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Profile: vkhu
User Name: vkhu
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: Monday, June 18, 2012
Last Visit: Sunday, March 18, 2018 8:09:19 AM
Number of Posts: 754
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: A ragged apron does not a waiter make
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 12:29:33 PM
'You are wearing handmade loafers, a silk shirt and three gold signet rings. Your English has a tinge of Oxford about it and your nails have the soft sheen of the recently manicured. You are not a waiter. You are our contact, Nguyen Xuan, and you have adopted this pathetic disguise to discreetly check for weaponry.'

Nguyen's shoulders sagged. 'It is true. Amazing.'

'Hardly. A ragged apron does not a waiter make.'

Is this a parody of some kind of idiom? The sentence is weirdly structured, and I couldn't find any reference for it on Google.

Or does it simply mean the man, Nguyen Xuan, was wearing a ragged apron, and that's not the typical waiter attire?
Topic: The smart money was on half a century, at the outside
Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 8:57:20 AM
Root's face was purple with rage. This was more or less his general state of existence, a fact that had earned him the nickname 'Beetroot'. There was an office pool running on how long he had before his heart exploded. The smart money was on half a century, at the outside.

I don't get the last sentence. What's smart money? And what does at the outside refer to?

And in case anyone was wondering, this is a fantasy novel, and Root is of a species that can live for centuries. So don't get put out by the half-a-century thing
Topic: beginning dictionaries
Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 8:41:01 AM
Thanks for the answers guys. But wouldn't it make more sense to call them beginners dictionaries?

And nice tip btw, thar. Much appreciated!
Topic: beginning dictionaries
Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 5:46:19 AM
Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

What are beginning dictionaries? I couldn't find any definition or example for this on google.

This comes from a document on academic standards for U.S. 2nd graders, by the way.
Topic: quantitatively
Posted: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 9:20:12 AM
This is about a set of standards for American students. This is about what students of a specific grade level should be able to do to meet that standard.

And I think your explanation makes sense in this context.
Topic: quantitatively
Posted: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 8:43:56 AM
Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

I get the visually and orally media, but why quantitatively? It's just something related to number, not a form of media.
Topic: superior
Posted: Saturday, March 03, 2018 6:08:44 AM
They stopped.

“Those’re nice,” she said appraisingly.

“Yes,” he agreed. “But what are they?”

“You know darned well they’re hats. Don’t try to be so superior.”

Context: a man and a woman is window shopping.

I don't get how the lady would chastise the man for being superior. He saw some strange hats, and asked what they are. Why would he be considered being superior? Didn't he just showed his ignorance?
Topic: He never sat down to a piano but what he played it
Posted: Saturday, March 03, 2018 5:13:00 AM
Romany wrote:

Yes it does. I've come across that phrasing before: "They never did X, but what...." in old US movies.

I think it's some US dialect - but not sure if it's still in use. No doubt one of our AE speakers will let us know.

Considering this is an American novel in the late 40s, I'm inclined to believe you're right.
Topic: He never sat down to a piano but what he played it
Posted: Saturday, March 03, 2018 3:38:36 AM
[...] The Barcarolle. His favorite song. He never sat down to a piano but what he played it. Whenever and wherever you heard that being played, you knew Hugh was about someplace.”

I don't get the sentence in bold. Does it mean the only time he played the piano would be to play that song?
Topic: Is this part of a song?
Posted: Thursday, March 01, 2018 10:43:57 AM
The wheels chattered, as they always chatter, on every train that has ever run. But saying now, to her ear alone:

“You’d better go back, you’d better go back,
“Clicketty-clack, clicketty-clack,
Stop while you can, you still can go back.”

I think I've read a rhythm similar to this somewhere, but can't quite place it. Google showed some variations of it, but they are all too recent for a book written in 1948. Is there a nursery song or something like this during or before the 1940s?

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