This tag is for questions related to definitions and nuances of meaning of a word or phrase.

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0
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2answers
13 views

Is there ever a case for using hyphens to make text clearer

In an earlier post - Phonetic understanding of tongue twisters - a comment was made that "hyphens ...(are) ...not needed in speech, so they must be extraneous". The phrase prompting this assertion ...
1
vote
2answers
27 views

Which one is correct “delivered to” or “delivered at”?

Should I say Food delivered to your doorsteps or Food delivered at your doorsteps?
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Are these two meanings of “phenomenal” related?

I had seen the word phenomenal translated into Chinese words with an equivalent meaning "of phenomenon" in more and more text especially regarding sports. For example, LeBron James had a ...
2
votes
2answers
360 views

What does “lift their skirts … and grab the eyeglasses right off someone's face” mean?

From Gavin De Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence (1998): "That's true," she said. "Every day I have to predict what the kids will do, and I succeed for ...
2
votes
7answers
77 views

What is a good word I can use for the talking I do with myself in my mind?

'Monologue' seems like a close fit, but I think more people associate it with one-sided conversation. Correct me if I'm wrong. 'Soliloquy' seems to be only concerned with plays and dramas. Can I use ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

Is there a single word (or expression) used to describe a person who only does their job when the boss/manager is watching?

"Quick the boss is coming, we need to look busy" Is there a single word (or expression) to describe a person who only does their job while someone (the boss/manager) is watching, but who does ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

GRE Sentence Completion -2

It comes as no surprise that societies have codes of behavior; the character of the codes, on the other hand, can often be _________ . A) predictable B) unexpected C) admirable D) explicit E) ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

the meaning of “they should not look nearly as different as they do”

The three species (Man, the chimpanzee and the gorilla) share almost 99 percent of their DNA, and on that basis, surely, they should not look nearly as different as they do. Am I right in ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Is there any difference between 'artfully' and 'artistically'? [on hold]

Is there any difference between 'artfully' and 'artistically'? e.g., are there any subtle differences between an 'artfully plated' dish and an 'artistically plated' one?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What does “over-formal” means? [on hold]

An ideal article should have the following: • Appropriate and Correct English Professional, but not over-formal, U.S. English.
0
votes
2answers
44 views

what is a cross signature?

I am told to get the cross signature done on the envelope containing my recomendation letter by principal but i have no idea of what a cross sign is? and how it is to be done on the envelope?
3
votes
4answers
99 views

“Premise” as a location

Can the word "premise" ever refer to a location or building? I have noticed that "premise" is being used in the computer industry to refer to a computer system that is located at a customer's place ...
-2
votes
2answers
30 views

What's the difference between “in the room” and “in room”? [on hold]

I usually tend to tell i'm in the room. But i get confused when i get doubts with respect to what to use between "in the room" and "in room" for the formation of error free sentence.
2
votes
3answers
142 views

GRE Sentence Completion Question

Select the two answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole and produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning. As my eyesight began ...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there a term for ascribing acts of the human mind to non-human objects, and when is it appropriate to do this?

Nota bene: English isn't my native language, so when I say acts of the human mind, I attempt to generalize things such as making assumptions, drawing conclusions and (to some extent) to reject. To me ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Comparing laws, regulations, and rules

As I understand it, laws are made to protect property, regulations are made to control our behavior (both are made by governments), but rules are made by individuals or organizations. Please explain ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

“piecemeal” (about a theatre prop)

I'm translating an American article on a theatre production that is really challenging for a non-native speaker. Here's a passage describing one of the props, a car: Indeed, the set, by Maria ...
-1
votes
2answers
57 views

What does this sentence mean? [on hold]

An old theory says that fear of things like snakes and fire is built into our brain, because animals that are afraid of dangerous things live longer and have more babies.
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Why is the word 'narrow' an antonym to the word 'emphatic'?

I have been doing some antonym and synonym exercises as part of my preparation for a verbal reasoning test, and I was asked to pick an antonym for the word emphatic. There were four choices given to ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Kudos to you and its usage [on hold]

What does Kudos to you exactly mean? Can I use it instead of"Bravo"? I hear it a lot in "Californication".
1
vote
1answer
33 views

“empirically ubiquitous”: what does “empirically” mean here?

I am translating an American article about a theatre production, and there's a phrase I can't understand. It uses the word "empirically" but if I'm not mistaken has nothing to do with ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

“augmented by the way that” means…?

I'm new here, and I would like to ask for your help. I'm translating an American article about a certain theatre piece, and there's a phrase that I can't understand properly. "Music, song, dance, ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

‘Went for a run’ vs. ‘went on a run’

I would like to know what's the difference between: I went for a run today I went on a run today. And when it's correct to apply each of those. Thanks a ton. Pablo.
2
votes
1answer
69 views

How to understand “cat's evening wear”?

I really had a difficult time to understand this. It comes from a book I am reading, and it is used to describe a concept the author speaks highly of. Does it mean that something is very special? Or ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

“which is no more”

Beyond its farther edge the Alppain glow burned blue just over the horizon. “But that terrible blue glare on the opposite side is exactly like the eye of fate. It accuses us, and demands what ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

what does “cool with a k” mean? [on hold]

"silicon valley" season 2 episode 8, about 7-8 minute, Ehrlich says to Monica: cool with a k. what does this mean?
0
votes
2answers
55 views

meaning of company in this sentence

FOUR I paid the taxi off on Pepper Drive, in front of a house where there was company, and walked back up the curving hill of La Verne Terrace to Steiner's house behind its shrubbery. It is the ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Can “How is it coming along?” be an expression of greeting?

I know that this expression has the meaning "How is it progressing?" What I'd like to know is, can this expression also have the meaning "What's up?" or "How is it going?" Thank you.
7
votes
2answers
618 views

Meaning of “murder to resist” in the expression “Power can be murder to resist”?

Power can be murder to resist. This is the tagline of the novel and film The Firm. What does it mean for something to "be murder to resist"?
1
vote
3answers
55 views

Meaning of 'Chasing the sinking sun'?

There is this phrase that comes up in song lyrics every now and then. It has some kind of romantic flavour to it, but I don't know it's meaning: 'Chasing the Sinking Sun' Shout Out Louds - Chasing ...
4
votes
9answers
393 views

The opposite of 'attend'

What is a word (a verb) for the opposite of attend (to a class, to a conference...)? Unattend? Disattend? If there is not such a word, then maybe not attending could be OK... EDIT: The context ...
-4
votes
0answers
43 views

how to use BEEN and while using ITS BEEN, do we hav to mention the time or not? [on hold]

how to use BEEN and while using ITS BEEN, do we hav to mention the time or not? Can i say its been an year with "SINCE" ?
0
votes
5answers
110 views

Similar phrases meaning 'give kudos'

See, in one of our employee evaluation systems, we would like to implement a feature by which any employee can show appreciation to another employee that he has got help from or whom he thinks to be a ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Does it make sense to say “someone is the reason and purpose for me of doing something?”

I'd like to put this in acknowledgements of my dissertation, expressing that someone is very important to me: X is the reason and purpose for me of writing this dissertation. But is that a ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What do “source” and “sink” mean? [on hold]

I do not understand "source" and "sink" in the following passage. I tried to look up a dictionary and google translate but it is not clear. Could anyone explain it for me? the passage: This ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

What's the meaning of “Hardware drift”? [on hold]

As in the title, please What's the meaning of "Hardware drift"? Is it hardware change in terms of configuration change?
-1
votes
0answers
28 views

meaning of “Cloud-tumbled sky” [on hold]

What does "a Cloud-tumbled sky" mean? "an extremely cloudy sky" or "a clear sky"? Thank you!
0
votes
8answers
117 views

How to describe a person that is slow to know people

How to describe a person that is slow to know people, in chinese we call it 慢 热。 Example when you meet new people , you tent to shy away and not talk much but when you get more familiar with the ...
0
votes
0answers
65 views

How to reply to the question 'make sense'? [closed]

When I ask a question to my TAs. They explain, and then sometimes ask "make sense?" I don't know how to reply to this. Should I say "yes, it makes sense"? I want to know what you guys reply to TA if ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What is 'Kontaktscheibe' in English? [closed]

What is the English word for Kontaktscheibe?
1
vote
2answers
70 views

What is the meaning of “phantastic” and what does a dated form of a word mean?

I recently saw this word used in a Android SE post and at first I thought the user misspelt the word but actually I found that a word "phantastic" exists. The phantastic meaning of yourdictionary ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

What does the phrase “to create a new national majority” refer to?

I'm confused by this passage: Roosevelt revolutionized the art of political campaigning, revitalized the Democratic party, and created a new national majority that included those previously cast ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

“Ex Machina” versus “Deus Ex Machina” [closed]

I have recently watched a movie called Ex Machina. I searched for the meaning, but Deus Ex Machina was the closest to this title. There certainly must be a relation but can someone please tell me ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Say “you guys” to a group of people [duplicate]

Can we say "guys" to a group of people, that group possibly including women? Example sentence: I am looking forward to see you guys then!
0
votes
0answers
29 views

What is difference between no different and not different

I came up with this sentence "Our lives are no different" in a book called "You can win". I was wondering what if we say like "our lives are not different" will this change the meaning of sentence or ...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

Gerund or infinitive / Difference in meaning [duplicate]

In my classes, the subject of gerunds and infinitives comes up. Students find this a confusing and frustrating subject. They accept that one can say "I like watching movies," or "I like to watch ...
1
vote
4answers
97 views

Another word for someone who has been through a lot?

So, I'm writing a story. I have a part where I describe a family who has had a lot of misfortunes; the mother got killed, the father got sick, etc. I want to follow it up with a statement when another ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Is there a better word for “punishing” or “demotivating” in this context?

I've used the following sentences recently and I don't know how to express myself in this context without doing it too strongly. Now I was thinking to reward those who put a bit more effort and do ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Using Words as Symbols [closed]

I'm aware of the fact that all words symbolize something (i.e. the word dog represents the animal dog). I want to know that if a word represents a greater a greater idea/motive... is it considered ...
-1
votes
2answers
70 views

Is “my clothes disintegrated, victims of the sea” correct? [on hold]

I came across this sentence as I was reading a book: My clothes disintegrated, victims of the sea. I think saying: My clothes, victims of the sea, disintegrated. would be correct. Which ...