Tagged Questions

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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
4answers
241 views

Meaning of “black on black” in Nickelback's “Animals”

The song "Animals" by Nickelback starts with the following lines: I, I'm driving black on black Just got my license back I got this feeling in my veins This train is coming off the ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Meaning - Conversation

(Source) And now Nineteen persons having been hang'd, and one prest to death, and Eight more condemned, in all Twenty and Eight, of which above a third part were Members of some of the Churches of ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

meaning of 'play point'

What made Tinder Tinder was the work of a team: Joe Munoz, who built the technical back end; Jonathan Badeen, who wrote the iOS code; Christopher Gulczynski, who created the design; Rad, who ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

what does “ demands forgiveness” mean in the context? [closed]

this is a poem by James. D. Corrothers: To be a Negro on a day like this Demands forgiveness. Bruised with blow on blow, Betrayed, like him whose woe dimmed eyes gave bliss, Still must one ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

What does “With the perspective time gives” mean?

Please help, I've tried everything but still can't make out what this clause means. The full sentence is: With the perspective time gives, I now realize that the most fitting statement Don Juan ...
-1
votes
2answers
140 views

What's your name? [duplicate]

My question may not be related with English language. It might be more of correct usage. Which one of the following is correct? Your name, please? or Your good name, please? // as if there is a ...
-1
votes
2answers
94 views

Can I use “contend” without a preposition?

On the one hand, recent advances in the power of computers have been decried as the nemesis of whatever vestiges of our privacy still survive. On the other, the Internet is acclaimed as a Utopia. ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

Meaning of 'saving' in 'not one single saving vice'

[He is] devoid of any human weakness, with not one single saving vice, sans prejudice, procrastination, ill-nature, avarice, and absence of mind, as careful for his own safety as he is for ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Can “yell 'word' for passcode” be considered a wordplay? [closed]

Consider the following sentence: Yell "word" for passcode. Obviously it instructs one to yell "word" in order to get a passcode. To me it looks like the sentence could be read as a wordplay ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

statistically dispositive

The Court also, however, reaffirmed that quotas were illegitimate and found that the undergraduate program, which mechanically awarded minorities a fixed twenty points, was therefore ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Meaning of grave in graver trusts [closed]

Any other rule of construction would abrogate the judicial character of this court, and make it the mere reflex of the popular opinion or passion of the day. This court was not created by the ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

“issue” as an intransitive verb [closed]

The place of confinement would not be different, since in those days the dangerously insane in the District of Columbia were confined in the same jail as indicted criminals. (There was no ...
4
votes
3answers
186 views

What does “you don't need a husband, you need a Greek chorus!” mean?

A female friend recently saw a video of pretty old movie, “The Last Station” (directed by Michael Hoffman), which illustrates the struggle of Leo Tolstoy (the Russian author) to balance fame and ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

to give someone until

I'm reading Women by Charles Bukowski and stumbled upon the following dialog: Dee Dee was standing next to me. "Please tell her," she said, "to give me until September." "Forget her," Lydia ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

The Sand Scrunched Beneath My Feet [closed]

I was reading Ivan Klima's No Saints Or Angels and found the highlighted part in the following sentence not quite clear: When Karel1 left me, I tried to give her2 that love, but it’s impossible ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

“transcend” in a negative context

Can transcend be used to imply a negative condition? For example, "an unappointed ruling elite that transcends both of the member groups." The implication would be that the elite group is comprised of ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

a silver knife smeared with butter [closed]

He came in, big and smiling, with his right eye completely close. “Your mother put a silver knife smeared with butter on it last night. Quite a person, Mother.” (He had a black eye, after struggling ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

meaning of “go up five places” in this sentence

A person is recollecting his college days in Oxford. He used to be in the team of an eight, rowing a boat. In the year I got my colours the Wadham boat went up five places on the river. It was the ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

The income tax is becoming higher than cat's back. What's the meaning of this sentence?

It's from a novel of 1938 by E.C. Bentley's Genuine Tarbard. Now the expression of 'cat's back' seems not to be in use any more. However, what's the meaning of this 'cat's back'?
2
votes
1answer
68 views

'furniture of their pockets"

There are many pleasant fictions of the law in constant operation, but there is not one so pleasant or practically humorous as that which supposes every man to be of equal value in its impartial ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it “restricted to” or “restricted from”? [closed]

I came across this sentence: The power to rule was restricted to ministers, and it was restricted from king. What is the difference between "restricted to" and "restricted from" here?
1
vote
2answers
63 views

altruism in a negative context?

Can altruism be used in a negative context to show a person doing something bad but unselfishly. He did such and such quite altruistically actually. Its meant to be tongue in cheek. Does that work?
3
votes
3answers
388 views

Is “up to” inclusive or exclusive?

The study was carried out up to visit 11 under the name of X1, whereas all later visits were carried out under a different name, X2. In the above sentence, does V11 belong to X1 or X2? I want ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Where's the irony? Truth and falsity are reversed?

Hamilton quickly focused on the last part of his opponent’s argument as support for his attempt to introduce evidence of the truthfulness of his client’s publications. Hamilton offered the ...
0
votes
1answer
561 views

What does “v.” stand for? [closed]

In in the following sentence, what does the "v." stand for? The new system was partially indebted to Stanley v. Georgia Does it mean "Stanley and Georgia" or "Stanley against Georgia"?
0
votes
2answers
89 views

“a due information”

Hamilton quickly focused on the last part of his opponent’s argument as support for his attempt to introduce evidence of the truthfulness of his client’s publications. Hamilton offered the ...
1
vote
1answer
334 views

No longer valid vs. Invalid [closed]

There is a subtle or perhaps more than subtle difference between the phrases "no longer valid" and "invalid". Can English experts elaborate with examples where one should be used and not the other.
30
votes
4answers
6k views

What does “There she blows’” mean?

This question regards the sentence in the New Yorker’s (June 14) article “Lunch at Gitlitze” I quoted in my previous question, "Is “battled-hardened” correct, or just a typo?” “When we walked ...
1
vote
1answer
760 views

“The heart can choke the mind when all its blood flows back unto itself.” [closed]

This quote is Francis Underwood's, from House of Cards, Season 2, Episode 11. Would someone please explain it? Some context can be found here. I'd venture that it refers to love? It induces the blood ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

What does ranked two places below mean?

If a statement says "India is ranked two places below China" What place does India hold if China is ranked 1? Is it rank 3 or 4? Also, is there any difference between the following two sentences? ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of 'a third leg'

When Dr. Barclay was called, I was surprised. I had expected an elderly man, but he was only in the late thirties and good-looking. Knowing Elinor, I wondered. Except for Fred, who had no looks ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Meaning of “extenuate”: “extenuated the difficulties” [closed]

The definition of extenuate as a verb is: to cause a wrong act to be judged less seriously by giving reasons for it: Yet I don't apprehend its meaning herein. Would someone please explain? ...
-2
votes
1answer
59 views

Using longest word in context [closed]

I came across with the following word antidisestablishmentarianism How do you pronounce this word, meaning and how can i use this word in a context? Thanks
-1
votes
1answer
81 views

Why is it silly to think that ‘all truth is relative’? [closed]

First of all, why is it silly to think that ‘all truth is relative’? Well, we know that the statement ‘all truth is relative’ cannot be absolutely true, because if this statement were ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Meaning - “Thank you,” … “but apologize to him.” [closed]

Last November, Sri Srinivasan, a government lawyer, apologized to Justice David H. Souter for referring to him as Justice Scalia. "Thank you," Justice Souter said, with characteristic ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Context of “when?”

One example comes from this song in "the Music Man." Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana Gary, Indiana, let me say it once again Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana Gary, Indiana, that's the town that ...
6
votes
2answers
332 views

What does “as” represent for in “Cantor quits as Majority leader” and “Cantor to resign as Majority leader”?

Today’s New York Times reported Eric Canter’s defeat in Primary election in Virginia under the headline: “Eric Cantor to step down as House Majority leader” followed by the text copy: “Representative ...
1
vote
3answers
278 views

Degree Certificate and Diploma

I am hoping to apply to a master's program in the USA. They ask for a "Diploma/Degree Certificate", but I don't really know what that means. When I looked for the definition I found only "Degree", as ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

“cut the clouds off”

I sat farther along the bar and got my glass of beer and said: "You sure cut the clouds off them, buddy. I will say that for you." "We just opened up," the kid said. "We got to build up trade. ...
-4
votes
1answer
77 views

How would you interpret this statement?

How would you interpret this statement? It was posted on a social media site. I am looking for impressions of how other readers would interpret the sentences in context to why it would appeal to the ...
5
votes
2answers
362 views

What do these sentences mean in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?

I am currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, my grasp of English isn't very good and I'm puzzled over the meaning of a few sentences on the opening page. The highest as the lowest form of ...
0
votes
3answers
117 views

What is the difference between “universal” and “generic”?

I hear lots of time the words universal and generic being used in similar contexts (especially in software engineering) - what is the difference between them?
4
votes
2answers
78 views

Why is common law referred to as “at common law”?

While researching the differences between modern penal codes with common law I noticed that in many places it is written as at common law. An example is, "A crime at common law defined as unlawful ...
5
votes
3answers
293 views

What did “make love” mean in the 1920s?

This 1921 article gives "Ten Pointers for Domestic Happiness". Pointer V reads: Make love to your wife; continue to be her sweetheart. Neglect begets indifference that is fatal to married life. ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Meaning of “to wrestle places from their surveillance grids”

His concern is tracing the individual and personal history in the seemingly banal, and wrestling anonymous places from their recording and surveillance grids. What could "wrestling something from ...
7
votes
8answers
807 views

Homograph challenge [closed]

My friend said the other day, "I hate when a sentence starts with the word polish, because you don't know whether they mean polish or Polish." polish (v) - to make smooth and glossy Polish (a) - ...
-1
votes
2answers
74 views

Meaning of “Zenith” [closed]

Looking at the dictionary I found that the world zenith means the point above the observer directly opposite the nadir. So what does it mean in the following sentence: At the age of forty-five, ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “paint it black” and when to use it?

I stumbled upon the phrase "paint it black" in a tv series (Elementary) and was wondering what does it exactly mean? Also, in which situations would you use it normally? Except when you tell the ...
0
votes
3answers
60 views

Meaning of “little heart” vs. “less heart”? and why

Little heart/less heart? And why? I have read the following sentence: "he has little conscience and less heart." Can I write that "he has less conscience and little heart"? Could you solve my ...
5
votes
4answers
237 views

Not to want someone doing something. What shade of meaning is attached to this structure? (gerund rather than infinitive)

On page 137 of First Certificate Trainer by Peter May (Cambridge Books for Cambridge Exams), the last paragraph in Test 4, Use of English Part 2 (a cloze test on a short text entitled Safe camping), ...