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2answers
59 views

Is orientate a word? Does it matter where you are when using it? [duplicate]

Is orientate a word and if so how is it different than orient? I found this definition of it says "Generally considered an error in American English." does this mean it is not wrong for British ...
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2answers
66 views

What is the correct phrase to ask to determine which group a first nations person considers themselves to be part of?

I met a women who I gathered was First Nations (or something like that). I struggled to ask the question to elicit the response to find more about her heritage and culture. What is the word that ...
0
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1answer
87 views

Looking for a list of “english words” that exist in other languages, but with different meanings

I had a terrible misunderstanding with a semi-conservative Turkish woman who was offended when I said "Let's have brunch, and I'll bring some platonic female friends" I'm told that in Turkey, ...
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5answers
4k views

How did “gesundheit” work its way into common American usage?

Once upon a time I was hanging out with a fairly international group of people. Somebody sneezed, and one of the Americans reflexively responded, "Gesundheit!" A German in the group seized on the ...
5
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2answers
115 views

Mileage as unit-agnostic term

Is it appropriate to use the term "mileage" to refer to distance that is not measured in the literal units of miles? For example, would you say that a car "has a lot of mileage on it" in a country ...
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4answers
256 views

How can I translate “Jeitinho Brasileiro” into English?

Jeitinho Brasileiro can be literally translated to "Brazilian way to do things"! Wikipedia has an article about it. There are various meaning to this expression and one gives the idea of ...
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24answers
4k views

Are there counterpart English expressions to Japanese proverb, "the nail that pops up is always hammered down?

I was once reminded by Robusto-san of a Japanese popular saying, ‘出る釘は打たれる - the nail that pops up is always hammered down,’ when I complained about sequential down-votes that I received. I wondered ...
0
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2answers
655 views

What does “waste not, want not” mean? [closed]

I would like it to be explained, if it has a single meaning, it's confusing me, I see it could mean "please don't waste whatever you don't want", or just the opposite, i.e. "There is nothing without a ...
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3answers
2k views

Is the expression, “having a good time” too personal?

Me and a colleague were jointly writing an email to an English speaking business partner when a discussion arose on how to formulate a sentence. The business partner is currently on vacation, so I ...
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3answers
1k views

To Break Bread — the origin of the phrase

I am looking for the origin of the phrase "break bread" meaning to eat (or, I expect, to share food). I know that it can be sourced to the book of Acts but I have also seen many websites which say ...
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9answers
1k views

Is saying “who cares” impolite or rude?

Two people are talking about what tasks should be finished on time, and what tasks should be put off until later. The conversation was like below: A: I don't think those tasks are important. We ...
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6answers
2k views

What did Steve Jobs mean by “Technology married with Liberal Arts” in his last speech?

The Asahi, Japan’s leading newspaper quoted the following famous closing words of Steve Jobs’ in his last speech at the iPad 2 event in March 2011 in its popular editorial column, “Vox populi, vox ...
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0answers
650 views

What does it mean if you tell someone they have their name on their underwear? [closed]

What does it mean if you say to someone that they have their name on their underwear? If this is an insult what are they implying? I've heard this term in pop culture many times, usually in ...
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3answers
1k views

What should one call his or her mother-in-law? [closed]

We call our own mother "mum". What should we call our mother-in-law? In China, we call our mother-in-law "mum" as well. Do English speaking people feel comfortable calling their mother-in-law "mum"? ...
2
votes
2answers
671 views

Hesitation to use “girlfriend” in reference to old people

I have a good friend in his late 60s, and I've made an interesting observation that absolutely no one in our social circle will refer to the female he is (indisputably) dating with the term ...
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2answers
1k views

Is “spoon feeding” a widely accepted usage?

In India, "spoon feeding" is widely used in context of education where the students are taught in a manner by which they do not have to do much on their own. Everything will be done by the teachers, ...