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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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current usage of "insightful"?

I frequently see "insightful" used to mean "provides insight", whereas I would agree with the answers to this question that "revealing", "illuminating", etc. ...
Ben Bolker's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k 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....
meepyer's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
78 views

Can a present-participle (compound) verb which could function as an adjective be further modified with -ly become an adverb?

For example, if the height of an platform is such as to be sickness-inducing, then could the platform be said to be sickness-inducingly high? Or take the example of mind-boggling -> mind-bogglingly....
TylerDurden's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
108 views

Where does the subcontinental usage of 'one' to mean 'named' come from?

Sometimes, when reading texts published in India, written by authors of Indian origin, I notice a usage of the word one in the sense of 'named,' or 'is called.' For instance, it's present in this ...
Heartspring's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
1k views

Using “respectively” in parenthesis in mathematical writing

In general, I know how to create a correct construction using respectively. But in the specific case when respectively is used together with double parentheses, I'm a bit lost. Which of the following ...
abebebebahabe's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
73 views

Nouns which change meaning in question/statement form

Most questions, when converted into statements, retain their overall "meaning", i.e. the statement is asserting what the question is asking. Question: Can you grate the pears? Assertion: ...
Nico A's user avatar
  • 151
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

to emanate from vs to stem from

Are the words to emanate from and to stem from synonym in the following sense? Do you think I can swap with each other without changing the meaning of the following sentences ? 1 (Of a feeling, ...
Mrt's user avatar
  • 1,468
3 votes
0 answers
5k views

"Amazed by how" vs "amazed how"

I am amazed by how friendly these people are. I'm amazed how friendly these people are. What is the difference between the usage with by and the usage without?
mimi's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
3 answers
193 views

The verb "mark" with events in time

The 19th century was marked by the abolition of slavery. The 19th century marked the abolition of slavery. Which is correct? The meaning is that the abolition of slavery was an important event in the ...
zaliko1963's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
187 views

Ad hominem for non persons

An ad hominem argument is typically, according to Wikipedia, "a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument ...
SoZettaSho's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
300 views

English can be a right dastard sometimes. Why not?

Bastard, meaning one begotten and born out of wedlock, is a very old word from Old French (earliest OED citation 1297). Dastard, meaning one who meanly or basely shrinks from danger; a mean, base, or ...
Dan's user avatar
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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
2 votes
0 answers
34 views

When can we reduce "while clause" as in "don't eat lying down" and "don't talk facing the fan"?

It seems like native speakers say "don't eat lying down" and "don't talk facing the fan" when they mean "don't eat while lying down" and "don't talk while facing the ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
3k views

The number is smaller, fewer or less than?

I always make confusion about the correct usage of the comparative for "irregular" adjectives (I don't know if this is the correct term). Recently I had to write "the number of X is ...
robertspierre's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
129 views

The usage of "you" vs. "yourself" in an imperative sentence

In the sentence "Learn how to protect you and your property . . ." I believe that "you" should be changed to "yourself," since the understood imperative subject of the ...
Patrick Owens's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
2k views

Why is “remove to” no longer used?

By Googling, the difference between remove and move can be found as follows: As verbs the difference between remove and move is that remove is to move something from one place to another, especially ...
wordsalad's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
185 views

Is "one" a pronoun in these usages?

In the question "Can you use “including” after an uncountable word?" on the SE.ELL site, forms such as He listened to all of the music, including the bad ones. are discussed. My answer there ...
David Siegel's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
360 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/...
Matifou's user avatar
  • 151
2 votes
0 answers
6k 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 ...
Sheila's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
51 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...?
eisi0523's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
105 views

neither/nor + plural

Buckingham Palace confirms to @NewshubNZ that neither Prince Philip or Queen Elizabeth have died. I thought the plural have was a typo but I also found a similar sentence on bbc.com Neither the ...
Gestaltfilter's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
602 views

fewer vs less, when concurrently describing countable and uncountable things

Which is more correct? Requested data must be 19 characters or fewer Requested data must be 19 characters or less There is a comparison between the actual and expected character counts, which is a ...
Plato's user avatar
  • 230
2 votes
0 answers
108 views

Possible use of "formal": absence of rigor

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word "formal" used as an adjective has, among other definitions, these meanings ([...] are examples or precisions): Done in accordance with convention or ...
MoebiusCorzer's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
1k views

When NOT to use "be able to"

I sometimes encounter sentences that use "be able to," which sounds redundant or unnecessary to me. Here is an example: You have to find data, details, and testimonies that are able to support ...
Rchrd's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
783 views

Using "since" instead of "because"

I want to use the word since as because, but I don't know if I can add the word 'then' after it. For example, is the sentence 'since we have A and B, then there is no need for you to get C' correct? ...
Mathemagician's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
27k views

Is it better to say "research under Prof. Aho" or "research under supervision of Prof. Aho"?

When a professor advises and supervises a PhD or MS student to complete their research, is it advisable say? The student is conducting his study under Prof. X. Or The student is conducting ...
Mehdi Haghgoo's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
3k views

Is there a nuance in meaning between 'non-managed' and 'unmanaged'?

Context: I am writing about 'devices not managed by professionals' and debating the subtleties between non-managed devices vs. unmanaged devices
Relango's user avatar
  • 125
2 votes
1 answer
775 views

Most concise way to describe people of multiple nationalities, not family origins

A problem I'm having is finding a concise way to differentiate between when people are a citizen of one country but have family origins in another, and dual citizens. For example, is there an easy way ...
Yvain's user avatar
  • 225
2 votes
1 answer
102 views

what is the meaning of 'ruinously'?

What meaning does 'ruinously' convey in the given sentence: "A city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name." Does it mean that, it was so badly sad that it had forgotten its name or that ...
saanjh's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
27 views

extension from home or extension to home

We are working on a preschool flyer. We describe ourselves as an extension from home. Is it extension from home or extension of home? Thanks
Beth's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
142 views

Using "isn't" in place of "is" to imply how thorough I will be

I'm using a phrase like "We will see if there isn’t a way we can help you with that problem" and I've done this many times before. The (perhaps incorrectly) implied meaning is that I'll exhaust all ...
violentvinyl's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
7k views

do anything vs do something

Which is correct? Please let us know if we need to do anything about it. or Please let us know if we need to do something about it.
Bells's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it "x- and y-directions" or "x- and y-direction"?

Consider the following sentence: We perform the filtering process in the x- and y-directions sequentially. Is 'directions' correct in this case? I believe it is, but 'direction' is very commonly ...
InitialConditions's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
465 views

X being Y versus X is Y

I was recently chastised by my supervisor for describing something as being something else. The problem: "Species A has genes X1, X2 and X3, Species B has genes Y1 and Y2. Protein X3 being the ...
user8998021's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
Ohood.94's user avatar
  • 105
2 votes
2 answers
14k views

What's the difference between "aspects of" and "aspects to"?

I just wrote There are two strange aspects of this situation. Then I decided that There are two strange aspects to this situation. sounded better, but I don't know why. There are certainly ...
tparker's user avatar
  • 1,215
2 votes
1 answer
558 views

The word "afterclap"

Merriam-Webster defines "afterclap" as "an unexpected damaging or unsettling event following a supposedly closed affair." However, a pastor from Oregon, John Mark Comer, wrote an ...
Louel's user avatar
  • 2,657
2 votes
2 answers
8k views

Is there a clear preferred usage between *lifespan* and *life span*

I haven't been able to find any clear guidance on this. To me, life span looks wrong, but I have no evidence to support my intuition. A tentative look (webster vs oxford) suggests that perhaps BrE ...
Some_Guy's user avatar
  • 1,141
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
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
1 vote
1 answer
91 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
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
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

How did "be like"+meme become popular?

I am a Chinese student who studies linguistics. My BA thesis is about the usage of "be like" (non-finite form of "be") followed by a meme. E.g., (image source) such "be like&...
Chessa's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
87 views

"Are you challenged to lead your house?"

In Martin Scorsese's new film Killers of the Flower Moon, I heard a line from Robert De Niro's character: Are you challenged to lead your house? (Leonardo DiCaprio's character answers: No)... You've ...
desmo's user avatar
  • 649
1 vote
0 answers
61 views

Would not 'armistice' be a better word to use than 'pause' in present discussions of 'ceasefire'?

In the current situation, there are calls for a 'ceasefire' and calls for a 'pause'. Humanitarian pauses and ceasefires – what are the differences? Chatham House org But there exists a better word ...
Nigel J's user avatar
  • 24.8k
1 vote
0 answers
38 views

Verbs that go with a specific noun -- name for this?

The verb for lying is "told","I told a lie." Occasionally I will hear, "I said a lie." The latter usage really is cringey to me although perhaps "said" is a ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 603
1 vote
0 answers
272 views

Can “standalone” ever be an adverb?

Is it correct to use word standalone as an adverb? All the major dictionaries only mention that it is an adjective. However, I’ve seen many sources use it as an adverb. For example: This program can ...
Danny's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

"Who is" or "who was" the last person to do something?

I'm currently watching the US open at one of the commentators said "Andy Roddick was the last American male to win a grand slam". Is this correct, or should it be "he is the last ...
James's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

Looking for a term to describe this juxtaposition

Our city is planning to re-purpose a Confederate Civil War Memorial by adding the names of Union soldiers & former the slaves who were freed in that era and fought for the Union. Would the joining ...
CeCe Reigle's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
62 views

A term for the property of being able to be accessed by many people?

How do I say that a given object has the property that it can be accessed by many people? I am trying to use that property in a sentence as follows: Y is unreliable since it inherits the *property ...
Saucy Goat's user avatar

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