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

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3
votes
7answers
1k views

What’s a “ ‘friend’ friend”, and is that meant to be ironic?

Here is a quote from the "Lois & Clark" series: A: Who are you? B [a guy]: I'm a friend of her ["her" is another female character whom B is looking for]. A: A boyfriend, a "friend" friend ...
11
votes
5answers
843 views

What are the connotations of “ignorant?”

As I understand it, "ignorant" means "lacking in knowledge." Dictionary.com supports that belief. "adjective 1.lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man. 2.lacking ...
-2
votes
0answers
45 views

What is the meaning of “melancholy”? [on hold]

I want to know the meaning of the name "melancholy". Secondly, while watching movie Pirates of the Caribbean at Stranger Tides I came across the word "melancholy" I am not sure of its spelling. But ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Usage of “across”

Does this sentence make sense? "Each transaction generates a huge amount of data across the supply chain" I'm writing a statement of purpose and want to convey that a large amount of data is ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

What are fanners?

In the Rudyard Kipling poem The Bee-Boy's Song there is a section that goes: Tell 'em coming in an' out, Where the Fanners fan, What are these fanners that the bees are so curious to know ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Word for Crowdsourcing in the reverse direction (or antonym for Crowdsourcing)

Generally, Crowdsourcing means leveraging others' abilities and facilities to perform tasks. Simply someone assign its work to a group. So, what's the word for the reverse operation: a group of ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

“Algorithmic …ing…” vs “Algorithm …ing”

Q: Question is general, but let's take some concrete examples: Isn't "Algorithmic Auditing" - about audits done by (or using) algorithms (and subject can be whatever) "Algorithm Auditing" - about ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Meaning of “someone who can smell an expense account at forty paces”

What does "the ones who can smell an expense account at forty paces" mean? The sentence comes from this excerpt. ‘Nope. You would have been far too busy looking at the tall blonde girls with the ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Is calling someone 'didactic' risking offense?

As I understand it, 'didactic' is used to mean something that has the ulterior motive of teaching especially in a moral connotation and also to mean patronising, or appearing patronising. So does ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

“Artists Take on Architecture”

"Psycho Buildings: Artists Take on Architecture" is the title of an exhibition. Does it mean "artists' understanding of architecture"? Thus, is "take" here a noun? If so, wasn't it better to say "...
8
votes
2answers
83 views

What does “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT” mean?

Washington Post July 21 issue carries an article under the headline, “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT,” followed by the lead copy; And now the finale. Tonight is "Making America One ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

multiple times vs many times [migrated]

I want to say that I remember a name if I hear it three or four times. What should I say? I remember a name if I hear it multiple times. OR I remember a name if I hear it many times. I ...
-1
votes
0answers
66 views

Meaning of “being socially more prestigious” [on hold]

I guess a meaning is that being famous in social, but it's very strange and make no sense when put it in the whole context, because I can't understand how can the hypercorrection which is a wrong use ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Is it correct to say: “you are the shape of my thoughts”?

I want to tell someone that I think about him all of the time. But, in a new style. Can I say: "You are the shape of my thoughts."? I would be thankful to have better suggestions.
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Does the last comma change the meaning?

This got me in a big fight : Mostly I don't want to be hated, for things I wouldn't consider doing, again. Having the last comma I thought it would refer to being hated again, the reader sent it ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

What does expression “bear of a man” mean? [closed]

I found a sentence: "A new leader was announced: General Charles Bruce, a genial, energetic bear of a man, known as "Bruiser" to his friends" in "True Everest Adventure" by Paul Dowswell. I ...
3
votes
5answers
7k views

What does the phrase “switched on” mean in this context?

Recently a colleague of mine said to me that the "Guys who are switched on really annoy me?". Since I am not a native speaker, I do not know what he meant by "switched on". Can you fine folks shed ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Is it grammatically incorrect to use “It was double the pleasure…”?

English is my second language and somebody told me that the second sentence I created is grammatically incorrect: It was a great pleasure to meet you. And it was double the pleasure to share a ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Usage of “Have something to do with”

The other day, I was eating at a restaurant with my mate. The food was really good but the waiters seemed to be rather rude. Then when we left there, my mate asked me what I thought of this ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Meaning of the bold part [on hold]

I was reading an article and I came across this sentence : Glover is a moral philosopher,whose stock in trade is the hypothetical moral dilemma. What does the bold part mean?
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What does “a Munich-like capitulation by President Obama” mean? [on hold]

Europe’s disarray will tempt Putin to subjugate the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania under the pretense of protecting Russian minorities there, who, by the way, have no desire to be ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

Laid down the gauntlet meaning [closed]

In a book I'm reading there is a sentence like this Einstein laid down the gauntlet by considering as valid only two ways of understanding time. I guess that laid down the gauntlet means ...
0
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
15 views

meaning of “implicated reflection”

Does "implicated reflection" in the following context mean "participative thinking"? Talking to Our Selves: Reflection, Ignorance, and Agency By John M. Doris
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Starting a new phrase: To vs That

I have to following sentences to start a new phrase, are they all correct? Any differences in the meaning? The novelty of this measure is to weigh the errors of the pixels by ... The novelty of this ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

meaning of “one aside”

Does "one aside" here mean "I, as a participant, ..." or "apart from this, ..."? Later, tumbling down the main steps of Tate Britain as we head first for Lambeth Bridge, the city is awash with ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What exactly does “The guy's multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit.” mean?

Was watching Avengers: Age of Ultron. In that Nick Fury says this about Ultron, The guy's multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit. What does that mean?
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What can back room mean related to security?

In an article about Putin's business trips, this passage appeared: For security reasons during presidential trips across Russia the license plate is not placed on the front of the vehicle. As a ...
4
votes
1answer
33 views

Ambiguous question starting with 'Was not having [something]?'

*Was not having friends in your childhood something you wanted? Is this sentence grammatically correct and if so what does it mean ?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What are “tribal lays”?

There is a famous poem from Kipling: In the Neolithic Age. There it says: "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, "And every single one of them is right!" My question ...
9
votes
4answers
10k views

What does “gig” stand for in “It's your gig”?

I have heard people say, "It's your gig" when they intend to say, "It's your choice after all." For example: I have said all I wanted to say. Now it's your gig. The intention is that the ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Attached is the technical detail document of test.cls file [closed]

Which one is better, I am sending one attached file to my manager. Please find attached technical detail document of the test.cls file. Attached is the technical detail document of test.cls ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Use of “beware” and “be aware” in this particular situation

We have a large motorized moving gate. I am designing a sign to warn people to stay clear of it. So which one should it be? "Beware of moving gate!" or "Be aware of moving gate!"
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Meaning of “ to be dizzying in”

There is a text in my english book that talks about the wetlands from Brazil and there is a sentence that goes like this: "(...) life is dizzying in its abundance, variety and beauty." I have already ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

“I jarred to life” meaning

I understand the meaning of "to jar" (thank to the dictionaries) but "to jar to life" makes me confused and puzzled. Is it something near to "sprang to life"? You can meet this phrase in Google: ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Meaning of “trade-off between attention to fluency or attention to accuracy.”

I'm a foreign English learner. I could not understand the meaning because of two puzzling aspects in a sentence in shawn loewen's book Key concepts in second language acquisition: In SLA this is ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

What does a phrase verb “fluff off” mean? [closed]

According to a book "Speak by Laurie Halse Andrade", what does the phrase verb "fluff off" mean in the following context: She reaches right past me and takes a pen topped with a Merryweather ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

What does “develop attitudes” mean here?

Kindly explain what "develop attitudes" means in this context of the following passage: In the ensuing outrage, a PowerPoint presentation written by St. John surfaced which included a slide in ...
3
votes
3answers
55 views

Is there a better term than “dummy” to describe a non-functional part of a program?

I'm searching for a different or more neutral term than "dummy" to describe a non-functional or non-interactive part of a program. I've been using this term to refer to code in interactive charts ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

What does “slewed” mean in this context? [closed]

Good afternoon everyone, I would like to ask you a question about this peculiar verb I came across while reading a book. Here is the sentence: "...but now Brad saw him with his head down, his chin ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

What does the phrase 'ambiguous effect' mean in a sentence? [closed]

The net effect of globalization on environmental sustainability is ambiguous. Does it mean that globalization impacts environmental sustainability both positively and negatively?
4
votes
1answer
13k views

“is to” + verb, “was to” + verb

I've got a sentence that I can't quite well understand. My problem in the sentence is the "were to play" part. How does it change the meaning of the sentence? Does it mean that this was an action in ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

What does “the Park” mean in spy novels? [closed]

What does"the Park" mean in spy novels? I can read it as "head quarter", but not sure. And in that case, how does that word come from?
2
votes
2answers
200 views

The use of “rift” in Orwell's “Politics and the English Language”

In Orwell's famous article "Politics and the English Language," he writes: DYING METAPHORS. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Meaning of to “will someone on”

In the following extract from David Cameron's last speech as PM, I don't understand the last part which includes "will someone on": And the PM won applause and a standing ovation from Tories - ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What does it mean to possess a danger?

Here's the sentence I'm trying to understand: This made the division between High and Low Church or Tory and Whig stark indeed, and the result was the 'prostitution of the pulpit, particularly in ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Can anyone explain this sentence meaning in simple English?

Sentence is AngularJS is what HTML would have been had it been designed for building web applications. What this sentence try to explain? and what is the use of have been had it been in this sentence?...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

What is an 'end-of-the-pier entertainment'?

Reading "Nothing To Be Frightened Of" by Julian Barnes I found this phrase. This is the full paragraph. If there were a games-playing God, He would surely get especial ludic pleasure from ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

“bit more explanation” vs. “bit more of an explanation” [duplicate]

How the following two differ: We'd need a bit more of an explanation on your definition. We'd need a bit more explanation on your definition.
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What does “there and back again” mean?

Some may have heard (or read) of the alternative title of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, which is There And Back Again. I figured it might literally mean something like I went there and came back here ...