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This tag is for questions about expressions. Expressions are words or phrases used to convey an idea, or else a particular term used conventionally to express something. Consider phrase-requests and expression-requests if you are looking for an expression, phrase-meaning if you are unsure about the ...

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What do you call a project which is tossed up as a very plump & has potential but is just creating busywork for some people's existence?

What do you call a project which is tossed up as a very plump & has potential but is just creating busywork for some people's existence. The potential project will eventually end up losing its ...
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4answers
245 views

Should one use “an” or an “a” before an acronym beginning with the letter H? [duplicate]

Consider the sentence: He offered to be an HSC. vs: He offered to be a HSC. In the example above, HSC stands for Health Service Consultant. If one were saying the sentence aloud, one would ...
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3answers
58 views

What would you call a person pejoratively who enjoys perks of a job post but responsibility of a lower rung assistant

What would you call a person pejoratively who is on a professional privileged position such as Engineer, geologist, senior engineer etc (earning what the post demands) but chooses to do a job of a ...
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2answers
56 views

“Why are you hating me” or “Why are you hating on me”?

Which one is the right? "Why are you hating me" or "Why are you hating on me"?
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1answer
20 views

What does “move states away for” mean in this sentence?

I read a sentence: "His ambition, twinned with desperation, resonates with any teenager who wants to journey off to college or move states away for work, in a bid to escape youthful boundaries. " Not ...
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2answers
20 views

What is the idiom/phrase you can use when someone tells you to do (the work) that he is assigned to do (in reality it is assigned to him)?

What is the idiom/phrase you can use when someone tells you to do (the work) that he is assigned to do (in reality it is assigned to him). For example: XYZ company is located in Harbor port ...
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1answer
21 views

Is it right to say “He is a writer of such enduring legacy…”?

I want to say that his legacy is enduring but the style of the text demands a more sophisticated expression. Is of the right preposition here?
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0answers
39 views

When the ass is feeling too good, it goes dancing on ice

This is the literal English equivalent of the German proverb Wenn es dem Esel zu wohl ist, geht er aufs Eis tanzen The proverb commonly describes the behaviour of people who are comfortably well-...
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1answer
67 views

How to phrase “How long has the shop been open?” without ambiguity? & Can “25 years come next December” be a correct answer for that?

Recently I had a haircut in one of the local barber shops, during which I asked the owner “How long has the shop been open?” However, I feel something wrong in that sentence, but I couldn’t put my ...
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0answers
26 views

Does this sentence make any sense?

Hard to lose by reading books. What do you make of the above-mentioned sentence? Is it grammatically correct? If so, does it make any sense?
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0answers
25 views

Is there a word to describe the act of seeing signals when there aren't any

I had a conversation with a friend lately about a girl who was convinced he was attracted to her, when he is certain that he didn't give any signal of that nature. I was therefore wondering if there ...
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1answer
28 views

Don't (verb) - (like) or (unlike) I did

Say my intention is to say "I did this bad things to her, but you shouldn't do it". -Don't do that mean thing to her like how I did. -Don't do that mean thing to her like unlike how I did. This is ...
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0answers
24 views

one go cow what that phrase means? [on hold]

http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/go-cow-tipping https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_tipping I read on upper sites that at country side use a similar phrase with "tiping" at end ...
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3answers
26 views

“Some of the [superlative adjective] I've ever been” — another way to phrase this?

I can't seem to find a non-awkward way of expressing this sort of sentiment: suppose you want to tell a friend about some time you were really, really cold, but it wasn't the coldest you've ever been. ...
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1answer
54 views

What does “beacon of European sophistication” mean in this context? [on hold]

Please help me to find the meaning of this context: Argentina, which for many years portrayed itself as a beacon of European sophistication in a continent of New World backwardness,now is a poor ...
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0answers
39 views

When you notice something is not right with someone you can use the idiom “a few screws loose” but I’m chasing a more extreme version [on hold]

Like an idiom for something is seriously deeply wrong with a person, if you have a more extreme version of “a few screws loose then I would love to hear it ! Thanks
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2answers
1k views

How can one “smoke ship's?”

Sherlock Holmes seemed delighted at the idea of sharing his rooms with me. "I have my eye on a suite in Baker Street," he said, "which would suit us down to the ground. You don't mind the smell of ...
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0answers
26 views

What would you call implied lies?

If someone implies something, such as person A says "Do you want to hear a (TV SHOW) reference?" but really meaning: Can I tell you a (TV SHOW) reference? and person B says "No." and person A says it ...
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7answers
2k views

Does anyone have a good idiom for when someone asks you to guess what they are doing/thinking but you are not interested in making an effort to guess? [on hold]

Like say if I ask someone what’s are you using that for and they say guess I’m looking for a good idiom that indicates I’m not interested in guessing like “I’m not a mind reader” springs to mind, but ...
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0answers
35 views

Are there two acceptable ways to use “begs the question?”

I was shocked when my nephew took AP English and passed on to me what he learned about the phrase "begs the question." I now understand that it refers to circular arguments, but I can't really think ...
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1answer
33 views

Is there a word or phrase when there occurs two sad events in tandem

Is there a word or phrase when there occurs two sad/traumatic events in tandem; Like Double whammy is when two-fold blow or setback. But I think i cannot use double whammy. Like in this example: ...
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1answer
27 views

history of the ___ VS. history of _____

I need to fix a title of an article: which sentence is correct? History of Wall Calendar Design History of the Wall Calendar Design History of the Wall Calendar History of Wall Calendar where the ...
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1answer
40 views

Confusing phrase suggestion. “Gates open!”

I recently had a brief Skype chat conversation with someone. Skype tends to automatically suggest a few phrases to use as responses to questions or messages you receive. So the conversation was like ...
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0answers
35 views

What does the sentence mean [closed]

“i think she is a fucking nut leaving a grand on her sideboard. ” The sentence is from a tv series called skins
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1answer
18 views

How do call the amout or scope in hours of a part time job? [closed]

Do you say "job percentage" or "position scope" .. none of these sound right
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3answers
29 views

Success thanks to ignorance or inexperience

Is there a word for success because of (as opposed to in spite of) ignorance / inexperience / unfamiliarity with the field in which you made your attempt, where a more experienced / knowledgeable ...
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4answers
64 views

Alternative to “winner takes it all” or “first-past-the-post”

Consider the scenario of two scientists independently and concurrently working on a problem. The first one to achieve the breakthrough and have his or her results published will eventually be the one ...
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0answers
21 views

What is the difference between “marriage guardian” and “marriage proxy”? [closed]

What is the difference between "marriage guardian" and "marriage proxy"? in marriage contracts/certificates.
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2answers
29 views

“Entire production” as a collective noun for an artist's works

Is it common or possible to use the construction "The entire production of an artist is on display at the museum", or is there another collective noun that encompasses the entirety of an artist's ...
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0answers
22 views

is “by the least” a correct English phrase?

Someone said to me that he will call me before the end of this week, tomorrow by the least. I am aware of the "at the least" phrase but never heard of "by the least" term and neither could find it ...
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0answers
23 views

the correctness of the place of “Not only” and “But also”

However the below sentence can be not general for any situation but I whish to see that in the view of grammatical issues. Are the expression of "not only" and "but also" in the correct places? It ...
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2answers
76 views

Gender neutral term for “This Guy” when referring to myself

Is there a gender neutral alternative to "this guy", to refer to yourself in the third person in a gender neutral way? Example of use: Guess who just got a raise? {This guy!}
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3answers
57 views

reduction the number of “of”s in a sentence

I have below sentence that contains many "of"s. How to reduce the number of "of"s without missing the original meaning? The investigation of the effect of the value of a variable on the function ...
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1answer
36 views

A word or short phrase for “Reported not having”

In a report, I have a set of experiences a person has reported experiencing, and a set of experiences a person has reported not experiencing. I want to give these a pithy descriptor since I've got a ...
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1answer
38 views

Idiom or phrase or proverb for When ever you need me you conveniently declare me the head of the department, other times i am no more than a nobody

Idiom or phrase or proverb for When ever you need me you conveniently declare me the head of the department (of course an acting head usually to throw me under the bus to deal/make difficult decisions ...
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1answer
12 views

Noun of “analysis-friendly”

I am drafting the following sentence: We would like to adopt XXX given its much better readability and "analysis-friendly". Obviously, analysis-friendly shall be used as an adjective, not like ...
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10answers
2k views

“I’ll believe it when I see it” for things that aren’t supposed to be referred to visually? [closed]

I’m looking for an equivalent idiom that refers to actions that aren’t supposed to be referred to visually. Example: Person A owes person B money and day after day says he will pay person B back. ...
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2answers
108 views

Is there an English equal for hindi saying “Bandar ke Haath me ustra” or “Razor in hands of a monkey”

Is there a English equal for hindi saying Bandar ke Haath me ustra which literally means "Razor in Monkey's hand" as if Never give a risky job to a people who is like a monkey. If he has a razor ...
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3answers
78 views

Is there a word for a phenomenon where someone gets promoted two-five tier above their original rank regardless of the reason?

Is there a word for a phenomenon where someone gets promoted two-five tier above their original rank regardless of the reason (preferably neutral word) Example 1 (positive example): one student would ...
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0answers
22 views

“Something like” politeness

I was wondering the politeness level for this expression. "We expect something like ..." It does sound a bit "rude", "straight", informal, when I read it (at least too informal to be written in a ...
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1answer
40 views

What does “try and avoid”phrase mean? [duplicate]

Today I saw this "try and avoid" phrase in a sentence . "Try and avoid repeating the problems with the images dataset". What does "try and avoid" in this sentence mean? Is it the same with "try to ...
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1answer
54 views

What is the “ism” in which people are respected/entertained on the basis of people whom you know

What is the contemporary "ism" in which people are respected on the basis of people whom you know. The meaning is suppose if I (Jim) know some one (Jack) and he (Jack) introduces me to John. Then only ...
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1answer
35 views

Is it ok to use pervasive in a positive context?

I read this paper and something that I am not sure about is: Inspired by Pattern Theory [41], we attempt to model three important and pervasive patterns in natural signals: sparse discreteness, low ...
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1answer
72 views

Is there a punctuation problem here “Policeman shoots dead Apple area manager for not stopping his car”?

I did come across a sentence in a news sharing application "Policeman shoots dead Apple area manager for not stopping his car" (Apologies for this gruesome news) But it's weird that it can be read ...
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1answer
36 views

Simpler way of saying “Converts quantitative to qualitative data”

Words qualitative and quantitative, are in my opinion, a little difficult to read and explain for a certain audiences, explaining why there are so many discussion about it on stack exchange. If a ...
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0answers
28 views

How do you express that this solution may be good at solving A but may not be as effective in solving B?

I am trying to express a method that I have introduced in my article writing and I am evaluating it's limitations. How do I put it in a relatable and simple way such that readers can understand easily ...
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1answer
27 views

“Take attention away”… is it a common phrase in English?

Is the expression take attention away something that sounds okay in English? I'm a Portuguese speaker, so tirar atenção is a normal expression, so I don't know to what extent I'm writing a natural ...
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0answers
16 views

'…come into the good of…' - Does anyone else use this phrase?

A quick Google search to see whether I should use 'come into the good of' or 'come into the benefit of' has made me start questioning my own sanity. I can't seem to find reference to either phrase ...
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2answers
29 views

Single word or expression for something to to be or going to be

Is it possible to express in a single word or with a short expression that something prevails or will soon prevail? For example: This house has already been sold or will be sold tomorrow for sure ...
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0answers
17 views

Word for working with two parallel work instruction system in a company

If living two lives, one for outside world and other in the closet is double life. What would you call preferably pejoratively for when employees are working with two procedures rule book & ...