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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default isnt closing divide on race

    Dear teacher,

    Recently I read the NYT’s article Poll Finds Obama Isn’t Closing Divide on Race “. By that reading I found a strange for me expression even in the title namely “isn't closing divide on race”. Knowing the meaning of the expression “closing time” as well as the meaning of the word “divide” namely “water shed”, “the Great divide” after I was acquainted with the context in the article I came at a conclusion that “closing divide on race” = “bringing to an end of the division by race”, “getting the division by race over”, “overcoming the division by race” or “surmounting the division by race”.

    There are a few excerpts from the article in question:

    Americans are sharply divided by race heading into the first election in which an African-American will be a major-party presidential nominee, with blacks and whites holding vastly different views of Senator Barack Obama, the state of race relations and how black Americans are treated by society, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

    The results of the poll, conducted against the backdrop of a campaign in which race has been a constant if not always overt issue, suggested that Mr. Obama’s candidacy, while generating high levels of enthusiasm among black voters, is not seen by them as evidence of significant improvement in race relations

    Indeed, the poll showed markedly little change in the racial components of people’s daily lives since 2000, when The Times examined race relations in an extensive series of articles called “How Race Is Lived in America.”

    Would you be kind enough confirm my guesswork?

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards

    V.

  2. #2
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: isnt closing divide on race

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teacher,

    Recently I read the NYT’s article Poll Finds Obama Isn’t Closing Divide on Race “. By that reading I found a strange for me expression even in the title namely “isn't closing divide on race”. Knowing the meaning of the expression “closing time” as well as the meaning of the word “divide” namely “water shed”, “the Great divide” after I was acquainted with the context in the article I came at a conclusion that “closing divide on race” = “bringing to an end of the division by race”, “getting the division by race over”, “overcoming the division by race” or “surmounting the division by race”.

    There are a few excerpts from the article in question:

    Americans are sharply divided by race heading into the first election in which an African-American will be a major-party presidential nominee, with blacks and whites holding vastly different views of Senator Barack Obama, the state of race relations and how black Americans are treated by society, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

    The results of the poll, conducted against the backdrop of a campaign in which race has been a constant if not always overt issue, suggested that Mr. Obama’s candidacy, while generating high levels of enthusiasm among black voters, is not seen by them as evidence of significant improvement in race relations

    Indeed, the poll showed markedly little change in the racial components of people’s daily lives since 2000, when The Times examined race relations in an extensive series of articles called “How Race Is Lived in America.”

    Would you be kind enough confirm my guesswork?

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards

    V.
    I think you are basically right about the meaning of "divide" used as a noun in this situation. "Divide" here means a difference between two groups of people or two camps, who are divided on the issue of race. I feel great sympathy for Hillary Clinton, who was defeated in the democratic primaries, so these days I haven't followed the battle between Obama and McCain.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: isnt closing divide on race

    Isn't it also a bit more complex than that? African American and Hispanic relationships are said to be frosty, and mainstream African American politicians like Rev. Jackson have been accused of anti-semitism. Maybe it should be 'divides'.

  4. #4
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: isnt closing divide on race

    Hi Tdol,

    Thank you for your expansion of the present thread as well as for your prophet insights.

    Regards

    V.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: isnt closing divide on race

    Shouldn't there be a poll to see whether Senator McCain is closing the divide(s) on race too?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: isnt closing divide on race

    To my understanding, it's a play on words, and it's the word race that's in focus. The word race has two meanings: i. a competition, and ii. any people united by common history, language, cultural traits; moreover, closing [the] divide is an idiom meaning to converge; i.e., bring together, opposite of diverge, separate:
    “Poll Finds Obama Isn't Closing Divide on Race."

    (a) The voters remain divided (Obama isn't closing the divide on the race (sense i.)

    (b) The division is based in race (sense ii.)

  7. #7
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: isnt closing divide on race

    Hi Soup,

    Thank you for your convincing explanation. There are no two ways about it. We see eye to eye.

    You have to know that I persisted in showing interest upon the word “race” still in my original post.

    There ase a few interpretations of the expression in question: “bringing to an end of the division by race”, “getting the division by race over”, “overcoming the division by race” or “surmounting the division by race”.

    A little past I wrote the terms as “water shed”and “the Great divide”. There are also a few terms that have to mark the beginning of the new time of the “reunification” and “amalgamation” or your “convergence” as “ a turning point” , “land mark” (a fixed marker, such as a concrete block, that indicates a boundary line, an event marking an important stage of development or a turning point in history.)

    I recall in this connection the term “repentance” which go well with that fantastically time:

    The word translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia), "after/behind one's mind", which is a compound word of the preposition 'meta' (after, with), and the verb 'noeo' (to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing). In this compound word the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by 'after' and 'different'; so that the whole compound means: 'to think differently after'. Metanoia is therefore primarily an after-thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, "change of mind and heart", or, "change of consciousness".

    There is in English language another long forgotten word, none the less that it may put me in awkward position. I think it could be used for more intelligible interpretation of the expression in question.

    If we know that “segregation” = ”the policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups, as in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination” and “completion’ = “finishing” we can create the following compilation “completion of segregation” which is very close to the meaning of the phrase “closing divide on race”.

    Regards

    V.

  8. #8
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default Re: isnt closing divide on race

    Vil, to be terribly brief--it's late, my apologies--the themes running through the NYT writer's article are biblical. The greatest or rather first and most monumental closing of the divide was Moses' parting the Red Sea which led the people to freedom.

    According to the NYT writer's interpretation of the polls to date, Obama in not closing the divide on race, rather he is ... Well, the implication here is that at this point in time, it doesn't appear as if Obama is going to lead his people to freedom, not matter if he wins or loses.

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