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

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1
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4answers
311 views

How high is “probability” in terms of likelihood as compared with “possibility”?

There is the following famous line in the book, “Life Lessons” co-authored by Elisabeth Kuble-Ross, an expert on death and dying and her colleague, David Kessler, “We all live with the possibility ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

meaning of “mask out” in screen printing

I'm having a hard time translating a passage about screen printing. For screen prints, mesh (originally silk) is stretched tautly across a frame. An image is glued or otherwise affixed onto the ...
-2
votes
0answers
29 views

When to use –ing form and ed -form? [migrated]

I have read a manual. One of its sentences is "These are the basic symbols used generally". I don't really understand the difference between "These are the basic symbols used generally." and "These ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What does the “it” replace in this passage from a Murakami short story?

I would like some help with what the word it in the paragraph below (with emphasis added; the word is not emphasized in this way in the original). Does it refer to the TV or the antenna outlet? The ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Can the adjective “sexist” be replaced by “chauvinistic” in this context?

Can chauvinistic denote the same meaning as sexist in this sentence? The nature of these rituals generates a sexist mentality among the new members.
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Is the sentence ambiguous in “it had seemed like” part?

"she told me she was sorry, that there had been a special offer on sunbeds, and it had seemed like the right thing to say at the time" To whom had it seemed like the right thing? The speaker, or the ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What “order in advance” means?

I am buying somethings from one site and I aways see this phase: "Order in Advance". Order in advance for your specific needs! This mean that I need to order (or buy) a lot of things to have my ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

“while it is likely” sentence meaning

Please help me with the meaning of this sentence: While it is likely that fewer varieties of plant seeds have reached Hawaii externally than internally, more varieties are known to be adapted ...
0
votes
4answers
190 views

Name for something that is being advertised

What would be the correct term for a thing that is being advertised? I am looking for something less generic than Product but can still be used across different business domains (so not something ...
-1
votes
2answers
57 views

Can “for” work as “compared to”?

Human capital is vastly increased Crowdsourcing brings people together to solve problems. Yet far fewer than one per cent of the world’s population is involved. We need expand human capital. ...
103
votes
19answers
21k views

Is “women men girls love meet die” a valid sentence?

Is "women men girls love meet die" a valid sentence? If so, what does it mean? The sentence shows up in academic papers about the "Sausage Machine" for natural language processing. (A google will ...
0
votes
0answers
39 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?
1
vote
0answers
59 views

What's the meaning of “I+verb+not+object1+the less, but+object2+more”?

What's the meaning of: I verb not object 1 the less, but object 2 more. Example: I love not man the less, but Nature more.. I've searched Google about the meaning of it, but unfortunately ...
4
votes
3answers
124 views

What does “in the name of…” actually mean?

Whats the meaning of the phrase; "In the name of"? For example : whatever you ask in my name, Ask in my name. Oxford actually has an entry for the phrase, but it doesn't seem to match how it's used ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

meaning of phrase “what the Meno wrought”

I am trying to read The Mind's New Science: A History of the Cognitive Revolution by Howard Gardner. The title of chapter 1 is "Introduction: What the Meno Wrought". I don't understand what the ...
1
vote
4answers
127 views

What's the meaning of 'What do I care?' [closed]

I guess that expression is used when someone is talking about something that he/she doesn't want to care about, I mean, 'Why do I have to care about? I don't want.' Is my guess correct?
3
votes
4answers
77 views

Is there a word meaning “easy to misidentify”?

It seems like there is a word for this, and the sense is not exactly "hard to identify" but specifically "easy to misidentify". If no such word exists, a word for "hard to identify" could suffice.
-5
votes
0answers
45 views

What is the meaning of “ per se ”? [duplicate]

Can some one tell me the meaning of "per se" with some examples?? I have looked up this work in the Internet. I found the meaning to be " by itself". But I still don't seem to get the use of per se . ...
-3
votes
2answers
96 views

“I like that one better?”

Can someone please help me with this phrase. My wife and I disagree (and I am very likely wrong) on how the phrase "I like that one better" should be interpreted. To me it sounds like you are saying ...
4
votes
2answers
125 views

Pronoun reference & other enigmas in a poem by H. D. Thoreau

I'm trying to understand an excerpt from a poem — "Inspiration", by Henry David Thoreau (see below) — but there are two bits I can't quite get. The first confusing part is the verse "and in my day ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

From where I was sitting … talk out of school … getting pretty chummy with the money [closed]

From the film Bad Teacher 2011: Amy Squirrel: Umm...I happened to be pedalling past the 7th Grade car wash this Saturday. Wally: Kill it! Can we talk about this later? Amy Squirrel: Later ...
5
votes
2answers
60 views

Difference between defray, sponsor, and fund?

What is the difference between defray, sponsor, and fund (all verbs)? For me, they are interchangeable: Oxford Dictionary: Defray: Provide money to pay (a cost or expense) The proceeds ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

subject to a difference in degree

What are these characteristics which are common, subject to a difference in degree, to all modern capitalism and to Fascism? Could you please explain to me the exact meaning of the phrase in ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

What claims are there on the word 'ale' other than for 'cask-brewed real ale'?

The word ale has followed a movable pattern over the centuries, as the following extract from the OED will illustrate. The enduring characteristic of the word is that it has been employed in ...
0
votes
2answers
32 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
4answers
130 views

Single word meaning “containers used to transfer”?

I have a sentence of the form: "Y can be viewed as containers used to transfer X", where X in my case is genetic information. It feels like this sentence could be simplified to something like "Y can ...
-3
votes
1answer
61 views

Origin of the word “Thesaurus” [closed]

Thesaurus (Treasure) Origin from old Greek or Albanian language -> Thesari(in Albanian) - Treasure (in English). The word Thesari was build from two words in Albanian; Thes(in Alb)- Bag, + Ari or ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Meaning of 'under strict embargo' [closed]

In a press release draft, I came across the phrase 'under strict embargo'. Here is the complete text: "UNDER STRICT EMBARGO UNTIL MAY 17, 2015" What does the phrase mean in the given context?
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Definition of “get a lot of mileage by”

I came across the expression "get a lot of mileage by..." in a book on creative writing. Here is the quote: (on a method the author is suggesting which is to say or write nonsensical things) ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

What does the semicolon in the dictionary definition of a word mean?

Many dictionaries use a semicolon in a meaning for a word. For instance for the word impertinent I have seen: "outside the bounds of proper speech or behaviour; impudent; insolent; saucy" Then ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

“Do not rely” on something, does rely focus on never using “something”?

So, I was talking with a friend of mine a little while back about what "relying" on something means. His take was that to "rely" on something was to completely depend on the "something", as in only ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Front wheels toed in at the top, king-pin wear

This paragraph has a coupled of things I don't understand: A large number of native-owned cars have their front wheels toed in at the top. This is apparently king-pin wear, since their owners ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What do You Call Two Siblings That Are Born on The Same Day, But Different Years? [duplicate]

My brother and I were both born on March 18, but he was born in 2000, and I was born in 2002. What do you call that?
0
votes
1answer
147 views

Difference between Co-curricular activities and Extra-curricular activities and Hobby [closed]

What is the difference between these fields in a resume primarily Co-curricular activities and Extra-curricular activities ; Extra-curricular activities and Hobby. I wan to know The meaning and usage ...
-4
votes
1answer
39 views

What do “the Dude sporting” and “PR dream come true” mean? [closed]

What does this sentence exactly mean? The image of the Dude sporting both a Rolex and the Berlin Philharmonic is a PR dream-come-true.
0
votes
3answers
140 views

A nice way of saying 'decline' in a job rejection letter [closed]

Dear Mr.Nameless, Thank you for considering me for the position of [position] at [company]. I appreciate the time spent for me. Your organization’s vision and mission resonates with my ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Phrasing that suggests one instance of an event is on a given topic

A colleague of mine is preparing certificates for participants in a two-week educational program. Just to be safe, I'll use fake details which are hopefully equivalent to the real ones: let's say this ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Difference - Cognition and Recognition [closed]

What is the exact difference between the two?
0
votes
1answer
31 views

difference in meaning depending on placement of “already” [duplicate]

Maybe the bus already left. Maybe the bus has already left. Maybe the bus has left already. I am not a native speaker so don't know if there is any difference among those three sentences, not ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Differences between “atomic bomb” and “nuclear weapon”

What differences are there between "atomic bomb" and "nuclear weapon"? Is "atomic" only used when using talking about nuclear fission, whereas "nuclear" can mean either fission or fusion, as claimed ...
4
votes
0answers
108 views

What is 'man flu'? [closed]

I had been under the apparent misapprehension that the term man flu was used to distinguish it from bird flu or swine flu etc. But according to Wikipedia this is how it is described. Man flu is ...
2
votes
5answers
153 views

Word to describe “something that makes sense in your own head”?

I’m looking for a word — I’m sure I read it somewhere, but it’s not commonly used — which describes the situation where a theory (or something similar) makes sense in your own head but not to others. ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Vocabulary advice for non native English speaker [closed]

I am not native speaker & aiming to work as Software Engineer by the end of this year. To work as engineer in addition to other skills one needs communication skills. I do have problem with this ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

What is the meaning of “rake in the bucks”?

I've read the phrase in a post by Joel Spolsky: You should be starting to get some ideas about how to break the chicken and egg problem: provide a backwards compatibility mode which either ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Should “unmeasurable” be used to describe missing data due to obstacles in obtaining measurements?

I am seeing the term "unmeasurable" used occasionally to describe measurements that could not be taken due to unusual circumstances. For example, audio qualities might not be measurable if there is a ...
2
votes
3answers
67 views

Meaning of the phrasal verb “divert from”

In this sentence here, do you think diverted from means distracted from or change of course? The second option doesn't seem to make much sense, though. “When the imperial mantle finally falls on ...
29
votes
14answers
8k views

What is it called when something appears so obvious, no one expects it?

I honestly can not think of any examples that cannot be countered. Perhaps something like if a person brought a weapon out in the open to an airport - no one actually thinks it would be a weapon ...
20
votes
9answers
4k views

Exact meaning of the Gandalf quote, “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”?

What is the exact meaning of following quote (it belongs to Gandalf the Grey): He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom. I have a problem especially with ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Epicure, gourmet distinction [closed]

Anticipating a delicious meal shortly, we have found ourselves in rival camps of gourmets and epicures. My OED searching suggests these are, essentially, the same. Do you agree ? OED entry for ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Meaning of “Are you gonna be happy.”

If you like space in the attic, are you gonna be happy. This is a line from the Simpsons Season 15 Episode 1. Marge said the sentence as she gave Bart and Milhouse a box full of old comic books, ...