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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Confused in the usage of "where" in a non-interrogative sentence

I was writing an essay, but I came across a weird sentence: Where peace prevails, justice prevails. In the above sentence, I am confused if the usage of "where" at the beginning of the ...
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0 votes
0 answers
12 views

Asking that something "does" or "do"? [duplicate]

Consider the following sentence: We ask that the diagram commute. My hunch was that it should be "commutes" and not "commute". I know that for the sentences starting with "...
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0 answers
22 views

Act of intentional deceit [duplicate]

I’m not looking for mislead, beguile, or con. It’s akin somewhat like red herring and it’s the practice of intentionally leading someone to a false conclusion usually for the sake of disproving them. ...
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4 votes
3 answers
105 views

When did “shrinkflation” first appear in writing?

With the recent trend of increasing inflation a new term has come to the fore: shrinkflation. The noun shrinkflation is a blend or portmanteau word formed from the verb ‘shrink’ and the noun ‘...
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0 votes
0 answers
20 views

Why is "should" used instead of "would" all over The Fellowship of the Ring? [duplicate]

Over and over again, the author uses "should" where "would" would be right: I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well ...
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0 votes
1 answer
44 views

When is it appropriate to use the word "flavor" to describe different types of food/drink?

Recently my partner and I were gifted a variety box of Sees candies (one of those assorted boxes that contains individual chocolates of different types with different fillings and shapes). My partner ...
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0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Is "the art and craft of ..." a common expression in English?

As a German I am wondering whether "the art and craft of" (e.g.) teaching, cooking, etc. as in the title of a book I recently came across ("The art and craft of problem solving") ...
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0 answers
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What is the word for extra, unneeded descriptive words describing something in a sentence? [duplicate]

What’s the term for extra, synonymous unneeded adjectives describing a noun or verb in a sentence?
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0 votes
1 answer
29 views

Is it correct to say that similar groups show high levels of "stereotypicity/stereotypicality"?

I am writing a scientific paper describing a group of cells that are consistently patterned together through different developmental stages. Phrased another way, the components of the groups are the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
363 views

What does Jesse Stuart mean by "weaker devour the stronger"? [closed]

When I was reading the short story Love by Jesse Stuart, I came across this sentence, the weaker devour stronger even among human beings. Can the weak really devour the strong? I think it would make ...
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0 votes
1 answer
53 views

Is it necessary to write "by" before a percent increase? [duplicate]

In the sentence, "Immigration increased by 28%", would the "by" be correct or could the sentence read, "Immigration increased 28%"?
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

What's the proper usage of the word "legion" in terms of a large, indefinite number?

The usage of the word "legion" sometimes sounds awkward to me. E.g., His fans are legion. To make it make sense, I replaced the word with "numerous", but it's still a "false ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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The usage of the words “Decagon” and “vertex” [closed]

I am writing a blog in which I present a 10-element model of “motivation”. That is to say, I have identified ten components which affect the motivation in people. The audience of this blog is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
53 views

Can you "finish" something because you don't plan to do it?

Q: "Have you finished washing the car?" A: "I don't plan to wash the car, so yes, I am finished washing the car." Is this appropriate usage of the word "finish", or is it ...
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0 votes
0 answers
16 views

The identifying properties of "it/that" against the question of "who" [duplicate]

When I ask the question "who broke the bike?" and I respond with "it was Jane", is the word 'it' a pronoun identifying Jane? My understanding is that 'it' is referring to "the ...
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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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4 votes
1 answer
319 views

Crenellated or Castellated

I read an article today. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60767454 It used the word "crenellated". I thought I knew the word "castellated", but I'm getting more confused. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
26 views

Can the word "abstract" mean "to apply payment"?

I use a proprietary piece of software at work for entering AR payments and the user interface calls this process of applying payments to invoices "abstracting." This term is commonly used in ...
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2 votes
1 answer
31 views

"Round" versus "around" in contexts where "around" seems right?

In Tolkien's book The Hobbit, he constantly writes "round" when it seems to me as if it should be "around". Not just in one or a few places, but all the time. There is no way that ...
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0 votes
1 answer
32 views

Does "multiple" have a special meaning within the context of industry?

I just came across this unusual usage of the word "multiple" in two separate articles about Daimler's name change and it got me wondering if it has some industry-specific meaning. Example 1 (...
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0 votes
0 answers
25 views

A word for creepiness without reason? [duplicate]

What would be one word for a deep-rooted, unsettling fear at a creepy place without any particular reason, just an unfounded, instinctive and unnatural feeling that something is not right, something ...
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0 votes
0 answers
25 views

A word for a feeling of instinctive and unfounded fear to the observer has no foresight into? [duplicate]

What would be one word for a deep-rooted, unsettling fear at a creepy place without any particular reason, just an unfounded, instinctive and unnatural feeling that something is not right, something ...
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  • 102
-1 votes
1 answer
65 views

What is the difference between fixation and preservation?

I'm currently doing some translations and I found one phrase that is being specially difficult: "After being fixed with formalin, the specimens were preserved in ethyl alcohol." Even after ...
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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 votes
2 answers
33 views

"We" vs "One of us" vs "Someone" [closed]

Is there a difference between We One of us Someone ... will be here throughout the day to provide service Is one of them grammatically incorrect, or would they change the meaning? Thank you
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0 votes
1 answer
39 views

Which is more appropriate to the context; from or after. The context is Medical English [closed]

Sentence A: She is recovering from a surgery Sentence B: She is recovering after a surgery
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0 votes
1 answer
35 views

Where to insert a caveat?

I am stumped. I have a sentence I wish to write but am uncertain where I can insert the caveat. The sentence is either: I believe, at their core, all writers are daydreamers. or I believe all ...
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1 vote
0 answers
29 views

What is the word to describe speaking in the negative perspective? [closed]

Instead of saying "It is sunny", someone says "It is not cloudy" or "It is the opposite of cloudy". Is there a word to describe the last 2 sentences to mean speaking in ...
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0 votes
1 answer
56 views

Is it understandable to say "I'm listening to the 70's"?

Is it grammatically correct and understandable to say the following, where the word "music" is omitted.? I'm listening to the 70's"
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0 votes
1 answer
40 views

Can 'disposition' in the sense defined below relate to inanimate objects?

A disposition is defined as "a natural tendency to do something, or to have or develop something" [Cambridge Dictionary]. For example; A book has the ability to be opened. Is this ...
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1 vote
0 answers
23 views

Check vs. Verify (technical/engineering documents) [duplicate]

I'm translating a maintenance task report into Spanish and they use "check + verify" interchangeably in the source document. They're talking about Checking the tightening torque Checking ...
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1 vote
1 answer
44 views

"biggest failure" versus "greatest failure" [closed]

Which one is the correct way to say it? "War is and always remains one of the biggest human failures." or "War is and always remains one of the greatest human failures." Or are ...
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0 votes
1 answer
28 views

kick as in "to go from one place to another as circumstance or whim dictates"

I've just come across a meaning of the verb "to kick" I didn't know before. To provide the context, I'd like to give a Youtube link, but I'm not quite sure about this site's link policies. I ...
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  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
55 views

When and where to use 'sanguine' in the most appropriate way? [closed]

I received an email from a client that he was 'sanguine' with the offer made. I understand he felt positive about the prospects of the offer as mentioned in various English language dictionaries. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
57 views

What is the purpose of a debrief meeting before an event?

I recently received an invite for a debrief meeting for an event in the future, to inform us about the proceedings of the event. I was a bit confused since I am acquainted with such debriefs being ...
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0 votes
1 answer
28 views

" flip-up/down the switch " or "turn up/down the switch"

" flip-up/down the switch " or "turn up/down the switch", I'm wondering which one sounds more natural or both of them are good. Help me pls.
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2 votes
1 answer
53 views

What does sartorial connote?

What does “sartorial” connote? Looking it up, sartorial means relating to tailored clothing, possibly “high fashion”. Just how old fashioned is it? Is it used more often for men than women? Was it ...
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0 votes
0 answers
91 views

Usage about "interpret...as..."

For example, a guy followed my advice for him on learning English and he can now effectively communicate with people in English though not that great in terms of pronunciation, grammar, etc. While in ...
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0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Is it OK to say "You too" in reply to "Happy X Day"? [duplicate]

He said happy men's day. I said "You too". Is it OK?
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0 votes
1 answer
63 views

What does "going on nine" mean? [duplicate]

I heard a native speaker say I built an eight-figure company going on nine and I don't neccesarily think I've ever worked hard. What does "going on nine" mean?
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0 votes
2 answers
236 views

The difference between saying you're "from somewhere", "raised somewhere" and "grew up somewhere."

Raised The Cambridge English dictionary states that to "raise" is: to take care of a person, or an animal or plant, until they are completely grown Taken literally, if you were to spend 0-...
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1 vote
0 answers
21 views

Any word or phrase for changing defeat to victory in a short time? [duplicate]

Is there a word or a phrase that describes a situation where you were losing nearly completely but you strongly fight back to win nearly completely? Words like "victory" or "triumph&...
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0 votes
2 answers
140 views

Use of "circa" in relation to time

The definition of "circa" is generally regarded as "approximately" in relation to dates. However, how well can the use of "circa" also be extended to connect a current ...
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0 votes
0 answers
52 views

On which side is a left-hand pocket?

I have "always" thought that appending the word "hand" to a direction was completely superfluous: e.g., when someone says, "It's on the right-hand side," I wonder why it'...
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0 votes
1 answer
33 views

which is correct? "traffic congestion" or "traffic congestions" [closed]

i know the word "congestion" is uncountable itself. However, in some articles, I saw "traffic congestions." I am wondering if the usage below is correct or not. Traffic congestion ...
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0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Why is it acceptable to say "I've got the flu" but not "I've got the covid" [duplicate]

I realize that some people say "the covid" ("Did you get the covid?") but it generally sounds uneducated to my ear. But I can't figure out why.
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the word "chum" to mean friend a common word?

Does the average American know its meaning? Is it used commonly in the spoken language? What connotations does it have? Is it gender specific?
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0 votes
1 answer
40 views

Simple Abbreviation Confusion

You know that a lot of words can be abbreviated like: You know -> y'know About -> 'bout Going to -> gonna and much more To be honest, I found one interesting abbreviation: Of course ->...
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0 votes
1 answer
34 views

An university lecture and a sequence of university lectures? [closed]

An university lecture can be a single event of at most a few hours on a single day. I think the term can also refer to a sequence of the events described above, typically weekly over multiple months. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
87 views

Does brevity refer to speech and writing or the content itself? [closed]

I’m unsure whether using the word brevity in my context is correct. Essentially in the foreword of a document I want to say that the document itself only contains the necessary parts/topics rather ...
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