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  1. #1
    lauraguan is offline Member
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    Default truth or otherwise

    The truth or otherwise of this diagnosis would be revealed in the future.

    What does 'truth or otherwise of this diagnosisímean? Does it mean 'right or wrong' or something else? Who will reveal it? Can anyone give me an imagined context? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: truth or otherwise

    a 'diagnosis' is the identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms.
    So, it could be a doctor diagnosing a fatal illness, or a motor mechanic making a diagnosis as to what is causing that 'knocking' noise in your car engine.

    A doctor makes a diagnosis and tells me I have cancer and 6 months to live. If I refuse to believe his diagnosis...well...come 6,7, or perhaps 8 months, and I'm dead and the autopsy reveals cancer: the truth of his diagnosis was revealed 'in the future', 6-8 months later when I died of cancer.

    If I lived for another 20 years and autopsy showed I died of a heart attack, and no signs of cancer were found in my body, then after one year, never mind 20, it was apparent the diagnosis was wrong.

    The truth (I have cancer) or otherwise (he was wrong - I didn't have cancer) was revealed in time.

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: truth or otherwise

    The writer is bending over backwards to avoid insulting the professional, the doctor: the truth or falsehood is what he means, but is afraid to say.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: truth or otherwise

    I don't think it needs to be personalized to this occasion. Whatever the original need for muted expression, 'truth or otherwise' has a long history as a euphemistic alternative - long before the situation depicted in this post!

  5. #5
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: truth or otherwise

    David, I've never heard that expression before. Must be one of those new-fangled Britishisms!

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: truth or otherwise

    Have heard it all my life, so not that new-fangled.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Truth...L_enGB310GB311

  7. #7
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: truth or otherwise

    I'm with Charlie on this one. But it has to be recent, otherwise we'd have heard it first. AE is far more conservative than BE, and has a high proportion of phrases and idioms that were frozen in time four hundred years ago. Anthony Burgess pointed this out, in Language Made Plain : he was shocked to re-read Chaucer and find so many of his hated Americanisms, e.g. "I guess," appearing throughout. Hehe.

  8. #8
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: truth or otherwise

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I'm with Charlie on this one. But it has to be recent, otherwise we'd have heard it first. AE is far more conservative than BE, and has a high proportion of phrases and idioms that were frozen in time four hundred years ago. Anthony Burgess pointed this out, in Language Made Plain : he was shocked to re-read Chaucer and find so many of his hated Americanisms, e.g. "I guess," appearing throughout. Hehe.
    Exactly. All innovation radiates outward from North America. (Britain will get wind of that eventually.)

  9. #9
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: truth or otherwise

    I notice jingoism has crept back into the posts. Maybe this time the flow will be East to West.

    http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/x.asp

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