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

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1
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4answers
82 views

“Franchise” as a verb

I'd like to know what franchise meas as a verb in the following sentence: Catering in this school has been franchised to the company. The native speakers I consulted, both American, don't seem ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

What is a wheal?

Indulging some idle curiosity about Cornish mining I noticed that many of the mines are named wheal: Wheal Kitty, Wheal Jane and East Wheal Rose, among others. But the only dictionary definition I ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

'Complete a confusion' — expression or confusion?

Is complete someone's confusion a popular expression that makes sense? This expression pops up so often I wonder I am missing something here. Does complete here mean to 'resolve'/ 'clarify'? ...
0
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3answers
83 views

What are “pushing horns”?

This is from a song by Garth Brooks called The Cowboy Song: Pushing horns weren't easy like the movie said it was And I don't recall no dance hall girls Or hotel rooms with rugs You worked ...
0
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1answer
64 views

Some confusion in conversation, need clarification

I applied for a job today (online). The conversation I had with HR is below. Me: Since I'm from India so could you please let me know whether you'll be providing H1B-Visa or not? HR: ...
1
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1answer
54 views

“that which“ and ”did myself the honor" - June 22nd 1798 Letter by John Marshall

Dear Sir (Source) Your letter to Genl Dumas was deliverd by me to his lady from whom in consequence of it I receivd during my stay in Paris the most polite & flattering attentions. She ...
1
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1answer
94 views

What is the structure of “a goal remote in the pursuit is so easy to lose sight of”?

A goal remote in the pursuit is so easy to lose sight of. What does "a goal remote in the pursuit" mean here? I don't understand it structure-wise.
0
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0answers
31 views

What does “this industry blows” mean? [duplicate]

I am not a native English speaker and wondering what it means if somebody says 'this industry blows'.
2
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2answers
102 views

What does “get” really mean in “I get you want to help”?

I get you want to help. Does get in this context mean "know"? Or "understand"?
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Meaning of “even as”

Anjou and Maine both given unto the French! Cold news for me; for I had hope of France, Even as I have of fertile England's soil. (2H6 I.i.236) What does even as mean in this verse? I ...
1
vote
1answer
294 views

One word/phrase to describe the reaction when you eat a very spicy-hot food

I've read the discussion here about Difference between “spicy” and “hot”. I've also read this one: How to say that food is hot (temperature) without the listener thinking that I mean “spicy”?. But I ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What does “spam in a can” mean?

From Planet 51: I never had the right stuff. I'm a button pusher, Spam in a can. I don't even fly the ship. It's all automatic. I only got this far on charm and my rugged good looks. Is ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Can I use “strong feeling” this way?

What do you think, is it beautiful or not beautiful? –Sorry, I do not have strong feeling for it. I doubt the use of “strong feeling” is not perfectly right here, because to have strong feeling ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

What's the meaning of “turning the state of the art to the state of the practice”?

What's the meaning of "turning the state of the art to the state of the practice" in the following context: "We have the resources, the professional experience and the background to deliver turnkey ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

What does it mean to have a 'saucy facial expression'?

What does it mean to have a 'saucy facial expression'? I came upon a comment saying that and I have no idea what it means.
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What does “fortuitous with respect to viruses” mean?

Page 154 of Secrets and Lies has this snippet: In some ways we've been fortuitous with respect to computer viruses; all the ones we've seen are targeted against large computers, not ...
0
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2answers
35 views

Does ‘approximate' mean “approach” here?

Rousseau's strategy in both Emile and the Social Contract is to develop artificial environments which enable us to approximate our rational nature given our foreseeable human limitations. ...
1
vote
3answers
93 views

What does “precipitate” mean?

In the poem “Sheltered Garden”, what does precipitate mean on the last line of this stanza? Every way ends, every road, every foot-path leads at last to the hill-crest -- then you retrace ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

an one “no not” to eat

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such ...
2
votes
3answers
66 views

What does this part mean?

What does the emphasized part (the sentence in bold) mean? The hackers are the technicians of this science - “It’s a term of derision and also the ultimate compliment.” They are the ones who ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

What does “F5” mean in this context?

A native of Hong Kong, John Chen studied in La Salle College in Hong Kong up to F5 before he went to US and graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School, an elite prep school in Northfield, ...
2
votes
2answers
246 views

What exactly does “tally ho” mean?

I heard this tally ho in a youtube video (British). I also heard it in the movies "Jack the Giant Slayer", and "Spiderman 1". I understand it's some kind of expression or exclamation or idiom to say ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

What does “white knight” mean in this context?

The term "white knight" has been well documented in places such as Wikipedia or various online dictionaries. But none of those definitions seem to encapsulate the meaning from this quote: [White ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

What does 'turn things over his fingers' mean?

Below is the first paragraph of Salinger's "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls". I wonder what to turn things over his fingers means in this context? I imagine the little boy juggling things, but I don't ...
-1
votes
1answer
77 views

Why is it “get” and not “gets”, in “watch her get hit”?

He likes to watch her get hit. vs. He likes to watch her gets hit. No matter how much I research, I still can't explain simply why get is correct and gets isn't. Here's what I think, ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

Should “improve at the following fronts” be followed by problems or solutions? [closed]

I am writing a technology report. It starts with an analysis of the current problems in the system. As a summary I have a paragraph to list all the problems in bullets. I use this sentence to start ...
0
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0answers
53 views

How many meanings of “run” do we really have? [duplicate]

In Wilfred Funk's Six Weeks to Words of Power (A Cardinal edition; Page 48) it is stated that the word run is said to have 832 different meanings in noun and verb form. But skimming through the ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

What's the meaning of bulk rate?

As per this joke, what's the meaning of bulk rate? I understand "bulk" is a bunch of elements, but does it mean in this context that you get a better price if you buy many?
3
votes
3answers
98 views

Can “the Scotch minister” mean the Presbyterian Church of Scotland?

In Mark Twain's "A Dog's Tale" there is a sentence which I feels a little tricky,“...a curly-haired Irish setter by the name of Robin Adair, who was a Presbyterian like me, and belonged to the Scotch ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What does“take our life as we might find it” mean?

In Mark Twain's "A Dog's Tale", there is a sentence like this,"said we were sent into this world for a wise and good purpose, and must do our duties without repining, take our life as we might find ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

“What a shame!” versus “Such a shame!” [closed]

I would like to know the difference between "What a shame!" and "Such a shame!"". When do I use one or the other? I am Brazilian, so I don't know exactly how to use them.
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Difference between chastise and lambaste?

Is there a difference between chastise and lambaste? When should one use chastise and when should one use lambaste?
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Meaning of “induce of” in letters by Thomas Jefferson

March 24th 1789 In Europe I doubt whether you can; because our government gives it’s offices on it’s own knowledge of persons, and not on the recommendations of others. They give their ...
3
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2answers
69 views

When saying 'He pointed out the bank of England' which of the following statements is correct?

He pointed out the bank of England... ... he said that London's City was a village in its way.... Do the extracts above mean: one time in the past he pointed out and he said... more than one ...
3
votes
2answers
183 views

Meaning of 'to wrap the ol' noodle around'

From http://css-tricks.com/css-font-size/ (the 1st paragraph is quoted for additional context): Setting font-size in pixels is the most accurate (and I find the most satisfying) method, but do ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

Can food be described as “nice”?

Can food be described as 'nice'? This food is nice; This dish is nice. I always thought it could be, but I was speaking to a few friends and they argued (and strongly may I add) otherwise.
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

What does “part of a settlement” mean here?

Locke tends to get linked up with rebels...He is a part of the settlement. (heard from an English professor) He was talking about John Locke's life. How to understand "he is part of the ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

This word doesn't make any sense in this context

Cowley's Poems: But I within me bear alas too great allays. What does this 'allay' mean? This poet says, I wish I could be overheat with praise!, so this man is unhappy. However, allay ...
1
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2answers
64 views

Meaning of “In a medium” [closed]

What is the meaning of “in a medium” in the following sentence? A major objective in a heat transfer problem is to determine the temperature distribution in a medium resulting from imposed ...
0
votes
1answer
209 views

what does “ride-along” mean? [closed]

What does it mean ? Hank took me on a ride-along and showed me just how much money even a small meth operation could make. It was in Breaking Bad
0
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1answer
365 views

How offensive is the expression “I am sick of you”?

Question 1: What is the meaning of "I am sick of you" exactly? Question 2: Does the meaning of this expression change depending on the context? Question 3: How offensive is this expression in ...
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votes
2answers
116 views

Is this phrase grammatically correct in UK or US English? [closed]

Fatima We are actually working on the ad sizes you send to us, and this is some sizes we worked it.
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Is absence of the person needed in “On someone's behalf”?

In the middle of a conversation he had with my father, [Mr. X] asked him: “What does your son want to do in future?”. “He wants to do religious studies,” my father replied. He talked on my behalf ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

'Happy Christmas to all, all be epicures too.'

'Happy Christmas to all, all be epicures too.' Can anyone explain what, if any, precisely means, or adds, 'all be epicures too' after 'Happy Christmas to all'? Is it idiomatic English?
3
votes
1answer
50 views

What is a “Web tailer”?

Yet another question from Salinger's Ocean Full of Bowling Balls. Holden writes to his brother from a camp: Ask him if he ever read corinthans. Corinthans is in the bible and is very good and ...
6
votes
4answers
345 views

What is a “blue card” in this context?

I'm reading Salinger's "Ocean Full Of Bowling Balls" and came across the "blue card". I wonder what that means in that context. I found that "blue card" is currently used for immigrant agricultural ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

“I beg leave to assure you” — letter by John Marshall

Richmond May 1st [17]99 (Source of Letter) Dear Sir You may possibly have seen a paragraph in a late publication, stating that several important offices in the gift of the Executive, ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

“to not get” vs “not to get”

I came across this sentence in an article, "As she speaks of her family, friends and life, it's difficult to not get that 'feel good' mood." I'm wondering if the following sentence could also mean ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Meaning of “Write Off” in a particular context

This question is about a specific Seinfeld episode "The Package". For those that are familiar with the show, Kramer breaks-up Jerry stereo package and sends it back to him with a insurance. That way ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

metaphor of “lily” and the meaning of “emerging from the mire”

I ran into this: "And you, Madame Lucrezia, flower of the Borgias, if a poet painted you as the catholic Messalina, a skeptical Gregorovious turned up and almost completely absolved you of that ...