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    #1

    a malleable view of intelligence

    Hi,

    To mean a belief that you can always learn something to be more intelligent, which is more idiomatic?

    1. a malleable view of intelligence

    2.a view of malleable intelligence

    I guess that both would make sense.

    Thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: a malleable view of intelligence

    I find only the first to be acceptable. There are some common phrases, such as "take a dim view"or"an optimistic view", where the modifier precedes "view". I think it's best to conform with common usage.

    Further, "malleable intelligence" simply doesn't have the same meaning as "malleable view". Malleable means changeable. Is it intelligence itself that's considered to be changeable, or one's view of intelligence? It's difficult to accurately divine the meaning of a phrase in isolation (no context), but I think it's far more likely that it's one's view that is the changeable element. "Malleable Intelligence" sounds like an esoteric concept that might be used by psychologists.

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    #3

    Re: a malleable view of intelligence

    However, I don't think either work for the meaning desired. And, to be honest, does learning things affect your intelligence?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a malleable view of intelligence

    ... because malleable means 'changeable by beating/hammering'. A classic definition of a metal is 'most metals are malleable and ductile' - they can be both hammered and stretched into a new shape. People who talk about 'malleable intelligence' (and there may be some) are trying to make out that they have an impressive vocabulary (and in the process making an entirely unwanted impression ).

    b
    PS Neither BNC nor COCA has any instance of 'malleable intelligence', though my impression (unquantified) is that in Am English 'malleable' is more often applied to abstract nouns (in a figurative way). Google does have some, and it seems that 'the malleability of intelligence' is a recognized theory among psychologists. For me, though, it conjures up memories of a maths master whose favourite form of child abuse involved slapping boys' heads with an exercise book.
    Last edited by BobK; 03-Mar-2013 at 18:22. Reason: Fix typoes

  2. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a malleable view of intelligence

    We must have gone to the same school, Bob!
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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