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23

"Paramount" might be the word you're looking for. E.g. The paramount thing to do is go back to your family and tell several of them what has happened. According to context, you can also do pretty well with the colloquial "number one:" I thought the number one thing to do is to not join. That way they can't have access to all your personal info ...


17

foremost would fit. adv. So as to be most important. adj., adv. first in place, rank, importance, etc There is the phrase "first and foremost" also, that emphasizes this: first to be dealt with and most important. First and foremost, I think you should work harder on your biology. Have this in mind first and foremost: Keep smiling! ...


16

How about crucial: "Extremely significant or important: a crucial problem; vital to the resolution of a crisis; decisive." critical: Indispensable; essential. essential: Basic or indispensable; necessary vital: necessary to the continuation of life; life-sustaining: It was critical that he stop them for if he did not the battle was sure to be lost.


14

We do have a term for that: literal-minded, "tending to take words and statements in their literal sense". In earlier times, however, that phrase meant "unimaginative", though I have not seen it used that way for decades. His editing precision was legendary and he was so literal-minded that he even corrected literary quotations. They were ...


13

I apologize for the tardiness in answering, but sometimes a person needs time to reflect and for that eureka moment to occur :) What I offer is not the answer as to who was Watson's Notorious canary trainer, which the Op didn't in any case ask for, but rather a fuller and more complete explanation of what a canary bird trainer does. If like me you believed ...


13

They are casting directors. For some major productions, the process of selecting actors for sometimes hundreds of parts may often require specialized staff. While the last word remains with the people in charge, artistic and production, a casting director or "CD" (and sometimes the casting associate) is in charge of most of the daily work involved in ...


8

There are words that are retained in their original language because they impart a certain feel, say, of elegance, snobbery, belonging, etc. hors d' oeuvres, maitre d', and garçon were retained by French restaurants, and came to be generalized because of the connotation of elegance and sophistication of French restaurants. The same could be said of concierge ...


7

Simply the term literal habitually interpreting statements or words according to their actual denotation; prosaic; matter-of-fact: a literal mind A common admonition is Don't be so literal!


7

lethologica is not a medical condition but just the inability to remember a word or put your finger on the right word Word replacement? Catachresis is the misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect. Though a using more words than required is a pleonasm, the concept is not based on ...


6

Second answer, not related to original answer, so I've re-posted. I found an NPR piece on exactly this subject. The people who train the politicians to do so, call it a Debate Pivot. The journalists who ask the questions call it a dodge. I'm not certain that either is quite the formal term you are looking for. But, the fact that the people who train ...


6

You have already mentioned dodging. Apparently, this is as concise as you can get without going into motivation and specific techniques, and, even among the academics, there is no better highfalutin word or phrase for it. Take this paper, for example - The Artful Dodger: Answering the Wrong Question the Right Way from the Harvard School of Business (this is ...


6

To equivocate is "to avoid committing oneself in what one says." To prevaricate is "to avoid telling the truth by not directly answering a question." A hedge (or to hedge) is "a calculatedly noncommittal or evasive statement." To beat around the bush is "to fail or refuse to come to the point in discourse." All definitions from merriam-webster.com.


6

OED does note that Anglican has been used to mean English: 2. gen. In non-religious contexts: English. Now rare. 1871 J. Ruskin Fors Clavigera I. iii. 19 The quite Anglican character of [King] Richard, to his death. 1959 Amer. Lit. 30 449 The sources of future enrichings of the Anglican speech are the same old fountains. Sense ...


6

It's probably best to use English instead of Anglican (and Anglomania instead of Anglicanism), as Anglican is used to describe the Church of England, while "English" does not have this confusion. Dictionary.com reflects this in its meaning for "Anglican": adjective 1. of or pertaining to the Church of England. 2. related in origin to and in communion ...


6

In my experience in the US, this is typically called a handout, or it is referred to informally in class by the name(s) of the author(s) or a short title. Yes, that means that "handout" can be anything from a single, informal sheet passed out occasionally to a bound book (which is typically not available through other channels, etc., it might be written by ...


6

I can't yet comment, or upvote, but the single best answer is imperative. Imperative. It is imperative that you stay calm. as suggested by drukenwagoner. Quintessential is normally used to define something as representing the 'purest' form, e.g. "quintessentially evil" Critical (medica) is a strong contender, as a thing that is critical must be ...


5

In general, they can be called softbound books. (or booklets) (or copy/copies) softbound (adj.): Not bound between hard covers Note: softbound is used as "soft bound" or "soft-bound" as well. "bound copy" is also used in universities, especially for thesis submissions. It is a more general term that can cover copies bound with different type of soft ...


4

In AmE: As long as has the following connotations: 1) Provided or If or since (not time related) - see note below: As long as you use the term correctly, people will understand you. Note: Since is usually used for a past condition that is now fulfilled. So, it's not an exact fit in meaning to as long as. As requested in comments I will attempt ...


4

Regarding The Canary Trainer: Holmes... was also an accomplished violinist. Following his discharge from therapy with Sigmund Freud, ...we now learn that he journeyed to Paris and there found employment as a pit musician at the Paris Opera. ...Its opera house is full of surprises. First and by no means least is the sudden reappearance of the great ...


4

This sounds somewhat like an etymological fallacy: The etymological fallacy is a genetic fallacy that holds, erroneously, that the present-day meaning of a word or phrase should necessarily be similar to its historical meaning. This is a linguistic misconception, and is sometimes used as a basis for linguistic prescription. An argument ...


3

I would say "serve" or "dish out". "She served the food equally among the four plates". "She dished out more curry for herself than the others." There's no word in English which would be specific to pots and plates, however, so if that's important information you'd have to still say it: "Instead of using bowls, he dished the sauce onto the plates, to ...


3

Henry Mayhew's 'London Labour and the London Poor' v.3, under 'Exhibitors of Trained Animals' interviews a street entertainer whose act features highly-trained canaries. The man emphasised they could be trained only with great gentleness. ("I use two things to train them - kindness and patience, and neither of these two things can be stinted.") Perhaps ...


3

If you're committed to a single word, I would look at the reflexive verbs lull, quiet, or ease. Soothe would work. The resulting sentence would be something like, "I lull myself by the river." "She quiets herself by the river." But, if you want a single unreflexive verb, I would use unwind or relax (somewhat obvious). "I unwind by the ...


3

Corollary was originally an adjective, derived from correlation; you use it this way in your last paragraph. If a mathematician writes 'Corollary: Y can never be less than 0' where he might have written consequently, it is unsurprising that students take the word to be, and later turn it into, a noun. But this doesn't mean you can lengthen it again when you ...


3

There is a commonplace longing for the good old days. For example, there is often a longing for the turn-of-the-century era (1900 not 2000) that is thought to be kinder and gentler than the later 20th century, as exemplified in Hollywood sagas like Meet me in St. Louis. A reading of some authors, like Stephen Crane's Maggie, Girl of the Streets, paints a ...


2

Cyclist (and the almost never used cycler) refer to bicycle riders. I suppose you could apply them to uni- and tri- cycle riders, too. I see the dictionary links show it can be applied to a motorcyclist. I rarely hear it used that way, and until I googled for an example to show you, I didn't realize it had any prevalence. From what I'm seeing, it seems ...


2

The general sense of charging something is to bring a strong accusation or assertion (particularly of wrong-doing). Clearly, the most common place for an assertion of this type would be in a legal proceeding. Charge that is used in the legal sense in your first two examples. It means that legal allegations have been brought against an entity or person ...


2

incumbent noun 1 The holder of an office or post: the present incumbent will soon be retiring [EDIT] Usage [emphasis added]: Aron & Nightgale, Incumbent Workers' Views about Lifelong Learning, 1995, p.7 … (2) evaluate the individual labor market impacts of increased education and training among incumbent workers. Sims, ...


2

To say someone is something at heart means that they are that thing by their true nature. A gambler at heart is therefore someone who is naturally inclined to take risks or make bets. I'd say gambler at heart is a fairly non-offensive description.


2

Americans in general say: 'coworker' for someone they work with, no friendliness (or lack of friendliness) implied 'officemate' for someone you share an office with 'friend at work' for someone they get along well with at work. This isn't a set phrase. It is very literal meaning they are chummy at work but aren't necessarily friends outside of work. ...



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