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

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-2
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0answers
23 views

What does feat mean in the context? [on hold]

"I feat that by starting with a toolkit like Jersey and a rather advanced application, instead of just plain servlets, you may miss learning some important features of servlets and the servlet life ...
4
votes
4answers
10k views

“my friend” vs “a friend of mine”

I always found it weird to hear people say things like "My friend asked me to come" (with no prior mention of said friend), as opposed to "A friend of mine asked me to come". To me it seems as though ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Meaning of this short quote/poem [on hold]

I watched the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind yesterday, and this quote in the movie forms the theme: How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

What does the “highs” and “lows” mean here?

It's in the lyrics of Will Young's song-Leave Right Now. Part of the lyrics below: I'm here so please explain Why you're opening up a healing wound again I'm a little more careful, perhaps it ...
0
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1answer
32 views

“OHS supervision log” meaning

I got a document related to construction working and among various staff I got this term. There were some safety measures and health certificates stuff related. I've found that OHS stands for ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

What does “an irate ex waving a maintenance order” mean?

I said: Finally, I found you Grumpy! (Grumpy is the name of the site) Grumpy replies: That comment has the distinct flavour of an irate ex waving a maintenance order! :-) Can you ...
2
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2answers
3k views

What does “to be in pieces” means? [on hold]

Referring to famous Morrissey's "Children in pieces" b-side.
2
votes
3answers
115 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?
1
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3answers
53 views

Ambiguity of “last” [on hold]

I find "last" ambiguous in the following context: I destroyed his report in our last meeting. IMHO, both of the following interpretations make sense: "He can get however pissed he wants; ...
1
vote
3answers
104 views

What's the meaning of 'deflating mots' in this sentence?

I'm graduating in translation and one of my 2nd semester's works is a movie review about Philomena. I am stuck, however, at this part: (He's an) expert purveyor of deflating mots on any subject, ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Can I use instance and case like this?

I want to write something about Android bus tracking system based on crowdsourcing, where the routes are determined by wifi: "In order to exclude instances of passing buses, it only cases are ...
7
votes
4answers
837 views

Meaning of “The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, / But that is much”

What did the poet mean by the following lines? The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, But that is much. — Edna St. Vincent Millay I am not able to understand the meaning ...
3
votes
2answers
53 views

What is the meaning of “tank” in this sentence? [on hold]

I think that to tank means to become strong, huge in height and weight. But I can't place the same meaning in this context: When the economy tanks as it did in the recent recession, How does ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Can I say “awaken me from my naive view”?

I found out that the same product tended to mean different things for different people. For one person, a lipstick brought confidence. For another, it was just a simple pigment. This experience ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the meaning of joke “may it plizzle the cozizzle” in Futurama?

In Futurama 5ACV16, character Leela, while in court, says "May it plizzle the cozizzle" instead of "may it please the court" to the judge (Snoop Dogg's head). I am not native English speaker, but I ...
0
votes
4answers
49 views

“on the back of” meaning and implications

A The Independent of London article, The rise and rise of Sudoku, reads: [...] sales of pencils in Britain are reported to have risen 700 per cent on the back of the Sudoku boom. Question: Does ...
-2
votes
1answer
41 views

What are the adverb for shabby and hardy? [closed]

What are the adverbs for shabby and hardy are, and what are their corresponding noun and adjective?
0
votes
1answer
27 views

What does the highlighted part mean in the context of the paragraph?

Much the same applies to the expression 'What a word has escaped you by the fence of your teeth!' This is intelligible, but unidiomatic, English for 'What nonsense!' Must we flout English usage to ...
-2
votes
0answers
24 views

Condescension or Perception? [closed]

I was recently having a discussion with a co-worker, and she accused me of being condescending. When I asked why, she said it was because I sounded 'too nice'; I was 'talking too nicely'. In heated or ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Are not hard to reach

How would you interpret the message in the picture? I'm having a hard time understanding this black guy. I assume, the guy in the picture is trying to suggest that everyone could easily understand a ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

How does this sentence fit in this context?

The following excerpt has been taken from The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. "Draw the bolts," said the man with the black beard, "and if he comes—" He showed a revolver in his hand. "That ...
53
votes
5answers
10k views

What does “Your hair is so white now, it can talk back to police” mean?

Vanity Fair magazine (April 27) introduced a barrel of jokes about political figures Cecily Strong delivered at Best White House Correspondents’ Dinner held on April 25th in Washington under the ...
1
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0answers
41 views

I want to understand this sentence [closed]

"Hemingway lived to hunt big game so should we be surprised at his virility, not to mention that of many of the author’s--chiefly male--protagonists?" Can someone please explain me on how to ...
1
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2answers
31 views

'Previously' or 'ever ' in this context

I encountered a question in a textbook for an English exam as below where I did not understand why the correct answer is that. Ms.Tanaka is the ideal leader for the project because she has _______ ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What is the meaning of “shoot” in this context?

The following quotation has been taken from The Mark on the Wall by Virgina Woolf. Tumbling head over heels in the asphodel meadows like brown paper parcels pitched down a shoot in the post ...
1
vote
3answers
74 views

Meaning of the phrasal verb “divert from”

In this sentence here, do you think diverted from means distracted from or change of course? The second option doesn't seem to make much sense, though. “When the imperial mantle finally falls on ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Meaning of 'proverbial worm'

"An appropriate and dramatic end to a singular and yet typical case," said Thorndyke, as he put down the newspaper. "I hope it has enlarged your knowledge, Jervis, and enabled you to form one or ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Can “capable of being hurt…” mean a kind of ability?

"I think that’s what it means to be “real” as a parent or a teacher – to be vulnerable, to be capable of being hurt. The only way to avoid the pain of vulnerability is by shutting out all emotion and ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Some questions about the usage and meaning of the word “off” [closed]

These are two sentences from A Game of Thrones: Somewhere off in the wood a wolf howled. Is this "off" a preposition? What does it mean? I think it is okay in grammar if I just say "somewhere ...
-1
votes
1answer
25 views

Difference between laxity and lethargy? [closed]

I know their respective meanings but somehow I associate lethargy in a negative sense (as in a disease or something). Are they completely interchangble or do they have any specific usercases?
0
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “sheer” and “pure” will(power)?

In English, we use the phrase "sheer force" much more often than "pure force" (Google Ngram). And willpower. What is the difference, in meaning and usage, between the two (and is there a reason for ...
2
votes
2answers
141 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
3answers
301 views

What does “less than unity” mean in the following context…?

It's about wind power. Here is the context : "Few topics generate more controversy than capacity credits for wind plant. The capacity credit of any power plant may be defined as a measure of the ...
0
votes
3answers
26 views

What does the author mean to say in this quote?

The following excerpt is from My Three Passions by Bertrand Russell. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway over the flux. What does the author mean to ...
4
votes
4answers
169 views

“Your chance to dream has arrived” - National Lottery. How do you read this?

To me, that means: I can start dreaming after buying a lotto ticket. This is weird because without the lotto ticket, I can have my day-dream anyway. Shouldn't this be something like "your chance to ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Usage of “take somebody to somewhere”

As I understand, the phrase above can mean to invite someone to somewhere, then to give someone a lift/to provide transportation for someone. Do I get it right? As I am not a native speaker of English ...
12
votes
4answers
870 views

“This box of matches is empty”

There are several Japanese books teaching Japanese students how to write in English. I found this example in 『英作文参考書の誤りを正す』 (Correcting Errors in English Composition Manuals) by Michio Kawakami and ...
1
vote
2answers
29 views

“predicting” or “prediction of”?

What is the difference between "can be used for prediction of user behaviour" and "can be used for predicting user behaviour"? I like the second version more since it's shorter and without a ...
0
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
695 views

Another way to say “it never hurts”

It wouldn't hurt you to be a bit more serious. Wouldn't/won't/never hurts make perfect sense in this example. I'm wondering if there's any alternative way to preserve the meaning of this phrase in a ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

“answered in” or “answered”?

I'm confused whether the verb answer should come with the preposition in or without it in a sentence "the timing a question will be answered in is important" or "the timing a question will be answered ...
2
votes
5answers
592 views

Is there any scenario, situation, or way to make “doing something selfishly” have a positive connotation?

The thing is, I am confused whether the word selfish itself can be used without expressing a negative connotation. I am a bit biased about it since I believe that by using this word it automatically ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

What does 'pip' mean in this context?

The following excerpt has been taken from the poem Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka. What does 'pipped' mean here? Voice, when it came, Lipstick coated, long gold-rolled Cigarette-holder ...
0
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2answers
71 views

“Suffer from” use for non human contexts

Is it normal to use "suffer from" for subjects other than humans? For example is it acceptable to say: "this old building suffer from irregular electricity"
0
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0answers
29 views

Way to stick it to

I am watching American comedy, Weird Loners. Mr A is on the phone and talking with headhunter. Mr. A: Jerry (headhunter), come on. I love the salary but these benefits are crap. You call me back ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

The elbow worked through the sleeve

What does it mean "The elbow worked through the sleeve"? and what is the synonym of the verb "worked" in the sentence?
1
vote
1answer
40 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “failure to fail”? [closed]

What is the meaning of the phrase "failure to fail"?, And If I close now by professing that abject/ecstatic failure to fail, it is only by way of reminding myself..."
0
votes
7answers
50 views

what would be the appropriate word in this passage? possibly loosely related to “conflate”

i'm looking for a word that means intentionally attempting to conflate/situate two apparently contradictory ideas/beliefs etc.- for example, "as a practicing psychiatrist, is it possible for me to ___ ...
0
votes
4answers
355 views

Meaning and Origin of word “Pantheon”? [closed]

I spotted the word "Pantheon" here on the first and second paragraph on The Hindu but not able to understand the editor's view. On the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, on April 14, ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

What does “blue's my colour” mean in this context?

Monica: How are you? Fake Monica: I'm not too bad. Fortunately, blue's my colour. How-how did you know I was here? Monica: Because... I'm Monica Geller. It was my credit card you were ...