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    #1

    to be remiss in doing something

    Hi,

    I saw the following two sentences before:
    1. But if we do not address these complexities in the public arena, and in ways that are spatially theoretically grounded, we will be remiss in carrying out our scholarly and civic responsibilities. —Saul B. Cohen, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, December 1991
    2. I certainly would let the parents know that I was remiss in not including a card.

    For the first one, it seems that they should carry out their responsibility but they won't if they fail to address the complexities.
    For the second one, it seems that he should include the card but he didn't, and therefore he needed to let the parents know his careless mistakes.
    Why wasn't the negative expression involved in the first sentence but in the second one? (...we will be remiss in "NOT" carrying out....responsibilities....)

    If I say that he was remiss in turning on the computer, do I mean:
    1. He shouldn't turn on the computer but he did.
    2. He should turn on the computer but he didn't.

    Thank you

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to be remiss in doing something

    All you need is a dictionary. There are many available online. You were remiss in failing to consult one.

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    #3

    Re: to be remiss in doing something

    I indeed looked up the dictionary, but the first sentence really confuses me.
    But if we do not address these complexities in the public arena, and in ways that are spatially theoretically grounded, we will be remiss in carrying out our scholarly and civic responsibilities. —Saul B. Cohen, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, December 1991

    Shouldn't it be "we will be remiss in not carrying out our scholarly and civic responsibilities" or "we will be remiss in failing to carry out our scholarly and civic responsibilities"?

    Thank you

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    #4

    Re: to be remiss in doing something

    "Remiss" means "negligent or careless".
    You say you are remiss/negligent in carrying your duties, not remiss in not carrying out your duties. The duties are carried out but not diligently or in a proper manner.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: to be remiss in doing something

    Quote Originally Posted by joseph0928 View Post
    I indeed looked up the dictionary, but the first sentence really confuses me.
    But if we do not address these complexities in the public arena, and in ways that are spatially theoretically grounded, we will be remiss in carrying out our scholarly and civic responsibilities. —Saul B. Cohen, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, December 1991

    Shouldn't it be "we will be remiss in not carrying out our scholarly and civic responsibilities" or "we will be remiss in failing to carry out our scholarly and civic responsibilities"?

    Thank you
    You are right. A person is remiss in failing to do something he was supposed to do (which is why your computer example doesn't work).

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: to be remiss in doing something

    Quote Originally Posted by joseph0928 View Post
    we will be remiss in carrying out our scholarly and civic responsibilities.
    I take it to mean that they will have carried out their responsibilities not carefully enough.
    I am not a teacher.

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