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

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-1
votes
1answer
64 views

“The data misses a desired object” vs. “a desired object is being missed in the data” [closed]

Do the following two sentences have the same meaning? If the data misses a desired object, then information relevant to that object do not exist in the database. If a desired object is being ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

“Anyone knows that” vs. “everyone knows that”

The context is as follows. I say that X is true. The (dismissive) response I receive is "Anyone knows that". Is that a complete sentence? Yes, it is grammatical. Yes,it has some semblance of ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Meaning of “well you done done me and you bet I felt it”

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it— Jason Mraz, I'm Yours What does the first sentence from this song mean?
0
votes
5answers
4k views

“Is of the view that” vs. “is of a view that” [closed]

Is there any significant difference in the meanings of sentence 1 and sentence 2 below? Mr. Jones is of a view that the project is unnecessary. Mr. Jones is of the view that the project is ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Sidenote, side-note, Side Note or Side note [closed]

So I've thought of a name for something, but cannot decide on how I should write it. In School, I vaguely remember someone saying "when you want to say something as one word, when it's really two ...
0
votes
1answer
322 views

Interpreting a clause beginning with “It would happen that…” [closed]

I have come across the following clause in "The Corrections" by Franzen: It would happen that the First and Second Notices were underground somewhere. I am not sure how to interpret this ...
13
votes
4answers
101k views

Meaning of “reach out to somebody”

The dictionary explains this as: To show somebody that you are interested in them and/or want to help them The explanation indicates the subject of the sentence is the one that offers help, but ...
0
votes
3answers
12k views

'of yet' and 'as of yet'

Can ‘of yet’ be used with the same meaning of ‘as of yet’? For example: Most importantly, he’s found footprints of dinosaurs that we haven’t found bones of yet. Does this mean the same thing as ...
0
votes
2answers
287 views

When to prepose an auxiliary in a sentence?

I read this at Time.com, and it's in the second line of the third paragraph. And wouldn’t you know it, their theory proved to be both true and statistically meaningful. I suppose it means "And ...
8
votes
5answers
670 views

What is the word for “a series of two related works”?

Here dilogy is defined as "a series of two related works". I can't shake off the feeling that there is a more commonly used word for this. Is there? If yes, what is it?
1
vote
1answer
536 views

Meaning of “My high kicks are not done in a line!”

My high kicks are not done in a line! The above sentence appeared as a legend in a T-shirt I saw once. It accompanied the caricature of a soccer player warming up, but I didn't get the pun ...
2
votes
0answers
846 views

Shakespeare: “Asses are made to bear” [closed]

When Petruchio invites Katherine to sit on his lap, she replies, "Asses are made to bear, and so are you." (Taming of the Shrew Act II, Scene 1.) The denotation is clear, donkeys (Equus africanus ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Meaning of “crossing someone”

What’s the meaning of cross in this sentence: She had a very stern face and Harry’s first thought was that this was not someone to cross.
-2
votes
1answer
76 views

What's the meaning of the 'had'? [closed]

Is this word, ‘had’ could be implying two ways, one is ‘owned’, the other ‘made’? [example] Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die.
-1
votes
2answers
769 views

Acceptation of “acceptation”

What may be the meaning of the word acceptation for general English usage? The Merriam-Webster lists primary definition as "1: acceptance; especially : favorable reception or approval" and follows ...
2
votes
3answers
280 views

What does “You can’t lead an organization whose case officers must be impervious to blackmail” mean?

Time magazine (November 9) carries an article dealing with the reason why the CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus had to resign under the caption, “Resignation at the CIA: Why Petraeus had to go.” There ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the correct spelling and definition of a word (sp.) “enditement” [closed]

Whilst watching The Big Bang Theory (S04E11, ~06:45 in, where Howard and Stuart are talking in the Comic Book Store about Zack), I heard the following exchange: — Is that sarcasm? — No, it's an ...
3
votes
2answers
753 views

What is a “crypto-portrait”?

I have frequently seen the word crypto-portrait popping up in articles on Wikipedia and elsewhere, but I was not able to find a definition for it. Apparently there used to be an article on Wikipedia ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Are camp followers prostitutes?

My own understanding of the term camp followers was that it was synonymous with prostitutes who followed armies around plying their trade. However, according to Wikipedia: Camp-follower is a term ...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

Meaning of various valedictions or closing expressions

Related to, but I believe distinct from, the following questions: What does the "yours" in "yours sincerely" mean? What are some expressions that can be used to end an email? ...
3
votes
2answers
22k views

“to get to know someone” vs “to know someone”

I'd like to know what is the difference of each of these options: to get to know someone to know someone in the context of meeting someone for the first time, become friends, to know the ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Origin of “clip” in “clip around the ears”

"Clip" commonly refers to a device for holding things together. One dictionary says it's "of unknown origin, first occurring in the 15th century." In such phrases as "giving him a clip around the ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

What's the meaning of 'ever'? [closed]

What’s the meaning of ‘ever’ in this sentence? “Now, yer mum an’ dad were as good a witch an’ wizard as I ever knew.”
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

The meaning of ‘there is’ [closed]

I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard. In this sentence what’s the meaning of ‘there is’?
5
votes
6answers
9k views

“Hardly” vs. “barely”

I'm from Germany and in German both translate to the same word (kaum). I'd like to know the difference between these two words, hardly and barely.
-1
votes
1answer
503 views

Is 'their way' having the function of adverbial phrase?

It was a nice feeling, sitting there with Ron, eating their way through all Harry’s pasties, cakes, and candies (the sandwiches lay forgotten). In this sentence, what's the meaning of 'their ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

There isn't and there is no [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “There is no rule” vs. “there isn’t rule” If I'm not mistaken, both "There isn't a storm." and "There is no storm." have the same meaning. I understand that the first ...
4
votes
1answer
13k views

What's a cover note for a CV? [closed]

I sent my CV to get a job into one company. But they rejected it. The reason was: "Please do not send your CV without a cover note." English is not my native language and it is hard for me to ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Meaning of “Be Mr Late Better Than Late Mr”

Not long ago I found on the Internet a lot of different road signs from India. Here is one of them: It says: "Be Mr Late Better Than Late Mr". I can't understand the meaning of this phrase. I ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

“Button up” vs. “button down” [closed]

As it pertains to a dress shirt, which is the correct usage or do these terms have different meanings?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there the word, “Fortunity”? If there is, what does it mean?

I "think" I clearly heard the word, “Fortunity” in the following statement of the Wall Street Journal Report of this week (November 5th), introducing the unique service of Sanchez Delta Airline via ...
1
vote
3answers
11k views

What's the meaning of “all too often”, for example, in this sentence? [closed]

What does "all too often" mean in this sentence? A poorly designed distribution system can ruin the performance of any water-based system. All too often, people, including heating professionals, ...
7
votes
4answers
705 views

“Bury” — noun meaning?

I would swear that years back I saw a definition of the word bury and it contained a noun, not only a verb. If my memory serves me well, the noun meaning was associated with church. Today I cannot ...
-2
votes
2answers
399 views

“Bring the house down” [closed]

What is a group or person called who "brings the house down" or "can bring the house down"?
-1
votes
1answer
962 views

What does the phrase “for this purpose” mean? [closed]

I would like another phrase instead of "for that reason."
6
votes
2answers
133 views

Can the noun “sheen” denote the simple outward appearance of something?

When I visited Sweden, I noticed the Swedish cognate sken used to mean the simple outward appearance of something, (see http://tyda.se/forum?id=194961,) and this did not seem at all surprising to me, ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

“Aforementioned” vs. “aforesaid”

I'm writing a paper. In it, I have the following sentence. The ________ principle has two discrepancies. I am considering using either "aforementioned" or "aforesaid". How are the meaning of the ...
2
votes
2answers
452 views

You'll have to excuse me, my dear [closed]

Here is part of a story. I cannot understand some of it. Mama tried to remind them what Thanksgiving was really about, but every time she did, Papa would interrupt. "You'll have to excuse me, my ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Is Saturday night before or after Saturday? [closed]

People sometimes write something like "let's finish this work by Saturday night" or "let's meet on Saturday night". Which day and time do they mean? Is it short for tonight, and then it's on Saturday ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the meaning of boilerplate in programming?

I am not very clear about the word boilerplate when it comes to programming. How is it different to other similar terms such as template and prototype? I would appreciate some examples that clearly ...
1
vote
3answers
20k views

“Clause” vs. “phrase” vs. “sentence” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between a phrase and a clause? Can you give me an easy description of the differences in meaning between clause, phrase, and sentence?
1
vote
1answer
223 views

What adjective would you use for “unexpectedly delicious”? [closed]

As in the situation when you are expecting your food to be average, but it is really good. "Yummy" probably doesn't cover it. On the flip side, what adjective would describe food that is ...
0
votes
2answers
227 views

Why is “Sticky palm” a “Fear factor” to the progress of Gens and DNA, and “Sweat and tears” to the progress of Quantum mechanics theory?

This refers to a bit old archive from Financial Times Magazine titled “The ten things everyone should know about science”. The article provides explanations of the 10 key scientific concepts starting ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the differences among ‘Hurricane,’ ‘Super storm,’ and ‘Typhoon’?

In this morning’s (November 2nd) live-video report of New York Times, the caster asked a guest commentator if the tropical storm Sandy can be classified as a hurricane because there are many others ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Can a gunfight happen when only one person has a gun?

Dictionaries (M-W) commonly define a gunfight as an exchange of gunfire. However, the OED defines a gunfight as "a shooting affray". {paywall link} Several stories & film describe or depict a ...
26
votes
5answers
3k views

Term for a bullet hitting a bystander in a gunfight

What is the term for a bullet hitting a bystander in a gunfight? When it misses the intended target and hits a bystander.
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is “nonversation” a word?

Is there a word like "nonversation"? Do people use this word in daily life? Where can it be used?
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it okay to say “in their own terms”?

As far as I know, it is valid to say "they can produce music on their own terms" when you want to say that a group can produce music without having to answer to anybody but themselves. Is it also ...
3
votes
2answers
656 views

Over or under half price

If something normally cost £300 and someone is selling exactly the same item for £100, is this: over half price under half price Does it depend on context or is either correct? ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

“for the stakes were very high” meaning [closed]

I would need to understand the following: They tried very hard to mislead the interviewer, for the stakes were very high. What is the meaning of the second part of the sentence?