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

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8
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2answers
3k views

call vs invoke - informatics context

Particularly in computer science and informatics, when should one use them? Is call the preferred form? For instance, call function invoke method Googling for "call operation" returns +300 000 ...
-1
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1answer
273 views

Why can't I put 'a' or 'the' before 'different clubs'? [closed]

Is there a specific rule saying that 'a/an' and 'the' should not followed by the word 'different'? "I go out to different clubs with my boyfriend". I know there are some fixed expression for using ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

How to say the margins of a page in a book

What is the best way to express the margins of (i) the bounded side of a page and (ii) the edge side? I see people referring to them as left margin and right margin, but they are inaccurate. On ...
5
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2answers
5k views

What is the the origin of the expression “chop chop”?

The phrase, as I have always heard it, is used to direct someone toward completing a task quickly, or with urgency. "Go get that object from over there, chop chop." Have been looking for an ...
1
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1answer
155 views

origin of the expression “proudly placed on our mantelpiece” [closed]

What is the origin of the expression "proudly placed on our mantelpiece"? In what context started to be used?
2
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0answers
67 views

“You went there?” in English [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it OK to add a question mark to show inflection? Can we say in a conversation "You went there", and by stressing the statement, mean "Did you go?" I know one ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Usage of “throw the net wide”

Can I have an example of a context in which the expression throw the net wide is used? I have heard it in passing but it is not clear to me what was meant.
5
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7answers
771 views

Can we say “on the brink of off-topic”?

I recently learned on the brink in context of to teeter on the brink of disaster. Now, when I want to mention that something is marginal or borderline I remember on the brink. This question is ...
0
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2answers
11k views

What's the meaning of the expression “bed burning” or “bed on fire”? [closed]

There's a song by Midnight Oil called Beds Are Burning, and the song Psycho Killer also says that "my bed's on fire". What do those expressions mean (if they mean the same thing)? update: Some ...
26
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4answers
2k views

It's so cold that if it rains it'll snow

I want a replacement for rains in my title, as it doesn't really make sense since it won't rain, it will snow. I think I could use precipitates but I wouldn't use that in conversation as it seems ...
2
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3answers
3k views

What does the phrase “none too dissimilar” mean?

I have heard the phrase none too dissimilar used many times. Based on context, it seems to mean similar, or perhaps very similar. Does none too dissimilar have a different meaning that I am missing? ...
7
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6answers
19k views

Origin of the expression “Get stoned”

My daughter asked me a question in the car the other day, and I didn't have an answer. She asked me about the origin of the expression "get stoned" (i.e. with regards to drug use), and how it might be ...
0
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2answers
168 views

Fell out of the car

The following is taken from a website: Sir, do you realize your wife fell out of the car several miles back? The expression fell out here, as I checked in the dictionary, doesn't make any sense. ...
19
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5answers
69k views

Neither do I / Nor do I / Me neither / Me either

In this circumstance, which would be the most correct / natural answer? Person 1: I don't eat meat Person 2: Neither do I / Nor do I / Me neither / Me either This says both neither do I and Me ...
5
votes
7answers
3k views

What is a more refined & formal way to say 'we eat our own dog-food'?

In some formal communication, I would like to use that phrase to indicate how reliable my product is, because we use it on a regular basis, and thus serve as a reassurance.
2
votes
4answers
2k views

“Process of Shipment” vs “Process of Shipping”

Which one of the two expressions "Process of shipment" and "Process of shipping" seem correct? The NyTimes seems to be using both of them: ...
1
vote
3answers
267 views

What do you call a “Director's cut/minority report/dissenting opinion” if it regards a report/book?

There is "Director's cut" for movies and "minority report/dissenting opinion" for legal issues. What do you call a (longer) report, where the author states some things a little (or very) different ...
1
vote
3answers
940 views

Two word phrase to refer to community of people who come together to exchange knowledge [closed]

I need a two word phrase to refer to a community of people (academia + non-academia) who come together to share/exchange their knowledge/ideas openly on topics of their interests/ specializations. I ...
2
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4answers
920 views

When you want to refer to “family” in general, which should be used: “family” or “families”?

I want to confirm the general rule on expressions which refer to generality. Many reference books say that "you should use "zero article + plural noun" to refer to generality. For example, (1) is ...
4
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3answers
3k views

What does “minute maid” mean? [closed]

I understand the meaning of both words, but I can't figure out what the expression means.
3
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2answers
2k views

An expression with the meaning of “don't care” and “do not make a ceremony of”

I wanted to explain to a seller on online auction to pack the item with care because it can be damaged in transit. I looked for the right expression to say that our postal workers sometimes don't care ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Comma use: “from the ground up” or “from the ground, up”?

Is it appropriate to use a comma in the expression: ..."from the ground, up" or should there be no comma? Without a comma, the expression seems strange to me. I've been criticized by a non-native ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Meaning of “next weekend” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which day does “next Tuesday” refer to? I got a fortune cookie with the message you will have lots of fun next weekend on a Wednesday. Which weekend does ...
14
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5answers
14k views

“Related work” or “related works”

Which expression should be used as a section heading of an academic paper: related work or related works? This is a question that has been bothering me for years, as googling shows that both have a ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Interchangeability of idiomatic “wavelength” and “frequency” [closed]

Do these sentences mean the same? We don't have the same wavelength. We are not in the same frequency.
5
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2answers
6k views

When did ironic use of “as in” start?

As far as I (as non-native speaker) understand the words as in, this is short for for instance, as in: Understanding “that” as in this statement It's my impression that at some point in time ...
3
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2answers
819 views

What does “like being drowned in Skittles” mean?

From here: http://www.loper-os.org/?p=568 Using Squeak is “like being drowned in Skittles.” I understand that it is a monumentally great thing if one is able to see past that, but I suspect that ...
3
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4answers
8k views

Do you know the term “She is a people's person”?

Do you know the term "She is a people's person."? I cannot find it in a dictionary. My husband says he knows it from Washington, D.C.
2
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4answers
466 views

Shorthand label

I can't find a definition, synonym or an alternative way, to say "shorthand label" in the following text: The Unit describes social exclusion as a shorthand label for what can happen when ...
0
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2answers
363 views

On expressions about “false accusation” and “death penalty” [closed]

I want to say the following content: "If, after a death penalty is carried out, the case is shown to be false, there is no mending." Which expression is the most appropriate? (1) If, after a death ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Is there any difference between “a … sense of purpose” and “a sense of … purpose”?

There’s an English-Japanese dictionary giving identical Japanese words for “a common sense of purpose” and “a sense of common purpose.” I’m wondering if both of the expressions are the same in ...
1
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4answers
670 views

Résumé formality: “Struck a deal that resulted in savings of XXX”? [closed]

I am not sure if the paragraph below is a bit too casual for a résumé: Responsible for negotiating the purchase of XXX. Struck a business deal that resulted in savings of 12,000 EUR/month ...
12
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6answers
4k views

What does “the darkest of nights” mean?

Over at German.SE we have a question involving "the darkest of nights". I would like to know what this expression actually means, but I didn't find it in an online dictionary (e.g. leo.org, dict.cc, ...
12
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5answers
28k views

What does “To-may-to, to-mah-to” mean?

What does "to-may-to, to-mah-to" mean? I've seen this expression a few times and it seems to indicate some sort of equality. But what does it really mean?
2
votes
1answer
860 views

What does “we were both clunks” mean?

I am reading a book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character" where an author wrote So I could never understand why Tamara always went to the trouble of introducing ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

“Strike gold” but without the implication of searching?

Whenever I hear the phrase I struck gold the fact the person had to have done a certain search is implied to me. Is this correct? For example, if I say: Janet loves sex so much! I've struck gold ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a better way to say “computer person with a lot of experience in multiple parts of computer-related areas”?

I am trying to create a concise 'title' for my experience working in the computer field. I have experience in multiple programming languages and multiple roles (manager, technician, programmer) and ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the meaning of the expression “we have a ball game”? [closed]

I've heard the phrase, "We gotta ball game". It could also be "We have a ball game". But I don't understand the meaning of "having a ball game". If anyone has heard this expression before, please ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning, history, and current popularity of “of a Monday” (or Tuesday, or Wednesday, etc.)?

I was watching a 1934 Hollywood film today and one of the American characters used the phrase, Of a Tuesday. I don't think I'd ever heard an American use this in real life or in a film before then, ...
0
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2answers
5k views

What is the origin of the term “throw the book”? [closed]

I'm curious if "the book" in question is the bible? Does anyone know where this term first entered the lexicon?
6
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4answers
23k views

“Without any problem” or “without any problems”

What is the correct form: "Without any problem" or "Without any problems"?
1
vote
2answers
3k views

“the comparative, the comparative” vs. “as-clause”

"The longer you work, the more you earn" can be paraphrased as "As you work longer, you earn more." Is this paraphrase always possible? For example, given "As the birthrate declines, the workforce ...
2
votes
4answers
504 views

“The punch card was data processing back then”

I find it difficult to understand the sentence as shown in the title. Is the card data? Is the card processing? Is the card a method (or style) to process data? I'm Chinese. If I express the ...
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of “dress style”

Does dress style mean attire, or is it specifically a style of dress worn by women? For example: "What is the proper dress style for the interview?"
8
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2answers
315 views

The implication of “turn the mattress”

The following sentences are from Agatha Christie: She had at one time been their housemaid. Such a nice girl, Mrs. Hargraves always said–thoroughly to be relied upon to turn the mattresses every ...
-9
votes
1answer
376 views

Origin of “Make someday today” [closed]

What is the origin of "Make someday today"? There are other variations for this expression that one can google on the Internet such as "Make today your someday" and "Make that someday today". ...
3
votes
2answers
318 views

What does “our Mayan moment” mean here?

In a brief article I read, it is stated that: For civil libertarians, the NDAA is our Mayan moment: 2012 is when the nation embraced authoritarian powers with little more than a pause between ...
0
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3answers
59k views

Does “I want to bid farewell to you” imply the giving of a farewell party?

Does "I want to bid farewell to you" imply the giving of a farewell party? Or can we say it in another way?
50
votes
4answers
6k views

Why “Speak of the devil”?

Why is the expression "Speak of the devil" and not "Speaking of the devil"? For me, the -ing would make more sense because you're currently talking about someone, when he/she appears. For example, if ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

“Mic” as an abbreviation for microwave

Last week, I was among a group of friends and commented on the fact that someone had removed a sticker from their microwave. I used the word "mic" to abbreviate microwave, and people thought I was ...