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55 votes

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

I think most (Chinese) viewers mainly took issue with how the phrase "died like a pig" was translated (as it was taken literally --> "像死猪一样"). While I agree that it is certainly unprofessional to use ...
user190840's user avatar
53 votes
Accepted

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

As a competitive swimmer from southern Ontario, Canada, in the 1970's and 1980's, and a master's runner and triathlete in the 1990's I'm quite familiar with the phrase 'die like a pig' though not with ...
Joe Murray's user avatar
48 votes
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Why is "breaking the mould" positively connoted?

The Oxford English Dictionary attributes the early uses of the phrase to Orlando Furioso, where breaking the mold means basically creating an excellent and beautiful work of nature that is made unique ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
42 votes
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What is a stronger alternative to "avoid"?

I think the simplest way to emphasize avoidance would be to use the word shun. shun v. tr. to keep away from; take pains to avoid. See TFD Online Note the "take pains" in the definition. It ...
Robusto's user avatar
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35 votes

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

Neither 'like stink' nor 'die like a pig' are necessarily insulting in use with reference to persons, although dying like a pig is clearly something to be avoided. The first, 'like stink', is a ...
JEL's user avatar
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34 votes
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Civilian in non-military domain

The word that you want, and that the article should have used, is layperson: noun a person who is not a member of the clergy; one of the laity. a person who is not a member of a given profession, ...
cobaltduck's user avatar
  • 12.9k
34 votes

Do meteorites really land on Earth, or did the interviewee mean that ironically?

The verb land is a verbification of the noun land. So there is not really any "smoothness" inherent to the word. Sure, a meteorite crashes, collides, impacts, destroys, ploughs into, wrecks land, but ...
Carly's user avatar
  • 2,792
33 votes
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Word for: a synonym with a positive connotation?

I think the word you want is euphemism. According to Merriam-Webster, euphemism - noun The substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest ...
JDM-GBG's user avatar
  • 1,099
32 votes
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lie vs fabricate. When to use which one in what situation?

As a commenter suggested, when we use fabricate in the context of deception,1 we imply that some effort went into inventing or producing something disingenuous, either a story or an artifact, like a ...
linguisticturn's user avatar
26 votes

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

Swimming like stink, means swimming with full intensity. Two historical examples: For 1935: The Scottish Bookman There were also a few (minor) difficulties such as (c) nobody had thought to weigh ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 10.6k
24 votes

Is there a word that means badge/ hallmark but has a negative connotation?

"A mark of shame" fits your sentence, but "A brand of shame" might be even better here. Brand 3b (1) : a mark put on criminals with a hot iron (2) : a mark of disgrace : stigma (Merriam-Webster)
Qaz's user avatar
  • 3,437
19 votes

Is there a word that means badge/ hallmark but has a negative connotation?

The word stigma implies both the 'badge' and the 'shame': a mark of shame or discredit source: Merriam-Webster But as @FumbleFingers notes, badge is an OK choice here as well.
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 14.5k
19 votes
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Etymology and Elizabethan English connotations of "sat at meat" (Mark 2:15, KJV)

Jesus is having a meal. When learning Middle English (the English that was common from about 1100-1500, just before the period we're discussing), I was taught to be skeptical of false friends, or ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
19 votes
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“Out of the mouths of babes”: Is this idiom strictly used to refer to children?

Most dictionaries explain that this biblical passage has survived in modern English as a proverb about children. For example, Dictionary.com points out two qualities of babes this proverb refers to: ...
fev's user avatar
  • 34.5k
18 votes

What is a stronger alternative to "avoid"?

How about plain old Do not? It's not sexy, but it gets the point across unambiguously. I'm jumping in with an edit... Avoid setting the cat/house on fire. Shun setting the cat/house on fire. ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 411
18 votes

What is a stronger alternative to "avoid"?

Not sure how strong you want to be here, but, eschew is pretty strong. From MW eschew: eschew v. to avoid habitually on moral or practical grounds
Reginald Blue's user avatar
18 votes

What is a stronger alternative to "avoid"?

The expression to steer clear of something or someone sounds stronger, I think. It's oftentimes used in situations where you're advised to avoid something that can be very dangerous for you. Somebody ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
18 votes
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Is there any difference between "result in" and "end up with"?

It's more about formality and establishing a direct cause-and-effect link than specific outcomes. Here's another non-negative example : After years of dating idiots, she ended up with the man of ...
ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere's user avatar
15 votes

lie vs fabricate. When to use which one in what situation?

To fabricate originally was to make, and this is still one of the meanings. One can fabricate a story, a piece of cloth, or a car. To fabricate a story is to make it up, and the fabricated story is ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 5,104
14 votes

What is a stronger alternative to "avoid"?

The phrasing "Avoid <noun>" implies physically avoiding contact with it. It may be necessary to replace the noun (in the example "macaroni and cheese") with a verb phrase clarifying the activity ...
Harrison Paine's user avatar
14 votes

"Sketching" a graph

Back in college, when I was a math major, "curve sketching" was a unit in calculus class. After you'd learned some derivative tricks, which aren't hard, you can solve for zeroes and ...
John Lawler's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

"Sketching" a graph

In Maths, sketching a graph is opposed to plotting a graph. When a graph is plotted graph paper is used, many points are calculated, often at regular intervals, and the shape of the curve is clearly ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 5,104
13 votes
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What is the difference in connotation between "relentless" and "ruthless?"

“Relentless” has a connotation of persistence and not able to be easily stopped by physical challenges. “Ruthless” has the connotation of not being stopped by moral or ethical considerations. A hero ...
James McLeod's user avatar
  • 9,208
13 votes

Is there any difference between "result in" and "end up with"?

Two distinctions have been mentioned already: "Result in" is more formal than "end up with" "Result in" indicates that the outcome was a consequence of the subject of the verb. But there is a third ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
  • 1,969
13 votes

“Out of the mouths of babes”: Is this idiom strictly used to refer to children?

It's not only used when the very young come up with something wise (or intelligent) beyond their years. It's used when wisdom comes from any unexpected source ... but there is necessarily an ...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
10 votes
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Poetic technique for taking a usually comforting thing in a scary context?

As a general term, Lexico gives recontextualization as: Taking something from its usual context and resituating it in an unfamiliar context. As an aesthetic practice, this is characteristic of ...
livresque's user avatar
  • 3,259
10 votes

“Out of the mouths of babes”: Is this idiom strictly used to refer to children?

This is one of those phrases from the King James Bible which passed into current English when that was the only translation in common use. (Psalm 8 verse 2) It's a comment traditionally made when a ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
9 votes

Can the word "Phoenician" be reasonably used to denote "of a phoenix"?

Perhaps you should trust your instincts. If phoenician floats your fictional boat, who are we to say it is wrong? Using phoenician to refer to phoenixes makes just as much sense as using it to refer ...
tmgr's user avatar
  • 3,427
9 votes

Do meteorites really land on Earth, or did the interviewee mean that ironically?

A Google Books search shows “hit” as a more common verb used in relation to meteorites reaching the Earth. Land is also used, probably on the following connotation: to hit or strike the ground, as ...
user 66974's user avatar
  • 67.5k
9 votes
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Is “girl” a valid synonym for “young woman”?

First, a necessary disclaimer: context and audience matter a lot in what is considered insulting. For instance, two people may interpret being called girl differently; calling a coworker or boss a ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar

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