English Language & Usage Weekly Newsletter
English Language & Usage Weekly Newsletter

Top new questions this week:

Word for damage that isn't serious, mostly visual and not hindering the function of the thing

Like, if you get in a fender bender and there is some scraped paint, you would say "the damage was..."

asked by SoapyFork 34 votes
answered by Doug Warren 139 votes

What is the word for "to do something one considers to be beneath oneself"?

I looked up this word before, and I got a definition which sounded something like "to do something one considers to be beneath oneself," but I can't remember exactly what the word was. I can think of ...

*meaning *single-word-requests *word-usage  
asked by Ryan 33 votes
answered by DJ Far 78 votes

"Country" is to "national" as "city" is to…

How would I say something on a city level in comparison to a provincial level or national level? Elections are held nationally every four years, and _________ every two years.

*single-word-requests *phrase-requests *analogy  
asked by OldBunny2800 22 votes
answered by ruakh 77 votes

Phrase to mean one is described by his name

I found in some other languages such as Chinese an interesting idiom which describes some people; for example, when you see a person is named "Smart" and he/she is really smart, one would say: "a name ...

*phrases *phrase-requests *idiom-requests  
asked by user3073328 19 votes
answered by A.P. 41 votes

Term for deliberately gaming the preview screen of YouTube

Is there any term for gaming the preview screen of YouTube, such as by deliberately choosing a frame of the video that features cleavage or nudity as the preview screen? The YouTube video "Magic: ...

asked by Andrew Grimm 18 votes
answered by ermanen 31 votes

Why is "forward slash" not spelled "forwardslash"?

The phrase "forward slash" contains a space, while its equivalent "backslash" does not. This seems inconsistent; should "forwardslash" not be a valid word? From Wikipedia I discovered that slash, ...

*punctuation *compounds *spacing *slash  
asked by JohnLBevan 15 votes
answered by Lynn 26 votes

"Cry foul" - is foul a noun?

Is the the word "foul" in the saying "cry foul" a noun, an adjective or an adverb? I had a disagreement with my teacher, where I think it's a noun. As in screaming "Foul!", saying that the action is ...

asked by Varis 12 votes
answered by Rathony 5 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Difference between nevertheless and nonetheless

I am never quite sure whether to use nevertheless or nonetheless; they seem almost synonymous to me, but I think I might be missing a subtle distinction. Is there a difference, and if so, how do I ...

*differences *discourse-markers  
asked by Fraser Orr 34 votes
answered by Cameron 15 votes

How do you greet multiple recipients in an e-mail?

How do you greet multiple recipients in an e-mail? Assuming they're both male, I just use "Sirs", but it seems a bit informal.

*email *greetings  
asked by Jonn 43 votes
answered by RegDwigнt 27 votes

Can you answer these?

"Shuttling between the anal and genital zones of development." Huh?

Here's a quote from Lolita: "Dolly Haze," she said, "is a lovely child, but the onset of sexual maturing seems to give her trouble." I bowed slightly. What else could I do? "She is ...

asked by Ricky 2 votes

Same, same but different

If anyone has been to S.E. Asian countries there is a familiar English phrase, Same, same but different. It always brings a smile to my face when I hear it as you kind of know what the person is ...

asked by Liam Murphy 1 vote

Two "to be" verbs in one sentence

Insurance is required on purchases of $100 or more, and (is) strongly suggested at $50 to $100. should it be used twice? can it be used only once? Which one is considered of better style (in ...

asked by Rossitten 1 vote
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