horatio
  • Member for 10 years, 11 months
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"Should I" vs. "Shall I" vs. "Do I" in AE
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34 votes

"Shall I?" is an offer. You are poised to take that course of action and are asking if they confirm your decision. It often implies that the speaker is leaning towards the affirmative. "Do/Should I?" ...

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"Race" is to "racism" as "religion" is to what?
27 votes

Sectarian is probably the right word for the job. (though it usually refers to opposing forces within a group). Note that in some cases, people identify their ethnicity as the religion (jews for ...

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Burn up or burn down?
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26 votes

My take is that "burn up" comes from some sense that the thing is used up (fuel is used and is gone). "Burn down" means the thing has "burned down to the ground" in that all structure and support is ...

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How to convey to someone that food is losing heat?
20 votes

Get it while it's hot is an alternative to your dinner's getting cold.

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Is there a word for someone born through incest?
17 votes

"Inbred" is pretty close, though not strictly confined to incest, though in common usage it is meant as an insult and the incestuous implication is the primary intention (e.g. "inbred hick") "...

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Hypernym for "boys only", "girls only", and "co-ed"
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13 votes

Co-education (and co-ed) is the term used to highlight a system which is now considered the norm for education. Since this is a questionnaire, you have the option of using one-word questions. ...

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Are "nil" and "null" interchangeable?
12 votes

NULL is used in computing most often (always?) to signify "not a value." This is different than zero: in a bank database, a zero value means no money, while a NULL value means there has been no value ...

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Should "So", "Therefore", "Hence", and "Thus" be followed by commas?
12 votes

The short answer is "no." The longer answer is: a comma is not a requirement but neither is it something to avoid. What may blow your mind is that the comma is not required anywhere in any of your ...

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What does "proper" mean in this context?
10 votes

It means the booth specifically, without any extra bits. By way of example: "Times Square" might often be used to refer to the area around Times Square, but may include things which are not actually ...

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Word for prayer responses
10 votes

As far as I know, this pattern is called call and response.

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Is the phrase "I kid of course" grammatically correct?
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9 votes

Yes. One might quibble about not having a comma between "kid" and "of," but you are transcribing spoken dialogue. "You are attacked by a tiger, what do you do?" "I run, of course"

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Trolling: billy goats gruff or fishing reference?
9 votes

It's both for sure. I think the original reference to "trolling" is most definitely a fishing reference, because it is such an apt description of the activity. However probably almost immediately, ...

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Meaning of "alien"
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9 votes

The free dictionary ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/alien ) says: An unnaturalized foreign resident of a country. Also called noncitizen. A person from another and very different family, ...

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What does "My duh on" mean?
8 votes

"Duh" is a word that represents a sub-vocalization. It usually is used on its own to suggest that the other person has said something stupid. "My bad" is an idiom which means roughly: "That was bad, ...

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"I'd-a lost"? What does this contraction stand for?
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7 votes

(This was a originally a comment) The lyrics are from a John Lee Hooker song called "House Rent Boogie." Thorogood himself grew up in a decidedly middle-to-upper class non-country setting and is ...

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common name for small villages
6 votes

"Podunk" Po·dunk: a small, unimportant town

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What is the military term for calling attention to yourself, in a negative way?
6 votes

I believe that a/the military term is called "skylining." b. Bounding Element. Maneuver is inherently dangerous. Enemy weapons, unknown terrain, and other operational factors all increase ...

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What do you call the publisher's logo on the title page and spine of a book?
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6 votes

That would be called "the Publisher's Logo." Perhaps you are referring to the material which describes who designed the book; the publisher's data; the materials used in its production [etc]. This is ...

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Is "field field" a correct phrase?
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5 votes

It is perfectly normal to say "address field" and "name field"; why would it be incorrect to say "field field?" If you are concerned about clarity, for the specific question asked, this may be a case ...

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Help in deciphering the meaning of this convoluted sentence
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5 votes

"More than you'd ever want" is a common expression meaning, well, "this is more than you need or want." In this context, the author is warning the person that there will be more than eoungh ...

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what does "off-the-shelf" mean?
5 votes

While "off the shelf" does mean that something is sitting on the shelf in a store (as opposed to "custom made" or "custom ordered") for instant purchase, it also means that it is ready to be used for ...

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"Down the shore" versus "at the beach"
5 votes

Consider that "the shore" in NJ was largely developed as resort communities for Philadelphia and New York during the summer months: in fact some resorts were built and owned by the railroads which ...

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Other expression for "Off the top of my head"
5 votes

my gut tells me and my first instinct is

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Is there a term for something that is tainted with another's saliva?
5 votes

I can't think of a specific word, but "I don't want to share your germs" is a typical way to say it. It's a tiny bit offensive for some people if they are told this, but most people understand. ...

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Best word for portfolio / projects / references?
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4 votes

The correct word is "portfolio." "Portfolio" is also used to describe a list of financial investments. If this is a financial company, or you think that the context demands it, then you can append ...

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How common is "fugly"?
4 votes

When I was a teenager in Upstate New York about 30 years ago, the word was standard issue. As to how it was perceived: if you said it about a 3rd party, you received smirks and giggles. If you called ...

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What's the meaning of boilerplate in programming?
3 votes

In the context of programming, I do not believe that boilerplate is strictly a technical term like prototype and template. An actual boilerplate is something that was placed on a boiler. It is ...

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Punctuations for quotes in a list
3 votes

American usage is "yes," it should be inside the quotes even if it is not part of the quotation. British usage has it outside unless it is part of the quotation (as far as I know). Note that it is ...

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What's a word for an instance in which one has an opinion about something without having tried it?
3 votes

Charlatan; fraud; counterfeit expert. My own invention is "instant expert: just add water!" Poseur (poser).

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Colloquial expression for "compliment" that carries negative feeling
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3 votes

I can't think of a word replacement for compliment that carries a negative connotation, but I can restructure your dialog slightly: A: I hate John. B: why? He's like a genius. A: exactly! He's such ...

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