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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Mother tongue vs vernacular

Having been a non- native speaker, several times I had been asked to write my name IN VERNACULAR or IN MOTHER TONGUE during my college days. I couldn't tell apart the subtle difference and thought of ...
Selfie groufie's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is the phrase 'screw up' or 'screwed up' considered profanity/too harsh for young children? [duplicate]

I heard a character in a children's cartoon use it and was a bit shocked given that it was like a PG/Y7 rated show and I have thought of the word as a vulgar phrase, albeit a mild one. That being said,...
Conan Highwoods's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
275 views

Malady vs Disease

How does the word malady differ from disease? Also,in what contexts can the word malady be used? Below are my findings / details I have collected about the two: Many dictionaries list the word ...
Selfie groufie's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
150 views

Difference between "bizarre" and "eccentric"

In google translate, the word "bizarre" means "very strange or unusual, especially so as to cause interest or amusement.". But I believe that this description is more suited for &...
Redsbefall's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
359 views

What is a "pussy" when the word is used to describe a piece of British Army uniform in 1939?

I am currently transcribing and sharing my grandparents WW2 correspondence between 1939 and 1945. My question is in relation to this letter written on November 24th 1939. On page 3 my grandfather ...
Staker Humanoid's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
346 views

When was the term Godi Media coined?

When was the term Godi Media coined? I know that godi means lap so, it kind of means 'lapdog media'. It is been used very frequently in India to describe the media supporting the ruling government. ...
Talha Tayyab's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

What does " what time" mean Charles Dickens A tale of two cities Chap 3

What time, the mail-coach lumbered, jolted, rattled, and bumped upon its tedious way, with its three fellow-inscrutables inside. I do not get the use of "What time" in the preceding ...
anjan 's user avatar
  • 721
3 votes
2 answers
526 views

How did the adverbial use of "smack" come into use?

How did the adverbial use of "smack" come into use? For example: "smack in the middle" or "smack in front" of something etc.
anjan 's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
124 views

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
0 votes
1 answer
129 views

Diminutive forms - usage

Reading from some grammar sources, I came to know that bullet is a diminutive of ball. Nevertheless, as far as I know, bullet is nowadays mostly used in the sense of "gun-bullet". So can ...
Selfie groufie's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
55 views

What do we call an object that is going to be, or is being, or has been consolidated?

What do we call an object that is a member in the action of consolidation? Is "consolidatee" a word? For example, I have two sets of objects that are going to be consolidated into one single ...
MILO's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
92 views

Why can't we use 'halfly' to mean 'once every six months?' [closed]

I've read other since-closed questions revolving more around taxonomy and best practice as it relates to this recurring problem. But nothing on this one particular case seems to be in the archives, so ...
LTJ Bachman's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
373 views

Does "saying grace" necessarily have Christian connotations? Or can colloquial usage include different meanings?

Initially, I thought that the phrase "saying grace" was only used in English to mean when Christians say a prayer before eating. Some research has made me question whether "saying grace&...
Shaymin Gratitude's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
273 views

What is the origin of the phrase "in this day and age"?

I've searched but have not found any information about the origin of the phrase "in this day and age." Has anyone researched this? Why not write "today"?
snowbird240's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Is the usage of the word 'entitled' appropriate in the following extract from a city council meeting?

Is the usage of the word 'entitled' appropriate in the following extract from a city council meeting? An ordinance of the City Commission ... , relating to updating … Chapter 18 ... by: Amending ...
Michael Owen Sartin's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
101 views

How often is the phrase “writ large” used? [closed]

How often is the phrase “writ large” used? When did its use trend upwards?
Mel's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
1 answer
55 views

Is 'it avails to' ok to mean 'it is useful to'?

When trying to say 'it is useful/helpful/beneficial' to, for example, remember something, is 'it avails to remember' a structure that is/can be used? Would 'it serves to remember' be better? Many ...
Emilia's user avatar
  • 11
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Secondary meaning of "truce"

I recently came across a citation from the findings of the Nuremberg war crimes tribunals, specifically pages 568-570 of the Individual Judgment against Waldemar Klingelhöfer in the Einsatzgruppen ...
EditingFrank's user avatar
  • 1,879
1 vote
0 answers
31 views

"nauseous" vs "nauseating" - Differences? [duplicate]

What are the differences between "nauseous" and "nauseating"? Both words seem to have the same meaning in the dictionaries I have looked at. Nauseating: making you feel as if you ...
ARGYROU MINAS's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
273 views

Can the word "incredulous" be used to describe an unbelievable idea, instead of an unbelieving person?

The word incredulous is usually used to describe a person's unwillingness/inability to believe. But I would also like to use it to describe an idea's inability to be believed. For example, instead of ...
D.R's user avatar
  • 113
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Use of the word "murder" in slang?

I saw Forbidden Planet wherein the incredibly beautiful and equally naïve Altaira (played by the exactly as beautiful Anne Francis) is swimming and asks, "What's a bathing suit?") and the ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 593
0 votes
2 answers
104 views

Is "you've been snuggledorfed" a hapax legomenon?

Near the start of Are Species "Real"? by Gutsick Gibbon, they say: I hate to say it, but you have been tricked. You've been duped. You have been bamboozled. And to put it rather bluntly, ...
Galen's user avatar
  • 143
-1 votes
2 answers
128 views

Is there something awkward in an "the alert followed the meeting"?

I recently came across a question on our sister site, English Language Learners, which was asking about a question the OP had seen in some sort of language test which asked which word should be used ...
terdon's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
488 views

Can I use "dead bat" as an expression outside of cricket?

Wiktionary offers the following definition of "dead bat": Noun dead bat (plural dead bats) (cricket) The bat when held with a light grip such that it gives when the ball strikes it, and the ...
EleventhDoctor's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
18 views

"Aren't your hair long enough to be washed often?" [duplicate]

Is this statement grammatically correct? Aren't your hair long enough to be washed often? Should I say "Isn't your Hair...?"
Archit Garg's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
246 views

0.5 of the pizza, 0.5 of the class

Suppose that there is a pizza. 1/2 of the pizza means a half of the pizza. Does English use/allow the expression 0.5 of the pizza? Suppose that a class has 10 students. 1/2 of the class means 5 ...
imida k's user avatar
  • 253
0 votes
1 answer
68 views

Weaker term than concluded

I thought about the situation and concluded... Concluded seems too strong for the situation I am using this in. In particular, in view of the hierarchy between me and my conversation partner. What is ...
Papayapap's user avatar
  • 103
4 votes
1 answer
76 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
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How did barista enter the English language?

The Italian term barista (bartender) entered the English language in 1992 and its usage has considerably increased since then according to Google Books: "bartender in a coffee shop," as a ...
Gio's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
197 views

"I wondered if you were free this evening." - Does it sound like a normal polite question? [closed]

Below are sentences taken from the Oxford English Grammar Course (Oxford University Press 2015). The title of the section is "Requests, questions and suggestions". I wonder if you need any ...
EvgenyAndreev's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
102 views

Medicamentous vs medical

Are the adjectives medicamentous and medical synonymous? Clarification regarding minute difference between them and their usage will be appreciated. I ask this question in the score that I couldn't ...
Selfie groufie's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
802 views

Plain coffee or tea VS black coffee or tea

A coffee drink with no additives- no sugar no cream or no milk is called "black coffee". Can it be also called "plain coffee?" If yes, then can these callings be carried over to ...
Selfie groufie's user avatar
29 votes
8 answers
6k views

Can you use 'amok' without 'run'? How?

I've only ever seen the word 'amok' used in conjunction with the verb 'to run'. As in, 'running amok' or 'to run amok'. Is there an accepted way to use 'amok' without the verb 'to run'? Do you have ...
Miguel Bartelsman's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
46 views

Using "grow" in a subject + verb collocation

I have a problem with the usage of the word “grow.” Sentence 1: The wings grow. Sentence 2: The chick grows wings. I know “the hair grows” but not “I grow my hair.” But how about the sentences above? ...
Lila Greco's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
604 views

Is "turn comments" or "turning comments" an idiomatic way of responding to feedback?

I have a coworker who consistently says they are "turning comments" to mean "responding to feedback." In particular, it comes up in code review. Someone makes a comment, and the ...
Trevor's user avatar
  • 13
1 vote
1 answer
104 views

Looking to understand definite article use when referring to specific places [closed]

I'm trying to understand why, in certain situations, we sometimes do/don't use the definite article 'the' when referring to proper nouns (in this example, bars from my undergrad). Specifically: "...
nessefi's user avatar
  • 89
5 votes
1 answer
230 views

What's the difference between backward(s) and backwardly?

What is the difference between backwards, backward, and backwardly? They're all adverbs, but I feel like there's some sort of difference in their meanings and uses. Although this question is similar ...
ARGYROU MINAS's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
35 views

Is a "convivial item" a good way to describe an item that makes you happy or is there a better word? [closed]

I am trying to come up with a name for a thread where you post items that make you happy
Jackson's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
26 views

Why does "hall of cat" sound incorrect, while "hall of cats" sounds correct (and similar) [closed]

I am hoping to find rules that determine which nouns are acceptable in plural and singular form in the following sentence. I suspect this might be largely a matter of taste. hall of I notice that ...
user476012's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
108 views

If "to X" signifies an infinitive, what form is the phrase "to be able to X", and can it be split?

"To slowly walk" is a split infinitive which is sometimes frowned upon, in which case "slowly to walk" or "to walk slowly" is often preferred. "To be able to walk&...
TylerDurden's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
151 views

Difference among "suspicion" - "doubt" - "reservation" [closed]

I have a question related to word choice. I know the answer is "reservation", but I can't tell the difference among three other options. The question is as follows: If I were you, I would ...
Kate's user avatar
  • 5
2 votes
1 answer
298 views

What's the meaning of "jutul" ? Is it somehow related to "jotun" or giant? [closed]

When I saw the series Ragnarok, I saw that the word "Jutul" was used as the name for a fake family lineage which was actually "jotuns". But intuitively, just picking the word "...
Vicky Dev's user avatar
  • 499
-1 votes
1 answer
49 views

Is “to bottom line” actually gaining traction?

The following extract from grammarist.com suggests that the idiomatic expression “bottom line” is mainly used as a noun but it is increasingly also being used as a verb: By the 1980s, the term the ...
user 66974's user avatar
  • 67.4k
1 vote
2 answers
154 views

Meaning of the word "star" in Australian English?

This is "star" in the context of talking about celebrities. My impression from talking to one Australian is that the word has a negative meaning to refer to a "prima donna" -- ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 593
2 votes
2 answers
127 views

Can an argument be "undergirded"?

When writing an argumentative text (like a comment), it is common to support one's arguments with further explanations and examples. Can this process of supporting the main point of the argument be ...
Lasnik's user avatar
  • 131
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can "donate" be used as a ditransitive verb?

Are sentences like the following valid? He donated the charity five hundred dollars. She donated the children every penny she had. We donated the library a large collection of books. They won't ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 18.5k
0 votes
0 answers
24 views

What is this usage of "with"? [duplicate]

I wrote this sentence in a paper about computer science: Then these cells are divided into groups, with cells in each group being shared among the same set of processes. It sounds correct to me, but ...
apadana's user avatar
  • 417
-1 votes
1 answer
26 views

How to use “discipline“? [closed]

I want to know the usage of this word as much as possible. I only know that “discipline” is equivalent to rules.
zx Z's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
2 answers
53 views

The word means Focusing only on what is visible (Concentrating only on the appearance without understanding accurately) [closed]

Focusing only on what is visible (Concentrating only on the appearance without understanding accurately) I wanna describe as a word but I really don't know what it is.. What I want to write is 'A ...
Jennie Gray's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
142 views

Why is “a” in “What is a desperate humanity to do?”

I heard this sentence in the TV show Severance: “What is a desperate humanity to do?” Isn’t “humanity” an uncountable noun? Why is “a” in front of it? Thank you.
abcd's user avatar
  • 95