This tag is for questions related to definitions and nuances of meaning of a word or phrase.

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2
votes
2answers
54 views

Doubt between two similar-looking simple sentences

I was just wondering what the difference is between these sentences: Instruments are to be machined... Instruments have to be machined... I would be highly glad if anyone helps by giving ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Is “over-babble” a common word usable in day-to-day conversation?

There was the following passage in New York Times (May 14) article under the title, “Wow, Jeb Bush is awful.”: "The bottom line is that so far he seems to be a terrible candidate. He couldn’t ...
-5
votes
1answer
72 views

Is appeal correctly said in this sentence? [closed]

Is appeal correctly said in this sentence "I have appeal equipment experience"? What is a better word I can use? PS: I really went with "broad experience" Thanks duskn
1
vote
2answers
72 views

What is the difference between “sip” and “drink” verbs? [closed]

Title says it all. What is the difference? As I understand - "to sip" means the same as "to drink" but slowly. Are there any other aspects for choosing between them?
0
votes
4answers
94 views

The Difference Between “I just love you” and “I love you” [closed]

What is the difference between "I 'just' love you" and "I love you"?
0
votes
2answers
45 views

“existing for itself”?

I have a question about the usage of for here. Can I replace it with by without changing the meaning? The full sentence is as follows: Yet we must here leave aside the explanation of the nature ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

“She left small pins in the shoes he wore to injure his feet” – is this ambiguous?

She left small pins in all the shoes he wore to injure his feet. I wrote this sentence and I thought it was fine. When I re-read it, the meaning became unclear to me. I want it to mean that she ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Flourishing as a standard

Just read that "Flourishing as a standard" is not a meaningful expression. However, I've found several usages of the expression in published books. Any idea on acceptance or rejection of its ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

What is the difference between “tithe” and “tenth”? [closed]

Is it correct to use the term tenth with the sense of tithe (payments to the church)? What are the differences between the two terms? Is the first one more generally while the second one is specific ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

shaVe, shaMe, shaPe, shaDe, shaKe, shaRe --> What am I doing here? Does it have a name?

When you only change one letter from the word and it makes a new word. Does this have a name? Thanks so much in advance! Also, I'm not sure if my question is 'language usage' related like in grammar ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

What does “blow out elements that are lighter” mean in the following context?

Our nearby star’s pressure and heat tends to melt ice that is close by and to blow out elements that are lighter
5
votes
4answers
266 views

Turn the world upside down

What does this expression really mean and where did it come from? I'm assuming that it means you are just hanging upside down. Maybe it means that your head is always hanging low and you are sad, ...
1
vote
4answers
56 views

Should I say “study materials” or “education materials” or “teaching material?”

I am building a web application where people can upload their study materials about robotics and programming and manage them and share etc. I want to name it well, so at the moment I have: ...
-2
votes
1answer
55 views

When adverbs like “sure” are used to mean the opposite of their typical meaning [closed]

Is there a term or phrase to describe the phenomenon in English where sometimes a statement is qualified with an adverb, which normally would make the claim stronger but native English speakers tend ...
-1
votes
1answer
27 views

“In” and “and” when describing a relation

I recently noticed this in various titles of things (books, articles, etc.): Language and the brain Technology and society These make sense and are grammatical, but why not use in in ...
1
vote
2answers
120 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: ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

What is an “aha”moment? [closed]

M-W dict listed it as : a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension. Could you please better describe aha moment with examples? Thanks,
2
votes
2answers
110 views

How to understand “If you don't do shit, you can't boo shit.” [closed]

"If you don't do shit, you can't boo shit." - Will.I.Am, Musician
1
vote
1answer
48 views

How do you reconcile these definitions of the word 'cynical'?

From the Google Search dictionary (similar definition at oxforddicationaries): 1.believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

English word for something that satisfies several constraints [closed]

So, is there an english word for this?
1
vote
3answers
95 views

Does “Pursue Impossible” Make Grammatical Sense?

My university recently pushed a campaign for their new rebrand, and their tagline is "Pursue Impossible". I have seen a few adjectives used as nouns before but all had a definite article in front. ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Interpretation of “need not”

What is the meaning of "need not" in the following sentence? The amount withdrawn need not be repaid. Does it always mean that it must not be repaid, or does it also extend to persons who may ...
0
votes
2answers
15 views

Use of nonetheless in the sentence?

Though somewhat less coherent than previous chapters and suffering from a minor rash of academic jargon,the final chapter of the book is nonetheless accessible to laypeople. what role is played ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Can we use “After” as “Then”? [closed]

I heard that it is okay to use the word "After" in the meaning of the word "Then". Is it true? For example: "After I will play tennis".
1
vote
1answer
35 views

How to say that the navigation is approximate?

I have an app that is an index for businesses, so the user can search for a business and navigate to that business. I have two types of coordinates to the business: Accurate coordinates, which ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

What is meant by “con a con”? [closed]

What is the meaning of "con a con" and how could you use it in writing? I would find examples useful.
1
vote
4answers
86 views

Is there a word for the person that's giving the promise?

For example, if I said, I promise I will do something. Is there a word for me? Promise giver? Is there a one word noun for this?
0
votes
2answers
50 views

What's the meaning of “for as little reason”, “the favorite suspects of persons who report ”suspicious characters" in the following text?

Don’t let stereotypes Warp Your Judgments by Robert L. Heilbroner Is a girl called Gloria apt to be better-looking than one called Bertha? Are criminals ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Shipping costs or shipment costs?

shipping costs or shipment costs? I want to know the correct form and the difference between them, if there is one. Thank you!
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Meaning of for in this poetry

The word for creates ambiguous ideas in my native language, so I really can't understand the main objective in this phrase: "Why does she sing her sad songs for me, I'm not the one" It is a verse of ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Does mistaken mean mis-taken as misunderstood means mis-understood? [closed]

Misunderstood pretty much means understood incorrectly-- by the same logic, would mistaken mean taken incorrectly?
0
votes
0answers
61 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Improving temper, good or bad?

If something improves your temper, does it do a good thing or a bad one? I mean, is improving temper good or bad?
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Differences between have to and need to

I try to grasp the difference between these 2 forms. So the question is whether these 3 cases have the exact same meaning. Why did he get up at 5 o'clock? He needn't have got up so early. He ...
-1
votes
3answers
101 views

Can “values” “approach”? / Is it not completely reasonable to search for a definition that is not provided, and to suggest a revision? [closed]

I'm having a difficult time finding the meaning for the words "as the value of the oscillator approaches", in relief of the definitions provided by certain dictionaries, in the following paragraph: ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

How to phrase a request so “no” means “yes”, and vice versa

How can I phrase a request so an answer of "no" actually accepts the request, and "yes" declines the request?
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Difference in meaning between 'might be able' and can

Here's the text: 1)I’m not free this evening, but I might be able meet you tomorrow. 2)I’m not free this evening, but I can meet you tomorrow. Is the meaning the same?
1
vote
1answer
29 views

How to understand “something agrees with someone”?

I was watching Friends S01E05. There is a piece of conversation i cannot understand very clearly - Monica Says,"Being dumped by you obviously agrees with her." Shouldn't it be "someone agree with ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

What word means several descriptive words? [closed]

I thought it was descriptor, but apparently that's not an actual word.
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Possible double negative sentence explanation

At nearly 450 pages, the novel is prolix : the author does not often resist the temptation to finish off a chapter, section, or even paragraph with some unnecessary flourish. Is the second ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

What is the difference (if any) between common interests and interests in common?

Is there any difference between "common interests" and "interests in common"? One can certainly ask: "Do you have any interests in common?" Can you also ask: "Do you, guys, have any ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Need best words for Buy and Sell [closed]

I need the most trendy and attractive words for buy and sell.
2
votes
1answer
32 views

New Strands of Research

What is the meaning of the phrase "new strands of research" in the following sentence: The last two decades have also seen the emergence of new strands of research on multilingualism which have ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

what does ranger redhead mean for Australians?

I heard this reference on the Bravo TV show "Watch What Happens : Live" when Andy was speaking to the Housewives of Melbourne. They were giving phrases to the guests that were things Australians say, ...
0
votes
4answers
58 views

is there a name for the concept of repetitive writing to improve handwriting?

When I was younger, some of the homework I had consisted in writing sentences several times to improve handwriting. In Spanish, I know this concept or action as "hacer planas". To give an idea. ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

What does it imply : “you better do the same”?

I am a volunteer in feeding homeless people in Melbourne, Australia. Workers in the kitchen wash the dishes in soapy water and then they don't pour water on it to clean rather wipe them (while a foam ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Single word for generic times of day [duplicate]

Is there a single word that refers to the type of word that the words dawn, morning, afternoon, evening, ect are? I'm looking for something more specific than 'time.'
6
votes
4answers
353 views

What is the precise difference between “wince” / “flinch” / “grimace”?

Initially I started looking for the difference between winching and flinching and came to no real answer, as some sites defined the terms as synonymous with shirking away, then other searches resulted ...
-2
votes
2answers
82 views

Why American use “I don't know” mostly [closed]

I've some american friends and in the answer of most of my questions that are quite important they answer me "i don't know..." Like when I ask: "Are you in love with her?" ans: "I don't know" ...
5
votes
2answers
77 views

How did the archaic 'villein' transform into villain?

The word villain, as described by Google, comes form the archaic word villein. Here is the definition of villein: villein ˈvɪlən,-eɪn noun (in medieval England) a feudal tenant entirely ...