X vs. X-al adjectives (asymptotic vs asymptotical, etc.)

Right now I am writing a technical report, where I describe asymptotic(al) curves, expansions etc. My understanding after a bit of web browsing is that asymptotic and asymptotical are near-synonymous but the former is much more common (please correct me if I am wrong), so I will replace all instances of asymptotical by asymptotic. Is … Read more

Why can “dispute” be both verb and noun, but “refute” only a verb?

The word dispute be used as a verb or a noun: Do not dispute me on this. The dispute was settled quickly. However, the word refute can be used only as a verb: I shall refute this claim. The only way to use it as a noun is to add the suffix ‑tation: That was … Read more

Is “fiddle” a frequentative form, and if so, of what?

Having recently learned about frequentative forms, I began to wonder, is fiddle a frequentative form? I’ve seen the suggestion that -le in this case was a pre-English formation, but the meaning “to touch or handle something in a nervous way,” as well as some of the others (such as playing a violin) have a distinctly … Read more

Adjective of low-toxicity

Is there an adjective for low-toxicity, or can it be used as an adjective itself? It sounds strange to say, for example, materials that are low-toxicity. Answer Low-toxic is the adjective of low-toxicity. If you were asking whether there is a separate word for low-toxic, I am quite sure there is not because there is … Read more

What would the adjectival form of “Earl” (the title) be?

Is there even one? I know the adjective for "Duke" would be "ducal" ("of, like or relating to a Duke or dukedom"). But I can’t find a good version of the word for an Earl. Any thoughts? Sorry if this is not the appropriate venue for this question, but thought I would give it a … Read more

Phonetic differences between ɑ and ɒ in English and American pronunciation standards

First, I should state I’m a native U.K. English speaker from the West Midlands. With 44 Phonemes present in English, I’m having trouble deciding when I should use ɑ and ɒ, from this website we can an example for ɑ with father. Both American and British pronounce this the same I believe. But on Collins … Read more

Why are dictionary transcriptions contradictory for the phonetic representation of oranges?

I am a native U.K. speaker with a strong Midlands dialect, and I am very aware of other dialects and regional accents from around the world of English speakers, and I really enjoy this. I am a data scientist, with a strong interest in natural language processing, and I have a problem with the phonetic … Read more

How do you split “cities” into morphemes?

Would it be “cit/ies” or “citie/s”? I’m just starting morphology and I got confused about it. Answer The plural noun cities may be divided into two morphemes: cit(y) – free morpheme (also known as the root word) -ies – bound morpheme (also identified as a suffix) This type of morphological process is inflectional because there … Read more

correct interpretation/understanding of this sentence

I have the following 2 sentences: 1- I did not see any other classmates, except/but Michael. 2- I did not see any classmates, except/but Michael For the first sentence can we understand that the word other converts the expression in inclusive meaning that Michael is a classmate too? For the second sentence, since the word … Read more

Is multifunctionality an actual word?

After checking a few dictionaries like https://www.dictionary.com, I noticed that the only form of this word they recognize is the adjective form: multifunctional. The only noun form listed is "functionality." However in most spellchecking applications, no error is thrown when I type "multifunctionality." I tried investigating further and found that "multifunctionality" can have industry specific … Read more