Expressions are words or phrases used to convey an idea, or else a particular term used conventionally to express something.

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Is this an acceptable way of claiming emphasis?

I proposed this edit to a Stack Exchange answer. Because there were three rather lengthy block quotes, I thought bolding the most relevant sentences would be helpful to readers, especially if they ...
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1answer
23 views

On the use of “is not so […] but” [closed]

Is it proper English to say: "With method A, the goal is not so to perform task B but (rather) to address problem C." Are there other more appropriate/elegant ways to convey the same meaning?
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5answers
808 views

What is the term for the origin of a cliche?

From wiki sources : A cliche is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being ...
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1answer
50 views

Meaning of the phrase “empty your pipe against the heel of your boot” [closed]

Not being a native English speaker, I'm reading What to Talk About to improve my communication skills. While reading, I came across this phrase: empty your pipe against the heel of your boot. I ...
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1answer
62 views

I don't understand the difference between slightly and a bit? [closed]

What is the difference in meaning or usage between slightly and a bit? For example, the sentence: I thought she was younger than me, but in fact she proved to be even slightly older. Is ...
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1answer
106 views

Why do programmers say: “Did you meet the Spartans?” [closed]

English is not my maternal language and on development/IT forums, I've found the expressions "Did you meet the spartans?" or "I've met the spartans?". To set the context, they are speaking about a new ...
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2answers
56 views

What is the correct visualization of “first left down the hallway”?

I hear a lot of native speakers say something like this: Once in the arena take first left down the hallway Take your first left down the hallway. When you come to the second floor, make a left and ...
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1answer
47 views

When advertisers say product X has N times less 'thing' than product Y, what do they mean [duplicate]

Here is an example: NESTLÉ a+ SLIM Milk has 15 times less fat than regular toned milk. Source:http://www.nestle.in/brands/nestleaplusslim So the question is this: say regular toned milk has 100 ...
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1answer
54 views

“Correct” way to describe “looking at someone with new eyes” or similar?

I'm not a native English-speaker, so I'm not sure how to "correctly" phrase the following... When you learn something new about a person, than makes you look at him "with new eyes" - and perhaps ...
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3k views

Does “is potentially faster” imply “is not slower”?

Someone said to me, "X is potentially faster than Y". Without any clarification at that point, I immediately assumed that the speaker thought that X was at least not slower than Y. It was revealed in ...
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1answer
104 views

What is the term for the unpleasant placement of the chair or sofa - in a way that you can be approached from behind?

What is the term for the unpleasant placement of the chair of sofa - in a way that you can be apporached from behind ? I've heard several times that you should place all the sofas and tables that ...
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1answer
73 views

Is it possible to use “ every second Saturday” instead of “every other Saturday”?

Is it possible to use " every second Saturday" instead of "every other Saturday"? What about "every two Saturdays"? Is it same as "every other Saturday"?
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1answer
63 views

Is it correct/idiomatic to omit “once” in some cases?

Example: Once again, I traveled three hours just to sit alone. Again, I traveled three hours just to sit alone. We decided to go to the balcony. Once there, we leaned on the ...
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2answers
35 views

“What this thing was” vs “what was this thing” [duplicate]

Example: What this new plan was I had no idea. What was this new plan I had no idea. What's the difference between the two? Is one more common than the others?
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5answers
108 views

Expressions for “exact copy”

Example: The painting was a [...] copy of the original. Are there other common expressions other than exact and identical?
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39 views

English word for this specific behavior [closed]

behavior of a girl friend when she suddenly stops talking, did not reply and ignore you. what word we can use for her this behavior?
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1answer
40 views

Can I say “X decreases the contribution of our report”?

I'd like to mention that the contribution of my writing report will be less if I do not describe about previous research. Is it possible to say that "it decrease the contribution of our report if I ...
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2answers
78 views

Give some examples using “food, cuisine, dish, menu and ingredient” [closed]

I have troubles using some words about food and I cannot feel the subtle differences of their usage. I'd like to get some help with examples using these various words. Food Cuisine dishes menu meal ...
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2answers
293 views

expression of the form “I wouldn't trust them with X”

The following expressions are idiomatic: 1) "I wouldn't touch Z with a 10-foot pole", meaning the speaker wouldn't want to be involved with Z in any way. 2) "S couldn't find his way out of a paper ...
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79 views

Why does “not a one” sound incorrect, but “not a single one” sounds okay?

To me, not a one sounds incorrect, but not a single one sounds okay. Is there any grammar to support why my ears weep at the sound of the former phrase, but not the latter?
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49 views

What does “Slash the life” mean?

What does the expression "Slash the life" mean? I'm Brazilian and I'm trying to understand what is the meaning of this expression, since I've found it in a music piece that seems to have a positive ...
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1answer
125 views

Which expression is correct? “in development” or “under development”?

When talking about a product or project that is still being developed (so it's in an unfinished state at the moment), which expression is the correct one? “in development” or “under development”? For ...
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1answer
36 views

Giving Custom to?

A rather old-fashioned farewell after visiting a store would be Thank you for your custom On the other side of the coin, if you're talking about having visited a store and made use of it, would ...
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3answers
55 views

`Good/correct English' for a 'pay back the effort' [closed]

I'm looking for a term/expression/word that is less plumb then Introducing the following concept is difficult but will pay back in the end.
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2answers
75 views

Proper usage of “passed” vs “passed away”

The current popular verb for someone who has died is to say they "passed." It sounds incorrect to me -- isn't the proper terminology "passed-away"? I've noticed that people on TV and people under 30 ...
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2answers
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Term for “brain-watering”

A mouth can water, but what does a brain do? I'm looking for a term that implies intellectual thirst, as when one has worked all day at a mindless task and only wants to read a novel, or essay, or ...
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The expression “that more of a …”

I was surfing on the web when I read the following sentence : "Many TV shows today use animation and animation gives them that more of a unique look, allowing them to do more than what they could do ...
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910 views

Pull my forelock

What does it mean when someone says to you especially if you have recently been bestowed a new honor, "Do I have to pull my forelock for you now?"
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1answer
44 views

How to refer to something “demanding” which doesn't happen all of a sudden?

Looking for a verb to express something that requires some time and effort to evolve, like collecting. I want to express that collecting requires some time and the collection doesn't just come out ...
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795 views

Where does the expression “cod indignation” originate from?

I've bumped into the expression "cod indignation" now and again, for example: "And just when Ed has upped his personal ratings by proving not to be as gawky as the media pretend, he blows it by ...
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88 views

Another word for “A relationship of causality/ cause-effect relationship”

I am not sure if "cause-effect relationship" fits in this context. I have looked for better alternatives but I couldn't find one that fits here: So far, this chapter has provided an analysis of ...
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1answer
80 views

What does “wardrobe’s worth” mean in this sentence?

We sport an entire wardrobe’s worth of Live Strong bracelets advertising our moderately priced opposition to everything from breast cancer to global warming. The sentence is a quote from this ...
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78 views

“That strikes one for me”…what's it mean?

What's the "one" mean here? Is this taken from baseball? Can the idiom be grammatically used in other persons besides the first?
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61 views

reasons (for) as to why

I just wrote the following sentence: … there might have been interesting reasons for as to why they did. My question concerns the passage "reasons for as to why". While this sounds perfectly ...
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83 views

meaning of carnival diver

Who knows what a carnival diver is? I heard it in the song "On a Tuesday in Amsterdam" by Counting Crows and I came across two references on the internet. What can it be?
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A word to describe the completion of uncompleted work before a vacation

Backlog/noun an accumulation of uncompleted work waiting for you when you return from vacation . It's a pity that we don't have "forelog" as a word for work that is done to clear ...
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2answers
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“Any object in A and B”—What does it mean?

Does "any object in A and B" in English mean any object in A and any object in B; any object in A or any object in B; or any object in the intersection of A and B? Thanks a lot. Another ...
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6answers
163 views

How to express the idea that a person got sick because of loving someone very much but does not receive any attention from that someone? [duplicate]

Ok, let's take this scenario: Tom and Mary work in the same company. Tom really likes Mary and he wants to love Mary and has very strong romantic affection toward Mary, but Mary always refuses him and ...
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284 views

Looking for an expression that sounds worse than “cardboard” to describe blandness of a food

How would you exaggeratedly express food that tastes nothing to sound even worse than "It tastes like cardboard"? I want a word that sounds beyond a average man can imagine. "Shit" would have its ...
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7answers
229 views

AmE: “take out the trash” vs. “take out the garbage” [closed]

I know the differences in the meaning of word "trash" and "garbage" but how about "take out the trash" vs. "take out the garbage"? Can both these expressions be used interchangeably? What is the ...
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1answer
181 views

What is the origin/history of “you do you” (or “do you”)?

A recent New York Times Magazine piece focused on the expression "you do you" (and its variant "do you"), meaning something like a strong affirmation to "be yourself." The article associates the ...
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154 views

Formal way to say “doesn't work”? [closed]

I am writing a paper and I feel as if I need a more formal way of writing "doesn't work". Any thoughts? Thanks :)
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3answers
69 views

impossibly possible…in one word [duplicate]

My son has modified a car that he considers to be capable to do things that it shouldn't or more-so that he uses it for purposes it shouldn't withstand but does. He can't remember the word he thought ...
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4answers
345 views

How would you call sitting with your legs crossed but one calf resting on the other knee?

Sorry, perhaps this has been asked before but I just can't think of what this way of sitting should be called. Is there a word for it? I hope so! To be more specific, you're sitting upright in a ...
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71 views

Word/phrase like Schadenfreude, but a feeling of comfort or satisfaction?

I am looking for a word or excellent, catchy description for a situation in which a person (A) feels a sense of satisfaction at another (B) having to obey the same rules as them, and the suffering ...
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3answers
113 views

More professional word for “day to day task”

I’m looking for a more professional term or phrase to describe “day to day task” or a task that is very common for a particular role of work. Thanks in advance!
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2answers
75 views

I can't understand this: You wouldn’t have to spout embarrassing platitude in public [closed]

I was watching a movie in which this conversation happened in a bar: Person 1: You wouldn’t have to spout embarrassing platitude in public. Person 2: The fact is I won't spout platitude much ...
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31 views

Looking for concise and precise terms for feedback rating options

I am designing a user reputation system that will be an essential piece of an online marketplace for peer-to-peer item rentals. The user reputation system is based on the collection of feedbacks given ...
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2answers
69 views

Looking for a shorter term for “Preferred places to meet”

I am working on an online platform (mobile and web apps) that enable item lending/renting between peers. When a user posts an item for rent, he needs to put down his preferred places to meet for item ...
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79 views

what will be a good artistic world or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success

what will be a good artistic word or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success.The cooperation of two parties (one with stronger power, second with weaker power, but huge dedication) where each ...