117

The joke is a play on words [Cambridge Dictionary] on various definitions of murder. A group of crows is called a murder. [Wikipedia] Two is not quite a group, hence an attempted murder. To further beat the joke to death, murder also means homicide, and attempted murder is a crime in British and United States' penal codes. The unusual combination of birds ...


103

This is more of a question about culture than about language. There is a certain stereotype in Anglo-American culture of children, and particularly girls, having a particular affection or fondness for horses. Some explanations are covered in brief in an episode of All Things Considered, in a Kitchen Sisters segment called Why Do Girls Love Horses, Unicorns ...


54

The construction of the sentence: Wine! Because you never got a pony. mimics the construction of other well-known advertising slogans, where the advertised product is named, followed by the slogan. The cosmetics manufacturer L'Oreal uses a slogan which is very similar to the wine meme slogan: L'Oreal. Because you're worth it. The meme is intended ...


35

It may be a bit too idiomatic instantly to grasp. However: Animals can live anywhere, from forests to deserts ... and ... from said deserts to deepest pits of the oceans. The second "from," and that which follows it, is dropped in the name of brevity and verve. Fascinating, isn't it? You can use as many "to's" as you like, by the way. Like this: ...


21

This is a variation on the Wine O'Clock theme: What time is it? it's always Wine O'Clock! The basic premise of the quote is that everybody needs wine, but as cover you may need some kind of excuse, however implausible, in case a hypothetical spoil sport asks why you are having wine. So the tongue-in-cheek potted cynical response would be, we drink ...


17

Are the forests and deepest pits of the oceans extremities of a range, with deserts being a middle ground? Typically this is not intended to indicate a middle point between two extremes, but another dimension or member of a category. Deserts, deepest pits of the oceans and forests are three members of a category varying along multiple dimensions, not ...


12

You can "have someone for dinner" or "have someone on your show" or "have someone over for coffee" or "have someone in for a chat." In other words, "having someone" means inviting + welcoming + being hospitable. Thus: "thanks for having me" means thanks for any of those hospitable things. It in no way denotes or implies that the listener should thank the ...


10

It's worth mentioning that a pony is a stereotype of something children want (ask for) but cannot have. Children who want a puppy for example might get one eventually, but fewer children are ever able to have a pony: so "a pony" serves as a stereotype for something people want but cannot have. For example the Urban Dictionary says, I want a pony A ...


8

Contradiction means what its etymology suggests, "speaking against", disagreeing with what was just said. The expression "knee jerk" is a reference to the patellar reflex, where a slight blow to the patellar ligament just below the patella (kneecap) causes the leg to move. This behavior does not involve the brain; the "decision" is made in the spinal cord ...


7

I'm afraid that you've run into an example premised on the "unable-versus-incapable" distinction, which our predecessors in the world of grammar and usage identified/invented a few generations ago. Eric Partridge, Usage and Abusage (1957) lays out the basic doctrine: incapable connotes innate or permanent lack of ability; unable connotes inability 'in a ...


7

It is a joke. It is intended as a funny way to say that its time to drink wine. The reason it is funny is because people who have had serious hardships in life sometimes turn to alcohol to cope with their troubles, but not getting a pony as a child is a silly thing to complain about and is an even sillier reason to drink wine. "Wine. Because you never ...


6

As appealing as the picture of a single, wild mammary gland rampaging across the countryside, à la Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex, only to be sedated by, say, Ke$ha's dulcet tones might be, the explanation is much simpler: breast (n.) -- The figurative seat of the emotions, feelings etc.; one's heart or innermost thoughts Nowadays we are more ...


6

"To compete for the control of a corporation" This reads well when it's a person within the company competing in a legal context. Where the competition is about having legal standing to lead the company. "To compete for the control over a corporation" This reads well when it's corporations competing to control another corporation. ...


6

It's a common enough structure with two generalized schemes. [1]Object_As_Compromise due to [2]Unlikely_Or_Comical_Scenario, e.g., [1]Honey badgers. [2]Because who has time to engineer the perfect killing machine? [1]I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. [2]It's the only way to be sure. [1]Your mom. [2]Just because. and [1]...


4

The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life! He is whatever man any person happens to be with at any moment. The hermit would give this advice to any man who came to him, ...


4

"my bad" (not only informal but also slang) is used to recognize that you're at fault. "I'm sorry" and "my mistake" convey the same. my bad a way of admitting a mistake, and apologizing for that mistake, without actually apologizing. "You just spilled your beer on my term paper!!" "Er... my bad."


4

In a literal sense, making an omelette requires breaking the shell of an egg in order to extract the insides. The phrase is a metaphor which means that in order to achieve a desired objective, some damage will be done in the process (usually in the sense that someone will end up getting hurt). When people use the phrase, they are trying to rationalize the ...


4

If you look at a dictionary, you'll see that they mean essentially the same thing. From Merriam-Webster: timetable 1 : a table of departure and arrival times of trains, buses, or airplanes 2 a : a schedule showing a planned order or sequence b : PROGRAM sense 3 schedule 2 : a written or printed list, catalog, or inventory also : TIMETABLE sense 1 3 : ...


4

I'm going to suggest that going for 'concise' is not actually in you or your customers' best interests; I'd tend to use more words and more redundancy, to increase the chances that everyone understands what is intended. To that end, I'd probably go with something like "Bundle all items together into a single delivery shipment".


3

Polite conversation is rarely either I would say it means: A "polite conversation" is usually neither polite nor a conversation.


3

If I say that I listen to lots of different artists From Beethoven to Led zeppelin You don't really have an idea to what kind of music I listen (except Beethoven and led zeppelin), because music is quite arbitrary (and so are living environments). Unlike "from 1 to 10", which leave no doubt about the numbers I mean. So to make it more clear I can say. ...


3

"Slowness" is correct. "Slowliness" is not a word.


3

Longfellow is alluding to an original line from Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The Greek is literally, "the art is long, life is brief". The art in question is medicine, and the sentiment of the original quote is that you never really live long enough to master your craft. The phrase is more popular in Latin translation ars longa, vita brevis.


3

[the] reveal the moment in which previously withheld information about characters or plot is unveiled.


3

Sedgemoor was the battle where the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion was defeated; those rebels who fought there and escaped (and, according to the officer, showed signs of it, a Sedgemoor trademark) were traitors. In the days before identifiable uniforms (particularly when an army was raised rapidly without a store of equipment) a badge on the sleeve was a ...


3

The wine is to help you deal with the severe childhood emotional trauma of not getting a pony when you really really wanted one. It's a dig at people with first world problems


3

I think it means that where foreign courts are making an award for damages - they may do so - that process is acceptable - as long as the award is deemed to be 'reasonable' by the English court - presumably within the limits of what is considered 'normal' for such an award, in England. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice - I am a native English ...


3

In the early days of movies the monochrome film they used was notoriously sensitive to the blue end of the spectrum, including ultraviolet, to such an extent that clouds in the sky didn't show on the film at all. As skin tones are at the red end of the spectrum humans appeared darker than was natural, and uneven skin tones looked dirty. To overcome this ...


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