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

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70 views

A more vernacular way of saying “adopt an alternative approach”?

I'm trying find a more vernacular way to express "adopt an alternative approach". The context is "Looks like a bit of a challenge there. Perhaps I should adopt an alternative approach?" and the ...
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5answers
265 views

'Hot water heater' versus 'Water heater'

I've heard 'Hot water heater' and 'Water heater' being used interchangeably to refer to an appliance which generates a supply of heated water. The wording of 'Hot water heater' feels redundant, as ...
7
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7answers
3k views

Is there a word for one who enjoys to eat for the sake of eating (a food hedonist)?

Does such a word exist? I don't mean to excess (IE, a glutton), but rather one who eats because he enjoys eating. Essentially, I'm looking for a word that's synonymous with "a food hedonist", or "a ...
2
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6answers
670 views

Another way to say “it never hurts”

It wouldn't hurt you to be a bit more serious. Wouldn't/won't/never hurts make perfect sense in this example. I'm wondering if there's any alternative way to preserve the meaning of this phrase in a ...
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1answer
368 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
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2answers
27 views

Formalities calling work colleagues, clients an partners as Pal/Pals

In my work we have a collaborative tool for work interaction where we debate things like workflow and issues. I'm in a interaction with workmates, client employees and partners. I thought to reference ...
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4answers
7k views

Origin of “Put up your dukes”

This link claims that one cannot be sure of origin of this phrase. Three explanations are given here, but they are not very convincing (I am not a native speaker). In one of our newspapers, ...
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1answer
49 views

What is the word for an amused surprise?

You tell your friend about a person's funny habit and that person shows it right away without knowing. You tell your friend "See!". You are surprised but you were right. What is the verb for that kind ...
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3answers
115 views

Word for a sudden flow of ideas? Is 'brainwave' good enough?

Imagine you are thinking about a problem you need to solve, nothing's coming to mind, and all of a sudden you get a dozen different ideas at once. Is there a word that expresses this sudden flow of ...
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1answer
28 views

“Put on a show” vs. “put on an act”. What's the difference?

What's the difference between "put on a show" and "put on an act"? Are they interchangeable? They look similar in meaning to me. Is there any nuanced difference? Examples sentences from ...
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2answers
32 views

Listen to it rain and look at it snow

Do the following sentences make sense and are they used commonly? 1) Listen to it rain. 2) Look at it snow.
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0answers
4 views

point the note OR note the point? [migrated]

If I want to thank someone because mntioned a good subject, which one would be the best and why? Thanks for pointig great note. Thanks for noting great point. Or are these basically the ...
2
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3answers
86 views

closing words for e-mail to person with incurable disease [on hold]

What kind of closing words as an alternative to We wish you full and quick recovery can be used in a formal letter when writing to a person with an incurable disease. I/We wish you all the ...
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4answers
1k views

What is a “moorland farmer”?

I came across the phrase "moorland farmer" yesterday while reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Google shows that the phrase has some currency. [link] We don't have moors in the U.S. — or ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Lost In Punctuation

Usually, when a piece of text is translated from one language to some other language, and (due to slightly different idioms, phrases, words, etc.) the end meaning is changed, then it is attributed to ...
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2answers
56k views

Is “nice to meet you” an appropriate online salutation?

When one makes a new acquaintance with somebody in person, you may say "it was nice to meet you", e.g. when you leave. What if you make a new acquaintance over the internet, what do you say when you ...
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2answers
54 views

“Patch up holes along the way.” Is this idiom common?

I'm not a native English speaker so I have no idea. Example: "I think I should I start my story from the beginning. That way you don't have to patch up holes along the way." I worry that the ...
3
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3answers
74 views

A formal synonym/expression for “saying that”

I need a more formal expression for "saying that" here. My supervisor told me it is informal English, but I couldn't find another formal expression Saying that rape culture is an environment ...
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0answers
15 views

Is “Interpose Model” the correct term

I have a question in context of electrical engineering. Imagine a schematic of electrical components or a netlist, where I want to change the behavior of one part by cutting the wiring and adding a ...
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6answers
226 views

Is there a word for “colors in the order of the rainbow”?

I was just wondering if there is a word for having the colors in the same order as the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)? (Like when words are in the order of the alphabet we say ...
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1answer
36 views

From/Since time immemorial

Which is correct? 'From' or 'Since' when applied to 'time immemorial'? I have seen both around, and have a feeling it might be 'from', but would like to check.
2
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9answers
121 views

Word meaning “someone who does all the work”

Is there a word for someone who does all of the work? Or for the person who is exploited when someone else steals the credit?
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4answers
9k views

Preposition after “Good luck”.

I have seen different preposition after "Good luck". Example: Good luck on/with/for your new job Could you explain the possible differences of usage or meaning. Thank you.
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3answers
868 views

What does ‘alpha’ mean in the phrase, “A plea came for the President to be more alpha.”

I find the articles of New York Times’ columnist, Maureen Dowd, a treasure house of English expressions unfamiliar to non-native English learners. It’s stud with knotty expressions and new words to ...
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2answers
66 views

Make something great out of a bad situation

I'm looking for an expression similar to "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." This phrase means to make the best out of a bad situation. I am looking for a phrase for when someone did do ...
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3answers
58 views

word for someone who laughs things off? [on hold]

Is there a word for someone who laughs things off? In other words, someone who does no work but when told to do something they just laugh it off.
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0answers
26 views

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
22 views

On the use of “is not so […] but”

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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1answer
41 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
85 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
49 views

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

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 ...
11
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9answers
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 ...
1
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1answer
101 views

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

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
54 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
101 views

Do people in Colorado typically say “attorney” or “lawyer?”

I'm interested to know if people in the Colorado area say attorney or lawyer more frequently.
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1answer
39 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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0answers
12 views

Question on using the phrase “draw on” in context.

Is this a proper use? "He is an icon in that he acts as a symbol to draw on."
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1answer
81 views

How to express combinations using “any […] by […]”

I'm writing a text in which I need to repeat combinations of k out of n - for example, "any 2 out of 6" - but I think something the likes of "any 6 by 2" would be more appropriate since the subject is ...
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1answer
43 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 ...
2
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6answers
145 views

A simile / metaphor for the concept that an entity is formed from a wide range of factors

I am trying to explain that health is not simply determined by biological factors. Instead it is shaped by a whole host of variables: lifestyle, education, culture, attitudes, socio-economic factors ...
2
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1answer
61 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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0answers
48 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 ...
0
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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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4answers
79 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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1answer
52 views

“Buy on credit” - How to say it properly [closed]

How do I properly express to the shop owner when I'm buying an item on credit. Should I say to her: "Hey, I'm buying this on credit." Or just: "On credit, okay?"
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16answers
6k views

Describing “not knowing what to do” (as a response to an unexpected event that happened)?

Is there a good word or a great expression that describes not knowing what to do (as a response to an unexpected event that happened)? Something uncanny happened, and I do not know what to do. ...
1
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2answers
284 views

What does refering to someone as a “garden shed” mean? [closed]

http://youtu.be/a9GgU3hzGGw?t=1m54s In the following video, a talk host watches an acting performance, and refers to the actor as a "garden shed". I've never heard that expression before. I am also ...
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3answers
812 views

How to describe the feeling you get when something exceedingly irritating, irritates you? [closed]

Got extremely annoyed today. But that's not the word I was looking for. I had to deliver a case of bottled water to some friends living in another dorm in our college. I have to tell you, the sound ...
11
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7answers
6k views

Meaning of the phrase “the wrong side of history”

I've just realized I don't understand what this phrase means. What does "Gaddafi is on the wrong side of history" mean? Does it mean he's about to die, or something else? Here's the relevant ...