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  1. #1
    inase's Avatar
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    An indefinite article + ignorance

    Could somebody spend some time discussing my ignorance of the word "ignorance?"
    In sentences 1 and 2 an indefinite article is not used for "ignorance" while in sentences 3 and 4 it is used even though "ignorance" is considered to be an uncountable abstract noun. My guess is that it depends on whether the adjective modifying it start with a consonant or a vowel. Do you agree?

    1. He affected complete ignorance.
    2. He displayed blissful ignorance.
    3. He affected an utter ignorance.
    4. He displayed an amazing ignorance.

    Inase

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    Affect is the right verb for the context. It means "pretend to have".
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    'Effect' is the correct verb for the context. It means "to make happen".
    The sentence is He affected complete ignorance. As written, it means "He pretended to be completely ignorant." I can't see any way to understand it with effect.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    Drugs or alcohol.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. #5
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    How on earth can you make ignorance happen?
    You just made it happen.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    Drugs or alcohol.
    In what way do drugs or alcohol make ignorance happen? I can understand it if you suggest that people who overdo drugs or alcohol might have already been ignorant of the potential consequences but taking drugs or drinking alcohol don't make a person ignorant.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    I'd assume it was affected meaning feigned.

    Alcohol does make ignorance happen- check out town centres in the UK at midnight.

  8. #8
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    Without more context I'd guess the verb in sentence 1) is correct as affected, as in pretended to be ignorant of something specific.

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    But you don't make someone ignorant. Nothing makes someone ignorant. We all start off ignorant of everything and, as life goes on, we learn. If we don't learn about something, we remain​ ignorant of/about it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: An indefinite article + ignorance

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post

    Alcohol does make ignorance happen- check out town centres in the UK at midnight.
    I think we're using a different definition of "ignorance" here. For me, it means "having no knowledge [of]". Town centres at midnight are full of people who are badly-behaved, vile, uncouth, violent and many other unpleasant traits but I wouldn't say that they're ignorant just because they're drunk and/or out of control. Many of those people are probably ignorant when sober!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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