A phrase is a group of words that make a unit of syntax with a single grammatical function.

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Meaning of “to be Accounts Receivable for someone”

I understand what accounts receivable are, and I understand what factoring is. But I don't understand what the phrase "to be accounts receivable for someone" means, e.g. "I'm accounts receivable for ...
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1answer
223 views

Is there one word for knowledge and wisdom that has been obtained from different sources and from experience?

Is there one word for "gathered wisdom", meaning knowledge and wisdom that has been obtained from different sources and from experience?
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5answers
533 views

The expression 'not that bad of a'

In an essay, a friend used the expression: It wasn't that bad of an idea. I think that it would be preferable to write It wasn't that bad an idea However, I can't explain why.
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1answer
2k views

“In my younger years, early days, early years, and earlier years”?

I just wanted to express the period from when I was born to my recent days until I realized something. I initially put "in my earlier years." Then I wasn't sure if the meaning of the phrase that I ...
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4answers
426 views

What does “to put it charitably” mean?

There was the following sentence in the article titled “Why Rick Perry may be out of luck” appearing in the New Yorker (August 19): "Last Friday, the Texas Governor was indicted on two counts: ...
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17answers
7k views

What's an idiom for something that you've heard many times?

I'm trying to write something for my blog, and I need an idiom that will replace me saying, "I've heard people say that all the time, it's the same old story."
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3answers
146 views

IMHO, I am great? [closed]

I am not a native English speaker. I was wondering if the phrase "in my humble opinion, my proposal is interesting because ..." is contradictory? I am trying to say that something I proposed/said ...
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1answer
403 views

Is the phrase “There are many hungers it is better to deny than to feed” correct?

The "it is" seems out of place to me. I'd rather have it written as "There are many hungers that/which are better to deny than to feed".
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2k views

Synonym for: It may take longer than expected (ie. a meeting)

For instance: I have a meeting today that is scheduled until 15h00 but it may take longer. In dutch we would say: Het kan uitlopen. How would I say this?
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2answers
46 views

Article and plural for a title of a section

Which one of the following titles is better? (1) The Specifying of the Planning Horizon (2) Specifying of the Planning Horizon (3) Specifying of Planning Horizons The context is : a ...
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4answers
4k views

Similar idioms to “When the cat's away, the mice will play”

I wonder if there is any similar idioms to "When the cat's away, the mice will play." I searched on a few websites (the free dictionary, dictionary.com, and cambridge.) but there was no suggestions ...
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3answers
425 views

Meaning of “by some margin”

Could you please explain the meaning of this? I have it in a sentence - The speaker was, by some margin, the youngest person in the room. I am a translator from English to Czech and I can´t find it ...
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4answers
7k views

What is it called when you say something but it does not imply for the other?

I'm really lost for words... For example, I like people with short hair. But then someone could say, so you hate people with long hair? But, of course, I did not give any information on people with ...
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5answers
3k views

What is the basic meaning of 'blueprint'?

I just want to know the meaning of blueprint. Some websites say it's a method of printing, some say it merely means a pattern or design used by engineers or architects to document their ideas. I ...
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2answers
131 views

what does it mean to “betray contempt for” someone? [closed]

I came across this phrase in a quotation from Carl Sagan, "they betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers". From the context, it seems to mean "to show contempt", but I couldn't parse ...
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2answers
167 views

What does “the balcony is really far away” mean?

Yesterday, I watched MasterChef America. There were two teams competing in the challenge of cooking and serving food at a football game. There were 100 voters and the red team won the blue team by 51 ...
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2answers
107 views

Is “after all” necessary in the following paragraph?

Of all the people who wanted to join the trip, Anna was the the last I expected would come. We barely knew each other at school after all, and I was pretty sure she wasn't interested in me. ...
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1answer
257 views

He didn't so much as thank me OR to thank me?

I have heard both ways 'He didn't so much as thank me' and 'He didn't so much as to thank me'. Which is correct and is the other wrong or can it be used colloquially? Thank you.
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10answers
7k views

I don't like potatoes or ice-cream [closed]

I am struggling to find the correct grammar for a fairly simple sentence. "I don't like potatoes or ice-cream". This appears to be incorrect because it is a contraction of the two clauses "I ...
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1answer
6k views

“At the service of” versus “in the service of”

In doing a translation on duolingo, another translator had translated a phrase to say "at the service of X". I edited this to "in the service of X" and left a comment that as a native speaker, hearing ...
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2answers
529 views

Can a person have a “dextrous mind”?

Can we say that a man has a dextrous mind? This would mean that he has a highly skilled brain which is capable of excelling at a certain mental activity, or that he as an individual is capable of ...
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1answer
379 views

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde unknown ( Biblical?) Reference [closed]

Okay, so I am an avid reader, and have recently undertaken a challenge to read Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, along with Robert Louis Stevenson's other literature. Having recently completed Jekyll & ...
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1answer
350 views

Not too expensive vs affordable

I'm building a website and I need to choose between 'not too expensive' and 'affordable'. The sentence: Reliable, stable, secure, great support and of course not too expensive! or Reliable, ...
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3answers
853 views

Comma between a double adverbial phrase introducing a sentence

Is a comma required when there are two adverbial phrases introducing a sentence? Like so: One day, after I had my breakfast, the postman came. Or is it fine to omit the first comma? One day ...
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4answers
1k views

Phrase for having nearly completed something

Is there is a phrase for when you're very close to achieving something you've been working on? When the detective gets that final clue, but hasn't quite solved the mystery yet. When you've done 90% ...
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2answers
90 views

What does this quote about “pasty-skinned programmers” mean? [closed]

“Note to self: Pasty-skinned programmers ought not stand in the Mojave desert for multiple hours.” -John Carmack ("Pasty Skin" means not healthy and pale skin.) What does this quote mean?
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230 views

What's a “drop-in activity”?

What are "drop-in activities"? I often run across this phrase while reading about museums, recreation centers etc.
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2answers
120 views

Rising out of its own momentum

The bellow rose and fell, then it blared out one last time, rising out of its own momentum as if it were escaping finally, after centuries of waiting, into silence. The beady night noises closed in ...
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1answer
317 views

what is 'Oblique half sentences'? [closed]

I love comic books and I met these sentences in a comic book. "Do not speak in oblique half sentences. Bad habit. Helped stop what?" What is 'oblique half sentences'? I googled it a lot, but I'm ...
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3answers
743 views

“Go a long way to” + gerund vs infinitive

Which one is correct? If they all are correct, which construction is the most preferable? Why? The fund will go a long way to solving their problem. The fund will go a long way to solve their ...
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1answer
40 views

what should I use after “improvement”?

In 2014, the organization of the “media-capital” prize in the business journalism field is the main project focused on improvement the financial literacy of the population. Or can you help me ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the meaning of not in “as often as not” and “as likely as not”?

Am I failing to get a point here? Collins English Dictionary: as often as not: quite frequently as likely as not: very probably Considering the meanings of these phrases, to my eye, ...
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2answers
4k views

Is the phrase “Best of luck ahead! ” grammatically correct?

"Best of luck for your future ahead!" - can this phrase be shortened to "Best of luck ahead!".
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8answers
14k views

A phrase for “extremely bad luck”

Is there a (short) phrase or idiom meaning that someone had extremely bad luck? In the context of a sports match: as you would have a "perfect game" or the even more specific "perfect hand" (when ...
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2answers
120 views

Is “Do it faster than with any other product” correct?

I'd like to describe a procedure that take less time with a product A than any other product B or C.... Note that I don't want to say that product A is faster but just that doing something is faster ...
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2answers
172 views

Appropriate contexts for the phrase “impedance mismatch”?

I rather like the phrase "impedance mismatch". I understand it was derived from the realm of electronics, and it's now also commonly applied to problems with object-relational database mapping. I've ...
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3answers
14k views

Can I use “and” many times in one sentence?

I was always under the impression I should not use and more than once. I have this text: I appreciate that all my previous work experience is within office based industries however I am a quick ...
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1answer
576 views

What is the meaning of these phrases in the given context?

I was reading a novel, and came across a couple of sentences which I couldn't really get the meaning of. The particular sentences are marked in bold, and I've added some background, for the context. ...
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3answers
577 views

Meaning of “hinder parts” in the 17th century

While reading the works of William Laud in the edition by William Scott, I came across a description (No 2 on page 345) where it seems the Scots are upset about a ritual in which a priest turns his ...
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1answer
239 views

What does “circumstantial consequence” mean?

How can of the phrase "circumstantial consequence" be explained? I vaguely understand the probable meaning, but it doesn't quite come into focus. Is it something like (unintended) side effect?
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1answer
564 views

What's a British equivalent to the more American expression 'Kiss my ass'? [closed]

I have the feeling that 'kiss my ass' isn't as widely used in the UK as it is in the US. I'm looking for a more British sounding equivalent.
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1answer
63 views

Programming concision: “To replace the use of deprecated methods, for more up-do-date methods”

I was refactoring some old code and a lot of it used deprecated methods which had to be re-written to use more appropriate non-deprecated methods. When writing a changelog, it felt awkward writing ...
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18answers
16k views

Appropriate word for a young person who behaves like a cynical old person?

What is an appropriate term for a young person (child, or teenager) whose words and actions mimic that of a much older person from a previous generation? Such a youngster would demonstrate strong ...
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14answers
7k views

Appropriate word for internet name of a person

What is the appropriate word or phrase which means the internet name of a person. I mean the nickname that a person uses in almost all places on the internet like blog, IRC, forums, mailing lists etc. ...
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4answers
8k views

Difference between 'I would like to be' & 'I want to be'

I would like to be and I want to be What is the difference between them? I think 'want to be' sounds stronger than 'like to be,' but I'm not sure if this is true.
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1answer
457 views

What does “shrinking beneath someone's feet” mean?

I just watched Batman Rises on HBO, and I didn't get it when Bruce Wayne spoke about the Cat Woman. He said, "But the ground's shrinking beneath her feet". It seems like it may mean "no one can ...
0
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1answer
309 views

The meaning of “Naturally Enough”

I have been reading a book about programming and since I am not very good with the phrases, I got confused. Please notice the following text : Modules You may think of modules as extensions ...
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3answers
2k views

Is this sentence correct: I could not keep calm?

How can I say when I know that I do something badly, but I can't keep calm. E.G. - She asked me don't tell you, but I couldn't ... I hope you understand what I meant. :)
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134 views

Word combination with “eternally”

I am currently thinking of engraving text for our wedding rings. Idea is to engrave some nice combination of two words (one word per ring) in order to get phrase close to “forever together”. I do ...
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325 views

Is this proper use

I was watching the movie Man of Steel and in it is this passage: "There's only one way this ends Cal; either you die, or I do." Now this sounds wrong to me. There's two outcomes. "There's only on ...