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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Can "neither" be a conjunction by itself?

On LDOCE, at the definition page of "neither", there is one definition that describes the word as a conjunction, with the sentence: The authorities were not sympathetic to the students’ ...
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1 vote
1 answer
71 views

Generic-to-specific or general-to-specific?

I still do not know whether to use the word ‘generic’ or ‘general’ in this context. The context may be a little esoteric as it refers to ‘CSS’ (a styling-related computer coding language) and is ...
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1 answer
44 views

You [adjective] vs you are [adjective] [closed]

I've been wondering, why sometimes you don't say the verb in sentences, like "you stupid" instead of "you're stupid" or even "you are stupid"? What does it change? Is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Permission (Verb) vs Permit (Verb)?

I was wondering how exactly the verb-version of "permission" works, and if my usage of it has been correct at all. I've mostly been using it in a technical/computer-related context, however ...
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5 answers
79 views

What word describes intentionally consolidating power/information and maintaining it at the top of a hierachy to keep newcomers out?

What word describes intentionally consolidating power/information and maintaining it at the top of a hierachy to keep newcomers out? I think the word I'm looking for implies that there's some paranoia ...
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1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Is "nor" used correctly here as a conjunction? ("nor" at the beginning of a sentence)

I came across this sentence when I searched for the definition of the word "nor": "Cooking quickly doesn't mean sacrificing flavour. Nor does fast food have to be junk food." ...
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2 answers
57 views

Does saying that something "runs fine" imply that it does not in fact run "fine"?

I've long been very annoyed by English speakers who claim that something "works fine" or "runs fine". To me, it sounds like they are saying that it "functions OK, if you have ...
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3 votes
0 answers
71 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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-2 votes
1 answer
93 views

Adjective use after nouns: with and without that-clause [closed]

Let us take a look at these adjectives: able, similar, capable, ready, etc. We are free to stick them to the back of any noun thus avoiding using that/who-clause, like in these examples: Presumably, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
48 views

You must wait until January 22 [duplicate]

“You must wait until January 22 before you can get or use your pass”. Is that means I have to wait on the 23:59 of January 22? Or 23:59 of January 21? Before they will give me my pass?
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0 answers
31 views

Replacement for "sorry" when expressing condolences

When expressing condolences, I often hear phrases like "I am sorry to hear about your mother". This always struck me as strange, since 'sorry' is most commonly used to apologise after doing ...
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0 votes
1 answer
42 views

Is the phrase “Undefeatable challenge” completely wrong, or is it acceptable under certain circumstances?

Normally, the verb defeat cannot be applied to challenge, and the phrase seems like a semantic mistake: you can defeat an opponent, but you can beat a challenge. But there's a character who's over-...
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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
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Using "later" as a connector in formulas like "to, later, make a new proposal"

I was wondering if it would be correct to use later in a construction like this: "We will study the domain of interest to, later, propose several improvements" The idea is to write a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Argumentative son is reprimanded during conversation assertively to "stay shut". Is the usage of "stay shut" correct? [closed]

In order to quieten the son's inappropriate argument which was getting out of control, the mother commands the son to "stay shut". Is the term "stay shut" correct or incorrect?
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4 answers
107 views

Residual soil or surplus soil

What do you call soil from earthwork in construction— soil that may be remaining at some places, and that won't be used even after the construction project is finished? I have two candidates: residual ...
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1 vote
1 answer
42 views

Trying to help but ending up causing more harm than good [duplicate]

I'm writing a paper on Romeo and Juliet and how Frair Lawrence and the Nurse are to blame for Romeo and Juliet's deaths and I'm looking for a word. I've looked at other posts but I just see the same ...
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0 answers
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What would be a suitable word for "The ability to accept rude things that are being told"? [duplicate]

Could anyone please help me find a word (preferably single word) in this situation: I want to praise someone for the following two things: The way they say rude things The way they accept rude ...
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2 votes
1 answer
65 views

Why is a Mormon settlement called a "colony" while other settlements are not?

I was reading several articles about the Oregon Trail and other movements west, mostly after the American Civil War. Several sources refer to Mormon settlements as "colonies", though these ...
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1 vote
1 answer
66 views

"Check with" or "check in with"

"check" in the meaning: to look at something or ask somebody to find out if something/somebody is present, correct or true or if something is how you think it is (source: Oxford Learner's ...
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0 votes
0 answers
31 views

"Check on" or "check in on"

"check on" in the meaning: to make sure that there is nothing wrong with somebody/something (source: Oxford Learner's Dictionaries) I'll just go and check on the children. "check in ...
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0 votes
3 answers
155 views

"Check" or "check in on"

This verb, "to check", really confused me. Here's what I have found so far: "check" in the meaning: to examine something to see if it is correct, safe or acceptable (source: ...
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1 vote
2 answers
116 views

Weird word that I and my cousins used to say when young?

When I was young, my cousins and I used to use the word: "Hon" (at least that's how I would write it) to get validation from another person that something occurred. Example: Hon Alex that ...
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0 votes
0 answers
20 views

In what contexts can I use the terms "year-on-year"/"year-over-year"?

Specifically, can I use "year-on-year" or "year-over-year" to describe a change in periods shorter than a year across different years (such differences in the year to date). If, ...
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0 answers
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Is "viewing something pictorially" redundant?

Say that there is some concept X which I want to expose to the reader to as such: (formal explanation of X) Viewing X pictorially: (depiction of X in an image) An example of X would be a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
53 views

Is it correct to say "he is realized" to show a gain of awareness?

The following is the sentence I am writing: "Perhaps, he trembles at the sight of this act not solely for the fear of exposure but because he is realized of the horridness of his actions." ...
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3 votes
2 answers
170 views

A peculiar use of "shall" in North Carolina's constitution, Art. VI

Article VI of North Carolina's constitution from 1971 contains a provision whose constitutionality is being discussed over at law SE. Section 8 starts Sec. 8. Disqualifications for office.       The ...
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0 votes
1 answer
55 views

Is this word an example of agglutination or compounding? [closed]

One of the longest words* in the English dictionary is supercalifraglisticexpialidocious and introduced in the OED in 1931. However, is this word an example of compounding or agglutination. People say ...
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

What do you call the strips on shoes that are often used instead of laces?

Some shoes uses laces and so you lace them. But some shoes use these long strips (see picture below for an example). How do you call these strips and what is the proper alternative for the verb to ...
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are both gasoline and mains gas called "gas" in the USA? [closed]

I know that "petrol" is called "gasoline" in the USA, but frequently shortened into just "gas". But then there's also the English word "gas", which to the best ...
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0 votes
2 answers
51 views

Is "to call someone out" in the sense of "to criticize/accuse/shame publicly" a new use? [duplicate]

Using "to call out" in the sense described is linked to heightened awareness of social justice and the use of social media. This Wikipedia article specifically links the origin of the ...
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0 answers
17 views

Art is anything you can get away with [duplicate]

This is one of Andy Warhol's famous slogans. Question: Why is the word "with" at the end of the sentence? Could you say: Art is anything with which you can get away? Is Warhol's slogan ...
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0 votes
0 answers
51 views

"In the reach of" or "in reach of"?

Which one is better? For this reason, maximum power is not in reach of electromagnetic sources. or For this reason, maximum power is not in the reach of electromagnetic sources. The intended ...
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2 votes
3 answers
725 views

To add vs to be added

Friends, what exactly is the difference between There is something to add and There is something to be added ? It would be great to hear 1) what do both sentences mean to a native speaker and 2) ...
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0 votes
0 answers
18 views

Why do we say "It's me (or our name)" when we answer the phone? Why do we use "it" to answer the phone? [duplicate]

I kind of understand why we say "This is ..." when answering the phone; I'm guessing that "this" refers to the person who answers the phone. However, I can't understand and find ...
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0 votes
1 answer
41 views

Do you smelt ore? [closed]

Or do you smelt metal FROM ore? I can’t tell which one (or both) is correct. I looked up the definition but I’m still not 100% sure.
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0 votes
0 answers
58 views

The usage of the word ethereal for taste

Since ethereal can mean "extremely delicate and light", I wonder if it can be used for the taste of particular beverages or food? In a sentence, it'd be like this "The first cup was ...
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0 votes
0 answers
33 views

"He was overcome by a sudden surge of fear" or "A sudden surge of fear overcame him" - Which is more correct?

"He was overcome by a sudden surge of fear" or "A sudden surge of fear overcame him" - Which is more correct? Is the latter one not idiomatic?
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1 vote
1 answer
54 views

Is the term “donor” appropriate to refer to a machine used for parts? [closed]

For example, I am intending to purchase an iCloud locked phone to use for parts. Would calling the phone a “donor” be appropriate in such a context?
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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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0 votes
0 answers
54 views

"Choose burger" or "Choose the burger" or "Choose a burger". Picking the right article [closed]

Which one is correct? Specifically, the context is a restaurant menu with multiple choices available when the main item/dish is picked. Should articles be used generally when listing choices? Could ...
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1 vote
1 answer
32 views

"Transgress the literary/genre fiction divide"

"The novel transgresses the literary/genre fiction divide." Is it proper to say that something transgresses a divide? Is a binary also transgressed? and can we use use the slash punctuation ...
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2 votes
2 answers
222 views

Was the word "inoculation" regularly used for introducing a disease for purposes other than inducing immunity?

While researching the history/historiography of the British potentially spreading smallpox via blankets at the siege of Fort Pitt during Pontiac's War, I came across General Amherst's letters. These ...
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1 vote
1 answer
67 views

Unusual usages of usurp

Google gives the definition of the word usurp as Take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force. and cites the Oxford English dictionary. This definition means that someone who takes ...
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2 votes
2 answers
70 views

Can the word "cater" be followed by an object before a preposition?

Just as the question title says, can the word "cater" be followed by an object? I know what the word means and the prepositions that typically follow it. I just want to know if the ...
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0 votes
0 answers
22 views

Is it correct to say, "The king gifted him with a generous amount of gold, horses and chariots"? [duplicate]

Is it correct to say... The king gifted him with a generous amount of gold, horses and chariots Not sure whether 'amount' can be used here, since 'horses' and 'chariots' are listed with an ...
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  • 209
0 votes
1 answer
99 views

Usage of nourish vs nurture [closed]

What is the difference in meaning between the following sentences? Do they both read well? These conversations will nourish your relationship. These conversations will nurture your relationship.
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0 votes
0 answers
74 views

Looking for a word for being in multiple places at different time

So I am writing content for a health care company, (Doctor's Profiles) they did provide the content but I want it to be a bit professional. So Here's an example but I want the opposite of this. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
78 views

Meaning of “this food has a bite to it”

If I say “I prefer my steak/burger to have a bite to it”, I’m referring to it having enough thickness or density. Is this a proper usage of the word “bite”? My wife says she’s always heard the word ...
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0 votes
0 answers
38 views

Can “deserve it” be used alone?

Can a phrase “deserve it” be used alone? Let’s say there’s a phrase “open it, deserve it” written on a package or a pizza box, would it make sense?
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