Charles
  • Member for 9 years, 7 months
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Free meaning “free of charge” vs “unoccupied”
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19 votes

The following are free from ambiguity: Is this seat taken? How much does this chair cost? It's unlikely that you need to be so precise, though, since there's usually enough context to distinguish. &...

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An inoffensive word for "stupid"?
17 votes

"silly," "goof," or "dork" all work in casual/flirtatious conversation.

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Sounds which seem to express a particular quality in whatever words they appear
12 votes

It sounds like you are noticing something along the lines of the phonosemantics hypothesis, specifically, clustering. From that wikipedia article: Words that share a sound sometimes have something ...

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What is the word for a path that is made naturally by the action of people walking?
10 votes

In the trail maintenance community, it's called a "social trail" but that's only relevant when there's a maintained trail from which it branches.

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What does Mitt Romney aide's remark "keep Boston off message all week" mean?
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10 votes

"Off message" means: not adhering to or reflecting the official line of a political party, government, or other organization Boston is used here to mean Romney headquarters. It is the object of ...

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One word noun for "rule-follower"
7 votes

Some multi-word answers included because they are idiomatic phrases. These have the sense of "snooty, upright, and overly rule-abiding" Goody two-shoes* Goody-goody* Puritan Priss Prude Prig These ...

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How to avoid ambiguity in "I am renting an apartment in New York"?
7 votes

Tenant: I'm living in a rental apartment in New York. Landlord: I'm renting out an apartment in New York.

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What does the phonetic symbol after the comma mean here?
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6 votes

yes. it can either be /ɪnˈʃrʌɪn/ or /ɛnˈʃrʌɪn/. Usually, the more common is listed first.

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"What a good news" vs. "such a good news"
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4 votes

Either work if you remove the "a". "News" is not countable. The above is correct, and was the selected answer. However, I wanted to add some clarity. "Such good news" is a phrase. "What good news" ...

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Medical term for the parameters that can be measured in human body
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4 votes

What about "physiological indicators"? Also, "biological indicators" may work. I'm not sure of the total spans of those terms, though

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Pronunciation of "lib"
4 votes

We call it a /lib/ folder for the same reason we call the "/etc" folder /et see/ and not "et cetera". Or the same reason we pronounce "var" as /vahr/ not /vaer/ or "bin" as /bin/ and not /bine/ and ...

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"One should warn" vs. "it should warn"
4 votes

"One" should be used exclusively to refer to people (or people-like things - pets, etc). "It" should never be used to refer to people. Caveat: "One" can refer to non-people-like things in cases like,...

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"Mom and Dad" vs "Dad and Mom"
3 votes

Actually, @JohnLawler, it's not that complicated. According to footnote 4 in that article you linked to: This freeze [mother and father] points up the place 1 position of mother, ...

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What is the term for young adult male/female (aged 18 to 25)?
3 votes

As Jim said, "young adult" is what I would say. "Young woman"/"young man" somehow seems much younger in casual conversation. It's what people would call me when I was a teenager or pre-teen. But in ...

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"Native" names and "western" names?
3 votes

I would use Chinese name and English name. Note, not his Taiwanese name nor his American name. I would use the language, not the country. e.g.: My grandfather, Shachna came to America. "Shachna" ...

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Proper Timezone Acronym Usage - PT vs PDT or PST
3 votes

In most cases, PT is specific enough. The only exceptions would be on the day the clocks change. Also, in common speech, people often use PST when they mean PT.

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Apartment number before or after house number and street
3 votes

This depends on the postal service to which you're sending your mail. You are asking about sending mail in the US, so use the USPS website, as Gnawme recommended. The British, Canadian, New Zealand, ...

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Is there a single word for 'scaring a person for sake of fun'?
3 votes

Spooked, but that doesn't always mean "for fun".

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"not found" or "is not found"
3 votes

"The access" is not a proper construct. "Your access" is fine, but I don't think it's necessary. I'd say "Access was denied" if you want to spell it out more than tradition. "The file was not found"...

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Marrying a woman
2 votes

No, that's not a metaphor in American (or to my knowledge any) English.

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Is it correct to use the comparative adjective "blacker?"
2 votes

What dictionary are you using? With a quick online search, I see the word "blacker" in these: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blacker http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/blacker http://www.merriam-...

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Indian English use of "only"
2 votes

Either: We are only getting that printed. Which is ambiguous (does "only" refer to "that" or to "printed"?) or: We are getting only that printed. Which, AFAIU, is not ambiguous. (Emphasis is ...

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What's the noun for an animal's personality?
2 votes

"Personality" is the right word. Also, they can be personable, and you can impersonate animals too.

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Using does verb
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1 votes

The primary difference is emphasis. Given X, Y and Z, the algorithm finishes successfully. This is a fine, acceptable and complete sentence. Given X, Y and Z, the algorithm does finish ...

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Is there a specific term for when you combine two unrelated terms in a headline in order to grab attention?
1 votes

Are you looking for the term "yellow press" or "sensationalism"?

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Is there an "opposite" to the idiom "throwing the baby out with the bathwater"?
1 votes

"House rats with hand grenades" has an idiomatic ring to it and is completely understandable even though I've never heard it before. It might not be useful for formal speech, but neither are most ...

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How should I understand "Although" in this sentence?
1 votes

You can read it as a more fluid way of saying: He included all fossil primates in his declaration. That statement seems unreasonable today. However, evidence that primates lived alongside animals ...

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Is it correct to write: "She told her to phone him the morning of the next day."
1 votes

it sounds fine to me. (native American speaker)

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"Went" vs. "went along"
1 votes

To my ear (I have no source), "as he went along" makes the lying it seem less purposeful or planned than "as he went". Maybe it's just the informality of the language that creates that sense.

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"Were you seen by him" vs. "were you be seen by him"
1 votes

The first. Also, "Had you been seen by him...". I think "Were" includes the verb "to be" so adding "be" is unnecessary and awkward.

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