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Questions tagged [context]

A context describes the surroundings for a sentence.

31
votes
26answers
14k views

Opposite of “As early as possible”

My manager asked me to finish the project as early as possible Here there is no fixed deadline available but the manager wants me to finish the project soon. Consider the case where there is a ...
23
votes
32answers
8k views

A word with two meanings though misuse could be lethal [closed]

I'm currently writing an article that includes two contexts of communication: effectiveness and competence. Incompetent people can misuse terminology all day and the ideas are effective and do ...
17
votes
4answers
19k views

What does it imply when someone is called “Lucifer in the flesh”?

Washington Post (April 28) carried an article under the headline “John Boehner just called Ted Cruz ‘Lucifer in the flesh.’ He does this sometimes,” and the Stanford Daily (April 28) detailed the ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “modest station of judges” mean?

The Washington Post (March 20) carries an article under the title, “ Supreme Court nominee promises to remember ‘modest station’ of judges in a democracy,” which follows: Judge Neil Gorsuch promised ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the term 'rubric' only used by educators and teachers? [closed]

I recently discovered one of those words that describe something you are familiar with but have never heard of or used before. When I was in high school and university, the teachers always used the ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

Realm vs Kingdom

Is there any difference between "Realm" and "Kingdom"?. Effectively I've always seen them with no difference. In some forums people point to a more metaphorical usage of "Realm" but also "Kingdom of ...
7
votes
10answers
1k views

A word that refers to a shrill sound vibrating in someone's ears and alerting the senses

Click, click. The rapid shrill sound constantly came and went, _____ing in my ears. Which word can best fit the blank in the sentence? Ringing or echoing fit, but seem too lackluster and mediocre ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning and usage of “as well as”

We use "as well as" to mean "and in addition", "and also", but the following sentence completely made me confused: There are roughly 1000 different words for “water,” as well as for “louse”. I ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Meaning of “make way with himself”?

But that wasn't all. The father came home, right in the midst of it; the child was just buried, and he was beside himself. And -- he went on the track of his wife, and he found her, and he shot her ...
4
votes
2answers
588 views

Meaning of “See that wet, see that dry!”

"You'd share and share alike with the rest, whether you'd been in that particular job or not. There's fifty members, and you'd get one-fiftieth, same as Number One and same as me." "Really? No ...
4
votes
1answer
363 views

How common is it to use the term “overland” to refer to transport by either land or sea only excluding flying?

I know I've personally used the term "overland" in the context of travel to mean travelling by any means other than air travel. In fact I thought I picked up this usage by seeing others use it this ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

What's the difference between the “me” and the “I” used in the quote below?

I read the next words (part of a bigger sentence, coming from musical lyrics): But my parents, they lived through the Blitz years, and me, I was sent to a farm. Why are me and I used, instead of: ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Using far away for depth [closed]

I was filling this cloze test from a book (the bolded words are answers): There are many methods of mining, each of which is based upon where a mineral deposit is found in the earth. While some ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Is it okay to use “babysit” verb in context of own kids?

Say, my wife has to run some errands in the morning, and I have to announce at my work that I will be missing for some time. Are both correct? I have to babysit in the morning. I have to watch my ...
2
votes
3answers
170 views

Why does this use of “of” sound incorrect?

A recent thread on ELL has raised a question in my own mind regarding something in an answer. Consider these two sentences: All the computers in this section are the same price. These watches ...
2
votes
2answers
340 views

antonym of “recently”

What are the antonyms of recently? I have checked with a thesaurus and I got just two: before later Neither of those seems to fit into my call to action sentence - visit 10 URLs that were not ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

meaning of “the field of the fullers”

Accursed be the Sea-folk, and accursed be all they who traffic with them. And as for him who for love's sake forsook God, and so lieth here with his leman slain by God's judgment, take up his body and ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

'Later' of 'See you later'

See you! See you later! Is there any nuance by adding later or not?
2
votes
2answers
390 views

Meaning of 'local color'?

‘Ssh! ’ said Egbert quickly. The other man laughed again. 'What a rabbit you are! It’s a pity, because she’s quite a pretty girl. It seems a pity to waste her, but I agree with him that she’s better ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the difference between “justice served” and “justice given”?

I read a statement somewhere that said "Justice will be given" rather than the usual "Justice will be served". Even though I understand that both statements mean the same, there is certainly some ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

Meaning of “ to be dizzying in”

There is a text in my english book that talks about the wetlands from Brazil and there is a sentence that goes like this: "(...) life is dizzying in its abundance, variety and beauty." I have already ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

the function of “the origin ” in the sentence

Consider the following sentence: A shell mound exhibition center was constructed in 2002 to reproduce the distribution of the relics and lifestyle of the Neolithic age, the origin, distribution ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

How should I understand 'an alarming new normal' based on given context?

"One particular challenge with lone wolves(terrorists who are inspired by ISIS, but not directly connected with the terrorist group) is that they are harder to detect. If there is no initial ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Sit and stand are oppositive, but look alike in some context

As a second sense, astride means extending across. But I am getting confused with some of its usage examples. I found an example of a preposition astride used with the verb stand in an Oxford English ...
1
vote
4answers
747 views

What is the 'office of call-boy'?

From the short story Percival Bland's Proxy, by Austin Freeman written in 1913; And thus was the curtain rung down on the first act. The second act opened only a couple of days later, the office of ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

he knocks ashes out against the bars?

I'm reading Jerome K. Jerome's 'Three men in a boat' The above is about fishermen's bluff. My question is in the above paragraph a man knocks ashes (from his pipe) against the bars. But what is bars?...
1
vote
2answers
325 views

Fairly deep phrase meaning

I'm having difficulty with understanding this phrase: sorry, I've been in a fairly deep recently Is this statement cut off as not making greater sense to me? That was a response to my message.
1
vote
2answers
247 views

Correct usage of “fine”

"Fine" as an adjective means: of very high quality; very good of its kind. very thin or narrow. [in Cricket] directed or stationed behind the wicket and close to the line of flight of the ball when ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Meaning of **power** in this context

I've recently come across this sentence in which I've managed to understand all of the new words for me except for the last one - power. After looking it up in several dictionaries I still haven't ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

'white-sleeve badge? [closed]

Can somebody please explain this expression from a Mark Twain story: 'Sedgemoor trade-mark, white sleeve badge'? Here is the context: Among other things he said that my character was written in my ...
1
vote
3answers
611 views

Word for a team whose members play perfectly together all having different talents

I am looking for a word that describes a team whose members all have different talents, excel at those talents perfectly and are able to, despite their different skillsets, work together seamlessly ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

What is the ‘art’ mentioned in: “Art is long, and time is fleeting”? [closed]

What does art refer to in the poem: A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow? Art is long and time is fleeting My book says Art refers to the “art of living” but this doesn't convince me and ...
1
vote
3answers
283 views

Quotes, Italics, or Nothing? Introducing the concept of a type of list

In the following excerpt, the author is attempting to convey the need for people to create an exhaustive list of their needs and wants. He's calling this a "needs and wants" list. Based on what I've ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Meaning of 'dead plumber'

'The Penance', a story of Saki, is about a dead cat. I am trying to understand a phrase in the following sentence from that story: That same evening when twilight was deepening into darkness ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Correct usage of “consists of”

I found a confusing usage of "consist of" in Belles Make Up site: Water consists of 70% of our whole body. I think that above sentence is wrong because water is within our body, not the body ...
1
vote
2answers
267 views

Verb Tenses and Auxiliary Verbs

Our train leaves at four-thirty tomorrow morning. This is probably a simple problem, but I am having difficultly finding a source that answers my specific question. I am having some trouble ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

What does the “Swiss heroes” phrase allude to?

While translating an article about innovative design tools, I came across the "Swiss heroes" phrase. I'm pretty much sure it isn't used literally and the author refers to some well-known object or ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Help me understand “mortal man never smoked their superior in quality.”

I am a Korean reading The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold Schonberg. There's part of an article quoted from the New York Times describing how Americans welcomed Offenbach in his visit to New ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Meaning of “it pools in a little heart around the meat”

"When Pop plates it, the liver smells, but the gravy he made to slather on it pools in a little heart around the meat, and I wonder if Pop did that on purpose." "it pools in a little heart around the ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Usage of “improve.”

I recently read a WikiHow article, How to Be a Hard Worker, where I encountered the following usage of the verb "improve": "Maximize potential and improve weaknesses." —WikiHow Is the phrase "...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

“Precision clock becomes a bag of worms” [closed]

"Precision clock becomes a bag of worms." In this sentence, I don't get the meaning of 'precision clock' and 'bag of worms'. I mean, I know the meaning of each phrase, but not under this context. It ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

If …or less meaning here

What does this sentence convey : "If applicant holds diploma or less, attaching high school certificate is required" Does it say: wether applicant holds diploma or lesser education proving document ...
1
vote
1answer
995 views

In poetry, what can I use to refer to someone without gender?

I am translating a poem from Korean. The poet is deliberately avoiding a gender reference (or, deeming it unnecessary) by using a neutral impersonal pronoun. In Korean there are generally few inbuilt ...
1
vote
2answers
354 views

Blank dialogue question [closed]

I recently had this question on a placement exam, and I got it wrong. Which best fills in the blank dialogue between the options in the following conversation? A : Recently, I've been sleeping ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How do I understand when to use the phrase 'mad props'?

In Legally Blond the musical they use the phrase: MARGOT: Dear Elle, He's a lucky guy. I'm like gonna cry, I got tears coming out of my nose! Mad Props! He's the campus catch, You're a perfect ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Can you brew wine, or is the word “brew” specific to Beer, coffee, and tea? [duplicate]

I would like to know whether or not wine can be brewed, and secondly if the wine-making process is considered brewing. It seems that some definitions are specific to beer, coffee, and tea, where ...
1
vote
0answers
124 views

Difference between “label”, “categorize” and “arrange”

Can the verbs, like label, categorize, and arrange, be used to mean the same, as in: The states are labeled with their U.S. postal abbreviations, their founding date and capitals. The states ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Which preposition to use when considering the “social media” as a virtual counterpart of the “real” world?

So, what is then the correct distinction between the "in"and "on" preposition, when connected with the "social media" as a virtual space/entity - in oppposition to the "real" - physical reality... ...
1
vote
0answers
148 views

What is the appropriate context for 'jovial'? [closed]

When one should use the word "jovial", is there any specific context discriminating it from, to mention one, "merry", or are they quite similar in usage?
1
vote
0answers
1k views

“These kids I tell you” or “kids I tell you” expression meaning

I have read them in few disconnected articles and in conversations but could not understand them completely. "These kids I tell you" or "kids I tell you" expression meaning. What do they mean ?