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Thread: at random

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    #1

    at random

    Hello, teachers.
    Would you tell me what "at random" means in the following sentence?

    "I'll do my best," he said at random.

    I understand such usage of this phrase as "choose a card at random from the deck" but I am not sure what "to say at random" means. Does this mean "he said what happened to come up in his mind at that moment"? I appreciate your help very much.

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    #2

    Re: at random

    It probably means that he spoke out of turn or his response was inappropriate.

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    #3

    Re: at random

    Quote Originally Posted by imchongjun View Post
    "I'll do my best," he said at random.
    My response:
    How can you say something at random?
    I can't, offhand, conceive of any context in which that sentence would make sense.



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    #4

    Re: at random

    I’m not a teacher.

    Hi imchongjun,

    There are a few synonyms of the expression in question: randomly, indiscriminately, haphazardly, willy-nilly, arbitrarily, every which way

    randomly = arbitrarily = haphazardly = every which way = in a random manner

    indiscriminately = in an indiscriminate manner

    willy-nilly = without having a choice

    at random = without order or fixed purpose, haphazardly, as in Jackson
    Pollock dropped paints on canvas seemingly at random. Originally this phrase meant "very speedily" and "heedlessly." Shakespeare had the present usage in 1 Henry VI (5:3): "He talks at random; sure the man is mad."

    Reagrds,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 28-Dec-2008 at 16:43.

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    #5

    Re: at random

    "The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe."

    This quotation from the immortal genius, Frank Zappa, is delivered entirely at random.

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