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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #1

    effete/circumspect/pretentious/puerile/perception/circumstances

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    If they find the old governments effete, worn out, . . . they may seek new ones.

    effete = incapable of efficient action; no longer productive

    The monastic system is now effete altogether.

    effete = sterile, barren, weak, ineffectual; degenerate

    That's what these square, effete types did, I eventually figured: they listened to Bartok and bathed a lot.

    But ministers from the conservative Liberal Democratic party were more circumspect in their criticism.

    Walesa was circumspect in discussing his political actions.

    circumspect = heedful of potential consequences

    The restaurant is stuffy, pretentious, and ridiculously expensive.

    pretentious = showy

    (pretentious people put on airs, try to appear more important than they are)

    I have devoted myself to knowledge, while you prefer puerile things like prose, rhythm and metre.

    puerile = displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity; silly

    Matter hath no life nor perception, and is not conscious of its own existence.

    perception = the faculty of perceiving; the faculty, or peculiar part, of man's constitution by which he has knowledge through the medium or instrumentality of the bodily organs; the act of apperhending material objects or qualities through the senses

    This experiment discovereth perception in plants.

    Events confirmed our perception that she had been treated unfairly.

    perception = the quality, state, or capability, of being affected by something external; sensation; sensibility

    I would agree; she will not go under any circumstances.

    Our absence was due to circumstances beyond our control.

    circumstance = a condition that accompanies or influences some event or activity

    (circumstances = situation; conditions; state of affairs; the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event)

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #2

    Re: effete/circumspect/pretentious/puerile/perception/circumstances

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    If they find the old governments effete, worn out, . . . they may seek new ones.

    effete = incapable of efficient action; no longer productive

    The monastic system is now effete altogether.

    effete = sterile, barren, weak, ineffectual; degenerate

    That's what these square, effete types did, I eventually figured: they listened to Bartok and bathed a lot.

    Yes, these are generally accurate, but the word can be a little ambiguous. In fact, I would say that it is seldom used in used in day-to-day speaking and writing, perhaps for that reason. For instance, there are other definitions for effete, such as "characterized by self-indulgence, triviality." Thus, it is not often so clear just what is meant. I would avoid using it unless you can make your meaning precise. One common use, however, is the phrase "effete snob."

    But ministers from the conservative Liberal Democratic party were more circumspect in their criticism.

    Walesa was circumspect in discussing his political actions.

    circumspect = heedful of potential consequences

    The restaurant is stuffy, pretentious, and ridiculously expensive.

    pretentious = showy

    (pretentious people put on airs, try to appear more important than they are)
    I would prefer "ostentatious combined with snobby" to "showy."

    I have devoted myself to knowledge, while you prefer puerile things like prose, rhythm and metre.

    puerile = displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity; silly

    Matter hath no life nor perception, and is not conscious of its own existence.

    perception = the faculty of perceiving; the faculty, or peculiar part, of man's constitution by which he has knowledge through the medium or instrumentality of the bodily organs; the act of apperhending material objects or qualities through the senses

    This experiment discovereth perception in plants.

    Events confirmed our perception that she had been treated unfairly.

    perception = the quality, state, or capability, of being affected by something external; sensation; sensibility

    I would agree; she will not go under any circumstances.

    Our absence was due to circumstances beyond our control.

    circumstance = a condition that accompanies or influences some event or activity

    (circumstances = situation; conditions; state of affairs; the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event)

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    These interpretations are generally fine.

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