Questions relating to semantics, the study of meaning.

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1answer
92 views

“Even though” contradiction

Clause Run! This single-word command is also a clause, even though it does seem to have a subject. With a direct command, it is not necessary to include the subject, since it is obviously the ...
1
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1answer
122 views

Where using “title” instead of “name” is justified?

Merriam-Webster and many other dictionaries defines Title as something that can be used instead of the Name of that thing. For example, based on what I understood, it seems logical to use these ...
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3answers
320 views

Can you be sent on a quest or does it then become a mission?

A discussion on the Arqade sister site brought up an interesting question that I thought I'd share here. What is the difference between a quest and a mission? Given the roots of the words, quest ...
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6answers
1k views

“Semantic”s relation to “Pedantic” [closed]

When pointing out to my friends one day that I should have used a different word in a previous conversation, I mentioned that I was being pedantic. They, ironically, corrected me saying I was being ...
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2answers
2k views

“A and B both are” vs. “A and B are both” vs. “Both A and B are” vs. “Both of A and B are”?

A and B both are very good; A and B are both very good. Both A and B are very good. Both of A and B are very good. Are there subtle differences between the four sentences above?
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2answers
213 views

When the waitress at a diner calls her male customer a ''good girl'' after getting tipped, is it meant to be offensive?

My friend got called that and since neither of us are American, it just sounded offensive to us.
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5answers
2k views

What word describes text having a different meaning backwards and forwards?

Jonathan Reed's poem 'Lost Generation' is a pessimistic view of the future if read forwards. However, if you read it backwards linewise (not wordwise), it is still semantically meaningful, but the ...
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1answer
253 views

Lexicology, Semasiology

Is metonymy considered to be linguistic or extralinguistic factor of semantic change? For example crown for a monarchy
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2answers
273 views

Negative versions of extreme adjectives

If something positive is "too much", it becomes negative. For example, too much security could be perceived as being trapped. Is there a term for this relation? In other words, if a word with a ...
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1answer
522 views

'in appreciation' vs. 'appreciatively' [closed]

Is using the adverbial prepositional phrase in appreciation in place of the adverb appreciatively convey exactly the same meaning? I'm attempting to avoid the use of the adverb "appreciatively" in ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Difference between the terms 'famous' & 'infamous'; 'valuable' & 'invaluable'

Question in Short: Why is it that the terms valuable and invaluable mean almost the same thing while the terms famous and infamous are almost semantically opposite in meaning? That is, one is used to ...
0
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1answer
135 views

Whatever happened to thou and thee? Thy words have become more dreary [closed]

Why did thee, thou and thy come to disappear from English? I am looking for solid explanations, rather than observations that these are still used in dialects in the north. Please explain cause for ...
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2answers
65 views

Be proud of vs Take credit for

Does I'm proud of something imply I'm taking credit for something? I just observed that the former phrase only works with my own accomplishments or with related people, but not with unrelated ...
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4answers
131 views

Is there an antonym for the word dislocation?

For my PhD research I am writing about the metaphorical displacement of people (as in "they drove me out of their group", "he was snatched away before his time"). Essentially there are a variety of ...
3
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2answers
1k views

English Syntax Rules Based on Word Choice

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Animacy and came across something I found to be very interesting: The higher animacy a referent has, the less preferable it is to use the preposition of for ...
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1answer
60 views

Is this a logically symmetric relation: “X must be consistent with Y”

Does it follow that if I make the statement "X must be consistent with Y" that "Y must be consistent with X"? I'm hoping to hear this answered from a linguistics perspective, specifically related to ...
2
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1answer
147 views

“None” and “Any” [closed]

Can anyone tell me more about the relationship between the words none and any I'm specifically interested in their grammatical overlap, when they share a similar grammatical function in a sentence, ...
0
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2answers
115 views

a year later VS a year on

When one wishes to say that something will happen in the future, one would say, for example, either ten years later or ten years on. What I would like to know is if there are any semantic or stylistic ...
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1answer
81 views

Did the author of the following text mean “meat?”

"Small initial discrepancies may not be seen as meet for a federal case, particularly when the employee, trying to succeed in a nontraditional environment, is averse to making waves." Is there a ...
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1answer
1k views

Which is correct: I'll be moving next month or I'll be shifting next month?

For changing one's home from one place to another, I've heard people in western part of the world using the sentence: I'll be moving next month. In India, even in the English news channels, ...
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2answers
73 views

Usage of 'bovinely' when fastness or slowness are involved

I know that in English 'I tried to go as slow as possible' and 'I tried to go as fast as possible' have a very different meaning, but I'm unsure how 'bovinely', before 'possible', change that ...
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2answers
960 views

Where in the world does “a lift” mean “a ride in the car”?

In the United States and Canada, when someone asks you for "a lift" or you offer "a lift", you are speaking about riding in a car with them. However, in England and other places, a "lift" is an ...
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0answers
26 views

“Went to school happily” vs. “happily went to school” vs. “went happily to school” [duplicate]

The boy went to school happily. The boy happily went to school. The boy went happily to school. If the adverb “happily” is allowed to be put in the three places above, what are the ...
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1answer
451 views

Why and how did “a sensible boy” become “intelligent and prudent”?

Italians often get confused by sensible and sensitive. If I tell them He's a sensible boy; he studies hard, saves his money, and plans ahead. They are quite bewildered. To them, sensible is ...
2
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2answers
880 views

Humans or people?

This is the sentence I've read: Freedom is something humans in all times have fought for. I am under the impression that the use of humans is not adequate here. Thus, my question is: when to ...
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1answer
345 views

Does the American English hesitation sound “uh” imply ignorance, like “d’uh”?

In British English, a pause in speech is usually marked by the word “er” or “erm” and means something like “let me think”, or “what’s the word”. There is no implication of anything other than ...
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1answer
490 views

How Many is “A Few”? [duplicate]

I'm preparing some marketing materials for my boss, and one section contains the phrase "Here are a few examples:". The list that follows contains two items, which strikes me as being incorrect, ...
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1answer
77 views

Can Whilst only be used in mid-clause?

According to this entry in the Urban Dictionary on "Whilst" (2nd definition on this page: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=whilst), it can only be used in mid-clause. I have skimmed ...
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2answers
601 views

“of both which” or “of which both”

Consider the following sentence: This takes a lot of time and money to keep going, ... I have little. Which would fit best in that ellipsis? of both which or of which both or both of which In my ...
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2answers
866 views

“noun of noun” vs. “noun+noun”?

I wonder if there is a significant difference at the semantic or pragmatic levels in using the compounds structures noun of noun or noun+noun. For example, is it the same to say "the consumption of ...
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1answer
364 views

How to organize semantically a list of words that describes the weight (or size) of objects? [closed]

Let's say I have a list of words that describes the weight (or size) of objects, like heavy, strong, light, soft. Which words should be used to have a complete semantic list from the heaviest element ...
1
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1answer
141 views

“Keith does not a hint take” or “A hint does Keith not take”

While wasting time on the internet (as I am wont to do), I came across a video in which somebody was criticizing a blog-post and corrected the statement *Keith does not a hint take. supplying his ...
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2answers
671 views

semantic property shared by words between class of words

What semantic property or properties are shared any words in 1 and 2? alive, asleep, dead, married, pregnant tall, smart, interesting, bad, tired I don't see any shared between those words.
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2answers
467 views

“Of which I am unaware of” & “I don't know”, semantic difference

While reading first few chapters of fascinating book "On Writing Well", this doubt struck my mind: "There are many great English writings of which I am unaware of" OR "There are many great ...
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1answer
214 views

Position of adverbial phrase [duplicate]

Is there a difference in these two sentences, and if so, what is the difference? Immediately afterwards I remembered having met her. I remembered having met her immediately afterwards. I think ...
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2answers
74 views

Three times the second integer less 4

I am learning word problems for Quantitative reasoning GRE exams. English is not my first language and I wonder if the following expression is ambiguous in English: "Three times the second integer ...
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1answer
257 views

Semantics to give correct meaning [closed]

What is the correct semantics? We can't tolerate no more. Or, We can tolerate no more. Or, We can't tolerate any more. Or, Is there any better way to express such meaning?
5
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2answers
860 views

Why are the notes or protocol of a meeting referred to as its 'minutes'?

A minute is 60 seconds. Something 'minute' is small, minor, perhaps short. Now, what about the minutes of a meeting or a session? As in, its written protocol? Are they called that because: The ...
2
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1answer
136 views

“Feeling well” adverb ambiguity

Am I just crazy, or is there some ambiguity in the phrase "feeling well"? Example: Billy has a genetic defect that causes him to lose sensation in his fingertips every few days, or so. "How are you ...
1
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1answer
207 views

Is there any other word meaning “prick” with initial onsets “pr-” except prick?

This is my edited question: I look up in the etymological dictionay about prick, and find that prick is not a word derived from Proto-indo-european etymon. Meanwhile, I find a lot of words meaning ...
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1answer
330 views

What does the word “Hakim” sound and feel like? [closed]

I really enjoy the connotations of words, particularly now because I'm looking for a name for something. I'd like to know what this word (hakim) sounds like to native English speakers. Obs: If ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Achievement Verbs with the Progressive Aspect

I was reading a grammar and saw this. Achievement verbs describe actions that occur instantaeously. He solved the problem. He spotted the airplane. These verbs fall into two classes - one is ...
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2answers
1k views

Difference between “technically possible” and “physically possible”?

Do you think these expressions can be used interchangeably? I find little or no differene between the two meanings. Does this question need more context?
3
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1answer
2k views

Is there a term for two differently phrased sentences with the same meaning?

Is there a term that describes the relationship between different sentences with the same meaning, in the way "synonym" describes the relationship between different words with the same meaning? For ...
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1answer
1k views

Is “to” inclusive in “I worked at company X from April 2012 to April 2013”? [duplicate]

I have a question about the use of the word to as a time proposition. Is to inclusive in the following sentence? I worked at company X from April 2012 to April 2013.
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2answers
116 views

Is “Cutting Across the Afternoon of Life” grammatical? [closed]

I'm using this for a title of short story. The title has to reflect the last line of the story, which is as follows: A long, dark shadow cuts across the countless cubicles. I've thought of ...
2
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1answer
189 views

When a sentence contains both “not” and “or”, which one has priority?

I am changing a piece of text which current reads: Payment not deducted to also include the situation where payments are withheld. The suggested revision of text given to me is Payment not ...
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4answers
4k views

Is it acceptable to use “womyn” or “womin” instead of “women”?

I have often seen/heard these two terms in many articles and speeches about Feminism or women's rights issues. I couldn't find them in any online dictionary except for the Oxford Dictionary which ...
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3answers
114 views

Does ordering make a difference?

I would like to know whether there is a grammatical or semantical difference between "notion of " and "-notion". I do not know what to search for to answer this question so maybe someone can help me ...
3
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2answers
434 views

Is “I don't work here” literal or does it mean “I am not an employee of this establishment”? [closed]

Part of my work involves visiting retail establishments during business hours. Often, when mistaken for an employee of the store, I am asked a question about where to find something in the store, to ...