All Questions

2
votes
3answers
3k views

What does the phrase 'Quote-O-Matic' mean?

A sample application in the book 'Test Drive ASP.NET MVC' used this as its title.
17
votes
3answers
112k views

What's the difference between “imbalance” and “unbalance”?

Is there a difference in usage between imbalance and unbalance as nouns? Specifically, we are designing a product where we measure three (3) related quantities continuously. These three quantities ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“I can have it mailed to you if you wish.”

recently a visitor at work forgot his mobile charger at my desk. He wrote me an email asking if it's still there. For some mysterious reason I answered: "Yes, indeed. I can have it mailed to you if ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Version control messages: what tense?

In software engineering we use version control systems. Every time we check in modifications we usually leave a message with a summary of change. The question for me has always been: what is the most ...
42
votes
5answers
3k views

Does the quirky spelling in English actually make it easier to read?

I just finished reading the question asked by Bobnix, in which RegDwight referred to another question with an interesting answer by Kosmonaut. Kosmonaut refers to the great number of pictograms (Kanji ...
11
votes
4answers
12k views

Why does “ow” have two different sounds

Why is it that the "ow" in now makes the /aʊ/ sound while "ow" in snow makes the /oʊ/ sound? Has this always been, was it spelled differently and then changed, or was it spelled this way but the sound ...
16
votes
11answers
22k views

“I'm lovin' it”

How normal-sounding is the slogan "I'm lovin' it" to native ears? I know it sounded quite odd to me when I first heard it — and it still sometimes does —, but I can't even tell why. Sure, love is ...
82
votes
5answers
11k views

Why is it “geometric” but “theoretical”?

I just came across a course name: Geometric and Theoretical Optics. The mismatched endings bug me. Why do we have both -ical and -ic endings? Is there any difference in meaning between, say, ...
1
vote
2answers
458 views

What's the difference between “shake up” and “shape up”?

What's the difference between these phrasal verbs? Would you say "organization shake up", "organization shape up", either depending on context and desired meaning or neither? How about "documentation" ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

The usage of “Following”

Is is proper in English to use this structure: "The following is an example of a case where this applies." In a lot of technical writing, especially from authors where ESL applies, I find them using ...
31
votes
5answers
169k views

What does 'gotcha' mean?

What does 'gotcha' mean? When would you use it?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is “X on steroids” good?

As someone who follows tech, I have heard over and over that a product is "X on steroids." Now, outside of a few ailments and allergies that are treated with steroids, it is pretty well accepted that ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

When should you use “Title Case”?

Are there any guidelines for when you should capitalize titles/headings or not? Should you always do this in English? I am referring to A Capitalized Heading vs A capitalized heading
0
votes
3answers
811 views

What does 'greatest' mean in art?

There's a whole bunch of lists of "greatest ..." in the world of art. Does it mean influence, artistic excellence, ...? edit: I've seen a number of greatest movies lists and I wonder what they mean ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Meaning of “can't tell if he's coming or going”

I've heard this phrase in some lyrics and even read it in some online articles. don't know if he's coming or going What's the meaning and correct usage of coming or going?
30
votes
5answers
548k views

Is “Many thanks” a proper usage?

I saw emails from English people with Many Thanks as a signing off phrase. Is that proper usage? Or is it a phrase created by continental English speakers due to the influence of their native language?...
4
votes
2answers
786 views

When do we need to add 's' to a numeric year?

I have found some statements using the format years instead of year. When do we use years like 1950s and 2010s, rather than year like 1950 and 2010? Fish stocks here began to decline in the 1950s, ...
1
vote
5answers
2k views

“human brain capacity” or “human brain's capacity”

What is the correct version please? The human brain capacity to do something. The human brain's capacity to do something.
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What does “in the heat of the night” mean?

"In the heat of the night" doesn't simply mean hot weather at night, does it?
2
votes
2answers
15k views

Difference between accounting, finance and budget [closed]

What's the difference between accounting, finance and budget? Are some of them included in the others?
21
votes
4answers
107k views

What are the important differences between Canadian and American (USA) English?

English is not my first language; the little English I know is mostly from the USA. I know some of the differences between British English (or just English?) and American English, and the same with ...
10
votes
2answers
43k views

What is the correct pronunciation and etymology of “corps”?

I tried looking up the word "corps" on dictionary.reference.com and it says it's pronounced "kawr", "kohr", "kawrs", or "kohrs", none of which match the way I've always pronounced it with the "ps" ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How do American dialects differ?

I grew up in a very homogenous suburb, and was quite shocked when I moved to Philadelphia for college and started hearing how many different dialects exist even within one city. My untrained ear could ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is baba ghanouj pronounced with a final “sh” sound?

Baba ghanouj is a delicious Middle Eastern dip made from roast eggplant and garlic. I've found the name spelled a multitude of different ways on the internet, but there are two peculiar things about ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Any differences between “slander” and “libel”?

Are there any differences between slander and libel?
2
votes
5answers
440 views

Words for Product Status labels

I'm working on an app that has to have 3 statuses for products. Here's what we've got so far: Active Maybe Dead Essentially Active products are always allowed, Maybe products can be allowed, but ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

What does the word “as-yet-unknown” mean?

What does the word as-yet-unknown mean in the following sentence? Andrews, 31, plans to sue the as-yet-unknown person who shot the footage -- and anyone publishing the material.
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“give me five” and “slap me five”, any difference?

What's the meaning of "slap me five"? Any difference between "slap me five" and "give me five"? There is a book called Slap Me Five.
0
votes
4answers
16k views

Does “freak somebody out” has the meaning of “make somebody angry”?

This is an excerpt from the LDOCE. freak out phrasal verb informal to become very anxious, upset, or afraid, or make someone very anxious, upset, or afraid : People just freaked out when they ...
20
votes
2answers
9k views

“Battery” and “Battery”, why are they called the same?

This post made an interesting point about what would be understood when the word battery is used. In the U.S. at least, the word battery is so rarely used outside the legal phrase assault and ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between “Archival record” and “Archive reference”

How should an official document containing information about exams passed by a person in previous years be called? Are there any differences between "Archival record" and "Archive reference" in the ...
1
vote
2answers
512 views

What is the meaning of the word 'should' in the following paragraph, and how does it function?

You might also be curious why the productsList variable is initialized as new list of strings at the start of the method, only for it to be overwritten by the code in the try block. This is a ...
15
votes
5answers
67k views

Which is the correct way to refer to the letter “Z” — “Zee” or “Zed”?

So I am giving a presentation to an American audience tomorrow, and I have rather cluelessly labeled some components on a Powerpoint slide using the alphabet. When I talk about "component Z", I want ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How is an “assault” different from “battery” in everyday English?

In legal parlance, the word "assault" historically means an attempted battery (battery being defined as below) or an intentional frightening of another person. No contact is necessary. On the other ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

What do you call a person who collects recipes, ingredients or other cooking related materials?

What do you call a person who collects recipes, ingredients or other cooking related materials? Is there a name for classifications like this (like taxonomy etc.)?
1
vote
1answer
854 views

“… help you get oriented for …” or “… help get you oriented for …”?

We will look at just a few key things to help get you oriented for the recipes discussed in this chapter. or We will look at just a few key things to help you get oriented for the recipes ...
27
votes
7answers
217k views

How should “midnight on…” be interpreted?

From what I understand, the word "midnight" is usually interpreted incorrectly. Midnight is written as "12am" which would imply that it's in the morning. Therefore, it should be at the start of the ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

-ship vs. -hood

What is the difference between nouns naming states of being or positions ending in -hood and those ending in -ship? In practice, if one were neologizing such a word how would one decide which suffix ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

What's the best way to find the subject in a sentence?

What's the best way to find the subject in a sentence? How do you define a subject? I am especially curious about such cases, in which the subject seems to be represented by more than one word: The ...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

Can I name one client of my application “tenant” if I have multitenancy?

I'm a software developer and want to add the feature "multitenancy" (German: Man­danten­fähig­keit, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multitenancy) to my application. Each entity in my ...
3
votes
6answers
10k views

Is the following sentence punctuated correctly?

I feel like something is wrong with the ", notably" part, but I can't explain why! Is the following sentence grammatically correct? Employees give relatively low scores across a variety of ...
13
votes
2answers
10k views

What does “boy” mean here?

Recently, in a magazine, I read the following line: It's been an eventful year and boy, has it flown past! My question is, what does the word "boy" mean here? Is it an idiom? What is its usage?
0
votes
3answers
9k views

Aspirated letters vs. Silent letters

How are aspirated letters different from silent letters when pronouncing a word?
55
votes
7answers
360k views

What is the difference between 'make decision' and 'take decision'?

What is the difference between make decision and take decision? When to use the one and when the other?
17
votes
3answers
192k views

What does “I'm game” mean and what's its correct usage?

As it is clear from the question title, What does "I'm game" mean and what's its correct usage?
2
votes
3answers
706 views

Loops vs Laps for runner?

When I read some events map, I found loops used wildly. But some equipment watches like Timex used laps. What's the difference, how can I use them correctly? Please also give some sample if possible.
2
votes
2answers
10k views

What does this mean: “I'll be with you in a minute”?

What does this mean: "I'll be with you in a minute"? Does it mean "I'll call you after one minute" or "I'll contact you after one minute" or something else?
3
votes
2answers
959 views

What does this sentence mean by “my cold came out of remission”?

What does the part "my cold came out of remission" mean in the following sentence? It seems that my cold came out of remission… I'll work from home today and hopefully kick it before Monday.
81
votes
3answers
49k views

Is there a single term for “nieces and nephews”?

I find it handy when talking about my sons and daughters I can just say my children. It's nice to say nieces instead of sibling's daughters. I wonder if there is a similar term for nieces and nephews ...
9
votes
2answers
39k views

Why is 'an' used with 'an honour'?

Why is 'an' used with 'an honour'? Isn't 'an' limited to the vowels?

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