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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


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 ...


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


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


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 ...


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)


43

Obviously, you are wrong. First off, I don't need to point out that the majority of everything we say or write is superfluous, redundant, or pointless. Very, very little is really "worth saying". However, it is not a rule of English (or any language) that anything that can be removed must be removed. Pointlessness and redundancy are not wrong, they are ...


40

They're called wet nurses. Wikipedia A wet nurse is a woman who breast feeds and cares for another's child. Wet nurses are employed when the mother is unable or chooses not to nurse the child herself. Wet-nursed children may be known as "milk-siblings", and in some cultures the families are linked by a special relationship of milk kinship. Mothers ...


39

I would call it an "elusive" problem. elusive adjective: 1: tending to evade grasp or pursuit 2: hard to comprehend or define 3: hard to isolate or identify (Merriam-Webster online)


37

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 ...


37

It is called a jam session. It is sometimes shortened as jam. (jam is used as a verb as well.) An informal gathering of musicians to play improvised or unrehearsed music. [TFD]


36

An intermittent problem. stopping or ceasing for a time; alternately ceasing and beginning again. TFD starting, stopping, and starting again : not constant or steady. MW e.g. "My new car has been having an intermittent battery problem." "The forecast is for intermittent rain." "The patient was having intermittent pains."


33

In the UK, the terms fear mongering or scaremongering are often thrown about, particularly in regards to the media (your "terrorist report" example). The thinking is that fear sells. However, the terms themselves are often used in a negative and hyperbolic manner, so I don't think this is what you're looking for.


33

You could use the expression it's like talking to a brick wall. It's an established idiom listed in some dictionaries, and it means that you can't get through to the other person. Another applicable expression might be teaching a pig to sing, from a quote attributed to Heinlein – especially if you find yourself getting frustrated in your efforts.


32

Traditionally the most common (noun) terms for such a one would probably be a "prodigal" (as in the proverbial, Prodigal Son) or, alternately, a "profligate". prodigal noun: 1. a person who spends money in a recklessly extravagant way. • a person who leaves home and behaves recklessly, but later makes a repentant return. noun: prodigal ...


31

This one involves swearing, but there is an extremely common way to express that phrase: "Fuck only knows" or just "Fuck knows"


31

In math, you provide a proof of something: a series of logical steps that lead to a conclusion. In the rest of life you provide proof of something: a citation or evidence or other support for a fact. In the mathematical sense, the proof is somewhat divorced from the theorem it proves, in the sense that a single theorem could have many different proofs. ...


31

That is called: Lip service: support for someone or something that is expressed by someone in words but that is not shown in that person's actions (TFD)


31

The Free Dictionary says "at a certain time past, not distant, but indefinite; not long ago; recently; rarely, the third day past." Collins simply says "a few days ago." So your girlfriend is closer to right. But to me, a limit of about a week, not a month, sounds right; otherwise, say "last week," "a week or two ago," etc.


31

Sounds like a gremlin An imaginary mischievous sprite regarded as responsible for an unexplained problem or fault, especially a mechanical or electronic one: a gremlin in my computer omitted a line Oxford Dictionaries Online For a longer discussion, see this article in Wikipedia Also, there is a wonderful dramatization of the gremlin effect in ...


30

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.


29

"Needless to say" is often used to bring attention to something which should be obvious to everyone, but (in the speaker's mind) isn't necessarily obvious. For example, you might say: We ran over budget again this quarter. Needless to say, if we can't stay under budget, we'll all lose our jobs. The speaker in this case is using "needless to say" to ...


29

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 used ...


29

As I understand it in normal card game it would mean someone manually prepared the cards so they know what is coming (have advantage) In the context of the speech I think it means that average Americans are at disadvantage. Similar to system is rigged in your post. stack the deck (against someone or something) and stack the cards (against someone or ...



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