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

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0answers
27 views

How to put emphasis on a chapter [on hold]

In one chapter I have been discussing previous work of my colleagues with one approach. Then, in the next one, I want to emphasize that a totally different approach is employed. My sentence is: ...
0
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4answers
191 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 ...
1
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1answer
66 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 ...
4
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2answers
158 views

Is having sex a hobby?

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 ...
0
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2answers
56 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 ...
1
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2answers
32 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 ...
0
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0answers
31 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 ...
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0answers
36 views

many students's notebooks [on hold]

Which are correct: 1) The teacher took the notebooks of many of the students. 2) The teacher took notebooks of many of the students. 3) The teacher took many students' notebooks. 4) The teacher ...
0
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1answer
37 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 ...
3
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2answers
118 views

An Example of Lexical Semantic Ambiguity?

As a joke, is A seal walks into a club... an example of semantic ambiguity, lexical ambiguity, or the expression I just recently discovered, lexical semantic ambiguity? Or put another way, is ...
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0answers
23 views

Does this senence make it seem like my grandparents are part of porbandar? [migrated]

I have to make the following sentence less ambiguous I stay with my family in a small house in porbandar which includes my grandparents. My attempt is: I stay with my family which includes ...
2
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0answers
48 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 ...
1
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1answer
72 views

is “reads as” equal to “similar to” in this context?

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. ...
4
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3answers
59 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 ...
-1
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1answer
42 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 ...
2
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3answers
53 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 ...
0
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1answer
46 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 ...
1
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5answers
4k views

Meaning of the full title of Darwin's “On the origin of species”

The full title of Darwin's work "On the origin of species" is: "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life". My ...
0
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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
81 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 ...
0
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1answer
299 views

Can “extremely professional” have a negative connotation? [closed]

If someone is described as extremely professional, might there be a negative side to it? This is how I would take it in many contexts, and I'm wondering whether it's justified. If some chap at work ...
5
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4answers
227 views

Ambiguity of the word 'any'?

Given the following question, in the context of a poll or vote: Should any employee of Company X be allowed to assume absolute authority in any project with Company X's name associated? Under ...
1
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2answers
417 views

Ambiguous relative clause

In the following expression, whom does 'who' refer to? The friends of the participants or the participants themselves? "The friends of the participants who were told to order soft drinks" This was ...
0
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3answers
64 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 ...
0
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2answers
62 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-...
30
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6answers
25k views

How should I address someone with a known name and unknown gender?

When communicating with foreign cultures, the gender of the addressed person is not always clear from the name. What would be a professional way to address someone in this situation. (Dear Mr or Ms ...
0
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2answers
253 views

Sentence interpretation

I have been accused of a lack of reading comprehension in the following statement: Irgun later on became part of the "Jewish authorities", specifically the IDF by a self-professed wordsmith. To me, it ...
0
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2answers
73 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 ...
1
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0answers
20 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 ...
2
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1answer
197 views

When did “to forgive” lose its primary meaning for pardoning and become solely about an emotional response?

During a recent debate I was having with a peer, I was shocked to find out that the word "forgive" no longer carries a primary association with the act of pardoning another individual (i.e., ...
1
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3answers
639 views

why say “take” when we really mean “leave” (a piss, etc.)

The use of "take" in colloquial expressions of urination and defecation continues to both confound and amuse even the youngest of language enthusiasts. Just ask my son, who will insist with a smile ...
9
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5answers
9k views

Meaning of “to get stuffed”

What does the phrase to get stuffed mean in the following passage taken from my IELTS reading exercise? One of London Zoo’s recent advertisements caused me some irritation, so patently did it ...
1
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0answers
30 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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0answers
44 views

Not sure if five of them

a. I don't know if five of my friends are still alive or not. b. I am not sure that five of my friends are still alive. Aren't these sentences ambiguous? I see two possibilities There ...
1
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1answer
71 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 ...
0
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1answer
24 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
34k views

What does “Let me know if the problem persists” exactly mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When are “if” and “whether” equivalent? Which one is the correct meaning of "Let me know if the problem persists."? Or is it ambiguous? If the ...
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1answer
34 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 ...
1
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0answers
77 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 ...
2
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5answers
1k views

What does “I don't suffer from insanity” mean? [closed]

I'm pretty confused about a quote I've read on a website. It was written: I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it. I'd like to know what it really means when a person says this....
1
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1answer
49 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 ...
0
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1answer
46 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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3answers
66 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
38 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 ...
2
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2answers
4k views

'Birthdate vs birthday'- I know three other people who share my birthdate

We say birthday and not birthdate Generally, birthplace is used for place of birth but not birthdate for date of birth. What is the reason that birthday scores over birthdate when it comes to usage....
0
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0answers
25 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
42 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 ...
4
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3answers
109 views

What does 'measuring cast' mean? (1660, UK)

Source: 'Things Necessary to be Continually had in Remembrance', by Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676) If in criminals it be a measuring cast, to incline to mercy and acquittal. How do you ...
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0answers
26 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 ...
1
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1answer
77 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 ...