Theodore Broda
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An idiom for a stupid action which is beneficial in the end, or for the person who performed said action
18 votes

The term for the result of the stupid action could be happy accident, meaning a blunder that ultimately proved advantageous. However, this term is occasionally used as an informal euphemism for "...

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Is there a word for someone who is usually in the minority?
14 votes

This person could be called a contrarian. A contrarian, according to Merriam-Webster, is "a person who takes a contrary position or attitude". The term non-conformist could also apply. For someone in ...

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"A mice problem" vs. "a mouse problem"
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6 votes

The word "mouse/mice" in the phrase "mouse/mice problem" is an attributive noun (also known as a noun adjunct). Generally, in the English language, attributive nouns take the singular (as in marriage ...

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Is there an adjective for someone who can withstand ridicule?
4 votes

You could describe someone who magnanimously (rather than unfeelingly) endures offensive comments as imperturbable, impervious to criticism, or undaunted by insult. Related words include unflinching ...

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Homonyms/homophones and proper nouns
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4 votes

Proper nouns can be homonyms, just like any other words. But what is a homonym? According to Merriam-Webster, the primary meaning of homonym is a word that is spelled and pronounced like another word ...

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Plural form of titles
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4 votes

The general in attorney general, surgeon general, etc., is actually a postpositive adjective (i.e., an adjective that comes after the noun it modifies). The general, therefore, is the adjective ...

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Opposite of "witty"
4 votes

Some near-antonyms of witty (according to the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus) include: uncomic unamusing witless unfunny corny The words unclever, slow-witted, and (courtesy of @Drew) dim-witted are ...

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Is there a word for human litter-mates?
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4 votes

Siblings from a multiple birth are called multiples. Three or more offspring from the same birth are called higher-order multiples. For describing specific numbers of offspring, the terms are singlets ...

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A word similar to hiccup?
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4 votes

If you don't mind medical jargon, a singultus episode (pron. \siŋ-ˈgəl-təs\ ) is synonymous with the colloquial phrase hiccup attack.

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skin in the game, idiomatically?
3 votes

The phrase skin in the game is an idiom referring to effort, money, or other risk invested in something that could be potentially painful if it goes wrong. It is synonymous with the expression stake ...

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The opposite of a "nip" in the air?
3 votes

One possible antonym of nip is glow. One definition of glow, according to Merriam-Webster, is "to experience a sensation of or as if of heat". Moreover, this meaning of "experiencing ...

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Do I use a period or a question mark at the end of a statement that presents a question?
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3 votes

Actually, the more correct choice of punctuation is the former. When you are asking an indirect question, you end a sentence with a period. It is really a declarative sentence that reports a question,...

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What do you call someone who is so inappropriate that they are appropriate?
3 votes

He could be called a madcap. A madcap is an "amusingly eccentric person", according to the Oxford English Dictionary. This word seems apposite for a guy who "says odd things" and is "shrugged off as ...

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Do onomatopoeic words lose their onomatopoeic character?
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3 votes

Once an onomatopoeia, always an onomatopoeia (usually). Although the meaning of a particular onomatopoeia may develop from a mere verbal imitation of a sound to a fully fledged word with multiple ...

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Is there a term or phrase for the one paying a bill that is later split?
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2 votes

Although I can think of no words to specifically refer to the person who is reimbursed for paying the entirety of a split bill, some more general appellations for such a person include reimbursee or ...

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What does a restrictive ‘as’ clause modify?
2 votes

The parsing of the as clause depends on intended usage; the as clause can modify the nearest substantive if used adjectivally, but can also modify the nearest verb (or other part of speech) if used ...

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Term for someone who lost something
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2 votes

The term that describes a person who misplaces an inanimate object is mislayer (a derivative of mislay). He constantly loses his wallet; I don't know a more frequent mislayer. Additionally, a term ...

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Degrees of comparison for words ending in "-ly"
2 votes

It depends on what part of speech the word ending in -ly is; is it an adjective, or an adverb? It also depends on what type of comparison (if any) is being made. Not all words that end in -ly are ...

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No. 1, 2, 3 is right or Nos. 1, 2, 3
2 votes

The abbreviations nos. and figs. are the correct plural forms, and are preferred. The Chicago Manual of Style states the following rule: For most abbreviations, add s or es for plural forms, ...

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What's the English equivalent for the German term "Salzamt", used when it's not possible to appeal a decision, or it's simply useless to complain?
2 votes

The closest English equivalent to this expression is complaint department (occasionally complaints department), sarcastically referring to a fictional agency which responds to complaints. For ...

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What do you call this (these) writing "fallacies"
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2 votes

The fallacy used in the quoted passages is ignoratio elenchi. Also known as irrelevant conclusion, ignoratio elenchi is the fallacy of proving or disproving an irrelevant point. For example the ...

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business competition purposefully attack the competition
2 votes

Intentionally slandering the competition is known as "trade libel", "defamation", or "traducement", and falls under the general rubric of "unfair trade practices".

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When using ellipsis to omit list items, is a comma required after the last item before the ellipsis or not?
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2 votes

Although the popular style manual Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers (a concise version of the Chicago Manual of Style) does not directly address your specific case, the proper usage can be deduced ...

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Unnecessarily Using a Long "E" Sound in Plurals Whose Singular Form Ends in "S"
2 votes

Although the "es" ending of "analyses" may superficially and coincidentally resemble the standard English plural noun suffixes "-s" and "-es", there is a significant difference in etymology (and a ...

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Something of value that is worthless in the current context?
2 votes

The closest phrase is probably "double-edged sword", indicating that the value is dependent on the circumstance. However, the phrase does not exactly coincide with the concept you are trying to ...

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marketing style of fairness products
1 votes

This general class of advertising that attempts to coerce potential customers into buying products using unethical tactics like the negative reinforcement described above is appropriately named ...

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A verb that describes an action by someone who is new in town
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1 votes

The most apposite verb is acculturate, meaning "to assimilate a different culture". You could also say that the country dweller conformed to the urban lifestyle, adopted metropolitan practices, or ...

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Complex sentence whose subject is a clause
1 votes

In a modern version of this construct, the sentence would probably include a grammatical expletive (viz., the it in It is very evident that he is sick), with the principal clause It is very evident ...

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Misusing 'hone' to express subtly different idea that combines 'hone' and 'home in'
1 votes

Some possible alternatives to hone/home in in your given context include: to perfect to conform (to) to improve to refine to practice to adhere (to) to observe Another verb that might fit the ...

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What is the antonym to ‘minimalist’?
1 votes

One antonym of minimalist is profligate. As a noun, profligate means "a wildly extravagant or self-indulgent person". The word profligate is also an adjective (similar to minimalist), meaning "wildly ...

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