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seen Jan 22 at 18:19

"The problem, when solved, will be simple."

Conway's Game of Life

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Jan
7
revised Is it right 'up' your alley or right 'down' your alley?
deleted 2 characters in body
Jan
7
comment Is it right 'up' your alley or right 'down' your alley?
It's not clear to me what you're asking about the "slope of the alley." There isn't actually an alley, of course; it's an idiom. Are you talking about when the phrase is applied to a domain of expertise/interest that has literal alleys? ("the bowling tournament was right up my alley", "mugging people was right up his alley") That case seems small enough that there is no established rule about it.
Jan
7
answered Is it right 'up' your alley or right 'down' your alley?
Dec
19
comment Where does the expression “at a crack” come from?
This is not an idiom I've ever heard in American English. However, I have heard the similar "a pop" to mean "[cost] per each item" like "These new houses are being sold for one million a pop." Also, "take a crack at it" ("make an attempt") has a similar use of "crack", which I'd guess means "swinging hit" (e.g., crack of a whip, crack of a bat).
Dec
19
comment What does this sentence imply, as worded, in terms of the amount of Caucasians, e.g. some, all or another amount of Caucasians?
What do you think it means? (This is not a rhetorical question. By showing your currently level of understanding, you allow answers to be targeted to whatever specific confusion you have.) See also Wikipedia on white guilt.
Dec
18
comment mistakes in set phrases; “…you have to celebrate the victory of your spoils…”
This is a bit like a spoonerism, but that only applies to the transposing of particular sounds between two words, not the words in their entirety.
Dec
18
comment “Argument” usage
Are you sure you're not thinking of augment? ("to make or become greater in number, amount, strength") I have never seen argument used in the way you describe.
Dec
11
comment What is the adjective form of efficacy?
@fredsbend Also, The American Heritage Dictionary explicitly lists efficacious in its entry on efficacy. And for whatever my personal experience is worth, when I hear efficacious, I assume the context is medical by default. (I am not a medical professional.)
Dec
11
comment What is the adjective form of efficacy?
@fredsbend As a stand-alone word, the "-ate" makes me suspect the word is a verb. I know there are many adjectives with that ending (e.g., latinate) but there are probably many more (and much more common) verbs with the ending: "celebrate", "hyphenate", "pontificate". I expect it to mean "to perform an effect". Perhaps I'd think differently if I saw it in context, though.
Dec
11
answered What is the adjective form of efficacy?
Dec
11
comment “supporting cast” — what does this mean
"cast, n.: 2(b)(1): the set of actors in a dramatic production, (2): a set of characters or persons"
Dec
11
comment English greeting with religious connotation
Somewhat related (but not an answer): goodbye is an old corruption of "God be with you", but it has since completely lost any religious connotation. "Goodbye" -- from an etymological perspective -- is incredibly close to "May God greet you" (but, of course, is a farewell).
Dec
10
comment Is there a word for this geological formation?
You may also find earthscience.stackexchange.com helpful for any future questions about Earth Science.
Dec
9
comment The same big old black bear. Why not 'the same black big old bear'?
In addition to the note that "black bear" is a type of bear, big old is a set phrase.
Dec
8
comment Is there a word to describe the feeling of wanting to be someone else
Consider also vicarious: "experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person" You might wish to live vicariously through another specific person by learning all about that person's life.
Dec
3
answered Use of 'the’ in front of acronyms
Dec
3
comment Use of 'the’ in front of acronyms
In general, I'd use "the" with initialisms (e.g., the FBI: "eff-bee-eye") and no article with acronyms (e.g., NATO: "naytoh"). I don't know if there's a formal rule for this.
Nov
25
comment What's the difference in meaning between “grandiose” and “elaborate”?
"impressive or magnificent in appearance or style" versus "involving many carefully arranged parts or details." This appears to be a general-reference question. Do you have a specific point of confusion about the definitions?
Nov
25
answered Define “plate” from Sweeney Todd musical
Nov
20
comment Is “denigrate” a racist word?
@Mari-LouA snopes.com/language/offense/picnic.asp