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

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6
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4answers
452 views

What does “Your hair is so white now, it can talk back to police” mean?

Vanity Fair magazine (April 27) introduced a barrel of jokes about political figures she delivered at Best White House Correspondents’ Dinner held on April 25th in Washington under the headline, ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Some questions about the usage and meaning of the word “off”

These are two sentences from A Game of Thrones: Somewhere off in the wood a wolf howled. Is this "off" a preposition? What does it mean? I think it is okay in grammar if I just say "somewhere ...
0
votes
3answers
24 views

What does the author mean to say in this quote?

The following excerpt is from My Three Passions by Bertrand Russell. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway over the flux. What does the author mean to ...
1
vote
2answers
32 views

Meaning of 'proverbial worm'

"An appropriate and dramatic end to a singular and yet typical case," said Thorndyke, as he put down the newspaper. "I hope it has enlarged your knowledge, Jervis, and enabled you to form one or ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

“answered in” or “answered”?

I'm confused whether the verb answer should come with the preposition in or without it in a sentence "the timing a question will be answered in is important" or "the timing a question will be answered ...
1
vote
2answers
26 views

“predicting” or “prediction of”?

What is the difference between "can be used for prediction of user behaviour" and "can be used for predicting user behaviour"? I like the second version more since it's shorter and without a ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

What does 'pip' mean in this context?

The following excerpt has been taken from the poem Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka. What does 'pipped' mean here? Voice, when it came, Lipstick coated, long gold-rolled Cigarette-holder ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

The elbow worked through the sleeve

What does it mean "The elbow worked through the sleeve"? and what is the synonym of the verb "worked" in the sentence?
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “failure to fail”? [on hold]

What is the meaning of the phrase "failure to fail"?, And If I close now by professing that abject/ecstatic failure to fail, it is only by way of reminding myself..."
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Meaning of “lead” in the context of knots/ knot tying

In The Ashley Books of Knots (ABOK), Mr. Ashley frequently refers to various knots having or giving good or bad "lead" in a given situation. Two examples: The ANGLER'S LOOP has an excellent ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

What does “blue's my colour” mean in this context?

Monica: How are you? Fake Monica: I'm not too bad. Fortunately, blue's my colour. How-how did you know I was here? Monica: Because... I'm Monica Geller. It was my credit card you were ...
2
votes
6answers
672 views

Another way to say “it never hurts”

It wouldn't hurt you to be a bit more serious. Wouldn't/won't/never hurts make perfect sense in this example. I'm wondering if there's any alternative way to preserve the meaning of this phrase in a ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Way to stick it to

I am watching American comedy, Weird Loners. Mr A is on the phone and talking with headhunter. Mr. A: Jerry (headhunter), come on. I love the salary but these benefits are crap. You call me back ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What does “no frame of graft” mean in this context?

Young Ethan: All right, look. I've gotta tell you something. I'm not 17. I only said so that you'd think I was cute and vunerable. I'm actually 30, I have a wife, I have a job, I'm your ...
0
votes
7answers
48 views

what would be the appropriate word in this passage? possibly loosely related to “conflate”

i'm looking for a word that means intentionally attempting to conflate/situate two apparently contradictory ideas/beliefs etc.- for example, "as a practicing psychiatrist, is it possible for me to ___ ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Is the comma misplaced in this sentence?

The following excerpt has been taken from Birth by A.J. Cronin. I think there is a mistake in the second sentence -- or, if it is correct, I do not understand its grammatical pattern. Is the comma ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Can *narrow minded* be positive?

As narrow is being not wide and not flexible, can it also be upright?
2
votes
1answer
105 views

What do “Bitches get stuff done“ and ”Bitch is the new black” mean?

There was the following passage in Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times’ (April 18) criticizing Hillary Clinton of overcorrecting her self-image in the current presidential campaign under the ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

What does 'hanged' mean in this context?

LOMOV: Excuse me; I cannot continue this discussion: my heart is palpitating. NATALYA STEPANOVNA: I've noticed that those hunters argue most who know least. LOMOV: Madam, please be ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

might we not say?

What might be the reason the author adds "might we not say" in his diatribe against boardinghouse life? Here's the context: "There is no chance for the development of the unhappy wife into a ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

We have also assigned you, and every two or more of you

In the block quote below, I bolded everything excerpted from Etymonline for 'quorum {noun}'. Everything else (ie the annotations) originates from: p 469 , The Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer, ...
0
votes
2answers
21 views

How to parse 'of whom any one of you the aforesaid A, B, C, D, etc. we will shall be one'?

In the block quote below, I bolded everything excerpted from Etymonline for 'quorum {noun}'. Everything else (ie the annotations) originates from: p 469 , The Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer, ...
5
votes
4answers
76 views

Can “Claptrap” be used to mean low quality?

In this article in The Age, boats being used by asylum seekers are described as being "claptrap": The boat, like many of the claptrap vessels flooding Italy's shores each week with migrants ...
1
vote
3answers
46 views

Do State-of-the-art and Cutting edge have the same meaning?

Do state-of-the-art and cutting edge mean the same thing or do they have different meanings? If they have different meanings, which is used when?
2
votes
1answer
32 views

(if any) meaning in legal context

What does 'if any' mean in the legal context below? When the Registrar receives under subsection 33(1), 34(1) or 35(1) or (2) an application or notice (as the case may be) from the payee or payer of ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

Does this sentence have two meanings? If not which one is the true meaning?

So I had a disagreement with a friend of mine in translating a sentence into my mother language. I wonder if it has 2 meanings. I'll give the following 2 sentences too for you to understand the ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Why is “no” used instead of “yes” in this conversation? [duplicate]

Monica: Is he not cute enough for you? Rachel: No! Monica: Does he not make enough money? Rachel: No, I'm just.... The conversation is taken from Season 1 Episode 24 of the sitcom ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Can you learn something “by proxy”?

Say you're transcribing a foreign language and it takes you many times before you can accurately transcribe what is being said but as a by-product at least "by proxy" you're improving your listening ...
-1
votes
1answer
15 views

Expression of 'in other quarters'

Of course, Percival Brooks, the eldest son, would inherit the bulk of the old man's property and also probably the larger share in the business; he, too, was good-looking, more so than his brother; ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

What does “term” mean in the following context?

The word "term" has a lot of meanings. What does it mean in the following context? The term complication is a nod to high-end watchmaking and refers to a function a watch performs beyond telling ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

What does it mean when someone says “noted” to you? [closed]

I was talking to my friend about something I find disgusting and she replied, "Noted." I replied, "Noted what?" and she said, "All dat." I am a little confused about what she was trying to say? Is ...
1
vote
4answers
89 views

What does this sentence mean: “You watched his face crack open and your world shifted, …”?

quoted from: To Forget: The look on your son’s face when you accused him of taking fifty dollars out of your purse. You were so certain; nothing he said could sway you. You watched his face crack ...
0
votes
4answers
351 views

Meaning and Origin of word “Pantheon”? [on hold]

I spotted the word "Pantheon" here on the first and second paragraph on The Hindu but not able to understand the editor's view. On the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, on April 14, ...
-4
votes
0answers
58 views

meaning of “Better Thanksgiving than never”?

"Better Thanksgiving than never." I heard this expression first around 3:27 at the front part of the Gossip girl season 1 episode 09. How about the expression? Isn't there any problem to ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

What does “ILL OR NAH” mean

A t-shirt was given to me as a present by a friend of mine. There is a cherokee chief head image and a text on it which is written "ILL OR NAH". I am hesitating about wearing it because i do not know ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

What is the meaning of “jest” and “'ayfield” in this sentence from The Invisible Man?

I was reading The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells and I came across this sentence: There was my sister's son, Tom, jest cut his arm with a scythe, tumbled on it in the 'ayfield and, bless me! he was ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Night-threaders

In 'The Sandman - Vol.3 - The Dream Country' by Neil Gaiman chapter 2, a cat says to another cat: 'Well-met, fellow night-threaders' Do you know what does 'night-threaders' mean in this context?
5
votes
4answers
210 views

Is “crash into a bend” BrE and must there be a structure at the bend in order to use the phrase?

Includes 10 uses, showing it is far from a one-off phrase. Numbers 4 & 5 (bicycle) and 7, 8, 9, 10 ("everyday usage") are the uses I am most interested in. Question 1 If a vehicle ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

The use of “rift” in Orwell's *Politics and the English Language*

In Orwell's famous article *Politics and the English Language, he writes: DYING METAPHORS. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Is “rape incidents befell American campuses” alright?

Befall is usually used as a synonym for happen or occur but with a negative connotation. In this sentence, is the use of befell semantically correct? As a matter of fact, the majority of rape ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

'agree a number … to one mischief' (1655 UK) [closed]

Source: Paragraph 2, Chapter XX, De Corpore Politico, 1655, by Thomas Hobbes For multitude, though in their persons they run together, yet they concur not always in their designs. For even at that ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

An easier way to describe the phrase “people relevant to my current situation”?

As if I was explaining it to a young child, I'm looking for a relatable way to describe the people that are relevant to my current situation. For example, the people I am talking about could be the ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

what does it mean by “Sold in Cash” [closed]

I'm new on this site and want to ask for your help with english learning. I read an article which said "a man is the owner of I Sold in Cash Provision Store." Does it mean that if you want to buy ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Writing Circles Around

Can someone tell me the meaning of 'writes circles around' in this sentence?: 'If I say that he writes circles around everyone else in Comics, it's not simply to put him in a rare class with Gilbert ...
0
votes
0answers
90 views

When and how to use “hasta luego”? [migrated]

One of my colleagues used this as their subject in the mail while leaving the office. Is there any other place it can be used, and is this wise to use this in general speech?
0
votes
1answer
25 views

“OHS supervision log” meaning

I got a document related to construction working and among various staff I got this term. There were some safety measures and health certificates stuff related. I've found that OHS stands for ...
0
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0answers
16 views

'Title' vs 'Designation' related to Business Cards [duplicate]

With respect to Business Cards, what is the difference between a Designation and a Title? i.e. if I am a Software Developer at a company, would that be my title or designation? Could an example be ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Can I use instance and case like this?

I want to write something about Android bus tracking system based on crowdsourcing, where the routes are determined by wifi: "In order to exclude instances of passing buses, it only cases are ...
-3
votes
2answers
54 views

Grammatically correct, vs archaic, vs grammatically incorrect ? [closed]

So i'm new here just to start this out to begin with. So I hope you can understand my grammatically incorrect sentences. So any ways let me explain the context of this question, I am writing a short ...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

Résumé: Additional details can be provided (if required / on request)

I'm a freshman applying for internships. I previously had a detailed résumé with appropriate information regarding my projects and areas of expertise. However, I want to tailor it down and keep it as ...