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

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Meaning of “Black Swan” [closed]

Is "Black Swan" considered as an insult depend on the context it has been used ? For a instance, using "Black Swan" as a name for a company name ?
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33 views

Just because he … he doesn't need to be

I hear sentences like Just because he is old doesn't mean he is slow a lot, and I don't like them. Is the alternative Just because he is old he doesn't need to be slow easy to parse and ...
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81 views

Why do people use the term "free gift'?

I see and hear the term "Free Gift". Are not all gifts free?
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251 views

Where does “the sky is falling” come from?

According to Wikipedia the common expression "the sky is falling" is from a folk tale: Henny Penny, more commonly known in the United States as "Chicken Little" and sometimes as "Chicken ...
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64 views

Set X to v? or Set X as v?

I'm writing an academic paper, and would like to say that the value of X is v using imperative form. (Specifically in the algorithm section. That's why I need to use imperative.) Which among the ...
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213 views

What's a similar word to 'precocious' with a positive connotation?

Precocious, per its definition, describes a child in a positive light. But in practice, many tend to use it in a negative way, and I feel the negative connotation outweighs the positive. So even when ...
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138 views

What does “tell you love your honey” mean?

It says "You have no tomorrow promised. So, tell you love your honey." Shouldn't be "...tell your love to your honey"? https://twitter.com/eikaiwa_tw/status/685382110304010240
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30 views

Meaning in context of “to fold something together”

“Add the option -f to fold upper and lower case together, so that case distinctions are not made during sorting; for example, a and A compare equal.” Excerpt From: Brian W. Kernighan. “The C ...
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112 views

proper way to ask for permission to change TV channels [closed]

If you want to change your TV channel to another one, would you say, "Can I change the channel?" or "Can I change channels?" or anything else?
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50 views

Term for restricted books in public lending library

Until a few decades ago many public lending libraries carried certain books which were not made available to the general public -- erotica and controversial political tracts, for example. In a Dutch ...
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70 views

What's the meaning of “cracking”?

“You have no one co-signing your fantasy,’’ Damon says. “It is kind of like when you were a kid making a game up in your room. It’s entirely dependent on not cracking. It was the challenge of the ...
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149 views

expression meaning “discerning between what is important and what is trivial”

Is there an appropriate expression for this in English? The context is a sentence about a particular worker in a company who would be a good candidate for a senior administrative position, because he ...
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621 views

What does “take comfort in your friends” mean?

What does "take comfort in your friends" mean? I've stumbled upon this phrase in the "Rem - Everybody Hurts" song. [...]Everybody hurts Take comfort in your friends [...] And I haven't ...
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80 views

Word or Phrase for People Who Claim to be a Professional to Increase Their Credibility

What is a word or phrase for someone who claims to be a professional to increase the credibility or weight of their opinion? I'm looking for something along the lines of ad hominem, but for the ...
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1k views

An idiom or expression to show you are excited about something [closed]

Is there a better phrase, expression, idiom or word to show something is going to be surprising? I hope something will be more interesting, exciting and unexpected than just pure surprise. For ...
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138 views

“A Quasi-Catch-22”?; phrase request for a solution that negates the source of the problem it solves

It's a bit difficult to explain exactly what I'm getting at, so I'll give an example: If I get on the bus for work at 8:00 (having to be there at 9:00), there will be a traffic jam and it will take ...
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89 views

Expression for Yes/No/Unclear(?) in medical score-based diagnosis

This is a repost of a question in CrossValidated which received no attention. http://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/169085/yes-no-unclear-count-score-based-decision-quest-for-terminology In ...
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96 views

Colloquial terms for “[please do X] according to your own ethical assumptions”?

When I want to ask someone to do something that has some costs (like personal involvement, time, money), but want to leave it to that person to decide how much to spend on that - how do I express that ...
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724 views

What expression could I use for the meaning “I understand” in biz e-mail?

What expression could I use for the meaning "I understand" or "I see" in business e-mail? For example, A seller informed me that a shipment which I request will be arrived at tomorrow. And I would ...
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568 views

How do you say that you want to “recover” the hours you were not at work?

I want to take two days off from work, but I want to work over the weekend to compensate for the missing days. So I have to send an email to my client and I don't know what the correct expression for ...
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2k views

How do I say “flexibility with time” on my CV?

Similar to this question, but slightly different. I'm trying to convey the willingness to work flexible hours. I'm translating from Spanish for a friend of mine. A literal translation of '...
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78 views

Word for “Writing phrase on something”

Is there a word that represents the act of writing a phrase on something? In this case, I'm trying to advertise a club by "engraving" or "inking" ping pong balls with a phrase such as "Join this club."...
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132 views

I'm looking for a term, word or phase used to describe the important, but minute, details. Something along the lines of, “it's the little things”

Persons often say, "It's the little things". I'm looking for a word or term that would describe this feeling of a minute detail completing a whole.
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232 views

What is the difference between “tried closing my eyes” and “tried to close my eyes”? [duplicate]

Is there any difference in meaning? Or are they pretty much always interchangeable? ESL students are having trouble understanding when to use which expression. Thank you.
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8answers
254 views

How do you say “people, who unfortunately weren't fully exterminated” in English?

Imagine, there is a social group, which I think is so evil they have to be banished or exterminated. For example: Freedom Party of Austria represents not fully exterminated Nazi scum and their ...
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179 views

A word for a scrawny, ghastly but wise and academic or studious person

I'm looking for a word, not necessarily a direct “reverse dictionary” sort of word that has the definition above, but even a creative word that can describe, label, or represent that sort of person ...
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890 views

To be sound in doing something?

I've looked up each and every possible meanings of sound. I've reduced the options to two or so. But I still find it hard to ascertain the meaning of sound and the way its is used in this context. ...
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65 views

“To get enough feet”? [closed]

I can't tell what is meant by "to get enough feet". Here is an example quotation: Aug 6, 2014 - But some how not managing to get enough feet through our doors. I don't have a budget for marketing ...
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198 views

I've just had a cup: is it correct?

Is it correct to say like this? "Would you like some tea?" "Thank you, but I've just had a cup" Would it be more idiomatic to say had one? Or both options are wrong? If so, how would you ...
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101 views

Word/expression for inclination toward using disadvantageous tools

What is the best word/expression to describe a phenomenon or tool that, despite its disadvantages, is used by people? In fact, there are some alternatives for them, however, there is a weird ...
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714 views

Phrase for arranging a meeting - 'anytime you can' [closed]

I want to arrange an interview, pointing out that I am available at any time convenient to him. I don't know the correct form for saying this. And although he has not asked for my contact information ...
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54 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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157 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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148 views

Another way of saying “escaping/running away from home”?

I know you can say breaking out from prison. How about ways of saying escaping/running away from home? Example: Speaker A: “What?” I said to Tom on the phone. “What do you mean Mary ran away?” ...
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224 views

Call In/For a New Job

Suppose I looked for a job on the Internet, found a few offers interesting and decided to call the phone numbers they had posted. Am I calling in or calling for the new jobs? (Or should I simply say I'...
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116 views

What is a antonym of 'disaster time' in a formal report?

Is it 'peacetime' or 'ordinary time'? I need to submit a formal report describing a difference of human behavior in disaster time and ordinary time. What is formal antonym of 'disaster time'? '...
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1k views

Meaning of 'head screwed tightly to one's shoulders' [closed]

I came across a comment on The Economist article about hardships people working on lower wages or living off disability payments face. In one of the comments, one commentator narrates a story of a ...
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151 views

Express Emphasis without using Italics or Underline

Are there any methods to express emphasis without using italics or underline? I find that there are many cases where formatting does not allow italics, even if emphasis would add to the text greatly. ...
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168 views

When have you officially 'started' something?

To say, I started playing Violin when I was 12 years years old: Does this imply that you have played Violin regularly since you were 12 years old? Can you 'have still started playing Violin when you ...
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331 views

Expressions or phrasal verbs for very boring

In AE, how could I say something is very boring? I know teenagers would say "it sucks" but is there anything else, phrasal verbs or expressions? If it's something local, I would also ask you to say ...
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4answers
181 views

What's the oral address of “fellow student”?

I have known "fellow student" is a formal address and we used this in somewhere formally. But in oral situation, how to introduce a senior student to my friends when we face to face? If I say "this is ...
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109 views

WWI Equivalent of “Gotcha!”

I am looking for an equivalent of "Gotcha!", "Made it!" or other exclamatory phrases a World War One Airplane Pilot may use. The specific name is Frank Luke, an airplane ace. He just got out after ...
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129 views

“What if the cost of machines that think is people who don't?” — George Dyson

What does the statement "What if the cost of machines that think is people who don't?" -- George Dyson mean. Came across the quote over here https://twitter.com/JohnDCook/status/527627283256078336.
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3k views

The correct way to write “and/or” together in a sentence

What is the correct to write and/or? I have seen it written "and or" as two separate words and I think it looks odd.
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2k views

Having an IV or being on a drip

I had an IV last night because my blood pressure dropped too low. I was given an IV (Fluids) last night... I was put on a drip last night... I got a drip last night... I was on a drip last night ... ...
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154 views

Do the following phrases mean the same? [closed]

Does "Topics created by Users" equal to "User created topics"?
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250 views

What is the meaning of Poetic Justice

What is the real meaning of the expression Poetic Justice? My dictionary (WordWeb) does not give exact definitions of the work,can any provide me with a definition, an example and the context in ...
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67 views

“Online Chinese course” or “Chinese online course”?

I intend to teach Chinese online. But I was just wondering which course title would be appropriate and if there's any difference: Online Chinese course Chinese online course They sound a bit ...
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406 views

A word that describes telling someone you are not going to tell them something but inadvertently telling them

For example: Me: So what do you do for a living? Guy: I'm a fish and game warden. Me: Interesting. Well I guess I better not tell you about all the salmon I caught yesterday. I was thinking ...
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375 views

Why not “virtual estate” instead of “screen real estate”?

In English usage in many disciplines, like articles on Web designing, people frequently use the word "screen real estate" or "viewport (browser window size) real estate" or even "mobile or browser ...