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  1. #11
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Common sense', 'Instinct', and 'Intuition'?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I am equally astonished. Just when you think you have heard all of the BrE differences, something comes out of the blue. I would have also figured someone was using the French for "we," if I had to guess.
    If you saw it written down, that would be perfectly understandable and in your head you would pronounce it "noo" as in the French, but if you heard it, you would probably think I was saying "mouse" and that you had misheard the first letter. Not that "mouse" would make any sense of course!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: 'Common sense', 'Instinct', and 'Intuition'?

    How do you use it? Something like "She may not have a lot of formal education, but you can't beat her when it comes to nous"?
    Or "Show some nous, will you? We're having soup so a spoon might have been more useful than a fork, don't you think?"
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #13
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Common sense', 'Instinct', and 'Intuition'?

    I knew it was minus five degrees outside but I didn't even have the nous to put my hat on before I went out!

    if you haven't got the nous to realise you're being taken for a ride, you deserve all you get!

    It's rather informal. I wouldn't say "use/show some nous". We generally only refer to "having the nous [to do something]".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #14
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: 'Common sense', 'Instinct', and 'Intuition'?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post

    It's rather informal.
    I agree.

    Some dictionaries, like Collins, label it slang — rather harshly, I feel.

    Rover

  5. #15
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    Default Re: 'Common sense', 'Instinct', and 'Intuition'?

    Nous was an ancient Greek concept that Plato and his predecessors used a lot. It's explained better in the link below.
    I've read a fair bit of Plato in English, but no one seems to have kept 'nous' in the translation.

    PS: I'd also like to endorse probus' distinction between instinct and intuition - they're totally different. Instincts are inborn behaviours; intuitions are unconscious hunches. But 'instinct' is often used for 'intuition' in lay parlance.

    Nous - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


  6. #16
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    Default Re: 'Common sense', 'Instinct', and 'Intuition'?

    Can we also put it this way that by 'intuition' we mean a level of unconscious perception we have of the surrounding environment and things happening there, while 'instinct' deals with the (immediate) reaction we have and show to the phenomena around?

  7. #17
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    Default Re: 'Common sense', 'Instinct', and 'Intuition'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Can we also put it this way that by 'intuition' we mean a level of unconscious perception we have of the surrounding environment and things happening there, while 'instinct' deals with the (immediate) reaction we have and show to the phenomena around?
    It's not the kind of definition a dictionary would provide, but unconscious perception is perhaps a defining feature of intuition. When we experience an intuitive belief, usually we cannot say what clues led us to the belief. Malcolm Gladwell's recent best-seller Blink is all about this phenomenon.

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