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84

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 ...


63

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 ...


49

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 ...


47

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 ...


42

As this ngram shows, the term began to be used in the 1940's and it peaked in usage (at least in the materials Google samples) around 1960. The coining of the term to describe US and Soviet relations is generally attributed to Bernard Baruch in a speech given in 1947. He stated that it was suggested to him by H.B. Swope, the editor of the New York World. ...


41

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 ...


40

I would call that a "loaded question." A loaded question is one where the person asking it has an agenda behind it. While there are other cases where a loaded question is the appropriate term, I believe this to be one type. Of course, one can say that traditionally a loaded question has some information that forces the other person to agree to unsavory ...


36

Yes, one can. Of course, it is applying a term that no longer has the direct meaning that it once did, but then teamsters no longer control a team of horses, core-dumps no longer have anything to do with ferrite cores, salaries are no longer paid in salt, and most people don't look at the stars when they consider something. As such, it is one of a great ...


30

This is like "it's better to buy insurance and not need it (than it is to not have insurance and need it)." In this phrase, being safe requires effort to be in that condition, but the effort is small compared to what loss might occur if that effort weren't made. Examples are: It's better to check behind your car every time you back out of your driveway, ...


29

Bats are known for their impressive hearing, so that could be an option, while owls also have excellent hearing ability. However, the animal with the best hearing is the Greater Wax Moth, which can hear sound frequencies of up to 300,000 Hz. In comparison, most humans can only hear up to 20,000 Hz. However, I don't think She has the ears of a greater ...


28

I'm pretty sure it means that he looks good in a hat. Not sure if UrbanDictionary is a good reference, but this is the definition I mean: Rockin' Wearing something proudly and/or looking good wearing something. He's really rockin' that new hat of his! He's really rockin' that new haircut. Taken from UrbanDictionary: Rockin'


27

Not only must a mortal wound lead to death, but it must have led to death. "Mortal" means the victim has passed. "Mortal" does not mean "potentially mortal if left untreated". Because then every wound is mortal. You can die from a papercut. In fact Wikipedia goes on to explain just that. Likewise, when Wikipedia says "Death need not be instantaneous, but ...


25

The term doorstop refers to a door-stopping device, “Any device or object used to halt the motion of a door, as a large or heavy object, a wedge, or some piece of hardware”. Like the terms boat anchor (“something obsolete, useless, and cumbersome [whose only] use is to be thrown into the water as a boat mooring”) and brick (“(technology, slang) An ...


21

Yes, you do. You can disconnect or hang up. Even though we do not literally hang up the phone anymore, hang up has become idiomatic fro "disconnect the telephone connection". This is not something new from the age of the mobile phone, even with a lot of "home phones" you have not been "hanging up" in the literal sense for a very long time. On old ...


21

There's a famous quote of Gimli (LOTR): I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox Google returns about 500k results for "ears of a hawk" and 250k results for "ears of a fox" so it's quite popular, and should be quite well understood, because our 4-legged hairy friends, as well as their wild cousins, are known for their excellent hearing.


20

You can paraphrase the proverb as: Where there does not lack will, a way opens. or: Where there is no lack of will, a way opens. Both want and not call for a little explanation. want The verb want can mean “lack or be short of something desirable or essential”.¹ This is an archaic sense of want, and Tolkien was a language expert and fond of ...


20

If you wanted to preserve the exact structure of your phrase and only change the word "cocky", you could say this: I don't want to sound too forward, but my code is way much more efficient than what we have right now. That said, I would highly recommend changing the way you said this in general, but others have given plenty of advice in that regard.


19

It's not small ball-crap but small-ball crap. A bit more context from the subtitles: 74 00:02:31,153 --> 00:02:32,904 I don't want to interrupt you, sir, 75 00:02:32,905 --> 00:02:34,196 but this is not just about Orrin. 76 00:02:34,197 --> 00:02:35,991 It's about the parents. 77 00:02:38,200 --> 00:02:39,619 Now, you think about the ...


18

There's a bunch of things you need to know to understand this expression. The first is that "colder than a witch's tit" is an idiom for saying that something is really cold in temperature. The second is that out cold means unconscious (it can be used for people who are asleep, are drunk, or have taken a blow to the head). The third is that there's a ...


18

So now you have a choice. You can strike a blow for evolving language and the insights new and vigorous young commentators offer, and show that you are not mired in stodgy tradition by checking David M's loaded question. Or you can recognize the subtle distinctions offered by a seasoned veteran and not fall for the easy titillation of a flashy newcomer, ...


17

A doorstop is a weighted item that holds open a door. A common doorstop (in simpler times) was a brick. The reference to electronic devices as doorstops signifies that they have no more functionality than a brick. In general, it refers to obsolescence - the previous functionality of the device is long since gone, and you might as well use it as a doorstop. ...


17

Note that this is not idiomatic English. The speaker, Van Helsing, is Dutch, and Stoker characterizes him with odd approximations to English, which are supposed to be funny and occasionally are. Polyglot's easy—as bib and Mark Thorin tell you, the captain swore in many languages. Bloom and blood is made clear earlier in the passage: . . . ...


17

fore·bod·ing: noun - fearful apprehension; a feeling that something bad will happen: with a sense of foreboding she read the note adjective - implying or seeming to imply that something bad is going to happen: when the doctor spoke, his voice was dark and foreboding Synonyms: apprehension, anxiety, trepidation, disquiet, unease, uneasiness, ...


16

Playing violin is George's forte a person's strong suit, or most highly developed characteristic, talent, or skill; something that one excels in. Etymologically, 1640s, from French fort "strong point (of a sword blade)," also fort, from Middle French fort. Meaning "strong point of a person" is from 1680s. Final -e- added 18c. in ...


15

My eldest son can rock a hat. I am the opposite: even great hats look terrible on me. To rock a hat is to look great in a hat. On an errand this weekend, I saw these chic summer hats on display.... They’re designed by Eugenia Kim, a New York based milliner. I was tempted to buy one but I’m not sure I can rock a hat. and It's not top brands or ...


14

I can't comment on the specific case of the 'Angeles National Forest' map you mention, but in my experience, 'not drawn to scale' indicates your meaning '1', not meaning '2'. One reason the phrase may be added to a map that appears to be scaled correctly might be as a disclaimer, to protect against litigation if someone gets lost, for instance. The phrase ...


13

Neither of the meanings suggested in the question is quite right. The first (“something great was achieved, so a sacrifice was made”) probably isn't relevant. The second (“a particular action is bad and should be avoided”) is relevant, but wrong. The idea of the joke at the wikipedia link (“Every time you masturbate… God kills a kitten”) is to make fun ...


13

In rhetoric, this omne trium perfectum (all in threes is perfect or rule of three) is referred to as crescendo, auxesis or climax - an arrangement in order of increasing importance. Auxesis also refers more generally to placement of words or phrases in certain order to obtain climactic effect. When restricted to three phrases it can be referred to as ...


13

Answering the general question, the word is proved. In fact one definition for prove over at both Wiktionary and Merriam-Webster is literally "to turn out to be". Quoting the former, 3. (copulative) To turn out to be. Have an exit strategy should your calculations prove incorrect. In your specific example sentence, however, I'd prefer actually ...


12

I think that the phrase is intentionally ambiguous. Originally 'by hand' meant nursed by someone other than ones biological mother (not necessarily by bottle). But Dickens is making a bit of use of amphiboly: The full Dickens quote is: My sister Mrs. Joe Gargery, was more than twenty years older than I, and had established a great reputation with ...



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