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    #1

    meaning of "i beg your indulgence"

    What do one means when one says " I beg your indulgence"

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: meaning of "i beg your indulgence"

    I can't imagine saying that. If I heard it, I would guess the person wanted my attention to tell me about something that he thinks I may not really be interested in at first.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: meaning of "i beg your indulgence"

    It's an antiquated way of saying 'Bear with me.'


    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 08-Nov-2010 at 23:23.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: meaning of "i beg your indulgence"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    It's an antiquated way of saying 'Bear with me.'
    Rover
    - though this risks a misunderstanding of what 'bear with me' means. A lot of shop assistants today think it's a fancy way of saying 'Wait'.

    Begging (or craving) someone's indulgence is saying 'I know I'm young/inexperienced/old/new to this/learning..., but please make due allowance for my shortcomings.' No wonder Barb's never met it - it goes with the sort of bowing and scraping* that the Pilgrim Fathers wanted to put behind them!

    b
    PS * that's 'bowing' with an /aʊ/ not an /ǝʊ/. I'm not talking about cacophonous violin playing, I'm talking about being excessively deferential.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: meaning of "i beg your indulgence"

    It seems to be a phrase that I"ve read in Georgette Heyer's Regency-era novels.

    I thought it mean "Pay attention to me - even though I may not merit your notice"? Could it be used that way?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: meaning of "i beg your indulgence"

    - Yes, but 'Pay attention' in the specific sense 'listen to what I have to say, and engage in a subsequent conversation if necessary', not just 'notice'.

    Georgette Heyer would certainly have used it - but as between social equals. In those days, polite conversation was lavishly sprinkled with this sort of language; at the end of a conversation, one or both participants would say 'Your servant, sir'*.

    b
    PS* For Lusophones: this is reminiscent of 'Às ordens da sua Excelência'.

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    #7

    Re: meaning of "i beg your indulgence"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    - Yes, but 'Pay attention' in the specific sense 'listen to what I have to say, and engage in a subsequent conversation if necessary', not just 'notice'.

    Georgette Heyer would certainly have used it - but as between social equals. In those days, polite conversation was lavishly sprinkled with this sort of language; at the end of a conversation, one or both participants would say 'Your servant, sir'*.

    b
    PS* For Lusophones: this is reminiscent of 'Às ordens da sua Excelência'.
    Thank you, sir, for teaching me a new word this morning: Lusophone.

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