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Is there a term to describe speech that has a hidden meaning but is not sarcastic?
21 votes

I think "subtext" is what you're after: in this case, a subtext of blame.

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Is using "he" for a gender-neutral third-person correct?
20 votes

Its correctness, as with any language usage, will depend on your audience. In England, in most formal writing, using "he" in this context would communicate that you were either unaware of contemporary ...

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Definition of "scolt"
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13 votes

Scolt is an old variant of "scalded" - i.e. burnt by fluids. A Google book search finds spottings in New England, 1793 and Essex, England. The t/ed pattern is common enough: burnt/burned, spilt/...

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Replying to a favour done by someone
11 votes

In British English, one standard phrase is: "How can I ever repay you?" Bear in mind that although this might sound like it's referring to a financial debt, it's not: it's about paying back a ...

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What does "take the bird with me" mean?
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10 votes

In British English, I've heard "bird" used to mean a jail term. In this particular context, the following would make sense: "If I got caught [with the gun] I would have said no comment and took the ...

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Looking for an English word to explain a certain business situation
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9 votes

The word is consolidated - the market has consolidated For example, from PV Magazine of September 2012: the solar industry is set for major consolidation ... The solar consolidation period is ...

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"flat" vs. "apartment"
8 votes

An answer based on British English: There are several components to this: number of storeys; sole-use versus shared-use buildings; and the target market. As the OALD says, flats tend to be flat - i....

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Would anyone use "ramp down" as the opposite to "ramp up"
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7 votes

The antonym for "ramp up" will depend on context. You might use: reduce, decrease, down size, down scale, or wind down (e.g. we talk of our department winding down for Christmas - a temporary gentle ...

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Who does the verb "argues" and preposition "to" refer to in the following sentence?
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7 votes

It's a typo. "to" should be "so". It was fixed in later editions: See "The Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test", from the Educational Testing Service: (second sentence on that page) The ...

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If the prefix anglo- means "of the English", what prefix means "of the Welsh"?
6 votes

The adjective is cambrian; as in, the Cambrian Period - the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era. The OED has cymric too. But any prefix you use, is likely to confuse a lot of your audience. ...

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A word or phrase for something that seems modern but comes surprisingly from the past?
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6 votes

"Way ahead of its time" - a phrase which I was surprised to learn goes back at least as far as 1943. (in "The Conquest of Bacteria (From Salvarsan To Sulphapyridine); American Journal of the Medical ...

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A word that describes something that has been given a name
4 votes

I think you're asking for a noun, whereas several others have provided verbs. And I think the noun you're after, is the signified. The name, the thing that you're changing, is the signifier. The ...

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Something about the name of "Designer Baby" not quite right to me
4 votes

It's an idiom. Idioms are, well, idiomatic, for want of a better word (and to state the blinking obvious). But I know you knew that already. I don't think "Designed Baby" is as easy to say as "...

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Nationality modifier vs. Language modifier
3 votes

I'd assume it's a Chinese national author writing in Chinese. Otherwise, I'd expect to see writing language identified separately. Possibly together with any clarifications on combination of ...

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Synonym of "incorrect" with as little negative connotation as possible
3 votes

I think that the phrase you are after is "not useful": ... showing that our simplified model was not useful "All models are wrong. Some models are useful." (George Box)

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Can a negative be used to express a positive, such as "mangoes are sweet and so aren't papayas."
3 votes

Taking the descriptivist approach: it's correct if it communicates what you mean without jarring the listener. Personal experiences: I've never heard it done that way sincerely (speaking British ...

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When should a colon be used in the title of a manuscript?
2 votes

Do whatever is most prevalent in your target journal. This is a convention of academic publishing. For a while, two of the major competing medical journals, The Lancet and the BMJ, had different ...

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The opposite of paper being a dead-tree
2 votes

How about a live-wire book? The e-book can't appear without electricity, and that's going to involve a live wire somewhere. (though we might need to allow a conductive trace on a circuit board to be ...

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What's the idiom for getting lost in a (malfunctioning) bureaucracy?
2 votes

To capture all the elements of the original German, I think you need something like: lost in the quicksand of a dysfunctional bureaucracy which is not (AFAIK) an established idiom, but should be ...

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Pronunciation difference between "cycle" and "psycho"
1 votes

It will depend on the particular accent. There is an old joke that relies on it being possible to confuse the two, at least in some accents: So two bits of black tarmac, and some green tarmac walk ...

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Is it a common way to use “heartland” as in “give a heartland shout-out / comment to somebody”?
1 votes

It is a deliberate play on words. It tweaks the common: "a heartfelt [expression]" (where [expression] is a shout-out, a plea, or similar), substituting heartland for heartfelt. That substitution ...

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a word/couple to express eagerness to win
1 votes

There is a perfectly adequate word which means "eager to win". And that's "competitive". And that's shows the redundancy in what you're trying to say, because it leaves you with: Before the event, ...

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More appropriate word for a "shape" of environment
0 votes

Given the description as it is at the moment, it sounds like you want to determine the shape of the (inner) perimeter. Though maybe it's the area's plan geometry (sample usage), which might include ...

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