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3answers
44 views

Is there a term for phrases which were once literal but now figurative?

We still hang up the phone, even though we really only push a button, not suspend it in a cradle. Sometimes we tape a television series, even though the DVR does the heavy lifting, not the analogue ...
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4answers
3k views

Use of “I for one” [closed]

When we say “for one” in a sentence, what does it mean? I heard a sentence in a TV program where Robin Hood said: Who will bear this injustice? I, for one, will not. As I understand it, “I ...
0
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1answer
135 views

Is there a name for this literary device?

Is there a term that describes the act of giving tangible qualities to an intangible noun? I stumbled over a metaphor or I felt sadness condense on my skin The first one might just be ...
0
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1answer
98 views

Expect a dog: figurative meaning [closed]

What does this mean? I stumbled across it here: "If the design requires a million trips to the server, expect a dog." (The last sentence in the paragraph titled Efficiency.)
1
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1answer
121 views

What is the meaning of these two sentences in David Copperfield?

There are two sentences in David Copperfield that I don't quite understand, with regards to their (possible) figurative meaning. Chapter XIII: [...] a muslin curtain partly undrawn in the middle, ...
0
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3answers
162 views

Literally vs. figuratively: how literally is literally? [closed]

I'm sensitive to the fact that in light of recent events, the example discussed in this question may be unsettling to some. For that, I apologize, but I cannot think of an effective alternative. In ...
1
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2answers
1k views

What's the figurative meaning of “the end of the line”?

Leaving aside the strong sexual connotations of the lyrics of Pulp's song "This Is Hardcore", I was wondering what is the figurative meaning of the expression the author used: "This is the end of ...
1
vote
1answer
360 views

What does “Hungarian” mean here? [closed]

I think it’s a figurative usage as a reminder of blood, but not for sure. Why is the word Hungarian used here? (He is a professional pianist who holds lessons open to the public.) When I told ...
2
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3answers
416 views

Is this an instance of personification or is it a simile?

I've been sometimes a little confused on how direct personification must be. For example, consider the following phrase used to describe a river: Like a snake it winds through the craggy ...
3
votes
1answer
460 views

What literary device is being used here?

The beginning of prehistoric wars is a disputed issue between anthropologists and historians. Source: http://ask.yahoo.com/20070404.html I was reading that article and I noticed that sentence ...
0
votes
2answers
682 views

Does “to flatline” only means “to die”, or can it refer to an actual flat graph?

I was looking at this ngram which features a flat line meaning absolutely no usage of the word I was looking for. I thought about describing it in these terms: The Google ngram clearly flatlines ...