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
2k views

“Sit down” vs. “sit up”

When someone is lying down, you say sit up. When someone is standing in an upright position, you say sit down. What in the situation when you want to ask a very small kid to sit down to a chair, but ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

Not earlier than 15 minutes [closed]

Please arrive at the venue not earlier than 15 minutes before the commencement of the interview.
8
votes
3answers
463 views

Is there a term for a word that serves as its own antonym? [duplicate]

For example: "transparent" can mean both "obvious" and "hidden" "aught" can mean both "all" and "nothing" Is there a term for a word which has multiple definitions that are antonyms?
0
votes
3answers
934 views

How to understand “We have not been smoking”?

Given a sentence: We have not been smoking What is the exact meaning the speaker wants to express? One interpretation: We smoked an hour ago, but we stopped smoking after ten minutes, then ...
-5
votes
2answers
2k views

What does Pedantic mean when used as an adjective [closed]

According to Dictionary.com, Pedantic can mean ostentatious in one's learning Ostentatious means to show off , to attract attention. The way I interpret it is that one is so focused on ...
-1
votes
1answer
496 views

What are “these lines” referring to? [closed]

Here is the context: Later I move over and talk with Jack and Wylla. Jack is leaving to head an English department down in Boise, Idaho. His attitudes toward the department here seem guarded, but ...
0
votes
2answers
187 views

Is rephrased sentence for “subject to” correct?

I originally had "Changes which a Product shall be subject to as part of its life cycle", but felt that using "subject to" was bad form and rephrased the sentence as follows: Changes to which a ...
1
vote
1answer
690 views

Can someone provide an explanation regarding the etymology of the adjective “hell-bent?”

It's etymology is given as: hell-bent, 1835, U.S., originally slang, from hell + bent How do the the words "hell + bent," when taken together, form the definition "determined to achieve ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What does a phrase “such is life in the tropics” mean? [closed]

Recently I've read and article about one of Latin American countries. The author was explaining why the life there is easy in terms of natural resources: there is no winter, the people have fresh ...
3
votes
2answers
486 views

What does repetitive “#s” before “pushy, bossy, polarizing women and men” account for?

New York Times (May 17) reported Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times decided to fire its executive editor, Jill Abramson, under the headline, “Times publisher denies gender ...
2
votes
2answers
422 views

Is 'Success!' ever used as a spoken/written encouragement?

In many languages, such as French, and my beloved mother tongue Romanian, it is common to say 'Succes!' to someone as an encouragement, this being a replacement for 'Good luck' for those who do not ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Simple present or present perfect simple with “WHEN”?

From a native speaker's point of view, are these sentences both gramatically acceptable and equally common in spoken/written English? I'll call you when I get to the gym. I'll call you when I've got ...
-1
votes
1answer
668 views

What does this rapper mean by “swagger on super”?

In a song called "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea, she raps: "Swagger on super, I can't shop at no department" What does she mean by "swagger on super"? If you know this catchy hip hop already, please help me ...
1
vote
1answer
281 views

the Cobain estate tapped Morgen [closed]

Here is the sentence: Courtney Love and the Cobain estate tapped Morgen to make a film examining the life of the late Nirvana frontman, and the project has started to come together after five ...
-2
votes
1answer
37 views

How can we use “do” [closed]

If I have to write the same name many times like Ramesh Mishra Ramesh Mishra I can write it as Ramesh Mishra ----do------- Here, what is the meaning of do?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What does it mean to step up for something? [closed]

Here's an example sentence. Thanks for stepping up for my project.
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Does adverb placement change the meaning in the following phrase? [duplicate]

Is there a difference in meaning between "to positively resolve situations" and "to resolve situations positively." Sorry, I thought there was a difference in that the question asks if in the first ...
1
vote
2answers
571 views

Does this sentence have two different possible meanings?

I'm not a native English speaker and when I read the following sentence (which is taken from a roleplaying manual) I find it to be very confusing because of two possible meanings. Any "shaken" ...
0
votes
3answers
6k views

What are differences between “let”, “allow” and “permit”? [duplicate]

Dad doesn't let me watch that program. Can we use "allow" or "permit" instead of "let"? What are the differences in grammar? Which one is common use?
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votes
1answer
2k views

What are differences between “advice” and “advise”? [duplicate]

When we can use advice instead of advise? Can somebody help me?
5
votes
8answers
964 views

What is the difference between “fill” and “fill in”?

I am confused by fill and fill in. I checked online, and both forms are used in fill a hole fill in a hole So I am wondering is there any difference in meaning between them? If not, what's the ...
3
votes
4answers
28k views

What are the differences between “assumption” and “presumption”?

I was told the following: A presumption is something you think is true before you know any facts about the matter. An assumption is something you think is true when you miss information, but ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between “guide” and “guideline”

For example, the following is a guide for ... the following is a guideline for ... My understanding is that a guide is like "help" for something. While, a guideline is like a "rule" for something....
2
votes
2answers
746 views

Meaning of the idiom “here falls the shadow”

What does the expression "here falls the shadow" mean? The context is a list describing how to teach your kids to become entrepreneurs:  6. Teach the mental nexus. Here falls the shadow. ...
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votes
2answers
471 views

Help in language! [closed]

Which sentence is punctuated correctly? A)The brave, little boy rescued the forlorn kitten. B)We picked the ripe, juicy berries until our baskets were full. C)He recovered from his illness and went ...
3
votes
4answers
634 views

Analog vs Digital: Describing modes of note-taking

With regard to note-taking is it correct to call handwriting on paper the "analog" counterpart to digital "typing" on a computer?
0
votes
2answers
425 views

Accurate definition for poetic devices

Although I can recognize and construct phrases that include usage of poetic devices, I certainly cannot define all of them accurately. For example, I read in a book that metaphor is defined as ...
1
vote
2answers
223 views

Bull and Bear Arguments

What do list titles such as "bull arguments" and "bear arguments" mean? My guess is that they are arguments in favor / against a proposal that's being discussed.
1
vote
3answers
158 views

To goose takership [closed]

What does "to goose takership" mean? I can't seem to find any hints of that through mere googling. Even "takership" on its own is unclear to me. Sample context: I wouldn't read much into the ...
0
votes
2answers
338 views

Exact word when we throw a rope in english

What's the exact word for throwing a fish hook or a rope whose one end we are holding. Any help is appreciated.
1
vote
3answers
176 views

What's the meaning of “astrung”?

What is the meaning of astrung? I’ve read it from this passage from Of Human Bondage: She was terrified. She wanted him to reassure her; She looked at him pleadingly, not daring to ask for words ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

struck out the one time he was at bat - meaning [closed]

How did Timmy do yesterday? He struck out the one time he was at bat. Aw. That's too bad. I know. He did his darndest though. I can't understand that line I put in a bold-type font.
-3
votes
1answer
783 views

what does 'you may be subject to termination' mean [closed]

I am interpreting the meaning of a statement. You may be subject to termination. May be are the words that change it from a yes-or-no answer to one with variables. Am I correct?
-1
votes
1answer
85 views

I need a verb to replace “to know” in this sentence [closed]

This paper seeks to know if those who perpetuate rape are the only ones responsible.
3
votes
5answers
11k views

Difference between “larder” and “pantry”

What is the difference between larder and pantry? Is it size? Or content? I found very similar definitions for both terms, something like a room/place in which food is stored. Which of the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Which sentence is correct to say? [closed]

In a conversation, which of the two sentences below is grammatically correct? There was a party celebrating for my sister's marriage. There was a party which was being celebrated for my ...
-3
votes
1answer
213 views
0
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the difference between “sheer” and “pure” will(power)?

In English, we use the phrase "sheer force" much more often than "pure force" (Google Ngram). And willpower. What is the difference, in meaning and usage, between the two (and is there a reason for ...
5
votes
9answers
4k views

What is an antonym of improved/improvement?

Consider these sentences: "I improved my essay." "I made an improvement to my essay." "How much did you improve your essay?" "What improvements did you make to your essay?" What would I say, if I ...
-4
votes
3answers
196 views

Meaning of “popping” in “I've bought some corn for popping” [closed]

It doesn't show signs of stopping And I've bought some corn for popping The lights are turned way down low Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! What does "corn for popping" mean? What is he ...
2
votes
3answers
143 views

What is the core meaning of the verb “set” in Modern English?

What is the core meaning of the verb "set" in Modern English? I wrote "to put (something or someone) in a particular place" in my assignment, but the teacher said it was wrong.
-1
votes
1answer
166 views

“less than” - wrong understanding or mistake?

As English is not my mother tongue, I am not sure whether I really do not understand the text below or if there is a mistake with "<" and ">" (less than, more than). Shouldn't it say "...were ...
1
vote
4answers
357 views

Long word meaning “to purify the text in a literary work”

What is the long word that means "to purify (remove vulgarity) in the text of a literary work"? I have been thinking on it for a while - I used to know it - but forgot. There is only one word that ...
0
votes
3answers
198 views

Meaning of “and everyone, but everyone, was calling”

I recently took a year or so out to return to school. This is something I recommend for all sorts of reasons. One benefit is the new perspective you gain afterwards when you revisit a once-familiar ...
0
votes
2answers
208 views

What does “We should feel a ‘proxy regret’ for someone / something” mean?

I was drawn to the usage of the word, “proxy” in the following sentence of the article introducing the life and work of Vivian Maier (1926 -2009), a street photographer who took more than 150,000 ...
2
votes
2answers
681 views

The first forty years of life give us the text, the next thirty supply the commentary

What does the following sentence mean? The first forty years of life give us the text, the next thirty supply the commentary I can't see the link between the text and commentary.
6
votes
2answers
243 views

What does “crocuses” mean in referring to the midterm election?

There was the following sentence in the article of Time magazine (May 7) under the title of “5 things politicians must stop saying”: The midterm elections are coming in much the way of crocuses — ...
15
votes
8answers
22k views

What does “soft bigotry of low expectations” mean?

There was the following question from a reader and the answer by Charles Blow under the headline, “Your Questions, Answered” in the Opinion Page of May 7 New York Times. I invited you to ask me ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What does the word robo means? [closed]

I was looking at another StackExchange site and saw this phrase: Although it was ultimately accepted, the reviewers who accepted it look more like robo-reviewers than those who rejected it. ...
4
votes
3answers
9k views

Is there any difference between “word-for-word translation” and “word-by-word translation” and is the latter actually valid?

First off, some data: According to COCA word-for-word has 60 usages, 3 of them are "word-for-word translation". Word-by-word has 26 usages, none of them are "word-by-word translation" (but some with "...