How do you quote a passage that has used '[sic]' mistakenly?
The usage of '[sic]' is well defined for quoting a passage that you believe has an error in it: nearest to the mistake you place '[sic]' within the quotes. For example, suppose I write a letter from I ...
Did English ever have a formal version of "you"?
From the top of my head, Danish "De" (practically never used), German "Sie", Chinese "您", French "vous", Spanish "usted" are a formal way of addressing someone, especially if one isn't familiar with ...
Which word begins with "y" and looks like an axe in this picture?
My 1-year kid has a plastic ball that is decorated with all 26 letters from the English alphabet and besides each letter is an image. I suppose the images are of words in English that begin with each ...
Is there a correct gender-neutral singular pronoun ("his" vs. "her" vs. "their")?
Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun when referring back to a singular noun phrase? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her questions ...
When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen?
I generally know how to use a hyphen, but when should I use an en-dash (–) instead of an em-dash, or when should I use a hyphen (-) instead of an em-dash (—)?
What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym / initialism?
For example, if I wanted to write the equivalent of There are many automated teller machines in this city. Would it be There are many ATMs in this city. or There are many ATM's in this city. (...
What is the rule for adjective order?
I remember being taught that the correct order of adjectives in English was something along the lines of "Opinion-Size-Age-Color-Material-Purpose." However, it's been a long time and I'm pretty sure ...
Is there a phrase that means sleeping with someone without sex?
The phrase "sleeping with someone" often means "having sex." What is the origin of this sexual connotation? Is there a non-sexual equivalent of this phrase to express sleeping with someone without ...
How many spaces should come after a period/full stop?
In the past — or at least, when I was in elementary school — periods/full stops were followed by two spaces. Lately, it's become more and more common to see just one space. In the modern ...
Is there a word or phrase for the feeling you get after looking at a word for too long?
Sometimes after looking at a word for a while, I become convinced that it can't possibly be spelled correctly. Even after looking it up, sounding it out, and realizing that there's simply no other ...
How are "i.e." and "e.g." pronounced?
How are i.e. and e.g. pronounced?
Do you use "a" or "an" before acronyms / initialisms?
99% of the time, I'm clear on when I should use "a" versus "an." There's one case, though, where people & references I respect disagree. Which of the following would you precede with "a" or "an," ...
What is the plural form of "status"?
What is the plural form of "status"?
What is the factual basis for "pirate speech"? (Did pirates really say things like "shiver me timbers"?)
The "pirate speech" we hear/see/read, for example, on the website Talk Like A Pirate Day consists of a rhotic dialect characterized by phrases like "shiver me timbers," "ooh arh me hearties," and so ...
Which words in a title should be capitalized?
Are there any concrete rules that say which words (parts of speech) in a title should start with a capital letter? What would be a correct capitalization for the title of this question?
"log in to" or "log into" or "login to"
When writing an instruction about connecting to a computer using ssh, telnet, etc., I'm not sure what spacing to use in this familiar spoken phrase: "Log in to host.com" "Log into host.com" "Login to ...
What is a feminine version of 'guys'?
I commonly use the word 'guys' to refer to a group of males colloquially. It's colloquial but not rude, off putting, condescending, patronizing (though I wouldn't use it with a group of men at a board ...
When "etc." is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it?
Example: It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. VS. It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc.. Update What happens if the abbreviation is inside parentheses, do you place a dot ...
Are "whores" and "horse" homophones?
I’m Spanish but sometimes see TV shows in English. My question is whether the words horse and whores sound exactly the same, because in many English language TV shows it seems like they are, which ...
"Unregister" vs "Deregister"
The concept of "undoing a registration" is widely used in my line of work. While most dictionaries define unregister as the proper verb for it, several widely used and highly considered sources also ...
What is wrong with the word "performant"?
I keep getting the red underlining in Word whenever I write the word "performant". Here I intend to refer to something that performs well or better than something else (i.e., it's more performant). ...
What's the difference between "requester" and "requestor"?
Both are in dictionaries. I've heard people insist "requester" is correct for a person who requests something, and that "requestor" is wrong there, leaving me to wonder how it is ...
Do most languages need more space than English?
I saw the following statement on User Experience: Supporting multiple languages can break the user interface, because most languages need more space than english This seems to be a gross ...
How do the tenses and aspects in English correspond temporally to one another?
Non-native speakers often get confused about what the various tenses and aspects mean in English. With input from some of the folk here I've put together a diagram that I hope will pro...
What is the origin of ZOMG?
I have looked in a number of places, with contradictory results. The Urban Dictionary provides a whopping 73 "explanations", of which I will quote just a few. (Original spelling and punctuation ...
Where were "should", "shall", and "must" in the 18th Century?
According to the following Google Ngram, in the U.K. the modals should, shall, and must were virtually missing from English writing during the 18th Century (I've added will for a comparison modal ...
When to use "If I was" vs. "If I were"?
If I was... If I were... When is it correct to use "If I was" vs. "If I were" in standard English?
What the #$@&%*! is that called?
Is there a name for the use of symbols in place of curse words, for example #$@&%*!?
"Status" vs. "state"
Can anyone explain what the difference between status and state is when I talk about the condition or situation of an object? Here's what I got from Longman English Dictionary. status: a situation ...
"Replace with" versus "replace by"
I often see "replace with" and "replace by" used interchangeably, but this doesn't sound right to me: I replaced that component by this one. I would use "with" in such a sentence. "By" only seems ...
What is the plural form of "zero"?
I tried looking on Google, but there are some fairly contradictory results. I thought I'd ask you guys so we could get an authoritative answer on the subject!
Is it "front-end", "frontend", or "front end"?
Which is correct? front-end engineering frontend engineering front end engineering I looked over http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/hyphens.asp, referenced in this answer, and I'm still not sure ...
When is it appropriate to end a sentence in a preposition?
Like many others, I commonly find myself ending a sentence with a preposition. Yes, it makes me cringe. I usually rewrite the sentence, but sometimes (in emails) I just live with it. To, with... ...
"More clear" vs "Clearer": when to use "more" instead of "-er"?
Which one of these adjectives is correct? I can see that both of them are being used, I'm just not sure which one is grammatically correct. Are there any general rules to follow as to the use of one ...
Is it "a user" or "an user" [duplicate]
Since user starts with a vowel shouldn't we use "an" ? I've seen many cases of using "a" .
"Username", "user name" or "user-name"
In computer science, you should have a username or a user name or a user-name and a password to be able to log into the system. Which one is the correct spelling?
Should I put a comma before the last item in a list?
Should I put a comma before the last item in a list? I would like crackers, cheese and some soda. I would like crackers, cheese, and some soda.
What’s the rule for using “who” and “whom” correctly?
I can never figure out whether I should use who and whom. Most people use who for both colloquially, but some people say this is not correct. What’s the rule for using who and whom correctly?
Why are the vowels in Christ and Christmas different? (and other strange diphthong behaviour)
Why are certain words pronounced with diphthongs on their own but with monophthongs in compounds? For example: Words pronounced with diphthongs on their own: Michael, Christ, wise, drive Their ...
"Unselect" or "Deselect"?
If I want the user to revert their operation of selecting an item, should I say: "Unselect the option" or "Deselect the option"?
Can "doubt" sometimes mean "question"?
I often see questions on Stack Exchange sites which I presume are written by non-native English speakers who use the word "doubt" in place of the word "question". Is this a case of misunderstanding ...
"My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner"
I just stumbled upon a Reddit post titled: My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner. How does it look? Sure enough, the top comment immediately points out that it should be "my wife's and my". ...
Why is “cannot” spelled as one word?
Why is “cannot” spelled as one word whereas other similar constructions such as “do not,” “will not,” “shall not,” “may not” and “must not” are spelled as two words (unless they are contracted as “don’...
What do you call a disk with a hole in the middle?
Compact Discs, washers and Aerobie frisbees are all disks with a hole in the middle. Is there a word (either mathematical or not) to describe this shape? I mean the specific case of a round hole in a ...
Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals?
The junction has a stop sign on each of the four entrances. The junction has a stop sign on each of the 4 entrances. The first is preferred, for some reason, by many English texts. Why? I haven't ...
Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not?
When I was in high school back in the 1970s, I was taught that to make a plural of an acronym, a letter, or a number, one should add an apostrophe and "s". Like I would have written this sentence, "......
Should I always use a comma after "e.g." or "i.e."?
It seems that "e.g." is always followed by a comma but "i.e." is not. Why is that?
What is the difference between "complicated" and "complex"?
I can't understand: what's the difference between complicated and complex? They seem to be used interchangeably. Are they actually different at all?
When to use “that” and when to use “which”, especially in relative clauses
When is it appropriate to use that as opposed to which with relative clauses?
When should I use "a" vs "an"?
In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...