Questions tagged [word-usage]

This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about the meaning or correctness of a word in a sentence. Give as much context as possible.

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What's the word I should use for close calls

Please allow me to ask a question, I set a goal in my work, which could not be accomplished in the first place, but it was finally accomplished. How should this situation be described? What word would ...
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1 answer
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Number with the word "respective"

Based on JavaLatte's answer to this question as well as on various dictionary definitions of the word "respective", I gather that the word serving as the head of a nounphrase premodified by &...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is “It is happy to see that there is nothing sectarian about it” (meaning "the speaker is happy to see ...") grammatical and idiomatic?

Most of the native speakers around me say (i) below is not idiomatic. (i) It is happy to hear that. (meaning "I (the speaker) am happy to hear that.") Today, however, I came across sentences ...
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0 votes
3 answers
39 views

Name for a document proving that a person has had a specific appointment

I'm looking for the word for an official document that verifies that a person has been employed/appointed for a certain period of time to carry out a certain service. I was thinking "certificate ...
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Geometrically, "face" or "surface"?

In my native Danish language we can refer to a 2D side of a geometric object as flade. We can be more specific in case of the 2D side being exposed to the outside and say: overflade, a word that also ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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What is the meaning of "reflecting" in this context?

This comes form the book "Black Rednecks And White Liberals" by Thomas Sowell. Pattern in this context refers to patterns of behavior of southerners who inherited them from people from the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
24 views

"Show sympathy towards someone" or "toward someone", or both of them are not idiomatic?

On this sites I find both of the usage: https://ludwig.guru/s/sympathy+toward https://ludwig.guru/s/sympathy+towards What is the proper choice of preposition here after "sympathy"?
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4 votes
4 answers
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What does the word "increments" mean here?

What does the word "increments" mean in the following sentence? The programmer spent many months making an algorithm to map our world in 20-foot-square increments. I looked up the word in ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is it technically correct to say "Don't blow up the balloon too much as it will pop" or "Don't blow the balloon too hard as it will pop"?

I searched Google Books for "blow up the balloon too much" and "blow up the balloon too hard" and both suggest the balloon will pop. Is there any difference between the two? Or ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can we say "the tree broke down while it was raining cats and dogs" in this situation?

We have the phrase "chop or cut down the tree" which means "​to make the tree fall down by cutting it at the base" Now it was raining very hard and the wind cut the tree down as ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Chapter or Season?

When speaking of tv series, is there any difference between "season" and "chapter"? Game of Thrones, Chapter 2 Game of Thrones, Season 2
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1 answer
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How is the phrase 'note of discord' used?

In the Cambridge dictionary, the word 'discord' means the state of not agreeing or sharing opinions. Yet, I saw the word used in 'note of discord' in sentences in example sentences such as 'A note of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
35 views

Does "emergent mother" mean 'woman who has just given birth'?

I'm looking for a word or phrase that refers specifically to women who have just given birth, and I've found "emergent mother", but I haven't been able to confirm whether it's used only for ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
41 views

Do we have another expression that is similar to "Speaking of Which" which is very confusing? [closed]

I heard many American people say "Speaking of Which..." According Urban Dictionary "speaking of which" means "by the way" Do we have another expression that is similar to ...
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1 answer
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What should I say when someone is in the following position?

To describe this image can I say, "He sticks his feet to the windshield. "? What should I say when someone is in the following position?
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2 answers
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fall silent vs. remain silent

Someone told me "fall silent" is an observation. "Remain silent" is a choice. Example: Mary fell silent for a few seconds. (Here we are observing Mary's action) Mary remained ...
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3 votes
2 answers
31 views

Is it correct to say "Don't put your expectation so high"?

While searching on the Internet, I found that another way to say it is "Don't set your expectations so high", but I didn't find anything related to "Don't put your expectation so high&...
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2 answers
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Is "Categorial" a typo of "categorical"?

I recently saw someone using 'Categorial variables' while talking about Loss functions. However, I think in English that word is rarely used. The frequency is 10 times less than the proper word "...
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1 vote
1 answer
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needs some work doing/done

The following is an example sentence from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: As you can see, the house needs some work doing on it. source It seems that many native speakers prefer &...
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0 votes
1 answer
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meaning of 'had' in "had a student pull out a gun"

This is from a webpage: Salfia has a closer connection to gun threats than most. Her mother, also a West Virginia teacher, had a student pull out a gun in her classroom seven years ago. After talking ...
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0 votes
3 answers
20 views

Which one is right about the use of "embed"

When I strongly believe in an idea, theory, ideology etc Which one is right : I am embeded in that idea / That idea is embeded in me or Is there another sentence, which is more appropriate, being able ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is this a correct way to say that I do not care much about money?

Is it correct to say "I don't weigh much about money" to mean that I do not care much about money? Is it awkward?
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13 votes
8 answers
3k views

What do you call a place where certain ideas are prevalent?

What noun could I use? "Hotbed"? "Hotspot"? Please don't mention the expression "safe state". The city was hardly a liberal __________: the conservatives have won five ...
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0 votes
1 answer
34 views

How do I describe people who don't have enough time?

How do I describe people who don't have enough time? Would "time-constrained" do? Is it even a word to begin with? Unfortunately, she was time-constrained and let things slide.
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0 votes
1 answer
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Interpretation of "the affairs of [these] subjects had to be administered too"

I am translating a book, and there are some confusing sentences: This was becoming essential for the cohesion of the realm, not least since its linguistic and cultural plurality had been extended ...
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0 votes
2 answers
34 views

Let me squeak a phase four in there

Let me squeak a phase four in there. There is no squeaking of phase four. What's the meaning of those phrases (squeak sth in / squeak) ? Does it mean inform ? (It's always sunny in Philadelphia)
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to express wait for (at most) how long and wait for something at the same time [closed]

I am not a native English speaker and am writing a command line program interacting with the end user. I need to prompt the end user in my program before a long wait (a kind of polling until some ...
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0 votes
0 answers
24 views

Assessment vs evaluation

What is the difference between "assessment" and "evaluation"? For example, when you try to make a judgement as to whether a particular source of information is trustworthy or not, ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
40 views

Is it still a petition if just one person signs it?

The definition of 'petition' is; A formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority in respect of a particular cause. Lexico But what if just one person writes an ...
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1 vote
3 answers
44 views

stooped or kicked in "He laughed and stooped them all into the river."?

In the movie "little mouse who was a princess", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv1CFTWdofk. at the time of 10 minutes 52 seconds,i saw a sentence He laughed and stooped them all into the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
29 views

Is it "finger clicking" or "finger snapping"?

Is it "finger clicking"? What verb should I use if not "click"? "Snap"? Are both ok? It's just that if I say "finger snapping", one may imagine something ...
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0 votes
1 answer
19 views

What word should I use to describe the "ending/end" of a committee, work group etc?

When a body in an organisation is no longer useful it is... Abolished? Discontinued? Terminated? Ended? Closed down..? And what's the corresponding noun? That is, what words could I use for the verb/...
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1 vote
2 answers
52 views

Is it weird to say "lo" and "yea" nowadays?

Is it weird nowadays to hear someone saying yea or lo nowadays?
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is "beauty king" or "handsome king" the counterpart of "beauty queen"?

"beauty queen" is a woman who won a beauty contest. What is the general term for a man who wins a male "handsome" contest? Is "beauty king" or "handsome king" ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
70 views

What do you call someone who does not drink alcoholic beverages at all?

Could anyone please let me know, what do we usually call an individual who never drinks alcohol? It can be either for health issue, or health care or even some personal barriers like religious beliefs....
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the meaning of "wherein" in this context?

This is a piece of text from the internet about the significance of the use of a Mickey Mouse theme in the movie "Full Metal Jacket": The singing of the Mickey Mouse theme song at the end. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
23 views

Correct form for frontend, backend and fullstack

I'm wondering what is the correct form for 'frontend', 'backend', and 'fullstack' developer. Grammarly provides some suggestions but I require expert advice on how to use them correctly. I've read ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
17 views

May I add a word to in some range expression when reading it? [closed]

A sentence written as below: Expeditions range in length from two weeks to three months, with team of 12-45 people aging 18-70. Should I add a word to in the range such as 12-45 and 18-70? That is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
26 views

How write a word for "× "?

In the sentence: If they do not copy the object accurately,the teacher may mark × through their paper and have them try again. How write a word for "×" ?
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0 votes
0 answers
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Burn a fire or light a fire?

Light a candle or burn a candle says "Light a candle" and "burn a candle" are both grammartically OK. In the dictionary I see "light a fire". Then is "burn a fire&...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does "all day" refer just 1 day or every day?

If we say He played all day yesterday or He will play all day tomorrow, it refers just 1 day. Suppose, a boy plays all the time day by day and doesn't go to school. Do we have to say:? -He plays all ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What exactly does "drafting" in "drafting body" mean?

I've been wondering about the term "drafting body" for bodies that prepare different matters in an organisation; I understand the use of "drafting" when there's actually a draft ...
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0 votes
2 answers
16 views

Does "attempt" in past-tense imply failure?

I read the following in a technical manual: Three consecutive start attempts are permitted without cooldown. After the third start attempt, the starter motor must cool down for at least 60 minutes. ...
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4 votes
3 answers
2k views

What do you call the pointy parts of a text bubble that's not the tail?

What do you call the pointy parts of a text bubble that's not the tail? Here, in the image, we see three pointy things protruding out of the text bubble on the four "sides" of some of the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is there a better synonym to "non-intrusive"?

If you are a photographer, you may want to take your pictures in a way that doesn't influence the surroundings and the people around you. As a result, you stay merely an observer, not an off-camera ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
30 views

What is the semantic difference between "paid" and "payed? " [closed]

What is the semantic difference between "paid" and "payed?"
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7 votes
7 answers
4k views

How do I convey that I am bad at remembering things?

I want to express the idea that I'm really bad at recollecting something from my memory, but "I have a bad memory" sounds a lot like I remember (maybe fairly well) something bad that ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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"to have been to" and "to have gone to". Which should I use?

In the situation where you want to mention your experience of going to London, you use "been" instead of "gone", don't you? As in I have been to London three times. and you don'...
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0 votes
2 answers
29 views

add pollution to the air VS add air pollution

I read a sentence, While most printing companies use toxic inks that add air pollution, this company uses non-toxic inks that don't. I think it should be While most printing companies use toxic ...
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2 votes
2 answers
100 views

What do you call the person who goes through the minutes after a meeting and checks that everything is correct?

At any formal meeting, you appoint a secretary to takes the minutes, and another person to go through the minutes after the meeting and check that everything is correct, right? Now I'm wondering what ...
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