does 'depletion' sound too formal here?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
I'm preparing for GRE writing section lately when I wrote the following, as a thesis statement:

"I fundamentally agree with the author that we very rarely have to face a total depletion of choices."


The problem is, I've heard a lot about the GRE graders' hatred towards unnecessary use of 'big words', and I want to know what native speakers think about my use of 'depletion' here.

Thanks in advance.
 

David L.

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Member Type
Other
'depletion' means 'use up the supply of; exhaust the abundance of'

Who's been making too many choices and used up more than their fair share!?

I agree with the author...

I concur with the author's evaluation that we very rarely...


'fundamentally' is far too strong for such a seemingly non-contentious issue

The second is more difficult because we/I don't know whether the author is referring to 'limited options' or a state of total absence of choice.

Can you clarify that?
 

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Thanks for your reply.

1.I'm really not sure about the usage of 'depletion'. Since I once hear 'we have depleted our options' somewhere, I thought this might be quite original to use in my essay. Does it really sound wierd to native speakers?

2. I read a lot of sample GRE issue essays written by a native speaker, and he frequently used "I fundamentally agree/disagree with the author...." in his essays. I think by adding 'fundamentall' I'm merely stressing how much my own view is consistent with that of the author's. Is this really inappropriate? Or is this only appropriate when the issue presented is highly controversial?

3.This section of GRE asks me to present my view on this issue:
"The absence of choice is a circumstance that is very, very rare."
So I believe the author is referring to a state of having no choice at all.
 

David L.

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Member Type
Other
So - it's rare or it isn't. 'fundamental' suggests, if you cut through all the differences that there may be, two things are similar.
So - Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist, Salvation Army...distinct, separate; yet fundamentally, all Christian religions.

If you are needing to sieve through and set aside a lot of objections to the author's contention of a black and white issue, 'rare or not rare', in order to 'fundamentally agree', then paradoxically you are indicating that for the most part you don't agree!!

If I say, London buses are red, you can't say that you 'fundamentally agree' with me.
 
Last edited:

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
You could say:
a lack of choice
(Maybe I'll come back to this one later.)


:)
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
PS:
I think David and I fundamentally agree.
;-)
 

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
I see...thank you.

While we're at it, could you help me with the another issue?

"One often hears about the need for individuals to take responsibility for their own lives. However, the conditions in which people find themselves have been largely established long before people become aware of them. Thus, the concept of personal responsibility is much more complicated and unrealistic than is often assumed."

My understanding is that the author thinks individuals don't really need to take personal responsibility as if it's extremely important because things have been set a long time ago. But doesn't this sound wierd? What is the relationship between things having been established a long time ago and people's need to take responsibility for themselves?
 

thod00

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Imagine you find yourself being swept along in the rapids of a river. You cannot control where the currents take you. The best you can do is slightly alter your course to avoid the largest rocks.

These small adjustments represent personal responsibility because you have chosen them. However your path down the river is caused by events outside yourself and you cannot change them. Thus you are not responsible for the path, the river chooses for you.

Did you understand all the consequences of the decisions you were asked to make while still at school? I think not, but you must still live with them now. You dont understand the consequences of the decisions you make now, although you may think you do, you dont. In the future you will look back and see you were wrong in many ways.
 

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Imagine you find yourself being swept along in the rapids of a river. You cannot control where the currents take you. The best you can do is slightly alter your course to avoid the largest rocks.

These small adjustments represent personal responsibility because you have chosen them. However your path down the river is caused by events outside yourself and you cannot change them. Thus you are not responsible for the path, the river chooses for you.

Did you understand all the consequences of the decisions you were asked to make while still at school? I think not, but you must still live with them now. You dont understand the consequences of the decisions you make now, although you may think you do, you dont. In the future you will look back and see you were wrong in many ways.
Thank you.
So the issue boils down to the contradiction of the need to take personal responsibility and our inability to dramatically alter our life as we wish, is this correct?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top