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Thread: vocabulary

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default vocabulary

    Dear teachers,
    Please read the following sentence and the choices:

    Being somewhat short-sighted, she had the habit of_____at people.
    a. peering b.gazing

    The correct answer is b. Could you please kindly tell me why a isn't correct?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Last edited by jiang; 22-Dec-2006 at 13:08.

  2. #2
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Dear teachers,
    Please read the following sentence and the choices:

    Being somewhat short-sighted, she had the habit of_____at people.
    a. peering b.gazing

    The correct answer is b. Could you please kindly tell me why a isn't correct?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    First of all, the question itself is a problem. "Shortsighted" has two distinct meanings. One is "nearsighted" or "myopic", referring to distance vision. The other is "lacking foresight", not looking ahead or planning for the future. Since this refers to vision, I think "nearsighted" would have been a better choice for a vocabulary test. Nevertheless, it is what it is.

    Second of all, I have a problem with the answer. "Peer" and "gaze" are very close synonyms. If one had to find any space between them, it would seem to be that "peer at" is more often associated with difficulty than "gaze at" is. I would therefore, have chosen "peer" if I was forced to make a choice. This is from the AHD:

    SYNONYMS gaze, stare, gape, gawk, glare, peer. These verbs mean to look long and intently. Gaze is often indicative of wonder, fascination, awe, or admiration: gazing at the stars. Stare can indicate curiosity, boldness, insolence, or stupidity: stared at them in disbelief. Gape suggests a prolonged open-mouthed look reflecting amazement, awe, or lack of intelligence: tourists gaping at the sights. To gawk is to gape or stare stupidly: Drivers gawked at the disabled truck. To glare is to fix another with a hard, piercing stare: glared furiously at me. To peer is to look narrowly, searchingly, and seemingly with difficulty: peered at us through her glasses.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


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  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: vocabulary

    Dear Mike,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. You are quite right that quite often quetions themselves have problems. As a result we get confused all the time by those choices. And the more we do them the more confused we get.

    Jiang


    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Dear teachers,
    Please read the following sentence and the choices:

    Being somewhat short-sighted, she had the habit of_____at people.
    a. peering b.gazing

    The correct answer is b. Could you please kindly tell me why a isn't correct?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    First of all, the question itself is a problem. "Shortsighted" has two distinct meanings. One is "nearsighted" or "myopic", referring to distance vision. The other is "lacking foresight", not looking ahead or planning for the future. Since this refers to vision, I think "nearsighted" would have been a better choice for a vocabulary test. Nevertheless, it is what it is.

    Second of all, I have a problem with the answer. "Peer" and "gaze" are very close synonyms. If one had to find any space between them, it would seem to be that "peer at" is more often associated with difficulty than "gaze at" is. I would therefore, have chosen "peer" if I was forced to make a choice. This is from the AHD:

    SYNONYMS gaze, stare, gape, gawk, glare, peer. These verbs mean to look long and intently. Gaze is often indicative of wonder, fascination, awe, or admiration: gazing at the stars. Stare can indicate curiosity, boldness, insolence, or stupidity: stared at them in disbelief. Gape suggests a prolonged open-mouthed look reflecting amazement, awe, or lack of intelligence: tourists gaping at the sights. To gawk is to gape or stare stupidly: Drivers gawked at the disabled truck. To glare is to fix another with a hard, piercing stare: glared furiously at me. To peer is to look narrowly, searchingly, and seemingly with difficulty: peered at us through her glasses.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    :D

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    Default Re: vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Dear teachers,
    Please read the following sentence and the choices:

    Being somewhat short-sighted, she had the habit of_____at people.
    a. peering b.gazing

    The correct answer is b. Could you please kindly tell me why a isn't correct?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    First, please note, the word short-sighted here refers to sight (i.e. myopia, also called near-sightedness) and does not refer to lacking in imagination. Given that the choices 'peer' and 'gaze' make reference to sight, I dare say "lacking in imagination" is a viable interpretation for "short-sighted" in the context provided. That is, the semantic connection has to do with eye-sight.

    Second, please note, AHD: Gaze is often indicative of wonder (i.e. Who is that person I'm looking at?); Peer is to look narrowly.

    To look at someone 'narrowly' can have a negative connotation, and hence the reason 'peer' is not deemed the correct choice in this case.

    All the best,

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: vocabulary

    Dear Casiopea,

    Thank you very much for your reply. The whole thing is getting complicated.

    Best wishes,

    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Dear teachers,
    Please read the following sentence and the choices:

    Being somewhat short-sighted, she had the habit of_____at people.
    a. peering b.gazing

    The correct answer is b. Could you please kindly tell me why a isn't correct?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    First, please note, the word short-sighted here refers to sight (i.e. myopia, also called near-sightedness) and does not refer to lacking in imagination. Given that the choices 'peer' and 'gaze' make reference to sight, I dare say "lacking in imagination" is a viable interpretation for "short-sighted" in the context provided. That is, the semantic connection has to do with eye-sight.

    Second, please note, AHD: Gaze is often indicative of wonder (i.e. Who is that person I'm looking at?); Peer is to look narrowly.

    To look at someone 'narrowly' can have a negative connotation, and hence the reason 'peer' is not deemed the correct choice in this case.

    All the best,

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