Topics having to do with multiple meanings of a word or phrase.

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1answer
23 views

How can I mean the “traditional” charade without ambiguity?

From the wikipedia page, a charade is A word guessing game [...] in which one player acts out a word or phrase, often by miming similar-sounding words, and the other players guess the word or ...
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0answers
20 views

Please let me know [on hold]

What is the difference between and are they both correct? 1.That has got to be the smallest foot I have ever seen. 2.That is the smallest foot I have ever seen. Thanks.
4
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3answers
70 views

What are some less ambiguous words for “choice,” “decision,” “option,” etc.?

1) You come to a fork in the road. You need to make a choice between going left or right. You face a decision between the left path and the right path. You have the option to advance in either ...
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2answers
47 views

Meaning of “I don't love her because she is beautiful.” [on hold]

I don't love her because she is beautiful. This sentence is in my grammar book. It means I love her not because she is beautiful. I am confused!
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1answer
28 views

“Algorithmic …ing…” vs “Algorithm …ing”

Q: Question is general, but let's take some concrete examples: Isn't "Algorithmic Auditing" - about audits done by (or using) algorithms (and subject can be whatever) "Algorithm Auditing" - about ...
6
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2answers
70 views

How many is many? [on hold]

Many is a great word for its ambiguity. You needn't know the actual number and you're still fine to say many. It lets you speak without knowing, or focus on the main idea without getting lost in the ...
4
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1answer
90 views

Meaning of “trade-off between attention to fluency or attention to accuracy.”

I'm a foreign English learner. I could not understand the meaning because of two puzzling aspects in a sentence in shawn loewen's book Key concepts in second language acquisition: In SLA this is ...
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0answers
25 views

Word for Adjectives with conflicting meanings [duplicate]

First, I've been through, Word or phrase that can mean something and its opposite. I'd like to know if there's a word specifically for Adjectives, even phrasal verbs are welcome. Recently, came ...
3
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0answers
55 views

“Enormity”: Bigness or evil?

A few years ago, I learned that the word "enormity" meant "wickedness" and not (ever!) "bigness"--this according to the official curriculum for a major American standardized test. Upon learning this, ...
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2answers
59 views

Prejudiced vs biased

How do "prejudiced" and "biased" exactly differ? Sometimes, they are used interchangeably. Upon consulting the dictionary, I find that "prejudice" is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as − "......
6
votes
2answers
408 views

What's the connection between the word 'roam' and the cell phone roaming? [closed]

"Roam" is defined as "move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment". What does it have to do with the cell phone roaming? Why is roaming called that? ...
1
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3answers
111 views

Is “He was shot in the street” ambiguous? [closed]

I'd say both of these uses of "he was shot" make sense: "How did he die?" -- "He was shot in the street" [meaning shot dead] "He was shot in the street, but luckily the bullet only hit his foot." [...
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1answer
25 views

What does it mean to say someone is “of” somewhere?

For example: William Howell of Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, sang Our Gallant Ship.. Does it mean the place where the person was born? Or could it also just mean the place where they lived?
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0answers
108 views

“What do you mean by ___? " Is this ambiguous or rude? [migrated]

Is asking someone “What do you mean by ___?" a rude way to ask the meaning of something you don't understand? For example, when I chat with my American friends, and there is a word I don't know the ...
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0answers
41 views

list all possible meanings of this sentence [closed]

I would like to know all of the syntactically valid meanings of the following sentence: I am going to eat a bagel with egg on it like my wife. I can think of the following meanings (and included ...
1
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1answer
18 views

Leaving temporarily

I'm looking for a word or expression to convey the meaning of "leaving temporarily". Context: I'm writing house rules for a bed & breakfast, and I want to ask guests to turn off the lights every ...
59
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11answers
9k views

If a ship sinks, what does an airship do?

We were having a discussion at work about airships (zeppelins, blimps, etc.) and someone spoke about them sinking when they crash. Someone else said they can't sink because they're not descending ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

English equivalent of the French “trompe-oreilles”?

The following is the translation of the French definition of trompe-oreilles as it appears on the Wikipedia page: A trompe-oreilles is a valid sentence that, when spoken out loud, gives the ...
3
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2answers
341 views

Is having sex a hobby? [closed]

Wiktionary defines a hobby as An activity that one enjoys doing in one's spare time. Other dictionaries tend to have similar definitions. Viewpoint 1 Some people believe that the word hobby ...
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0answers
33 views

In which country does “protocol” mean school related work or homework?

I was talking with a student online, I don't know where he is from, but he said to me that he is doing a "physics protocol" at home I am assuming that he meant physics related homework, rather than ...
0
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1answer
73 views

Difference between “everlasting” and “eternal”

I know these two sentences are somehow different, but I don't know how: This is an everlasting love. This is an eternal love. I read here that there are a number of adjectives for ...
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2answers
35 views

Succinct and understandable term when “turn up”/“turn down” is ambiguous

In particular, think of the home air conditioner or the power setting on the kitchen refrigerator: the intensity of effort is opposite to the numbering of the related quality. So "Turn up the air ...
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4answers
203 views

“defeat Trump badly”

In a live-streamed speech, the Vermont senator made it clear he is no longer actively challenging Clinton and that the goal is to ‘defeat Trump badly’ … “The major political task that we face in ...
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1answer
43 views

Need help in fixing an ambiguous sentence

Need help in fixing the ambiguous sentence below: 11 products are supported by single engineer What I want to mean is that in the 11 product, each product is only supported by one engineer; not ...
2
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0answers
61 views

Stress pattern changes with noun and verb homographs: exceptions to the rule

We all know that words that can be used both as nouns and verbs have a different stress pattern: http://www.wordstress.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Stress-Pattern-Change-noun-verb-pairs.pdf As a ...
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3answers
65 views

Word usage technically correct, but misleading

An article title states a Black Lives Matter activist is charged with 'lynching'. When I read the article, what the activist actually did is unlawfully remove a suspect from police custody, in order ...
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1answer
46 views

Is 'good' a double-entendre in some parts of the US? [closed]

In the movie The Incredibles, the characters have the following dialogue: LUCIUS (FROZONE): Honey? HONEY: What? LUCIUS (FROZONE): Where's my supersuit? HONEY: What? LUCIUS ...
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1answer
54 views

When do I collect my money '…as I pass Go'?

I was playing Junior Monopoly yesterday. The, er, grown-ups disagreed (!) over precisely when you collect your £2 pocket money. On the board itself the instruction is "...Collect £2 pocket money as ...
2
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3answers
59 views

Meaning of 'be bond to' in “since ye are bond to that magic” in 19th-century poem [closed]

I am reading a poem by Rudyard Kipling, Kitchener's School (http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_kitchener.htm) and I am wondering about the precise meaning/possible connotations of the verb 'be bond ...
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0answers
21 views

six points clear of Jack in fifth place

a. In the most recent rankings, Don sits six points clear of Jack in fifth place. b. In the most recent rankings, Don sits six points clear of Jack, in fifth place. In the second sentence there is ...
5
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2answers
99 views

Positive connotation of “fluke”?

Many sources (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, for a start) suggest the word "fluke" has mostly positive connotations when used in the sense of "accident." That is, "a fluke" properly describes a lucky accident, not ...
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2answers
57 views

Ambiguity in prepositional phrases

"Nellie washed the dishes in the sink." This sentence is ambiguous, and the prepositional phrase can be read two ways--either as 'Nellie washed (in the sink) the dishes', in which case it is an ...
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2answers
81 views

Multiple meanings of “I hope that you will prove them wrong”

I were recently told that the sentence "I hope that you will prove them wrong" should have two or more meanings 'in-sentence', but not how and this is bugging me! I can only make sense of this 'out-...
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3answers
65 views

Ambiguous modifier at the end of this sentence? [closed]

We review recurrent neural networks in computer science, a simple class of learning algorithms that permit feedback between the different nodes in the network. I have two questions: Is the ...
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2answers
74 views

What our students have to say. Grammar question

I often hear the phrase "what our students have to say" in testimonials, and I am confused with the grammar here. It can be taken in two ways as follows. 1) Our students have something (what) to say ...
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0answers
22 views

did not know that I had seen some/certain [closed]

a. She didn't know that I had seen some of her paintings. b. She didn't know that I had seen some of her paintings. Could either of these sentences be used instead of: c. There were certain of her ...
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0answers
35 views

will buy any of them [closed]

a. Take any of the CD's you want. Does that mean Take one CD, whichever one you want. Or could it mean take all the CD's you want? b. Take any CD you want. Does that mean Take one CD, whichever ...
1
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1answer
74 views

Regarding education, does the term “special needs” usually only refer to severe mental disability?

I thought that when discussing education, the term "special needs" referred to individuals with severe mental disability, such as having a very low IQ. However, this question on academia.SE talks ...
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1answer
25 views

Ambiguity in sentence: retrieving a document marked as relevant by pure chance [closed]

There is an ambiguity in the following sentence, since it is not obvious whether by pure chance refers to retrieving a document or to marked as relevant. I want to make it explicit that the document ...
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1answer
37 views

What does “Term” on a quote mean? [closed]

I recently requested a quote from a web hosting provider. In the quote details, below the quote id number and the validity expiration date, I can read "Term - 6 months". What does it mean? Is it a ...
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0answers
90 views

Peevish, crabby, irritable, and bad-tempered [closed]

What's the difference between them? What the difference between someone who is peevish or irritable and a ‘crabby person’? As far as I get them Peevish — easily annoyed, especially by things that ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Dual meaning of 'Latest'

I want to sort a list of events chronologically in 'latest first' order. Does this mean the most recent events will be the top of the list, or the bottom of the list? Latest means 'most recent', but ...
1
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1answer
56 views

Use of 'Like' and 'Unlike' prepositions

I am confused about the usage of the words like and unlike in sentences. Like and unlike make me confused because I see them being used everywhere almost interchangeably, and to make matters worse I ...
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3answers
75 views

Sentence with two possible meanings

I was reading this sentence and was a bit confused because it has two possible meanings: But I want to terminate the session as soon as user closes the browser using Ajax.           — Source (...
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0answers
27 views

what does “considers most” mean here?

The United States signed but has not yet ratified the Convention; however, the United States considers most of the Vienna Convention’s rules as representing customary international law. does it mean ...
0
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2answers
43 views

what does “preceding warfare” means? [closed]

Peace treaties concluded after cessation of hostilities were usually considered to be valid because of preceding warfare. preceding means "come before (something) in time" warfare means "engagement ...
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0answers
31 views

Correlation to or between

My Brazilian friend wants me to check his PhD abstract in English. The information of gravimetric and topographic surveys shows the shallow nature of ECSMT with ~ 1.4 km deep, there is a strong ...
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1answer
81 views

What does “then” mean in this context?

In the book Diplomacy: A Very Short Introduction by By Joseph M. Siracusa, we find the following passage: Prior to World War II, then, diplomacy was essentially a government-to-government ...
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1answer
98 views

WHAT IS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “STORY” AND “TALE” IN THIS CONTEXT? [duplicate]

For all their efforts, the diplomats at Versailles achieved the precise opposite of what they had set out to do, inexorably, tragically laying the groundwork for the next, more horrible world war. In ...
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0answers
41 views

Who are these people in context?

Text came from preface. I should also be remiss if I did not thank the anonymous Delegates for their thoughtful reports and constructive suggestions. Even those who did not much agree with me gave me ...