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47

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 ...


35

The comma after “job” tells us that the phrase as directed is non-restrictive. The sentence states “you have been directed to do a job”, and implies that how you do it is up to you. But if we take out the comma, Complete the job as directed. Now “as directed” is restrictive, and the sentence is saying something more severe: Do the work, and make ...


22

I guess they are called: Dish towels ,: a rectangular piece of absorbent cloth (or paper) for drying or wiping A tea towel or drying-up cloth (English), or dish towel (American) is a cloth which is used to dry dishes, cutlery, etc., after they have been washed. In 18th century England, a tea towel was a special linen drying cloth ...


18

I am American and familiar with "tea towel", but I think more commonly you'll see them called "kitchen towels". I would be surprised to find them in a gift store - they don't strike me as very collectible items. That may be the larger cultural disconnect.


9

The OED says it's "after German schwanen(ge)sang, schwanenlied". Being the OED, they're probably right. They give the meaning as: a song like that fabled to be sung by a dying swan; the last work of a poet or musician, composed shortly before his death; hence, any final performance, action, or effort. "swan, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, ...


3

John Ayto, Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms, third edition (2009) includes a brief discussion of "happy as Larry" under a primary entry for "happy as a sandboy": happy as a sandboy extremely happy ; perfectly contented with your situation. An 1823 dictionary describes a sandboy as an urchin who sold sand in the streets, and according to the same ...


3

horizontal - it means level relative to the (infinite) horizon or an imaginary analog.


2

Money burns a hole in my pocket. The Phrase Finder shows very old usages of the idiom, which clearly suggest a sense of urgency to get rid of something because it is supposedly too hot: "It was only a bit of change, but it was plainly burning a hole in his pocket." As though it were something hot, he wanted to pull the money out--and get rid of it ...


2

It's a metaphor. Water is life giving, cooling, satisfying, relieves and assuages thirst. Maynard needed assuaging, comforting, support and encouragement in her struggle to end her life with dignity. So she compared those who supported her to water, which is necessary to life and health; in this case they were assuaging her spirit.


1

As an American, I can tell you that we have many different absorbent materials in our kitchens. Here's an inventory of ours, along with the typical uses. Dish towel - always kept clean of food or hand contamination, used only to dry clean dishes after washing them. Sometimes known as flour-sack towels, they are flat, 100% cotton. They are often printed ...


1

They are "question tags" (BrE) or "tail questions" or "tag questions" (AmE) Question tags are the short questions that we put on the end of sentences – particularly in spoken English. If you are interested in the rules (they are very easy to learn) just follow the above link. And yes, they do exist in several european languages. (French, Spanish, ...


1

With a comma: focus is on job completion and as previously suggested says nothing about how it is to be completed. The alternative without a comma has the sense of an imperative command that says do the job as directed in the way directed, but the punctuation is incomplete. With out a "!" ending the sentence the meaning and expression is weak and somewhat ...


1

"Level" would be acceptable, as in the term "level playing field" (i.e. not sloping towards either goal).


1

I ran a quick search of the Google Books archive to see if I could find a plausible candidate. There were some hits for the phrases: To be young and in love and To be young and to be in love in the nineteenth century, but none seemed particularly likely to be influential. There was a review of a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow novel, and a novel call ...



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