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    #1

    puts someone over the edge

    Quote from a Harvard open course:
    Michael Sandel: Good, all right. Anesia has raised the point that colleges still should choose for the greatest academic scholarly promise but in reading the test scores and grades they should take into account the different meaning those tests and grades have in the light of educational disadvantage in the background. So thatís one argument in defense of affirmative action, Anesiaís argument, correcting for the effects of unequal preparation, educational disadvantage. Now there are other arguments, suppose, just to identify whether there is a, is a competing principle here, suppose there are two candidates who did equally well on the tests and grades, both of whom went to first rate schools. Two candidates, among those candidates would it be unfair for the college or university or Harvard to say ďwe still want diversity along racial and ethnic dimensions, even where we are not correcting for the effects on test scores of educational disadvantage,Ē what about in that case Bree.
    Bree: If itís that one thing that puts someone over the edge then itís, I guess that would be you know justifiable. If everything else about the individual first though, everything you consider about that personís, you know talents, and where they come from, and who they are without these arbitrary factors. Itís the same.
    I don't really understand what Bree is getting at, what is her point? Her language doesn't seem to be grammatical . What does " puts someone over the edge " mean? what is "individual first"?
    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: puts someone over the edge

    You do realize this is a transcript of a spontaneous conversation? It's not a model of perfect English.

    The person is talking about what places a person "over the edge," meaning here that they have been selected. What gives candidate A the preference, the "edge" over candidate B?

    The person talking seems to be mixing up several expressions, but the point that she agrees with affirmative action is made.

    Her answer is largely unformed thoughts and not really sentences.

    This is an academic attempt to justify selecting students based on race. Even when the person of the "preferred" race is equal in all aspects to a person of the "non-preferred" race in both test scores, grades and background/opportunities.

    "I guess that would be, you know, justifiable" she says, without offering any justification.

    I wouldn't dig too deep into this stream-of-consciousness.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: puts someone over the edge

    Masterding, Dave's explanation is right, and his advice is excellent. That conversation is not perfect standard 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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    #4

    Re: puts someone over the edge

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    You do realize this is a transcript of a spontaneous conversation? It's not a model of perfect English.

    The person is talking about what places a person "over the edge," meaning here that they have been selected. What gives candidate A the preference, the "edge" over candidate B?

    The person talking seems to be mixing up several expressions, but the point that she agrees with affirmative action is made.

    Her answer is largely unformed thoughts and not really sentences.

    This is an academic attempt to justify selecting students based on race. Even when the person of the "preferred" race is equal in all aspects to a person of the "non-preferred" race in both test scores, grades and background/opportunities.

    "I guess that would be, you know, justifiable" she says, without offering any justification.

    I wouldn't dig too deep into this stream-of-consciousness.
    In the begining , she was against affirmative action ,quote, "Bree: You’re basing something on that’s an arbitrary factor, you know Sheryl couldn’t control the fact that she was white or not in a minority and therefore you know it’s not as if it was like a test score that she worked hard to try and show that she could you know put that out there you know she had no control over her race. " Then after the lecturer changed the example a little, she seemed to change her mind, and contradict herself by making this argument, her mind is kind of mixed up and not very logical.

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    #5

    Re: puts someone over the edge

    Then the lecturer is achieving his goal of persuading her.

    Or at least confusing her enough that she doesn't want to disagree with him.

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