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Thread: Detracted from

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    #1

    Detracted from

    Hello,

    Can anybody tell me in what sense detracted from and set it off are used in the text below?

    The house, which had come to him this spring from his deceased friend, Jervis, stood squarely apart at the bottom of one of those select and
    deliberate culs de sac so popular, recently, with ‘estate’ developers. It was a nice-looking little property, Geoffrey thought, though at the moment unfortunately its appearance was rather ‘detracted from’ and spoiled. An immense unsightly hoarding, as big as the side of a barn, screened what must be extensive bombed-site repairing operations in a park to the rear, and bore an advertisement display of tooth-paste and cosmetics, the funds from which monstrosity, it was announced, would be applied to some good work of charity and restoration. This eyesore not only obscured, for Mr Stigden, the pleasing prospect which was understood and guaranteed to lie behind his dwelling and artistically to ‘set it off’, but even, as he turned into Bayard Close from the main road, considerably interfered with his proprietorial and homecoming glimpse of a portion of the house itself.

    Beyondril by John Metcalfe, 194?

    Thank you very much.
    Not a Teacher

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    #2

    Re: Detracted from

    The first means "diminished". The second means "contrasted with in an aesthetically pleasing way."
    I am not a teacher.

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