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1

This is called do-support and is required when you have a negative such as never before the subject. Other examples from Wikipedia: Never did he run that fast again. (wrong: *Never he did run that fast again. *Never ran he that fast again.) Only here do I feel at home. (wrong: *Only here feel I at home.)


4

There is absolutely positively completely nothing wrong grammatically with ending a sentence with a preposition. This was a bogus rule made up by grammarians to sell grammar books, and ignores the way Germanic languages work. Some people cling to the rule, but it is a question of style, not grammar. Furthermore, used to has become, in practice, a lexical ...


2

The phrase like ᴠᴇʀʙing through molasses (AmE) or ... through treacle (BrE) is commonly employed to convey the idea of very slow progress. Typically, this is not due to active resistance, rather it is used reflectively, as a observation made in hindsight. The analogy is possible, as @HotLicks points out, due to the high viscosity of fluids like molasses, ...


1

There is a phrase in the novel Brave New World: Ending is better than mending (WikiQuote) The phrase is a slogan taught subliminally (via a process dubbed "hypnopædia"): A government slogan encouraging people to throw away old possessions and buy new ones, thus theoretically keeping the global economy strong. So to use it literally would be to miss ...


0

"Some of us..." is commonly used where the speaker wishes to neither exclude nor include himself in the "us". He or she may do so out of modesty when speaking of something that shows them in a good light; conversely, they may use this form if they wish to avoid responsibility but at the same time not alienate their audience. If the speaker wishes to make ...


0

I think in light of isn't as far off as you fear. But i agree that from the perspective of or informed by or through the lens of all work.


7

Some of us is an indexical expression, which means that it picks out different people in different contexts. Sometimes it includes the speaker, sometimes it does not. Suppose the speaker is a member of a book club that is debating its next book. Suppose the speaker and two others want to read Moby Dick, but another three members don't. If the speaker utters:...


1

I've heard the phrase 'burn the (or a) candle to the quick', but that was long ago and I'm also searching for a reference to it. It means to use something completely up, and I believe the 'quick' is the base part of the candle where the wick is either anchored or begins.


0

Is there an idiomatic prepositional phrase meaning 'with the help of something' in this particular context? Help lends an advantage, yes? ... from the vantage of ... Noun 1. vantage - place or situation affording some advantage (especially a comprehensive view or commanding perspective) Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-...


2

through the lens of This phrase doesn't exactly mean "with the help of", but it suits the particular purpose you're looking for. It's a metaphoric use of lens, and conveys a more active process, as if the novel were being seen and interpreted from within Girard's theory, rather than his theory simply "shedding light on" or "illuminating" the novel. ...


0

"XXX this ...for a lark/game of soldiers/good time. Surely the essential sense of this construction (which I use and hear often) is that the speaker is saying that the activity they are engaged with is turning out to be a lot less rewarding/pleasing than they were expecting/hoping. The activity used for comparison may be playfully facetious (e.g. a ...


2

Sod this for a game of soldiers/bugger this for a game of soldiers: oath uttered when faced with a pointless or exasperating task popular expression dating back into the mid-1900s and possibly before this, of uncertain origin although it has been suggested to me (ack R Brookman) that the 'game of soldiers' referred to a darts game played (a ...


1

You might want to think about comparable words. Does "tally it up" or "hold in place" work better? In your example, both could technically work if you're using "chock" as a replacement for "immovable idea/dogmatic belief" but "chalk" works better because you're outlining the steps of logic you took and tallying - or "chalking" - them up in order to arrive ...


0

There are multiple meanings to this idiom. There is "on a winning streak" which I take to be meant by your quote and also "drunk"/"on a drunken spree", both of which have already been described. However, I have also heard this phrase used to mean something more like "ranting and raving" or "righteously indignant". (I would pronounce "tear" in this usage to ...


-1

I always believed it was "on a tare" referring to empty trucks (at tare weight) that have delivered their loads and are now barreling down the highway towards home, not struggling with hills and curves, full speed ahead.


1

In my experience as a US Marine, it was only used to refer to haircuts. It's a movie. Avatar, no less. And that dude ain't no REAL Marine. After 20 years out of the service, I could be wrong, but in that movie, the writer just didn't freakin know he was using the term wrong, and no one wants to tell Jamers Cameron he's wrong.


4

Drop and give me zen is a currently popular meme featured on t-shirts and inspirational posters. It is likely a play on the expression drop and give me ten or its more popular variant drop and give me twenty. These are stereotypical orders given by drill sergeants to soldiers, instructing them to drop to the ground and do ten or twenty push-ups. Here is a ...


1

When I was a British army officer cadet in the 1960s I boned my boots to give them a high polish; any smooth bit of bone will do, even the handle of a knife. The "bone" can be a hard bit of plastic. My boots were gleaming; they had been boned up.


2

The image I glean from the passage is that the crow gradually builds up a hoard of glass, and the narrator gradually builds up an opinion, rather than gaining it in a single flash of insight. It's not a recognizable American English idiom, and knowing Murakami it's likely to be an original image rather than a standard one.


0

Resorting to criminality. This amounts to another way of saying the same thing.


1

W.J. Rayment on indepth info.com does a good job explaining... "People of that time were understandably agitated when they heard the funeral bell toll. At the time people lived by the bells in the church steeple. To hear funeral bells was the equivalent today of broaching the obituaries in the newspaper. It is interesting to note that Donne tells his reader ...


0

"A couple weeks" does indeed sound incorrect because it should correctly be written as "a couple of weeks". It makes perfect sense if it is written or spoken correctly because in this case the "couple of weeks" becomes a singular group of weeks consisting of two weeks. It's like saying "a flock of geese" which is a singular flock consisting of many geese, or ...


0

Chafe is to be rubbed raw or irritated, and champ is to chew or bite down. So while nowdays champ, chomp, and chafe at the bit are used to express eagerness or impatience, whenever I had read or heard the terms as a child, chafe at the bit was meant to indicate dislike or irritation at being held back or under someone elses command, and champ at the bit was ...


0

A Smart-Alecky question: Definition of Smart-Aleck (via merriam-webster online): an obnoxiously conceited and self-assertive person with pretensions to smartness or cleverness Example: some smart aleck in the audience kept shouting clever insults at the nervous speaker


2

If the question is posed in good faith then it's a poorly phrased question (couldn't resist). If the awkward phrasing was intentional and the "wrong" answer is actually the desired outcome, then it's a trick question. a deceptive question that is intended to make one give an answer that is not correct or that causes difficulty Deceptive (above) ...


14

A "trick question" is a question where the words are arranged in such a way as to produce an incorrect answer. Trick question — Cambridge a question that makes you believe you should answer it in a particular way, when the real question is hidden or there is no right answer


2

inveigle to persuade (someone) to do something in a clever or deceptive way to get (something) in a clever or deceptive way


2

It is common to tell children It's [gone] well past your bedtime This simply means the hour which the children should have gone to bed has gone. The expression well past strongly hints that it is significantly later. Consequently, I would not understand gone past eight as meaning, as suggested by the OP, 8.50 pm. Dancing well past midnight, they ...


3

I may have a useful (and/or flawed) perspective on this, having been born English to American parents, then raised from the age of 2 through adulthood in the U.S. immersed in U.S. language and culture, but also watching lots of BBC and ITV imported television on PBS and reading Dick Francis and P.D. James novels; and then having moved back to England and ...


0

Left field in baseball is a very busy place with a lot of hit baseballs going there due to the majority of batters being right handed and tending to pull the ball that direction. So things going into left field are common. A natural contradiction is that things coming out of left field would be very unusual and unexpected. Thus the saying. PB


5

Gone is used to say, usually imprecisely, that a particular time is now in the past (usually by a matter of minutes/hours). "It's gone 8 o'clock" means simply that it is now after/past 8. If it is still a moment within a few minutes of 8 then you would say "It's just gone 8". It can easily be invested with an elegiac and regretful sense. Absurdly ...


1

There are a lot of jokey euphemistic expressions synonymous with dying, and the Monty Python dead parrot sketch provides quite a few. Here are some more: List of expressions related to death. You asked however specifically about killing. Honestly there aren't many jokey slang terms for this, probably because most people are unlikely to be flippant about ...


0

While not precisely to the point, you can't do better than Monty Python It's resting.


12

The Collins English Dictionary simply defines "gone" in this context as meaning "past". The two are essentially equivalent. The use of "gone" emphasises that the time is after the one specified, without saying how long after. How long after isn't really important, it's the being after that matters. It's not really possible to pin it down more than that ...


1

We used to laugh uncontrollably when threatened by our Gym instructor with, "I'll tear off your right-arm and beat you to death with the bloody stump." Now that I think of it…


1

"Hang tight" goes back to at least 1901: Hang tight, my friends ! Hang tight ! Hang tight ! " said he, when, suddenly, one near the top, in the agitation of the moment, began to sneeze, lost his hold, and down the whole string, hundreds of them, fell, and were completely flattened out Or is it 1879? Hang tight. Good —. What I Thank God! Thank ...


1

According to the Phrase Finder it may be a boxing term probably in use from the 60s: Hang tight: Hang to the rigging, be patient. 1966. "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume II by Frederic G. Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall (1991, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England). Page 893. Hang in there ...


0

I like "empty rhetoric" suggested by @Silenus. My suggestion is not the name of the rhetorical device. But, when a politician speaks about their unrealistic and ideal target to achieve during their political term without giving concrete details such as strategy and proven track records or results, you could consider saying That's politics talking (, ...


1

Platitude 1: the quality or state of being dull or insipid His speech was filled with familiar platitudes about the value of hard work and dedication. "Platitude." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 7 June 2016. Bromide a statement that is intended to make people feel happier or calmer but that is not original or effective ...


0

Vague promises would be fine. Vague — Macmillan adjective 1. Not clearly or fully explained. "The politicians made vague promises about independence" Usage example: "Vague Promises of Debt Relief for Greece", The New York Times


4

This article in The Independent newspaper discusses how politicians use weasel words like : [...] 'robust', 'remnants' and 'anecdotal' [... etc ...] to hide or mislead [...] and obscure terrible truths. Here is an snippet but I recommend reading whole article: "Remnants" in certain contexts has had a bad smell ever since US spokesmen started ...


1

verbiage the use of language that is wordy or needlessly complicated, and often meaningless. [emphasis added]


3

I would call such uses of language simply rhetoric, which has developed a pejorative sense: "language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content" (here; my emphasis). You could also use empty rhetoric for emphasis, as suggested by @AmI below.


1

Two often misunderstood terms come to mind. You could say that the idiom begs the question: To beg a question means to assume the conclusion of an argument—a type of circular reasoning. This is an informal fallacy, in which an arguer includes the conclusion to be proven within a premise of the argument, often in an indirect way such that its presence ...


-1

Before you read this answer, note the overwhelmingly critical point, presented below the line below! There's really no word, or even term, for the concept .. within idioms, those idioms where, the underlying concept is, as it happens, actually false Honestly, there's no word for that :) I would encourage you to familiarise with the meaning of Idiom ...


3

A suitable expression would be to make more accessible. accessible easy to approach, reach, enter, speak with, or use. Alternatively, for a more informal flavor, you can use idiot-proof. idiot-proof built, organized, written, etc., in such a way as to be usable by or understandable to any person of average intelligence or skill: an idiot-...


2

"How do we simplify this explanation?" "How do we explain it more simply and clearly? Simplify — ODO (verb, with object) Make (something) simpler or easier to do or understand "The two groups are working in partnership to simplify existing rules and information processes" "Huge steps were made in simplifying information access, mapping, ...


1

So essentially you're talking about when somebody applies for something, lets say a job and their skills/attributes don't: match the specification. fit the criterion reach certain demands thus they are: unfit for the position ineligible unsuited In regards to a business situation/job application, the employer would write: unfortunately your ...


0

Building on Marius Hancu’s answer, Johnson seems to be using this meaning of embrace: to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: For example: to embrace an idea.                — Dictionary.com to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly to take up especially readily or gladly <embrace a cause>       — MW The MW ...



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