Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to explain to me the meaning of the terms in bold in the following sentence?
Mrs Palin praised the "determination, resolve and sheer guts" of Mr McCain and said she was honoured to help him.
It struck me as ridiculous.
determination (n) = resolution, vigour of purpose, hardness, decisiveness, toughness, daring, steadfastness, immovability
resolve (n) = determination, hardness, decisiveness, toughness, daring,
sheer (a) = thin, fine, and transparent; completely such, without qualification or exception
guts (n) = tenacity, hardness, daring
Thank you for your efforts.
Why do you find it ridiculous?
He is determined, he has resolve[ can decide on a course of action] , and he is courageous.
Using dictionary entries without considering the full context and background to the text can lead to confusion. The use of these three terms provide a rounded view of McCain's character that simply would not come over if all she had said was that he was daring or that he was hard.
This is not a negative criticism, but a suggestion that when you read English, remember that it is the whole sentence/paragraph that matters, and not simply the words within it. They can and do change their meanings within the context.
nb sheer in this context = nothing but; absolute