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  1. #1
    higurashi is offline Junior Member
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    Default What does "boon" mean in this sentence?

    Hello,

    I am having difficulty to translate a sentence below.

    Location technology won't come into its own as either boon or Big Brother until some mundance details get sorted out-such as maps.

    My dictionary says "boon" means a gift or contribution, and "Big Brother" means a government. Well, the definition does not help me at all.

    Would someone help me to undersand the meaning of whole sentence?

    Arigato,
    Higurashi

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What does "boon" mean in this sentence?

    Wow, that is not a clear sentence. I can understand why you cannot understand it.

    You are right: A BOON is a good thing that happens at a perfect time.

    "I passed the test! It was a real BOON when the teacher gave us extra time."
    "Good weather was a BOON to the people looking for the missing child."

    And you are right with BIG BROTHER: The term comes from Orwell's novel 1984. "Big Brother" refers to the government watching people too closely.

    So this sentence means to say:

    Location technology will not become a boon, a wonderful thing for everyone who uses it, OR become a bad tool for the government to watch people with, UNTIL it becomes better.

    Right now, the technology is not a BOON, a good thing for anyone, because it does not work well, AND
    it is not an evil tool for the government.

    But later, when it works better, THEN it will EITHER be a boon for all of us, or a bad tool.

    Not a clear sentence at all.

    (The author was trying to alliteration, where words start with the same letter/sound... Boon or Big Brother.

    For example, Higurashi hoped he'd hear how Herman handled his hamburger.

    Sometimes alliteration sounds good, but other times it just sounds silly.)

  3. #3
    higurashi is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: What does "boon" mean in this sentence?

    Mr. Mercer,

    Thank you for your quick response.
    I am really appreciate it!

    Now I probably understand the meaning of the sentence (well, the sentence was on US. News & World Report....)
    And thank you again to tell me about alliteration.

    Higurashi from Tokyo

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What does "boon" mean in this sentence?

    You'll sometimes hear British people use 'may I crave a boon?' when the want to ask a favour, as a deliberate archaism.

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