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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    one question

    Hi,

    Could anyone help me with the underlined sentences?

    Commonsensical beliefs, far from fixed or immobile, are in a constant state of renewal: 'new ideas' are always entering daily life and encountering the 'sedimentation' left by the contradictiory, ambiguous, chaotic aggregate of disparate conceptions. In critiquing what passes for common sense as 'the residue of absolutely basic and commonly-agreed, consensual wisdoms, you can't learn, through common sense, how things are: you can only discover where they fit into the existing scheme of things.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: one question

    Wow! That's quite a mouthful!
    :wink:

    Well, let's take it a little at a time.

    It says that new ideas encounter "sedimentation". That means, in context, that new ideas have to compete with old ideas--not a remarkable concept.

    In critiquing what passes for common sense as 'the residue of absolutely basic and commonly-agreed, consensual wisdoms
    "In analyzing what is regarded as conventional wisdom"

    That is my best guess.

    In my opinion, that writer is trying to show that he is smarter than the reader by presenting the reader with material that is tendentious and obtuse. (What do you think, TDOL?) It is up to you, the reader, to decide if it is worth your time to read that kind of stuff.

    8)

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    encountering the 'sedimentation' left by the contradictiory, ambiguous, chaotic aggregate of disparate conceptions. In critiquing what passes for common sense as 'the residue of absolutely basic and commonly-agreed, consensual wisdoms

    I agree with Ron about the quality of this prose- it's ghastly. I'd say that the sedimentation is the weight of ideas from the past. I agree with Ron's guess. However, shouldn't the quote end earlier, after 'wisdoms', before the person attacks common sense.

    I have to say that I'd favour common sense over this style of writing. I had tyo wade through too much of this on my master's. ;-(

  4. #4
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    Should I take it that you agree with "tendentious and obtuse"?

    :wink:

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Definitely- I hate denseness of prose as a means of trying to conceal paucity of thought.

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