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21

Yes, you have it. 'Clearasil-scented' is intended to mean teenagers, and their 'grammatical sloth' their laziness in holding to standards. To address your particular questions, no, it is not about an alien, medication-like smell. It is a figure of speech, metonymy, clearasil being used by teenagers mostly. It is not a set-phrase at all. If anyone else ...


19

I think that rather than a difference between dialects of English, there is a difference in meaning. Small and little are not always synonymous (see this thread and this BBC page for more general discussions). Generally speaking, small tends to be more literally about size while little can be more metaphoric. In the case of a child, small refers directly to ...


10

AmE Ngram:, BrENgram: shows no real preference in usage between the two terms in BrE and AmE. What appears is a convergence in usage of both terms. Little used to be more popular both in UK and US till a few decades ago. According to this source: In comparative and superlative form, small is more common in British English, and little is more common ...


9

Your understanding is correct. The phrase 'down to' is used to convey a sense of doing something in great detail, often with the implication of a 'wider' starting point, e.g., He cleaned the car from top to bottom, from washing and waxing the paintwork, down to polishing the wheels and vaccuuming the carpets


6

tear something apart: 2. to criticize something mercilessly.


5

The usual interpretation, I think, would be "I'm going to be sleeping on the couch tonight". This means that the person's partner will not allow them to sleep in their shared bed, because they have done something wrong or because they are somehow unacceptable as a bed partner (they are drunk, they smell bad, or anything like that!) Without more context, I ...


5

"Is “Clearasil-scented” a popular phrase?" NO, the author invented it on the spot for this sentence. It is scathingly bitter. NOTE interestingly the product Clearasil does not have much smell, so it's actually not really that ingenious a construction. NOTE, it's relatively common to talk dismissively about teenagers / kids as smelling like "bubble gum". ...


4

According to Google Ngram, at the very least, in both British English and American English, the relative incidences of the two words seem identical. So, no, the use of little vs small does not seem to be one of the differences between British and American English.


4

He is referring to his humble social origins, see ( meaning 1 in a figurative sense): Pedigree: an ancestral line; lineage; ancestry. a genealogical record, esp. of a purebred animal. distinguished or pure ancestry. derivation; history. Source: http://www.thefreedictionary


4

Almost every human child that has ever lived has learnt one or more languages without being taught explicit grammar rules. In most cases, they acquire complete competence over the grammar of the languages by age 6 (though if there is a standard language, they may or may not have learnt the grammar of that standard, as opposed to the grammar of a different ...


3

Pedigree refers to the inferred ability bestowed upon him by his upbringing birth into a family of some importance, rather than the individual's personal ability. The subject of your question feels inferior to the "rich college graduates" around him who have that high pedigree obtained by their membership in a segment of society the subject is not part ...


3

The term I would use is academic regression. That is struggling in school and moving "backward," without actually failing. That could refer to someone taking a course multiple times, and getting a lower grade each time.


3

This is very much a figurative expression. There are no pleasure glands per se. The author is referring to the various parts of an individual that experiences pleasure. Carpet-bombing, according to Wikipedia: also known as saturation bombing, is a large aerial bombing done in a progressive manner to inflict damage in every part of a selected area of ...


3

As a native speaker of British English (or real-english to be obtuse) I would agree with both the posts of Vality and Gilles but would note, specifically in the run example, that the reference between little and short has been missed. I would say "I went for a little run" or more likely I went for a "short run" as this is denoting either distance or time. ...


3

The origin of this idiom comes from the habit of some horses to chew on the metal bit attached to their reins while impatient or anxious. I've always used and always heard the "chomping at the bit" version, and it seems more appropriate to me.


3

She wants to know if she is the "older woman" to whom you refer. "I am falling for an older woman." "Are you implying [that I am that older woman]?"


3

The issue here is that me appears to be the direct object of the verb imply, in much the same way as it is the direct object in the question “Are you hitting me?” This isn't the case, and the direct object is actually the phrase “that the woman is me”, which has been severely ellipted to remove the reference to the older woman which was in your statement ...


3

Given this citation from 1724... To be Stupid and Ignorant is seldom the Character of a Thief. Robberies on the High-way and other bold Crimes are generally perpetrated by Rogues of Spirit and a Genius, and Villains of any Fame are commonly subtle cunning Fellows... ...I think we can safely say OP's cited "Benjamin Franklin" quote would have been ...


3

The fact is that all native speakers of British or American English learn the English language without formal lessons in grammar, since those speakers learned the fundamentals of English at home, and learned the rules of grammar several years later. It is also true that native speakers of languages other than English also know grammar rules that most English ...


2

I don't know the movie, but presumably it means that the character, who is trying to remain hidden, is being told not to go somewhere where they'll be easily seen. To "stick a bulls eye on your back" means to make yourself an easy target.


2

As a native British English speaker I think an issue here is the assumption that little and small have precisely the same meaning. Gilles covered this well but I would like to make an additional point. To my ear, small sounds extremely clinical, it would be difficult to describe a person as small out of a medical context without it sounding rude or at least ...


2

Others have pointed out the difference, as being American vs British. You asked also about the trend. One way to get an idea, yourself, is to use Google Ngram. If you type color and colour into it, for example, you get this graph, which shows that color seems to be gaining in usage over colour in both US English and British English. But not so, for labor ...


2

I'm not even going to mention the fact that "o" is American English and "ou" is British English, as it has been mentioned by every other answer. (Whoops! I just mentioned it;) But since you asked for trends -- I've noticed that in America, "o" is used almost exclusively, except for instances where people try to sound fancy and/or formal, such as wedding ...


2

OED definition 21 B I 1c under short says... for short: as an abbreviation. Their first citation is 1845, but it's perhaps worth pointing out that two out of their three citations have the idiomatic term in 'scare quotes'. So although OED don't actually say it's informal, colloquial, I think it's fair to assume it's in that general area. As per these ...


2

A useful phrase would be: academic stagnation The figurative use of stagnation can imply slow deterioration through a lack of movement or progress. Cambridge Dictionaries Online gives the following definition for stagnation: A stage in which growth or development stops.


2

Ngram shows a wider use of champing/chomping at the bit, probably indicating that they are the more appropriate ones. be champing/chomping at the bit also be chafing at the bit to be very keen to start an activity or to go somewhere. By the time he arrived to pick us up we were champing at the bit with impatience. I'm not sure if he's ready ...


1

Considering how she ends the message, I think she means looking at it very carefully: like breaking it into small pieces and analyzing each one of it, and every sentence.


1

You could trying slipping (academic) performance.


1

'Flunking' is informal, but pretty descriptive! Not wanting to use 'academic failure' is illogical, although it means something different (ie. they've failed). 'Academically failing' might cut it.


1

Inertia. Just hanging in there, not moving forward, yet not failing.



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