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precocious about Options
justina bandol
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 2:10:08 AM
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Chancre is still spinning out today's accident into a stump speech on the accomplishments of his four years as Guild Chair. The election is just around the corner, after all, and Chuck (a clever man, but not precocious about it) knows Chancre's game. This press conference allows Chancre to reach members of the Guild [...] who have retired [...].

Chuck has a 'distaste for Chancre's unabashed politicking' (Chancre is the current Chair and running again). What I don't get is: 1. what being 'not precocious about it' (the cleverness, I presume) means. 2. how that is relevant to Chucks's understanding of Chancre's game.

Any opinions?

https://books.google.ro/books?id=WJEA1TTHu8AC&printsec=frontcover&hl=ro#v=onepage&q=precocious&f=false
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 2:49:13 AM

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I can't see that 'precocious' fits there at all.
It means "characterised by early development of skill or intelligence". As a grown man, cleverness could not be precocious.

To me, it sounds like someone trying to use a "fancy word" and getting it wrong.
"Precious" could fit (in its meaning 'affected' or 'feigned' or 'artificial'), I think. He was clever, but didn't go out of his way to artificially stress his cleverness.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 3:01:39 AM

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or pretentious

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 3:36:10 AM

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Ah! Yes - pretentious.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
justina bandol
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 4:43:47 AM
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I looked up the phrase „precocious about it”. Here are a few examples:

This is unfortunate, because while the drama is handsome and watchable (with fine dialogue, honest performances and a precocious child actress who plays a precocious child without being overly precocious about it), the flow is mechanical... (the title of the article, by the way, is „A precocious family drama takes an unfortunately implausible turn”.)


https://books.google.ro/books?id=5CU4DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT136&lpg=PT136&dq=%E2%80%9Eprecocious+about+it%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=k96N6wDODt&sig=ACfU3U0-_KMCU2bvZdTWKec-7HXqLBhKsw&hl=ro&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiFuIff043gAhXHPOwKHfNAAB4Q6AEwAXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9Eprecocious%20about%20it%E2%80%9D&f=false


Usually films with children are unbearable cute. Cross My Heart has nothing precocious about it.


Jonas and Cyrus make the protagonists realistically serious and silly without ever getting precious or precocious about it


"Pair of Wings" features Rose's most affecting vocal—positively slathered with honey and sugar and all those other nice things—repeating a mantra over a slowly blooming backdrop of into brass, a choir and a thumping timpani. There's nothing subtle or precocious about it, the sound of Rose replacing her hazy tunnel-pop with Disney-level bombast.


and so on.

The meaning of precocious seems to me a bit lost in such passages, and I am not sure what it is supposed to mean in each case. I thought it might have acquired some other colloquial nuances.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 7:53:14 AM

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justina bandol wrote:
I looked up the phrase „precocious about it”. Here are a few examples:

This is unfortunate, because while the drama is handsome and watchable (with fine dialogue, honest performances and a precocious child actress who plays a precocious child without being overly precocious about it), the flow is mechanical... (the title of the article, by the way, is „A precocious family drama takes an unfortunately implausible turn”.)


https://books.google.ro/books?id=5CU4DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT136&lpg=PT136&dq=%E2%80%9Eprecocious+about+it%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=k96N6wDODt&sig=ACfU3U0-_KMCU2bvZdTWKec-7HXqLBhKsw&hl=ro&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiFuIff043gAhXHPOwKHfNAAB4Q6AEwAXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9Eprecocious%20about%20it%E2%80%9D&f=false


Usually films with children are unbearable cute. Cross My Heart has nothing precocious about it.


Jonas and Cyrus make the protagonists realistically serious and silly without ever getting precious or precocious about it


"Pair of Wings" features Rose's most affecting vocal—positively slathered with honey and sugar and all those other nice things—repeating a mantra over a slowly blooming backdrop of into brass, a choir and a thumping timpani. There's nothing subtle or precocious about it, the sound of Rose replacing her hazy tunnel-pop with Disney-level bombast.


and so on.

The meaning of precocious seems to me a bit lost in such passages, and I am not sure what it is supposed to mean in each case. I thought it might have acquired some other colloquial nuances.


I would assume those quotes are about films and television shows that feature child actors in them.

Precocious is something that a child can be, they are showing signs of wisdom, intelligence or talent beyond what it is expected a person of their age should have.

Chancre presumably is an adult as he has been Guild chair for 4 years, he cannot be precocious.


I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 12:55:51 PM
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I too see little reason to use the word "precocious" in the example sentences - especially those which seem to have been written in dodgy English.

It would seem that either a) there are people who get "precious" and "precocious" mixed up; b) there are people who use the word not actually know what it means or c) is there a difference in understanding/use of the word in different forms of English?

The examples also seem to have used "precocious" as if it's a bad thing - they are saying that it's good that the subject isn't precocious. Whereas I would consider, if one is talking about child actors, that ONLY precocious children have the level of acting skills that makes them appear normal and natural on screen. Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, MacAuley Culkin and Haley Joel Osment all became child "stars" BECAUSE they were precocious.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 4:23:19 PM

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Romany it's an entirely contextual thing, some people dislike the type of precocious child star you are refering to.

I have a friend who likes Science Fiction and Fantasy films and will happily watch almost anything in that genre with us, and yet she refuses to watch the Harry Potter movies because she regards the child actors in them as precocious.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Romany
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 6:08:04 AM
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Sarries -

I can't bear child-actors myself, and never watch movies centred around kids. (Don't consider teens "kids" so love Harry Potter.)

But the word "precocious" means that someone has "developed certain abilities or inclinations at an earlier age than is usual or expected.", so I don't see how that can be a reason for disliking anyone? Kid can't help it: just a skill they were given. Some kids learn to talk very early on, or can read by the time they're 4, or swim in Galas when they're 3 years old...they too are precocious.

I still can't see how that is an attribute that would make someone dislike the kid for it?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 6:13:57 AM

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Romany wrote:
Sarries -

I can't bear child-actors myself, and never watch movies centred around kids. (Don't consider teens "kids" so love Harry Potter.)

But the word "precocious" means that someone has "developed certain abilities or inclinations at an earlier age than is usual or expected.", so I don't see how that can be a reason for disliking anyone? Kid can't help it: just a skill they were given. Some kids learn to talk very early on, or can read by the time they're 4, or swim in Galas when they're 3 years old...they too are precocious.

I still can't see how that is an attribute that would make someone dislike the kid for it?


You may not but I think it's clear from the reviews that jsutina has quoted from many people not just my friend do find it a negative trait.

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Romany
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 10:06:16 AM
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Well at least you've taught me something new Sarries. And helpful. In future, when writing for general consumption rather than specialised audiences, I shall be aware of what you've said, to ensure that, without meaning to, I don't give some poor little soul a bad rap in some people's eyes!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 3:11:43 PM

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I'd never have thought of precocious as a bad trait for a child.

Some parents FORCE their children into adult roles (the 10-year-old "beauty pageants" with little girls using Botox, having plastic surgery and being
plastered in make-up to look "grown-up is an example) this is not being precocious, it's being false.


However - concerning the word and these sentences - I still disagree with most of them.
A child can be precocious.
A play or film can't.

"Cross My Heart" has nothing precocious about it. - It's a film, it couldn't be precocious.

Jonas and Cyrus make the protagonists realistically serious and silly without ever getting precious or precocious about it. - If
Jonas and Cyrus were children at the time, then by making the protagonists realistic, they were precocious (they showed their acting
ability at an early age) - they were not being precious about it, which would have looked false. As Romany says
- it appears that some people think these two words mean similar things.

There's nothing subtle or precocious about it, the sound of Rose replacing her hazy tunnel-pop with Disney-level bombast.
- This one seems correct. It's saying that the performance was affected - false, "slathered with honey and sugar" - and so the actress
was NOT precocious.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:10:03 AM
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I was beginning to think I was being pedantic by insisting that there was nothing bad or wrong about the word "precocious". So am glad to see that someone - Drago - is also puzzled as to why a precocious child would be considered nasty!

Especially in terms of music, I find the precocious concert-players absolutely awesome (in the real meaning of the word!). To see a small kid, like those who would mostly be unable to play Chopsticks on a piano, sit down and bring forth beautiful, soaring piano concertos earns (from me, anyway) absolute respect.

As I said to Sarries - I'll now be aware that there are those who consider "precociousness" a character flaw. However, that doesn't change the fact that I shall continue to use it "correctly".Dancing
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:53:51 AM

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Romany wrote:



I was beginning to think I was being pedantic by insisting that there was nothing bad or wrong about the word "precocious". So am glad to see that someone - Drago - is also puzzled as to why a precocious child would be considered nasty!

Especially in terms of music, I find the precocious concert-players absolutely awesome (in the real meaning of the word!). To see a small kid, like those who would mostly be unable to play Chopsticks on a piano, sit down and bring forth beautiful, soaring piano concertos earns (from me, anyway) absolute respect.

As I said to Sarries - I'll now be aware that there are those who consider "precociousness" a character flaw. However, that doesn't change the fact that I shall continue to use it "correctly".Dancing


I never said you were wrong to do so, just that some people do regard it as a negative.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 7:10:36 AM
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Sarries -

Yes, I know you didn't say I was wrong. But you did make me aware that there were those who would consider I was being negative towards someone by describing them as "precocious" - something I hadn't realised. And for which, sincerely, I thank you.
justina bandol
Posted: Friday, February 1, 2019 8:35:14 AM
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Thank you everyone, it was a very interesting discussion.

PS Romany, as an aside: I am pedantic too (even though I blame myself and am blamed for it often), so I do appreciate your pedantry!
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