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

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4answers
84 views

What is the meaning of “freedom from superstition or political subversion”? [closed]

Does "political subversion" here mean "change of minds and beliefs" or does it have really anything to do with the change of governments and political regimes? Context: It is particularly ...
0
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2answers
30 views

elemental power

Does "elemental power" here simply mean "basic and fundamental power"? Much like a work of art, a beautiful equation has among its attributes much more than attractiveness – it will have ...
1
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1answer
14 views

It was difficult for even the most rigorous cultural theorist to

Does the last sentence of this paragraph: "The paper was a hoax, produced to demonstrate that postmodernist, socially constructed analyses of science were based on ignorance, prejudice and ...
0
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0answers
14 views

loci for modes of thought

Does here "loci for modes of thought" mean "a place for different types of thought"? And claims from the science community that their swirling, colour-clashing representations of cells or chaotic ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

scientists are not talking about the domestication of Beauty [closed]

What does "domestication" mean here? Does it connote "to limit"? Where is the "paradox" that the writer talks about? (Of course there is a paradox at the heart of this belief) context: But ...
1
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1answer
33 views

The two cultures of science and the arts and humanities

In the following text, does "the two cultures of science and the arts and humanities" mean the two cultures of "science" and "the arts and humanities"? I mean does "two cultures" refer to "science" ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Meaning of the quote “Is she not complicit with this state of affairs?”

What does is Steiner not complicit with this state of affairs? mean here? I think it means "does not Steiner have any role in the conflicts between the feminists and the Marxists? yes she has, ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

the music of the planetary spheres

Is "around which orbited the music of the planetary spheres" a poetic interpretation? Can anyone explain it a little? It is talking about Pythagorean philosophy. I think it means that the idea of ...
1
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1answer
36 views

categorical approaches

What does "categorical approaches" mean here? 1.approaches that classify things in the form of groups approaches that work with definite concepts "So the vast range of the subject matter in ...
1
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1answer
56 views

“ being off the stick”

What does " being off the stick" means in following sentence mean? " Robert: tell me the truth. Chris: How can I say it, in all honesty, without you thinking I'm off the stick?" How do I know it ...
0
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1answer
20 views

to come up with a defense that

The paper was a hoax, produced to demonstrate that postmodernist, socially constructed analyses of science were based on ignorance, prejudice and hilariously muddled thinking. Peppered with ...
0
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2answers
48 views

Need help about the meaning of a short paragraph

Does For, to some extent, Sokal and many in science and beyond felt justified in expressing a weariness for the obfuscation, self-reference and self-reverence evident in the worst excesses of ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

What is the meaning of “build on”?

I read an article. But I have one difficult sentence to understand by myself. That is "It is important to help students activate prior knowledge so they can build on it productively." I couldn't ...
1
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1answer
45 views

“take over this absolutely plural text”

What does "the systems of meaning… take over this absolutely plural text" mean in the following paragraph? Is knowledge dispassionate and absolute, or forever ambiguously dependent on the ...
1
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1answer
39 views

meaning of a complicated paragraph [closed]

The following paragraph is very confusing to me: Much like a work of science, a work of art represents both more and less than a simulacrum of pleasure – it is foregrounded by the values relative ...
2
votes
3answers
35 views

shaky political ground

what is the meaning of this sentence: "This is shaky political ground and what appears to be dogged cultural relativism can infuriate scientists. Unfortunately, their own track record isn’t too ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Can I use “short of being exhaustive” in this case?

I'm making a list and want the reader to know that this list is not complete, that it is only a part of a larger list... Is it correct to say "this list is short of being exhaustive" in this case? Is ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Does inscrutable mean “hard to figure out”?

To figure out usually means to find out.....although on Dictionary.com, it's defined as "hard to understand or solve" with none of its definition close to "to find out". What puzzles me more is the ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Meaning of 'shot' as in “This could be my shot” [closed]

"This could be my shot" What does the word "shot" mean? It sounds like "This could be my chance/opportunity". Is that right? And I wonder whether this sentence is too informal to use.
0
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0answers
63 views

What is the meaning of “in which the sales each force operates” in this sentence?

A friend has asked me to translate this sentence into Persian, but I don't undretsand the bold part.(I wish I knew its previous and next sentences,too, but she has given just this sentence!) Sales ...
-3
votes
2answers
51 views

How to understand 'unless' = 'on a less or lower condition', in: 'Don't X, unless Y'?

Please help me dig deeper than definition 1 below, without appealing to any other definition of 'unless'. I understand the paraphrases of the sentences here and here, but not my own (ie 2) below. ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

What's the meaning of “personal correspondence”? [closed]

"His personal correspondence is renowned in the Italian language" - from an article about Niccolò Machiavelli What is the exact meaning of "personal correspondence" in that context ?
1
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1answer
52 views

The differences bewteen “Mere” and “Merely”.

What are the difference between these two sentences: 1) He's a mere boy. 2) He's merely a boy
1
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1answer
54 views

meaning of “object”

We know "object" has several meanings: a thing, objectivity in philosophy, goal, disagreement, ... but, which one is true in this context?: "On the one side is the school of neo-realism, which ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

How to call the first 20 banks of some rating

If we consider banks that are in the first 20 of a rating, what do we call these banks in short? I suppose we can call them "TOP-20 banks". I need this phrase in the sentence. The assets of ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

what is “that…” referring to?

In his book Unweaving the Rainbow, Richard Dawkins challenges the view expressed in Romantic poetry that the desire to analyse the workings of the world through examining its smallest components is ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

What does “older faith” mean in this sentence? [closed]

I've come across a sentence in God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and don't understand what older faith means here. "Extra ecclesiam, nulla salus," as the older faith used to say. “Within ...
2
votes
2answers
359 views

What does the phrase “woman who does” mean?

I've first heard the phrase on QI (season 3 episode 6) where Stephen Fry uses it as rhyming slang for "buzz" Bill: "Woman"? Stephen: "Woman who does": buzz. Bill: Buzz. Phill: ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

mom-husband-wife thing [closed]

I heard this one on TV, too. Here is the quote: Narrator: Sara is isolated geographically and emotionally from her family and friends. A friend: Five years had gone by where we were doing ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

hit the road (meaning in context)

I was watching a show on TV (I escaped my killer) and Lisa Noland is dropped off after being raped several times by her attacker and to her surprise he doesn't kill her, drops her off at her ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What does “nothing that” mean? [closed]

I read this article- Greeks take to the streets for dueling rallies that reflect a divided nation in Washington post. And I'm confused about what the "nothing that" means in this part : The ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

What does 'get something about me' in this context?

I am reading 'The Invisible Man' by H.G.Wells and there is this scene. Griffin(the invisible man) broke in Dr.Kemp's house and they met. After Griffin finally made Kemp understood that he is actually ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

What is proverbial town pump?

"Patrick Wethered was as well known as the proverbial town pump; his mysterious and tragic death filled all Dublin with dismay. The lawyer, who was a man sixty years of age, had been struck on the ...
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

What does “facility” mean in the context of fitness certification? [closed]

I want to host a fitness certification. So, i have to fill this form. But i didn't understand what facility means in this context therefore i can't find the best word to put in that field. What does ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

What is the meaning of this “go in and out”? [closed]

What is the meaning of this "go in and out": (from Randall Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet) The chipmunk said in a pleased voice: "My day." He sat there and listened while the bat said: In and out the ...
0
votes
3answers
68 views

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

I'm more or less aware of the meanings of the word delinquent. However, I can't decide what it exaclty means in the following quote which is from god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and where he ...
1
vote
3answers
621 views

Good Luck **in** all your endeavors' versus Good Luck **to** all your endeavors'

What is the difference between 'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up. Good Luck in all your endeavors' versus 'I am currently busy with ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Reading Comprehension Question: How to narrow down to correct answer? [closed]

Passage (Its a bit long) The pioneers of the teaching of science imagined that its introduction into education would remove the conventionality, artificiality, and backward-lookingness which ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Nobody would believe what an effort it is **to do what little I am able**,--to dress and entertain, and order things

Nobody would believe what an effort it is to do what little I am able,--to dress and entertain, and order things. (a part of "Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman) I don't ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

What does 'drinkle' mean? [closed]

I came across the word "drinkle" in the sentence: It's one of the Drinkle girls. I Googled it, but I couldn't find anything helpful.
1
vote
3answers
89 views

What does “bet-covering” mean in this context?

As always, I'm stuck in a Hitchens sentence from God Is Not Great. Here it is: If you believe in god and there is a god, you win. If you believe in him and you are wrong — so what? I once wrote a ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

To be sound in doing something?

I've looked up each and every possible meanings of sound. I've reduced the options to two or so. But I still find it hard to ascertain the meaning of sound and the way its is used in this context. ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

the switch went on (definition)

I heard this in a documentary. The speaker is some serial killer who claims he started his rampage after watching a video. He goes like this: "I put one of the videos in and what came on the ...
3
votes
3answers
108 views

Reading Comprehension question [closed]

Here is a GRE practice question that I have an issue with. It is given here, Question #7. Passage: French cuisine is highly regarded all over the world. Yet in Paris there are more ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

“to appear in the dock on”

I'm new here. This is my first question. What's the meaning of the sentence with italic/bold. I'm writing complete passage to make simpler. He was described by prosecuting lawyers as the alleged ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Reading Comprehension GRE

The article “Shock therapy for mental patients will be reviewed” continues the ignorant tradition of demonizing electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the media (the very use of the ...
11
votes
3answers
972 views

Why would a cynic be offended by fantasy?

I just came across the sentence Like most people today, Judy was a cynic and was offended by the slightest hint of fantasy. According to the dictionary, a cynic is : a person who believes ...
1
vote
3answers
168 views

What does unicorn mean in the following context?

The Black Adder s01e03 - The Archbishop. In the epilogue, Sister Sara asked the Mother Superior, So presumably you won't be needing the unicorn tonight? followed by a laughing track. Is she ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

There you have it again?

I wonder if no one has asked it simply because it is so obvious, but I really can't grasp the exact meaning of there you have it (again). I occasionally infer it from the context but not every single ...
5
votes
8answers
993 views

What is the term used to define an answer which does not offend anyone?

For instance - I do not want to take anyone's side in a debate and when asked about my point of view, I end up giving a smart answer which does not offend anyone of them. What is the word for that ...