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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
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    #1

    Do "practically" and "gifted" collocate?

    Hello again

    So many questions coming up in my CAE class. In the coursebook we use, there is an exercise on collocations. In the key it's written that "practically" and "gifted" don't collocate.

    Again, google yields results, e.g. the sentence "Our system disenfranchises creatively and practically gifted kids by creating a vicious circle in which we measure primarily analytical and memory abilities."

    Native speakers, does this sound odd to you or totally acceptable? Why is the English language so difficult? My students keep asking me all these tricky questions!

    Thanks so much for feedback on this.
    Karin

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Do "practically" and "gifted" collocate?

    My knee-jerk reaction is that the words don't collocate, and that 'practically' doesn't mean what the writer of that Google hit wants it to mean (which makes me suspect it was written by a non-native speaker).

    (I fully expect lots of citations of dictionaries proving me wrong, and am ducking behind the parapet now.)

    b


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: Do "practically" and "gifted" collocate?

    disenfranchises creatively and practically gifted

    I agree that they are not normally used together. I would be tempted to hyphenate these phrases : "disenfranchises creatively- and practically-gifted".

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    #4

    Re: Do "practically" and "gifted" collocate?

    If you use the word practically to mean "nearly" or "almost," then the words don't collocate. "Almost gifted" means not gifted, normal.

    If you use the word practically to mean "in a practical manner" or "of practical things," then I think that the words do collocate.

    A person can be gifted in practical things (the ability to make friends easily, empathy, a sense of humor, a good work ethic, or exceptional hand-eye coordination) and be considered "practically gifted" (as opposed to "academically gifted").

    I would have chosen a different phrase to avoid this ambiguity.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Do "practically" and "gifted" collocate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    disenfranchises creatively and practically gifted

    I agree that they are not normally used together. I would be tempted to hyphenate these phrases : "disenfranchises creatively- and practically-gifted".
    I prefer Anglika's hyphen; 'practically-gifted' makes sense. Unfortunately, that forces the use of the hanging hyphen after 'creatively' - without the hyphen, the 'creatively' is hard to parse (AmE is more tolerant than BE about such hyphens, I think). So, as mykwyner suggests, I'd reword the whole sentence, to say something about 'people who are gifted in creative and practical ways'.

    b

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