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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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” ...
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3 votes
0 answers
76 views

outsized vs. outsize

Like many, I have often come across phrases such as "outsized influence" or "outsized contribution". However, once when trying to apply this myself, it was suggested (I think it ...
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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....
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0 answers
830 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 ...
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3 votes
0 answers
360 views

How does one determine when a comedian is also a humorist?

Wikipedia's list of humorists are categorised as people who write or perform humorous material, but the article also states: A humorist is usually distinct from a stand-up comedian. Woody Allen ...
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3 votes
0 answers
101 views

A term for a particular or general skill that needs to be improved and acted on?

The title says it all. I'm unable to come up with the term for something you have as a part of a skill-set that needs to be further improved upon. It may be something very simple that is also at the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is "Flippable" a valid word? If not, what is a better alternative?

I want a word that means "something that can be flipped". Eg. "I have designed a flippable card like animation for my website." I found the word in Wiktionary, however I did not find it in any ...
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3 votes
1 answer
36k views

be intended to vs intend to

I see a lot of examples of be intended to and intend to. Both of them mean plan to do. Some examples: Selling was my game and I intended to be a winner. The ban is intended to be permanent. I guess ...
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3 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is "Additionals" a word?

Google Translate recognizes it as a noun, but search with it and Google suggests me to use additional instead. Is it a recognized word? As in My order came with a list of additionals that were ...
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  • 131
2 votes
0 answers
60 views

Is "before" also an adjective?

I searched "define before" in Google and found out "before" is not listed as an adjective in most dictionaries. Google's built-in dictionary, which is one of the Oxford ...
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  • 141
2 votes
0 answers
119 views

Does "stipulated" in a mathematical context mean "assumed"?

I don't have a specific example, but I seem to remember mathematical texts using the word "stipulated" to mean "assumed". Say something like ... and the validity of the last ...
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2 votes
0 answers
77 views

Can you use "elated" to describe something like "service"?

Can you use the word “elated” as an adjective to describe something that isn’t attributable to a person or living thing? Can “customer service” be elated? I’m editing an advertisement that talks ...
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2 votes
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299 views

What does the exact phrase "on part with" mean?

I encountered that phrase in the following context. The first numbered item in an unofficial translation of the "Casablanca Protocol"of 1965 says: "(1) Whilst retaining their Palestinian nationality, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
157 views

What is the word for students under the same advisor

I'd like to know what is the word to describe students under the same advisor in graduate program, e.g. PhD program. Normally, students in the same department who attend the same classes are called ...
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2 votes
0 answers
33 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: ...
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  • 141
2 votes
0 answers
1k 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
3k views

What does it mean by latest appointment? Does it mean earliest or last?

When someone says: 'What's the latest appointment available today?' Does it mean last appointment available today OR first available appointment today after time now? I was under the impression ...
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2 votes
0 answers
109 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
322 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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2 votes
0 answers
5k 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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2 votes
0 answers
47 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...?
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2 votes
0 answers
126 views

Closeness and “alongside”

When describing the relative position of two line segments, one might use the word alongside to communicate that the line segments are close together and run parallel to one another. I'm trying to ...
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  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
461 views

"To rejoice" as a transitive verb

From the fourth sentence of the Edgar Allan Poe story 'The Oblong Box': "…and among other names, I was rejoiced to see that of Mr Cornelius Wyatt…" 'Rejoiced' here is being used as a transitive verb,...
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2 votes
0 answers
19k views

"Connected by" vs "Connected with" vs "Connected to"

I want to know the difference and when to use which construction. For instance: The island and the city are connected with a bridge or The island and the city are connected by a bridge ? ...
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2 votes
0 answers
745 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? ...
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2 votes
0 answers
980 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, ...
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2 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?
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  • 131
2 votes
1 answer
620 views

What is a good substitute for "HOPE"?

We hope you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you again soon. How do I ask this question without using "HOPE" twice? I would like to keep it short and simple, as this will be used for text ...
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  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
182 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 ...
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  • 225
2 votes
1 answer
437 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
94 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 ...
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  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
25 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
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  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

Is it correct to express possessive form of the word "past"?

The title a colleague came up with shows a possessive form of the word past - but it sounds off to me. Is this correct and if not, how do you suggest I phrase it instead? Melt the weight by ...
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2 votes
1 answer
134 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does a "window of time" get smaller or shorter?

Also is there a general rule with such phrases?
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2 votes
1 answer
5k 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.
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  • 121
2 votes
2 answers
8k 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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2 votes
2 answers
307 views

pretentious happy faces

I am wondering if the following sentence reflects a correct usage of pretentious: She put on a pretentious happy face. The definition of pretentious says "adjective attempting to impress by ...
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  • 121
2 votes
4 answers
510 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
526 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
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  • 1,083
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 ...
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  • 153
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/...
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1 vote
0 answers
57 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
34 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
23 views

Does "later" ever unambiguously refer to an unspecified time in the future?

I'm wondering about whether the meaning of "later" always can mean "later today" or if it may sometimes clearly have the meaning of an unspecified time in the future, such as a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
54 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Is saying something you do not mean always irony?

The other day someone told me that it is irony every time you say something you don’t really mean. At first, I thought that wasn’t correct, but when I thought about it, I wasn’t quite sure. Is that ...
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1 vote
1 answer
70 views

misconstrue as mispresent/mislead

Can misconstrue be used to mean misrepresent/mislead? Looking at the definition https://www.thefreedictionary.com/misconstrue it only offers the side of the observer, ie as something being ...
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  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Why do people answer 'yes' to questions that aren't yes/no questions?

I have realised that (at least in the UK) when I ask "How are you?" many people usually answer things like "Yes, I'm great, thank you.". Given that it is not a yes/no question, ...
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