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

Top new questions this week:

Can a statement be "hissed" without any sibilants?

Is using hissed as a replacement for said technically acceptable in dialogue without the presence of any sibilants? "You fool!" she hissed. I understand that hissed could be used to indicate a ...

*usage *dialogue *sibilants  
asked by dotsamuelswan 31 votes
answered by Dan Bron 36 votes

English word for when avoiding being seen by people?

When I want to go outside, there are times I wish to avoid running into certain people such as friends or colleagues in order to have some private moments. In such cases, I frequently find myself ...

*single-word-requests *vocabulary  
asked by IcySnow 15 votes
answered by chasly from UK 21 votes

What is a real word that means "disenthused"?

I want to get across the point that I was no longer enthusiastic about something: When I walked in the room I was disenthused by what I saw. AFAIK, disenthused isn't a word. Edit: Chasly was ...

asked by user1717828 9 votes
answered by Josh61 12 votes

Term for an argument which cannot be distinguished from sarcasm/jest

What is the word or phrase identifying an argument or statement for which, based on the source, you cannot tell whether the person is being honest or not? The kind of argument or statement where you ...

asked by Ryan P 8 votes
answered by Ryan P 13 votes

What is meant by a "two-lane" road?

When people say that a road has "two lanes"? Two lanes total, one travelling in one direction, and one travelling in the opposite direction? Two lanes travelling in one direction, and two more ...

asked by IQAndreas 8 votes
answered by Josh61 7 votes

Declined Latin nouns in English prose

In German it was customary to decline Latin words used in German prose. One might, for instance, speak of performing a reductionem ad absurdum, using the the accusative form of the word reductio when ...

*latin *loan-words *case  
asked by Lawrence 8 votes
answered by Wrzlprmft 4 votes

Group of elevators in a building

If we assume a large building with multiple elevators, what would be the name of a group of elevators? Consider a group all those in close vicinity to each other, in the same hall but not necessary ...

*single-word-requests *collective-nouns  
asked by Mast 7 votes
answered by JEL 16 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

More formal way of saying: "Sorry to bug you again about this, but ..."

I was wondering if there was a more formal and polite way of saying: Sorry to bug you again about this, but we still have not received a response about X .... (if we still have not received any ...

*phrase-requests *formality *politeness  
asked by Amelio Vazquez-Reina 35 votes
answered by Wesley Murch 53 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 40 votes
answered by RegDwigнt 25 votes

Can you answer these?

Can penult stress for "stigmata" and similar words be explained or justified by any principle?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There appear to be two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...

*pronunciation *pronunciation-vs-spelling *latin *greek *stress  
asked by sumelic 3 votes

"your" followed by gerund

I teach presentation to companies, and a common sentence at the end of a presentation (for my ESL students) is "Thank you for your listening," or "Thank you for your coming," or "Thank you for your ...

asked by michael_timofeev 1 vote

Does anyone happen to know more about the word "zoot" and this use of speech called "nonsense reduplication?"

I am curious about the word "zoot" in "zoot suit." I have not done extensive research on the word, but the cursory search I conducted yielded so little and was so duplicative that I didn't bother ...

*etymology *phrase-usage  
asked by Lisa Beck 2 votes
Subscribe to more Stack Exchange newsletters

Unsubscribe from this newsletter or change your email preferences by visiting your subscriptions page on stackexchange.com.

Questions? Comments? Let us know on our feedback site. If you no longer want to receive mail from Stack Exchange, unsubscribe from all stackexchange.com emails.

Stack Exchange, Inc. 110 William St, 28th Floor, NY NY 10038 <3