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

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1answer
65 views

Ambiguious anaphora in a speech

On October 31, 2014, President Obama spoke on the topic of women and the economy. Here's a section of the speech. Moms and dads deserve a great place to drop their kids off every day that ...
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1answer
53 views

What does 'that she thought away' mean in this poem? [closed]

I can't understand the italicized part of the following poem, My Mother at Sixty-six by Kamala Das: Driving from my parent’s home to Cochin last Friday morning, I saw my mother, beside me, ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Meaning of a sentence with “economically”

This is a comment in the film called "Plasticized"(http://www.plasticizedthemovie.com/about-the-film/). The philosophy that there is an 'away'; that, you know, we say we throw something away. ...
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1answer
51 views

Do I understand this correctly?

I thanked someone really important for following me on Instagram. his reply: due time pal Does it mean that it was time to do so? thanks
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1answer
36 views

The Virtue of Woman [closed]

Please explain this Frederick Von Schiller poem: "Man of virtue has need;-into life with boldness he plunges, Entering with fortune more sure into the hazardous strife; But to woman one virtue ...
2
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1answer
59 views

How much is this amount? [closed]

The following sentence is from The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells. Please explain the italicized part: They heard the chink of money, and realised that the robber had found the housekeeping reserve of ...
1
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1answer
35 views

The meaning of “How could”

In this sentence, "How could we have fouled such a huge area?", Does "how could" mean as "Why have we fouled..."? (like "how could I have missed that?") OR Does "how could" mean as "How did we ...
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3answers
76 views

What does “don't be stupid” imply?

I was in an argument and the other party stated in his last sentence "don't be stupid". Does this statement actually mean that I am stupid and should quit being stupid or what ? Is this statement ...
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2answers
43 views

What grammatical structure is used here and what does the sentence mean?

This is an excerpt from The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. I can’t understand the italicized part. The excerpt follows: His irritability, though it might have been comprehensible to an urban ...
0
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1answer
36 views

What does it mean and makes different with “a” + number?

There is a film called "plasticized"(http://www.plasticizedthemovie.com/about-the-film/). They got a sample(plastic) by trawling. One guy asks a researcher "It's the sea-state coming down, huh?" And ...
3
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1answer
59 views

What grammar pattern is used here and what does it mean?

This excerpt is from The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. I can't figure out the italicized part. The excerpt follows: "But they take long enough to get well, don't they? ... There was my sister's ...
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3answers
129 views

to eliminate documents

I am puzzled about the word choice, namely the verb "to eliminate". Can we say that the person eliminated documents or an electronic database because they were of no use anymore or outdated. If no, ...
5
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5answers
542 views

“Came undone” in this context?

I was listening to a song of Frank Sinatra's called It Was a Very Good Year. A certain part got my attention because I did not quite understand what it meant: When I was twenty-one, it was a very ...
0
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3answers
71 views

Meaning of “exactly” in casual conversation

My question involves a group text conversation between friends whom are all native english speakers. Friend A began the conversation with a photograph of himself dressed up for a night on the town, ...
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2answers
36 views

differentiating between all that and what

Original-- extracted from the book Scarlet Letter: Like all that pertains to crime, it seemed never to have known a youthful era. My own rephrased sentences: Like whatever that pertains to crime, ...
0
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0answers
49 views

What is the meaning of “ironically” in this passage?

A rocket launched and shortly exploded on Tuesday. Below is passage from a news article written about it: This was the second launch attempt for the mission. Monday evening's try was thwarted by a ...
1
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1answer
45 views

What does “cash down payment” mean?

In the quote below (taken from here), what does "cash down payment" mean? Indeed, a few weeks before they left the White House, the Clintons were able to muster a cash down payment of $855,000 ...
3
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2answers
107 views

nor for that matter

In the sentence "He had not uttered a sound while the punishment was administered but then, nor for that matter, had I." How am I to understand "but then, nor for that matter, had I"?
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1answer
35 views

Meanings: “carriage,” “by arrangement.”

The complete sentence is as follows: All across the route I took, wheeled conveyances could be brought, supplies and water could be got, and carriage for large numbers by arrangement. carriage ...
2
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2answers
72 views

Dredge (live by the dredge?)

I've just come across a sentence like this and couldn't figure out what dredge is in it: Anyway, he lives here, in Texarkana, near here, out by the dredge. Now in dictionaries a dredge is ...
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0answers
38 views

1610 Meaning of 'occasion'

Source: Journals of the House of Lords (1610) That whereas the House of Commons have already, among their Grievances, preferred a Petition to His Majesty, as of Right and Justice, That the Four ...
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1answer
149 views

1790 meaning of 'make a screen to'

Source: Thomas Paine, RIGHTS OF MAN: Being An Answer To Mr. Burke’s Attack On The FRENCH REVOLUTION*, page 64 (1791) *[Edmund Burke, The Revolution in France, second edition (1790)] (Paine's ...
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2answers
34 views

What does it actually means “make 2013 his year”?

It seems simple, but bit confused. He wanted to make 2013 his year, to return to the top of the mountain, he tries to do that tonight's game. In this sentence, "wanted 2013 his year" means "he ...
2
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6answers
122 views

What do you call the rhetoric strategy of purposefully writing a paragraph that no one can understand?

Most of us have come across a paragraph which sounded meaningless to us or which made us wonder if we were intellectually equipped to read it. That may have been the case, but sometimes one writes a ...
0
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1answer
71 views

the meaning of “this far”

what does" this far" mean? is it a synonym for"thus far"? and what does it mean in this example:" Oh I guess we made it, Or at least we made it this far, And it all looks smooth from here."?
4
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1answer
108 views

What's the meaning of “pillage and plunder”? [closed]

In the last episode of "Once Upon a Time" (S04E04 - The Apprentice) there was this dialog: Girl: Well, I don't pillage and plunder on the first date, just so you know. Man: Well, that's because ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Can “a-mingle” be a verb in imperative mood?

In the last lines of "Jingle Bells Rock": Jingle bell time is a swell time To go gliding in a one-horse sleigh Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet Jingle around the clock ...
0
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1answer
16 views

May Not definition? [closed]

I'm playing a forum game and am on the hunt for loopholes. So here's the question: With the following rule in place, do I have the option to use coordinating conjunctions? You may not use any ...
0
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1answer
26 views

What does the word “abjection” mean in this context?

I am learning vocabulary and I needed to know the meaning of abject and abjection, and how to use it. I referred Merriam Webster. They gave an example: I protest … this vile abjection of youth to ...
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2answers
37 views

“with and without” vs. “with or without”

If I want to abbreviate a statement of the form We consider a model with X and a model without X I am not sure if We consider models with and without X and We consider models with or ...
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3answers
60 views

Designing / devising a concept (e.g. for a website)

I'm looking for a noun that describes the process of "Designing / devising a concept". For example for a website: Means writing a general concept for the designer and developers, sketching wireframes, ...
0
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1answer
30 views

Who is “he” in the passage?

On Monday, October 13, 2014 about 09:30 hours John Barlow - Male Negro, Age 22 years A Joiner of Lot 194 Pike street Kitty, Georgetown, reported that Mark Jacobs Male Negro, Age 22 years ...
1
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1answer
51 views

What is the correct way to express yearly quarters? Is using roman numerals correct?

While looking over a company's annual report, I realized that every business quarter was denoted using roman numerals. E.g. QI,2014 QII, 2014 etc. I am sure I am being petty and pedantic, ...
0
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2answers
53 views

Meaning of “do” in “What do you like?” etc

What is the meaning of "do" in questions like "What do you like?", "Where do you live", "Do you have a large family?" The verb 'to do' describes performing or executing an action, and in the first ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Use of the expression “have to” in a sentence

Tasting Mediterranean cuisine is a “have to” plan in Oia Is that expresion correctly used in this sentence, or is it wrong?
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1answer
53 views

To “wow” or not to “wow” [duplicate]

Had an argument with my wife regarding the propriety of using the expression "wow". It all started when I blurted out the word in astonishment when the preacher mentioned a negative observation. He ...
0
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3answers
71 views

How is the following “at the risk of using a bad pun”?

One of the guys was telling the rest of us about his new girlfriend (whom we've met). In explaining why he liked her, he said, "At the risk of using a bad pun," (pause), "a lady swallows" (pause) "her ...
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1answer
44 views

Definition of “ How Shakespearian” [closed]

Could you explain what " How Shakespearian" means? I've heard it recently but I can't remember in which situation the phrase was used.
1
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2answers
150 views

‘Longears’, ‘Tapperbill’, and ‘Painted-wings’

I was reading The Intruder by James Reeves. I couldn't understand the meaning of the following lines Longears helter-skelter shoots Into his house among the roots. At work upon the highest ...
6
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2answers
57 views

Why does 'with' mean 'against' and not 'alongside' in phrases of opposition?

In phrases like fight with, argue with, combat with etc, why does with mean the subject is opposing the object (grammatical object, technically a human opponent)? Phrases like go with, study with, ...
0
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2answers
80 views

Meaning of “I do show”

Except from an email received from tech support: I do show that the account has been updated What is the meaning of "I do show"? To whom or what does "I" refer?
2
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2answers
48 views

rephrase “as they are mutually understood”

I'm trying to translate an SLA ( Service Level Agreement ) from English to Dutch. But i can't wrap my head around the following sentence: This Agreement outlines the parameters of all IT services ...
3
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3answers
194 views

What is the feeling called when you think someone is following you but really isn't?

What is that word that means you think someone is following you but really isn't? Still, you feel like someone is, so you keep on looking around for that person who doesn't exist. Or it's like if ...
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0answers
47 views

What does “He's kept tabs on her.” mean? [closed]

From Bucket List 2007 He's kept tabs on her. Just in case you decided to... This was your idea, Tom? No, it was my idea. I talked him into it. - Yeah, talked him into it. - Hey. Wait a minute. ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

The use of “la”?

I have read many a novel set in the Regency period where la is used in conversations. La, Susan, don't be so bothersome What is its purpose and correct use? Thank you for your insights.
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1answer
75 views

Can you vs. Do you think you can

Is there a right or wrong way to ask someone to do something? The other day I said to my husband, "Do you think you can fax this paper for me?" He said that was insulting and I should say "Can you fax ...
2
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3answers
70 views

Confusion as to what the sentence means

Can someone explain to me the meaning of this sentence? I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the ...
5
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3answers
1k views

What does “The city (Ferguson) learned too late that the well was dry” mean?

I scratched my head in understanding the meaning of the following passage in the article titled, “The tragedy of Ferguson” of Time magazine (September 1 issue). [Some excerpts appear at ...
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2answers
64 views

What does the phrase “I didn't bring my permits” mean?

I came across this gif. Apparently actor Chris Pratt is cracking some kind of a joke here, but I'm not sure if I get it. He said this line after he had showed off his guns. Any tips would be ...
0
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1answer
55 views

The meaning of a sentence in Dracula [closed]

"I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth, some of which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him." Would anyone tell me the meaning? thanks in advance.