This tag is for questions about the meaning of a longer passage of English.

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0
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2answers
43 views

Why do we say “bless you”?

I don't mean when someone sneezes or when someone's been kind to you, but in other situations. Like, when someone is enjoying a lot of luck, fortune or doing staggeringly well in something. Or ...
0
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2answers
46 views

What does the term “nonrecourse deduction” mean?

What does the term: nonrecourse deduction(s) mean? In legal documents I have seen the term nonrecourse deduction(s) used as it pertains to taxation and other economic factors. It is not clear to me ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Does the following sentence with “however” make sense? [on hold]

"You'll like the book, however slow you read." It was the correct answer to the question "You'll like the book, ____________ slow you read." in a placement test which I answered pretended wrong ...
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3answers
68 views

What does “match X against Y” mean?

I just read a post that says: When Angular bootstraps your application, the HTML compiler traverses the DOM matching directives against the DOM elements. What does "match... against" mean? How ...
-2
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0answers
31 views

Please explain 'where this would otherwise'? [on hold]

With so many rules and slightly different interpretations of them in thousands of cases, it is not always easy to see which interpretation of the law a court will give in your case. This ...
0
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3answers
79 views

'The Constitution Is Not A Suicide Pact'

Would someone please explain why this means: that civil liberties only go so far, and at extremes, security must take precedence ? I tried to reference a suicide pact and more context here, ...
0
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1answer
39 views

'cold finality'

In an American case in 1937, Justice Clarkson said this before delivering his dissent: In those after years when this case, elevated to high authority by the cold finality of the ...
0
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2answers
34 views

Meaning of 'duty' here [on hold]

His case, though, was rejected by the Court of Appeal, which suggested that practical and policy reasons militated against allowing him to recover damages. Lord Justice Stuart-Smith said: ...
22
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8answers
6k views

What does “vanilla” mean in the context of gaming?

Consider this comment: I've been playing WoW(an online multiplayer game) since vanilla. I'm an older white male, my first toon was female, created with my wife coaching me. We did it just for fun. ...
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1answer
34 views

What does “broken lives” mean?

The following is a comment made by a poster in response to this article: Absolutely correct. Intentionally obscuring who you are and what your desires are may lead to heartache and in rare ...
0
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2answers
40 views

Question on “subject to being disproved by the person accused” [on hold]

The appeal court said that in criminal cases where it is necessary for the prosecution to prove intention, they must always do just that. Intention can never be presumed, subject to being ...
3
votes
3answers
171 views

Meaning of “Cheeky” in Australian Aboriginal English

In Australian Aboriginal English, does "Cheeky" have meanings different from those found in other varieties of English? In the Baz Luhrmann movie "Australia", the word "Cheeky" was used by the ...
0
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2answers
45 views

Meaning - “last importance”

In the final appeal Lord Campbell said: No one can suppose that Lord Cottenham could be, in the remotest degree, influenced by the interest he had in this concern; but, my Lords, it ...
2
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2answers
58 views

Meaning of “black on black” in Nickelback's “Animals”

The song "Animals" by Nickelback starts with the following lines: I, I'm driving black on black Just got my license back I got this feeling in my veins This train is coming off the ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Meaning - Conversation

(Source) And now Nineteen persons having been hang'd, and one prest to death, and Eight more condemned, in all Twenty and Eight, of which above a third part were Members of some of the Churches of ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

meaning of 'play point'

What made Tinder Tinder was the work of a team: Joe Munoz, who built the technical back end; Jonathan Badeen, who wrote the iOS code; Christopher Gulczynski, who created the design; Rad, who ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

what does “ demands forgiveness” mean in the context? [on hold]

this is a poem by James. D. Corrothers: To be a Negro on a day like this Demands forgiveness. Bruised with blow on blow, Betrayed, like him whose woe dimmed eyes gave bliss, Still must one ...
0
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2answers
42 views

What does “With the perspective time gives” mean?

Please help, I've tried everything but still can't make out what this clause means. The full sentence is: With the perspective time gives, I now realize that the most fitting statement Don Juan ...
-1
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2answers
66 views

What's your name? [duplicate]

My question may not be related with English language. It might be more of correct usage. Which one of the following is correct? Your name, please? or Your good name, please? // as if there is a ...
-1
votes
2answers
67 views

Can I use “contend” without a preposition?

On the one hand, recent advances in the power of computers have been decried as the nemesis of whatever vestiges of our privacy still survive. On the other, the Internet is acclaimed as a Utopia. ...
-1
votes
1answer
31 views

Meaning of 'saving' in 'not one single saving vice'

[He is] devoid of any human weakness, with not one single saving vice, sans prejudice, procrastination, ill-nature, avarice, and absence of mind, as careful for his own safety as he is for ...
1
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0answers
42 views

Can “yell 'word' for passcode” be considered a wordplay? [closed]

Consider the following sentence: Yell "word" for passcode. Obviously it instructs one to yell "word" in order to get a passcode. To me it looks like the sentence could be read as a wordplay ...
1
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1answer
37 views

statistically dispositive

The Court also, however, reaffirmed that quotas were illegitimate and found that the undergraduate program, which mechanically awarded minorities a fixed twenty points, was therefore ...
1
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0answers
33 views

Meaning of grave in graver trusts [closed]

Any other rule of construction would abrogate the judicial character of this court, and make it the mere reflex of the popular opinion or passion of the day. This court was not created by the ...
1
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0answers
41 views

“issue” as an intransitive verb [closed]

The place of confinement would not be different, since in those days the dangerously insane in the District of Columbia were confined in the same jail as indicted criminals. (There was no ...
1
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0answers
51 views

Is “nerd” really an abusive or hurting word? [closed]

Calling someone a nerd turns them off, although they are geeky sticking to computers and books all the time. Is it right to call someone a nerd or should we just go with diligent/studious (the very ...
4
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2answers
120 views

What does “you don't need a husband, you need a Greek chorus!” mean?

A female friend recently saw a video of pretty old movie, “The Last Station” (directed by Michael Hoffman), which illustrates the struggle of Leo Tolstoy (the Russian author) to balance fame and ...
0
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2answers
76 views

to give someone until

I'm reading Women by Charles Bukowski and stumbled upon the following dialog: Dee Dee was standing next to me. "Please tell her," she said, "to give me until September." "Forget her," Lydia ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

The Sand Scrunched Beneath My Feet [closed]

I was reading Ivan Klima's No Saints Or Angels and found the highlighted part in the following sentence not quite clear: When Karel1 left me, I tried to give her2 that love, but it’s impossible ...
0
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2answers
63 views

“transcend” in a negative context

Can transcend be used to imply a negative condition? For example, "an unappointed ruling elite that transcends both of the member groups." The implication would be that the elite group is comprised of ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

a silver knife smeared with butter [closed]

He came in, big and smiling, with his right eye completely close. “Your mother put a silver knife smeared with butter on it last night. Quite a person, Mother.” (He had a black eye, after struggling ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

meaning of “go up five places” in this sentence

A person is recollecting his college days in Oxford. He used to be in the team of an eight, rowing a boat. In the year I got my colours the Wadham boat went up five places on the river. It was the ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

The income tax is becoming higher than cat's back. What's the meaning of this sentence?

It's from a novel of 1938 by E.C. Bentley's Genuine Tarbard. Now the expression of 'cat's back' seems not to be in use any more. However, what's the meaning of this 'cat's back'?
2
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1answer
49 views

'furniture of their pockets"

There are many pleasant fictions of the law in constant operation, but there is not one so pleasant or practically humorous as that which supposes every man to be of equal value in its impartial ...
0
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2answers
54 views

Is it “restricted to” or “restricted from”? [closed]

I came across this sentence: The power to rule was restricted to ministers, and it was restricted from king. What is the difference between "restricted to" and "restricted from" here?
1
vote
2answers
52 views

altruism in a negative context?

Can altruism be used in a negative context to show a person doing something bad but unselfishly. He did such and such quite altruistically actually. Its meant to be tongue in cheek. Does that work?
3
votes
3answers
100 views

Is “up to” inclusive or exclusive?

The study was carried out up to visit 11 under the name of X1, whereas all later visits were carried out under a different name, X2. In the above sentence, does V11 belong to X1 or X2? I want ...
1
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1answer
60 views

Where's the irony? Truth and falsity are reversed?

Hamilton quickly focused on the last part of his opponent’s argument as support for his attempt to introduce evidence of the truthfulness of his client’s publications. Hamilton offered the ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

What does “v.” stand for? [closed]

In in the following sentence, what does the "v." stand for? The new system was partially indebted to Stanley v. Georgia Does it mean "Stanley and Georgia" or "Stanley against Georgia"?
1
vote
1answer
38 views

“a due information”

Hamilton quickly focused on the last part of his opponent’s argument as support for his attempt to introduce evidence of the truthfulness of his client’s publications. Hamilton offered the ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

No longer valid vs. Invalid [closed]

There is a subtle or perhaps more than subtle difference between the phrases "no longer valid" and "invalid". Can English experts elaborate with examples where one should be used and not the other.
29
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4answers
5k views

What does “There she blows’” mean?

This question regards the sentence in the New Yorker’s (June 14) article “Lunch at Gitlitze” I quoted in my previous question, "Is “battled-hardened” correct, or just a typo?” “When we walked ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

“The heart can choke the mind when all its blood flows back unto itself.” [closed]

This quote is Francis Underwood's, from House of Cards, Season 2, Episode 11. Would someone please explain it? Some context can be found here. I'd venture that it refers to love? It induces the blood ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

What does ranked two places below mean?

If a statement says "India is ranked two places below China" What place does India hold if China is ranked 1? Is it rank 3 or 4? Also, is there any difference between the following two sentences? ...
4
votes
2answers
556 views

Meaning of 'a third leg'

When Dr. Barclay was called, I was surprised. I had expected an elderly man, but he was only in the late thirties and good-looking. Knowing Elinor, I wondered. Except for Fred, who had no looks ...
1
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1answer
32 views

Meaning of “extenuate”: “extenuated the difficulties” [closed]

The definition of extenuate as a verb is: to cause a wrong act to be judged less seriously by giving reasons for it: Yet I don't apprehend its meaning herein. Would someone please explain? ...
-3
votes
1answer
41 views

Using longest word in context [closed]

I came across with the following word antidisestablishmentarianism How do you pronounce this word, meaning and how can i use this word in a context? Thanks
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

Why is it silly to think that ‘all truth is relative’? [closed]

First of all, why is it silly to think that ‘all truth is relative’? Well, we know that the statement ‘all truth is relative’ cannot be absolutely true, because if this statement were ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Meaning - “Thank you,” … “but apologize to him.” [closed]

Last November, Sri Srinivasan, a government lawyer, apologized to Justice David H. Souter for referring to him as Justice Scalia. "Thank you," Justice Souter said, with characteristic ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Context of “when?”

One example comes from this song in "the Music Man." Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana Gary, Indiana, let me say it once again Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana Gary, Indiana, that's the town that ...