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

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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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131 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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1answer
306 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

What does “We'll be up to our butts in corpses” mean?

I was reading The Watchmen (a graphic novel) and stumbled across this expression in a conversation between two cops talking about Rorschach. I suppose it means "We'll have to put up a fight", but I am ...
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3answers
1k views

“in the order it was received” and referring to position as “order”

I'm sure many of you have been in this situation—I'll be on hold for a bit and some automated voice will say Your call will be answered in the order it was received. I understand what they're ...
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1answer
218 views

The right word or phrase of an act of telling false bad stories about someone deliberately? [closed]

My subordinate at the workplace has a problem of not accepting reprimand when she has done wrong. She always becomes shaking with anger threatening to leave her job and then spreads the false stories ...
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3answers
204 views

Why is the word “engineering” used in “social engineering”?

The word "engineering" is usually used for something constructive and innovative, for example, mechanical engineering, software engineering, aerospace engineering. But "social engineering" denotes ...
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9answers
488 views

Word/phrase for importance being reduced

For example when you stop doing one thing before it's finished, and start something else because you, or someone else, considers it more important than the thing you were doing. The thing you was ...
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2answers
834 views

How can I ask about a confirmation? [closed]

Two heroes are available. Hero #1: Please, send me an URL to that site. Here #2: Go to www.bla.bla. Is it true that you look for? Is the phrase "Is it true that you look for" correct? How ...
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0answers
2k views

What does it mean to “frame an argument”? [closed]

I have asked this same question on Yahoo! Answers before, but I didn't quite understand the meaning of it. The phrase is used like so: "See how the author framed his argument?; What is he doing up ...
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2answers
211 views

“A” is about as much “B” as “C” is “D”

I wanna find out what this sentence means. “ASOT is about as much “trance” as Nelson Mandela is indie punk.” So to generalize: "A" is about as much "B" as "C" is "D" Is this comparing A with B? ...
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6answers
16k views

Origin of “tail over teakettle”?

"Tail over teakettle" is one of several similar phrases to describe a tumble or fall. But where/how did this originate? A few web searches give me pages where people use the phrase, and one of the ...
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1answer
390 views

“Karma is a bitch” [closed]

I recently sent a message to my credit union complaining about the misbehavior of some staff members (treating customers with contempt). I ended my message by writing: Karma is a b*tch. The ...
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1answer
251 views

Do two sentences below have the same meaning?

the voltage is higher than the amplifier required the voltage is higher than it was required by amplifier
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3answers
195 views

Does this expression makes sense? [closed]

W : I'm impressed at how expertly you played that piano sonata. M : Sorry. I'm still just an apprentice. When the man says "sorry", what does this exactly mean in this circumstances? Is it ...
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1answer
182 views

Meaning of “get off the hammock” [closed]

Is the phrase get off the hammock idiomatic, and what does it mean if it is?
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3answers
121 views

“A friar's hand”?

I'm reading "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour" by Joshua Ferris, and the narrator/author talks about looking over the shoulder of someone studying the Bible on the subway, and noticing that there are ...
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1answer
88 views

More Than One “from” in a Single Phrase

I apologize if this has already been raised elsewhere. I was unable to find an answer to the question of when, if ever, it is acceptable form to include multiple uses of the word "from" in a single ...
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2answers
615 views

Question about “put not your”

An exercise asked me to rearrange the sentence "Put your money not in trust" such that there is no ambiguity to its meaning. At first glance I thought that "Put not your trust in money" sounded right, ...
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2answers
265 views

What does ‘Reverse fig leaf” mean?

I was interested in the word, “Reverse fig leaf” in an article titled, “Should Germans read ‘Mein Kampf” appearing in New York Times (July 7), which deals with the planned publication of Adolf ...
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2answers
3k views

I am cutting it kinda close here!

I have heard the phrase "I am cutting it kinda close!". Why say "cutting it"? When we are not cutting anything here. Why can't we just say "I am getting late" and its like?
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3answers
130 views

Inventory Report - Item and Quantity

Greeting, I work in Korean Company and having some trouble trying to make English translation of Inventory Status Report. Suppose I have 5 different kind of items (=5 different item number), and ...
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1answer
233 views

What's is the meaning of the phrase “Read it like you've written it”? [closed]

Does the meaning of the phrase changes on its usage? If it changes, how? I am hoping an answer based on how it changes with what people are concerned, like for an example: 1) If I have written an ...
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2answers
2k views

How do I correctly punctuate the phrase “that is” in the context of an explanation?

I find myself wanting to use the phrase "that is" or "that's to say" but often can't figure out what sort of punctuation I use with it. I think it's an explanatory phrase, but I'm not sure. I ...
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4answers
117 views

What does “a bookstore-counting mood in Paris prompts soul-searching over Amazon’s 41 % share of new book sales in America” mean?

In the article titled “The French do buy books. Real books” appearing in New York Times (July 9), the author, Pamela Druckerman writes: “Recently when I was strolling through my museum-like ...
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1answer
6k views

Difference between 'As compared to' and 'When compared to'

Is there any rule governing when the phrase "As compared to..." should be used, and when "When compared to..." should be used? Or, do they mean the same, in all contexts?
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455 views

What does “running a gauntlet of fire” mean?

From the Wikipedia page for "Battle of Melle": Now Moltke broke off with the entire force and headed for Ghent running a gauntlet of fire from the various French posts along the roads and ways ...
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3answers
8k views

Would you mind, please

I receive various requests -- over email -- of the form "Would you mind please..." or "Would you please mind..." with and without punctuation. Neither of these sound quite right to my native ...
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1answer
111 views

What is Nerd Test all about? [closed]

Not sure, where to ask this. I did it here, and it was put in Hold , finally attempting here as a last try!! I am really curious(!) to know what is this? I got this link randomly about how nerd are ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the origin of the phrase “knock-down, drag-out”?

I can find this phrase in a few dictionaries: knock-down, drag-out — marked by extreme violence or bitterness and by the showing of no mercy knock–down, drag–out political debates But I ...
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3answers
477 views

There's a good fellow [Phrase]

I would like to learn more about the meaning of the phrase: There's a good fellow. All that I know is that it is used for praising or encouraging a child or an animal. Is it right?
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2answers
57 views

Band Playing without some of its Current Members

I was wondering: is there in English a specific phrase to denote a music band not playing with its whole current group of members?
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Does the phrase 'Harsh, but fair' actually make sense? [closed]

Very often I hear the phrase 'harsh but fair' used to describe something that is unduly severe, but ultimately just. I don't think that it even makes sense, though - and although I've tried to discuss ...
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1answer
167 views

Is there a term to describe the tendency to do what's minimum?

I will try my best to describe. Some times, I have found that people tend to do the minimum procedures to finish what they do, and find improving unnecessary. I understand different people have ...
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4answers
1k views

I like dog or I like dogs which is correct and why?

Why do we say 'I like dogs'? Why can't we say 'I like dog' if we are referring to a particular dog? Most people use 'I like dogs'. Which is correct and why?
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2answers
235 views

Are the phrases “once for all” and “once and for all” equally acceptable?

I don't want to see you again! It's over, once (and) for all. Are both forms acceptable? Is one of them old-fashioned?
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2answers
159 views

What does “With the perspective time gives” mean?

Please help, I've tried everything but still can't make out what this clause means. The full sentence is: With the perspective time gives, I now realize that the most fitting statement Don Juan ...
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5answers
43k views

Correct, clear, concise way to use “potato-potato” in writing

"You say tomato, I say tomato" and the song from the beginning. As an informal turn of speech, it can be used to show that two or more parties are talking about basically the same thing but not in ...
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4answers
6k views

When did the phrase “first moon party” come about?

I had never heard the term "first moon party" until I watched this video, which has gone viral over the past 2 weeks. Was the phrase just recently coined by HelloFlo's ad, or has the phrase been in ...
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1answer
78 views

Usage of “unbelievably likely” [closed]

When listening to BBC commentary of a World Cup game last week, I stumbled upon the expression used by the commentator. In my ears, to describe something as "unbelievably likely" is a contradiction in ...
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2answers
481 views

Is “Go against type” a stand-alone popular idiom?

Today’s New York Times carries an article with the headline, “James Gorman of Morgan Stanley, Going Against Type,” followed by the lead copy: Forgoing Wall Street flash, Morgan Stanley’s chief ...
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2answers
107 views

Looking for a phrase for looking [closed]

See the photo: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Film/Pix/pictures/2011/3/30/1301471878380/The-Three-Musketeers-007.jpg What's the most elegant way of describing the way they face the three ...
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3answers
374 views

What does “you don't need a husband, you need a Greek chorus!” mean?

A female friend recently saw a video of pretty old movie, “The Last Station” (directed by Michael Hoffman), which illustrates the struggle of Leo Tolstoy (the Russian author) to balance fame and ...
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16answers
14k views

“Soccer mom”: why soccer?

...why not football mom, baseball mom, or basketball mom? Soccer mom, as far as I can tell, is an American term made popular during the 1996 presidential elections, used to describe a key demographic ...
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4answers
298 views

Does one open a browser “on” a URL?

Can I say: It opens the browser on the URL [X] meaning that something is opening the browser with the URL [X] already typed in and loading?
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1answer
197 views

What does “she was as generous in sharing her death as she was in sharing her life” mean? [closed]

I just started reading this book called "A Dirty Job" by Christopher Moore. The author has dedicated his work to Patricia Moss by this sentence: This book is dedicated to Patricia Moss, who was as ...
2
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2answers
461 views

Mix of Sun and Clouds

In weather forecasts in the US, the phrase "a mix of sun and clouds" seems to be common whenever the forecast does not clearly predict rain or shine. In my recollection, forecasts used to have phrases ...
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1answer
145 views

Is there a phrase in English that means an apology for banality?

In Russian there is a phrase that literally means "sorry for triviality (banality)". It is used when a person wants to say something very simple and common like "everyone is mortal" or "love is the ...
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0answers
687 views

What is a “Gutenberg mind”? [closed]

I came across this phrase in yet another novel-is-dead kind of article, where the author refers to literary critics as the "possessors of Gutenberg minds". I was wondering if anyone else has heard ...