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

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3
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2answers
975 views

What does “No pressure” mean when you’re meeting someone new?

Time magazine (6 Aug 2014) carries an article titled “Our Brains Immediately Judge People” and subtitled “We make calls on trustworthiness almost instantly” that says research at Dartmouth College and ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

can you give me a synonym for “ accumulated wisdom”?

who can explain for me what exactly the " accumulated wisdom" mean? I mean in this sentence from a play by Bruce Norris" KELLY : Right. I think the point is, I hope? that the accumulated wisdom of ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

What does “[Country] out” mean in the context of a photo description?

In the last photo of a slideshow of the 69th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing, there's a description of the photo, plus what I assume is metadata-ish content (emphasis added): U.S. Ambassador to ...
0
votes
0answers
68 views

Meaning of “quantify” in a dating context

Someone said: "You can always quantify things", as in "* Internet and all that stuff is just that. People are people and you can always quantify things." I'm Dutch/American, but am having a really ...
1
vote
1answer
409 views

What's the difference between degree and grade?

Maybe I am wrong but sometimes I am pretty sure to have seen something like "I graduated in my university with a degree of 105". Shouldn't "grade" be used in this case? I though that "degree" was ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “4-year advanced seminar” mean in this passage about the office of Vice President?

I’m reading Jeffrey Archer’s “The Prodigal Daughter” at a snail pace and came across the following sentence describing the scene where Florentyna Kate, the female candidate for Presidency answers the ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Meaning of snobbishly [closed]

I'm reading The Great Gatsby and on the second page it says: As my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth. ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

“so” or “therefore”

I usually double check my English using Google Translate. I paste my phrase in English (translated by myself) and I see how it translates it back to Italian. If the meaning is the one I had in mind ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

the meaning of 'relevant' used in linguistic explanations

Maybe someone who is well-versed in semantics could help me. The word relevant turns up at places in the following paragraph. While I know the fundamental meaning of it — pertinent, germane, ...
1
vote
1answer
21 views

what does “ which way does this go, now?” mean?

I am reading a play, in a coversation one of characters refered to table setting and ask " which way does this go, now?" what is that about? about eating ? or cleaning the table?
0
votes
1answer
31 views

How many possible meanings does “ inclusion” have?

I want to know how many possible meaning does " inclusion" have in this sentence, I cant get its meaning. " I am all for inclusion. but that part of the country? those are not my people."
1
vote
3answers
77 views

Past progressive construction

I’m confused about how to construct a past progressive sentence. If I say these: I was walking in the park. I was singing in the bathroom. Would these sentences be considered to be in past ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Can I use “will” as non-auxiliary verb?

I was in England and I heard that some people use word "will" as non auxiliary verb, in meaning "wish". Have I misheard? If it is true, in which cases can I use "will" as non auxiliary verb?
0
votes
1answer
126 views

Is “Sad sometimes what happens when kids stop being kids and grow up to become the kind of adults we simply detest” ambiguous?

In the Collins Dictionary entry for the verb detest, the following citation taken from a 2003 Ottawa Sun article is given to demonstrate that verb: Sad sometimes what happens when kids stop being ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“An hilarious” vs. “a hilarious” [duplicate]

Which of these is correct? This is in the context of buying a surprise gift for someone and you think your gift is hilarious. I bought myself a hilarious one! or I bought myself an hilarious ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

the meaning of 'evil which seem blessings to the memory'?

Soon after this eventful day, I became the husband of Bertha. I ceased to be the scholar of Cornelius, but I continued his friend. I always felt grateful to him for having, unaware, procured me that ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Usage of the word entropy in the context of this question [closed]

Could someone define the word entropy for me in the context below. "I have journeyed through the darkness between the most distant stars. I have beheld the births of negative-suns and borne witness ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

What is the meaning of “cooling relations”?

Sometimes relations between nations can be considered to be "cooling"? What does this mean? I can't tell if it means: The relationship is getting better because it's "cooling-off" from "hot" ...
-1
votes
1answer
38 views

Difference word descriptions [closed]

Why do we say >we are going to sea< when we board a ship that will travel across an ocean?
2
votes
1answer
53 views

What's the meaning of “stand” in this context? [closed]

The following is a verse from the song Billy Jean by Micheal Jackson (this is the full version of the lyrics of the song): For forty days and forty nights Law was on her side But who can stand ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Stay/keep abreast of

Somewhere in my essay it goes as follows: There is a shared assumption that English is estranging people from their own language, inclining them to subordinate it to English. Even so commonly ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

What does “draw something within something” mean? [closed]

From page 228 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer: The law is presumed unconstitutional, but the state may rebut that presumption by satisfying a heavy burden of justification. ...
-1
votes
1answer
96 views

What does “which” refer to in “in respect to which”? [closed]

From footnote 34 on page 216 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer:  . . . it is accepted that individuals have due-process rights to notice and hearing [//] with respect to ...
-2
votes
3answers
97 views

How to parse these two long (subordinate) clauses connected with 'that'? [closed]

From footnote 8 on page 205 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer: Supplemented context: There are, of course, controversies about and challenges to these venerable distinctions as ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

How to determine which definition of 'contingent'?

This quote was revealed to exemplify Definition 1, but working backwards, how would you determine the meaning of contingent? Even after seeing the context, I'm still vacillating between definitions 1 ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

What’s the meaning of “purchase” in “the purchase for changing a rule”?

On page 118 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer, I found this passage: If the purchase for changing a rule[,] is a perception of what the optimal result would be in the absence of the ...
-2
votes
1answer
101 views

What does “so” mean in “the analogy, so the skeptics insist, did not determine the result”? [closed]

From page 97 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: Deciding the Skokie case involving the American Nazi Party in 1977, therefore, was simply a matter of applying the rule set forth in ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Is ”what there is a reason to do” a valid construct?

From page 76 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: What there is a reason to do is different from what should be done, all things considered, just as what there is a right to do is ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Meaning of “But I repeat myself” in Mark Twain's quote?

There is the following sentence in the conversation between Florentyna Rosnovski, the heroine of Jeffrey Archer’s novel, The Prodigal Daughter, who was first elected as the Congressman of Illinois and ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Finished off the night “with a rubber”

Reading the diary of a doctor in Canada, 1845-46, often refers to "having a rubber" at the end of the day which seems like a nightcap. Does anyone know why the word rubber is used?
2
votes
1answer
407 views

Meaning of “fl.” and “seq.”

Currently I am reading a book titled Configurations of culture growth by the American anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber. Part of his book consists of tables that list eminent people from all fields ...
4
votes
3answers
830 views

How to understand these verses from the poem “The road not taken” by Robert Frost

I actually have two questions regarding this poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, ...
0
votes
4answers
119 views

Something that can not be undone or undo [closed]

A word for something that can't be undone or undo ?
4
votes
1answer
85 views

How does the word “cardinal” relate to “cardinal numbers”

Cardinal number In linguistics, more precisely in traditional grammar, a cardinal number or cardinal numeral (or just cardinal) is a part of speech used to count, such as the English words ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Which does “substantive'” mean? [closed]

From pages 63–64 of Fredirick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: I eat spinach because it is good for me. Judge Cardozo decided the way he did ... because he thought that outcome fairer and ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

“to be of” vs “to be”

[Finally, Marshall pointed to the judge's oath ... Part of the core of this reasoning is found in the following statements from the decision: (source, around fifteen lines above the heading ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Right meanings of 'form'?

When legal decision-makers like Justice Peckham, who are actually ... making a policy or political choice act as if there were no choice to be made—when they treat a policy choice as simply ...
-1
votes
2answers
33 views

Meaning (not in economics) - 'deflationary' [closed]

The context doesn't admit of the economics meaning, so what does it mean? And as far back as the acid critique of the legal profession (“Judge and Company,” he called it) offered by Jeremy ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

His memory is as immortal as his arts have made me. (grammar)

All the world has heard of Cornelius Agrippa. His memory is as immortal as his arts have made me. All the world has also heard of his scholar, who, unawares, raised the foul fiend during his ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

'Bramble Bush' has a figurative meaning? [closed]

Why might this introductory (denoted 0L by some law students) law book be entitled Bramble Bush http://www.amazon.com/The-Bramble-Bush-Classic-Lectures/dp/0195368452 ? I'm regardful of the definition ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Meaning - lawin'

As Calpurnia, one Miscellany 195 character in the story, notes, ‘First thing you learn when you’re in a lawin’ family is that there ain’t any definite answers to anything.’ I hazard that ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

How does it make sense to 'edify saints'? [closed]

This example sentence is under the definition proper: Some are called to sow, others to reap some are eminently qualified to awaken sinners, others to edify saints. Don't saints, by definition, ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

'of a kind prescribed'

In civil cases, in the Queen’s Bench Division, there is a right to a jury under section 69 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 if: ... 3. any question or issue of a kind prescribed is raised [but ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

'as of' in ‘Excusal as of right’

I tried to reference this, but this doesn`t comport with the context, from P151, How the Law Works, Gary Slapper. I'd guess that as of = by, but please explain or refute? ‘Excusal as of right’ ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

What is the meaning of “get a hold of” [closed]

What does "I'm trying to get a hold of Mrs Who?" mean?
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Meaning - 'of us'

Would someone please explain its meaning? Also, what's the antecedent of 'which'? In his Commentaries on the Laws of England, William Blackstone contended that the distinction between private ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

disproven in context [closed]

What is the role of the word disproven in this sentence: . . . my colleagues who rail quite eloquently against the disproven idea that the disparity between what women in the workforce make ...
1
vote
4answers
93 views

What does “a bookstore-counting mood in Paris prompts soul-searching over Amazon’s 41 % share of new book sales in America” mean?

In the article titled “The French do buy books. Real books” appearing in New York Times (July 9), the author, Pamela Druckerman writes: “Recently when I was strolling through my museum-like ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Does 'evoke' need to mean that information goes into your memory first?

Could evoke possibly mean just 'to register something in your mind (for the first time)' and not 'to summon up what has registered in your memory'? I just couldn't make sense out of this explanation ...
0
votes
2answers
156 views

Why do we say “bless you”?

I don't mean when someone sneezes or when someone's been kind to you, but in other situations. Like, when someone is enjoying a lot of luck, fortune or doing staggeringly well in something. Or ...