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Quick Write 102411 “Learning from Mark 4”

I enjoyed a weekend getaway from QWing, and I’m back! Today’s QW product is on nice English phrases from Mark on PBS Newshour. In the previous post, “QW 1021 A Double Black Diamond Kisser”, I talked about how hard it is for us English language learners to get a good grasp of collocation, and to create both intelligible and attractive ones. This QW piece focuses on combinations of “adjective + noun” in Mark’s utterance on the program “Analysis”. Here are the ones that particularly elicited my interest. (Reference: Merriam Webster com. = M.W., and Oxford English Dictionary = OED)

1) feisty debate “feisty” = having or showing a lively aggressiveness (M.W.)

2) plausible candidate “plausible” =1: superficially fair, reasonable, or valuable but often specious e.g.) a plausible pretext 2: superficially pleasing or persuasive e.g.) a swindler… , then a quack, then a smooth, plausible gentleman — R. W. Emerson 3: appearing worthy of belief e.g.) the argument was both powerful and plausible (M.W.)
I once had a problem with the adjective “plausible”, but now my understanding has gotten slightly better.

3) undiminished animosity “undiminished” = not reduced, or lessened (OED) “animosity” = strong hostility

*4) rogue nation “rogue” = of or being a nation whose leaders defy international law or norms of international behavior e.g.) rogue states (M.W.)
This phrase is how David Brooks, the co-commentator for the program, refers to Iran as.

*5) sclerotic regime “sclerotic” = becoming rigid and unresponsive, losing ability to adapt
This phrase is how David Brooks, the co-commentator for the program, refers to the government in Egypt as.

6) unremitting criticism “unremitting”= never relaxing or slacking (OED)

Here are the sentences that I’ve rewritten with an attempt to understand the above adjectives further.

1) We are all sick of the feisty old English teacher. (Sorry!)
2) His testimony sounds plausible, but we’ll need to cross-examine what he said.
3) The tax plan has been receiving undiminished criticism since announced.
4) Countries which are considered to threaten the world’s peace are designated as “rogue nations”.
5) The workers have long been suffering from its sclerotic management.
6) I cannot help admiring his unremitting passion for the project.

(40 minutes / 362 words)

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