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    #1

    closet pessimist

    Dear teachers,

    Recently I read the statement. “The most positive person in the world is a closet pessimist”.

    Would you be kind enough explain to me the meaning of the term “closet pessimist”?

    I know “closet” as an adjective means secret usually with a connotation of vice or shame, as in “a closet alcoholic” or “a closet homosexual” thought sometimes used a humorous exaggeration for any potential embarrassment as in “a closet comic book fan”.

    Could you tell me something else about this present case of usage?

    I’m a closet pessimist and a public optimist.

    A closet pessimist? A pessimist with optimistic tendencies?

    She is a closet pessimist with positive attitude.

    Is it possible to exchange "closet" for "moderate", "mild", or "temperate"?

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: closet pessimist

    Secretly ...

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    #3

    Re: closet pessimist

    Hi Soup,

    Thank you for your lightninglike answer. Thank you for your classical definition.

    "Secretly" or it may well be true the usage of "huggermugger" or "under wraps"?

    Regards.

    V.

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    #4

    Re: closet pessimist

    To keep something in the closet is to keep it secret. Only the holder of the secret knows, no one else does. The literal meaning, which existed at one time in our history, is that someone practises something in the closet, with the door closed, so no one knows about it. The person behaves differently when alone.

    closet, adjective, being or functioning as such in private; secret: a closet anarchist.

    closet - Definitions from Dictionary.com

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    #5

    Re: closet pessimist

    Hi Soup,

    Thank you for your credible and convincing explanation. Nevertheless there is a shade of meaning of the word in question different from “secretly”.

    closet = based on theory and speculation rather than practice as in:
    a closet thinker with no practical experience.
    a cabinet (closet) scientist = an unproductive scientist

    Thank you for your kindness but I couldn’t help reading between the lines.

    Regards.

    V.

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    #6

    Re: closet pessimist

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi Soup,

    Thank you for your credible and convincing explanation. Nevertheless there is a shade of meaning of the word in question different from “secretly”.

    closet = based on theory and speculation rather than practice as in:
    a closet thinker with no practical experience.
    a cabinet (closet) scientist = an unproductive scientist

    Thank you for your kindness but I couldn’t help reading between the lines.

    Regards.

    V.
    Interesting find. Share your source, would you?

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    #7

    Re: closet pessimist

    Hi Soup,

    There is my preferred source of reference.

    closet: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from Answers.com

    Regards.

    V.

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