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Thread: Two sentences:)

  1. #1
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    Wink Two sentences:)

    Recently, I read an article about how to get the clutter out of life. There are two sentences I cannot understand ,especially the red words :

    1Clutterers also have strong perfectionistic and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. It’s like the flip side of being a neat freak. Both types long for control over their environment, but the hoarder thinks, “If my home can’t look like something out of House Beautiful—or another of those decorating magazines I hang on to—why even try?”
    (what does freak mean here? A drug user? And what does flip mean?)

    2Holding on because you’re holding out
    —for perfection, that is?
    (hold on and hold out have the same meaning, aren’t they? Then what does the sentence want to say?)

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two sentences:)

    .
    'It’s like the flip side of being a neat freak' = it is the opposite of being excessively tidy and orderly. 'Flip side' refers to the reverse side of a phonograph record-- there were songs on each side of them. 'Freak' just means someone who is obsessive/preoccupied with a subject or activity.

    'Holding on because you’re holding out' -- I cannot figure out how this works into the article, Jenny, but 'holding on' means maintaining one's position or impetus rather than failing or falling behind, while 'holding out' means refusing to consent (to a situation or condition). The sentence seems to suggest that because she will not settle for anything less than a perfectly immaculate house (?), she therefore continues to clean, clean, clean.

    Personally, I can't see how she can continue to hold up (= maintain her health)!
    .

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    Default Re: Two sentences:)

    Thank you so much, Mister Micawber. Sorry for the dealy of my answer.I understand the first sentence now. But the secend sentence, I think there may be misundetanding because I haven’t offered enough context. And If you could reconsider the secend sentence, I’ll appriciate it very much!

    Here is the context:
    Holding on because you’re holding out—for perfection, that is?
    According to behavioral experts, hoarders are often highly intelligent and creative. (I don’t know about you, but that definitely makes me feel better!) “They see more connections between things, which leads them to value those things much more than the rest of us do,” says Randy Frost, a psychology professor at Smith College. We can imagine a use for something in the future, and we just let our imaginations run away with us.
    Clutterers also have strong perfectionistic and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. It’s like the flip side of being a neat freak. Both types long for control over their environment, but the hoarder thinks, “If my home can’t look like something out of House Beautiful—or another of those decorating magazines I hang on to—why even try?”
    That’s what was running through my head when I finally decided to tackle one of my jammed bookcases.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Two sentences:)

    It means 'keeping something because you are waiting for something good in the future'. A collector will eep something for a future purposes.

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    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two sentences:)

    .
    Hmm. I'm still not sure what the writer is getting at, Jenny. 'Holding on because you’re holding out—for perfection, that is?'-- the writer seems to be applying this to both types, the hoarders and the clutterers.

    Perhaps 'holding on' means holding onto things, i.e. keeping them, while 'holding out' means successfully defending against or, as I said above, refusing to consent (to a situation or condition)-- in this case, perfection.

    The weak point of my interpretation is that (if it were accurate) I would have written:

    'Holding on because you’re holding out—against perfection'.

    Perhaps another member will offer us a fresh viewpoint.


    PS: tdol's lucid response seems to have slipped in while I was composing. Yes, I can see that-- holding on to things, and holding out (waiting, not disposing of them) until you have found the perfect use for the items.

    .
    Last edited by Mister Micawber; 21-Jun-2005 at 03:44.

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    Default Re: Two sentences:)

    I think it's more like: "I am going to hang on to whatever I've got now but I will keep my eyes and ears open for more desirable stuff. Once it pops up, they will still continue to look for more, and more, and more... I think that's a classic "pack rat's" mentality and these guys are caught in a vicious circle.

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    Default Re: Two sentences:)

    Thank you souch, Mister Micawber,for your explanation, your time and patience. And also many thanks to tdol and Marylin.
    To me, the sentence simply means 'keeping something because they have strong perfectionistic and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. "

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