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4
votes
3answers
3k views

Divided by half - meaning

If someone says "Fifteen divided by half", I would interpret that literally to mean 15/0.5, or 30. However, I usually see it interpreted as 15/2, or 7.5. Which interpretation is correct?
3
votes
5answers
441 views

Is cruel standard use as a noun in poetry? Are there terms for non-standard English specifically in regard to use in poetry?

I hope this question isn't off-topic. I heard a madrigal with the following verse which bothers me somewhat, grammatically. Cruel, wilt thou persever? Peace to leave ever? Peace shalt thou have and ...
8
votes
2answers
168 views

A question of interpretation: single word parenthesis

To my mind this: Entity foo varies seemingly at random. is semantically equivalent to this: Entity foo varies, seemingly, at random. However, is this necessarily the case? What ...
1
vote
2answers
379 views

Could “extraordinary few exceptions” be correct?

In his 1991 book, historian J.B. Russel writes: with extraordinary few exceptions no educated person ... believed that the earth was flat Should extraordinary be an adverb, or could this ...
6
votes
6answers
899 views

The word 'not' often doesn't mean total negation in mathematical sense?

Consider the following conversations: X1: I paid $10 for that hamburger. Y1: That's not cheap! X2: I pay $1 for broadband Internet access. Y2: That's cheap! X3: I paid $1 for a hot ...