Results 1 to 10 of 10
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 308
    #1

    repress and suppress

    I have looked these 2 words up and I am still not confident whether I'd use them correctly. Another set of twins I have a hard time telling one from the other.

    I've heard this:
    "She's repressed." What does it mean? Is it possible to say "She's suppressed"? What would it mean? Can one replace the other in some cases? Examples?

    What are the definitive differences between the 2? Also,

    Does "political repression" equal "political oppression"? repress vs. oppress?

    thanks in advance
    NT

  1. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #2


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #3

    Re: repress and suppress

    Careful. The two links are to responders to a post, and I for one regard the information in the first as erroneous, and in the second, as too vague
    e.g.
    Suppress has the "hold back, hold down, stop" overtone.
    Oppress has the "weigh down, burden" overtone.
    Repress has the "control--and physical control" overtone.


    I'd like to tackle this one, but I need to go into town first!

    Anyone else like to have a go also?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 308
    #4

    Re: repress and suppress

    Soup and David,

    Thanks a lot and I've checked out the linked, and apparently my confusion is not an isolated case. (I feel a little better now)

    It seems like in some cases, "repress" and "suppress" can be interchangable, for instance:

    He repressed a smile.
    He suppressed a smile.

    But when should they not be replacable with the other? Any examples?

    As for "oppress", is it stictly not used in emotional/physical senses rather used more in politics?

    At this point, I'm still a little confused.

    NT


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: repress and suppress

    No wonder your confusion continues.
    One does not 'repress a smile'.
    Others come online later in the night, as do I, so check back tomorrow.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 308
    #6

    Re: repress and suppress

    So the mystery continues till evening comes.

    What time is it elswhere (wherever you are and interested in the question) if my time here is 1 pm Mountain Time in the US. I'm just simply curious, no biggie. Thanks!

    NT


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #7

    Re: repress and suppress

    Crickey!
    Just curious!?
    If this is just idle curiosity, then you wlll need a greater pedant than I to respond to your thread.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 308
    #8

    Re: repress and suppress

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Crickey!
    Just curious!?
    If this is just idle curiosity, then you wlll need a greater pedant than I to respond to your thread.
    What?! David, are you offended? I simply posted a sincere question so I can get the timing right in order to get responses for my future postings.

    I'm sorry you found it offensive, it is simply an "idle curiosity", nothing else.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 308
    #9

    Re: repress and suppress

    Ok, David, I think I just figured out what the problem was and I had to come back and log on again to clarify it.

    My question wasn't directed at you soely, it was for the public in this forum and the thread is opened to everyone who cares to click on the thread, therefore I used "you" to adress the general public, not strictly "you" David. Now I can see how you could be offended, totally my bad.

    I sincerely have wondered what time zone the other people on the forum are in and I definitely haven't tired to track all there posting records to figure that out---that would be very timie consuming. It is just a honest curiosity.

  2. Snowcake's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 624
    #10

    Re: repress and suppress

    Constantly on the lookout of a new challenge ...

    ... I browsed through my dictioniaries. - Not really illuminative.

    Anyway, I like people, who use their own head !!

    I tried to tackle this question by looking at the latin roots of the words.

    Someone who is repressive tends to control his emotions and desires, not allowing them to be expressed (oops!). It's not surprising that one might think it's possible to repress a smile

    BUT

    re= back

    If something is ‘back’ it barely touches the surface, say, of one’s conciousness. It is subconcious – which does not mean that the person isn’t aware of his desire or emotion.
    But there is a subconcious process active in the background which the person is unable to control. At the same time, however, he is influenced and this inevitably leads to the repression of his emotion or desire, meaning, on the one hand, the whole process in the background can't be controlled, but, on the other hand, this very process makes the person control his emotions /desires.


    The emotion or desire may still be existing, but you don't give it a chance to rise to the surface =control


    Can anyone out there follow me???

    Hence, a smile cannot be repressed. Besides, to my mind, a smile is a way of showing your emotions, not an emotion itself. How can you control a smile?!

    sub=down, under

    If something is pressed down, there should be something that is ‘up(per)’, shouldn’t it? This implies that there is something forceful or disapproving that might cause an activity of suppression. It carries the meaning of controlling an activity (or a group), but absolutely consciously and deliberately! You really WANT to put an END to this ‘thing’. You prevent yourself from having or expressing a feeling or an emotion. The emphasis is placed on stopping something, just putting an end to it.

    She was unable to suppress her anger because Bill's dismissiveness really got her back up.
    She couldn’t suppress a smile when she bumped into him at the corner.

    Apart from the emotional aspect (actually, I did not intend to hold lectures on Sigmund Freud lol),

    The rebellion was brutally suppressed (stopped)
    Berlusconi and his government have controlled the media and suppressed (stopped) criticism.

    ob=against
    (to press against)

    Both prefixes (sub=down / ob=against) suggest an unjust use of authority. However, there are different shades of meaning. To my mind, ‘to oppress’ expresses a certain kind of emotional motivation or background, eg.

    The regime is accused of oppressing religious minorities. (They treated them in a cruel or unfair way by not giving them the same freedom rights as other people. There is a sense of placing a burden on these minorities)

    There is a difference between those who seek to oppress as a part of their ideology and those who seek social progress.


    OH DEAR! I don’t mean to cause any confusion. So just consider this post a draft of my unfinished thoughts. Don't feel confused by my latin remarks. They are only meant to serve as a memory hook for me.

    David,
    could you reveal the secret please? Don't keep me in suspense.
    The stage is yours! (only if you'd like to .... of course ...)

    NearThere, what about you?! (and your head)

    Anyone else?
    Last edited by Snowcake; 26-Apr-2008 at 02:19.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •