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

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2
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3answers
175 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
139 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
2answers
56 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
75 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
71 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
74 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
votes
1answer
36 views

Some questions about the usage and meaning of the word “off”

These are two sentences from A Game of Thrones: Somewhere off in the wood a wolf howled. Is this "off" a preposition? What does it mean? I think it is okay in grammar if I just say "somewhere ...
0
votes
1answer
27 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?
0
votes
1answer
25 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Meaning of “Her eyes opened, her mother’s blue”?

This passage is from "Should Wizard Hit Mommy?" by John Updike. What does the the italicized sentence refer to? The little girl (not so little any more; the bumps her feet made under the covers ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

Meaning of ‘draw out’

I’m translating an English novel into Italian but I’m stuck on the meaning of one sentence and I was wondering if you could help me: Why—his voice seemed to draw out soft and subtle, it penetrated ...
-1
votes
1answer
15 views

Difference between laxity and lethargy?

I know their respective meanings but somehow I associate lethargy in a negative sense (as in a disease or something). Are they completely interchangble or do they have any specific usercases?
-1
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

Ambiguious anaphora in a speech

On October 31, 2014, President Obama spoke on the topic of women and the economy. Here's a section of the speech. Moms and dads deserve a great place to drop their kids off every day that ...
-1
votes
1answer
63 views

What verb goes with “mood” in the context of a polite social inquiry?

How would I best ask someone to share their mood with me? It needs to be snappy and easily understood. For example, given these three choices of verb: share your mood express your mood convey your ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

What does “part of a settlement” mean here?

Locke tends to get linked up with rebels...He is a part of the settlement. (heard from an English professor) He was talking about John Locke's life. How to understand "he is part of the ...
-2
votes
1answer
231 views

Do I understand this 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
votes
1answer
132 views

How would you interpret this statement?

How would you interpret this statement? It was posted on a social media site. I am looking for impressions of how other readers would interpret the sentences in context to why it would appeal to the ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Way to stick it to

I am watching American comedy, Weird Loners. Mr A is on the phone and talking with headhunter. Mr. A: Jerry (headhunter), come on. I love the salary but these benefits are crap. You call me back ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

We have also assigned you, and every two or more of you

In the block quote below, I bolded everything excerpted from Etymonline for 'quorum {noun}'. Everything else (ie the annotations) originates from: p 469 , The Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer, ...
0
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0answers
42 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?
0
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0answers
12 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 ...
0
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0answers
36 views

Midnight at the Halls or Midnight in the Halls

I was writing a title for an article and I was curious which version of the title would be more grammatically proper: "Midnight at the Halls" or "Midnight in the Halls" It's trying express the fact ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

Is it possible to 'claim' a concession?

Underlying most OED definitions of the word claim, both noun and verb, is some notion of right or entitlement. ( An exception arises in the case of meaning 2c - the loosely used he claimed to be ...
0
votes
0answers
112 views

What are the differences between “pass a message and ”forward a message"

Claudia (my former school teacher) is hired as a professor in Department X of a university. Claudia speaks English. I dialed her office number but again was redirected to the enquiry center of that ...
0
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0answers
35 views

What does “track each other” mean in the following context?

Here is the full paragraph : You might ask, if gain controls the proportion of color at all IRE levels, why do I need to make a whole series of measurements, wouldn't just one do? The answer is ...
0
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0answers
28 views

Why did he say “Abe is to blame for Yukawa's death.”?

I am reading this news http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/24/world/isis-japan-hostages/index.html Played over Saturday's picture, the voice of a person claiming to be Goto says in English that Abe is ...
0
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0answers
46 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 ...
0
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0answers
86 views

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

A rocket launched and shortly 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 thwarted by a ...
0
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0answers
57 views

1610 Meaning of 'occasion'

Source: Journals of the House of Lords (1610) That whereas the House of Commons have already, among their Grievances, preferred a Petition to His Majesty, as of Right and Justice, That the Four ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Referral Campaigns or Your Referral Schemes

I have a referral program which comprises of 50% UK users and 50% US users. Taking into account location, what would be the most appropriate title to use... Your Referral Campaigns Or Your ...
0
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0answers
78 views

The meaning of “Alexis” in Pope's Second Pastoral

"Alexis" comes from Greek, meaning "to help, defend." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_(given_name) Alexander Pope seems to use it in a different sense. His Second Pastoral is entitled Summer ...
-4
votes
0answers
58 views

meaning of “Better Thanksgiving than never”?

"Better Thanksgiving than never." I heard this expression first around 3:27 at the front part of the Gossip girl season 1 episode 09. How about the expression? Isn't there any problem to ...