Questions tagged [discussion]

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Why was a question about the origin and meaning of a phrase closed because the origin is known?

Note: The question in question has been reopened. The question 'What’s the origin/meaning of “from belt buckle to shoe sole”?' was closed because Mr Biden consistently gives the origin - his uncle. ...
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1answer
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Why does Google Ngrams show pronoun usage drop and rise over time?

I was using Google Ngrams to investigate whether feminine pronouns have been used more often in English literature over time, relative to masculine pronouns. I was surprised to find that the ...
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I want to study the various usages of the 17th and 16th century verb “atone”. Other than oed.com, where can I study this verb and adverb?

I'm looking specifically for works that discuss the sense of a cessation of quarrels as found in oed.com's definition for the verb "atone": 1555 W. Waterman tr. J. Boemus Fardle of Facions ...
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Let's discuss this edit

Here's a question from a new user: About the word "race" when talking about bike headset It looks unclear, and currently has four close votes for Please include the research you’ve done. It ...
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3answers
81 views

Resources for finding early uses of words?

I have a strangely deep admiration for archaic language and its usage and find that when working on period-piece writings, sources (catalogs of old books) for researching words used in the period (And ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to get publication dates from the BNC?

I was looking up some things in the British National Corpus, and was trying to find the earliest occurrence of a word pattern. Unfortunately I couldn't find any way of seeing publication dates of the ...
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Why was 'How did “unless” semantically shift to signify “except if”?' closed?

Why was How did "unless" semantically shift to signify "except if"? closed? What "details or clarity" are needed? The question appears self-explanatory to me. Mari-Lou A ...
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1answer
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Is there a service to find out if my phrase is used online like corpora, but not exactly?

I work as a copywriter. Sometimes I have several options of a phrase and I want to check which one is more widespread and more commonly used. Surely, I can google it, but google will search ...
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I'm trying to find credible sources for the etymology of the word “naughty” Any tips?

I have to write a paper for a class of mine, and it's about the definition of a word and its usage through time. I was assigned to write about the word "naughty", and I am trying to find ...
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How can I edit this question and start the reopening process to make additional answers possible?

dog-leg, dogleg, or dog leg? has one well-received and currently accepted answer but was quickly closed for lack of research. It was only my second question here, over three years ago now. I'd ...
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New user asks: Are requests for proverbs and sayings (as opposed to single-word idiom requests) on-topic?

I am new here since this year; this question is to help me understand the culture. I answered a new question, asking for an equivalent of Catalan 'Gent jove pa tou' or 'Young people soft ...
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Was the question “etc. etc. usage” closed correctly?

This question was closed as being "opinion-based". But I thought that usage questions were on-topic for this site. After all, the asker says "Is there any rule…", not "How do ...
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Why was “What is the difference between '[I] may [be] …' and 'even though … '?” locked?

Overview The question What is the difference between “[I] may [be] …” and “even though … ”? was recently locked. I had posted the following comment: In this context, may normally implies the ...
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My first question

I have a question about my English Language & Usage Stack Exchange post: Planets of the Solar System So far, this is the only question I have asked on English Stack Exchange. But my question is ...
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1answer
156 views

Why was “What's the word for something that is purposefully generalised and understated?” locked?

I'm trying to understand the rationale for locking What's the word for something that is purposefully generalised and understated? As it is, the question is lacking a degree of necessary detail. My ...
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1answer
110 views

Accepted an answer but didn't receive the two reputation award

I have accepted an answer to my question, but my reputations didn't increase by 2. Why did that happen? I haven't reached the daily reputation limit; I think.
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1answer
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How to ask questions about the languages themselves?

I have a question about two languages. I want to compare them because they are related to each other. Which SE site fits this type of question? in other words, an SE site for asking about the language,...
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2answers
130 views

How to remove an inappropriate lock on this site?

A specific question has been locked inappropriately and without good reason. How can the lock be removed? I know the question I am asking is not a typical question and would fall foul of the rules if ...
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1answer
90 views

Using internet search engines (Google/Yahoo) 'News' results to count frequency of a word

I'm trying to find a way to export the results/ count the frequency of a specific word 'homeless' in News articles in my country over the past 10 years. I am aware of Google Books NGram viewer for ...
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What is the legal position re cut & pasting OED entries?

The most recent posts I can find on this subject date from 2015 and earlier. Does anyone know the authoritative up-to-date advice on whether that which is posted to the EL & U site constitutes &...
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1answer
65 views

What tag should be used when a question is completely off topic?

This is in reference to Which is the Best Engineering College in Bangalore? It was deleted, but here is the text for anybody who can't view it: i recently completed my 12th class i wanted to do ...
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1answer
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Need help in understanding why my question was deleted

My question Modern politically correct English guide (10k only, screenshot below) was deleted. I am asking for help from the community here to understand why this question was deleted, and how I could ...
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1answer
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Why aren’t my questions being answered

If you look at at profile https://english.stackexchange.com/users/373235/theguradian my questions weren’t answered at all why?
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Dealing with obstinacy of commenters

Is there a procedure for alerting moderators (without whining) when a commenter appears to be singularly obstinate and disagreeable? I'm thinking, for example, of when a commenter keeps insisting that ...
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0answers
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Criteria specific dictionaries use to decide on ordering of different senses of a given headword

It's fairly common knowledge that OED lists senses of a given headword in the chronological order research has found printed evidence for: it is a historical dictionary. Equally conveniently, the ...
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2answers
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Is it better to remove spam links when editing or to flag them for moderators?

I've just edited a one-sentence question. After editing, I clicked on the link in the body of the question. It led to a survey posted on the web site of a large fast-food chain: nothing to do with the ...
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1answer
268 views

Biased downvoting because I told the truth to the answerer

My issue: I am a new member on English Language & Usage. The day before yesterday I asked a question (Nice came from nescius meaning stupid?) here. I then closed out the site as I was busy. ...
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1answer
51 views

Are questions better if they contain the actual words they reference?

I just had this edit rejected, where someone was using the nonsensical syntax of "f***ing around" instead of "fucking around". Two of the three reviewers rejected the edit with the following rationale:...
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Allophones and Intonation transcripts

I bump into this website on Google, and it has pretty good examples of IPA transcripts with allophones and intonation; however, I could not find such elsewhere. I am grateful for the recommendations ...
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Resource for grammatical rules pertaining to mid-17th century English

Salutations to all during this tragic time where all feels quite, quite down, Firstly I hope all are well. Now, onward to my question: I have, for the past half-year or so writ a play based in ...
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3answers
307 views

What's the general consensus on “Grammarly”?

I use Grammarly almost daily for work and I almost feel like I'm cheating at some points, because I can be a total dunce when it comes to the English language and I can simply never trust myself to ...
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1answer
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Why was “Is there a specific verb for when a person goes “um” and “ah” while they are thinking what to say?” locked?

Why was this question: Is there a specific verb for when a person goes "um" and "ah" while they are thinking what to say? locked? It should probably be closed as a dup of the ...
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Difference between [look-alikes] and [confusables]

I do not think a meaningful distinction can be drawn between the tags look-alikes and confusables. There is no category charter for the first; the second defines confusable as words and phrases which ...
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I'm sometimes unsure about whether to answer a simple grammatical question or to suggest that it is more appropriate for ELL. What are the criteria?

[Before asking this question here on Meta, I did search for duplicates. There are similar questions, but I found no exact duplicates. If they do exist, please direct me to them, and I will delete this ...
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2answers
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Where can I find a book about the whole grammar? [duplicate]

Please, recommend me a book where I can find all(!) English grammar.(literally all grammar)
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1answer
48 views

Can I ask for the “identification” of a word depending on a meaning? [duplicate]

Basically, I'm thinking about the behaviour of someone I know, and something tells me there's a word to qualify that behaviour. However, I don't seem to remember any word that would suit. Can I ask ...
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3answers
212 views

Why is this abusive answer not deleted?

https://english.stackexchange.com/a/489085/37273 I've already raised flags on it - it has -4 votes, but isn't deleted. The question is by a high reputation user here.
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1answer
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Why did my rep and impact drop?

Just curious, but when I opened the site this morning I noticed that my rep had dropped by 32 points, and impact by 1K. There was no notification in the "Recent Achievements" icon. The other icons do ...
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2answers
178 views

Does the system track and chastize a user after a certain number of NAA flags?

Without naming and shaming… we have a “newish” and very enthusiastic user on the main who seems to suffer from impulse control and keeps posting LQ “answers”. Many of these answers are critiques of ...
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1answer
237 views

How did this bizarre edit come to be approved?

A question was posted (no longer visible) , and another user took exception to the format and edited to provide what I would consider to be a defacement. It was certainly never the OP's intent, and ...
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0answers
64 views

What's an example of a good proofreading question?

I see a lot of potentially poor quality questions when I go through the review queue, but I don't know how I'd recognise a good quality proofreading question. The close message says a specific source ...
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46 views

Suggestions about books after assessing the level of English I stand at

Is there a website or something that would suggest me some books to read after assessing the level of English skills I have?
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4answers
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As a single-word enthusiast, what links/blogs should I follow?

I am looking for resources to follow online for language and single-word hobbyists as myself. Do you have any good suggestions? Mailing list subscriptions, twitter feeds, etc?
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0answers
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Are requests for analyses restricted to single sources (eg McCawley, CGEL) acceptable on ELU?

Are requests for analyses, interpretations, restricted to single sources (eg McCawley, CGEL) acceptable on ELU? Most of McCawley, and all of Huddleston and Pullum, for instance, are not available to ...
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1answer
92 views

Why was this highly on-topic question closed as “off-topic” and downvoted?

I asked this yesterday: Is "say me" really correct English? Not only was it downvoted, which is weird in itself, but it was actually closed a "off-topic". This time, I simply need to know: ...
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3answers
175 views

Can we stop voting to close word request questions as opinion based?

While going through the review queue, I've seen a few word/phrase request questions being marked for closure because of being opinion based. Since English is such a rich language, almost every word/...
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1answer
152 views

What is the current policy for answering questions?

The Issues I encountered two related issues within the last 24 hours. I'm only using these instances to highlight what some contributers who do not have a high reputation get met with. Earlier ...
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2answers
101 views

Community Promotion Ads — 2020

2020 has come! But… oops, where did the time go? It’s already March! Belated as it is, it’s time for a refresh of Community Promotion Ads! What are Community Promotion Ads? Community Promotion Ads ...
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2answers
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Coming soon: improvements to close-voting

For those of you who have been following or peripherally aware of the drama around the network the last few quarters, a new chapter has opened, and it seems a brighter one. The company hired a new ...
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1answer
344 views

Changes to block quotes in the pipeline

For some reference as to how block quotes used to look like on EL&U before the the theme was overhauled, see English Language & Usage's updated site theme is ready for testing! and Make ...

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