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  1. #1
    juliana0403 is offline Member
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    Default What does it jmean? (voca test)

    Hi. The following sentence is the part of the vocabulary test.

    The answer is (D), but I don't understand the meaning of the whole sentence.

    Could you explain it to me?


    There is a tendency on the part of the guardians of the elite to be perhaps a little more scathing of someone to whom thye haven't given permission to be successful.


    (a) candid (b) ruthless (c) generous (d) skeptical

  2. #2
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What does it jmean? (voca test)

    IMO, scathing in your sentence means to be harshly critical of, bitterly denunciatory of, and by no means skeptical of.

    I wouldn't use it together with 'a little bit more' since scathing has a sharp, corrosive ring to it, it carries a lot of negative weight itself. It is like saying 'be a little bit more ferocious to..'.


    a scathing remark, scathing criticism / point of view / attack on... - harsh, bitter...

    to scathe means - to do harm to; to injure; to damage; to waste; to destroy.

    So, I would go for b since ruthless is closer to scathing.
    Last edited by bianca; 18-Jun-2007 at 11:34.

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: What does it jmean? (voca test)

    Quote Originally Posted by juliana0403 View Post
    Hi. The following sentence is the part of the vocabulary test.

    The answer is (D), but I don't understand the meaning of the whole sentence.

    Could you explain it to me?


    There is a tendency on the part of the guardians of the elite to be perhaps a little more scathing of someone to whom thye haven't given permission to be successful.


    (a) candid (b) ruthless (c) generous (d) skeptical
    "ruthless" is followed by "of".

    Usually "candid", "ruthless" and "generous" will be followed by "about".

    "Sk/ceptical" can be followed by "of".

    So my choice would be (d).

    However, none of the words is really synonymous for "scathing" = adjective witheringly scornful; severely critical

  4. #4
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What does it jmean? (voca test)

    IMO

    I am prety certain that ruthless and scathing are synonyms, with the sense of merciless, even though there can be a very slight difference in meaning between them. However, I agree that ruthless (or any of the other words) doesn't make a fine substitute for scathing within the sentence due to the presence of "of" .

    There should've been ruthless not about someone, but toward / against someone.
    Last edited by bianca; 18-Jun-2007 at 12:49.

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