April 2, 2007  •  bobmorgy

Methodology

If Methodology means “they study of different methods” (in the same idea as Biology or Geology) then why do people always say “Let me explain our methodology” instead of just saying “Let me explain our methods”? Am I wrong or do I have the right to be annoyed!

January 19, 2007  •  adamcollett

An unforecasted dilemma

So someone I work with is giving me hell about the word “unforecasted.” Microsoft’s built-in dictionary doesn’t recognize it, and I’ve checked a couple of on-line dictionaries to no avail. However, a Google search shows relatively common usage in business, defense, and academic writings. I stand by it - it sounds correct to my ears and it seems to alleviate a void in nuance that is not filled by unanticipated, unpredicted and the like. Can anyone validate or refute my stance?

October 28, 2006  •  nancyfriedman

“I’m just saying”

I’m interested in the origins of “I’m just saying” used postpositively. (Also its variant: “I’m not saying, I’m just saying.”) An example: “Have you ever noticed how many people end statements with qualifiers? I’m just saying.” It seems to be an update of “With all due respect,” or perhaps something I’m not thinking of. Is it an East Coast expression? I’m from California and have never heard it in speech, but have noticed it frequently in blog titles and posts.

October 3, 2006  •  bob2

Retail Therapy

Does anyone know who first used the expression “retail therapy”. How would one go about finding the first time this expression was published?

April 4, 2006  •  anette

Hi all vs. Hi everybody

I’m German, but work in an American company. So the expression “Hi all” is pretty popular as a salutation for email messages. Now, an American English native speaker told me that this is Southern accent, and I should use “Hi everybody” instead. (same with “Dear all”) What do you think?

March 29, 2006  •  adam

Over exaggeration

Is it correct to say “over exaggerate”? or is exaggeration by nature already over emphasizing? Surely you either exaggerate or you don’t? It just drives me mad when people say this all the time!

March 3, 2006  •  bethann

Butter won’t melt in my mouth...

So I am a university English Lit student of about three years, and I have to admit, I don’t exactly know the meaning of this phrase. I came across it while reading “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and was reminded how much this phrase has always annoyed me, because I have a general idea of what it means, but couldn’t specifically define it. I am also curious as to where this phrase originated from. Any ideas?

February 27, 2006  •  sara

Thisclose

I recently used the phrase (?) “thisclose.” A friend asked me what it’s called when the literal writing matches the meaning. Is there a word for that? What is it?

February 23, 2006  •  donnieantonini

Cow Eyes

What does it mean when someone says you have cow eyes? I’ve heard a bunch of answers but I don’t know which is right. I have been told it means: - Your eyes kind of stick out (like Steve Buscemi) - Your eyes are different colors (I guess this is common among cows? I know it’s common among certains dogs and cats) - Your eyes have a sad look to them (cause cows look sad?) - You have a stare that suggests you are “hot to trot” - You have a blank, empty stare. Any ideas what this really means?

January 15, 2006  •  bill

Perfect Storm

Does a phrase exist (english or other) that describes a situation in which something that normally would not occur takes place, solely because the circumstances surrounding it (themselves possible anomolies) make it possible. Example: A “perfect storm” can take place because wind speeds reach the correct speed at the correct moment, water temperatures are at the right temperature at the correct time, etc., etc.

January 10, 2006  •  alinadeem

As wet as ?

as dry as a bone as cold as ice as sick as a dog as wet as ??? a fish? water? what’s right?

January 6, 2006  •  jamesrigg

Discussion forum

Am I not right in thinking that the phrase “discussion forum”, as often used to refer to bulletin boards on websites, is a tautology?

December 8, 2005  •  gargeug

Charade you are!!

I have heard the expression “Ha Ha, charade you are” in the pink floyd song pigs, and also in a southpark episode. In the episode cartman used it like you would use the phrase “touchee” in an argument. Does anyone have any input as to what this phrase means and an example of using it.

December 6, 2005  •  donnieantonini

Might could

There’s an expression from the Southern United States that has always bugged me and it is “might could” which means may be willing and/or able to do something in the future. It is used like this: “Are you going to do it?” “I’m not sure but I might could.” Despite being bad grammar and redundant, my question is what is the correct response? Both the phrases, “I’m not sure but I might.” or “I’m not sure but I could.” just sound strange to me. Is the only way to use a longer phrase like, “I’m not sure but I might be willing to do it later.”

October 26, 2005  •  elisemodgins

Riot act

What does it mean when someone states that they were “read the riot act” or that THEY read someone else “the riot act”? Is there such a thing as a Riot Act. I haven’t been able to locate information on this.

October 14, 2005  •  shantel

worthwhile debate

“For all it’s worth” or “for all its worth”? e.g. He rolled the R for all it’s worth.

September 28, 2005  •  vanillla

OK vs Okay

I have seen both OK and Okay used regularly. If OK is correct what do the O and the K stand for? If Okay what is the origin? Thank you.

September 27, 2005  •  steve

most unique

Is it correct to describe something as “most unique”? It seems to me that “most” is redunant though it does add emphasis akin to expressions such as “very pregnant” and “very dead”.

September 27, 2005  •  steve

hanged vs. hung

In primary school we learned that prisoners were hanged by the neck until dead, and not hung by the neck until dead. Paintings, coats, and Christmas stockings are “hung”, not people. They are “hanged”. Is this correct? I hear news reporters say “hung” all the time. Never “hanged”.

September 21, 2005  •  tweyland

all _____ sudden

Is it regional to use “all of a sudden” versus “all the sudden?” The former sounds more correct to me.

  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9  

Recently Discussed

On Tomorrow  —August 27, 2014, 8:45pm

P & K  —August 26, 2014, 2:20pm

While vs Whilst vs Whereas  —August 19, 2014, 3:31pm

Can every letter be used as a silent letter?  —August 19, 2014, 11:04am

One Love  —August 18, 2014, 7:19pm

Plaque for family home  —August 17, 2014, 12:35am

“This is she” vs. “This is her”  —August 15, 2014, 6:03am

attorneys general vs. attorney generals  —August 9, 2014, 8:05pm

Resume, resumé, or résumé?  —August 8, 2014, 2:27pm

Hi all vs. Hi everybody  —August 6, 2014, 1:40am