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

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2
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2answers
51 views

The Appendix in Orwell's 1984

After answering a question in SciFi if the Big Brother existed as a real person, I got responses that the last chapter, the Appendix (which can be found here), definitely proves that Oceania ceased to ...
-2
votes
0answers
56 views

What is the meaning of this saying?

There's a saying that I've heard before, "Even a bird on high dies a glutton's death, as do the fish of the deeps". I heard this saying in Metal Gear Solid 2, where the original author was not ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What is the meaning of this line of Andrew Marvell's poem?

O do not run too fast, for I will but bespeak thy grave, and die – Andrew Marvell in The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Fawn Is the Nymph addressing the fawn here, saying "I will bear ...
0
votes
2answers
16 views

implication behind “can I ask you to …”

Is there any difference between these two sentences ? (1) Can I ask you to ...[do something]? (2) Can you ... [do something]? Eg., if my boss were to say to me "Can I ask you to pick up the ...
1
vote
2answers
24 views

what is the meaning of the phrase “In the interest of honesty”?

Recently I came up on a question: In the interest of honesty, are you minimizing any important details that your prospects should know? What is the meaning of the phrase in this context ?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

What does “You hit singles, you hit doubles,” mean?

Roger Cohen, New York Times’ op-ed columnist wrote under the caption, “Ambivalence about America” in New York Times August 18 issue.; Geostrategic shifts over the past year indicate that the ...
-3
votes
0answers
22 views

Praise vs Glory [on hold]

What is the difference? As in 'To Glorify Him' and 'To Hymn His Praise'. I think I could also ask this question with a lower case 'h' in 'him'.
0
votes
1answer
45 views

What is the difference between “X is needed” and “X is necessary”?

Do the following two sentences mean the same? A: If you improve the quality of your data, less data is needed to achieve an error rate of 30%. B: If you improve the quality of your data, less ...
3
votes
3answers
97 views

Does “Can I have lunch with you?” imply I have something to talk about with that person? [on hold]

Last week, I asked one of my coworkers to have lunch with me. I messaged him "Can I have lunch with you?" and he reply "No, I have a meeting until 2pm" Then around 4 pm, he walked to my desk and ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

What does “biased in your favour” mean in this sentence? [on hold]

I checked several dictionaries and googled and checked previous biased-related questions here including Is it "biased towards" or "biased against"?, Word for being biased ...
0
votes
3answers
102 views

What is the meaning of “a trouvaille, mon cher”? [on hold]

I was reading A Model Millionaire by Oscar Wilde and came across this line. Can someone explain it to me? "An amazing model?' shouted Jain at the top of his voice; 'I should think so! Such ...
-2
votes
2answers
114 views

What does “f***ing pay” mean? [on hold]

I have never seen "fucking pay" before. what does it mean. I have read this in this sentences " Let's hope you're right. that's all I have to say. Because otherwise... you know? soneone, somewhere is ...
-1
votes
0answers
31 views

Should I say “Printed in” or “Printed on” here? [closed]

So I should say this to someone but I'm not sure if I should use "in" or "on" in the sentence. Here it goes: "The passport authority didn't print my apartment name in my passport. Should I include ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Word for when you think of anyone and they call you

Is there a word when you think of someone and he suddenly shows up or calls you ?
-2
votes
0answers
56 views

Meaning of Emergency [closed]

I am writing a paper, it is one of my sentences It has been shown that this method covers both the obligations and emergencies ‎of industrial centers and the conditions of research work.‎ By ...
1
vote
1answer
93 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

what is the meaning of “the family dynamic” and “Textbook Case”? [closed]

I encountered the terms “the family dynamic” and “Textbook Case” in the play The Pain and the Itch by Bruce Norris. I want to know what they mean. At page 58: Clay: Kelly was abused. Carol: ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

What does “No pressure” mean when you’re meeting someone new?

Time magazine (6 Aug 2014) carries an article titled “Our Brains Immediately Judge People” and subtitled “We make calls on trustworthiness almost instantly” that says research at Dartmouth College and ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

can you give me a synonym for “ accumulated wisdom”?

who can explain for me what exactly the " accumulated wisdom" mean? I mean in this sentence from a play by Bruce Norris" KELLY : Right. I think the point is, I hope? that the accumulated wisdom of ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

What does “[Country] out” mean in the context of a photo description?

In the last photo of a slideshow of the 69th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing, there's a description of the photo, plus what I assume is metadata-ish content (emphasis added): U.S. Ambassador to ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Meaning of “quantify” in a dating context

Someone said: "You can always quantify things", as in "* Internet and all that stuff is just that. People are people and you can always quantify things." I'm Dutch/American, but am having a really ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

What's the difference between degree and grade?

Maybe I am wrong but sometimes I am pretty sure to have seen something like "I graduated in my university with a degree of 105". Shouldn't "grade" be used in this case? I though that "degree" was ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “4-year advanced seminar” mean in this passage about the office of Vice President?

I’m reading Jeffrey Archer’s “The Prodigal Daughter” at a snail pace and came across the following sentence describing the scene where Florentyna Kate, the female candidate for Presidency answers the ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Meaning of snobbishly [closed]

I'm reading The Great Gatsby and on the second page it says: As my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth. ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

“so” or “therefore”

I usually double check my English using Google Translate. I paste my phrase in English (translated by myself) and I see how it translates it back to Italian. If the meaning is the one I had in mind ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

the meaning of 'relevant' used in linguistic explanations

Maybe someone who is well-versed in semantics could help me. The word relevant turns up at places in the following paragraph. While I know the fundamental meaning of it — pertinent, germane, ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

what does “ which way does this go, now?” mean?

I am reading a play, in a coversation one of characters refered to table setting and ask " which way does this go, now?" what is that about? about eating ? or cleaning the table?
0
votes
1answer
23 views

How many possible meanings does “ inclusion” have?

I want to know how many possible meaning does " inclusion" have in this sentence, I cant get its meaning. " I am all for inclusion. but that part of the country? those are not my people."
1
vote
3answers
57 views

Past progressive construction

I’m confused about how to construct a past progressive sentence. If I say these: I was walking in the park. I was singing in the bathroom. Would these sentences be considered to be in past ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Can I use “will” as non-auxiliary verb?

I was in England and I heard that some people use word "will" as non auxiliary verb, in meaning "wish". Have I misheard? If it is true, in which cases can I use "will" as non auxiliary verb?
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Is “Sad sometimes what happens when kids stop being kids and grow up to become the kind of adults we simply detest” ambiguous?

In the Collins Dictionary entry for the verb detest, the following citation taken from a 2003 Ottawa Sun article is given to demonstrate that verb: Sad sometimes what happens when kids stop being ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

“An hilarious” vs. “a hilarious” [duplicate]

Which of these is correct? This is in the context of buying a surprise gift for someone and you think your gift is hilarious. I bought myself a hilarious one! or I bought myself an hilarious ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

the meaning of 'evil which seem blessings to the memory'?

Soon after this eventful day, I became the husband of Bertha. I ceased to be the scholar of Cornelius, but I continued his friend. I always felt grateful to him for having, unaware, procured me that ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

The word entropy [closed]

Could someone define the word entropy for me in the context below. "I have journeyed through the darkness between the most distant stars. I have beheld the births of negative-suns and borne witness ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the meaning of “cooling relations”?

Sometimes relations between nations can be considered to be "cooling"? What does this mean? I can't tell if it means: The relationship is getting better because it's "cooling-off" from "hot" ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

Difference word descriptions [closed]

Why do we say >we are going to sea< when we board a ship that will travel across an ocean?
2
votes
1answer
49 views

What's the meaning of “stand” in this context? [closed]

The following is a verse from the song Billy Jean by Micheal Jackson (this is the full version of the lyrics of the song): For forty days and forty nights Law was on her side But who can stand ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Stay/keep abreast of

Somewhere in my essay it goes as follows: There is a shared assumption that English is estranging people from their own language, inclining them to subordinate it to English. Even so commonly ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

What does “draw something within something” mean? [closed]

From page 228 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer: The law is presumed unconstitutional, but the state may rebut that presumption by satisfying a heavy burden of justification. ...
-1
votes
1answer
52 views

What does “which” refer to in “in respect to which”? [closed]

From footnote 34 on page 216 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer:  . . . it is accepted that individuals have due-process rights to notice and hearing [//] with respect to ...
-2
votes
3answers
73 views

How to parse these two long (subordinate) clauses connected with 'that'? [closed]

From footnote 8 on page 205 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer: Supplemented context: There are, of course, controversies about and challenges to these venerable distinctions as ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

How to determine which definition of 'contingent'?

This quote was revealed to exemplify Definition 1, but working backwards, how would you determine the meaning of contingent? Even after seeing the context, I'm still vacillating between definitions 1 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

What’s the meaning of “purchase” in “the purchase for changing a rule”?

On page 118 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer, I found this passage: If the purchase for changing a rule[,] is a perception of what the optimal result would be in the absence of the ...
-2
votes
1answer
75 views

What does “so” mean in “the analogy, so the skeptics insist, did not determine the result”? [closed]

From page 97 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: Deciding the Skokie case involving the American Nazi Party in 1977, therefore, was simply a matter of applying the rule set forth in ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Is ”what there is a reason to do” a valid construct?

From page 76 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: What there is a reason to do is different from what should be done, all things considered, just as what there is a right to do is ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Meaning of “But I repeat myself” in Mark Twain's quote?

There is the following sentence in the conversation between Florentyna Rosnovski, the heroine of Jeffrey Archer’s novel, The Prodigal Daughter, who was first elected as the Congressman of Illinois and ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Finished off the night “with a rubber”

Reading the diary of a doctor in Canada, 1845-46, often refers to "having a rubber" at the end of the day which seems like a nightcap. Does anyone know why the word rubber is used?
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Meaning of “fl.” and “seq.”

Currently I am reading a book titled Configurations of culture growth by the American anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber. Part of his book consists of tables that iist eminent people from all fields ...
3
votes
3answers
331 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
4answers
61 views

Something that can not be undone or undo [closed]

A word for something that can't be undone or undo ?