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    #1

    ''clear cut''


    "And that's why this was an instructive report. Because it does remind us that it's not just as clear cut as having a private room with a sink."



    Hi,
    What's the meaning of this expression in this sentence, please?
    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: ''clear cut''

    Dear jctgf:

    I was doing fine until I got to the part about the private room with a sink.
    It doesn't seem to go with the rest of the sentence. Perhaps in context it would seem more appropriate.
    Anyway, the expression clear cut is the opposite of vague. It means clearly defined, unambiguous.

    I hope this helps,

    Petra

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    #3

    Re: ''clear cut''

    Thanks!

    Let me provide more context, please.

    This sentence was extracted from an article that talks about a hospital.

    In that hospital, many patients were dying after undergoing a transplant surgery and the staff started to suspect that there were something spreading some kind of bacteria that was killing the patients.

    After a long investigation, they found out that the problem was in the sinks installed in the patient's rooms. In those sinks, there was a concentration of a bacteria that normally doesn't cause any harm to healthy people, but does cause harm to transplant patients.

    They removed the sinks from the rooms and the problem was solved.

    The sentence is the last one of the article.

    I've looked up the dictionary. The meaning I've found is exactaly the one you've suggested, but the expression doesn't make any sense to me.

    Thanks a lot.

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    #4

    Re: ''clear cut''

    Dear jctgf:

    Do you mean the expression itself doesn't make sense, or the expression as it's used in the article?
    Remember that just because the author(s) use an expression in an article, it doesn't mean it is the best one that could have been chosen. What was meant here (about the hospital) is that, before discovering the nasty sink-living bacteria, everyone assumed that the very safest place for a transplant patient was in a private room with its own sink. After the study, though, they realized that there were variables that had been overlooked. If there are overlooked variables, the case is not clear cut: it is complex, not obvious.

    Perhaps it would help to understand the expression itself if you think if the difference between tearing off a chunk of bread from a loaf and slicing off a piece with a knife. The sliced piece is 'clear cut'; there are no ragged edges; the boundary between the slice and the loaf is very plain to see.

    I hope this is helpful,

    Petra

    PS: A bonus vocabulary word: clearcut: (noun) a section of forest where all the trees have been cut down for use as lumber. (This is different from clear-cut, which is an adjective.)

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    #5

    Re: ''clear cut''

    Quote Originally Posted by pyoung View Post
    Do you mean the expression itself doesn't make sense, or the expression as it's used in the article?

    Hi,

    The expression is fine. However, as used in the article, it wasn't making any sense to me.

    But now, after your explanation, it's clear to me!!

    Thanks a lot!

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