Questions about the English Language, with the cause for the question found in books read by the Original Poster.

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37 views

Origin and meaning of “chaff before the wind”

I've usually encountered the phrase "chaff before the wind" in the context of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I would like to know where it originates from historically and what imagery should come ...
0
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2answers
43 views

what does “casting a long silver of gold” mean?

so, today I was reading this book and I came across this sentence: "At the very end of the passage, a door stood ajar, and a flickering light shone through the gap, casting a long silver of gold ...
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1answer
38 views

Great Gatsby - Thesis Statement [closed]

This is my thesis regarding the American Dream's unattainability.I need a fourth point at the end. Can somebody point me in the right direction? In F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," the ...
0
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1answer
91 views

Has the English language changed since 1854? [closed]

I've started reading a book named Walden, published in 1854. I am not a native English speaker, I am Persian, and I want to read this book for two reasons: to improve my English and because I think ...
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0answers
189 views

I need help with english grammar/conversation? [closed]

I'm a pretty good user of the English language, I can read, write, and converse rather well in english. But I'm not very good with grammar, consequently I began searching for resources on the subject. ...
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2answers
84 views

A generic term for both books and movies?

I need to know this for an essay I'm doing. I thinks media might work but I'm not really sure. Do you have any suggestions?
2
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1answer
111 views

Is there any good book talking about clauses and phrases?

All grammar books I found underplay clauses and phrases; examples they give are simple and easy to understand, but in reality there are lots of long sentences made up of several clauses and phrases ...
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0answers
72 views

Introductory books for language theory

I have computer science background and I am looking for some NLP algorithms for stemming, POS tagging etc. The language under consideration is "agglutinative and inflectional". Since from CS ...
3
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3answers
204 views

Grammar: What does it really take to be “very good” at it? [closed]

I will try to formulate this question so that it makes sense for a wider audience and suits the style of the QA here. Feel free to suggest changes. I am a non-native English speaker living in the US ...
7
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1answer
111 views

What Charles Ingalls was really going to say?

Here is full paragraph: Pa was on top of the walls, stretching the canvas wagon-top over the skeleton roof of saplings. The canvas billowed in the wind, Pa's beard blew wildly and his hair stood ...
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3answers
92 views

What's the name for this kind of writing? [closed]

I recently 'fell in love' with reading after receiving a book. Now that I've finished reading it, I'm looking for books with that kind of writing. I've Googled for similar books from the same ...
0
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2answers
53 views

correct usage of the single quotation mark? [duplicate]

So I was reading a book one day and I saw this. He gave her the 'Shut up look' is that correct? And, if so why? btw it was not in bold in the book.
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2answers
214 views

The Appendix in Orwell's 1984 [closed]

After answering a question in SciFi if the Big Brother existed as a real person, I got responses that the last chapter, the Appendix (which can be found here), definitely proves that Oceania ceased to ...
0
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3answers
168 views

Word for books of sarcastic type

Is there a a specific word for a book with a sarcastic theme? I am thinking of writing a book on the world of magic of witches and warlocks but in reality it is making fun of their beliefs. For ...
0
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2answers
171 views

to give someone until

I'm reading Women by Charles Bukowski and stumbled upon the following dialog: Dee Dee was standing next to me. "Please tell her," she said, "to give me until September." "Forget her," Lydia ...
0
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1answer
105 views

Ophthalmic usage in Great Expectations [closed]

In chapter 10 of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, it says: Yet I do not call to mind that I was ever in my earlier youth the subject of remark in our social family circle, but some ...
2
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4answers
1k views

Elven or Elfin? [duplicate]

I am writing a fantasy book and am having trouble with when and how to use words such as "Elfin", "Elven", "Elfish", and "Elvish". I don't understand the difference between using a V or an F. Help?
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9answers
22k views

What's a word or phrase to describe a good book that I cannot put down when starting reading?

What's a (big) word or phrase to describe a book that is so good that I cannot put down when I start to read it?
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1answer
54 views

Confusing mealtimes

In "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens, when Pip returns after his meeting with the escaped convict, how come it says that he had dinner right afterwards? Did he skip lunch? Or did his meeting ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Can Neither-Or be used?

My friend was reading the book "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green and she found what seems to be a grammar mistake. The following sentence is found in the author's note: Neither novels or ...
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2answers
2k views

An explanation of the preface in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

I am currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, my grasp of English isn't very good and I'm puzzled over the meaning of a few sentences on the opening page. The highest as the lowest form of ...
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1answer
51 views

Is there a 35th edition of “On Writing Well”?

My English teacher recommended Zinsser's "On Writing Well" as a supplement to my reading of E.B. White's "The Elements of Style". While I know that Zinsser's 30th edition exists, I have come across an ...
0
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1answer
166 views

What is a bromide?

I just finished reading Ayn Rand's wonderful Fountainhead, but one point that escaped me was Rand's near-constant use of the word bromide to refer to something disappointing, or a "bummer" in the ...
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5answers
336 views

“For dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.”

This quote is from "A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two" By George R.R. Martin. This is the full quote: "They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again ...
5
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1answer
2k views

A good and exhaustive book for English grammar [closed]

Before marking this post duplicate or voting to get it closed (the reason for which I simply don't get just because it is a grammar forum after all! If I am seeking recommendation for a book that ...
1
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1answer
128 views

Is Theodore Roosevelt's writing ungrammatical?

Here is an excerpt from chapter 8 of Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris. Morris quotes some of Roosevelt's writing and calls it ungrammatical. Can you explain what is ungrammatical about the passage? ...
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2answers
62 views

Book Publication Data Page

In an English-language book, we conventionally have, among the first few pages, a page displaying essential data concerning the book: Library of Congress Cataloguing Data, various credits, publication ...
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2answers
94 views

Meaning of “Scarce”

I'm reading Time Machine by H. G. Wells. And there is a sentence: "At first I scarce thought of stopping, scarce thought of anything but these new sensations". What does "scarce" mean in this ...
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4answers
1k views

What does the initial fragment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy mean?

I begun reading Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This is one of the initial fragments, emphasis mine: This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of ...
2
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1answer
190 views

What does “to quorble a stank at” mean?

In the foreword to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the following sentence occurs: You will find quantum tomfoolery, cosmic belly laughs and more absurd one-liners than you ...
2
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3answers
535 views

What do we call the brown-colored paper found in old books?

I want to know what that brown and slightly roughly-textured paper is called, or whether there even is a word for it.
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1answer
323 views

What's the meaning of 'In easy-to-read type'? [closed]

I have just bought a book: What's the meaning of 'In easy-to-read type'? Does it mean it's not the original version, but a simplified one?
6
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2answers
3k views

What is a person if they are described as a “wet hen”?

In Terry Pratchett's Discworld books (Witches Abroad in particular), the character Magrat Garlick is often called a "wet hen" by at least one of her witch colleagues. Web searches only yielded the ...
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0answers
540 views

Popular novelty books for intermediate reading [closed]

I've bought George R.R. Martin's The Game of Thrones book today, but the vocabulary in it is too complicated for me. Please suggest me some books with a lot of dialogs and more common vocabulary
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0answers
923 views

The best book/books for self-education [closed]

My level is intermediate or upper-intermediate. I have speaking practice several times per week with native speaker(she is not teacher). I write short essays and my friends help me to check it. I read ...
6
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2answers
194 views

Old (professional) Adam

Again, from Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: [George Smiley] had schooled himself to admit that in those last wretched months of Control's career, when disasters followed one another with ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Use of American-Indian “How” in British English

These are excerpts from Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Jerry Westerby screwed up his face in perplexity. 'That's what the boy wanted to tell me, you see, George. That's what he was ...
5
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3answers
370 views

Meaning of “Toffy Circles”

I'm reading "The Demolished Man" by Alfred Bester, and came across a sentence I could not understand (in bold): "No you don't, Mr. Powell." Mary burst into laughter. "So that's it. You want me for ...
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2answers
11k views

Which tense when talking about books?

Which tense should you use when talking about a book if it is narrated in both the past and present tenses? I am asking this because in To Kill a Mockingbird (Can you underline book titles here?) ...
2
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2answers
1k views

When there are several appendices, what is that part of a book called?

If a book has one appendix, it is The Appendix. Now consider a book with three appendices (or, if you like, appendixes), named Appendix A, Appendix B, and Appendix C. The part of the book, which is ...
6
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3answers
260 views

Are published books to be considered an official reference for spelling? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English Many times I searched across several books for the usage of some words and many times I've found my results ...
4
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1answer
4k views

Good book on English grammar from the very beginning [closed]

My wife is fairly new in US and her native language is Ukrainian. Though she is not afraid of speaking english, she does it with lots of grammar mistakes, starting from wrong sequence of words in a ...
4
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0answers
273 views

Is there a thesaurus which indicates the language of origin of each word? [closed]

I would be interested in using a sort of etymological thesaurus. Imagine a normal thesaurus, but with each word in an entry somehow marked to indicate whether it comes ultimately from Latin, German, ...
14
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3answers
7k views

Is there a proper name for the 3 asterisks that are used to suggest temporal discontinuity?

For example, when some long prose passage ends, this appears: * * * Then some new prose passage begins. The three asterisks dividing the two prose sections are understood to divide the two ...
3
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2answers
745 views

Is there a single word meaning “very funny book”?

Sometimes you read a book that has you convulsing with laughter from the moment you pick it up. For me, one of those books was Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. What do you call this? Perhaps there ...
12
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3answers
297 views

Term for dedicating a book

Let's say: John Doe writes a book -- Me and My Dog Spot. On the page after the title, he writes: For Nancy. My aunt gives this book to me for my birthday, and on the title page, she adds in her ...