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    #1

    prominent & august

    Hi, friends. As always, I need your precious help. I do not like the denotative meaning of "august" in the given context. Which is its closest synonym in this sentence. Would you replace it with "impressive"?

    "I have mentioned some few of the more prominent and august calamities on record; but, in these, it is the extent,not less than the character of the calamity, which so vividly impresses the fancy." (http://poestories.com/read/premature)
    2015 is the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide - the first genocide of the 20th century.

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: prominent & august

    Note that "august" is spelt with a lower case "a". It's an adjective meaning "of great significance."
    Its pronunciation is also different from "August."

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dict...itish/august_1

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    #3

    Re: prominent & august

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Note that "august" is spelt with a lower case "a". It's an adjective meaning "of great significance."
    Its pronunciation is also different from "August."

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dict...itish/august_1
    Yes, but do you like "significant calamities"? It sounds like an oxymoron. What about using "noteworthy"?
    2015 is the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide - the first genocide of the 20th century.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: prominent & august

    Yes, noteworthy is a good alternative. But august is fine. It's old-fashioned but not wrong. It looks like it's a Poe quote, and it's poetic, like Poe.

    Can you tell us why you want to change it?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #5

    Re: prominent & august

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yes, noteworthy is a good alternative. But august is fine. It's old-fashioned but not wrong. It looks like it's a Poe quote, and it's poetic, like Poe.

    Can you tell us why you want to change it?
    Yes, it is a Poe quote. I just think that there is nothing "august" or "significant" in the phenomenon of calamity. Calamities result in loss of lives, and I intuitively find it difficult to characterize them as "august." Of course, in the context of what Poe is trying to deliver to the readers it could sound usual, but when I translate that word into Armenian, I can see something weird in the Armenian equivalent of "august calamity."
    2015 is the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide - the first genocide of the 20th century.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: prominent & august

    Quote Originally Posted by Mher View Post
    Yes, it is a Poe quote. I just think that there is nothing "august" or "significant" in the phenomenon of calamity. Calamities result in loss of lives, and I intuitively find it difficult to characterize them as "august." Of course, in the context of what Poe is trying to deliver to the readers it could sound usual, but when I translate that word into Armenian, I can see something weird in the Armenian equivalent of "august calamity."
    As you know, many words don't translate perfectly from one language to another. And language changes, so translating something written over a hundred years ago is tricky. English speakers wouldn't use the word august that way today, but we get the gist. To us, it sounds quaint.

    I think you're interpreting it correctly. And yes, you would probably choose different words in Armenian. We would in twenty-first century English!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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