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

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3answers
51 views

What does “delinquent” mean in this context? [on hold]

I'm more or less aware of the meanings of the word delinquent. However, I can't decide what it exaclty means in the following quote which is from god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and where he ...
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3answers
98 views

Good Luck **in** all your endeavors' versus Good Luck **to** all your endeavors'

What is the difference between 'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up. Good Luck in all your endeavors' versus 'I am currently busy with family ...
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1answer
112 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 ...
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3answers
13k views

I am on “annual leave”?

This one has been bothering me the past couple of weeks. On many (most!) people's email auto-responders, when they go on holiday, they set it to something along the lines of: I am currently on ...
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1answer
48 views

Reading Comprehension Question: How to narrow down to correct answer? [on hold]

Passage (Its a bit long) The pioneers of the teaching of science imagined that its introduction into education would remove the conventionality, artificiality, and backward-lookingness which ...
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4answers
128 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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0answers
34 views

One inference question - how many answers do you see? [on hold]

I teach English to high schoolers in Korea, and there is this one question which makes me scratch my head. In order not to give you any ideas before your getting into the question, I will simply put ...
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1answer
27 views

Nobody would believe what an effort it is **to do what little I am able**,--to dress and entertain, and order things

Nobody would believe what an effort it is to do what little I am able,--to dress and entertain, and order things. (a part of "Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman) I don't ...
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1answer
34 views

Meaning of a good scrap [on hold]

The context is as follows. Quick on his feet, Barney could sniff a weakness in the prosecution's case and would pounce on opposing witnesses. He was a brutal cross-examiner and loved a good scrap. ...
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1answer
58 views

What does 'drinkle' mean? [on hold]

I came across the word "drinkle" in the sentence: It's one of the Drinkle girls. I Googled it, but I couldn't find anything helpful.
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2answers
62 views

Reading Comprehension question

Here is a GRE practice question that I have an issue with. It is given here, Question #7. Passage: French cuisine is highly regarded all over the world. Yet in Paris there are more ...
2
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2answers
159 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 ...
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3answers
62 views

What does “bet-covering” mean in this context?

As always, I'm stuck in a Hitchens sentence from God Is Not Great. Here it is: If you believe in god and there is a god, you win. If you believe in him and you are wrong — so what? I once wrote a ...
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2answers
56 views

To be sound in doing something?

I've looked up each and every possible meanings of sound. I've reduced the options to two or so. But I still find it hard to ascertain the meaning of sound and the way its is used in this context. ...
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1answer
40 views

the switch went on (definition)

I heard this in a documentary. The speaker is some serial killer who claims he started his rampage after watching a video. He goes like this: "I put one of the videos in and what came on the ...
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1answer
53 views

“to appear in the dock on”

I'm new here. This is my first question. What's the meaning of the sentence with italic/bold. I'm writing complete passage to make simpler. He was described by prosecuting lawyers as the alleged ...
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3answers
962 views

Why would a cynic be offended by fantasy?

I just came across the sentence Like most people today, Judy was a cynic and was offended by the slightest hint of fantasy. According to the dictionary, a cynic is : a person who believes ...
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0answers
25 views

Reading Comprehension GRE

The article “Shock therapy for mental patients will be reviewed” continues the ignorant tradition of demonizing electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the media (the very use of the ...
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2answers
58 views

Meaning: 'take on a macabre ring'

I've come across a confusing phrase. This former Belgian possession is the most Christian country in Africa, boasting the highest percentage of churches per head of population, with 65 percent of ...
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3answers
126 views

What does unicorn mean in the following context?

The Black Adder s01e03 - The Archbishop. In the epilogue, Sister Sara asked the Mother Superior, So presumably you won't be needing the unicorn tonight? followed by a laughing track. Is she ...
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5answers
12k views

What does ‘play a blinder’ mean? Is it a popular phrase?

I came across the phrase ‘played a blinder’ in the following paragraph of the New York Times’ December 12 article, titled “British Euro Farce,” dealing with British Prime Minister David Cameron’s veto ...
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2answers
2k views

An explanation of the preface in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

I am currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, my grasp of English isn't very good and I'm puzzled over the meaning of a few sentences on the opening page. The highest as the lowest form of ...
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1answer
52 views

There you have it again?

I wonder if no one has asked it simply because it is so obvious, but I really can't grasp the exact meaning of there you have it (again). I occasionally infer it from the context but not every single ...
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3answers
95 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 ...
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8answers
896 views

What is the term used to define an answer which does not offend anyone?

For instance - I do not want to take anyone's side in a debate and when asked about my point of view, I end up giving a smart answer which does not offend anyone of them. What is the word for that ...
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2answers
50 views

Meaning of “if you want to exchange gear for promo”

What is the meaning of this model's response to a photograph? Well I have enough work on my plate, but if you want to exchange gear for promo, I'm always cool with that!
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1answer
69 views

Meaning of “Noble of us” idiom in context

It would be noble of us to not revel in it, though. The sentence above has some idioms that I don't know. What is it going to say? Or when such a sentence could be said?
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1answer
31 views

Meaning of “Industry Puzzled” [closed]

I'm not a native speaker and I have a bit of trouble with understanding the meaning of the term Industry Puzzled in a newspaper headline. Here is an example I found that uses the term: Biodiesel ...
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2answers
38 views

Who are belongers and emulators? [closed]

As part of a lengthy description of its Ideal Customer, a remodeling company says this: Our ideal customers are belongers and emulators - they entertain and love to have family around. A big draw ...
3
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3answers
83 views

What's the “tumbleweed” in tumbleweed badge?

Well I just earned one :). According to the description it's awarded to a question which receives literally no attention in a week. (Snapshot below) So it led me to the notion that a "tumbleweed" ...
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6answers
225 views

Why is the definite article used here?

They ran to the door of the cellar, but Toto was afraid, and he ran under the bed. — Chapter 1 of The Wizard of Oz(Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 1) In this book, There is no bed that has ...
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4answers
338 views

What is meant by “thank you” in quotes?

In two different emails, I have seen "thank you" placed in quotes. The first was a response to an email notice regarding an address change: “Thanks” for the e mail, I updated our system. And ...
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1answer
53 views

What does “wishful tradition” mean?

A passage from The Magus, by John Fowles, reads: The wishful tradition is that our family came over from France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes- noble Huguenots remotely allied to ...
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2answers
87 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 ...
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1answer
228 views

What is the mean of bold words

All, I read this paragraph from a read. But not sure about the exactly meaning. please help me to understand it .thanks. Grant focuses on making it fun for beginners to learn Ubuntu Linux. If ...
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1answer
78 views

What does “a lot of talent sitting in suits” mean?

After Cavalier’s losing the NBA finales game, LeBron James said: “Tried as much as we could to try to make up for those guys, but it’s a lot of talent sitting in suits,” James said. “I’ve had a ...
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0answers
98 views

Meaning of the term “empty use” in the context of modal verbs

I'm reading a book titled Comprehensive High School English Grammar & Composition. The author, who is Indian, says this on the use of the modal verbs can and could: Can is used to express ...
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3answers
51 views

What does “the private comes well” mean in the following context?

Sharing the cycle with Elisabeth Leonskaja and Khatia Buniatishvili, among others, to Douglas has fallen the massive Hammerklavier and the Waldstein sonatas, as well as gems such as Op 90 and ...
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1answer
32 views

What does “the same” refer to in this quote from the Reactive Manifesto? [closed]

This is the first few lines of the Reactive Manifesto: Organisations working in disparate domains are independently discovering patterns for building software that look the same. These systems ...
2
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3answers
71 views

What is 'move it along' [closed]

One of the colleague has mentioned the following, We should be able to do it, but to move it along (My name), please do it at xyz. What should I infer from this statement?
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1answer
55 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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2answers
343 views

What is the meaning of “lie down and die”? [closed]

"If one still refused to lie down and die, he lost, or loosed, his temper. His temper was like a red dog, and he always had it close to hand." What is the meaning of "lie down and die"? Is it a ...
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3answers
1k views

What does this sentence mean?

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 ...
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3answers
6k 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 ...
3
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1answer
123 views

What grammar pattern is used here and what does it mean?

This excerpt is from The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. I can't figure out the italicized part. The excerpt follows: "But they take long enough to get well, don't they? ... There was my sister's ...
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2answers
415 views

Meaning of 'amp' in an emotional-distress context

What does 'amp' mean in this phrase? I am glad they cannot read these signs so they won't get sad&amp
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1answer
45 views

In any but the most vestigial and nostalgic way…?

Once again, here I am with a question raised by the highly unintelligable Hitchens... It can be equally useful and instructive to take a glimpse at the closing of religions, or religious movements. ...
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1answer
31 views

meaning of “with two-thirds of the voting rights, and a third of outstanding shares”

The merger plan must win approval from shareholders with two-thirds of the voting rights, and a third of outstanding shares in order to pass a shareholder meeting scheduled for July 17. I ...
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4answers
881 views

“Yeah, no, I agree” meaning

This is a passage in the movie The Social Network at 01:14:49: Mark says: "Yeah, that reminds me, we're gonna need more money, Wardo." Eduardo replies: "Yeah, no, I agree. More servers, more ...
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1answer
39 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?