Questions relating to semantics, the study of meaning.

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2
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1answer
96 views

Is it semantically correct to use the word 'ahead' when referring to moving in time?

EDIT: As in the questions title, is it semantically correct to use sentences such as "the concert was moved ahead in time as the stage was no longer available". To me, this makes sense, but is ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Semantics question

Context: I am the main applicant. Spouse as a dependant, I am therefore her sponsor. I don't know whether to complete section 2 or not. Taken from EEA Permanent Residence form: "Complete this ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

Meaning of “available soon” (from a test item)

stackexchange! I've been referring to this site for a while now and have finally decided to join you all. This is a semantics and use question about the phrase "available soon" that appeared as part ...
-1
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0answers
14 views

Does the following text enable two different interpretations?

Consider the following text: Workers are split into 2 groups - the first group contains all workers listed on the first page, and the group members have to attend the presentations on January ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

What does it mean to say that a lexical item is specified for semantic negation? [closed]

What does it mean to say that a negative morpheme is specified for semantic negation while another negative morpheme is not?
21
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there a word for a question that leads to more questions?

I'm looking specifically for a word (noun or adjective) that means "A question that leads to more questions". Something that is difficult to answer because it would involve answering yet more ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

are Cicadas kings or queens of the night? [closed]

Cicadas are insect that make sounds. They are very lout actually. Then, while talking about the night when cicadas do their work, one may say "The cicadas are kings" or "The cicadas are queens"? In ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

What does “Lizard in a ruin” mean in this Paragraph?

Paragraph (Taken from here): You can watch Piaf performing ‘La Foule’ on YouTube, in a recording of a concert in the Netherlands in December 1962. It is completely mesmerising. A journalist who ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

The prefix “post” can it mean before? [closed]

The posterior is the behind, the postero-dorsal is behind the antero-dorsal. But when we're talking about time, postmodern means "of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one". So are there ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

How to specify when receiving payments, that customer should pay bank fees for international payments?

On my invoice I have statement like this, which is saying when client is doing international payment, client must pay bank fees for international payments: The cost of bank fees for international ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

What's the difference between strive and struggle

According to the Macmillan dictionary, strive is to make a lot of effort to achieve sth; and struggle to try hard to do sth that is very difficult. I would like to know the grammatic and semantic ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Does gramaticality depend on semantics?

The title is really the question but I will elaborate with some background and examples. I have lately seen a number of answers (on ELL mostly) which state that something is ungrammatical because its ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Using “assumes” in a sentence

Are the sentences This formula assumes standardised features. This formula uses standardised features. semantically equivalent to This formula assumes that all features have been ...
-1
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2answers
85 views

What is the paragraph trying to convey? [closed]

The Paragraph : Having repudiated the basic commitments to nationalism and the ideal of scholarly detachment that had always sustained historical writing in the United States, professional historians ...
13
votes
4answers
776 views

Can a piano be referred to as furniture?

In the sentence: The main space contained several pieces of furniture, such as some tables, several cabinets, and a grand piano. is it ok to refer to include a grand piano in the enumeration of ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

Is the word “Until” used to show entailment?

Is the word "Until" used to show entailment? For eg.: An event doesn't happen until the third day. Does it entail that the event happens on the third day? Is there a possibility that the event may not ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

-er vs -ing when characterizing someone

For example someone wants to use both their nationality and occupation in their nickname (e.g. serb and coder), what is a better choice: coding serb coder serb I understand basic semantic ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What do “former” and “latter” refer to, here?

Here I am trying to peer into the meaning of this below paragraph (full version here).Being a non-native English speaker I am struggling in making sense, especially the bold part.The paragraph : ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Archaic verb form “bare”, its semantics

In King James Bible, John 12:6 we read: This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. As said here, bare is archaic ...
1
vote
4answers
69 views

Grammar rules governing a phrase from the US Constitution:

The U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 5 reads No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall ...
1
vote
4answers
310 views

A word or short phrase to reduce the influence of something

When talking about depression, I prefer to use positive/active words as opposed to combative or oppressive words. I'm looking for a word that fits in this sentence that is active and positive: I ...
4
votes
5answers
297 views

“Are YOU coming to get me” / “Are you coming to GET me” Is there any grammatical or semantic difference?

Is there any grammatical or semantic difference between the phrases: "Are you coming to get me?"—used to imply the question of whether that particular person is coming to get whoever. And this ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

A word that defines something that is valuable for its lack of function and productive value?

I'm looking for a word that means "something valuable (intrinsically) because of its dysfunctional nature that makes it unnapealing for profit or production."
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Should we use the word “Actually” before a sentence? [closed]

Someone asked to me about some particular information. I replied to the email like this:- Hi, "Actually I was assigned the following task by my Manager"........ Is it grammatically correct to start ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

An Example of Lexical Semantic Ambiguity?

As a joke, is A seal walks into a club... an example of semantic ambiguity, lexical ambiguity, or the expression I just recently discovered, lexical semantic ambiguity? Or put another way, is ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Best form for language [closed]

I would like to compile lists of activities, things, actions etc. that are relevant in an engineering context. A common rule is to use a verb-object form when creating lists in an attempt to present ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Use of conditionals with the word accuracy [closed]

When I get questions in the form "(do something) to achieve at least 5% accuracy (in the final result)", I interpret this as meaning that the obtained result must be different from the desired result ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

If this is really accepted usage, can somebody explain its logic to me?

I guess it's just me, but this kind of sentence: "All the elephant trainers have not been informed of this decision." ...seems misleading to me; what is meant (which can be deduced from the context) ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

How to use the expression “loser hands”? [closed]

I heard sentences which involved the expression "loser hands", e.g. "this is one of the loser hands" (with reference to some concept which someone had expressed perplexity about). Which is the ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

Is it technically correct to say I have “one exam” if I actually have four exams? [duplicate]

If a college student asks one of his fellow students the question: Do you have one exam? and the student replies: Yes, I have one exam. when he actually has four exams, is the answer ...
1
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2answers
39 views

Are these rhetorical questions?

According to Google: A rhetorical question is a question that you ask without expecting an answer. The question might be one that does not have an answer. It might also be one that has an obvious ...
1
vote
3answers
51 views

a time frame for

I'm wondering how you understand the following sentence: There is a ten year time frame for the implementation of the new policies. Does it mean that the new policies are supposed to be ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Semantics of 'the extent which' vs 'the extent TO which'

'the extent which'    vs    2. 'the extent to which' : 3. Semantically, how do these compare? I know that to is a preposition and so a Functional Morpheme, but does 'to' affect anything ...
1
vote
3answers
102 views

Opposite of honorary member

Defining a honorary member as a person which isn't actually a member of an organization but is recognized as such by the organization because of his/her contributions to the organization or society as ...
10
votes
8answers
725 views

Why is this use of the word “meaning” not quite right?

Today one of my students gave me some writing as part of her preparation for a Cambridge Proficiency exam. She was describing how after she'd moved away to go to university she'd temporarily lost ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Is there any relation between the meanings of the word “cataract”?

Oxford defines "cataract" as "a steep waterfall" as well as gives the more common meaning of the word i.e. the medical condition that causes a loss of sight. Also, "cataract", as meaning "waterfall",...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

How should I use “as” and what is its semantic nuance?

I wrote a sentence that didn't sound right to my ears. As a leader, he did not act accordingly. What I intended to say was: even though he was the leader, he did not act accordingly, as he ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Does the use of “until” entail that the verb in “until” will happen?

For example, in a sentence like This machine will keep working until the button is pressed. Does this entail that the button will be pressed? Is a sentence like This machine will keep ...
1
vote
2answers
372 views

What is a non-awkward way of referencing your child[ren] to a 3rd party of the opposite gender as yourself?

Here's the situation: You and your spouse are talking with a third person who is of the opposite gender as yourself. e.g., my wife and I are talking with a woman named - let's call her Joan. If I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Indolence vs lassitude? [closed]

I came across this sentence: "Jim and Huck spent days of indolent lassitude on the craft." I wasn't quite sure what to make of the phrase 'indolent lassitude' because to my mind they both sort of ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Historical differences in usage of “Mrs” for “mistress” or “missus”

The title Mrs. stands for mistress, but some English native speakers claim mistress is only used to indicate the woman with whom one has an (illicit) affair and that missus is the long version of Mrs. ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

Split horizontally or vertically – which one is which?

Given some object, you can split it with a horizontal cut into two objects that are laid out vertically (above each other), or you can split it with a vertical cut into two objects that are laid out ...
0
votes
3answers
210 views

Is “exceptioned” a word?

The question is a little more complex than the title states. Exceptioned is not in the dictionary. But I am not trying to use this as a verb. I work in IT. We keep a list of exceptioned words that we ...
3
votes
2answers
93 views

'A / One / At least one student entered the room.' Are these the same? (truth-conditionally)

I just wonder if the two following sentences are truth-conditionally the same. Sentence 1 essentially means there existed a student who entered the room, and this situation includes two, three or more ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

What is the right way to say “has recovered to within a threshold”?

Let's take the following sentence: X has recovered to within the maximum threshold of Y. What's really the right way to say this? Some ideas that come to mind are: to within the maximum ...
0
votes
1answer
171 views

Force somebody to do something vs. force somebody into doing something

Is there a difference between 'to force somebody to do something' and 'force somebody into doing something'? What about other expressions like 'persuade sb to do/into doing sth', 'trick sb to do/into ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

“going through someone's car” [closed]

I encountered the following sentence: He and two friends were going through someone's car and someone caught them and shot at them, killing my student. What does "go through someone's car" mean?
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Midnight semantics

I received an email with a discount code valid 'until Saturday midnight' but when I went to use it on Saturday lunchtime it had expired already, at 00:00 Saturday morning. My understanding was that ...
3
votes
1answer
315 views

Abstract nouns: countable and uncountable

What is the element that causes many abstract nouns to be both countable and uncountable (not with different meanings)? To illustrate the point, a word like taste as a noun when it means "the ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

difference between the prefix “un” and “not” [closed]

is there any plausible way to seperate the semantics of undefined - not defined or undetermined - not determined ?