Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    ian2 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    431
    Post Thanks / Like

    seize on and chastening

    * We cannot seize onultimate and absolute truths.

    What's the difference between seize and seize on?

    * One has only to note how in the last half-century the movements for women’s rights and civil rights have reformulated and renewed American history. Thus the present incessantly reinvents the past. In this sense, all history, as Benedetto Croce said, is contemporary history. It is these permutations of consciousness that make history so endlessly fascinating an intellectual adventure. “The one duty we owe to history,” said Oscar Wilde, “is to rewrite it.”

    What's the best paraphrase for permutations in this context?

    * history should forever remind us of the limits of our passing perspectives. It should strengthen us to resist the pressure to convert momentary impulses into moral absolutes. It should lead us to acknowledge our profound and chastening frailty as human beings — to a recognition of the fact, so often and so sadly displayed, that the future outwits all our certitudes and that the possibilities of the future are more various than the human intellect is designed to conceive.


    What does chastening mean here?

    It seems to me that "future outwits certitudes" is close to "the possibilities are more various". In other words, they talk about the same thing in different ways. Am I off the mark?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    44,191
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: seize on and chastening

    If you seize on something, you take it and use it for your own ends.
    Permutations- variations
    chastening- humbling

Similar Threads

  1. chastening frailty
    By ian2 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 22-Jan-2008, 15:13

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •