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Thread: up to snuff

  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    up to snuff

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences?

    Any judge – who a up to snuff – would impound that document … (A. Coppard, “Tales”)

    up to snuff = quick-witted

    You won’t deceive Braddon easily; he’s quite up to snuff.

    up to snuff = an old hand, a knowing blade

    V.

  2. #2
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    Re: up to snuff

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences?

    Any judge – who a up to snuff – would impound that document … (A. Coppard, “Tales”)

    up to snuff = quick-witted

    You won’t deceive Braddon easily; he’s quite up to snuff.

    up to snuff = an old hand, a knowing blade

    V.
    It's not a phrase I've ever heard before so I can't help with your specific question, but could you just check that the word I've changed to red in your post is actually correct?

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: up to snuff

    Hi emsr2d2,

    Thank you for your kindness.

    I checked the word you’ve changed in my original post. I am sorry for being unable to give you an affirmative answer.

    You have to picture yourself that in the present case is speaking of an expression which is an adjective and not a noun. In my humble opinion the meaning of the expression in question is “shrewd, smart, knowing, worldly wise, experienced, practiced”.

    You could see the following link: up to par: Information from Answers.com

    Here are a few other examples of English literature which would corroborate the fairness of my interpretation:

    “Of course he was asleep. He was drunk.”
    “Well, Sir, I’d hardly call it that,” said the constable. “Not up to snuff at the moment, as you might say.” (J. Goldsworthy, “On Forsyte “Change” , “Revolt at Roger’s”)

    This was once a fine restaurant, but the food now isn’t nearly up to snuff.

    up to snuff = up to par


    V.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: up to snuff

    For me, the phrase would be "up to scratch" but that may well mean the same as "up to snuff".

  5. #5
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    Re: up to snuff

    'Up to snuff" is fine, but "a up to snuff" isn't.

  6. #6
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: up to snuff

    Looking at it n that light I would make the following revision:

    Any judge – who is up to snuff – would impound that document …

    or

    Any judge, who is up to snuff, would impound that document …

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 27-Aug-2011 at 07:55.

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