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    #1

    Live Down-Unusual Usage

    Hello everyone,

    I found a rather unusual expression involving a certain phrasal verb in an interview with George Steiner in Paris Review. Here is the excerpt:

    "Then, unknown to the American public, a man who died recently, professor of philosophic theology here, is a Scottish man named Donald McKinnon, whom I revere. McKinnon was a magnificent Aristotelian and Kantian scholar, who lived the daily newspaper down to its last line."

    As far as I know, the expression "to live down" means to overcome shame over something. Could anyone help me out with the usage here? What is the meaning of the sentence "...who lived the daily newspaper down to its last line"?

    Many thanks to all!

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Live Down-Unusual Usage

    He seems to be saying that Donald McKinnon lived his life according to the daily newspaper, 'down to its last line'. I can't imagine what he means by that.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 10-Jun-2016 at 08:19. Reason: Fixing typo.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: Live Down-Unusual Usage

    Mr. Steiner goes on to say that Mr. McKinnon used a certain newspaper article in his class. However, I still don't grasp the meaning of live down in this one.
    Or is it just "live"?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Live Down-Unusual Usage

    It's just "live" followed by "down to".
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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