This tag is for questions seeking a phrase that fits a meaning. If you're specifically seeking only a single word, see the "single word requests" tag too.

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3answers
99 views

Opposite of “dive deeper”

"Rise/Ascend shallower" doesn't have quite a nice ring to it. Optimally using two words! Also, I don't necessarily mean by swimming. One should be able to apply the phrase to both swimming ...
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2answers
52 views

How do describe items where one action was done one more time compared to another action

I have items that can be installed and uninstalled. I have a list that contains all the items that were installed one more time than they were uninstalled. My first guess to describe the list is: ...
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1answer
115 views

A Word for Sharing an Unpleasant Experience [closed]

Is there a word for that moment when you experience something unpleasant and feel obliged to share the experience with others? For example, you taste something horrible and try to encourage others ...
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1answer
34 views

What is a term for recent that covers the past week and the next week?

I have a software user interface that toggles between the full schedule and a schedule that covers the most recent weekend and the upcoming weekend. Any idea what to call this?
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1answer
420 views

Taste of one's own medicine: the logic behind the phrase

Is there a logical story behind this phrase? Because when looked at from a naive perspective, giving somebody their own medicine sounds like a kind thing to do as it would only treat their illness. ...
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1answer
104 views

2-word term for reversing phrases

What is the 2-word term (3 syllables each, I think, and definitely Greek sounding/Greek roots) that describes the technique of reversing phrases or parts of phrases, e.g. " bred and born" instead of ...
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2answers
479 views

Is there a verb that describes speaking with a full mouth?

I am looking for a verb that describes speaking with a full mouth, like a child asking something at the dinner table before swallowing, because they are so anxious/curious for the answer. Anything ...
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1answer
39 views

Can we state “over the course of next six years”? [closed]

Does this sentence read correctly? Please advise. This implementation plan started in January 2014 and is scheduled to be rolled out worldwide over the course of next six years. Thanks, Mahi.
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4answers
54 views

People with similar traits

I am curious as to whether there is a noun or some other, more suitable expression for that group of people which shares my personality type. I often use 'people with same traits or personality'.
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1answer
90 views

Term for Making a New Word that is the Same Part of Speech as its Root

Recently, I've been noticing that in casual speech people often unwittingly create new words from standard English words that are (a) of the same part of speech as the standard word and (b) meant to ...
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1answer
94 views

How to convey the meaning of “ordering a mess of papers and books”

How do English people convey the meaning of the action of tidying up a great unordered amount of sheets of paper, books, and notes in a single word or phrase?
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1answer
126 views

idiomatic phrases for the process of translating

I am looking for idiomatic phrases to speak or write about the process of translating into/from a foreign language. I would like to find phrases that are a good fit for neutral style of communication. ...
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6answers
94 views

A general term for standards, legislation, handbooks, etc.?

What is a general word or phrase that could encompass the class of documents called standards (i.e. ISO, ANSI, BS, etc.), legislation, laws, handbooks, style guides, manuals, etc.? Basically, all ...
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1answer
81 views

Starting a book with this sentence, is it ok? [closed]

I'd like to start a book with a sentence like this: This book is about X, so why should it start with Y? In fact, the book is already written, but I'd like to get the first few pages absolutely ...
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2answers
132 views

better word for items on a menu

Is there a better word or phrase for an item on a menu than "menu item"? I'm talking about restaurant menus, not user interface menus. "Menu item" is so dry... "Restaurant dishes" doesn't work very ...
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1answer
91 views

Any terms meaning the 'first snow of autumn'?

I am wondering if there is a term for the 'first snow of autumn'. The word I am looking for could come from the semantic field of meteorology, or perhaps farming etc. I know of the terms 'killing ...
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2answers
47 views

Phrasing the main point as a parenthetical

In a blog comment I found myself responding to (what I considered) a foolish point using this format: “‹quotation of the original›” ‹sarcastic over-the-top agreement with the statement› ...
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1answer
85 views

Name for the behavior of inappropiately hiding or misplacing objects

People with dementia may hide objects, or put objects in strange places, such as keys in the sugar. Is there a name for such erratic behaviour? The lexical field could include verbs such as ...
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3answers
266 views

What's a word that means intentionally gullible? [duplicate]

I'm looking for a word to describe someone that is easily persuaded to believe things that they are aware is likely to be too good to be true. Something along the lines of an optimistic cynic, ...
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3answers
88 views

A word for “the act of driving something into a success”

Suppose that a major achievement for a company has been done thanks to me. Now then, let's have me saying this: The last project was a success. Now there is a new project, and I am eager to ...
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3answers
142 views

Expression denoting exclusivity

Can anyone think of an idiomatic expression in English to show how exclusive something is? What I'm looking for is an expression that will instantly communicate to a native English speaker that only ...
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1answer
71 views

Phrase for targeting surface level problems?

I'm looking for a phrase that describes trying to fix problems caused by underlying issues, with the result of compounding the issue. I usually call this "targeting surface problems rather than root ...
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4answers
177 views

Is there an antonym for the idiom “…remains to be seen” [closed]

I was using "...the truth remains to be seen" in a sentence when I realized I meant the opposite of this. I'm looking a phrase antithetical to this idiom, that follows the same (empirical) line of ...
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2answers
110 views

What is a better way of saying the following- [closed]

I want to express "... our beliefs which are not necessarily true or rational affect of our perception ..." in a better way.
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2answers
323 views

Rephrase “Can I ask you?”

Is there a short phrase for "Can I ask you?" in the meaning that "I have a question. Do you have time now?". The motivation is that some people start answering "No, you can't" which is joke of ...
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3answers
79 views

Appropriate word for “intermediate approach”

In a paper, I need to mention something meaning "intermediate approaches" and looking for a suitable word or phrase for that. For example: Approach 1 is ... Approach 2 is ... (Approaches 1 and 2 ...
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2answers
100 views

“X is inequitable because Y is disproportionate to Z.” Is there a better way to put this?

While a full Major League Baseball season is 162 games, the first round of the playoffs is only a 5 game series. I feel that this system is inequitable because the length of the opening playoff ...
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1answer
99 views

I want to use a definition from dictionary.com but I can't find it anywhere else.

My essay is about the Greek Tragedy "Oedipus the king". I want to use the term cosmic irony in a paraphrase but I am unsure whether or not it would weaken my argument. Since I can not find support for ...
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3answers
208 views

Distinction between pre-hire onboarding and post-hire onboarding [closed]

Wikipedia talks of onboarding as "the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders." And ...
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3answers
163 views

Alternatives for “similar to other studies”

When you want to compare the results of a research to other studies, you can use Similar to other studies, the current study indicates that ... What are other alternatives for 'Similar to ...
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1answer
102 views

Current / Previous / Previous — A term to describe this state other than tense or currency

I'm looking for a term to describe a state. Ordinarily I would use the word "Currency" to describe the state of "Current", "Future", "Previous", however in the context, this would be too easily ...
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6answers
173 views

How should I refer to people who have had something shared with them?

In the application I am developing, I'd like to refer to people who have had something shared with them (link, photo etc.) but I couldn't figure out what word or phrase to use.
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1answer
123 views

What is a non-secular and possibly offensive version of “for heaven's sake”? [closed]

In Is there a secular, non vulgar alternative to "for heaven's sake"? Terdon asks for something that is polite, secular, and non-offensive. I am asking for what is a non-secular phrase ...
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1answer
265 views

How to use a catch-phrase for a validated result when presented before an examining committee?

Imagine, that someone is preparing for a PhD defense. The thesis that he is going to defend is by far against the norm. That is, it uncovers deep-seated beliefs that led to 30 years of malpractice. So ...
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1answer
138 views

Term to mean a different person conjugation?

Recently, someone said the following, in a chat room: "You're an adult and that means it's your turn to decide what that means." I knew that came from something I recognized, and it turns out it is ...
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1answer
56 views

What is a possible name of a course that teaches parity?

(I know, it sounds weird). So "parity," in Maths, is the fact of being even or odd. Let's say if there was an academic course that teaches you about parity, what should be its (one-word) name? ...
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1answer
118 views

It there a literary technique for when authors create a language within their novel? [closed]

Like in 1984 when Orwell creates newspeak? I'm trying to find techniques to analyse his decision to do this...
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2answers
99 views

Describing contrary idiom usage

I periodically get emails inviting me to a "free" lunch for the purpose of hearing a sales pitch. Multiple times these invitations have included some quip such as "See? There is such thing as a free ...
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1answer
1k views

What does “sense of community” mean?

Currently, I'm living in HK. But I am Chinese and I know nothing about Cantonese which is the mother tongue of Hongkongers. So, I feel lonely here and I don't think I belong here. So, can I say I ...
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2answers
112 views

Term for paying beyond the contract limit

I am looking for one word for situation explained as under: We (My Company) have a contractor. His contract amount is $ XYZ per annum. As the year ended he was already paid an amount "beyond ...
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3answers
3k views

Formal way of saying “when you are in need”

How can I write following in a formal way? It will help you when you are in need. It will help you when it is required. It will help you when needed. It will help you when you required to be helped. ...
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1answer
161 views

Is the expression “moderator's set” used in English? What would you call it?

We are talking about a small suitcase which contains different presentation materials like markers, felt pens, post-its, paper in different shapes, laser pointers etc. for convention organization. ...
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2answers
4k views

Words for “a bit sad” and “a bit happy”?

Are there words or other phrases for "a bit sad" and "a bit happy"? Thank you! Edit: I'm sorry for the confusion. I wanted at least two words: one for "a bit sad" and one for "a bit happy". Thanks ...
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6answers
13k views

What is a polite substitute for badass (used as a noun)? [closed]

Badass and BAMF are both modern words with approximately the same meaning: "Someone who is awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority." Is there another noun or title ...
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1answer
359 views

What do you call a statement like “How to perform a change of ownership” [closed]

What do you call a statement similar to the following? "How to perform a change of ownership" I wish to request user input by asking a question such as: "Please enter your title in the ...
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2answers
338 views

What is a friendly way to say ' Now processing'? [closed]

I'm developing software something like iPhone's 'Siri'. If I call its name, it will answer, What can I help you with? If I say "Turn on the TV", it will answer, Now Processing ... But, I ...
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4answers
28k views

Other ways of saying “letting me know” or “telling me about”

I want to say “my advisor has been very helpful, from helping me decide which classes to take to letting me know/telling me about the resources available to me”. I think saying “letting me know” or ...
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2answers
178 views

word/phrase for initial set of data or givens

I'm searching for a neutral phrase that conveys the concept of the initial condition/situation/position/set of givens or factors impacting an outcome. For example, the idea of a 'headstart' conveys an ...
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0answers
15 views

How to fit metric units of distance into phrases

I appreciate that the imperial system was widely used before many English speaking countries switched to metric. So we have expressions like give an inch, walk a mile in another man's shoes etc. I ...
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0answers
20 views

Express the idea: the combined effect of A and B on P [closed]

Changing the factor A has an effect on the phenomenon P. Changing the factor B also has an effect on the phenomenon P. The effect of changing both factors simultaneously is different from what one ...