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

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2
votes
6answers
24k views

Usage of “being” in sentence

Why is being used in the sentence below, and what does it mean? Lisa is upset about not being invited to the party Are they trying to use the passive voice? If yes, how would the sentence look ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Can something be disgusting without something else to feel disgust?

Disgusting means Causing disgust; repulsive; distasteful and is a deverbal adjective in that it behaves purely as an adjective, not a present participle. If we take an adjective such as ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“To come undone”

"Oh, it'll take a little time, might take a little crime to come undone (...) Who do you need, who do you love, when you come undone?" Please, can someone help me with this? I'm pretty sure that ...
7
votes
10answers
550 views

Is there a negative word for an overt display of emotion?

I recently discovered a friend who always believed that cheesy, corny and tacky meant (to use their words) a "pornographic display of emotion". As in: The end of a TV show where that Dad says to the ...
6
votes
7answers
201 views

Why is this use of the word “meaning” not quite right?

Today one of my students gave me some writing as part of her preparation for a Cambridge Proficiency exam. She was describing how after she'd moved away to go to university she'd temporarily lost ...
2
votes
4answers
14k views

“because of” vs. “on account of”

Can I always replace “because of” with “on account of”? As in I could not enjoy the day because of the awful weather. I could not enjoy the day on account of the awful weather. If these two ...
3
votes
2answers
287 views

Meaning of the sentence, “she is the kind of lawyer most skilled at finding reasons not to do things”

I have read a passage from wikileak: AIT/T has had regular contact with Tsai Ing-wen on economic, political and cross-Strait issues (ref B). She is a savvy insider on formulating and ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

subjective or objective role of “let alone…”

A Navaho sand painting ritual for a sick child is a mystery – we literally cannot read the signs nor subscribe to the belief, let alone the science, that she can be made better this way. Does ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

A question in a sentence of the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

I have a question in another sentence of the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". The sentence is in the paragraph below. Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Date as a synonym for anus

In the Song "Ten Foot Cock And A Few Hundred Virgins" Tim Minchin uses the phrase "it's a sin to take it up the date, even if it's great, even with your cowboy mate". I'm not a native English speaker ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

what does that's a first mean [on hold]

It's a first! I'm not familiar with the meaning of this phrase. I was explaining a situation and this is the response that I received via email.
-1
votes
1answer
748 views

“That strikes one for me”…what's it mean?

What's the "one" mean here? Is this taken from baseball? Can the idiom be grammatically used in other persons besides the first?
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“Feel bad about someone” versus “feel bad for someone”

Does the sentence "I feel bad about you" have the same meaning as "I feel bad for you"?
-3
votes
0answers
38 views

Meaning of “Context” [on hold]

I received the following comment on one of my paragraphs in my article: Provide some context what do you mean. I don't understand what he actually means by "context". Any suggestion, please.
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Meaning of “high in reach” regarding a training session

If an educational company described their session methodology as "high in reach" does it mean: the size of the audience the effectiveness of the training other? The original sentence in a press ...
-1
votes
1answer
220 views

What does the sentence “The ache of empty arms was an old tale to you” mean?

I was reading a poet Sara Teasdale's poems and quotes and came across this one. I can't figure out what this line really means.
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What does the “was held to” mean in this sentence? [on hold]

Beijing was widely held to botch its reaction to a stock market fall and its decision to allow its currency to devalue. I understand that hold means to take place or to occur. Why past tense ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Can “as soon as” ever mean “immediately after”?

Does as soon as mean "immediately after" in the following sentence? He got home as soon as 2 hours. I know that this could be a tad messy without context, but I found it as an example with the ...
-1
votes
1answer
27 views

In a sentence where I define something, am I the arbiter of the word being defined as being singular or plural?

...starting the sentence with "X is" or "X are". "Treasure is minerals and coins amassed together" doesn't sound right, even if I, since I am making the definition, decide to make treasure a singular ...
4
votes
2answers
225 views

What does a “visiting writer” mean?

From wiki page about Michael Crichton": In 1988, Crichton was a visiting writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology What does exactly the term visiting writer mean? Does it mean he ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

What's the meaning of “triggeronomy?”

I never heard of the word "triggeronomy." What does it mean? “She’s bright,” Harlan said. “Mrs. McReady at school says Shan’s the brightest pupil she’s taught in her whole career, and that ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

“Battery” and “Battery”, why are they called the same?

This post made an interesting point about what would be understood when the word battery is used. In the U.S. at least, the word battery is so rarely used outside the legal phrase assault and ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do we call snail mail “snail mail”?

Why do we call snail mail "snail mail"? So by default mail will refer to email?
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Thank you, you too have a great day? [on hold]

Is this the correct sentence to say: "Thank you, you too have a great day!" when someone says: "Have a Great day"
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What really is a “Yester” in Yesterday or Yesteryear?

Apparently, Yester cannot be used alone in a sentence, except when accompanied by "day (yesterday) or year (yesteryear)". It cannot be used incombination with other portions of time like; yestermonth, ...
0
votes
7answers
9k views

Use of the word “referable”

Can the word "referable" be used to denote something that can be referenced and what is the difference between "referable" and "referenceable"?
1
vote
1answer
69 views

What definition of Earth is used in the expression “walk the Earth”?

Please see this question for difference in definitions and capitalisation of earth/Earth In the expression "walk the earth", e.g. "when dinosaurs walked the earth". Should earth be capitalised? I ...
6
votes
4answers
18k views

What is the difference between “illness” and “disease”?

Are there any differences when those words are used? By whom they are used? Google n-gram All English English fiction: I would guess that "illness" is rather a term which is used in spoken ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

“Positives changes on the cards” — meaning?

Positives changes on the cards in Nigeria. What does it mean? Is this correct usage? Usually I have read "positive". I think it makes a lot of difference whether we use "positives" or ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Meaning of “Your Point Being?” [duplicate]

I commented on my friend post and the friend replied "Your Point Being?". But I didn't understand the meaning of "Your Point Being?". What is the meaning of "Your Point Being?".
3
votes
2answers
51 views

The word “still” as an adjective — does it have a connotation of 'somehow related to death or the dead"?

I realize that the definition of "still" (used as an adjective) goes like this: someone or something that is quiet, calm or not moving. examples: the still water of the lake still wines (vs. ...
-1
votes
1answer
28 views

What does the phrase “Modern industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America paved the way” mean?

I understand each separate word but the meaning of the whole phrase is obscure to me. I particularly do not understand what "for which" is used for. Thank you.
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What is the meaning/role of “into” in this sentence?

"Pippin cowered back, afraid for a moment, wondering into what dreadful country Gandalf was bearing him." - The return of the King. I think it could be just "wondering what dreadful country..." I ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Is it right to use the word “quotation” in this case?

I'm developing a software application that can automatically send quotations (as a PDF document) to the user's client. So the system sends an email with the text: Please find attached the ...
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

Kneecapped what other uses the word have? [on hold]

I want to know the meaning of "kneecapped" in this sentence: "...acquisition costs appear to have kneecapped the growth.."
-1
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the meaning of 'being drawn to someone'

I think 'drawn' means 'showing the wearing effects of overwork, care or suffering', but I can't understand what 'you are drawn to her' will be meaning right here.
3
votes
1answer
71 views

How to determine if a noun is a place or a thing

I'm having difficulty determining if certain nouns are considered places or things. For example, I'm unsure if 'a park' is a place or a thing. More generally, with the standard definition of a noun as ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Usage of “each” as in 'he would think, “I'm evil”, as he brushed his teeth and shaved in the mirror each morning.' [on hold]

I happened to see a sentence--J.D. says that he would think, "I'm evil", as he brushed his teeth and shaved in the mirror each morning. I am wondering what the speaker tries to express using "each" ...
31
votes
5answers
36k views

When I say “comment out”, does it mean to uncomment something or comment it?

When I say "comment out", does it mean to uncomment something or comment it? What is better, or more correctly used? PS: I'm talking about source code.
3
votes
3answers
63 views

Time Zone is a Region: what is the Word for 'currently using Daylight Savings' or not?

The current Wikipedia entry for 'Time zone' starts with: A time zone is a region that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Informally though people (and ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Meaning of “mulling a factory”?

A Japanese newspaper partly held by Toyota reported a month later that the carmaker was mulling a factory in Brazil for production of the same car. [Source] I couldn't find a phrase 'mulling ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the difference, if any, between these two sentences? [on hold]

What is the difference, if any, between the following two sentences? (1) The sun sets at 9 P.M. tomorrow. (2) The sun is setting at 9 P.M. tomorrow.
1
vote
1answer
56 views

directory path or directory’s path

I know that I should use an apostrophe if I want to show possession. My questions: Which form should I use? Are the forms interchangeable?
-2
votes
0answers
46 views

what is the meaning of " he is under water' [on hold]

it was in situation where someone asked how you find X? the second replied that "he is under water', what dose that mean
2
votes
2answers
42 views

Metaphysician vs Metaphysicist

A practitioner of physics is known as a physicist. It seems like it would logically follow that a practitioner of metaphysics would be known as a metaphysicist; yet, in every text I've read, a ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

The Subject of a Participial Construction

The following passage is quoted from the article in Newsweek by Leah McGrath Goodman, titled "Thomas Piketty Says He Was Ambushed": [Financial Times’s economics editor Chris] Giles, in his ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

What does it mean transport in network program

All, I just read the book Netty in action. A word Transport is mentioned in the book like below. NIO is used in this example because it’s currently the most widely used transport, thanks to its ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it considered offensive to describe someone as a Saracen? [on hold]

Prior to the 17th century 'Saracen' was the name given to a Muslim, whether of Arab or Turkish origin. It originates from the Crusades, from a region called Sarakene in the northern Sinai peninsula. ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views
0
votes
0answers
28 views

What difference these meanings? [on hold]

Which sentences do you use? If you ask about place where you don't have any information. "Where is that?" or "Where is it?"