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Thread: A wasting away

  1. #1
    chelsea92's Avatar
    chelsea92 is offline Newbie
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    Default A wasting away

    Dictionary.com

    phthisis \THAHY-sis\ , noun:
    1. A wasting away.
    2. Pulmonary tuberculosis; consumption.

    At last Sister Hyacinthe began to speak of the immediate and complete cures ofphthisis, and this was the triumph, the healing of that terrible disease which ravages humanity…
    -- Robert Hugh Benson, Lourdes

    Apoplexy is no longer to be feared, but phthisis is there. Social phthisis is called misery.
    -- Victor Hugo, Les Misérables


    " A wasting away" What does it mean ?

    "away" is a noun, isn't it ?

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    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: A wasting away

    'A wasting away' is a noun phrase formed from the phrasal verb 'waste away'. Click HERE to read about its meaning.

    Rover

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: A wasting away

    The chances that you will need to know the English word "phthisis" and use it in a conversation with a native speaker are slim to none.



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    Default Re: A wasting away

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    The chances that you will need to know the English word "phthisis" and use it in a conversation with a native speaker are slim to none.
    I counts as a failure a day in which I haven't been able to lightly drop phthisis into conversation before lunch.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: A wasting away

    I don't know the Lourdes book, but its name, and the character 'Sister Hyacinthe', suggest that it may be partly or wholly set in France, and the other example is French (although English pronunciation would make the stress on 'Victor Hugo' unrecognizable to his compatriots). It's a feature of the French that they are more at ease with academic words: for example, the word 'carious' exists in English, but is used chiefly by dentists. Ordinary people say 'rotten' or 'decayed'. But a French speaker uses carié in normal conversation.

    b

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