Questions tagged [language-explanation]

A tag for questions asking "what did the author mean by this word/sentence"?

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10
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a “shilicashe?”

On page 138 of my edition of The Light Fantastic, Cohen the Barbarian tells Twoflower and Rincewind about trolls, and tries to say a word that I cannot at all identify (emphasis added): "Trollsh ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Lindsay Buroker Hero Code (Star Kingdom Book 3) question

Prologue Fire burned in Yas’s veins as the treatment solution flowed into his arm. His breath caught, and his entire body clenched in pain. Had he been a true cryonics revival patient, he ...
65
votes
2answers
8k views

What term is being referred to with “reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits”?

In The Colour of Magic, on page 46 of my copy, Twoflower says this word: “Reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits?” What term is being referred to above? It seems to be like “in-sewer-ants-policy”,...
0
votes
1answer
250 views

What does this joke mean in “Get Schwifty”?

In Rick and Morty season 2 episode 5 "Get Schwifty", Father Bob says this to a panicking church (emphasis mine): People! Everyone! Remain calm! Every crisis of faith is an opportunity for more ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

What does 0.2 tenths of the population mean?

In Clarence Brown's1 English translation of Yevgeny Zamyatin's (Russian: Евге́ний Замя́тин) dystopian novel We (1921) (Russian: Мы), there is a passage of text, referring to population, which confused ...
6
votes
1answer
513 views

What does Shagrat mean by “Hola”?

In the chapter "The Choices of Master Samwise", Shagrat yells Hola! Gorbag! What are you doing up here? Had enough of war already? It seems bizarre that orcs would be using Spanish words. What ...
8
votes
1answer
509 views

What does this phrase from Ursula Le Guin's book “The Lathe of Heaven” mean?

On page 12 of the novel "The Lathe of Heaven", Dr. Haber offers Mr. Orr some cigarettes and says "Do you smoke ? The brown filters are tranks, the white are denicks." What do the words "tranks" ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

What does this line mean in the Watchmen movie?

At the end, when Rorschach decides to reveal Veidt's plan out to world, Manhattan gets in his way and Rorschach says: Of course, you must protect Veidt's new utopia. What did this line mean ?
5
votes
1answer
560 views

Is the 7th of the Seven Words ever revealed and what are their meanings?

In the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Book 2, The Illearth War, chapter 17 "Tull’s Tale," the account of Lord Hyrim’s combat with turiya Raver is given, and we see him speak six words (...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

In 1984, is the political ideology Death Worship (Obliteration of Self) related to eastern religions/philosophies?

At some point In 1984 by George Orwell, O'Brien gives a copy of Emmanuel Goldstein's book to the protagonist Winston. In the book the official political ideology of the Eastasian Government is called ...
7
votes
1answer
695 views

What does “Tas” mean?

Page 20 of A Deepness in the Sky: "Tas been done often enough afore, dontcha know? Get ‘em when they don’t know technology—or haven’t yet rebuilt it,” said Brughel. What does "Tas" mean?
29
votes
1answer
5k views

Are the English subtitles for The Thing (2011) wrong?

I understand both Norwegian and Danish. The English subtitles for many of the the Norwegian and Danish lines in this movie seem quite off. For example, "Sitt stille" is subtitled as "Turn on the ...
-5
votes
1answer
433 views

What is a “plank” in Snow Crash?

In Snow Crash, there is a line: First MetaCop leans her plank against the wall, ... What is a plank?
46
votes
9answers
10k views

Why is R2-D2 considered a droid?

Oxford dictionaries defines "android" as: a robot with a human appearance. I assume droid is a shortened version of android. This makes sense for C-3PO, who is obviously humanoid in appearance, ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Can someone explain this phrase about gambling stones?

All the same, he’d have gambled twelve Sorcerer’s Stones that Snape had just left the room, and from what Harry had just heard, Snape would be walking with a new spring in his step — Quirrell ...
19
votes
3answers
6k views

What is this Norwegian shouting?

In this clip from the film The Thing (2011), Sander Halvorsen's speech is interrupted by a bearded guy (Lars?) who stands up and shouts something in Norwegian. I gather he says something to the effect ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

What does Dax's idiom about feet mean?

In the Deep Space Nine episode Dramatis Personae there is a scene with Kira and Dax where the follow exchange takes place: KIRA: How are you, Lieutenant? DAX: You know what they say, put the ...
4
votes
1answer
519 views

What did Darren Cross mean with “Word travels fast”

In the recent Ant-man movie, How did Darren know this and were the viewers supposed to "get it"? Is there a leak?
24
votes
2answers
11k views

Did Louis Tully's speech mean anything?

In the first Ghostbusters movie, after Louis Tully is possessed by Vinz Clortho (the dog-creature), arrested, and handed over to the Ghostbusters, he says: "Gozer the Traveller, he will come in one ...
26
votes
9answers
8k views

Do Terminators feel pain?

In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the following exchange takes place: John Connor: Does it hurt when you get shot? T-800: I sense injuries. The data could be called "pain." This isn't much of ...
90
votes
3answers
12k views

Why would Shelob own Sauron?

In Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, in the chapter Shelob’s Lair, there is a rather lengthy description of Shelob, the last remaining child of Ungoliant in Middle-Earth. In this, there is also a ...
24
votes
6answers
30k views

What does Galadriel mean by “All shall love me and despair”?

In Fellowship of the Ring, when Frodo offers Galadriel the Ring, she loses control of herself and exclaims: And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you ...
6
votes
2answers
510 views

The “imperialism of consciousness” in God Emperor of Dune

In the SciFi book The God Emperor of Dune, near the end of the book Leto tells Moneo he knows what he fears. “Lord, if I lie … then I do not know it.” “That has the ring of truth. But I know ...
13
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2answers
2k views

In Dune, what does “gestalten” mean?

The title pretty much says it all. I cannot find it in the glossary. And being a native German speaker does not help either¹. The old woman studied Paul in one gestalten flicker: face oval like ...