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

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Does “Fat Fighters” mean that the group fights against fat, or that they are fatty?

We are having an argument about whether naming a gym "Fat Fighters" communicates the right message. The name should suggest that they fight against fat (obviously). The "fat" is both noun and ...
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37 views

'look the worse for'

After a night of profound slumber in Margaret’s bed she looked very little the worse for her fright and her wetting. from Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth The above expression of look the worse ...
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2answers
46 views

What does “strip away all the sound and fury” means?

I have seen this comment on Ed Miliband's current rhetoric: "Strip away all of the sound and fury and what people across England, Scotland and Wales, across every part of the UK, are saying is: ...
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1answer
66 views

What does it mean to describe the 'inter-relationships' of two things?

Given the essay question: "Between Canada and Nigeria describe and explain the 'inter-relationships' between and among Health and Economic Development In your answer, focus on the ...
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1answer
40 views

What is the meaning of "confluent''?

What is the meaning of the word confluent in the context of the phrase the confluent of the river?
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69 views

Is “cause” instead of “because” becoming Standard English?

Nowadays, I'm seeing a drastic increase in usage of cause in place of because, especially in written English. People are in such a hurry, that a statement like below passes off like Standard English: ...
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2answers
63 views

Explain the quote? [closed]

[We command all] Ministers of the so called reformed religion, who do not choose to become converts and to embrace the catholic, apostolic, and roman religion, to leave our kingdom
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2answers
118 views

What does “'Avoid plastics' in commencement speeches" mean?

Today’s (May 12) New York Times carries an article written by Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute under the title, “How to avoid commencement clichés”. The author says: ...
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2answers
71 views

What does “throw in the fact” and “the escrow” mean? [on hold]

I came across the following dialogue in an American TV show, but I do not understand the parts in bold. (A is a 40-year-old divorced woman who is trying to hide her real age and pretends to be 26; ...
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18 views

How to say it shorter [on hold]

How can I say 'I couldn't imagine life without' in half as any words or fewer? I am trying to create a title and this is just too long. Can anyone help me find a way of saying this in fewer words but ...
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1answer
31 views

what does hard copy subscription mean?

I want to know what does "hard copy subscription" mean ? full sentence : where payment is primarily for physical goods or services (e.g., buying movie tickets, or buying a publication where the price ...
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1answer
26 views

What do “read faces”, “much of a head for figures”, “take the bull by the horns” mean? [on hold]

This online zodiac compatibility test has this paragraph People born in the year of the snake are flexible, and adaptable to the changing circumstances. They do well in reading faces, having ...
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1answer
21 views

Send or Send across

How the words send and send across are used in email writing context? What are difference between these two? You can send your profile to 123@abc.com. Or You can send across your profiles ...
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0answers
31 views

What does “did not achieve perfection and never would” mean?

At this point my brain refuses to comprehend this. Astronomers did not achieve perfection and never would, not in a solar system tugged by the gravities of nine planets, scores of moons and ...
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2answers
41 views

what does “volatile pair” mean in love/romance relationship?

Recently, I am studying Chinese Zodiac Compatibility. They said "Snake (one born in Snake year) and Rat (one born in Rat year) are a volatile pair". I am not sure what "volatile pair" mean? like each ...
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0answers
30 views

Meaning of a sentence in an article [on hold]

I was reading an article on the New Yorker—here's the link for that: An overlooked classic about the comedy of race. In a particular paragraph, this sentence has been used: There's nothing ...
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2answers
44 views

The difference between 'credit' and 'accredit'?

Both verbs seem to mean the same thing -- to attribute 'X' to Mr. 'Y'. On looking it up, I found: credit - publicly acknowledge a contributor's role in the production of (something published or ...
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2answers
46 views

How would you paraphrase “have sth before sb” in the given context?

How would you paraphrase "have sth before sb" in the following sentence? This elevation is, moreover, essentially rooted in the nature of our spirit, it is necessary to it, and it is this ...
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0answers
40 views

What does [pretense of critical relevance] mean? [closed]

I am watching Younger, an American drama, Season 1 episode 2. A: Well, how are the reviews? I bet they're amazing. B: Oh, and do you think reviews sell books? No, your generation has absolutely ...
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8answers
3k views

What's the pun in this “Julius Caesar” reference?

In a Blacklist episode, the following conversation takes place, the first and last speaker is the sophisticated Raymond Reddington: -'Ambition's debt must be paid'. -Julius Caesar? -One ...
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1answer
47 views

What does “Possibly being eaten by Diana” mean? Thanks

I need some explanation of what "Possibly being eaten by Diana" means. Thanks. My Chinese subtitle explained that Ms. B will have lunch with Diana (Ms. B's lady boss). I'm guessing that probably ...
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0answers
30 views

I'd like to find figures of speech in this poem i need about 5 although i am having a bit of trouble can anyone help me? [closed]

This precious life, I live each day, I work so hard, and try to play. A simple, meaningful, conversation, Leads to joy, and true sensation. Occasionally confronted, with a struggle, Countless ...
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1answer
35 views

what is the meaning of “no problem” in British English? [closed]

Here is the scenario: Today I asked my teacher whether I will get late penalty due to some reasons. The teacher says "no problem." Can I consider the response of "no problem" as I will not get ...
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2answers
20 views

What does “discover from itself” mean in the following sentence?

The sentence is "The point of interest was to determine how far the natural light of reason, human reason by itself, could progress in the knowledge of truth, with the important proviso that ...
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2answers
665 views

What does “as” mean in this sentence? [closed]

I have two questions here, and they are both from an article at Economist.com. Here is the link: http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/10/citi-loses-its-boss First question: What does as ...
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1answer
31 views

Meaning of “same day as one another” [closed]

I want to know the meaning of the phrase "on the same day as one another". The complete sentence where the phrase appears is The orchids and roses were delivered on the same day as one another. ...
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1answer
33 views

Night-threaders

In 'The Sandman - Vol.3 - The Dream Country' by Neil Gaiman chapter 2, a cat says to another cat: 'Well-met, fellow night-threaders' Do you know what does 'night-threaders' mean in this context?
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2answers
61 views

Does “Wand” mean wall? [I think they call it a wand.]?

I m watching an American drama; it's called Younger. Ms. A is trying to hide her real age (40), and she's pretending she's 26 now. Her phone rang during a meeting. Ms. B is her colleague. Thanks. ...
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0answers
57 views

I've sent an email asking for a reference from a professor, and got a reply which is a bit confusing

I've sent an email asking for a reference from a professor, and got a reply which is a bit confusing. The following sentences are what I've sent: I was wondering if you would be willing to write ...
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2answers
31 views

What does “Just expected a gold star for doing your job” mean? Thanks in advance

I am watching Younger, an American drama, Season 1 episode 1, 16:10. Thanks in advance. A :Jane Austen has over 1,000 followers. How cool is that? B :Am I supposed to congratulate you? A: No, I ...
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1answer
34 views

What does “I was almost busted” mean? Thanks [closed]

I'm watching " Younger", an American drama, Season 1 Episode 1, 15:29. Thanks in advance. Ms. A: Let me ask you something, you've seen a lot of vaginas, right? Ms. B: Hmm, I've seen my fair share. ...
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1answer
53 views

Adding vs Contrasting: meaning of the required linker

I have a complicated text, but I built two sentences with the main idea. I'd like to use either a) or b) as the last sentence. We prepared ourselves so that "some stuff" is probably available, but ...
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3answers
193 views

Can a sport team “clinch” a championship in the last regular season game?

This question gets into the subtle shades of meaning of the word clinch, in the context of sporting teams securing spots in the playoffs. My past experience hearing this term on television, or ...
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1answer
65 views

What does “plough” mean in this context?

The following excerpt has been taken from The Time Machine by H.G.Wells: ‘One might get one’s Greek from the very lips of Homer and Plato,’ the Very Young Man thought. ‘In which case they would ...
2
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3answers
111 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 ...
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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 ...
2
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1answer
51 views

Meaning of this short quote/poem [closed]

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 ...
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1answer
34 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
126 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
2
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3answers
120 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?
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3answers
57 views

Ambiguity of “last” [closed]

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; ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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4answers
847 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 ...
2
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2answers
72 views

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

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 ...
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1answer
53 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
63 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 ...