Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: at random

  1. #1
    imchongjun is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    152
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

  2. #2
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,047
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: at random

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

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.



  4. #4
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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 15:43.

  5. #5
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,047
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: at random

    "The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe."

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

Similar Threads

  1. Random questions
    By fantastic in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 15-Jul-2008, 07:04
  2. random class
    By jctgf in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-Dec-2007, 20:51
  3. (URGENT) random fact about Lord of the rings
    By reashlin in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Mar-2006, 05:10
  4. Random Polls
    By Red5 in forum News and Announcements
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 25-Sep-2004, 17:46
  5. Which is correct
    By ExK in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-Feb-2003, 17:29

Posting Permissions

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