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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6 votes
5 answers
347 views

Origin of "guy" as an interjection substituting for "gosh" or "golly"?

Is anyone familiar with, or know the origin of, the use of "guy" as an interjection at the beginning of a sentence, as a substitute for "gosh!" or "golly!" (or "God"?) ? For example: "Guy, Holl, ...
0 votes
0 answers
5 views

In line graph report the verb 'to wave's can be used as a synonym of 'to oscillate'??

Is this sentence right: The prices wave from 30 to 60 dollars?
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Difference between approximate and approximative [closed]

French is my native language and "approximative location" sounds better to my native tongue. However I'm surprised that google spell checker is correcting "approximative location" ...
-1 votes
0 answers
25 views

What does "crucial mistake" mean? [closed]

As far as I know crucial means something like of great importance. So when someone says "It was a crucial mistake" does it mean: It was very important for that mistake to occur (or else ...
0 votes
0 answers
25 views

Does the adjective 'unspoken' make sense in the context of this sentence? [closed]

Does 'unspoken' fit the following sentence? He stared up at the gang's unspoken leader. It's never been declared that the bully the sentence refers to is actually the head of said gang, but everyone ...
-1 votes
0 answers
19 views

Pls i need to know the correct word to use [closed]

This message is meant to be sent to mrs jane and this message is meant to be send to mrs jane, which one is correct
0 votes
0 answers
17 views

Is "head data" a true alternative to "header data"?

Our software uses the term "head data" for which I think should be called "header data". If I look up the German translation "Kopfdaten" on Leo, I only get "header ...
12 votes
7 answers
5k views

Do Americans say "don't" as often as the British?

This is really a question for Americans. When watching US TV or films, it's often my impression that—while using all the other contractions—Americans don't seem so keen on 'don't' and use ...
0 votes
3 answers
3k views

Does it make sense to say "recorded an ever-growing collection"?

Can one write the following? Since January 19, 1919, Some Band has recorded an ever-growing collection of original pieces of music. I have doubts because with "recorded" it sounds as if the action ...
1 vote
1 answer
60 views

What would be the modern equivalent of " ... is around the corner yet"?

Here's a neat article covering the differences between yet and still: https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-still-and-yet.html There is, in Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee, a sentence that ...
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

"a bit" vs. "some"

Disclaimer: I'm a German native. I'm working on some software with a coworker from US. He just sent a message saying "if we decide to actually publish this as a real package, I'd like to clean it ...
29 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is it common for native English speakers to confuse "18th century" with "the 1800s"?

As a non-native English speaker, I've only ever referred to "1700-talet", meaning "the 1700s" or "the 18th century". In English, it's by far most common to say "18th ...
3 votes
2 answers
180 views

Why aren't "nohow" and "nowhy" real words?

So we have: Where-Nowhere When-Never(/Nowhen) Who-Nobody What-Nothing Why can't we also have "nohow" and "nowhy"? "No reason" works to some extent, but "nohow"...
5 votes
1 answer
187 views

Bot, za and the like

The trend of using the last part of words, bot for robot or za for pizza for instance, appears to be from the late ‘60s as suggested by Etymonline: The method of minting new slang by clipping ...
0 votes
0 answers
10 views

when to use move-in vs move in in general english [duplicate]

is there a difference between move in vs move-in? It seems to be the same 'Want to move in to my house?' vs 'Want to move-in to my house?'
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

Can the word 'partner' mean 'customer/client'?

My question stems from the fact that the word 'partner' is excessively used in the former USSR countries when referring to or addressing their customers/clients/buyers. Russian-speaking manufacturers/...
0 votes
0 answers
19 views

The meaning of “whacked” [closed]

I’ve recently heard about the word “whacked” as having the meaning of being tired and exhausted. When I searched for examples in movies using this expression, it seemed to me that there were other ...
3 votes
2 answers
124 views

When are “carpet” and “rug” synonymous?

I am a speaker of Canadian English. Recently, I saw this video on Youtube about operant conditioning link to video where the speaker says "remove something pleasant like the carpet.” at about 1....
0 votes
3 answers
362 views

Grinding vs Pulverizing

What are the differences between grinding vs pulverizing in terms of reducing the size of nuts or seeds? Which one makes finer particles? Thank you. grind To reduce to small bits or crush to a fine ...
7 votes
1 answer
793 views

Is there a way to determine how offensive a word is?

Outside of slang, I'm looking for a list of words that have been co-opted by society to mean something derogatory. In some senses, they are also "trigger words" and phrases. The word cult, for ...
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

Is ‘platform’ used correctly in the intended sense in this context? [closed]

Dating websites and dating apps are today very popular, but we don’t know how successful finding relationship via such platforms is. What percent of those using dating platforms find the right partner?...
0 votes
3 answers
299 views

What's the difference between e.g. "room 5" and "number 5"? [closed]

Is it correct to use the word "number" meaning "hotel room"?
-1 votes
0 answers
37 views

Even if I'm not the author-in-question, would the subtitle, "A Chrestomathic Compendium" be appropriate for the following[?]:

This work would be a "Selections" or "Compendium" of works by an author, where I select passages, quotes, or otherwise an ordering of his works, wholesale, given in an order that ...
3 votes
2 answers
54 views

Using "Nominal" in software engineering

I hope this doesn't sound like a silly question but recently some work was done on some software and someone asked me if everything was working and I responded "everything is looking nominal"...
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can anyone give me examples of the relative-determinative 'which'?

I recently posted a question on a Spanish language forum asking what the equivalent in Spanish would be for the use of which in a phrase such as he refused, which decision proved disastrous (which ...
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

Is the use of words "institute" and "college" together in naming an institution right?

Is it right to use the words "institute" and "college" in naming an educational institution namely "Institute of Public Policy & Leadership College"? It is an ...
7 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why isn't the ball used in football called "a football ball"?

We know that you need a ball to play cricket, golf, or tennis, and we refer to the balls used in those sports as "cricket ball", "golf ball" and "tennis ball" respectively: you take the name of the ...
2 votes
2 answers
201 views

Is "none" when used alone without antecedent singular or plural (for context, I'm talking about people): "None [are/is] here"?

I know that "none of [...]" can be both singular or plural, but when I use it alone in a sentence, without the "of" and without any other nouns, can it be both singular and plural ...
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

throwing roses in the museum gallery to slack-jawed guests

The Associated Press (AP) has printed the following story, where the boldfaced "to" is used: PARIS (AP) — A man seemingly disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a piece of cake at ...
0 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

"You did the right thing" Is this sentence idiomatic in English? [closed]

My sister married a man who treated her badly. Her husband didn't respect her at all. After one year , they split up. After hearing that news , I called my sister and said : Don't worry. I think you'...
19 votes
6 answers
14k views

Is "a half dozen" necessarily 6, or can it be 5-7?

In my answer to a question on the SF & Fantasy stack, I assumed that "half a dozen" is imprecise enough to mean anywhere from 5 to 7. Another user challenged that assumption and stated that since ...
2 votes
1 answer
61 views

Why isn't it "I will have been running, lest they have been catching me"?

The phrase in the title is obviously incorrect; however, I'm having difficulties figuring out how it could actually be grammatically constructed. To be clear, I'm aware this is a ridiculous ...
1 vote
0 answers
55 views

What is the difference between "presume" and "preassume"?

Preassume (third-person singular simple present preassumes, present participle preassuming, simple past and past participle preassumed) (transitive) To assume in advance; to presume. Wiktionary How ...
10 votes
12 answers
5k views

Is it considered rude or inappropriate to frequently address others as "friend" - often in a disingenuous fashion?

Recently, I have encountered (what I think is) a fairly common usage of the word "friend" that I consider to be insincere and offensive, but when I brought this up with the offending party, ...
0 votes
2 answers
2k views

Meaning of "very purpose"? [duplicate]

I am confused about the word "very purpose" what does it mean & where we can use it. For example: It is a canonical question for this very purpose. As per my English knowledge, I what ...
4 votes
1 answer
63 views

The origin of and the difference between primogenitor, primogeniture and progenitor

In Etymonline, the etymology of primogenitor (and primogeniture) is very similar to progenitor. The word's meaning: Ancestor or forefather. However, nowhere do I find the reason of the split from the ...
0 votes
0 answers
11 views

Is This Sentence Grammaticaly acceptble? [migrated]

Can I say [I insisted on that the event was a turkey]? I know that we say: sb insists on sth. But I didn't know before yesterday that we can say: sb insists that So is it common or correct to say: ...
0 votes
0 answers
55 views

Difference between roaring 20s and raging 20s?

One article A recession in America by 2024 looks likely from The Economist has a subtitle named: From the roaring to the raging 2020s From Google's online Dictionary(which is from Oxford): roaring ...
6 votes
2 answers
323 views

Why do “would” and “could” make questions polite?

An excerpt of the article from thoughtco.com: Key Words That Make Direct Questions More Polite In informal situations, one could use the word “can” in a direct sentence. In the United States, “can” ...
1 vote
4 answers
4k views

Is it all right to use “usen’t” instead of “didn’t use to”?

I know usen’t isn’t used in everyday English, but how about using it in an exam, an essay, or a formal letter? Is it right to use usen’t instead of didn’t use to?
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

What does the word "please" do?

Does please make any statement a question? Is it polite? "TAKE OUT THE TRASH" vs. "Take out the trash, please" is one an option? My son says when I say please it makes it a ...
2 votes
4 answers
506 views

Thematic comparison of 'collaborative' vs 'collective' in literature or culture

I'm trying to brand a product with either the word 'collaborative' or 'collective', but I am having trouble imagining what the well known thematic usage is with either word. I've always seen them ...
0 votes
0 answers
12 views

1- How do you like to be when...? 2- using close as a verb: get close, approach [migrated]

I had an argument with my teacher. in an exercise of ordering the words to form a sentence, I found a "maybe" strange one. the sentence I made is this: How do you like to be when a business ...
1 vote
1 answer
199 views

Is there a single word for two phrases which are synonymous with one another?

Is there a single concise word for two phrases which have the same or nearly the same meanings as one another? Lately, I have found myself Googling phrases like "loath to admit synonym" or &...
11 votes
8 answers
20k views

Pre-planning vs planning

The Oxford online dictionary defines "pre-plan" as to "plan in advance". But isn't that generally the point of planning - to do it in advance?
22 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why did ‘brainwash’ develop to be a negative word?

I was pondering this recently. Why didn’t the word develop to have positive meaning, as in: you wash your brain from the toxic thoughts, and instead come to mean indoctrination? Are there other words ...
-1 votes
2 answers
31 views

Does it make sense to use 'untenable' in this context?'

I'm writing about a character who is facing an arranged marriage. Does it make sense to say that, in a situation such as this, developing feelings for someone else is 'untenable'? Are there any other ...
5 votes
2 answers
40k views

When do we use “adept in” and “adept at”?

I was reading a chapter on choosing the appropriate preposition and found there are two different uses of adept with two different prepositions, namely “in” and “at”. The examples that were given did ...
1 vote
2 answers
88 views

"a tall price" vs "a high price" [duplicate]

One of the meanings of "tall" from dictionary.com: large in amount or degree; considerable: a tall price As I understood from this definition, "tall" in "a tall price" ...

1
2 3 4 5
134