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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3answers
31 views

Can you commemorate something new?

I mostly see the word "commemorate" used for people or events in the past. To me it makes most sense in the context of something historical, recurring or continuous. Can you also commemorate ...
-1
votes
2answers
53 views

Grammatical difference between: “should have more…” and “should eat some…”

I should have some/more fish. I should eat some/more vegetables. Are the verbs eat and have different in the two sentences considering the use of should?
1
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1answer
42 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “prospect for a residential tenant seeking office/retail accommodation plus storage”?

Based on the following description of a "shop + dwelling" (commercial milkbar with attached residential section) published in a rental advertisement would you say that it implies that the property is: ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

I'm wondering about the difference between “change into” and “change to” [migrated]

Could I get an answer to the question in the title? I can't figure out how to use it. Thank you. Edit to add an example I changed my hair from dark brown to blonde. The play changed the shy girl ...
1
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0answers
30 views

Usages of the word “hacky”

What does the word "hacky" means and what is the differences between the words "hack" and "hacky" For example: "I found a hacky solution" Is this means the solution is awful or means cheating but ...
1
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2answers
55 views

Assault on the ivory tower

In the following sentence from a programming book, what does the "launch one final assault on the ivory tower" mean (bolded by me)? I'll take a fairly opinionated view of what the role of an ...
0
votes
4answers
81 views

Are there advertent mistakes?

A source says this: There are two distinct forms of negligence: advertent (conscious) and inadvertent (unconscious). (From "The Distinction between Conscious Negligence and Recklessness" by ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Using a word to that makes something sound better than it is [closed]

What is the word that describes calling something by a banal title to disguise its true identity? Such as hamburger which is actually ground up, bloody cow flesh. Sounds nicer and doesn't remind ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

“Milk in first and Indian”—what does it mean?

Reading A Murder of Quality by John le Carré, I came across the following remark by Mrs. Hecht, a detestable upper-class Englishwoman (emphasis mine): "Though, of course, the Midlands are ...
0
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1answer
43 views

How did the differences between the meanings of priceless and worthless come to be?

The two have opposite meanings yet the prefixes are almost synonyms.
5
votes
3answers
80 views

Can a concerted effort be made by one person?

I believe that, in the same way as a concert is a performance of a group (if it's a soloist, then it's a recital), a concerted effort is also a collective business. But I'm not quite sure. Maybe, when ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Slang meaning of “pod”

From Seinfeld, season 2 episode 5 ("The Apartment"): JERRY: Let me explain something to you.. You see, you're not normal. You're a great guy, I love you, but you're a pod. I, on the other ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Exact meaning of “rubbing the sleep from her eyes”

Searching Google for sleep results in the following definition, among others: 2. a gummy or gritty secretion found in the corners of the eyes after sleep. "she sat up, rubbing the ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

“Operate” on fossil fuels vs “Run” on fossil fules [closed]

Example sentence: Since our obsolete power stations still run on fossil fuels, they emit substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. Would it be more formal, if it is changed into the following ...
-1
votes
2answers
58 views

Present participle phrase with negative auxiliary [closed]

So I was writing as any other usual days. And I encountered a problem. He does not lose his temper, being driven by his emotions. Well, after I wrote this, I could see that it was not what I ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Adele : There's such a difference between us and a million miles [closed]

What the song writer was trying to say by a million miles? Hello, it's me I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet To go over everything They say that time's supposed to heal ...
4
votes
6answers
222 views

Nuances of comparable

English is not my native language and I am unsure of the nuances of the word "comparable". In the sentence: It is not expected that the power-effectiveness will equal the effectiveness of ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Adjective vs Past Participle(used as an adjective) derived from the same word

I have a quick question: what's the difference between these two noun + adjective forms. The ripe apple. The ripened apple. From my understanding, use of past participle as an adjective ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

Clarify an idiom [duplicate]

Please carefully read the text below: On 24 November, 1993, a meeting of Leftist intellectuals occurred in London under the auspices of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), which is a ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

What can the word “sortieing” mean?

What does the phrase "sortieing with your squad for work" mean? I suppose that must be either slang or metaphore since the word "sortieing" has military meanings.
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Clarify an idiom in a political text

Please carefully read the text below: On 24 November, 1993, a meeting of Leftist intellectuals occurred in London under the auspices of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), which ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

Soy's medical efficiency - don't get the meaning of the paragraph as a whole

"Mark Messina's book The Simple Soybean and Your Health exudes recognition much less unrestrained in the description of the soy's medical efficiency than its versatility, but the author cautions ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Vision Problem vs Visual Problem

I have a problem with those 2 words. What is the difference between the vision problem and visual problem? Or Do they mean the same? I Googled both terms, but the search results are pretty much the ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

What is the meaning of “from overwhelm to whelm”.

Kindly exlpain the phrase "from overwhelm to whelm" from the following sentence. "In future we'll have new services to help us bring that universe from overwhelm to whelm". ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

What's the meaning of 'flying black flags' in the sentence?

After nearly 3,000 coalition airstrikes, the days of freely moving around in large formations, flying black flags and taking territory may be over for the group. [Source: CNN.Com] What's the ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

“It was a litany of gratitude to put an Oscar-winner to shame.”

What is the meaning of the above sentence? It was used in "Life after Noynoy," an article appearing in the August 1, 2015, issue of The Economist. Extract: IT WAS a litany of gratitude to put ...
2
votes
1answer
26 views

what do “for a time” and “backtrack” mean in this specific sentence

In a paper of Scientific American, there is a sentence as follows Einstein understood early on that they [the gravitational waves] were implied by his theory but for a time backtracked from his ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Is there another way to refer to the “proximal interphalangeal joints”?

I'm trying to describe a character making a certain motion, sitting at a desk and resting his head on his hand, basically. But, instead of the face resting in an open palm, I'm imagining the hand ...
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0answers
30 views

What is the difference between a 'heading' and a 'bearing'? [duplicate]

Please tell me how a 'heading' and a 'bearing' differ. (I need the information for a project.)
5
votes
2answers
66 views

What is the difference between “irreligious” and “non-religious”?

Irreligious (Dictionary.com 1st definition) not religious; not practicing a religion and feeling no religious impulses or emotions. Non-religious (Google definition) not relating to or ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

which is more correct? “of my own age” or “of my same age”

I really faced that problem a lot. So, I want to end these frustrations and make it clear for me in order to improve my English Thanks in advance.
1
vote
2answers
25 views

What's the meaning of “offhand” in this dialogue?

“Obi-Wan!” he shouted to his companion, who wheeled toward him at once. “Destroyer droids!” The younger Jedi nodded, smiling. “Offhand, I’d say this mission is past the negotiation stage.” ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

What does “a bit unfortunate” mean?

I'm translating dialog with "bit unfortunate" phrase: Sasha:"It's a bit unfortunate about Antony's final take." (final take corresponds to final record in sound-recording studio. He had a lot ...
1
vote
3answers
143 views

what do you call it when an idea has so much potential it crosses over into social consciousness? [closed]

What do you call it when an idea has so much potential it crosses over into social consciousness? Thank you in advance.
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Commute a sentence? To where? [closed]

A petition to pardon "Making a Murderer" subject Steven Avery made news recently when it was responded to by the White House's We the People team. I became interested by the response when I read ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Meaning of “thank you for nothing” [closed]

What is the meaning or nuance of "thank you for nothing" as a reply to another's choice?
2
votes
2answers
43 views

How should I understand 'an alarming new normal' based on given context?

"One particular challenge with lone wolves(terrorists who are inspired by ISIS, but not directly connected with the terrorist group) is that they are harder to detect. If there is no initial ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

The meaning of “not without some merit”

I read it in an article and I don't understand the meaning of it. "not without some merit". From the context I guess the meaning is: there is some sense in it. However I don't find in the dictionary ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Is “willingness” dependent upon desire?

For instance can I be willing to do something even if I don't want to do it? If I'm willing but not exactly "eager", can I still claim "willingness" or is it just compliance? Is desire a ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

What does “like a [expletive] wazoo” mean? [closed]

I was video-documenting on my cellphone like a goddamn wazoo. What does wazoo mean in that sentence? I googled it, and the results seemed to indicate wazoo means ass. Is that what it means in the ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

“When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.” — What does it mean?

"When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry." I can't understand what this quotation means. Can anyone help me understand its meaning?
1
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0answers
41 views

What is difference between doing dance and dancing? [closed]

What is difference between doing dance and dancing? Or both are same?
2
votes
1answer
100 views

What does “easy-going” mean?

I am a non-native English learner. And when I was looking up the word easy-going in dictionaries, the explanations really confused me. Is the word easy-going positive or negative? Some dictionaries ...
2
votes
3answers
150 views

In Rudyard Kipling's poem, “if”, what do “unforgiving minute” and “worth of distance run” mean?

The full-length poem is here. I love this poem and know it by heart, but I don't fully understand the following verse: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

What is “the layers of experience” ? I'm confused about this phrase

Can anybody help me to describe "the layers of experience" in the context below. The author was talking about the similarity between the early human and the modern human. i'm very confused about the ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is the sentence grammer correct? “During the meeting that … , I had …”? [closed]

"During the meeting that Dr. Edward Smith coordinated last month, I had the chance to meet with you and hear the possible projects ..." English is my second language, and I usually feel that my ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Why is “now and then” used to mean the opposite of its logical meaning?

Why and when did the expression "now and then" come to mean sometimes or occasionally? Logically it means just the opposite! "Now" and "then" means "presently" and "in the past", the future will soon ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Hurting your feewings

What does the word "feewing" mean? I heard it in an animation, "Zootopia". At first I thought it was feeling, but it turned out I was wrong and the word is "feewing". Is it an English word?! Is it ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

What's the accuracy of these sentences? [closed]

Could you guys tell me if these sentences are ok? 1) I graduated, in 2014, as a Industrial Designer; 2) This area of work brings me to achieve, every day, technical and mental skills improvements. I ...