Help with English

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Saint, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Republican candidates spar over countering IS.

    spar over = ?
     
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  3. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    why unchartered waters?
     
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  5. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    Not English. Probably French, but I have no idea what it means.
     
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  7. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    going somewhere not on the map. Doing something you have not done before or has not been done before.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You spelled it wrong. It is entente. It means a formal agreement between two countries to adhere to a policy regarding international relations. It is also used, less formally, for an agreement between political parties, corporations, criminal gangs, etc.

    It is a French word meaning "understanding," although the original meaning of the word was "intent." It came to mean mutual intent to abide by an agreement.
    Again, you misspelled a critical word. You meant ISIS, the Islamic terrorist organization in the Middle East.

    Sparring is a type of boxing that is performed for training rather than competition; the fighters try not to injure each other seriously. The word is also used in other, similar contexts, such as the way gamecocks fight with their claws.
    Geeze dude, you're running zero for three today. (That is a slang expression, often used in discussing sports, meaning that out of three opportunities to do something successfully, you did not get any of them right.) Please pay more attention to your spelling!

    The word is uncharted. "Uncharted waters" means, literally, a region of the ocean that has not been "charted," which is another word for "mapped." To sail into uncharted waters implies that you're taking a risk. The phrase is often used metaphorically, such as attempting to perform a task for which you have no training, joining an organization whose goals you don't understand, entering a competition in a sport you've never played before, etc.
     
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Since we're being pedantic, shouldn't that be "Jeez"?

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  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Yes, you're right. Thanks! It's a truncation of "Jesus."
     
  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    browbeat = to threaten ? Why "brow" ? Eyebrow?
    gumption = gut?
    caveat = a legal term? means what?

    echelon = level? Like in the caste system?
    averse to = dislike
    daze = confusion? Related to "haze"?
     
  12. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    crude blowhard = ?
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    It's usually defined as "intimidate" rather than "threaten," because the purpose is usually to discourage a person from doing something you don't want him to do. The brow is the forehead, as in "His brow wrinkled as he tried to understand the difficult mathematics lecture," or "The nurse cooled my brow with a wet cloth, as the medication slowly reduced my headache." The eyebrows are simply the lower region of the brow, which have a large number of muscles that we use to form facial expressions.
    "Gumption" is an old Scottish slang word. It is used loosely to mean initiative, courage, aggressiveness, shrewdness, resourcefulness, or any similar personal trait that gives you an advantage in a project or an argument.
    The Latin word for "to take care" or "to be cautious" is cavere. The imperative form is caveat, which, therefore, means "Be cautious!" The most common use of the word is the legal phrase caveat emptor, which means "the buyer must beware"--in other words if you buy something and discover that it isn't as good as you thought it was, you won't get a refund. The opposite is caveat vendor, which is just the opposite: "the seller must beware"--so in this case the seller must give you a refund. Obviously the first phrase is much more commonly encountered than the second.

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    It's usually used to mean a level of command, as in the military. I suppose it could be used in an explanation of the caste system, but I've never actually seen it used that way. We Americans are so horrified of the caste system (which reminds us of our history of slavery) that we hardly ever talk about it.
    It's usually much stronger than that: hatred, antipathy, repugnance, fierce opposition.
    To daze someone means to stun, shock, etc., for example with a physical blow. To be "dazed" is a slang use of the word to mean simply confused or distracted. The phrase "in a daze" is also used. It is not related to "haze." The similarity is a coincidence.
    A blowhard is a person who talks a lot, bragging about his own abilities and accomplishments. The word is generally used derogatorily, for someone who is not really as smart, clever or successful as he wants us to believe. Adding the word "crude" simply accentuates these negative qualities.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  14. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    Which fits extremely well with in the context of Saint's question. At least I agree the subject mentioned in the reference, is not only a blowhard, but indeed crude at it.
     
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Just to respond with pedantry of my own to your response: it is quite legitimate of him to have used IS rather than ISIS or ISIL or any other term for the same group/ideology.
    IS in this context is simply the acronym for the group who want to be known as Islamic State.
    ISIS is the acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
    ISIL is the acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

    So please, if you must be pedantic on such matters, be sure that what they have originally used is not actually acceptable, as it is in this case.

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  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Geeze, do you suppose that Donald Trump is famous all over the world?

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    Fair enough, I suppose. Here in the USA we occasionally read about the "Islamic State" without appending the name of the country or region in which it is operating. But I've never seen "IS" used--two-letter abbreviations became a little too confusing long ago. The Washington Post always writes "ISIS," except when "ISIL" is specifically appropriate.
     
  17. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    cadence means accent?
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    No. It refers to rhythm.
     
  19. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    vagary = unexpected situation?
    poppycock = nonsense ?
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Not exactly. It refers to something that is unpredictable, such as "the vagaries of the weather in winter make it difficult to plan a vacation."
    Yes. Its origin is not certain, but it probably derives from an old Dutch word meaning "soft shit."
     
  21. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    vestiges = small part?
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    A vestige is a trace or remnant of something that had existed more widely in the past.
    So if something is a "last vestige of" something it means that it is the last remaining part of it.
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    To find the last vestiges of something is to discover very small traces of something that doesn't really exist anymore. For example, in the American West, many people mark their driveways by cutting an old, broken wooden wagon wheel in half and putting one half on either side of the entrance to the driveway. We call this a vestige of the Wild West, when horse-drawn wagons were the only available transportation, especially before the first railroads were built.

    The word vestigial is similar. For example, most primates have tails, but the apes do not. Nonetheless, they have a very small vestigial tail bone that is evidence of their ancestry. Homo sapiens is a species of ape, and we also have a tail bone. If you happen to fall on it, it can be very painful.

    A vestige can also be an idea or a concept, not always something you can see. The occasional street fight between Americans of European ancestry and Americans of African ancestry is a vestige of the country's early years, when people of African ancestry were not given all the rights of citizenship and in fact were kept as slaves.
     

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