Recent content by Abstract Idea

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    circle and circumference

    Is there a technical difference between the words 'circle' and 'circumference'? Can the word 'circle' refer indistinctly either only to the inner part the geometric figure or only to its boundary? Or even the union of both these regions? Is there another word to apply here? I know that in...
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    - I couldn't find the word subtitler in most English dictionaries. - Most spellchecker programs underline subtitler. - An internal search of threads at UsingEnglish for subtitler used to produce no matches (before this very one post). Is there an English word for subtitler? Take a look for...
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    like & as

    I've read there are differences between 'like' and 'as' regarding comparisons, the first one being a preposition and the second one a conjunction. Please note the following examples: I didn't know there was a website like this. I didn't know there was a great website like this. I didn't know...
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    nature - feminine or neuter ?

    Is "nature" feminine or neuter? I have been hearing people say "nature herself" instead of "nature itself". Is it admissible or correct to say "nature herself"? (What about "nature himself", no room at all?)
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    italics writing style

    I found this half word italics style in an old book (The Catcher in the Rye) I am reading: "He didn't want you to think he was visiting you or anything. He wanted you to think he'd come in by mistake, for God's sake."[...] "Nobody won."[...] "On the subway, for Chrissake!" Some words are half...
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    I used to think that only the form "goodbye" was correct. Was the form "good-by" ever preferred to "goodbye"? Is "good-by", instead of "goodbye" also correct? I am currently reading an old book (The Catcher in the Rye) with lots of "good-by" instead of "goodbye". Checking some online...
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    [Vocabulary] something you put under your drink

    How do you call in English an object which can be used under glasses (filled with soft drinks, beer, etc.) in order not to stain tables for instance? They look like sauces but I think they are not exactly sauces. They are not used everywhere, but let's say at clubs or maybe some cheap...
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    between and among

    Dear teachers, 1) please take a look at the following passage from a book I am currently reading: "But I can give you freedom to overcome any system of power in which you find yourself, be it religious, economic, social or political. You will grow in the freedom to be inside or outside all...
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    Is there ellipsis in this sentence?

    In a previous thread, sophiehhrr posted: I had posted the suggestion: But still I don't know whether this is the correct answer.
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    finite and infinite

    I keep hearing the different pronunciation of these words (finite and infinite) in Wiki Q&A combined with free online dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedias (my "pronunciation guide"), in order to learn them. However, still it sounds weird to me. In sentences like "In both...
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    a no breed dog

    How do you call a dog with no specific breed? Could it be "cur" or is this reserved only for an "inferior" dog? I mean, someone could have a beloved no breed dog.
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    for travel

    Somewhere in my old memory I think I remember seeing a rule stating that after prepositions verbs should always come in gerund form. However, I have found the following sentences in the internet: 1) All essential for travel to Beijing. 2) Visitors may be aware that the USA has changed its...
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    To sew well, strong light is necessary.

    I am currently reading a simple grammar book which states that the sentence "To sew well, strong light is necessary." is grammatically incorrect. I think everybody understands the meaning of such sentence. Is it really incorrect? What about "A strong light is necessary to sew well" ?
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    Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal verbs

    Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal verbs There is this book I am reading, Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, by John Gray, which has some interesting passages: "5. Use Correct Wording. One of the most common mistakes in asking for support is...
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    Beginning a sentence with but/however

    I had already heard some grammarians state in formal English sentences should never begin with "but" or "and". Then I tried to police myself on that. Regarding "and" everything went fine; I was able to do the job easily. However, regarding "but" things were not that easy until I realized that...