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Would you say "it's impolite" to your kids?

Would you normally say "it's impolite [any continuation or no continuation at all]" or the word impolite is too formal for kids and you would rather choose to express the same thought in a different ...
brilliant's user avatar
  • 8,978
8 votes
5 answers
4k views

“She left me for another woman” or “She left me for a woman”?

Assuming a male speaker is referring to an ex-partner, which of the following is more correct? She left me for another woman She left me for a woman The phrase She left me for another ...
e.James's user avatar
  • 8,154
8 votes
3 answers
27k views

How to write numbers and percentage?

In the sentence – Auditors recommend an increase of the allowance for bad debts by ten %. – should the percent sign be there or should the word percent be spelled out. Also should the number be ...
Angela Perez's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

where did word "ballistic/ballista" originate from? [closed]

Cubic is the adjective form of the noun cube. Where did the adjective ballistic originate? Is ballistic the adjective form of ball? The word ballista means a catapult. Is this because the launched ...
DeyaEldeen's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

What does "Moth" mean here in Agatha Christie's Peril at End House?

'George hasn't turned up,' said Nick. 'A nuisance his having to go back to Plymouth last night. He'll get over this evening sometime or other, I expect. In time for the dance anyway. I've got a ...
user188416's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
4k views

What do you call the thing on which something is attached?

I'm looking for a good word with which to identify the target of an attachment. For example, if a tick is attached to a dog, I'd like to say: The dog is the ____ of the tick. And I'd also like to ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
25k views

What do you call a building, or rooms within it, where doctors see their patients?

My understanding is as follows. Is this universally agreed? The OED sense 2a of surgery explains its use to describe the room where a doctor sees his patients. The OED gives no indication that this ...
WS2's user avatar
  • 64.7k
8 votes
8 answers
5k views

What is a word for a character who incites the conflict in a plot?

I realize you can use 'antagonist' but I'd prefer a stronger word with virtually the same meaning. I want to use it to describe Nils Krogstad of A Dollhouse.
Natalie's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
7 answers
2k views

Word for mildly popular (used as a compliment)

I'm trying to find a word for something meaning not explosively popular or successful, yet not a failure. It should not be intended as criticism and should represent something not necessarily new but ...
moonkey69420's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
4k views

A photograph 'depicts' its object. Is there a comparable verb for audio recordings?

A photograph 'depicts' its object. Is there a comparable word for audio recordings? For example, "The recording [verbs] The Beatles playing Been a Hard Day's Night."
Hal's user avatar
  • 2,024
8 votes
12 answers
125k views

English Translation of "Umay" (feeling tired of eating the same food)

As a Filipino-Canadian, I often go to Filipino gatherings with lots of tasty Filipino food. In some cases, we eat so much food that we become full; however, in other cases, we say that we are "...
JaredCubilla's user avatar
8 votes
14 answers
20k views

Succinct phrase that covers both “not started” and “previously started, later stopped”

I maintain a web page that tracks tasks for my team. There is a column currently called "not started" that we use for tasks we haven't started yet. We would also like to use that column for tasks we ...
Karl Bielefeldt's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
6k views

Are there racial overtones for the term thug?

Some of us have seen the Richard Sherman pre-SuperBowl interviews where he accuses the media of racism by using the term "thug" to describe him/his actions. He suggests that it is being used to ...
RyeɃreḁd's user avatar
  • 16.8k
8 votes
7 answers
83k views

What do you call a person who is constantly busy yet always willing to go the extra mile?

What do you call a person who is constantly busy with his or her workload but is willing to go the extra mile to do more than what is needed? Is hardworking good enough or is there some other better ...
ADL's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does “suck a salt grain off a beach” mean?

In association with my question of the usage of “blood-dimmed (flood /tragedy) in Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/dowd-peeping-president-...
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
  • 70.2k
8 votes
5 answers
45k views

"Can’t help but" vs. "can help but"

Is "can’t help but" considered to be a confused mix of the expressions "can but" and "can’t help"? If not, what is the difference between "can help but" and "can’t help but"?
Elberich Schneider's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
885 views

Word for an object's "desire"

I'm looking for a word used in interaction design and probably in other fields as well. It's used for the following purpose: If a door has one handle which is a flat surface and another hanlde ...
Viktor Mellgren's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
70k views

Is "including but not limited to" a redundant phrase?

Doesn't "including" imply the "not limited to"?
Dennis Williamson's user avatar
8 votes
8 answers
3k views

Is there a word for someone who is a killjoy yet also "The voice of caution?"

I am trying to find a word/phrase that describes someone who performs a "reality check" every time people suffer from misconceptions or over-exuberance. He/she is the "voice of caution" that prevents "...
nonbeing's user avatar
  • 215
8 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is the term "setting someone straight" offensive to queer people?

I replaced "Thanks for setting me straight" with "Thanks for correcting me" when editing an email to a recipient who is queer. Is the term "setting [someone] straight" inappropriate if the writer/...
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Weird future tense usage

I am now reading The Clean Coder book and have noticed a couple of cases of weird (for non-native speaker) future tense usages. The point of the kata is to train your fingers and your brain. I'll do ...
SiberianGuy's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is "poison" in English pronounced so differently from French "poison"?

Why is poison in English pronounced so astonishingly differently than the French pronunciation of poison? Considering that they have exactly the same origin. Is it just randomness or is it on purpose ...
Ericson Willians's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is "that" used here?

Why doesn't the author just simply say "trusting your gut"? He lit up when talking about movies and people that have influenced him, particularly Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard,” which he said he ...
Danielle's user avatar
  • 155
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to mix Latin with English?

Is it acceptable to mix small amounts of Latin with English? Right now, ________ is persona non grata. Is this proper English?
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
100k views

What's the difference between a cathedral and a basilica?

The references I've seen so far have alternated primacy between one and the other.
Rich Homolka's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
31k views

When you have 5 instead of 4, what's the word instead of "quadrant"?

...or, to phrase it differently, like one of those silly SAT questions... please help me fill in this blank: 4 is to 5 as "quadrant" is to ???? (Does that make sense?)
Eric's user avatar
  • 869
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

What's the difference between "harrowing" and "poignant"?

What's the difference between "harrowing" and "poignant"?
brilliant's user avatar
  • 8,978
8 votes
9 answers
3k views

Alternative to "maze" as a description for Pacman's environment?

Pacman's maze is not a maze in the sense of being a place in which we get lost since we can clearly see where we are going. So what should we call the restricted environment in which Pacman operates? ...
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is round about round trips?

If one plans to travel from A to B and then, later, along the same route, from B to A, and one wishes to purchase a ticket for both components of the trip, one will, if one is a speaker of British ...
jsw29's user avatar
  • 8,651
8 votes
9 answers
6k views

Is there an adverb for smell?

Earlier in the day, a coworker of mine referred to a spreadsheet as "visually arresting," implying that it was pleasing to the eye. Later today on an elevator ride, we all experienced the breath of a ...
Hayden's user avatar
  • 181
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Aftertaste, but positive

One of the qualities I find most important in food is the taste it leaves in my mouth. However, the only term I have for this is "aftertaste" which tends to suggest something unpleasant, and has a ...
dgo's user avatar
  • 221
8 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is there a comparable word to 'visibility' for hearing?

On a foggy day, you might say there is poor visibility. Similarly, trying to read something on your cell phone in direct sunlight is difficult. Is there an equivalent word that can apply to hearing? ...
Stephen S's user avatar
  • 205
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Regular vs. irregular verbs

I recall an English teacher explaining that verbs that change vowels during tense changes were called 'regular' and those that added '-ed' in the past tense were 'irregular'. This seemed counter-...
Decemberjazz's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
705 views

"Dance macabre" or "macabre dance"

The role is the kind of high-wire dare certain types of actors and directors cannot resist. T. Scott Cunningham, who has created a number of lovable losers onstage in the last decade, lets the ...
user avatar
8 votes
9 answers
42k views

Which word best describes something opposite to "delay"?

My application displays a column which shows if tasks are delayed or not and how big the delay is. The delay may be positive (if a task is delayed) or negative (if it's on time). The time difference ...
alekwisnia's user avatar
8 votes
8 answers
105k views

Is it proper to use the word "bandwidth" as it relates to time allotment?

I'm a web developer and I've often heard other technical and developer types say: Sorry, I don't have the bandwidth to take on your project at this time. I started using the term myself and ...
Danny Englander's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
76k views

"Past" or "passed"?

There are a few questions about past vs. passed, but it seems to me that this is very much a subtle matter, where small changes can change the answer, so here is yet another one. If you were to say, "...
Michael's user avatar
  • 385
8 votes
2 answers
37k views

What does the phrase "You're out of your element" mean?

I heard it in The Big Lebowski movie, when Walter yells at Donny, "shut the fuck up, Donny"; then he exclaims, "You're out of your element!".
enon's user avatar
  • 207
8 votes
8 answers
8k views

Politically correct term for someone who is Internet challenged?

What is the politically correct term for someone who is not very Internet savvy?
jmasterx's user avatar
  • 627
8 votes
7 answers
77k views

Is the expression "may or may not" semantically void?

I personally have a hard time accepting the use of "may or may not." To me, it seems as if "may" and "may not" effectively cancel each other out, so the semantics of the sentence in which it appears ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Equivalent idiom for "When it rains in [a place], it drips in [another place]"

In Dutch we have an expression Als het regent in Parijs druppelt het in Brussel. When it rains in Paris it drips in Brussels. meaning that (political) events in Paris affect Belgian politics. Is ...
stevenvh's user avatar
  • 404
8 votes
6 answers
3k views

Word or phrase which means purposely playing below your skill level?

I am looking for an idiom or expression which can be used to describe the action of someone deliberately playing below their skill level. For example, a pool or billiards expert missing a few shots on ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 1,744
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

"came up short 100 dollars" - what usage of "short" is that?

..but I came up short 100 dollars. In this sentence, I cannot figure out the meaning of "came up" and "short". The closest meaning I found with "come up" was "to occur unexpectedly" but no example ...
John V's user avatar
  • 835
8 votes
6 answers
15k views

Another verb for "talking to oneself"?

Some people sometimes talk to themselves. That does not necessarily mean they are mad or mentally ill. But, interestingly, people don't do that in front of other people, they do that when they think ...
Sasan's user avatar
  • 3,342
8 votes
3 answers
20k views

What is the name of a business that fixes clothes?

The following local business, which I'm trying to add to Google Maps, fixes clothes by sewing and patching them or changing their hemline. This is a workshop, not a self-service business: The client ...
Adam Matan's user avatar
8 votes
8 answers
2k views

Word/short phrase for "timespan has not yet started"

Is there a word or short phrase for telling that a timespan has not yet started? In this case, I want to apply it to licenses, which have a timespan within which they are valid. If the current time ...
Jost's user avatar
  • 203
8 votes
9 answers
98k views

You say something but you don't really mean it: an adjective to describe that offer or a phrase

What adjective do you use to describe something that you say, but you do not really mean it. For example when you make an offer to someone, but you don't really mean it and kind of hope they say no! ...
Englishfreak's user avatar
  • 1,788
8 votes
6 answers
10k views

Single word that combines the meaning of fascination and hate?

The story I am writing involves a character that is simultaneously fascinated and disgusted by the ways of a certain race. Is there a single word that can convey this feeling? EDIT: It's not racism. ...
Anjunadeep's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
9k views

Is there a word for opposite numbers?

Example: -100 and +100 - is there a way of describing the relationship between these numbers? Obviously, I've already come up with "opposite", is there anything else? This is for use in an email. ...
frusDev's user avatar
  • 209
8 votes
7 answers
28k views

Word or idiom to describe someone who always tries to inflate his skills/properties/experiences when talking with others? [duplicate]

Is there a word or idiom to describe someone who is always trying to create a good impression when talking about himself? Someone who is always trying to show that he is better than others even if he ...
socrateslopes's user avatar

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