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39 votes

What is the meaning of the quote "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link?

Do you understand the word "chain"? If not, look that up. Suppose you use a chain to, say, tow some heavy object behind your truck. If the object is heavy enough, the chain might break. Where will it ...
Jay's user avatar
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25 votes
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What does it mean by ask a question?

As "B" is quoting "A" directly, in written English you should place quote marks What do you mean by "ask a question"? In speech there are intonation and rhythmic ...
James K's user avatar
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23 votes
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Grammaticality: 'Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something'

I will now say something because I have to say something. What you have here is an elliptical sentence. That omission/ellipsis is quite common in speech and informal writing. This is what the ...
AIQ's user avatar
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21 votes

What if a quote contains an error

Quotes (that is, quoted text) must be taken as they are found. They should not be corrected, and usually errors should not be pointed out, unless they are significant to the reason why the quote is ...
David Siegel's user avatar
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14 votes

What if a quote contains an error

In addition to David's answer, there is also the matter of different style guides and what changes to a quote they say is permissible. I remember trying to quote an important statement, but the ...
AIQ's user avatar
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13 votes

What is the meaning of the quote "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link?

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It means that if you want to know the level of strength of a chain (i.e. how strong is it) then you have to check which link (chain made of links - see ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
12 votes

Grammaticality: 'Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something'

Sometimes words are left out to avoid repetition. In your example the verb "speak" is omitted after the subject "fools" to avoid repetition because the verb 'speak' is already mentioned after "wise ...
Sandip Kumar Mandal's user avatar
9 votes

What is the meaning of the quote "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link?

It's a metaphor that is used to compare a group of something to a chain and the impact of a single member. If you have a chain holding something and one of the links breaks, the chain itself isn't ...
Dom's user avatar
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8 votes
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How can I refer to something in a book?

(1) The book states "blah blah". It's definition 1 of the verb 'to state' in Lexico: Express something definitely or clearly in speech or writing. Most example sentences there are in indirect ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
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7 votes

How can I refer to something in a book?

When discussing a book "says" is invariably understood to mean "includes in the written text" and is the normal way of introducing a quote: As Kipling says of Gunga Din: "You're a better man than I ...
David Siegel's user avatar
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6 votes

What is meant by the quote "The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

This is meant to be witty and ironic. It is a quote from a character in an Oscar Wilde play "the Importance of Being Earnest" a comedy written in Wilde's signature satirical and humorous style. It is ...
Frank Lee's user avatar
6 votes

What is the meaning of the quote "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link?

Chains are constructed from multiple links of (usually) metal joined together. Because of this, the strength of the chain relies upon the strength of the individual links in the chain. If you were to ...
SteveES's user avatar
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5 votes
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What does this famous quote mean?

"Nethers" refers to your sex organs. "Twixt" means "in between" and "weren't run on batteries" refers to a battery powered sex toy. So the speaker is saying ...
Peter Kapteyn's user avatar
4 votes

Meaning of "There is no god and we are his prophets."

This sentence is deliberately confusing. It is a play/joke on the theme of religion, which is that there is a God and we are his prophets (or creations) that must talk about him and share the religion ...
NibblyPig's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

What do you call this part of the sentence that describes a quotation in a dialog?

I believe this is called the reporting clause Reported speech: reporting and reported clauses Speech reports consist of two parts: the reporting clause and the reported clause. The reporting ...
Em.'s user avatar
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4 votes

Is "sing" a noun or a verb in this quote by Samuel Beckett?

It’s a verb. When the sentence is: All we can do is ________. then the blank will be filled in with a verb, and it’s tied back to the word do, because it will say what we will be doing. For ...
J.R.'s user avatar
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4 votes

What is the meaning of this Game of Thrones quote?

If I recall correctly, this is something that Tyrion says to Jon Snow about being a bastard. Tyrion is saying that other people will be aware that Jon was born out of wedlock and that this fact will ...
Upper_Case's user avatar
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4 votes
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Splitting a quotation

This is purely a stylistic choice, but it is quite common to see articles written with the construction: "A quote," he said. "And now some more quotes." Beginning with the quote is good story-...
Canadian Yankee's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What does this quote mean from Jane Eyre? "She regretted to be under the necessity of..."

People here often grumble when a questioner hasn't done enough work on their own before asking us to help. But in your case I think you've done too much!! Bronte is doing something unusual here. ...
Old Brixtonian's user avatar
4 votes

Qutation marks in American English for emphasis and bracketing: single or double?

You should not use quotes for emphasis. In your given examples you should not use emphasis at all! The proper way to write this is to remove all single quotes, and replace them with nothing at all. ...
James K's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

It's no accident that the quote unquote golden period of Latin literature ends during this time

It's not entirely clear. Like "so-called," this [informal] usage of "quote unquote" generally refers to the object or idea immediately following it. In this particular case, ...
A C's user avatar
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3 votes

British Punctuation versus American Punctuation

There is no universally accepted rule about single/double quotes in BrE. It depends on the publisher's style. British books usually use single quotation marks, but British newspapers and magazines ...
rjpond's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

What does this Quote by G. H. Hardy mean?

These days = nowadays These days are characterized by a conflict over "ancient and modern studies". "There must surely be something to be said for {something}" = {something} deserves to be ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 130k
3 votes

Meaning of this quote from the book The Great Gatsby?

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . ...
RKG's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

"A language isn't something you learn so much as something you join."

I think that the statement that A language isn't something you learn so much as something you join. Is intended to convey that the social customs and information taken for granted by native users ...
David Siegel's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Meaning of quote

The first quote is saying that each person has inherent value. You do not need to accomplish something incredible or prove that you are more clever than another person before you will be a worthwhile ...
NegativeFriction's user avatar
3 votes

Grammaticality: 'Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something'

It originally (as written by Tryon Edwards) had a comma after "fools". You can make sense of it as shorthand for "fools talk". "Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they ...
Honest Abe's user avatar
3 votes

say shut up, say "shut up"

Quotation marks or italics are often used to indicate that text is being used qua a sentence constituent. The text does not have to be reported speech, e.g.: The words "cellar door" sound ...
MarcInManhattan's user avatar
2 votes

What does `almost any how` mean?

Victor Frankel's, "Mans Search for Meaning" Will explain this quote absolutely. While living through Auschwitz, Frankel discovered that those victims who had meaning in their lives were far more ...
Robert Wells's user avatar
2 votes

What does `almost any how` mean?

Nietzsche means that a person with nothing to live for subconsciously prefers death, but someone who has something to live for (the reason WHY he continues to live) can endure almost anything (HOW to ...
Mattias Orre's user avatar

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