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

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Can I say “reduces the proximity to zero” to describe 2 objects being very close?

When I say "reduces the proximity to zero", does it mean that the distance between two objects are extremely close? My intention is to describe that the distance between two objects gets very close ...
2
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4answers
170 views

Something causes a lot of initiatives [closed]

I’m translating a movie about basic income, from French to English. In this movie, someone says that basic income would make people do a lot of new things, that it would create a lot of initiatives. ...
2
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4answers
548 views

basketball expression: “Plays with a lot of flair”

This is an expression that I don't really know the meaning of when applied to basketball playing: "Plays with a lot of flair" Can anyone elucidate the meaning for me? EDIT: after reading a couple of ...
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4answers
13k views

What is meant by the “benefit of the doubt”? [closed]

I think doubt is a negative emotion, so I find it difficult to know what is meant by "benefit of the doubt". How does this phrase work, and how did it arise?
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2answers
476 views

Is “as long as” grammatically correct?

I would like to know whether following sentence is correct: The battery does not last for as long as it says on the label
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2answers
5k views

Definition of “throw the gauntlet down” [closed]

What is the definition of "throw the gauntlet down"? I googled for it and only got examples where it's used, but no actual definition of the phrase.
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2answers
163 views

Meaning of “envy of his brethren” [closed]

I have googled for the definition of the expression envy of his brethren, but didn't get more than references to the Bible. What does this expression mean?
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5answers
294k views

rule of thumb for 'however' in the middle of the sentence?

What is the rule of thumb for using 'however' in the middle of the sentence? For example: Some people disagree with this theory, however, as it's never been proven right.
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2answers
4k views

origin of the expression “trying to catch a falling knife”?

What is the origin of the expression "trying to catch a falling knife"? I have just read it and I wonder how it came up to be a common expression.
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1answer
310 views

expression “as an affirmation of its efficiency, we show that” [closed]

Is the expression "as an affirmation of its efficiency, we show that" correct and adequate for a scientific text? Or should it be "as a confirmation of its efficiency, we show that"?
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2answers
387 views

“traipse up the steps” just synonym of walking? [closed]

Is the expression "traipse up the steps" just synonym of walking up the steps? Is there any other connotation to the verb traipse?
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3answers
768 views

Expression to say that you did something better than before

I remember that there's an expression in English for this situation but I can't remember which one. Three weeks ago I did my best drawing ever, and now I did one better. This is what's coming up "I ...
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1answer
104 views

expression “get above/off your sofas” [closed]

Is the expression "get above your sofas" equivalent to "get off your sofas" or have they got different meanings? PS: I was sitting on my sofa when I heard that...
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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 ...
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1answer
275 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
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1answer
102 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 even-...
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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 ...
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1answer
157 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?
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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 normally ...
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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.
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7answers
775 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 ...
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2answers
12k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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2answers
169 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. ...
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5answers
72k 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 ...
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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.
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4answers
3k 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: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/opinion/100-75-50-years-...
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3answers
268 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
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3answers
955 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
932 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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 this ...
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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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
474 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
365 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 meaning....
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4answers
674 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?
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1answer
868 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...