95

Nope. Fingers are only on the hand, except for figurative uses such as ladyfingers (a dessert). If you talk about the fingers on someone's foot, or a person with 20 fingers, unfortunately you'll just generate unsettling mental images. :) As smci points out, to refer to the ensemble, people will often say "fingers and toes". This is a so-called "Siamese twin"...


92

Seldom is a word and you have used it correctly, however not very naturally! Seldom - not often; rarely (def. from google) I disagree with the correction. A better way to say this is: I also know, but seldom use, the meaning of the word in the context of musical instruments. I think the issue with the sentence, and the reason your original one sounds ...


87

I think you may be looking for the verb "to shrink". The balloon shrinks/shrank/will shrink/has shrunk/is shrinking etc. I wouldn't use that about something that's actually having bits taken out of it, though, because it tends to suggest getting smaller while retaining largely the same shape - or at least changing shape in some smooth, continuous way. ...


59

Words such as fudging, freaking, fricking, and flipping are euphemisms for fucking. Here's an entry on "flip" (my emphasis): flip (v.) 1590s "to fillip, to toss with the thumb," imitative, or perhaps a thinned form of flap, or else a contraction of fillip (q.v.), which also is held to be imitative. Meaning "toss as though with the thumb" is from 1610s. ...


51

A studio is a working space for an artist. a: the working place of a painter, sculptor, or photographer b: a place for the study of an art (such as dancing, singing, or acting)


48

In addition to shrink and contract mentioned above, other words that can mean "shrink" plus some additional information or context are: shrivel - shrinking by losing something (like water) wilt - similar to shrivel collapse - shrinking by losing its structure deflate - shrinking by losing its content implode - similar to deflate but more dramatic retreat - ...


45

No, that sounds kind of pretentious and just wrong, as though you looked through a thesaurus to find a synonym. What is wrong with just using “believe”? You wouldn’t use “cogitate” exactly this way either. This word means “to meditate (on)”: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cogitate - you would use this to describe thinking about something deeply ...


42

Ho is pretty much unused in normal speech as a greeting. The two uses you listed are pretty much the only uses I have ever heard. Both are also somewhat archaic and traditional phrases. "ho, ho, ho" is exclusively what is used to describe Santa Claus's laughter. (Or maybe the Green Giant) "[Land] Ho! Ahoy mateys" is exclusively what cartoon pirates say. ...


41

In the construction What do you mean, X?, X is "echoic": a word or phrase (or even a complete sentence) quoted from the previous speaker's utterance. The construction may ask for confirmation or explanation of X, or it may express disbelief or shock. A: Our proposal is dead. B: What do you mean, dead? As in the boss rejected it, or we're withdrawing it? ...


41

A crowd is really defined as "a lot of people for the circumstance", not any particular number. The OED says the noun comes from the verb, which has a sense of press, push, or hurry. So to be a crowd there has to be enough people they feel pushed together, either literally or figuratively. Ten people in a small room is a crowd. Ten people in a large car ...


38

First, no, there is no confusion with the title. Addressing somebody as "Sir John" is entirely different from "Sir". (It's actually the equivalent to "Mr Smith") My observation is that we address people as "Sir" (or Madam, or Miss) a good deal less in the UK than the Americans do. Here these are used mostly by people serving (for example in a restaurant or ...


34

"Ho" isn't used in ordinary conversational English, except as a dialect variant of "whore", and in specific situations, such as Santa's "Ho, ho, ho!" (which I've always interpreted as just being a deeper-voiced version of "Hahaha"). Responding to "Hi!" with "Ho!" isn't a normal thing to do. Just say "Hi", "Hey", "Hello" or whatever other greeting you prefer. ...


32

As a native American-English speaker, I can tell you 'spoilt' does not sound natural. 'Spoilt' would be better applied to food that has gone bad. 'Damaged' would be the better option of the two. You might also refer to how the card was damaged, such as "You bent the card" or "You crumpled the card."


31

"Ho" is archaic. It has fallen out of standard use, but is found in older literature and references. It is still used by those who strive to keep old words alive. (Pirate and medieval recreation performers, notably.) According to Merriam-Webster, it is an interjection which is from Middle English. The 'Modern English' equivalent would be "hey". ...


30

This is called a Minced Oath a euphemistic expression formed by misspelling, mispronouncing, or replacing a part of a profane, blasphemous, or taboo term to reduce the original term's objectionable characteristics. Some examples include "gosh" (for God), "darn" (for damn), "heck" (for hell), "fudge" or "eff" (for fuck) and "shoot" (for shit) https://...


30

Toes are not fingers. The general term for fingers and toes is digits. We have twenty digits: ten fingers and ten toes. In French, the toes are called 'doigts de pied' ('fingers of the foot'), also 'orteils'. Doigt nom masculin Chacune des parties libres et mobiles qui terminent la main de l'homme : Compter sur ses doigts. Toe Digit Doigt (Larousse)


30

"Listen in" is like "take", while "eavesdrop" is like "steal". For example: She took a pencil from her coworker's desk Without context it's impossible to say whether she is taking the pencil illicitly, or taking it because it's convenient. But if you say: She stole a pencil from her coworker's desk she clearly knows she's doing something wrong. ...


29

While "literally" and "in the true sense of the word" can mean essentially the same thing, they do not both always suit the same situations and are not interchangeable in the same sentence structure. For example, I would probably not say: He's literally a gentleman. This is because "gentleman" has more than one "literal" meaning - one dictionary ...


28

To come up with something is to invent it, think of it, or create it. "That's a great idea, how did you come up with it?" To come out with something, in that context (others are quite different) is to announce it. For the product to come out is for it to be released. Acme Co surprised everyone when they came out with their latest offering, dehydrated ...


27

There's also diminish: to make/become smaller; to lessen the authority or dignity of; to disappear gradually.


26

Firstly, it's pretty rare to use cogitate at all. Using any word related to it, the most common is "cogitation", the action noun for the act of cogitating. Second, think has two main senses in English. Most of us native speakers don't even necessarily realise it, but if we learn a language that has separate words for the two, like French, it kind of clicks. ...


25

I think the “until when” construct can work fine in a question like this, although I think I’d be inclined to change the order of the words: I have until when to finish this project? Also, it’s worth noting that we will often put additional emphasis on the word when in such questions, particularly when expressing surprise. For example: Ted: I’ll ...


25

What you're talking about is colloquially called the "verbification" or just "verbing" of nouns that do not have any standard verb forms. This is a fairly common way to play with English language norms: Abel: You say you cook? Like what? Blain: Well, I salad, I soup, and sometimes I spaghetti. With the understanding that it is a colloquial and ...


24

You're missing another meaning of flay: 1.2 Whip or beat (someone) so harshly as to remove their skin. ‘he flayed them viciously with a branch’ (ODO) He was going to beat Harry "to within an inch of his life". It's an exaggeration. He was threatening to severely beat or whip Harry. Yes, as I understand the word shoo, it is impolite. He might have ...


23

Repetition can be used for emphasis. The indefinite article "a" does imply that there is only one [thing](otherwise you would normally use no article and a plural noun). So maybe you could say "single" is redundant in some sentences. But people do use it for emphasis when they want to make an explicit point that there is only one [thing]. Perhaps the word ...


23

Although it's somewhat hyperbolic, the expression 'you've ruined it' comes to me in this situation. Whilst the card will hardly be in ruin, someone annoyed about its being damaged may still simply complain that it was 'ruined', i.e. rendered in an unacceptable condition. Spoilt does sound perfectly natural to me as a British speaker; damaged is obviously ...


22

In US English (and likely most non-India regions), we refer to these persons as simply brother-in-law or sister-in-law. My wife has a sister, and that sister is married. I refer to both husband and wife as my brother and sister-in-law. In the same way, my mother has a brother who is married. I refer to both husband and wife as my aunt and uncle. In both ...


21

Your quotation is an example of a past unreal conditional sentence with inversion that is more formal than those that follow the usual word order: SHFs simulate the errors we would have made had we used this forecasting method at those points in the past. The usual word order would have been as follows: SHFs simulate the errors we would have made if ...


20

Single serves the same role here that any other adjective would do, whether we are talking about a single rose, a solitary rose, a red rose or any other rose. Introducing an adjective to qualify the rose does not change the need for the article a (or the) The role of single is to emphasise that there are no other roses, not to replace the article. It ...


20

The word "open" here is NOT a verb. "To swing something open" is a verb phrase. In your case. it means he swings the plastic strip in a way that it makes the plastic strip open. To swing is the main verb, and open is the state the plastic strip is in after the action of swinging it.


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