Questions tagged [disambiguities]

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How to differentiate a computer science graph from other uses of the graph word? [closed]

A graph is a well defined data type used in computer science to represent a lot of concepts, like the cities on the Travelling salesman problem or nodes in a network. It is something like this: In ...
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Is there a name for a non-ambiguous statement that contains unresolved ambiguous details?

Yearless dates can be ambiguous. "04/07" for instance is understood as "April 7" by Americans, but as "the 4th of July" by most other nationalities. This ambiguity is ...
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2 answers
207 views

Is the possessive "its" or "their" after "all of the country's states and territories"?

Which statement is correct? All of the country's states and territories imposed travel restrictions on its residents. All of the country's states and territories imposed travel restrictions on their ...
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0 votes
1 answer
42 views

Is this sentence ambiguous? ("it is not" followed by -ing)

English is not my first language. I found the following sentence: It is not having fear that is the problem. Am I right thinking that it is ambiguous? I can think of the following different meanings:...
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Epicene pronoun reference resolution ambiguity

Context: I am developing resolution strategies of 2nd-person you sequences into 3rd-person epicene (gender-neutral, singular) they sequences. These are unique recombinable sequences, not unlike a ...
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1 vote
3 answers
176 views

If you say "winter 1998", is that too ambiguous?

Ocarina of Time was released in the winter of 1998. (The actual release date was around/just before Christmas time.) However, it's very much cold and "wintery" in January, February and sometimes/...
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  • 19
1 vote
1 answer
216 views

How often are words used for outerwear in British English considered underwear in American English? [closed]

There are some differences between American English (AmE) and British English (BrE) and in the subject area of clothing, these can lead to some amusing mistakes. I have two examples of this where the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
5k views

Extra-Official vs Non-Official vs Unofficial

What's the difference between them? I understand they are pretty much the same in terms of synonym. Are they better suited for some specific scenarios? I think, in some cases, those three could be ...
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  • 167
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3 answers
183 views

"is a function of"... possible ambiguity of usage

I would like to point to the dependence of love on knowledge (analysing Maimonides' Code, Book of Adoration, Repentance 10:6): "according to the knowledge will be the love." Originally I had ...
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  • 379
1 vote
1 answer
164 views

Help with too many “and” and “or” [closed]

I have written this. However I am unhappy with the last sentence. Because it is hard to see how to read it properly, because of the “and” and “or”. “It became apparent that for some pupils, they also ...
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2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Expect: How to disambiguate dual meaning?

There seems to be two different meanings of the word 'expect' in common spoken English. For example, 'I expect you to tidy your room this evening'. This is like a demand, in that the person speaking ...
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2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Term for disappointment beyond all expectations? [closed]

"Utterly disappointed" comes to mind, but I am also looking for something to include worse than feared, despite hoping for the best. For example, a situation where the expectations are reasonable, ...
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  • 141
2 votes
1 answer
160 views

Using differential as a synonym for difference sounds wrong to me. Am I justified or also wrong?

I hear the term "differential" used in many cases where it seems like "difference" should be used instead. It is especially common in sports, some examples are run differential which is the difference ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is salt being referred to as “sodium”? [closed]

Why is salt referred to as "sodium" in nutrition facts (like on products) and similar documents in some parts of the world? Why is that nutrition facts labels in some parts of the world list ...
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0 votes
0 answers
413 views

"varietal" vs. "various" vs. "varied"

Please, consider the following sourced excerpts: An ideal romantic daytime date might be to pack a blanket and take your lady to Old Town Silverdale. Settled in 1854, this beautiful little town ...
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6 votes
6 answers
903 views

Word meaning "its meaning stands alone"

This is a linguistic term I came across recently, but I can't quite remember it - and searching for it is downright impossible! The word implies that context is not required for a particular word. "...
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1 answer
40k views

What does 's mean at the end of someone's name? [closed]

I understand 's means is and has, if 's is used at the end of a name, Does it mean is or has?Let's suppose Ex is a someone's name. Ex is object -it can mean Ex is an object, totally incorrect Ex has ...
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3 votes
1 answer
353 views

Usage of the verb "squinch" in AmEng

Collins American English Dictionary says: squinch (skwɪntʃ) (US) transitive verb to squint (the eyes); squinched up her eyes in disgust. M-W 2. a. to pucker ...
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2 votes
3 answers
531 views

"trade" for "business deal; transaction" in North American vernacular

Harrap's New Shorter English-French Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, trade [...] 2. (b) NAm (i) transaction (commerciale); (ii) clientèle f (d'une maison); carriage trade, grosse clientèle. [...] Now, ...
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9 votes
3 answers
18k views

"jam," "jelly," and "jello" in AmEng vernacular

What exactly is the fruit preserve called "jam" in the U.S.? Is it what is referred to in France as "confiture"? If so, then what would be the French for, what is called "jelly" in the U.S. ("jam" ...
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4 votes
2 answers
567 views

Disambiguation of "fluff" vs. chiefly AmEng "lint" vs. chiefly BrEng "bobbles" vs. "pills" for French "peluches"

Robert & Collins French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 gives: lint: (US: fluff) peluches nfpl peluche (=bouloche): bit of fluff; fluff Collins French-English Dictionary Now, these are ...
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0 votes
1 answer
141 views

When the boss is a way?

I came across a picture that was meant to be funny, but puzzled me instead: http://www.searchquotes.com/sof/images/picture_quotes/31525_20131204_091308_christmas07.jpg "When the boss is a way work ...
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2 votes
1 answer
225 views

Need words to resolve the ambiguity of "interface" in OOP. It can mean either a type defined with the keyword "interface" or an object's accessibility

In some object-oriented programming languages, the keyword interface is used for declaring a type that defines how objects that implement (another keyword) it may accept messages (calls) from other ...
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0 votes
1 answer
3k views

minutes minutes vs short minute of a meeting

I heard and used "meeting minutes" for quite some time but just read today somebody asking for "short minute of your conversation" (as opposed to minuteS) Since it looked odd, I checked ...
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0 votes
3 answers
374 views

How to handle ambiguity caused by long clause and compound?

I am composing a sentence: People who have children who score A's in school and have good health are very happy. In this sentence, 'have good health' is intended to be a clause of 'people'; ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

<Grammar/Style> Ambiguous "it"

I recently stumbled upon this joke employing some grammar: Q: How can you drop an egg on a concrete floor without cracking it? A: Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack. My ...
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0 votes
2 answers
5k views

Alternative phrasing to "getting work done"

I find myself using the phrase "I need to get some work done" in a misleading way. At any given time, I'm working on projects for my employer, projects as a podcaster, projects at my home or just ...
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  • 143
0 votes
1 answer
558 views

'the cleanest' vs 'cleanest': article-containing adverb phrases?

We have two phrases structures: 'the nicest in my school' 'the cleanest in my house' These phrases can act as nouns or adverbs: 'He is the nicest in my school.' - noun phrase. 'She cleaned the ...
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