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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Danish
      • Home Country:
      • Denmark
      • Current Location:
      • Denmark

    • Join Date: Jan 2015
    • Posts: 1

    Infamous optimism


    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post my question. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

    Could someone please explain to me the word infamous as well as infamous optimism.

    It seems that the usage of the word infamous is broader than the definition given in the dictionary.

    For instance:

    "... the infamous fibonacci sequence." [math]
    "... Einstein's infamous puzzle."
    "... Muhammad Ali's infamous gloves."
    "... an infamous math problem"
    "... Leibniz's infamous optimism."

    Could you please explain to me the usage of the word infamous as well as the expression infamous optimism.


  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 60,232

    Re: Infamous optimism

    There's probably something negative about all of those, so I don't see the departure from the dictionary definition. For instance, Muhammad Ali's gloves are triumphant and positive unless they happen to be smashing into your face. I can't see why the negative form has been used here because there is no context, but would assume that it is because they have destroyed someone. If not, I would agree with you that it is a sloppy usage. An infamous problem or sequence would be difficult for most to understand or solve.

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