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

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0
votes
2answers
9 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
votes
2answers
30 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
vote
1answer
27 views

What's a “political landscape”?

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
votes
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
391 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
votes
7answers
11k views

What does “fine-grained” mean?

I always see "fine-grained" in technology articles. What does it mean?
1
vote
3answers
104 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
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
49 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
29 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
108 views

What does “biased in your favour” mean in this sentence?

I checked several dictionaries and googled and checked previous biased-related questions here including Is it "biased towards" or "biased against"?, Word for being biased ...
-3
votes
2answers
786 views

What does “run’n’gun” mean?

I found the term "run’n’gun" in an article about video games. What does it mean in that context?
3
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the meaning of “Body Electric”?

Actually it's title of a song written by Lana Del Rey. So what does Body Electric really mean when Lana says "I sing the body electric"? And here is a link the the lyrics.
0
votes
2answers
45 views

What is the correct way to interpret the sentence “You can't have too many”?

It's like chef's in a kitchen for that part of a game's engine. You can't have too many. - Quoted from a conversation with a friend. When said in this context, my friend interpreted as "You ...
5
votes
5answers
761 views

Thrice or triple?

There is a fairly well known recipe for Triple Cooked Chips. It involves cooking chips three different ways / times. Is triple cooked correct or should it be called Thrice Cooked Chips as they have ...
25
votes
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
votes
3answers
16k views

Is it rude to say “Thanks for asking”?

My manager recently asked me "How I was doing? Everything Ok?". I felt happy that he asked me that question, and felt that he was really concerned about me. I was doing good. So I told him that and ...
21
votes
9answers
25k views

“A few” vs. “few”

I have few friends. I have a few friends. I thought "few" means just one, two or even none. "A few" typically means more than two. However it seems to me some people say "few" when they ...
1
vote
4answers
101 views

Difference between “exercise” and “workout”

We can say: I will do exercise today or I will do workout today. Is there any difference between them?
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Rephrasing “the Lord's our Banner”

How to rephrase "the Lord's our Banner" for kids to understand referring to the story of Moses praying for Joshua to win the battle in Exodus 17:10-15. I am thinking of "God gives us victory" or "He ...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

Present perfect vs present perfect continuous for past unfinished actions relevant to the present

John has stood there for 5 hours. vs John has been standing there for 5 hours. Is there any difference in meaning between the two sentences? Both actions are unfinished. Both are relevant to the ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the difference between “noun”, “proper noun”, and “name”?

Do noun and name carry a different meaning? If there are any differences, are those differences specific to a context?
-4
votes
2answers
28 views

Nexus vs. Network? [on hold]

What is the semantic distinction between the words nexus and network? Are they generally interchangeable?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

University research or Academic research

What is called the researches which are carried in the universities as thesis or .... academic researches or university researches or researches in university?
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Meaning of “ ‘Western’ world” and alternative terms

The discussion on the meaning and connotations of the world 'Oriental' got me thinking along similar lines on the usage of 'Western' world or 'the West' to denote North America and Europe. I find it ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

How to say that event is happening now? [on hold]

Imagine if I sit in the classroom and I want to say that some lecture is going in another classroom. I what to express that meaning using active voice, like Lecture is happening now But for me, ...
12
votes
2answers
741 views

What does the -st word ending mean and is it used in any modern vocabulary?

I know there are plenty of words that use the -st ending: wouldst, whilst, unbeknownst, etc. but I'm not really sure what it means to add an -st suffix to a word. What does it mean to add the suffix? ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps [migrated]

The furniture of the den, a cement-floored room that ran the length of the house, consisted almost entirely of his carpentry (shelves, tables, stools, a ping-pong table) and Nacy's needlework ...
6
votes
8answers
894 views

Are older senses of “anent” still alive in any dialect?

The obscure preposition anent has a long history, going back as far as Beowulf: him on efn ligeð ealdorgewinna [line 2903] ("beside him lies his great enemy") It has carried many meanings, ...
0
votes
0answers
5 views

others,the others,the other and another? [migrated]

I have difficulty telling the diffirence among them.I wonder if there is the best way to know exactly when you use "others","the other","the others" or "another".
0
votes
2answers
34 views

industry problems or industrial problems

Should we say industry problems or industrial problems? Which is incorrect? or maybe each of them has specific meaning, then what is that meaning? I myself think the "industry problems" means the ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

“Unavailable” vs. “not available”

What is the difference between unavailable and not available? In my opinion, unavailable is something that will never be available, while not available is something that is not available right now ...
-2
votes
2answers
44 views

Is Modificator a word? [on hold]

Is the word "Modificator" valid - I've never see it before and it's not one I'm familiar with.
-1
votes
0answers
25 views

As the final vote on Medicare was being tallied and the outcome became clear [on hold]

As the final vote on Medicare was being tallied and the outcome became clear, one member of the Republican leadership stormed out of the House center-aisle doors, in exasperation turned to the ...
1
vote
3answers
57 views

The meaning of “muted kinetics”

An excerpt from a book I'm reading: The doctrine of Israeli nuclear exclusivity was carried out in muted kinetics. What is the meaning of "muted kinetics"? Fortress Israel By Patrick Tyler
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “non-normative” mean in this context?

From the ECMAScript language specification ECMA-262 page 1 Section 4 This section contains a non-normative overview of the ECMAScript language The text goes on to say ECMAScript is an ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 views

Can something be efficient but not effective? [on hold]

The definitions for both terms are as follows Effective (adj.): Adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result. Efficient (adj.) Performing or functioning in the best ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

meaning of beaucoup d’estime [on hold]

I was reading War and Peace and I encountered this phrase. I tried to search on Google but no meaning found. I just found meaning of beaucoup that is a lot and meaning of another phrase succès ...
2
votes
3answers
54 views

“Birthday” vs. “anniversary”

Are there general guidelines for using "anniversary" vs. "birthday"? E.g., birthdays are generally for... well, birthdays. It's also used for some notable historical dates regarding countries ("Our ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

What do mahjong tiles and menopause have in common?

In the 11th episode of the 3rd season of House called Words and Deeds, the main character, Dr. Gregory House says the following: Male menopause: high estrogen, low testosterone, explains ...
5
votes
2answers
97 views

Pre-planning vs planning

The Oxford online dictionary defines "pre-plan" as to "plan in advance". But isn't that generally the point of planning - to do it in advance?
-1
votes
0answers
18 views
-1
votes
0answers
48 views

What does 'measurable life' mean?

what does 'measurable life' mean? I found this usage in the end of a sentence that criticized the youth of today. Update I saw its usage in this comment: Insensibility is wide spread today. Market ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 views

“While standing” vs. “stood”

Original: I didn't react to her pessimism ,and tolerated her pessimism. I didn't react to and tolerated her pessimism I didn't react to while I was tolerating her pessimism. Would you tell me if ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What does “She was young and blithe, 22 going on 16” mean?

I found the phrase ““She was young and blithe, 22 going on 16” in the article of the Time magazine (July 6 issue) dealing with the Casey Anthony Verdict, under the title, “The Casey Anthony Verdict ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

“Could not have been” vs. “must not have been”

What's the difference between "could not have been" and "must not have been"? For example, That could not have been an easy task. That must not have been an easy task. I've seen both ...
31
votes
16answers
8k views

Is there a word which means whatever you want it to mean? Or has no meaning?

I'm looking for a word which can be used in any situation to describe something in whatever way you want, i.e it's not a word and just fits in to places..., but is there an actual word which does ...
4
votes
5answers
391 views

'Am I interpreting' vs 'Do I interpret'?

Am I interpreting the results correctly? Do I interpret the results correctly? Do they have the same meaning? Are both or just one correct?