
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0answers
54 views

Can “quinquagenarian” be employed for something else than a person?

Many dictionaries' definitions of "quinquagenarian" suggest this adjective should be used only when referring to a person. My question is: can it be used for anything else? For example, is it sound ...
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0answers
81 views

Can we use a noun after “whenever,” “however” and “wherever”?

As you know, after whatever and whichever we can use a noun e.g, "Whichever one you choose, I'll be OK with it." I read somewhere when we use a noun as a subject we can put when-/where-/how- ever ...
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0answers
540 views

Craving vs longing vs yen

What is the difference between long, yen, and crave, as verbs and nouns both? Longman: Longing - a strong feeling of wanting something or someone Craving - an extremely strong desire for ...
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0answers
6k views

Correct usage of word “reason” with “twofold”

I want to say that there were two reasons for something. Which would be grammatically correct? "The reason for this is twofold" or "The reasons for this are twofold" Or is it that both of these are ...
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0answers
113 views

Is it acceptable that the verb “absorb” is used intransitively, especially in the medical and advertising communities?

All references that I've come across list "absorb" only as a transitive verb, yet I find it used commonly in the medical and advertising community intransitively. For example, "Our vitamin C absorbs ...
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0answers
119 views

Rephrasing “Audience-minded” or “Audience-attentive”

I am struggling to find the best flowing combination of the words "Audience-minded." I would preferably like to have it read "x-minded". Although, I am not opposed to a synonym that better flows. By ...
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0answers
112 views

Infected by OR with love?

Is it: The crazed ramblings of a man entirely infected by love OR The crazed ramblings of a man entirely infected with love?