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

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2answers
36 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
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2answers
99 views

What is the difference between “could not get to” and “did not get to”?

Take, for example, this sentence: Away from Vatican City, Tome was quiet as authorities ordered all public offices and schools to close (close), and banned (ban) cars from the roads. Millions of ...
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1answer
15 views

Differences between expressions including [not/no + more/less + than~]

I have read an article on English expressions of comparison on a website in Japanese, however I am still unsure about the content and would like to check if it is correct. It gives 4 examples as ...
0
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1answer
38 views

What does 'IN' mean: 'IN your own person or IN the person of any other'?

Source: Prof Michael Sandel, Justice: ..., Episode 06: "MIND YOUR MOTIVE" 47:30 and here Kant distinguishes between persons on the one hand, and things on the other. 47:38: Rational beings are ...
2
votes
2answers
134 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 ...
3
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3answers
785 views

“The Moving Finger writes even in Heaven.”

Following is an extract from a Rabindranath Tagore story called, "A Wrong Man in Workers' Paradise". I need help in understanding the contextual meaning of a line in it. The story is about a man who ...
4
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4answers
91 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
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2answers
81 views

What does “What a make!” mean?

Stumbled across this on a photography forum. All the bells, dials and whistles on this one. I handled her once. Nice! But surprisingly heavy. The impression of weight (and a lasting impression ...
3
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5answers
3k 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 ...
1
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2answers
58 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 ...
0
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1answer
62 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
3answers
97 views

What does “rules are not decree or routine so much as the starker demands of what’s possible” mean?

What does the emphasized part (the sentence in bold) mean? The hackers are the technicians of this science - “It’s a term of derision and also the ultimate compliment.” They are the ones who ...
0
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2answers
76 views

How can “in touch with” be used figuratively?

I am sure that we can say “get in touch with someone”, to mean figuratively that we are in good contact. Can I go further to use it more figuratively, e.g., to say that “my brother is not in touch ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Meaning of “it” in “it [. . .] settled into its unbreakable parts”

Please help me understand the meaning of “settled into its unbreakable parts” as used in this excerpt below from Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away: He was sitting forward on the seat, ...
2
votes
4answers
150 views

Antecedent of “it” in “it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship” in context

When on that shivering winter's night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympathetic awe and ...
2
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2answers
78 views

Antecedent of “velocity u” in “particles moving in a medium with macroscopic velocity u”

In the following sentence, whose velocity is u—the particles or the medium? For particles moving in a medium with macroscopic velocity u: The normalized Maxwell’s distribution function (Eq. ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“The Dude abides” — what does “abide” mean in that context? [on hold]

Has anyone considered the meaning with reference to George C. Stewart's 1949 fiction, "Earth Abides"? or Stephen King's "The Stand" ? In the post-apocalytic work, "Earth Abides," civilization falls ...
2
votes
5answers
4k views

What does the following phrase mean: “pursuing invariably the same Object”

Given the following sentence in the American Declaration of Independence: But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them ...
0
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1answer
25 views

Question about ellipsis

"Are you sure that your men will find much to release? I have men, too, in the forest to-night, close behind me, and THEY will be here first and do the releasing." (a quote from 'Interloper', by ...
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0answers
39 views

Meaning: 'as it were' (1690 UK)

Source: Sec 32, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690, by John Locke As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property. He ...
1
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2answers
47 views

Contact us as you find convenient

The context is that clients can use means of communication convenient to them. One employee at my work proposed the phrasing below. Contact us as you find convenient Does the above sentence ...
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0answers
31 views

“This isn't the place for you” meaning?

Would you say that this line is an indirect way of telling someone they shouldn't come/be somewhere? Or if not indirect, maybe some other adjective?
5
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2answers
820 views

What is a wheal?

Indulging some idle curiosity about Cornish mining I noticed that many of the mines are named wheal: Wheal Kitty, Wheal Jane and East Wheal Rose, among others. But the only dictionary definition I ...
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0answers
59 views

What's the meaning of “dash” in “you've left all your s**t on my dash.”? [closed]

What's the meaning of the word dash in you've left all your shit on my dash. ?
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2answers
46 views

‘Influence’ vs. ‘effect’ [closed]

Johnson has a lot of influence on film producers. He is intellectual. Should I replace influence with effects?
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0answers
24 views

Use of the word MUDITA as business name [closed]

Can the use of the word MUDITA as business name create sensitivity/ misunderstanding amongst certain religious/cultural groups?
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0answers
43 views

What is an “inexhaustible treasure of nature”? [closed]

I have a question on the following paragraph: For the love of the people I adore the lord of light, creator of earth and heaven and the middle regions of the skies, the eternal poet who composed ...
0
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2answers
26 views

What is the difference between 'related'/'relation' and 'associated'/'association'

I am coming to this from a very technical background. I am basically trying to figure out when to use which of those terms to describe the associations/relations between classes in an UML class ...
1
vote
2answers
173 views

The meaning of ETA - to origin or to destination?

I'm writing an application with the embedded Uber taxi app functionality. In short, when the user points to a point near his or her location in our app, a Uber button appears, with the following text: ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

What does it mean when someone say “He is politically correct?” [closed]

I am often hearing in the office that someone says this sentence "He is politically correct?". What's the difference between "He is correct" and "He is politically correct?".
1
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5answers
347 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
233 views

Does “Should I wash my hands of this?” suggest a bribe?

Should I wash my hands of this? Has this expression ever been used as a way of suggesting a bribe?
1
vote
1answer
37 views

how can Use the title 'Mr'

Use of titles in English language, can we use title Mr if we use the designation like Secretary Sports Mr Saleem Akhtar, etc, or we skip it. i am asking in reference to make a news report or news ...
0
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0answers
10 views

On the shift in the context

What is the meaning "on the shift" in this context: The Climate Group works with business and governments on the shift to a low carbon economy, and Kenber issued a stark warning on the choice for the ...
2
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2answers
138 views

is saying “white bread” to the white considered as racist in everyday conversation?

I have just watched "Top Five" played by Chris Rock. In this movie, there is a scene that Chris Rock saw a white actor and here is the conversation: The actor (played by white male actor): Hey, ...
8
votes
1answer
404 views

What's the meaning of “I'm slinging mad volume and fat stacking benjies”?

Recently I was watching the television show Breaking Bad. There's a sentence of dialogue from season 2, episode 6 that confused me: Jesse Pinkman: You got something for me? Skinny Pete: Yeah, ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Circumstance usage with grammar [duplicate]

Would it be better to say: “If I was in your circumstance, I hope, I truly hope, I’d do the right thing.” OR “If I were faced with your circumstance, I hope, I truly hope, I’d do the right thing.”
1
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2answers
65 views

differentiating between all that and what

Original-- extracted from the book 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 to crime, ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Making sense of a sentence in a politcal economy article

Reading this critical geopolitical economic article, I found myself troubled understanding this sentence: "Markets have priced in nothing bad from here to as far as the eye can see." Here's the ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

Meaning of “broken” in a phrase “broken hallelujah”

What does "broken" mean in a phrase "broken hallelujah"? E.g. in Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah song? "it's cold and it's a broken hallelujah" In my opinion, the best match from the dictionary is ...
6
votes
11answers
44k views

New (slang?) meaning of bass?

I have come across the song "About that bass" by Meghan Trainor, and was wondering what "bass" and "treble" mean in the chorus, which goes: Because you know I'm all about that bass, 'Bout that ...
0
votes
4answers
145 views

to eliminate documents

I am puzzled about the word choice, namely the verb "to eliminate". Can we say that the person eliminated documents or an electronic database because they were of no use anymore or outdated. If no, ...
1
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1answer
33 views
4
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2answers
57 views

Never perhaps did any man suffer death with more justice, or deserve it less

Source: From Alexander Hamilton to Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens, 1780 October 11 ... [Major John André] he ought to be considered as a spy and according to the laws and usages of nations to ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

How and why is “an internationalist Englishman” different from “an English internationalist”?

There is the following passage in Benn Steil’s “The Battle of Bretton Woods.” (John Maynard) Keynes was more an internationalist Englishman than an Englsih internationalist. Therefore it was not ...
1
vote
2answers
27 views

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

You go to a store and buy a product that sounds like it's the best deal. But then you get it home, and it doesn't deliver. What does deliver mean here? Does it mean It doesn't work as you expected? ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Is there a rule regarding the placement of “please” in a sentence? [duplicate]

Both written or spoken? For example: Please have a seat. Have a seat please. And how would the use of commas change the meaning or tone of the request? Are there other options that I've ...
0
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1answer
67 views

The time suits me well or fits me well?

Which is better to refer to the time, saying that it suits me well or that it fits me well?
2
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1answer
76 views

What's the meaning of 'fan his pantaloons' in this quote?

Consider... the university professor. What is his function? Simply to pass on to fresh generations of numskulls a body of so-called knowledge that is fragmentary, unimportant, and, in large part, ...