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

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0
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0answers
9 views

Is “to wear” also used as an “active verb” meaning “to don”, “to put on”?

My intuition was that the verb to wear could be used in two ways (besides all its other senses that is.) A "stative" sense related to the state of having clothes (etc) on. An "active" sense related ...
0
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1answer
26 views

Definition of proletariat

What is the definition of a proletariat. The dictionary tells me any working person, but in the roman empire it was a lower class citizen. Can middle class be considered proletariat?
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0answers
8 views

The meaning of “Alexis” in Pope's Second Pastoral

"Alexis" comes from Greek, meaning "to help, defend." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_(given_name) Alexander Pope seems to use it in a different sense. His Second Pastoral is entitled Summer ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Can I have more than one beloved?

Certainly, I can have many relationships that I describe as beloved (adj). "These are my beloved children." But, according to common understanding, can I have more than one beloved (noun)? If I ...
16
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4answers
2k views

What does “bupke” mean?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker's (August 27) article titled, “A scandal at the C.I.A. May be.” : In January I (David Shafer, novelist) filed a Freedom of Information Act request ...
27
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6answers
4k views

What is the difference between Ukraine and the Ukraine?

Time magazine (March 5th) carries the article titled, “Ukraine, not the Ukraine: The significance of three little letters,” in which the following comment of William Taylor, who served as the U.S. ...
0
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2answers
121 views

find something gone or find something has gone

Are both of them right? Next morning when you wake up, you find your kidney has gone. Next morning when you wake up, you find your kidney gone. If they are all right, what's the difference?
0
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3answers
51 views

“For the time being” vs. “in the mean time”

I am confused when to use "For the time being" and when to use "In the mean time". Are they interchangeable. Can you please explain with some examples?
1
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2answers
226 views

What is the difference between “cosmos”, “world”, “universe”?

Are these words different in meaning: cosmos, world, universe? Does world mean just the Earth and not other planets?
1
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1answer
37 views

Does “quite sorry” sound common to you?

Phrases like "so sorry", "very sorry" are commonly seen, but "quite sorry" sounds odd to me. At first I thought it might be because "quite" doesn't usually go with words representing negative ...
8
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2answers
261 views

“From a fourth-pair window”: what is fourth-pair?

The first section of William Henley's poem "Notes on the Firth" (1875) is named "From a fourth-pair window". What is (а?) fourth-pair, I wonder? A horse-driven carriage of some kind? Or is it an ...
0
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1answer
23 views

can we say 'a pain' ? or 'a piece of pain'?

Here what I'm talking about is 'pain' as a noun, describing something that makes you uncomfortable either physically or mentally. As far as I know, it is countable when describing physical hurts. ...
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0answers
34 views

I want to know the meaning of the sentence give in the paragraph [on hold]

When I was reading a novel "Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl", I came across this paragraph: Mrs. Van Daan turned round and began to reel off a lot of harsh German, common, and ill-mannered, ...
2
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4answers
2k views

What construction does ‘A wise man is never less alone than when alone’ have?

I think this proverb roughly means that a wise man isn’t lonely even if he is without company. However, when considering its construction, my understanding is starting to get shaky. Let me explain ...
0
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0answers
48 views

Is this ok: “A full option car has several different styles. One of these is air conditioning.” [on hold]

Is this grammatically correct? A full option car has several different styles. One of these is air conditioning. I had a test and the two sentences above were in a “find the mistake” question. I ...
1
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4answers
53 views

Injective / injectional: mode of operation of a pump

What is the best matching word for the mode of operation of a pump doing injections into a pipe system? By "injections", individual short feedings with no (temporal or other) relation to each other ...
2
votes
4answers
158 views

I’ve an Italian degree in “engineering informatics”, so I am a what?

I studied Engineering Informatics in Italy, and I always have difficulty when trying to define my title (in several contexts, e.g. In my researchgate account, as well as in the subscription form to ...
0
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0answers
32 views

“Do you want” vs “Do you not want”

I recently came across a funny picture with these questions: Do you want som drugs? No Do you not want some drugs? Presumably the answear is supposed to be "no" since you always say no to drugs, ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Using the word 'option' meaning 'a variable', not 'an alternative'

There are two meanings of the word 'option', that I have encountered: A variable that takes one of the multiple possible values. (e.g. "You should set the resolution option to 'default'") An ...
1
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1answer
22 views

Do “resolution” and “definition” differ? If so, how?

Particularly in the context of the usage of "high definition" and "resolution", as in quality of digital sound, picture, and/or video. My question is spurred by my description of and under an image, ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Sometimes what you are most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free

I had been searching for the context of "Sometimes what you are most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free" ... What does it exactly mean?
0
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1answer
34 views

Can we use “workaround to this” instead of “solution to this”?

While searching for the meaning I got this. Wordkaround - a method for overcoming a problem or limitation in a program or system. Which means almost the same as "solution". So, can we use ...
2
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1answer
51 views

The meaning of 'a black plunge of'

I can't catch the meaning of this sentence: 'I had a black plunge of shame.' Here is the passage from "The Magus" by John Fowles: Someone had knocked on the door. I was staring at a wall. I was in ...
2
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2answers
33 views

“Inter-”, “multi-”, “cross-”, “trans-” in relation to disciplines

In academia the words inter-discipline, multi-discipline, trans-discipline, or cross-discipline are used to describe a type of combination between different disciplines or the uniqueness of a field. ...
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5answers
1k views

What does “What are you into?” mean?

I personally don't use this question in spoken language but I usually see it in written language. I also frequently see that when someone asks this question, it elicits in turn the question "What do ...
0
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1answer
16 views

Entice and Persuade

Could someone provide insight into the following difference between entice and persuade
0
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3answers
51 views

Is “willfully disingenuous” a tautologism?

It seems to me that definitions of disingenuous such as the following might imply willfulness: adjective lacking in frankness, candour, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; ...
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3answers
5k views

What is the exact meaning of the “oh so <adjective>” idiom?

I routinely find this expression in newspaper, magazines, blogs... My guess is that it's used to report a widely shared opinion, but I couldn't find any confirmation of this. Or maybe it's just used ...
2
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2answers
62 views

What is a proper word for time slowing down

I've been trying to figure our a proper single word for the phenomenon of time slowing down . Is there any such word ?
1
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0answers
26 views

“With regard to” vs. “with regards to” vs. “in regards to” [on hold]

I found the following usage notes in the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary (emphasis mine): The phrases as regards, in regard to, and with regard to are standard and occur in all ...
0
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1answer
282 views

What’s the difference between “in” and “at” when used before a Location/Site/Country/County etc

We always were told that you could use the word in before a place which is a large space e.g. country/city etc. Whereas, before a smaller site or place you should use at. But actually I don’t know ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

what does over-ridden means?

I got a email from my lecturer saying You have over-ridden the design document with a progress report. What does this mean?? Cheers for your help.
12
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5answers
5k views

Never fail to disappoint

When you say "he doesn't fail to disappoint", to me it has a negative meaning as in he always disappoints. But I've heard some people using it as a compliment and in a positive way. So, am I wrong ...
1
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1answer
40 views

“Syndicate something to boot” Definition [on hold]

What is the meaning of the bolded part? Fewer people seek critical opinion, especially when they’ve been bludgeoned by aggressive (and effective, as it turns out) viral marketing campaigns that ...
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2answers
32 views

“Short of” meaning in “means of finding an audience short of landing a job as a critic.”

what does the bolded part means? An established New York critic admitted to me a certain amount of bitter envy, for when he was coming up in the ranks, there were no outlets in which to express ...
3
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7answers
2k views

Do “asymmetric” and “dissymmetric” have different meaning?

I get that usually a- (or un-) and di- prefixes mean different things, e.g. uninterested and disinterested. However, both asymmetric and dissymmetric refer to the lack of symmetry (which the NOAD ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Meaning of “niche” in “he knows the niches of this or that genre”

He knows the niches of this or that genre. Which meaning is intended here? He is a master at every genre and knows everything about them. He has a shallow knowledge about every genre.
1
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1answer
37 views

What does “to be of service” means? [on hold]

I recently saw the following sentence: One is glad to be of service Could anyone please describe what does that means?
1
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3answers
67 views

Is the phrase “awaiting customer” bad English?

In customer support software, issue tracking systems and the like, I frequently see a state titled awaiting customer to signify no action is required until the person (customer) who raised the issue ...
1
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2answers
21 views

Hype-driven Definition

What does "hype-driven" means in this paragraph? There have been a few examples of Internet criticism making an impact on American film culture. It’s aided the rise of South Korean cinema and ...
0
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1answer
41 views

What's a “political landscape”? [on hold]

What were some of the distinguishing features of the Congresses and political landscapes in the 1965, 1981, 1993, and 2009 time periods? In what context is the phrase "Political landscapes" used ...
10
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4answers
30k views

Why do we say “as it were”?

In English we often add "as it were" to indicate that a phrase is not to be taken literally; for example: He's flown from the nest, as it were. ... would indicate that a boy has left his ...
4
votes
4answers
394 views

What does “Toff's error” mean?

"He's invited the wife and I" and other similar sentences are referred to as Toff's error. What is, precisely, the meaning of this term?
5
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7answers
12k views

What does “fine-grained” mean?

I always see "fine-grained" in technology articles. What does it mean?
2
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3answers
115 views

What does a patient and doctor “got off” to a rough start mean?

To a non-native English learner like me, understanding of, and familiarizing with the wide scope of usages of idioms associated with basic verbs such as “do, get, go, let, make, and have” are always a ...
4
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4answers
2k views

“Explain” versus “Explicate”

Is there a difference in meaning between the words 'explain' and 'explicate', or are they interchangeable? It seems that explicate is just a very formal (pretentious?) version of explain, that is ...
6
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5answers
2k views

A list with only one item

I have a document where someone is suggesting we have a bulleted list with only one item. That sounds absurd to me. Doesn't a "list" imply more than one item?
23
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5answers
12k views

Is there a difference between “treble” and “triple”?

I've been reading The Economist lately and noticed that the magazine uses both trebled and tripled. According to my dictionary, "treble" means "threefold; triple". Is there a subtle difference, not ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

How do you call a thing that raises something (e.g. an event)?

Let's say I want to describe event model in some software. Conceptually there are two sides: the one which raises an event and another which receives it. While I do know the difference between to ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

“I won't stay longer than I can help” or “longer than I can't help”?

I'm a non-native speaker of English and the following sentence makes me wonder: "I won't stay longer than I can help." I've heard similar uses of "can help" in other contexts and they all ...