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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    with a good deal of cleverness

    Dear teachers,

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

    When he was drunk, he used to beat his wife and daughter; and the next morning, with a headache, he would rail at the world for its neglect of his genius, and abuse, with a good deal of cleverness, and sometimes with perfect reason, the fools, his brother painters.

    a great deal = to a very great degree or extent

    with a great deal of cleverness = with a very witty manner = with a very delicate turn or phrase = quite wittily

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. #2
    rx-f is offline Junior Member
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    Re: with a good deal of cleverness

    Your interpretation could be correct. "Cleverness" could also mean something like "intelligent argument".

  3. #3
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    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Re: with a good deal of cleverness

    Dear Vil,

    I'll be happy if you could explain how being witty fits here, I'm asking this because I always associate wit with humour not just cleverness. In your example, the man obviously tries to rationalize (actually justify) his bad behaviours. And from "with a good deal of cleverness" , I could infer that he uses some subtle logic, but for being witty he needs to mix some humour into it, which it's not something I see in your text.

    This post of mine is solely based on what I understand by the word "wit". So, if I misunderstood it at all, I'd happy to be corrected.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. #4
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: with a good deal of cleverness

    Hi dear euncu,

    I couldn’t speak volumes about my interpretation of the expression in question because I am not skillful at the rhetoric (i.e. I have not a good grasp of the art of using English language effectively and persuasively).

    Here are a few words concerning an inclusive consideration of the notion “wit”.
    You are in right to think that wit = banter, drollery, facetiousness, fun, humor, jocularly, levity, repartee, but, in my humble opinion, wit = brains, cleverness, common sense, insight, intellect, intelligence, judgement, reason, understanding, wisdom.

    wit God wot = God know

    to have one’s wit about one

    to live by one’s wits

    the five wits

    wit (n) the natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence
    a person of exceptional intelligence

    Wit implies intellectual keenness and the ability to perceive and express in a diverting way analogies between dissimilar things: "Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words" (Dorothy Parker).

    wit: Definition, Synonyms from Answers.com

    wittily adv. in a witty manner; wisely; ingeniously; artfully;

    witty suggests cleverness and quickness of mind <a witty remark>

    As a result of that all it’s my profound conviction that my interpretation of the expression in question is 100% right.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 19-Jul-2010 at 21:39.

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