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  1. Bushwhacker's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Catalan
      • Home Country:
      • Spain
      • Current Location:
      • Spain

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 1,043
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    Cool embarrassment

    In the following sentence: "He spent his money like a provincial, eager to show how sucessful he had been. This is likely to maybe alienate the Dutch sense of modesty and their sensitivity over the concept of the embarrassment of riches."

    This embarrassment is for he, or the Dutch, who are ashamed when in front of riches, or it is the embarrassment of riches, let's say for being riches, precisely?

    It's a matter of nuances, isn't it?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
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    Re: embarrassment

    "embarrassment of riches" comes from the French, 'embarras de richesses' which means literally, 'embarrassment of choices' - that is, more options or resources (which includes wealth), than one knows what to do with.
    Imagine you were Bill Gates! Or you might say it about the Hermitage or Louvre, where so many periods of art are covered, it's hard to know where to start - and hard to see it all!
    So - the Dutch are modest, and the idea that 'if ya got it, flaunt it' (including the fact that you're rolling in money) is somewhere between discomforting and anathema to Dutch sensibilities. There is no 'embarrassment' as such, that is just the expression, embarrassment of riches. However, they would shy away from this character - he would alienate them with his ostentatious show of his wealth.


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