All Questions

13
votes
3answers
844 views

What is the first recorded appearance of the mistranslation “Red Square”?

Does anybody know when the mistranslation "Red Square" made its first recorded appearance? Have there been any noteworthy attempts at establishing the correct translation "Beautiful Square" at some ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Using 'stuck' as a verb

The visual studio kept stucking under RDP yesterday Should 'stuck' become a present tense verb? It seems like "getting stuck" is too long for the modern world where it happens much more frequently to ...
134
votes
42answers
14k views

What are your favorite English language tools? [closed]

To prevent myself from asking an obvious, silly question multiple times: What are the English language tools you found most useful? I found Corpus Concordance English extremely useful for looking up ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I learn to get collocations right?

I read an article about collocation which includes an example: We can say highly sophisticated, and we can say extremely happy. highly happy and extremely sophisticated would be wrong. How can I ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Proper Usage of gerund form of the verb [closed]

So, I want to title a talk. Which of these is the right usage and why? "Web Development Paradigms and Djangoic approach to solve them" OR "Web Development Paradigms and Djangoic approach to ...
9
votes
3answers
21k views

Each apple and each orange [has/have]? [duplicate]

For a phrase such as the following: each apple and each orange Is it correct to use "has" or "have" when describing properties of both apples and oranges?
51
votes
2answers
144k views

When ending a list with “etc.”, should there be a comma before “etc.”?

When listing items and ending the list with "etc", should there be a comma before "etc."? E.g. red, green, blue, etc. or red, green, blue etc. Related question, though this one involves the ...
3
votes
1answer
391 views

Can one be *highly* ambivalent?

I've always felt that it's something of a contradiction to be very or highly ambivalent. It's grammatically correct, as far as I know, but is it stylistically acceptable, or is my sense of linguistic ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

“Ethics” versus “morals”

What's the difference between ethics and morals? More specifically, what differentiates (if any): a moral code vs. a code of ethics ethically versus morally (e.g. "Morally, I can't (justify it), but ...
12
votes
3answers
64k views

Neesh or Nitch?

What is the correct way to pronounce niche? I've always said and heard nitch, but now I hear neesh, but it always sounds trendy to me. Thoughts?
95
votes
124answers
63k views

What words are commonly mispronounced by literate people who read them before they heard them?

Quite a few words are mispronounced by under-educated people, or people learning English as a second language. Some words are often mispronounced by quite educated people who read, and began reading ...
29
votes
5answers
12k views

“None” as plural indefinite pronoun

In my grammar book (English Grammar, HarperCollins Publishers), I read that none is occasionally treated as plural, but it is usually regarded as singular. Can you give me an example of sentence where ...
37
votes
9answers
340k views

Is “fastly” a correct word?

Slow has the adverb slowly. I tend to use fastly as the adverb for fast. However, it is underlined in most spell checkers I use, which makes me wonder about the existence of this word. Is fastly a ...
10
votes
3answers
123k views

When should one use the comma versus the semicolon, and vice versa?

I cannot understand the difference between the comma and semicolon. Can you please clarify?
16
votes
4answers
9k views

English term for a word that differs from another one by just one letter

When I was a child, pretty much every children's magazine I subscribed to used to publish those little word-chain games where you had to get from one word to another — often an antonym — by replacing ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

What does “akin to” mean in etymologies in dictionary entries?

Many etymologies in dictionaries say that some word is “akin to” a word in some other language. For example, here is part of the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary entry for salt: Main Entry: 1salt ...
9
votes
3answers
88k views

Should “Project Manager” be capitalized?

I am pretty sure it shouldn't, but want to make sure that I am doing this correctly in a proposal that I am working on. Should job titles like "Project Manager" ever be capitalized, and if so when? ...
14
votes
6answers
57k views

When is it appropriate to use “titled” vs. “entitled”?

When is it appropriate to use "titled" vs. "entitled"? For example, which is the correct word to use in the following sentence? I really liked the conclusion to rands’ latest blog post entitled “...
18
votes
4answers
13k views

Is there a rule for which suffix to use when creating adjectives from nouns?

There are many suffixes that are used to create adjectives from nouns (-al, -ic, -ive, -y). Are there any rules used to create adjectives from nouns? In example, why is the adjective excessive, and ...
3
votes
3answers
14k views

What does aw mean?

I have heard somebody saying aw, shucks. What does that mean? In which other cases is the word used?
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Origin of “idiocracy”

Did the word "idiocracy" exist prior to the release of the movie of the same title, or is it a neologism coined by its screenwriters?
12
votes
2answers
11k views

“page 2” or “Page 2”?

When referring to a page in a text, should the reference be e.g. "see page 2", or "see Page 2"? Since I write "see Section 2", I would lean towards the latter, but I think I have seen the former more ...
32
votes
4answers
15k views

Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run”

Why are year, pound and mile in the singular form in the phrases below? five-year-old children 20 pound note 10 mile run Is that because they're acting as adjectives, which are always invariable in ...
32
votes
12answers
17k views

Do the words “jail” and “prison” refer to different things?

In everyday speech, the terms jail and prison are used interchangeably in many situations. However, my understanding is that, at least in the US, they actually refer to slightly different things. For ...
11
votes
4answers
141k views

Proper usage of “since” and “from” with regard to duration of time

When you returned, I had been at home since 10 minutes. When you returned, I had been at home from 5 minutes. In such sentences, is it correct to use since or from? When since is used?
15
votes
4answers
14k views

When is the present perfect tense used instead of the past tense?

When is the present perfect tense used instead of the past tense? I know that the present perfect tense is used when some adverbs (e.g., never, ever) are present in the sentence; the same is true ...
1
vote
3answers
860 views

What is the origin of “bouillon cubes”?

What is the etymology of bouillon cubes? What other word can I use?
3
votes
2answers
36k views

“Whenever you arrive/are arrived/were arrived”

Which one of these sentences is grammatically correct? Would it be alright if the other sentences were being used in daily conversations? Let me know whenever you arrive. Let me know whenever ...
6
votes
3answers
689 views

What is a comma splice?

Is this a comma splice? What makes a sentence a comma splice? Being left at the altar on her wedding day, Pamela became furious.
80
votes
12answers
133k views

Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular?

I'd say Microsoft have a way of bending the rules and I know that McLaren have won the championship. While this sounds strange, I believe it is correct English (sorry, I'm not native). But when it's ...
12
votes
1answer
665 views

Does absence of articles in computer-related sentences look natural?

I'm a non-native speaker (actually from Russia) and for us the articles (a, an, the) came as a thing that we just have to adopt. We do not have not similar constructions in Russian. Menus I see in ...
5
votes
5answers
29k views

Why is “ain't” not listed in dictionaries?

Google finds 52,000,000 matches for ain't but non-natives simply can't look up this word. Wiktionary isn't helpful. Is it some kind of 'wildcard' for "am/is/are not"?
10
votes
3answers
66k views

“Intents and purposes” versus “intensive purposes”

I know that "for all intents and purposes" is the correct saying, but I often hear/see people say/write "for all intensive purposes". I was under the impression that the latter is completely ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

When can “have” be used without “got”?

I read this article and now I'm confused when got can be omitted when using have. Could this be explained in plain English without technical terms? Is there a different usage in past tense?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How should one answer a business phone?

I am still a bit confused how to receive an external phone call at work. Browsing the internet I find: * Hello? (informal) * Thank you for calling Boyz Autobody. Jody speaking. How can I help you? * ...
23
votes
3answers
9k views

“User accounts” or “users account”

Is it correct to say user accounts or users account when referring to the accounts any user has on a site like this one? In general, in the case of a noun that is used as adjective for the noun that ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How is the jussive mood rendered in English?

In English the imperative mood is used only for the second person (differently from Italian, where what is called imperative mood is used also for the first, and third person). How is the jussive mood ...
5
votes
1answer
502 views

Grammatically speaking what role does 'him' play in this sentence?

I like him working out.
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Conditional sentences not starting with “if”

Were I rich, I would live on Long Island. If I were rich, I would live on Long Island. Is the first sentence still used, or is used in particular contexts (in example, to give emphasis to the ...
16
votes
5answers
721 views

“The whole nine yards”

What is the origin of the phrase "the whole nine yards"? Is it a reference to some game of sports I am not familiar with (as a continental European)?
1
vote
3answers
990 views

“Par for the course”

From your personal experience, is "par for the course" widely understood, or would you recommend using a less technical term? I am particularly interested in differences between American, British, ...
7
votes
3answers
27k views

Usage of italics in writing

In which cases is a word, or a group of words written in italics? Is italics used in specific contexts, or it is quite normal to write words in italics?
6
votes
3answers
14k views

When should you use “then” and when “than”?

As far as I know, then is used in a conjunction and in time-related sentences; than in all other cases. I believe that these are correct: Because I'm older than she, I should be the first chosen; I ...
7
votes
4answers
21k views

'to check' versus 'to verify'

My interpretation is that sentences like the following have a slightly different meaning. Check the application output. Verify the application is running. Is there any difference between to ...
13
votes
6answers
14k views

Improper use of “Whenever”

I increasingly encounter people who misuse "whenever" when they really mean "when": Whenever I first came to St. Louis, I lived with my Aunt Judy... Bugs me to death. Obviously they are talking ...
3
votes
7answers
899 views

“Aaron is a genius boy”

I wonder whether can we call someone a genius boy? I've been using this term to describe my cousin until someone told me that the correct usage should be boy genius. The question is: Can we say Aaron ...
22
votes
4answers
32k views

Why are days of the week proper nouns?

Is there any particular reason why days of the week are proper nouns?
125
votes
2answers
1.8m views

Is it “bear” or “bare” with me? [closed]

Is it "bear" or "bare" with me?
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Is “not at all” still alive and doing well?

I was taught to use "not at all" as a rather polite, standard reply to "thank you". However, I don't see it being used at all nowadays. Can I still use it? Would it be widely understood? Should I be ...
2
votes
2answers
348 views

Is my use of the word “award” to describe a blog tagging game correct?

Anybody ever run into the blog post tagging? Like when somebody starts posting about certain topic (for example answering certain questions like what are your 10 habits, etc) and then they tag other ...

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