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  1. #1
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    Jan 2006
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    Question LDELC, 2nd ed. 1998-2003 imprecision

    Hi, everybody who cares! Today I'd like to air my dissatisfaction with the definition of 'Tam O'Shanter' in Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture, 2nd ed. 1998-2003 as "a long, humorous poem by Robert Burns". I think 1) the adjective 'long' here is part of the term 'long poem' denoting a subgenre, and therefore the adjective cannot be separated from the noun 2) the adjective 'humorous' further specifies this subgenre and therefore should precede it: 'a humorous long poem'. This version means that Robert Burns wrote a work in verse which belongs to the poetic genre called 'long poem' and that this particular long poem pertains to the humorous variety of the long poem. If we leave the definition as it is in LDELC, what it actually says is: "Tam O'Shanter is long AND humorous" - the two things that somehow do not seem to go together. Looking forward to your feedback, Nikolay Esaulov.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
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    Default Re: LDELC, 2nd ed. 1998-2003 imprecision

    I agree with you that 'humorous long poem' is fine, but is 'long poem' a specific genre in the way that 'short story' is? Their description seems OK to me to be honest.

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