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

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10 views

Is “He is being here” ever acceptable?

Is the sentence like He is being here acceptable in some context?
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0answers
11 views

What is the difference between check-in and check in and checkin?

What is the difference between Check-in and Check in and Checkin? Kindly anyone can explain this three words. Thanks in advance.
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1answer
13 views

… and good company to be in

What is the meaning of "and good company to be in" here? Context: It is as if artists were rogue mutations in the body politic, sniffing the wind, open to new ideas, makers of new constructs and ...
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1answer
16 views

Anyone could hazard suggestions for the biological purposes

Context: Anyone could hazard suggestions for the biological purposes of art – it eases social interactions, it is a mark of status and of the conspicuous display of consumption that indicates ...
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2answers
13 views

“scientists” and “social scientists”

what is the difference between "scientists" and "social scientists" here? Context: Are artists born? There is some evidence that scientists may be. Cambridge Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, an expert ...
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2answers
50 views

Am I right about this dropped “which”?

I think a "which" has been dropped in the following paragraph that has led to misunderstanding. Am I right? I have added and made bold where I think it is missing. There are dangers in drawing ...
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0answers
33 views

Use of 'write down' [on hold]

Can the expression write down be used in a context where I will write down my opinion or statement so that we can remember it in the future? Like a promise or statement with weight? 'The United ...
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2answers
14 views

we are burdened by repressions resulting from our early family life

Does Post-Freudians have reminded us how we are burdened by repressions resulting from our early family life, Marxists and Foucauldians by the power of the political hegemonies we labour under or ...
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1answer
38 views

Please explain the conclusion of this quote [on hold]

Why does the author consider the prescription of Ritalin controversial in the following text? Because this kind of disease seems to be genetic and doctors in spite of this try to cure it by drugs, or ...
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0answers
88 views

What is the real meaning of “Speak English”? [migrated]

I am a non-native speaker of English so I am trying to get used to every phrase I come across while hearing and reading. As a result, I have watched many American movies and so I have heard the phrase ...
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2answers
45 views

Does 'sewer crabs' insinuate any other meaning?

The second old man threw his axe down pettishly, spat in the direction of the closed door and went off among the stacks of cordwood. The door of the shack opened, the man in the Mackinaw poked ...
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1answer
19 views

Is this an appropriate use of sirrah

Hortensio: ‘Sirrah! I will not bear these braves of thine’ In this context, Hortensio is arguing with Lucentio and called him sirrah. Those two characters are actually rich people disguised ...
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1answer
31 views

Difference between indecisive and volatile

I am confused about when to use indecisive and when to use volatile. For example He was very _________. His friends acknowledged his vacillation. What would be the appropriate answer here?
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1answer
39 views

the pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light

Matthew Arnold somewhere says: "the pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light". what is the role of "then? Does it denote "therefore" or anything else?
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1answer
34 views

the best way for learning is drumming in [on hold]

Does "Drumming in" mean "repetition" when we say "the best way for learning is drumming in" ?
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3answers
39 views

with the odd chorus from an oratorio by Handel, Mozart or Mendelssohn [closed]

What does the bold part of the following sentence mean? We learnt to sing and read music and had a wide repertoire of hymns, folk songs and military marching songs, with the odd chorus from an ...
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1answer
48 views

Bend someone with eye dropper?

He turned around in his chair and pointed out through the sleazy curtains at a distant hill. On top of the hill was a yellow and white house that shone in the sun. "Hell, that's where he lives. He's ...
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1answer
71 views

What does the word, “blond” in “Donald Trump gets more chesty. And more blond” meean?

Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times (August 22) under the title, “Donald Trump Struts in His Own Pageant” starts with the following lines; “SOME blondes have all the fun. As Hillary Clinton ...
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1answer
38 views

In which contexts are livestock destroyed?

In which contexts are livestock destroyed? A display about the impacts of the 2009 Black Sunday bushfires included Significant amounts of hay and silage destroyed 250+ beef and dairy cattle ...
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3answers
49 views

What does “good doctor” mean?

There's this quote from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, about brain augmentation, that's been bothering me: I think, and my thoughts cross the barrier into the synapses of the machine – just as the ...
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2answers
47 views

meaning of “count clouds”

"Just stop trying to count clouds with me," I growled. "Talk sense. If you've' got a job for me, it's probably too dirty for me to touch. But I'll at least listen." It could be understood "sound ...
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1answer
67 views

What does the phrase “in all of its moods” mean? [closed]

I said that when I grew up I would own a house right here in Sea Bright. I would be able to look at the ocean every day, in all of its moods, even when the wind howled in winter and smashed the sea ...
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1answer
67 views

What does David Hume mean by the word “dull” in this quote?

In his essay "The Skeptic," 18th-century English philosopher David Hume concludes: In a word, human life is more governed by fortune than by reason; is to be regarded more as a dull pastime than ...
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0answers
31 views

What does the expression “that about sums it up” mean in the context provided in the question? [closed]

This phrase is taken from the Lost series, in particular from Episode 3, in case that rings any bells for anyone. Basically, the question that I have is, what does this phrase mean: That's about ...
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2answers
79 views

what means “you're standing on my neck”? [on hold]

from song "You're Standing On My Neck" (Splendora). Main theme song of Daria's TV show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIA7ZHcobys I'm not sure about the meaning, my guess is some kind of "you are ...
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2answers
53 views

Would the “Purple Fawn” in this context refer to a shop? [closed]

Wodger, of the "Purple Fawn," and Mr. Jaggers, the cobbler, who also sold old second-hand ordinary bicycles, were stretching a string of union-jacks and royal ensigns (which had originally ...
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1answer
58 views

What's a more appropriate word than verbatim or literal in this context?

The XML file is being transcribed verbatim to generate the form on the web page. Perhaps literal fits better than verbatim, as the former denotes a looser correlation (in my opinion) than the ...
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2answers
68 views

Could someone explain to me the difference between “based upon”/“based on” and “according to”?

I am assuming "based upon" and "based on" are basically the same phrase. In my language, "based upon" and "according to" have pretty much the same translation. What is actually the difference? ...
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0answers
29 views

How to interpret 'I will not stop until it is not finished'?

I will not stop until X is not finished. [Edited from source:] 2 means: 3. If X is not finished, I will stop now. Nothing is said about when (or whether) I will start again. 4. If X ...
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0answers
45 views

is there any word for simulation with effect in the real world?

I am looking for a word that would describe human to computer interaction with effect in the real world. Like flight simulation describes unreal mirror of a real flight. But in case person sitting ...
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2answers
81 views

You just happened to have it on you [closed]

What does "You just happened to have it on you" mean in the following conversation? R: There are some things in my research log which might be relevant to your case. Now that you have stopped ...
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5answers
3k views

What does “It’s always a pig in a poke. So why not a pig who pokes?”mean?

In an article under the title, “Trump the disrupter,” (New York Times August 10 issue), Op-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd wrote: “It is really hard to know who you’re electing. That’s because you ...
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3answers
103 views

That’s nature for you

What does "That’s nature for you." mean? Does it mean "That is the nature of your behavior" or "nature behaves the same as you behave"? And, is this quote a part of evolutionary psychologists report ...
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2answers
68 views

What does “Maybe I wasn't breast-fed as a child” mean in the following excerpt? [closed]

In the film Blood Diamond, journalist Maddy Bowen and smuggler Danny Archer have a conversation: M: Hi. I'm Maddy Bowen. D: How about you dance with me? M: No, I don't dance. D: ...
3
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1answer
66 views

What does “carry away” mean in the following passage?

This is from Rudyard Kipling's The Drums of the Fore and Aft. (A regiment is very dispirited, because they have been under fire from enemy snipers without chance of retaliating.) Pot-shots up and ...
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2answers
54 views

“She's being obnoxious” - is my intuition correct?

Consider the sentence: She's being obnoxious. I know what the sentence means: she is not usually obnoxious, but she is right now. Now, what I'm interested in is why the verb be here in the ...
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1answer
34 views

compelled by an overriding drive to survive and breed

Are the bold properties in the text recounting the instinctive behaviors of animals or the human properties that through the evolution became evident in human behaviors, making them different from ...
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1answer
51 views

“score some puff” meaning?

I am reading a play by Joe Penhall. I am not able to get the meaning of this conversation: Christopher: He smokes too much drugs, man, d'you know what I mean? he likes his puff. I can tell. ...
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2answers
28 views

On the share vs on shares

"Well, after the Civil War they died off pretty fast, livin' in poverty on the plantation, which was allowed to go to ruin. Finally only four girls were left, sisters, livin' in the old house and ...
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2answers
32 views

Can I say … “This quote is so accurate to them..”? [duplicate]

Is it possible to use this formulation? This quote is so accurate to them. I'm trying to say it fits them just perfectly. Such as when something fits somebody like it was meant for them: e.g. ...
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2answers
66 views

Does “unbearable” always have a negative connotation?

I came across with this sentence "As a child he held an unbearable curiosity, he needed to question everything" Since english is not my first language, I was giving it a second thought and ...
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3answers
56 views

Difference between “Mollify” and “Pacify”? [closed]

Also, which word is suitable in a context of hunger?
2
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2answers
60 views

What does “all not” mean exactly in this context?

All DriveTest Centres do not provide car rentals to applicants. The sentence above is taken from here. In my understanding, it means some DriveTest Centres may provide car rentals while others ...
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3answers
73 views

“You will love him to ruins.”

You will love him to ruins. This is the first sentence of the book The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Could somebody tell me what does that mean? Here is the sentence in context: ...
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2answers
57 views

I make money without getting my ‘can’ knocked off

From Trouble Is My Business by Raymond Chandler (1938): "You might do," Anna said, "cleaned up a little. Twenty bucks a day and ex's. I haven't brokered a job in years, but this one is out of my ...
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2answers
29 views

What does “which I find convincing” refer to in this quotation?

I have two questions: What is "which I find convincing" referring to? to "pleasing analyses" or "the idea that we should not get too carried away with pleasing analyses"? What does "But at the end ...
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2answers
25 views

What is “better” modifying in this sentence?

I'm not sure what "better" is modifying in a sentence with "had better": "If there is a virus in your system, you had better hope that it responds to the appropriate treatment and therapy." I know ...
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1answer
26 views

meaning of “beat the measure”

When Keawe came to himself a little, he was aware it was the night when the band played at the hotel. Thither he went, because he feared to be alone; and there, among happy faces, walked to and fro, ...
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1answer
59 views

What does “Come on, let's wrangle up the cattle” mean?

Andy said this to Woody in Toy Story 1. Is this idiom?
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3answers
56 views

What does “Bo Peep” mean in this context? [closed]

Quiet, Bo Beep, or your sheep get run over! Source: Quora