Poll: The pool was deceptively shallow

The pool was deceptively shallow

The pool was deeper than it looked.
The pool was shallower than it looked.

Statistics Poll Stats

This Poll:

  • Votes: 701
  • Comments: 17
  • Added: January 2004



ok that's good but the teacher hve very large desipline


blatantly the former

Mark Spitz

Maybe not that blatantly, though I agree that it is the former.


It is the latter, because deceptively means "in a deceptive or deceiving manner" so read: "The pool was, in a deceptive or deceiving manner, shallow" meaning that it was indeed shallow, though deceptively


I just looked the sentence up and it said the sentence could be changed to - The pool is shallower than it looks or The pool is shallow, despite its appearance


Wow! 50%/50% with 150 votes for either side. I'm pretty sure this is option two. The pool was shallow. It was also deceptively shallow which means it seemed deeper. Therefore it was shallower than it seemed


Wow, only one vote difference!

I voted in favour of 'deeper than it looked' (152 votes vs. 151 to 'shallower'), and am honestly baffled by how close it is!

I would assume everyone understood that it appeared shallow in a deceiving manner, so therefore was deeper than expected. :s

But on answers.com, they cite a survey with a majority in the other direction (shallower)...


Definitely the latter, and now it's tied!


This is a classic, already debated, example of ambiguous language. Does anyone have the citation?

Shallow Mind

I'm surprised that so many people can not pause and dissect the sentence accurately. The words used have straight forward definitions, as trippe and Yazzy have demonstrated for us.


The pool was (adjective) shallow.
The pool was definitely shallow, I'm surprised this is a close vote.


Don't be fooled by the closeness of the vote. The answer is B.


I voted b so I could post a comment, but in fact neither a nor b is correct. The proper interpretation is that the pool *is* shallow, but the fact of its shallowness may mislead you about something else.

A better example is "the rules of chess are deceptively simple," meaning that the rules are simple but chess is complex.


Your example contradicts your claim- simple/complex are opposites so how is that something else?


This poll was deceptively decisive!

old gobbo

This is an awkward phrase, whichever way you take it. However I am not happy with the meaning 'it was shallower than it looked', because in that case the pool is not actually deceptively shallow, it is indeed shallow, no matter the degree of shallowness. The real answer I feel is to avoid the phrase as it stands and re-write as e.g. the pool looked shallow but this was deceptive. More succinct approaches are possible but I am running out of


I see how this can be confusing, but if a non-native speaker like me can figure it out, I think any native person should.

definition: in a way or to an extent that gives a misleading impression

"The idea was deceptively simple."
"His voice was deceptively innocent."

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