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1answer
23 views

How do you interpret “one near or in each end”?

I am reading European pressure vessel design standard and in a line it is written that "2 large sightholes, one near or in each end or 1 handhole in the the central third of the cylindrical section." ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Unable to understand this quote [closed]

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. The Rubaiyat of Omar ...
5
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3answers
186 views

Are there previous formulations of this quote from George R.R. Martin

I love this quote from George R.R. Martin — 'A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.' I just learned today of a similar formulation from St. Augustine ...
0
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1answer
44 views

…achieved, on average, mixed results at best…?

Does this phrase even make sense? To say that [a particular approach] "achieved, on average, mixed results at best". I'm concerned about the combination of 'on average', 'mixed results', and ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Does “otherwise” have a negative connotation in this context?

I was wondering whether the word otherwise has exactly the same meaning as if not in the following sentence. I myself think that otherwise will add some negative attitudes toward the sentence ...
-1
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1answer
92 views

How should “a month and ten days from now” be interpreted?

This is actually REALLY ambiguous. The difference between different interpretations is also a little bit more dramatic around this time of the year (February), even during a leap year because it's ...
4
votes
3answers
185 views

singular or plural? The whole of A & B is/are?

"The whole of society and the religious world was strongly impacted by this new religious view." What should be put here, "was" or "were"? How should this sentence be interpreted, and under each ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

I was set up in a sting [closed]

I read someone's story and she said: "Then I was set up in a sting by the same woman who got me started. I was wondering what has just happened !! .. What is she implying ? I couldn't understand by ...
1
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1answer
82 views

How to interpret “Jim Scarborough'd never carried one; that's the younger Jim.” in No Country for Old Men

I like the movie No Country for Old Men directed by the Coen brothers. That's the reason why I recently read the novel of the same name. As I'm not a native speaker, I chose the book translated in my ...
-5
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the meaning of this couplet by Alexander Pope?

Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old. It is rust we value, not the gold I have a vague idea about the meaning of this couplet. I would appreciate it if someone was able to answer few ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Is there a precedence of clauses in a sentence without commas, or is it just ambiguous?

I have been asked to make symbolic translation of an English sentence during a formal logic exam, which I believed to be rather ambiguous. The TA asserted that the sentence is not ambiguous, and the ...
8
votes
1answer
100 views

I'll read that book in 2 hours

"I'll read that book in 2 hours." I'm pretty sure this phrase means that after 2 hours from now I will start reading the book, but I can't stop thinking that it could also means that it will take me 2 ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Is a past tense protasis necessarily hypothetical when followed by an apodosis with “would have”?

Is a protasis with a verb in the past tense necessarily interpreted as a hypothetical condition when followed by an apodosis with "would have" + past participle? For example, is the sentence If ...
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3answers
33 views

Does using 2 Present Simple verbs create ambiguity in their ordering?

One of the Facebook configuration features has the following label: "If you don't want a Facebook account after you pass away, you can request to have your account permanently deleted." My friend ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

some help with an excerpt from my reading material [closed]

I am reading a book for my church group, and in the book Jesus is saying to St. Faustina the following: "During this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my ...
1
vote
1answer
345 views

Why “chickentown” in Clarke's “Evidently Chickentown” [closed]

Evidently Chickentown (warning NSFW language) by John Cooper Clarke. I gather the overall meaning of the poem is, to quote after wiki, to convey a sense of futility and exasperation [through the use ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Interpretation of ambiguous sentence “You Can’t Put Too Much Water into a Nuclear Reactor”

"You Can’t Put Too Much Water into a Nuclear Reactor" This sentence is from a book, "The Definitive ANTLR 4 Reference" authored by Terence Parr. The author used this sentence as an example of ...
4
votes
4answers
4k 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?
2
votes
1answer
106 views

What does the / mean?

Looking at forms in financial risk assessment, there is a question 'I'm happy investing a large proportion of my income / capital in a high-risk investment'. Is the '/' here being used as shorthand ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Can you interpret “Waltz for Venus” differently?

I think you can have two interpretations for this. One being, a dance or music. Two being, accomplish something with little to no effort. Are these two interpretations correct or is it just the former ...
0
votes
2answers
135 views

Is this a literal interpretation of “without reason”? [closed]

There was this quote in a movie: Men who kill without reason cannot be reasoned with. There are many interpretations of "without reason" It could mean that the person is mentally affected and ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

How to interpret this sentence? Also, a “Which vs. That” question

I was perusing the Wikipedia article about the Transformers film series and there is a section that describes a fifth movie in the franchise. Specifically, the section begins with this sentence: ...
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2answers
80 views

Curious combination of freedoom, self made fences?

Many friends have said to me that they love New York now in a way they never did before, and their love, I've noticed, takes for its object all the things that used to exasperate them--the curious ...
1
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2answers
91 views

can hardly read … and feel

The following quotation is taken from an article by Fintan O'Toole titled This glorious and unruly English language that lets everyone in (The Observer, Sunday 15 September 2013). Does the word ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of: “The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right”

This is a Mark Twain aphorism: The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. This is apparently intended to be easily understood, but the ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Making sense of a sentence in a politcal economy article

Reading this critical geopolitical economic article, I found myself troubled understanding this sentence: "Markets have priced in nothing bad from here to as far as the eye can see." Here's the ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it the “second half” or “second part” of the century?

I faced this problem when interpreting the transcript of records today. The subject is: "European History of the second half/part of the XX century till today" So is it better to say "part" or ...
1
vote
1answer
251 views

Could somebody translate this into modern English? [closed]

This was extracted from Book I of the Iliad by Homer (translated by Samuel Butler): Therefore I say, and swear it with a great oath- nay, by this my sceptre which shalt sprout neither leaf nor ...
-3
votes
2answers
102 views

An interest text interpretation problem [closed]

This is a text from my writing course. I'm trying to understand the text so that I can get some idea to write my essay. Online connections were first conceived as a substitute for face-to-face ...
0
votes
3answers
63 views

Confusing passage

I find people willing to seriously consider robots not only as pets but as potential friends, confidants, and even romantic partners. We don't seem to care what these artificial intelligences ...
1
vote
1answer
509 views

Meaning: I'm so happy that I can sing

Suddenly came up with a thought that the sentence below could have two meanings due to the "so ~ that" structure. I'm so happy that I can sing. If the sentence had no "so", it would mean that the ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

What does “I don't want to die like X” mean when X is alive? [closed]

Some possible interpretations of "I don't want to die like X" seem to be: Just like X, I, too, do not want to die. Taking death non-literally: I do not want to die in the way that X has "died". I do ...
0
votes
2answers
268 views

what is the usage of 'so much going for it that' here?

"Lynn Margulis, to her everlasting credit, saw that separate DNA complements imply the fusion of at least two different kinds of other organisms, each with its own DNA complement, to form a single, ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Does the sentence “What the fox say?” mean anything?

In the lyrics for the song "What does the fox say" the following sentence appears. "What the fox say"[sic] It uses the word "say" and not "says", and there is no "does". Does the sentence make ...
0
votes
1answer
422 views

“Damage to the undercarriage; damage caused by water”

Does this phrase mean that damages to the undercarriage caused by water is not covered, OR does it mean damage to the undercarriage is not covered regardless of the cause, and that damage to the ...
3
votes
5answers
499 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Antecedent of “whose common theme is death of fathers” in Hamlet

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1. Scene 2 Claudius: Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven, A fault against the dead, a fault to nature, To reason most absurd; whose common theme Is death of ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

“Elves and Men, the Firstborn and the Followers”

This is a quote from Silmarillion, but I really do not know if there are two meanings or one. Because on my language this "Followers" can means that come after the Firstborn or those who likes ...
0
votes
2answers
230 views

Is the usage of “forfeit” correct here?

«The FAIR Act would change federal law and protect the rights of property owners by requiring that the government prove its case with clear and convincing evidence before forfeiting seized property.» ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How to understand these verses from the poem “The road not taken” by Robert Frost

I actually have two questions regarding this poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Meaning of ' as long as you fed him, he would be cooperative' [closed]

About the meaning of the sentence 'as long as you fed him, he would be cooperative': (1) The clause 'as long as you fed him' is about past or present one? (2) Depending on the above, the 'would' at ...
0
votes
1answer
186 views

Two types of the definite article

I have a question regarding the usage of the definite article. Here is an excerpt: Those were the days of lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. Today, we are faced with the disappointing ...
1
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4answers
3k views

Would you tell me the difference between object and objective as a noun?

I am very confused. Could you possibly elaborate (in detail) the reason why: My object is to improve my English as much as possible. [WRONG it should be 'objective'] My object is to learn ...
-1
votes
1answer
38 views

Condition interpretation - Mathematics

Condition is read as below:- Where juniors who have completed their qualifying or eligibility service are being considered for promotion, their seniors would also be considered provided they are not ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

Adjective, “but” adjective question

How about a burger? Delicious, but healthy? Is the proper interpretation of the second phrase ("Delicious, but healthy?") what follows below? The part that comes before the comma should be ...
-1
votes
1answer
97 views

What does “With a team” mean? [closed]

Does the phrase "with a team" imply that the speaker is on the team, or rather that the speaker is explicitly not on the team (of course it may also be ambiguous)?
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Signing off with “Best” instead of “Best regards” [duplicate]

I'm active on many different online forums and platforms and do much communication with my own customers and customers of a company I am employed at. The signature I used to sign off a post or email ...
1
vote
1answer
221 views

How should this sentence be interpreted?

So I am reading the essay "On Some Verses of Virgil" by Michel de Montaigne (translation by Donald M. Frame) and I came across this particular sentence. Is there any ugliness in doing wrong that ...
1
vote
2answers
251 views

Finding the correct interpretation of “Every X [units of time], at maximum/minimum.”

I've recently been involved in a discussion over different interpretations of the following sentence (paraphrased): Users may update their information every two weeks, at maximum. The intended ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Contradictory meanings of 'sick'

We usually use the word 'sick' to refer to something that you are tired of or don't like. So it is quite clear when we say I'm sea-sick, that we mean, one is sick of travelling by sea (eg: boat) ...