Please help me to understand one phrase

Status
Not open for further replies.

Angie8

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Taiwan
Current Location
Taiwan
I'm reading a book and don't understand the last sentence in the paragraph below, especially the term "singular failure" even though after looking up in the dictionary. Please help me, many thanks!

"Bachelet’s election to the presidency was, in itself, a ‘violation of expectations’ for her country. She certainly understood that women leaders and their leadership stories are judged by different standards to men, quoting to me newspapers in Chile which had covered her 2008 visit to the UK by reflecting on the way she had dressed when she met the Queen, something they would never have done with a male leader. ‘It’s a matter of time’ she said, of the singular failure of so many newspapers and broadcasters to ‘violate expectations’ when it comes to women in power."
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Singular failure is an example of a nonce word. It has become common in journalism fairly recently. What the author probably meant was notable failure, or even egregious failure. To my mind, this case was egregious, i.e. remarkably or outstandingly bad.
 
Last edited:

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Angie, A better title would have been singular failure as that is the phrase you are asking about.

Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

Rover
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top