Help with English

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

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Because all languages borrow from each other. We have a surprising number of French phrases we use quite regularly, such as en masse (synonym of en bloc), en suite, a la carte, cafe, Bon voyage, etc.
     
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  3. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    "All together" originally came from other languages too. English is an evolved and evolving language.
     
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  5. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    carte blanche = do as you wish?
    Referring to political leader?
     
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. It literally translates to “white (or blank) paper”.
    If it was used in reference to a political leader, then yes. E.g. his party may give him carte blanche to secure a win in the election, meaning that he could do as he wanted in order to win the election.
    But it can be used in any context when you are basically giving someone liberty to do as they see fit, although it is usually with an end goal in mind.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Compare with "blank check". A blank check implies unlimited funding whereas carte blanche may include a broader range of powers.
     
  9. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure if you remember cheques but it is also possible to physically give someone a signed and dated blank cheque and allow them to fill in the amount

    Cheques are becoming a thing of the past...
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I still have some.

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  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    megalomania = crazy for power?
    Mega = very big
    lomania is what?
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No, not quite. It is having delusions of being far more powerful than you are, or being far greater. It is often accompanied by a desire for ever more power, though.
    Not quite. The etymology is from the Greek word megalos (from which we get the prefix “mega-”) meaning large, exaggerated, and mania meaning madness.
     
  13. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Hobson's Choice = you can only choose one?
    Is this an idiom?
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not quite - it is where only one thing is offered, with taking nothing being the alternative.
    It apparently comes from the 16/17th century, where a guy named Hobson, who owned a stable and rented out horses, would offer customers either the horse in the nearest stall or no horse at all. His was a "take it or leave it" offer.
    Yes.
     
  15. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    We always say roles and responsibilities.
    Actually, what is the difference between role and responsibility?
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    The role is the position one has within the organisation, e.g. General Manager, or Management Accountant, or nurse, or doctor. The responsibilities are the tasks they are expected to complete as part of their role.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Your role in the family unit is that of screw-up. There are no responsibilities associated with it.
     
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  18. elte Valued Senior Member

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    "mania" means craziness or can mean big-headed or overconfident.
     
  19. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    "I couldn't care less"

    I have noticed a variant on this expression that goes "I could care less"

    On face value it seems to mean the opposite of the former expression but it clearly means the same.

    I can't quite understand the logic involved in the latter expression(seems a bit convoluted to make it work)
     
  20. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

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    I couldn't care less

    I am at my lowest point of caring

    I could care less

    I think this is more about "provide me with more bs to lower my caring still further"

    ie an invite to keep digging yourself into a deeper hole and my caring gets less the deeper you dig

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  21. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks,I felt it might be along those lines.(but I actually thought it might just be an engrained way of saying the same thing ,only ever having seen it in written form)
     
  22. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    unsavoury = corrupted?
     
  23. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    unsavoury, unappealing, leaves a bad taste in your mouth, may be past its "best before" date - i.e. spoiled.
     

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