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Weather Forecast Percentages

The TV weather forecaster says, "There's a 70 per cent chance of rain this evening." It sounds authoritative and scientific, but what does it actually mean? "Fiction writing is...

"Every Little Helps"

This phrase has bothered me since childhood. It seems incomplete. Every little what ? Or did "little" turn into a noun just for use in this phrase? "Fiction writing is great...

Alma Mater

Alma Mater Seems to be used to mean school song. When did that happen? Or are all three sites, about the same high school, wrong?

Confusion Over Adverbs

On television a few moments ago was a sentence that I thought interesting enough to bring to the group. "This will enable us to see ourselves closer and know ourselves better....

The Screaming Abdabs!

I've heard that mentioned over the years, but it's not in any of my dictionaries - does anyone know it's etymology off the top of their heads? :-D Nick

Audiobooks In Southern Accent

Hi I just bought a cheap ipod classic (120Gig), and I am uploading lot of audio books. Right now I am listen to a novel Death Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. I specially like the...

Tony's Spurtal!

Tony got his spurtal out on Corrie yesterday and showed it to Maria - she was ever so interested! You can use it for stirring your porridge. Nick from England

Experimental Spelling Methods 1960 - 1970

Hi When I started primary school in Scotland during the early 1970's I was amongst the last year that was subject to a new spelling method. It used phonetic characters e.g. =E6...

"Catch You On The Flip Flop"

How's that for an anachronism? Do people remember what it referred to? I heard someone say it this afternoon to a corner store clerk who probably had no idea what the man was saying...

School Of Fish

"School of Fish " This one has puzzled me since I was a kid. Is it a corruption of "shoal" or something else? "I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it." - Clint Eastwood

Fire Fly Or Lightning Bug

Having grown up in Cleveland, Ohio, I call them lightning bugs. My wife, from Eastern Tennessee, calls them fire flies. Is there a website that shows any geographic variation in...

"Also" In Negative Statements

Hi everybody! As a native speaker of German I have had to learn the difference between "too" and "either" that essentially have the same German equivalent "auch." My question...

You Don't Drive Like Her...

There's a car insurance commercial that's driving me... to distraction. "You don't drive like her so why are you paying the same premiums as her?" Is that second "her" right or...

At The Bottom End Of The Market

Hello - could anyone please tell me what the phrase "At the bottom end of the market" means in following paragraph. With great thanks. Kevin Do translators living outside their...

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

The expression "Stupid is as stupid does" repeats forever by Forrest in his movie "Forrest Gump." What is the exact meaning of this? And, is there any origin of this and/or similar...

Guilty Conscience / Bad Conscience

Hi everybody! Would you native speakers accept "bad conscience" as a synonym for "guilty conscience" or would you rule it out as unidiomatic? Example: He had lied to her and now...

Good Man Ma Da

Any Irish folks here? I came across the expression "Good man ma da", and just about the only thing Google has to offer is that it's an "Expression of approval" ([link] language...

Candy's English Is Improving!

Pretty Liverpudlian Hannah Kiernan (Candy from Partyland) used to say, 'Keep them texts coming in', but now she says, 'Keep THOSE texts coming in'. Why she's even better spoken...

Upatra Burd.

My last question about a Scots expression is "upatra burd" - what is the meaning? I know the word "burd" which is a 'bird' = lassie, but upatra? If you know the answer, please...

Myriad Something / Myriad Of Something

In the Irish Catholic sex/physical abuse scandal, for some reason the word "myriad" keeps appearing. One article, "Ireland's myriad religious orders, much like their mother church...

Amercian Pronunication Of Heintje?

How do you pronounce this name from Holland: Heintje? Is the American pronunciation. Heen teh gee. Heen teh gee. High teh gee. or Heen t juh. Heintje is a famous Dutch singer...

The Verb "Accustomed"

It is transitive and always seems to be used in the passive or with the auxiliary verb "have". Why?

Sony Cameras With Built-In X-Ray Emitters...

The biggest scandal of the last decade !!!!!!! Millions of Sony digital cameras sold with accidentally built-in X-ray emitters that cause immediate brain cancer !!!!!! You may...

"Must've" -- Not Correct?

Why does my spellchecker question this and other contractions like "must'nt"?

Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers...

What are the differences and similarities between atheists, agnostics, skeptics, freethinkers, secular humanists and the non-religious? /Why Tea
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