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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Thumbs down Minor slights

    Hello!

    Could you please explain to me the meaning of the phrase in bold? What is "minor slights"? What does "becomes engaged by" mean in this context?

    His academic performance across all subjects is poor, and this has resulted in feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. He regards himself as isolated from his peer group and becomes engaged by seemingly minor slights.

    P.S. The text is about a schoolboy who demonstrates aggressive behaviour towards his classmates and teachers.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Minor slights

    slight - an act or remark that criticizes sth or offends sb. OALD

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Minor slights

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    slight - an act or remark that criticizes sth or offends sb. OALD
    And what does the whole phrase "he becomes engaged by seemingly minor slights" mean? Is it possible to rephrase it?

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Minor slights

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    And what does the whole phrase "he becomes engaged by seemingly minor slights" mean? Is it possible to rephrase it?
    He is easily distracted by very small criticisms.

  5. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Minor slights

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    He is easily distracted by very small criticisms.
    Thank you. You might think me a nerd, but I can't imagine someone being "distracted by very small criticisms". Distracted from what? From his activity at the lesson? Someone criticises the boy and the boy gets distracted from what he has been doing? What could a real life situation be like? Could you,if possible, give some example?

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Minor slights

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Thank you. You might think me a nerd, but I can't imagine someone being "distracted by very small criticisms". Distracted from what? From his activity at the lesson? Someone criticises the boy and the boy gets distracted from what he has been doing? What could a real life situation be like? Could you,if possible, give some example?
    I think that "engaged" might perhaps mean that he becomes more involved with someone after receiving only slight criticism. Perhaps he starts to speak to the person who has insulted him or criticised him in some way. That would be distracting in class but it would also distract him from daily life, I suppose. I don't think it's entirely clear what was meant by the passage.

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Minor slights

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Thank you. You might think me a nerd, but I can't imagine someone being "distracted by very small criticisms".
    Then you are fortunate. Many people are "distracted by very small criticisms". Paranoid people are one example, but it's not uncommon in others as well. You might just have to accept this.
    Distracted from what?
    Distracted from thinking of anything other than their most recent criticism.
    In this case, it might refer to a mild criticism of the boy's grammar by the teacher, for example. Under the right psychological circumstances, the boy takes this as being a general criticism of his own worth, and he loses self-esteem.

  8. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Minor slights

    Is it "he gets offended easily by small critiicisms?"

  9. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Minor slights

    Thanks to all of you who participated, your posts are really useful.

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