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What "garrulous hesitation" and "a suitable air of diffidence" mean? Options
Afruzi
Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2019 4:07:37 PM

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Joined: 12/13/2018
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Location: Hamadān, Hamadan, Iran
Hi there, I read the following sentence and couldn't find the meanings of "garrulous hesitation" and "a suitable air of diffidence". Would anyone help me please to know about the meanings of the expressions? Pray Pray

Quote:
If I have any suggestions, I shall put them with garrulous hesitation and a suitable air of diffidence.


Thanks!

Please let me know if I've had any problems with my grammar or word choice.
Joe Gallagher
Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2019 6:49:14 PM

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Location: Maryville, Tennessee, United States
"garrulous hesitation" is meaningless conversational fill.

"a suitable air of diffidence" says: "While I don't know nor probably care what you are talking about, I would rather not give you that impression.
sureshot
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 12:02:25 AM
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Afruzi wrote:
Hi there, I read the following sentence and couldn't find the meanings of "garrulous hesitation" and "a suitable air of diffidence". Would anyone help me please to know about the meanings of the expressions? Pray Pray

Quote:
If I have any suggestions, I shall put them with garrulous hesitation and a suitable air of diffidence.


Thanks!

_________________________

I partially agree with Joe Gallagher.

In my view, the writer/speaker wishes to imply:

- "with garrulous hesitation": The writer/speaker means "with reluctance to be verbose" (= without being verbose)

- "with a suitable air of diffidence": The writer/speaker means "modestly".

thar
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 1:39:30 AM

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I agree partially with both.

Garrulous hesitation is strange. It is not hesitation to be garrulous - it describes the hesitation. I guess hesitation filled with unimportant speech. Ie you are reluctant to broach the topic so you talk too much instead, before getting to it.

Diffidence is lack of confidence, tentativeness, shyness in putting forward your idea. And that 'air' (appearance) of diffidence will be of a suitable level given the power dynamic between the two people - whatever that is.
Romany
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 8:44:48 AM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Oh,if only we knew the context!!

As Thar says - "garrulous" hesitation - as a collocation - does, out of context, sound contradictory.

But, in the context of, perhaps, an intimidating boss; a particular kind of workplace; a particular situation; - it's a really good, two-word indicator of how that particular person/workplace/situation works. Paired with "diffidence" it paints a picture - when approaching the boss/a particular person, one can't be straightforward. One has to play a game - pretending that the person the suggestions could be put to is all-wise, all-knowing, and that members of staff are are much more lowly, and nowhere near as clever as he is.

Thus "Garulous hesitation" would refer to the fact that the suggestion should be put forward with lots of "I know I haven't your cleverness but..." "Oh, I hesitate to put this to you, because it's probably silly..." "Oh please forgive me for butting in on this but I wondered if...." etc. i.e. pretending it ISN'T a particularly good suggestion and you hesitate even to bring it to his attention.

The "suitable air of diffidence" refers to something that everyone is aware of: they all know that, if approaching the boss/person it's known by everyone that one must act suitably - in this case by building up his ego and presenting oneself as ignorant or unworthy.

It's actually a very well-presented sentence, which tells us a lot about the boss/person's personality and the atmosphere in that particular office/workplace without writing a long descriptive couple of sentences or pargraphs.

It's an illustration of good English writing.
Afruzi
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 11:30:53 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 12/13/2018
Posts: 25
Neurons: 155,499
Location: Hamadān, Hamadan, Iran
Thank you all for taking your time 🙏🙏🙏


garrulous hesitation:
Well, I guess the given meanings for "garrulous hesitation" by Thar and Romany are close to each other. I think they both say that the speaker behaves in a restrained and self-effacing manner to broach their suggestions. I think Joe said that the speaker shall fill their suggestions with meaningless conversational. I'm not sure what I've understood from Joe's comment is correct or not. On the other hand, Sureshot said that it deals with avoiding being garrulous/talkative.


a suitable air of diffidence:
I think Sureshot, Thar, and Romany have almost given a close meaning for "a suitable air of diffidence", i.e. modesty/lack of confidence/tentativeness/shyness/self-ignorant/feelings of unworthiness/etc.
And I perceive Joe's comment as the person who's responsible to make a decision on the suggestions, doesn't concern about the suggestions.



Please let me know if I've had any problems with my grammar or word choice.
Afruzi
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 11:37:52 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 12/13/2018
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Neurons: 155,499
Location: Hamadān, Hamadan, Iran
To Romany

I didn't read this sentence in any context. I just read it as an example in a dictionary.

Please let me know if I've had any problems with my grammar or word choice.
thar
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 4:24:33 PM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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That seems a really poor choice for a dictionary - it is playing with words, and using phrases idiomatically.

A sentence in a dictionary seems to have signally failed in its task to illustrate a word if you didn't understand it! And sureshot, who has a very good grasp of English, I think misinterpreted the first part because it is so strange, playing with ideas to produce a strange collocation.

I assume it is a quotation from some literary source. In reality, nothing is ever without context.
Dictionaries have a problem in showing words in use without context.
"He sat down on the chair" is probably sufficient by itself, and doesn't need any context. But a sentence like this - assuming it is from a novel or play then it has context as you read it. You know there are personal power games being played here. If you are fluent enough you can usually take a sentence and invent context that makes sense - but sometimes even the native speakers on this forum disagree on the tone or even the meaning of a sentence given in isolation, simply because their minds go to different places to guess their own context.

Putting a sentence like that in a dictionary is like telling just the punchline but expecting people to get the joke.

A sentence in a dictionary that leaves you not only looking up the meaning but asking others what it means - that seems to fit the definition of failing to fulfill its purpose!

Romany
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 8:12:47 PM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Well said, Thar.Applause Applause

Thats a perfectly inadequate explanation.
Afruzi
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 4:09:02 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 12/13/2018
Posts: 25
Neurons: 155,499
Location: Hamadān, Hamadan, Iran
Thanks Tar 🙏🙏🙏

Your comments are always helpful and perfect Applause Applause


Please let me know if I've had any problems with my grammar or word choice.
ruchertora
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:23:37 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 12/3/2019
Posts: 2
Neurons: 6
I did not scan this sentence in any context. I simply scan it as associate degree example during a lexicon.
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