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    #1

    Acquit oneself of sth

    Overly fond of debating, which in Czechia is understood to mean a social exercise whose object is to crush some other moron trying to state his opinion. Only by acquitting himself of this societal obligation is a Czech considered intelligent.

    Case Closed, Patrik Ourednik

    It seems like a contradiction to me. What's the meaning of the second sentence?

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Acquit oneself of sth

    A better question would be, 'What is the meaning of the first sentence?' It is incomplete.
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    #3

    Re: Acquit oneself of sth

    "Naiman was such a perfect example of Czech idiocy that he could have been an exhibit at the World’s Fair: jovial, cautious, adequately traditional, adequately uneducated, haughty, smug, and aggressive."

    These are the sentences preceding it.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Acquit oneself of sth

    Thanks for that, but it doesn't help.

    The first sentence in post #1 starts, 'Overly fond of debating, …' and is followed by a subordinate clause and a full stop. Who or what is the subject of this sentence?
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    #5

    Re: Acquit oneself of sth

    You can consider Naiman as the one who is overly fond of debating.

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    #6

    Re: Acquit oneself of sth

    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt of Rivia View Post
    Naiman was such a perfect example of Czech idiocy that he could have been an exhibit at the World’s Fair: jovial, cautious, adequately traditional, adequately uneducated, haughty, smug, and aggressive. Overly fond of debating, which in Czechia is understood to mean a social exercise whose object is to crush some other moron trying to state his opinion. Only by acquitting himself of this societal obligation is a Czech considered intelligent.
    Have I reassembled the original text correctly? If so, the second sentence doesn't contain a verb but I'd consider it an extension of the first. I kind of like this writing style, even if it upsets those grammarians who insist every sentence must contain a verb. Unlike this one.

    To acquit oneself of something means to complete the thing and prove one has done so. The final sentence could be unartfully rewritten as "Only Czechs who have proved they can crush opponents in the belligerent style of conversation demanded by Czech society are considered intelligent."

    It's not a very positive view of Czech society!
    I am not a teacher.

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