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95

You could consider "debunk" To expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief). Individual cases where a stereotypical assumption is confounded might be described as someone "breaking the mold" Women Artists Who Broke the Mold


92

If etc. occurs at the end of a sentence, then you do not add another period. It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. However, if etc. occurs at the end of a clause, you can add a comma or other punctuation mark after it. I bought the apples, oranges, etc., but they were all rotten. Grammar.ccc.com gives the following rule: When an ...


92

Something is meta (and self referential) if it is about itself. (Strictly speaking, you can be meta by being about the thing's own category, rather than this specific individual thing, but the key is "about".) If you substitute the word "about" where you see meta in a sentence longer than "it's meta", you will get close to the meaning, even though the ...


90

There are various terms for this. Once upon a time, “screen name” would likely have been the most common. However, it seems to me that this convention has been driven by the most pervasive websites. So, with Facebook et al's move toward encouraging the use of real names, “screen name” seems much less common (phrases such as “nickname” appear to be used now ...


85

To say the same thing, you can say I hope it won't be considered presumptuous to say this, but... or I don't want to sound presumptuous, but... Synonyms that you can substitute here for presumptuous are impertinent, overconfident, arrogant, bold, insolent, impudent, and of course the less formal sounding "cocky". To sound deferential, but not ...


81

Around my office, such a problem is called a Heisenbug, a pun on the name of the great physicist Werner Heisenberg, who first described the observer effect (the rule that observing any phenomenon will change it) and the uncertainty principle (the rule that you can know either where something is or how fast it is going, but not both). The frustrating thing ...


73

You could try "I like neither potatoes nor ice cream" though it sounds somewhat old-fashioned.


72

Eyesore? Affront to all that is holy? Mirror-cracker?


69

This is known as a Dine and Dash A dine and dash (also referred to as "dine and ditch", "eat and run", "chew and screw" "doing a runner" or "beating the check") is a form of theft by fraud, in which a patron orders and consumes food from a restaurant or similar establishment with no intent to pay, then leaves without paying. Wikipedia


66

"Who knows?" is the simplest form. I hear it (and use it) regularly.


66

I would suggest moving target. Longman online (3) says: a moving target something that is changing continuously, so that it is very difficult to criticize it or compete against it


62

While we often think that our idea/viewpoint/product is far superior to others we encounter, the needs of the creator or other users may be divergent from our own, or what we think theirs are. We may view precision as the primary criterion, while they think ease of use is paramount. And they may be the deciders. One approach to acknowledge that another ...


56

The general term I hear most often for this is security theater. From Wikipedia: Security theater is the practice of investing in countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to actually achieve it. This doesn't necessarily come with the increase in fear, but it's often associated. An example ...


56

Verbatim: (from TFD) using exactly the same words; corresponding word for word: a verbatim report of the conversation. or literally: in a literal manner; word for word: translated the Greek passage literally.


56

How about foreboding: 'a strong inner feeling or notion of a future misfortune, evil, etc'.


56

They are known as "trust-fund babies" or "trust-fund kids": from Dictionary.com: noun: a child of wealthy parents or other relatives who can rely on a trust fund rather than hard work for a living


55

"I want a pony" is a slang phrase, usually used in reply to someone's request for something impossible. From the Urban Dictionary: "We want a copy protection solution that's 100% unbreakable." "Yes, and I want a pony." In this context, it reads to me that while the author would very much like a solution to the Eurozone crisis, he doesn't believe ...


53

As an American mom whose kids I shuttled to and from soccer (along with their dad, who played basketball in HS/college), I would like to give an opinion. Baseball/football/basketball are the big three here. When my kids were very, very young, the sport for little kids was tee-ball, a version of baseball/softball where the ball is not pitched but sits on a ...


50

To expand a little on Claudiu’s excellent answer, there seems to be an interesting progression/evolution here: metaphor: “it’s like he was spat out of his father’s mouth” (1689). metonymy: “he’s the very spit of his father” (1825) — when the metaphor is commonplace enough, it no longer gets spelled out in full. idiom/cliché: “the spit and image of his ...


50

It means "introductory something". The allusion is to a college course with the course code 101, which in the American system and probably others indicates an introductory course, often with no prerequisites.


50

It doesn't at all mean "don't go around talking about this to anyone." It is in fact much closer to "you're welcome." When you are telling someone "don't mention it", what you are telling them not to mention is the 'thank you' itself -- you are saying "Your thanks isn't necessary. I was glad to do it, so you didn't need to mention your thanks." (Note: This ...


50

I upvoted David's loaded question because it's a very common usage, but on reflection I realised that's not quite right for OP's context. A loaded question is nearly always one that's asked in such a way as to force or encourage a particular answer (that the answerer might not give if the question were presented "fairly"). But a trick question is one where ...


50

The presence of a negation makes all the difference! The sentence is interpreted as: I don't (like (potatoes or ice-cream)). -> I don't (like potatoes or like ice-cream). This logic can be represented with and instead of or, if we use the negation twice: I don't like potatoes and I don't like ice-cream. Without a negation, this would go like: ...


50

As Dan has said in his comment, the comma adds gravitas. However, I believe it also changes the implication of the sentence. Complete the job, as directed could be interpreted as "You have been told to finish this task. Do so.", which says nothing about how you should perform it. In contrast, I feel the clear implication of Complete the job as ...


49

Probably the closest English saying to this is "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away," which is actually a misquote of Job 1:21: And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.


47

harrumph /həˈrʌmf/ verb; gerund or present participle: harrumphing clear the throat noisily grumpily express dissatisfaction or disapproval. "skeptics tend to harrumph at case histories like this" He harrumphed and said, ‘I am deeply obliged’. (from Google)


46

It's what the test pilots of the time called the original American Mercury astronauts, because the astronauts were not really "flying" the craft due to lack of control surfaces or (in the beginning) even windows. "Spam in a can" is heard in the movie version of Tom Wolfe's non-fiction book, The Right Stuff. Although test pilots at Edwards AFB mock the ...


45

Don't just assert; support the assertion. "Testing with the Arcane Blivit dataset indicates that this implementation improves performance of the Deeble function by 20%, which improves our overall performance on that dataset by 3%. I'd be glad to repeat the experiment with other datasets to make sure this isn't an atypical result." Or explain why the new ...


43

Wikipedia actually has an article dedicated to this phrase. It says: The earliest confirmed publication is the 1866 Dion Boucicault play Flying Scud in which a character knowingly breezes past a difficult situation saying, "Excuse me Mr. Quail, I can't stop; I've got to see a man about a dog." In a listing for a 1939 revival on the NBC Radio program ...


43

“In political terms, secularism is a movement towards the separation of religion and government (often termed the separation of church and state).” —Wikipedia



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