Help with English

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

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Sort of, yes. To "back out" often suggests that the decision to pull out is before the thing has even started, and is often used to suggest that the decision (to pull out) is due to being scared, nervous, ill-prepared etc.
    Imagine that you enter a room and don't like what you see; you then slowly step backwards the way you came in until you have left. This is "backing out". If you're in the room but later on you simply decide you need to leave at some point, this would be "pulling out".
    But mostly they are used interchangeably - at least people will understand you whichever is used.
     
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    An "outage" is an interruption, a disconnection, a short-term cessation.
    An outage of supply is therefore when the supply (in this case a supply of oil) suffers a short-term stop.

    To "leave in the lurch" means to abandon someone in a difficult situation.
    It's an expression from an old French board game in which players suffered a "lurch" if they found themselves in a position from which they couldn't win.
    Cribbage (a card game) has a similar expression when one side wins very easily: the loser suffers a "lurch".
    So "to leave in the lurch" means, from this origin, to leave someone in a position from which they couldn't win, but has been tempered to nowadays mean simply to leave them in an awkward or difficult position.
     
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  5. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    As a result, Saudi Arabia has tried to draw a line in the sand just a few days before the highly anticipated meeting in Vienna. OPEC’s top oil producer has suggested that it is prepared to walk away from a deal unless other members step up to the plate, the logic being that the resulting oil price meltdown will be more painful for Iraq and Iran than it would be for Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials cancelled a meeting with non-OPEC producers that was scheduled for Monday, a surprise move that casted doubt on the chances of a deal this week by highlighting the gulf that still exists between various OPEC members. Oil prices plunged at the end of last week. On Monday, the energy ministers from Algeria and Venezuela flew to Moscow to try to convince Russia to participate in output cuts. Meanwhile, OPEC members are locked in another round of negotiations at the start of this week.

    draw line in sand =?
    step up to the plate = ?
     
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Draw a line in the sand... means to set out a position beyond which one side will not go either without irreversible repercussions or without some conditions being met.

    So basically imagine two armies lined up on a beach. The leader of one army draws a line in the sand between them and says to the other leader: "if you cross that line we are at war".

    Alternatively the leader draws the line in the sand and says: "unless we sign a peace treaty, we will not cross this line"

    This seems to have stemmed from ancient times when a Roman Senator drew a line around a foreign King while they were discussing terms, telling him that before he crossed the line of the circle he must give a response, rather suggesting that if he left without agreeing terms then Rome would declare war on him etc. I'm sure there are other examples or alternate origins of the phrase, though.


    Step up to the plate is a term from baseball. The plate is the home base in baseball, over which the batter tries to strike the ball. (The pitcher must try to get the ball to pass the batter over the plate.)

    So the idiom means to take ones turn to act.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    From Wikipedia:
     
  9. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    event, incident mean the same thing?
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    In the sense of the words that make them similar:
    An event is usually planned in advance, whereas an incident is when something unplanned happens (and usually not desired).
    So, for example, a birthday party, the Olympics, the US election, the passing of Haley's comet, are all events.
    A road accident, your computer getting hacked, dropping a cup of coffee, a roof being damaged in the storms, would all be incidents.
     
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  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Pearl Harbour is an event or incident?
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    From the Japanese point of view it was an event... they planned for it. Much as D-day was an Allied event.
    From the US point of view, however, it was very much an incident - they hadn't planned for it in any way.
     
  13. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Liquidity, liability, asset,
    what do they mean in finance?
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    An asset is something that is owned and has value, whether it is a building, a desk, a debt, a contract, inventory etc.
    A liability is something that you owe someone else, usually because you have bought something from them, or they have loaned you some money.

    Liquidity is basically your ability to turn assets into cash without affecting the value of the asset.
    Cash is obviously the most liquid asset, as it is already cash.
    Debt is an asset, but requires the other person paying you and settling the debt before it becomes comes cash for you.
    Inventories you hold would need to be sold and the debt then collected before you have the cash.
    Fixed assets (like buildings, vehicles, land etc) are less liquid as they take time to sell.
    Shares might be relatively quick, but fixed-term bonds might be less quick, depending on whether a market exists for them.

    There is also something referred to as a liquidity ratio, which in its most basic form is the ratio of current assets to current liabilities. ("Current" in the financial world generally means anything due within one year). This is referred to as the Current Ratio.
    Ther are other liquidity ratios, such as the Quick ratio, which excludes some assets (like inventory) that take a bit longer to convert into cash (and thus not "quick").
    So these ratios can give a guide to how easily a company could settle all its current liabilities from assets that can be most easily converted to cash.

    But in general liquidity is simply the degree to which assets can be converted to cash.
     
  15. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Leveraging means what?
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    In finance, leveraging means utilising debt to increase the return of an investment.

    For example, you're looking to buy a house to rent it out and earn some income with rents yielding c.5% p.a.
    You have £200k of cash.
    If you buy a house worth £200k, then you can expect rental income of 5% being £10k p.a.
    However, you have the ability to take out a mortgage of £200k as well, and this mortgage is at an interest rate of, say, 4%.
    You can now buy a house worth £400k. Your rental income will be 5%, so £20k, but you now have £8k of mortgage interest to repay, so your net is £12k.
    But this £12k is only on your actual cash investment of £200k, so now you're actually making a 6% return.

    And this is before the increase in the value of the underlying asset is taken into account.
    If house prices rise, say, 5% a year then having bout a £200k house you would have seen it increase by £10k, so your total return from your investment would be £20k, or 10% (5% rent, 5% house value).
    But if you took the mortgage and bought the £400k house then you would see the £12k from rent but also £20k from the house value increase, so £32k total, making the overall return 16% in the year on the same £200k investment.


    So the idea of leveraging is to utilise your capacity to repay debt in order to increase investment return. It does require the debt interest to be less than the underlying investment rate (i.e. the rate you'd expect if you didn't use any debt), otherwise you will actually lose money by taking out debt.

    I know people who refuse to pay off their mortgage, which is incurring c.3% interest, because the money they would need to repay it is currently earning them 7% or more in the stock market.


    It's called leveraging because with a lever you can move objects that you otherwise couldn't, and in finance you are using debt to get returns that you otherwise couldn't.

    Hopefully that explains it?
     
  17. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    This iPhone a my birthday present from/of my uncle.
    from or of?
     
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    This iPhone is my birthday present from my uncle.
     
  19. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    I have ten staff/staffs in my department.
    staff or staffs?
     
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I have ten staff in my department.

    Or better: I have ten members of staff in my department. or I have ten staff members in my department.

    "staff" on its own would refer to "members of staff / staff members".
     
  21. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    1. I am keen to study French as my foreign language.
    2. I am keen in studying French as my foreign language.


    Which one is correct?
     
  22. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    1.
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That sentence is grammatically correct, but we Americans don't usually use the word "keen" that way. We would say "eager," "anxious," "excited" or several other words.
     

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