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

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33 views

Classification: usage in the marine community

I recently heard "classification society" in a conversation - I thought it's an organization that classify or sort things somehow. My friend later explained a classification society is actually a ...
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36 views

Connotation of a sentence in a listening material from TPO

(Here for the original audio source (MP3 file). The part in question begins approximately at 2'18'') This conversation is an excerpt from one listening material in a TPO (TOEFL Practice Online) test, ...
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13 views

Cry and cried - drop the y and add ied

I understand the usage of the two, but I'm looking for how to describe these types and rules for when you drop y and add ied. If that makes sense Thanks
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29 views

“Abstract nonsense” — does it have negative meaning?

Is the collocation "abstract nonsense" coloured somehow in negative way? I mean mostly the second word -- can it mean "something too strange to be good" or something like this, and in what context?
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57 views

For how long has “as” been synonymous with “because” in British English?

In British English, it seems that "because" can always be replaced with "as." Here is an example of "as" meaning "because" in British English: I popped down to the shops as we were out of loo ...
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23 views

Is 'seeing' after 'open to' a correct sentence?

In a book that I'm reading, there is a sentence: We seem to be quite open to seeing others as people rather than coworkers or competitors. I just wonder I should be see not seeing in the above ...
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52 views

Can there be one “Co-Founder”?

Assuming there is a company that was founded by two people (A and B), one of them is also the CEO (A). Is it correct to say that A is the founder and B is the (only) co-founder? Or does co-founder ...
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40 views

How does one determine when a comedian is also a humorist?

Wikipedia's list of humorists are categorised as people who write or perform humorous material, but the article also states: A humorist is usually distinct from a stand-up comedian. Woody Allen ...
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41 views

Came “into” fruition?

My friend wrote some copy, explaining that her "company came into fruition because she realized the opportunity..." I've never used "came into fruition" -- only "came to fruition". Is "came into ...
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54 views

What is the meaning when someone say “it doesn't get much weird than Lynda?”

Lynda made a dance performance, it's very weird and many audiences couldn't understand it. Then a guy made a comment "It doesn't get much weird than Lynda?". What does he mean ? Is that "Lynda is ...
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65 views

Origin and evolution of the term 'amen corner'

Geneva Smitherman, Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner (1994) provides this entry for the term "amen corner": AMEN CORNER 1) In the Traditional Black Church (TBC), ...
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52 views

Countenance, as noun, versus appearance

Jane Austen seems to use them as separate things. Often the appearance of the face may be deduced from context. I no longer remember which book or what character I was reading when I encountered ...
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69 views

What is a “terrorist jacket”?

In Connie Willis' Doomsday Book, American archaeologist Lupe Montoya is described as wearing a "terrorist jacket" in several places: Kivrin’s tutor Latimer, looking older and even more infirm than ...
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39 views

Difference between “compact” and “accord”

What's the difference between those two words? But the Marshall Islands holds an important card: Under a 1986 compact, the roughly 70,000 residents of the Marshalls The debate over loss and ...
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51 views

Is “face-off” a misnomer?

In ice hockey, the face-off is the method of starting play. The two teams line up in opposition to each other, and two opposing skaters try to gain control of the puck after it is dropped between ...
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58 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “Signal Advance?”

I posted this question, “Signal Advance”: Unsure of meaning or contextual use, on Biology SE, as the phrase was used in a biology text that I am reading, Recombinant DNA; Genes and Genomes - A Short ...
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69 views

What does whole-animal mean?

Kindly explain the meaning of whole-animal The Country Cat (restaurant) is known for whole-animal, farm-to-table scratch cooking, and at PDX Sappington was determined to break down animals, smoke ...
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34 views

The relationship between and correct usage of the words Chronometry and Horology

Wikipedia for 'Chronometry' states: Chronometry applies to electronic devices, while Horology refers to mechanical devices. While on 'Horology', Wikipedia describes it in more detail, creating ...
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44 views

“To hear” meaning

I have a great deal of difficulty understanding the correct meaning of this dialogue from the Pink Panther animated series: "To hear Harry, you'd think (or you think, I'm not sure) you didn't have a ...
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72 views

What does 'if' mean in this sentences?

For similar reasons fragile natural states cannot support many, if any, private elite organizations. As the two world wars and the Cold War of the twentieth century illustrate, external violence is a ...
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43 views

what's the meaning of“ run over”?

what's the meaning of" run over"? Similar observations concerning the pitfalls associated with undertaking accounting research that operates on either center-margin have been offered before, and in ...
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22 views

unit as an adjective usage

the science dealing with the areal differentiation of the earth's surface, as shown in the character, arrangement, and interrelations over the world of such elements as climate, elevation, soil, ...
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88 views

Distinguishing among classification, typology, taxonomy, and ontology?

I recently wrote a thesis applying archaeological typology to art attribution. In the process, it became clear that disparate disciplines share analogous debates regarding classification. I'd like to ...
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41 views

Do these phrases have the same meaning?

Do the phrases 'within one week of the date of the request', and 'within one week after the date of the request' (i.e. the request is made 27th October, 28th Oct - 3rd Nov is the one week period after ...
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51 views

Destigmatise -usage, meaning

Could someone explain the meaning of the word "destigmatise" and how can I use it? Is it a colloquial word? Thank you in advance!
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237 views

What's the meaning of the idiom “to lie flat” when applied to a document or project?

I'm encountering this idiom in a government/business context. For example, someone will say that changes to Document A affect Person X's workload, so we'd like to get that document "lying flat" for a ...
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69 views

The meaning of “pure” vs “clear”

So I'd like to express the "clearness" (in sense of elegance) of some spatial shapes (BTW not sure about this phrase, probably "spatial forms" is more correct). I'm going to use either "pure" or ...
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70 views

A song that was once meant for other singer, but later also sung by the author himself

What do you call a song which was once written for some other artist by an author, and later sung by the author him(her)self? we call it "cover" if the song is played by other(not original) artist, ...
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48 views

Some or more of something

I want to say "some 50 or more yards apart" (meaning at least 50 yards apart) but I'm not quite sure it's correct. I couldn't find the answer or an example of its use in google search. However, I ...
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86 views

What does “the networked listened” mean in regard to NBCUniversal’s decision to break off relations with Donald Trump?

There was the following passage in the Vanity Fair (June 30) article reporting that NBCUniversal announced that they would put an end to their relationship with a new Presidential candidate, Donald ...
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51 views

about “ should have to ”

It's not right that he should have to ride the lightning. I found this expression in the story of "Ride the Lightning". I think it is okay to use "should ride" or "have to ride" instead of ...
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1k views

How to identify if a word is positive, negative, or neutral?

I am studying for SAT and English is not my first language. I really struggle with vocabulary. I memorized about 1000 words for the test, but only a few showed up on the test. I am planning on taking ...
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20 views

I wonder the meaning of “Madam Secretary” dialogues

I am watching American Drama "Madam Secretary" season1, episode 14. And there are some dialogues I can't understand. I wonder what's the meaning of last two sentence. Please help me! Russell:I'm sure ...
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68 views

what does pi mean?

I've ordered some good from supplier. and before shipping the products he sent me the following: how much is the goods do you want to declare,as i need to make the pi what does pi mean ? pi is a ...
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17 views

Is there a difference in terms of a meaning between “be quoted as saying” and “quote someone as saying”?

He's been quoted as saying that they will reassess after the primaries next Tuesday. He quoted Mr Polay as saying that peace negotiations were already underway...
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28 views

Are “rent per day” and “rent per month” correct expressions?

Do determine the type of a suggestion in a real estate catalogue, besides "for sale", we must also denote real estate suggested to be rented on daily basis and on monthly basis. Is "per day" correct? ...
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32 views

Intelligent vs. smart in the context of software systems

From DifferrenceBetween, Smart is an earned status, for example when we study, we'll be smarter. But, Intelligence, is something with which someone is born, such as IQ. If we take above definitions ...
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23 views

What would be “India Run” in this article? Does it have some historic background I can't find?

Once the wind and current systems dominant in the Atlantic came to be known, the square sail was adopted for use on the lateen caravel, giving rise to the “caravela redonda”. or square-rigged caravel, ...
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26 views

Difference between “reel under” and “ reel from”

What is the difference between " reel under a heat wave" and " reel from a heat wave".
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40 views

Is “the” changing a meaning of the sentence

In the following sentence (from here) Unlike other carmakers who have offered fuel-cell electric vehicles, or FCEVs, as lease-only propositions, Toyota is first to put a price on such a car, at ...
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45 views

What does “out on” mean in this particular context?

I was listening the song called "Hotline Bling" by Drake, but I don't know what is the meaning of the following expression: Glasses of champagne out on the dance floor. I would appreciate any ...
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55 views

What does this expression mean: Don't let him consign me to the rafters

Some once told me about someone else: "please don't let him consign me to the rafters, because he is one of those irrevocable keepsakes"
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28 views

replacing “preface” to “opening words”

when I write the first page of the book listing the contents of the book has, would it be proper if I choose the word "opening words" rather than the word "preface" like opening words (preface) ...
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31 views

Meaning of government-run in paragraph?

Could anyone guide me the meaning of government-run in below paragraph? Until the late 1980s, cannabis and opium were legal in India, sold in government-run shops and traded by the British East ...
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36 views

Is there a word to describe someone/something that is given a title prematurely?

For example a coal refered to as a diamond when it hasn't been transformed into one.
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30 views

Create or re-create?

I'm wondering if 're-create' is a better word than 'create' in the following: The vegetarian chef is good at creating / re-creating meat dishes. I want to say the chef can make vegetarian dishes ...
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23 views

Is there a word to describe the act of suddenly halting by virtue of feeling shy or intimidated?

I'm looking for a word that can fit into this sentence, "She paused with timid caution and then resumed her lope as if led by the dangling of her small interlaced hands, a magnetic sweeping of the ...
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22 views

what does “considers most” mean here?

The United States signed but has not yet ratified the Convention; however, the United States considers most of the Vienna Convention’s rules as representing customary international law. does it ...
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36 views

Who are these people in context?

Text came from preface. I should also be remiss if I did not thank the anonymous Delegates for their thoughtful reports and constructive suggestions. Even those who did not much agree with me gave me ...
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48 views

South African guy said: Wary afternoon

A South African friend scheduled a meeting to wary afternoon. English is not my native language, so I have asked several other friends (Yankees) and they have no idea what "wary afternoon" means. ...