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

Top new questions this week:

You "show" someone a picture. You "---" someone a song?

In Maltese, we have a verb meaning "to show" corresponding to "to see/to look", and we have a different verb corresponding to "to hear/to listen": inti tara stampa (you look at a picture.) ---- …

*meaning *single-word-requests *verbs *translation  
asked by mga 50 votes
answered by bye 62 votes

"My personal opinion is..." Is it always pointless to use the words "personal" and "personally"?

Is this kind of redundancy acceptable in both speech and writing, formal and informal ? Would the following sentences have their meaning changed if we omitted "personal" or "personally" ? Would they …

*word-usage *usage *redundancy  
asked by Luis 47 votes
answered by Joe Z. 93 votes

Is there a word which means whatever you want it to mean? Or has no meaning?

I'm looking for a word which can be used in any situation to describe something in whatever way you want, i.e it's not a word and just fits in to places..., but is there an actual word which does …

*meaning *word-choice  
asked by Hordern 21 votes
answered by bobie 53 votes

What great writers have used coordinating conjunctions at the start of sentences?

I had a discussion today with a friend over the validity of using (coordinating, correlative) conjunctions like but or and at the start of sentences. His position was that it breaks a rule of …

*conjunctions *sentence-starts *literature *is-it-a-rule *coordinating-conjunctions  
asked by Mathias Foster 19 votes
answered by Sven Yargs 28 votes

Is there a word for this emotion? Resentment over someone's good fortune without wanting it - Not quite jealousy/envy

What is the word to describe this? I was reading up about the differences between jealousy and envy and this doesn't seem to fit either, when you don't actually want what the other person has, nor do …

*meaning *single-word-requests  
asked by V_H 19 votes
answered by Jon Purdy 51 votes

Opposite of "to my credit"?

In writing a question for Programmers StackExchange, I wanted to write a sentence similar to "To my credit, I did foo, bar, and baz," except foo bar and baz are bad things so they are actually the …

*phrase-requests *antonyms  
asked by Drake 18 votes
answered by jwpat7 26 votes

The U in "Glamour"

Why, in US English, does the word glamour retain its u while humour, neighbour, and others have shed it?

*etymology *american-english *orthography *historical-change  
asked by Clay Fowler 16 votes
answered by tchrist 15 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

How does "pussy" come to mean "coward"?

The word pussy is often used to mean "coward". This guy is a pussy. and I am wondering why. How are woman's genitals related to being a "coward"?

*meaning *etymology *nouns *slang  
asked by Help - I need somebody's help 18 votes
answered by user19341 45 votes

"All the faith he had had had had no effect on the outcome of his life" is it correct

"All the faith he had had had had no effect on the outcome of his life." Is this a grammatically correct sentence?

*grammaticality *grammar  
asked by Clinttt 10 votes
answered by shermy 8 votes

Can you answer these?

What's the meaning of the word "spitters" in The Chemical Worker's Song?

Amongst the different versions of this song (Known by various names including "The Chemical Worker's Song", "Process Man" and "The ICI Song") that are floating around, there seem to be two variations …

*meaning *archaic *lyrics  
asked by Acorn 1 vote

Understanding the sentence meaning

In the following sentence, whose velocity is u? The particles or the medium? For particles moving in a medium with macroscopic velocity u: The normalized Maxwell’s distribution function (Eq. …

*phrase-usage *understand  
asked by zed111 1 vote

"In my younger years, early days, early years, and earlier years"?

I just wanted to express the period from when I was born to my recent days until I realized something. I initially put "in my earlier years." Then I wasn't sure if the meaning of the phrase that I …

*phrases *expressions  
asked by j.free 1 vote
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