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  1. Fame's Avatar
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    #1

    What's the difference?

    I would like to know the difference in meaning for the words in bold and I think the stress should be on both words? I believe in 1) it means a duck who is disabled and in 2) means someone who is very poor?

    1. I think there's a lame duck in that pond.
    2. Charles is a lame duck at organizing parties.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What's the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    I would like to know the difference in meaning for the words in bold and I think the stress should be on both words? I believe in 1) it means a duck who is disabled and in 2) means someone who is very poor?

    1. I think there's a lame duck in that pond.
    2. Charles is a lame duck at organizing parties.
    Yes, you're right.
    1. is a literal use of the term. (specifically, "lame" means it can't walk)
    2. is a figurative or literary use. It means ineffective, not very useful.

  3. Fame's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What's the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, you're right.
    1. is a literal use of the term. (specifically, "lame" means it can't walk)
    2. is a figurative or literary use. It means ineffective, not very useful.
    For both, can we say the comparative degree can be lamest duck or can we also say there is an idiomatic meaning for both?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What's the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    For both, can we say the comparative degree can be lamest duck or can we also say there is an idiomatic meaning for both?
    I've never heard anyone using "lamer duck", or "lamest duck", but there's nothing to stop you using it in the appropriate context.
    2. is a metaphor, not an idiom.

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