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  1. #1
    Angie8 is offline Newbie
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    Default Please help me to understand one phrase

    I'm reading a book and don't understand the last sentence in the paragraph below, especially the term "singular failure" even though after looking up in the dictionary. Please help me, many thanks!

    "Bachelet’s election to the presidency was, in itself, a ‘violation of expectations’ for her country. She certainly understood that women leaders and their leadership stories are judged by different standards to men, quoting to me newspapers in Chile which had covered her 2008 visit to the UK by reflecting on the way she had dressed when she met the Queen, something they would never have done with a male leader. ‘It’s a matter of time’ she said, of the singular failure of so many newspapers and broadcasters to ‘violate expectations’ when it comes to women in power."

  2. #2
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Please help me to understand one phrase

    Singular failure is an example of a nonce word. It has become common in journalism fairly recently. What the author probably meant was notable failure, or even egregious failure. To my mind, this case was egregious, i.e. remarkably or outstandingly bad.
    Last edited by probus; 29-Jan-2013 at 03:51.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help me to understand one phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Singular failure is an example of a nonce word.
    I don't agree. Many dictionaries now give definitions of singular similar to this.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Please help me to understand one phrase

    Angie, A better title would have been singular failure as that is the phrase you are asking about.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

    Rover

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