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Thread: Redundant

  1. #1 Redundant 
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    Sue said she had a headache, but she knew that Chris, her first husband, was going to be at the party.

    That was very tactful of her. It would have been embarrassing if she had turned up.

    I wonder the reason why she could be embarrassing!


    ...

    And, have the followings almost the same meaning?

    A. Sue said she had a headache, but she knew that Chris, her first husband, was going to be at the party.

    That was very tactful of her. It would have been embarrassing if she had turned up.



    B. Sue said she had a headache, but she knew that Chris, her first husband, was going to be at the party.

    That was tactful of her. It would have been embarrassing if she had turned up.


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  3. #2 subjunctive 
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    Would you elaborate your answers?


    Last edited by nima_persian; May 1st, 2014 at 12:06 AM.
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  4. #3  
    Goddess of Eternity rmbettencourt's Avatar
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    Very is an adjective, so it was used to describe how tactful it was. I dunno, you truly can never find the perfect one I suppose. That is like saying something is much more redundant. Technically something more redundant cannot be anymore redundant. Haha. Did I make sense there?
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    "Tactful' is an adjective with a well defined meaning.

    The use of 'very', another adjective, to describe an already specific adjective is the redundancy, as I understand it.
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  6. #5  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Adverb, not adjective.

    As to the "why embarrassing" question. Presumably she and her ex-husband are not on friendly terms. So it would be awkward for everybody if there were two people who dislike each other in the room.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    It does seem odd to put an intensifier like "very" with "tactful" unless the writer really meant it was unexpectedly tactful - as in most people would not have been that considerate. I don't know if I'd call it truly redundant, like "absolutely certain" or "free gift" or "invited guests".

    One thing I noticed moving to Canada, is that Americans tend to use "very" a lot more, where would Canadians use "quite."

    Would it be redundant to say "it was quite tactful of her" ?
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  8. #7  
    Goddess of Eternity rmbettencourt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Adverb, not adjective.

    As to the "why embarrassing" question. Presumably she and her ex-husband are not on friendly terms. So it would be awkward for everybody if there were two people who dislike each other in the room.
    Does this mean that in theory it was not truly redundant?
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  9. #8  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Adverb, not adjective.
    It is both, actually, although in the context used in the OP it is indeed an adverb.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/very

    My bad.

    'Twas late, and I was not thorough.
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  10. #9  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    It is both, actually, although in the context used in the OP it is indeed an adverb.
    And I so nearly added "in this context" ...
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  11. #10  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    One thing I noticed moving to Canada, is that Americans tend to use "very" a lot more, where would Canadians use "quite."
    In the UK, we tend to use "quite" to mean "not very" ("That was quite good" means it was rather mediocre).

    Would it be redundant to say "it was quite tactful of her" ?
    It would be quite redundant.
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  12. #11  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    One thing I noticed moving to Canada, is that Americans tend to use "very" a lot more, where would Canadians use "quite."
    In the UK, we tend to use "quite" to mean "not very" ("That was quite good" means it was rather mediocre).

    So, a phrase such as "He is quite stubborn" is synonymous with "He is very stubborn" in the U.S., but it means "He is not very stubborn" in the U.K.?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Why are people saying it's redundant? Aren't there degrees of tactfulness? For example, she could have said, "No, I won't go, and why did you invite my ex-husband, you thoughtless twit?" That wouldn't be tactful at all. Or she could have said, "No, I'm afraid I would not be comfortable with my ex-husband there." That would be somewhat tactful, but could still make the host feel bad for failing to consider her feelings about her ex-husband. By making an excuse, she avoids the unpleasant topic, hence she was very tactful, according to the person quoted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    One thing I noticed moving to Canada, is that Americans tend to use "very" a lot more, where would Canadians use "quite."
    In the UK, we tend to use "quite" to mean "not very" ("That was quite good" means it was rather mediocre).

    So, a phrase such as "He is quite stubborn" is synonymous with "He is very stubborn" in the U.S., but it means "He is not very stubborn" in the U.K.?
    No, I don't think it works that way. "Quite good" meaning "mediocre" is sarcastic, or damning with faint praise. I don't think people praise with faint damnation. At least I've never heard of it.
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  15. #14  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    So, a phrase such as "He is quite stubborn" is synonymous with "He is very stubborn" in the U.S., but it means "He is not very stubborn" in the U.K.?
    Hmmm... that is a tricky one. That use of "quite" would normally be an intensifier (not "very" but more than just stubborn). However as a response to "It took a long time to persuade him" then "quite stubborn" would mean "a little bit stubborn".

    But:
    "How was the meal at that famous restaurant?"
    "It was quite good."
    "Oh that's disappointing."

    However, "quite excellent" probably means "most excellent". Although this use as an intensifier sounds slightly old fashioned to me; I can imagine Sherlock Holmes saying it!

    It is all quite complicated and context dependent, I'm afraid.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    "Quite good" meaning "mediocre" is sarcastic, or damning with faint praise.
    Not in British English. Another example, "she is quite pretty" might be said sympathetically about a rather plain girl (with emphasis on "quite") or in surprise about someone you didn't expect to be pretty at all.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Why are people saying it's redundant? Aren't there degrees of tactfulness?
    Agreed. Not redundant at all, in the least.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by nima_persian View Post
    Would you elaborate your answers?
    or the bloody question!

    I think the word 'almost' could be reference here.

    For the original post, the important word could be 'Almost'?
    Last edited by hannah40; May 4th, 2014 at 02:35 PM.
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