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65

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


16

'Capricious' sounds like more close since its more close to being 'arbitrary'. 'Volatile' is also nice to use here but if it is regarding your example of a document it must be 'Dynamic'


12

If you're looking for one with a negative connotation - you can say you are "building on quicksand".


9

In the UK we often accuse someone of "moving the goal posts" if they change requirements or conditions in a way that makes our efforts or arguments redundant. The same phrase can also be used in a less accusatory manner if events overtake us, but this is slightly less common, IME.


6

I would use "dynamic" which google defines as (of a process or system) characterized by constant change, activity, or progress If you wish to use it as a phrase then try "dynamic system", "dynamic process", "the dynamic nature of..." or "dynamic in nature"


6

"in flux" or "ephemeral" both seem useful here.


5

You might be looking for the word understatement. According to Merriam-Webster: Understate(v): to state or present with restraint especially for effect The "effect" in this case is often humorous.


4

I've heard this situation called shifting requirements. "It's hard to predict what the final product will look like, thanks to all these shifting requirements!"


4

We always called it a living document. Changes are ever happening and the status quo is always in flux.


4

The 1st word that comes to mind is "mercurial"- defined as changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic: Other fine words I would use would also be things like protean or mutable If we are talking about something changing because you are working on it there are some good science terms namely the "Uncertainty principle", that observation alters the ...


3

Evolving could be a suitable option.


3

As is always the case, context makes a difference in English. However here is an explanation that I hope will be useful.. 1. "I tried closing my eyes" ---> This usually signals an action that was actually carried out, e.g. I was at the dentist's; her lamp was very bright in my face. I tried closing my eyes but it was still uncomfortable. I asked her ...


2

In the USA they call such a person a "Rube Goldberg" after the cartoonist who depicted highly complicated devices for doing simple tasks. "You are turning that task into a real Rube Goldberg machine." Oxford Dictionaries Online defines Rube Goldberg [machine] as Ingeniously or unnecessarily complicated in design or construction In the UK we had Heath ...


2

"Empirical" means amenable to testing or understanding through physical experience. It comes from the Greek Εμπειρίκος, meaning "experienced" or "practiced." You could also say, "in practice; not theory." If the entire stage is a projection screen for making Bunin's words visible and the a cappella choir makes them audible, then the audience can directly ...


2

I invented the term. Kenneth Duda and Thomas Lumley have it right (though phenry and GenericJam gave good guesses). It's a play on words. The "people from the concrete steppes" think of the economy (and the effects of monetary policy in particular) like a mechanism, where the central bank moves one lever, which causes another lever to move, and so on. They ...


2

I'm not sure if this is a purely Australian expression, but here we often say that the "goalposts are shifting" in a situation where you can't achieve anything due to constantly changing requirements.


2

“We Are Building a Plane in Mid-Air”


2

"Let alone," as I think you know, is a way of emphasizing a thing that's really not going to happen. Regarding the question of which sentence is correct, the first one works better because you have the emphatic phrase next to the thing it's emphasizing -- video game.


2

The phrase I would use in this case is "... right out from under me," with the leading part variable depending on the context. In your particular example, I would say something like: Well, nuts, looks like this document got revised right out from under me.


2

The answer is certainly yes, such cases do exist. But before I show you a few, please try to keep in mind the advice from Oxford University Press cited at the end of The Economist’s Style Guide’s section on hyphens: If you take hyphens seriously, you will surely go mad. Yes, they buried their own lede. I didn’t. So now let’s look at some places ...


2

Text is a presentation of language, with some advantages that speech lacks, the main one being portability across space and time, but also with some disadvantages, for example: --fluency alone is not enough--you have to learn to read; --until the advent of text-to-speech you couldn't really chop onions while engaging with the language; --the structure of ...


2

How about inscribe? to mark (a surface) with words, characters, etc., especially in a durable or conspicuous way. (m-w.com)


1

The reason to use hyphens in cases such as this is to make it clear that the hyphenated string is used as a single adjectival unit. You pretty much have to hyphenate when you use any string of words as an adjective in the attributive position, i.e., preceding and modifying a noun. Such strings also appear hyphenated in the dictionary when they've been ...


1

"hyphens ...(are) ...not needed in speech, so they must be extraneous" means you don't say, for example, "two hyphen year hyphen old." You don't say the word "hyphen" out loud. Here's an example of a word where I like to insert a hyphen for clarity: re-sent To: school administrator (complaining about school unresponsiveness) I am having trouble ...


1

Yes, it's fine. In your example, "specifically in San Francisco" is an appositive to "in California". An appositive adds information without affecting truth. Here, giving more information about where you live is not relevant to the truth of "I live in California".


1

Clauses contain nouns and verbs; phrases are missing one or the other; constructions describe any word group, independent or subordinate. There are participle uses for clauses and phrases, but I think the term "participle construction" describes both types of word groups. Participle clauses contain nouns and verbs, but they're not independent: they never ...


1

'The ground is shifting under my feet' is an expression that I think most closely reflects the situation described of a document being edited while you are editing it. 'Shifting goalposts' is not quite analogous. More suitable for the 'boss' changing what they want the document to say when you present it for review.


1

I have yet to see someone mention the most common phrase I would use to describe this: a ninja edit; that is, a change to something that happens while you are commenting on it. I find it to be a very common saying on forums and message boards. Urban dictionary confirms this, if you consider that valid: A ninja edit is an change made to a published post ...


1

Posts submitted to StackExchange are subject to change and are continually evolving due to the editorial efforts of the community. That is the nature of the beast here at SE.


1

Fluid (reference.com) changing readily; shifting; not fixed, stable, or rigid: Fluid (free dictionary) fluid - subject to change; variable; "a fluid situation fraught with uncertainty"; "everything was unstable following the coup" Unstable: liable to change or fluctuate quickly: an unstable weather pattern. (an unstable work/code/dev ...



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