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

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0
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3answers
46 views

“neither/nor” in a sentence

I was wondering if the use of "neither/nor" is correct and comprehensible in the sentence: Moreover, most probably neither was the snake linked to Cleopatra because of the erotic association nor the ...
1
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1answer
46 views

“Code of Alabama” usage in this sentence

From Harper Lee’s 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus’s office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkerboard and an unsullied Code of Alabama. Isn’t ...
0
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1answer
127 views

What is the meaning of “ironically” in this passage?

A rocket launched and shortly afterward exploded, on Tuesday. Below is passage from a news article written about it: This was the second launch attempt for the mission. Monday evening's try was ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What does “lift their skirts … and grab the eyeglasses right off someone's face” mean?

From Gavin De Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence (1998): "That's true," she said. "Every day I have to predict what the kids will do, and I succeed for ...
0
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2answers
41 views

why does meet sometimes mean first time and sometimes not

If I say "I will go to this place and meet this person" then I suppose it doesn't necessarily mean meeting them for the first time. But if you say it's nice to meet somebody, that always seems to ...
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2answers
33 views

GRE Sentence Completion -2

It comes as no surprise that societies have codes of behavior; the character of the codes, on the other hand, can often be _________ . A) predictable B) unexpected C) admirable D) explicit E) ...
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3answers
103 views

he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish

I'm a non English language user, but I saw this sentence in a book: He had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. If i was the writer of that sentence, I think I would use something ...
0
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3answers
111 views

What does “tend one's spinning wheel” mean?

However hard I tried I've failed to get the exact meaning of tending his spinning wheel here. It would be argued, and indeed I would argue, that Muslim intransigence would have played a ...
2
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4answers
142 views

differentiating between all that and what

Original (extracted from the book The Scarlet Letter): Like all that pertains to crime, it seemed never to have known a youthful era. My own rephrased sentences: Like whatever that pertains ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

How to understand “cat's evening wear”?

I really had a difficult time to understand this. It comes from a book I am reading, and it is used to describe a concept the author speaks highly of. Does it mean that something is very special? Or ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

GRE Sentence Completion Question

Select the two answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole and produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning. As my eyesight began ...
0
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2answers
33 views

“piecemeal” (about a theatre prop)

I'm translating an American article on a theatre production that is really challenging for a non-native speaker. Here's a passage describing one of the props, a car: Indeed, the set, by Maria ...
6
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2answers
6k views

Reason vs. purpose

Just now I wanted to explain why I was doing something, then I wrote "the purpose of doing something is blablabla". Immediately I wondered why I didn't write "the reason of doing something is ...
0
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1answer
31 views

to adjust a red to a blue

Does "to adjust a red to a blue" mean to change the color of an object from blue to red"? Context: ‘So when the 1960s came along, I was feeling split, schizophrenic; the war, what was happening to ...
1
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3answers
2k views

What does this sentence mean? (Context: S. Fitzgerald's novel Tender is the Night)

The following is from S. Fitzgerald's novel Tender is the Night: No friendship worth the name was ever destroyed in an hour without some painful flesh being torn -- so Franz let himself believe ...
0
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2answers
30 views

induces a shudder of disbelief in some areas

Does "The idea of Carl André’s bricks still induces a shudder of disbelief in some areas of the British press." mean "The idea of Carl André’s bricks still makes people not to trust some areas of ...
-1
votes
4answers
2k views

What does “could use a friend” mean?

I heard this word on some TV show and i have been trying to find its meaning(but they weren't of help much). Could someone please tell me ?
2
votes
2answers
171 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
802 views

What's the meaning of 'haler'? [correction: hailer] [closed]

This doesn't seem to be general reference, because in the context I've seen it used tonight (the London riots), it certainly isn't referring to a coin, or 'a person who hails'. I've heard it used ...
0
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1answer
46 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “all the more impressive”?

Vestager has a reputation for toughness, stemming from her time as economics minister and deputy prime minister in Denmark. She managed to push through the Radikale Venstre party’s centrist agenda ...
0
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3answers
77 views

visual evidence of a world-view in dislocated shards

What does "jagged Lines" imply here? Does "visual evidence of a world-view in dislocated shards" mean that all these images, that the writer can remember of the world war scenes, are only a few parts ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

“which is no more”

Beyond its farther edge the Alppain glow burned blue just over the horizon. “But that terrible blue glare on the opposite side is exactly like the eye of fate. It accuses us, and demands what ...
0
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0answers
56 views

what does “cool with a k” mean? [on hold]

"silicon valley" season 2 episode 8, about 7-8 minute, Ehrlich says to Monica: cool with a k. what does this mean?
0
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1answer
33 views

and then only poignantly so

Am I right about the meaning of "and then only poignantly so" in the quote below? I think it means "... except the hope for life itself, which it would be a very sad and upsetting feeling too" The ...
1
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1answer
34 views

“Rejoicing”, “glorious”, and “sinuous”

Do "Rejoicing", "glorious", and "sinuous" all go to "scientists"? That is, "scientists enjoying the beauty of computer images , evolving colour patterns and multidimensional topologies, and order ...
0
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2answers
55 views

meaning of company in this sentence

FOUR I paid the taxi off on Pepper Drive, in front of a house where there was company, and walked back up the curving hill of La Verne Terrace to Steiner's house behind its shrubbery. It is the ...
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2answers
35 views

“latter” and “confident expansion”

I have a couple of questions about the following passage: Kant explained that through a free-play between intuitive imagination and conceptual understanding, especially if mediated by feeling, we ...
0
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1answer
45 views

… moral conscience about those in the new cities

Does "a moral conscience about those in the new cities" mean: To feel guilty about the workers in new cities To make the workers in new cities feel guilty To feel responsible about the workers in ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Could someone please give me a helping hand to explain or paraphrase the expressions in bold?

The expressions in bold below are incomprehensible to me. Could you please paraphrase or explain them so that they could be easily understood. Blockquote The literature on the Roosevelt era is ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

they would be moved to terror at the gods’ indifference [closed]

Does "they would be moved to terror at the gods’ indifference" mean "they would be frightened of the indifference of gods"? Context: Aristotle acknowledged that art was imitation but justified ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

What is the origin of the phrase “has some teeth to it”?

I know the phrase "has some teeth to it" refers to something that cuts and/or takes hold of something. It's used a lot in arguments / discussion of topics where serious / good counterpoints are used, ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Choosing the correct title for a paragraph

I first went to Harrow in the summer term. The school possessed the biggest swimming-bath I had ever seen. It was more like the bend of a river than a bath, and it had two bridges across it. We ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Meaning of “even while” in “even while we marvel at it” [closed]

In this context, does "even while" mean "even though" and "whereas" or "when"? Context: The lengths we go to in order to perceive, measure and even predict ‘reality’ reflects a deep desire to ...
0
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0answers
14 views

using of designate in this context [closed]

Can I use designate with as in the context? Current cities compete to designate its urban municipal as smart city.
-1
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1answer
37 views

What does “the greatest translation in any language” mean?

"In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that took him seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope's contemporary, pronounced the greatest ...
0
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1answer
19 views

objects of knowledge

What are "objects of knowledge" here? I know it is talking about the school of thought that believes one can not distinguish between objects and our perception of them, but why "objects of knowledge"? ...
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votes
2answers
58 views

What does “hot out” mean in “Why we get cranky when it's hot out”? [closed]

Ok, I found the sentence Why we get cranky when it's hot out on the internet, but I'm not sure what the word "hot out" mean? Does it mean "hot out there"?
1
vote
3answers
64 views

“surely not?” & “the Mind of God”

What does "surely not?" mean here? Does "the Mind of God" mean: a. our thought about god or b. God's intelligence (the intelligence that belongs to god, what is going on in god's mind) Context: ...
2
votes
9answers
997 views

In “That patient merit of th'unworthy takes”, what does merit mean exactly?

In the famous Hamlet's soliloquy, I am not quite clear on the role/meaning of merit in the following: The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th'unworthy takes, My ...
1
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1answer
25 views

one cannot distinguish between objects of knowledge and objects as one perceives them

Does the bold sentence mean one cannot distinguish between "objects of knowledge" and "objects as one perceives them" or Perceiving objects, one cannot distinguish between "objects of ...
-2
votes
1answer
345 views

Do I understand the phrase “due time pal” correctly?

I thanked someone really important for following me on Instagram. his reply: due time pal Does it mean that it was time to do so? thanks
4
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6answers
186 views

Is calling someone a “Poopy Head” offensive? [closed]

Recently I followed a meta discussion where one called another who was complaining about lots of different things a "ranting Poopy Head" and I was asking myself if that comment should be flagged as ...
0
votes
2answers
56 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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
407 views

What does “Eat Lunch or be lunch” mean in this context?

I came across this phrase: The problem facing companies today is that there are too many fishermen and not enough fish in the market. It’s a matter of eat lunch or be lunch — or, as stated by ...
1
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2answers
70 views

infinity equals infinity equals infinity

I do not understand the bold part of the paragraph found below. Can anyone help please? the Russian mathematician Ludwig Phillip Cantor demonstrated that there are an infinite number of numbers just ...
0
votes
4answers
65 views

in another oxymoron

I can not understand the meaning of the bold sentence, specifically its "in another oxymoron" part. Help please! The principle that any dynamic system can be measured lies at the heart of Chaos ...
7
votes
3answers
355 views

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

In the poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman, it seems to me the narrator is crossing a passage with a ferry. But doesn't the title literally mean he is crossing the ferry itself?
-4
votes
4answers
44 views

What does “wont to suppose” mean? [closed]

Here is the source: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1910/06/medical-education-in-america/306088/#disqus_thread "Our teachers were men of fine character, devoted to the duties of their ...
0
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2answers
85 views

grief about the routeless nature of existence

Does "grief" here mean "sadness"? (sadness of the fact that the nature of existence has no pattern or map?) The presentation of randomised collections – often in the style of the wunderkammer, the ...
1
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3answers
50 views

more than a normal share of oddball mystics beat a path to their doors

Does this sentence: "Indeed, as physicists will sometimes wearily attest, more than a normal share of oddball mystics beat a path to their doors, hoping to find evidence at last that the universe ...