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Seeking English words with meanings hidden in plain sight

Help me find English words that have meanings hidden in plain sight. For example, it only recently occurred to me that a "quart" is a quarter of a gallon. [more inside]
posted by alms on May 4, 2010 - 142 answers

 

Pedestridance?

What is the word for the thing that happens when two people are walking toward each other from opposite sides of the lane and one goes left to let the other pass, but the second goes left too and then they both go right together and left again?
posted by Lucubrator on May 4, 2010 - 12 answers

She's Japanese, you see, and has magic powers over shadow and darkness.

Short and sweet: what's the best way to translate "girl of darkness" to Japanese as if it were someone's formal title? I need it romanized, not in katakana or hiragana. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by Caduceus on May 3, 2010 - 8 answers

My poor English ability will continue to hold me back professionally and life in general if I don't find a way to improve it.

Poor English is holding my American Dream hostage. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 1, 2010 - 58 answers

Good recruiters and programs for teaching English in Japan?

Can you recommend recruiters or specific programs for someone who would like to teach English in Japan, starting this fall? [more inside]
posted by cirripede on Apr 29, 2010 - 6 answers

Things Your English Teacher Taught You

What is the best thing your high school English teacher taught you? [more inside]
posted by airguitar2 on Apr 27, 2010 - 104 answers

Korean-English dictionary for Mac

Do you know of a decent free/cheap Korean-English/English-Korean offline dictionary for Mac OSX 10.6? [more inside]
posted by smorange on Apr 24, 2010 - 2 answers

Kind of like teaching an upset, 10-year old sack of potatoes to read.

Advice on making reading palatable to a disgruntled ESL 10-year-old. [more inside]
posted by sdis on Apr 22, 2010 - 16 answers

"Myself" vs "me"

Grammar filter: Is it wrong to use "myself" when "me" seems to sound better? [more inside]
posted by stenoboy on Apr 21, 2010 - 33 answers

Best recruiters for teaching English abroad?

What are the best recruiters for teaching English in South Korea? [more inside]
posted by LegateSaxon on Apr 19, 2010 - 4 answers

TESL certification from Duke: Hot or not?

I am considering enrolling in the Duke University (continuing education, non-credit) TESL certification program with the goal of living and teaching English abroad. Would this be a waste of time? [more inside]
posted by amtho on Apr 15, 2010 - 8 answers

Rockin In The Old World

I'm an American. Help me create a playlist for our European vacation: Songs that celebrate or mention England, Denmark, or Holland. [more inside]
posted by crapples on Apr 9, 2010 - 32 answers

Postgraduate Reasearch Paper - The Neverending Story

I'm writing a postgrad research paper on Michael Ende's The Neverending Story. I'm keen to hear from anyone who has done any academic work on the novel, or those who have a personal interest in understanding aspects of the novel. Very little in terms of scholarly research exists on the topic to date . My particular focus is a Jungian analysis of archetypes within the novel. It's an introduction of sorts, a quick overview (10 000 words) of a topic I have the potential of working onto a longer thesis.
posted by New England Cultist on Apr 6, 2010 - 12 answers

Are surfing The Google with iPad?

What's the term for the use of a product name as a singular noun (like iPod), and why do companies do this? [more inside]
posted by tmcw on Apr 4, 2010 - 9 answers

You cawl thayt a noyf?

Is there a resource that demonstrates how to do foreign accents by re-spelling words in such a way that when read aloud by an American, will closely resemble the accent? For example, in "Australian", Down = Dan. [more inside]
posted by TimeTravelSpeed on Apr 2, 2010 - 15 answers

Novels about English Village Life

I'm making a reading list and I'm looking for some novels about English village life. What I have so far you can view here. Any suggestions of books and authors I may have missed? I am looking for fiction that is in print and more than likely available at most public libraries in the states. [more inside]
posted by zzazazz on Mar 30, 2010 - 34 answers

To speak? Or not to fpeak?

How far back in history can I go before the English language I know and love is of no use to me? [more inside]
posted by Geppp on Mar 18, 2010 - 21 answers

What curriculum/books should I follow to teach 2 students one in the 7th grade and one in 8th grade that are homeschooling?

What curriculum/books should I follow to teach 2 students one in the 7th grade and one in 8th grade that are homeschooling? [more inside]
posted by minsid on Mar 17, 2010 - 14 answers

Is a great MA program worth the debt?

I got into a top English grad program, but they defaulted me from PhD to MA. Is it worth shouldering the massive debt of a Master's degree, or should I gamble on getting into a PhD program next year? [more inside]
posted by zoomorphic on Mar 17, 2010 - 33 answers

Spreading thought viruses onto the young ones

Hello, please help me find cool and fun videos that I can use on my iPhone to inspire conversation in my Korean children's speaking and conversation class. My children are between 8 and 14. I run fun classes that encourage them to speak as much as possible. I'm looking for videos that can compliament my class giving us something to talk about. [more inside]
posted by Knigel on Mar 11, 2010 - 6 answers

Is Present Perfect Progessive Passive possible in English?

GrammarFilter: Present Perfect Passive Progressive. Real or a myth? [more inside]
posted by MostHolyPorcine on Feb 26, 2010 - 10 answers

I need like help like listening to like conversations.

When did the excessive use of "like" become a part of the American lexicon? [more inside]
posted by woodjockey on Feb 25, 2010 - 19 answers

Speaking in Tongues

I want to expand my collection of accents. What movies should I watch? I'm especially interested in regional American, UK and Irish accents, but hearing non-native English speakers is helpful as well.
posted by freshwater_pr0n on Feb 24, 2010 - 35 answers

Should a future librarian get a masters in English?

Will a master's degree in English be useful to someone who wants to be a librarian? [more inside]
posted by fermion on Feb 23, 2010 - 8 answers

Help me pick a work of modern literature to write about.

What novel, published in the last five years, will keep my interest and be not-too-overly-verbose as to make my job harder (I have to write a paper discussing it's literary merits)? [more inside]
posted by makethemost on Feb 23, 2010 - 24 answers

English usage: "what would seem to be."

What's the proper use of the phrase "what would seem to be"? [more inside]
posted by exphysicist345 on Feb 18, 2010 - 11 answers

English breakfast

From a short story by Roald Dahl. "Sir Basil was there before me,and Jelks was serving him with grilled kidneys and bacon and fried tomatoes."-Neck- My question is about this kidneys.In the nineteenth and twentyth century,the wealthy people would have a breakfast like that?If so,what animal's kidney did they used to have?And they don't have it for breakfast now,don't they?Or Dahl says about something else,such as kidney beans?
posted by mizukko on Feb 16, 2010 - 23 answers

IPA transcriptions for free?

Is there an open source (or free for non-commercial use) list of English (Either RP or Standard American) IPA transcriptions available somewhere? Example: car: /ˈkɑː/, cat: /kæt/.
posted by Memo on Feb 15, 2010 - 10 answers

Indefinite articles used with acronyms starting with U

Why do we precede acronyms starting with the letter U with 'a' instead of 'an', e.g. "a USB key" or "a UFO"? Acronyms starting with a consonant are frequently preceded by "an" because consonants' names have a different spelling than the letters themselves, e.g. M as em and H as aitch, therefore "an HIV outbreak" or "an MRI". However, U's name is spelled u, and acronyms that start with other vowels are preceded by 'an', e.g. "an ABC license". What's the deal?
posted by BigSky on Feb 12, 2010 - 31 answers

Tips to study for Praxis I

I Need to take and pass PRAXIS I asap. I looked at the sample questions on ETS website. My strongest area is math followed by reading. On the writing section, I feel I can do well on the essay as it seems natural to me but the technical terms used for grammar, etc, get me lost. So i am looking for advice to study all three parts, especially the technical English stuff. Should I buy the books from ETS? Are there better options? Thanks!
posted by lake59 on Feb 11, 2010 - 4 answers

Study English as a foreigner in USA?

My girlfriend is thinking about moving to America. She's not a native English speaker; what programs in NYC are available? Which ones are reputable? [more inside]
posted by thesecagesarenotgoodenough on Feb 7, 2010 - 11 answers

¿Qué es más douchebag, "preppy", "pineapple" or "knife"?

Lexicographicofilter: Have you seen the word "douchebag" used with a class-specific meaning, for example, to refer to preppies specifically? [more inside]
posted by kandinski on Feb 2, 2010 - 28 answers

A weally hawd question

Why do little kids pronounce "r" as "w"? [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Jan 30, 2010 - 25 answers

Teaching English as an Asian

How difficult is it to get a job teaching English in Asia as an American-born Asian? [more inside]
posted by jsmith78 on Jan 25, 2010 - 13 answers

Thanks! Greetings!

Regional variations on "you're welcome"? [more inside]
posted by molecicco on Jan 23, 2010 - 78 answers

How to become more than fluent in English ?

how can I improve my english speaking to the next level ? [more inside]
posted by anto1ne on Jan 16, 2010 - 28 answers

I'll make you a trade, but am I saying this backward?

GrammarFilter: Is the phrase "I will trade you.." often misused, or is it a perfectly valid usage that drives me crazy? [more inside]
posted by mikeh on Jan 11, 2010 - 24 answers

Either or too

Can I use "Me either" in place of "Me too" in response to this statement..."I can't wait to see you!"? Please explain.
posted by likeapen on Jan 8, 2010 - 19 answers

Words of long lasting love in English, Welsh and French please!

Celebrating a golden wedding anniversary next month - photobook in production - your favourite quotations, poetry and passages (in English, Welsh and French) please! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 3, 2010 - 7 answers

Beyond Ava and Aidan?

Baby Names for a girl and a boy? I'm pregnant with twins! Yay! Except that after months of fearing for the worst, we're nearing the end of the second trimester and we have no names ready. Help! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 2, 2010 - 72 answers

What's American for 'undercoat'?

Can someone give me a primer on translating the British terms for wall / house paint into their American equivalents? [more inside]
posted by holgate on Nov 24, 2009 - 14 answers

Help me subjugate the subjunctive, or I might get moody.

Yet Another English Grammar Question: Which is correct? Based on my facial expression right now, you would think I [were/was] excited. The former sounds wrong, but reading about subjunctive moods makes me think it's right. Does it matter whether I intend to imply that I was not in fact excited?
posted by phrontist on Nov 23, 2009 - 27 answers

Difficulty of writing and speaking English?

Is English much more difficult than most languages to speak and to write? [more inside]
posted by ragtimepiano on Nov 23, 2009 - 37 answers

I'm not sure what jobs I should be applying for.

What are some decent-paying jobs for someone who has B.A. degrees in English and in Psychology, and a lot of unofficial and very specialized technical knowledge but no "official" (i.e. paid) experience with such? [more inside]
posted by Lakmir on Nov 20, 2009 - 11 answers

serious business!

Is there a word for a person who has been subpoenaed? If two people are subpoenaed, they are called co-...? They're not co-defendants. Is there an equivalent?
posted by streetdreams on Nov 19, 2009 - 14 answers

What's a good idea for a thesis paper combining English and Physics?

I go to a small Liberal Arts school in Pennsylvania, and part of the graduation requirements involve writing a substantial Senior Composition, basically a baby thesis (Original research requirements, rigorous, etc.) I'm double-majoring in Physics and English, and I'd love to be able to combine both of these subjects into one comprehensive paper, especially because if i can't, I have to write two separate ones. [more inside]
posted by Archibald Edmund Binns on Nov 18, 2009 - 18 answers

"The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems."

Does "creepy" have specific meaning? [more inside]
posted by d. z. wang on Nov 17, 2009 - 42 answers

English Help Please?

Help me fix some problems with my English essay (scribd link) please! [more inside]
posted by kylej on Nov 15, 2009 - 21 answers

What's a better adjective for someone who is not wearing a suit coat?

Adjective-Filter! What's a good adjective to describe someone who is not wearing a suit coat? [more inside]
posted by niles on Nov 3, 2009 - 10 answers

Where can I publish old literary crit essays that are burning a hole in my pocket?

Where can I publish some old literary crit essays that are burning a hole in my pocket? [more inside]
posted by duncecap on Nov 1, 2009 - 6 answers

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