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The Meaning of Swarf

Mark in Bostonia, California, works in a machine shop where a sign warned: Beware of coolant and swarf. The word swarf refers to filings or dust created from machine work. Swarf can also function as a verb meaning “to cover with dust or grit...

Fail-Safe vs. Fail-Proof

A discussion on the English Language & Usage Stack Exchange about things that can still be useful even if they longer function properly, such as escalators and moving sidewalks, included several intriguing expressions involving partial failure...