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User Name: Zeli
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Joined: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Last Visit: Saturday, June 17, 2017 9:53:35 AM
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: dwindle into
Posted: Sunday, June 4, 2017 5:50:08 AM
@mactoria

one who may be known by the development of his organ of gregariousness, and a manifest lack of intellect and cheerful self-reliance;

Can you paraphrase this sentence? Still I'm not clear what "development" and "cheerful self-reliance(independence)"mean here.
Topic: dwindle into
Posted: Saturday, June 3, 2017 8:35:57 AM
@mactoria It's from On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Thoreau, Para.12.
Topic: dwindle into
Posted: Saturday, June 3, 2017 12:16:17 AM
Quote:
Our statistics are at fault: the population has been returned too large. How many men are there to a square thousand miles in this country? Hardly one. Does not America offer any inducement for men to settle here? The American has dwindled into an Odd Fellow — one who may be known by the development of his organ of gregariousness, and a manifest lack of intellect and cheerful self-reliance; whose first and chief concern, on coming into the world, is to see that the almshouses are in good repair; and, before yet he has lawfully donned the virile garb, to collect a fund for the support of the widows and orphans that may be; who, in short ventures to live only by the aid of the Mutual Insurance company, which has promised to bury him decently.

1. Does "dwindle into" here mean "the population gradually decreases into only one people(an Odd Fellow)" or "the American gradually becomes an Odd Fellow(and odd fellow)", why is "American" written in singular?

2. Does "the development of his organ of gregariousness" mean "he has an organ of gregariousness" or "he develop a more advanced organ than others"?
Topic: Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed on
Posted: Friday, June 2, 2017 9:32:57 PM
Quote:
It(government) is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is not the less necessary for this; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed on, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage. It is excellent, we must all allow.

What's the subject of the first "impose on", by whom men can be imposed on?

What does it mean by "(men) even impose on themselves" and "for their advantage"?

Topic: sentence meaning
Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 5:21:19 AM
Thanks Drag0nspeaker!

"The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right."
"The only thing I should accept as my duty is to always do what I think is right."

Is it right I can leave out "have a right" in this sentence? I'm confused about the combination of "have a right" and "assume".

It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.

Can I write as this
Code:
It is (truly enough) said that a group (of                     men) has no conscience
                                    but a group  of conscientious men  is a group with a conscience.


Topic: "in admirable order" "a palpitation of the heart"
Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 4:02:10 AM
Quote:
A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart.


1. What does "in admirable order" mean?

2. Does "which" refer to "against their wills and their common sense and consciences"? Is "ay" only a pause in rhythm?

3. "which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart."

Does "steep" mean "unreasonable" here, and what does "a palpitation of the heart" mean in the sentence?
Topic: sentence meaning
Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 3:07:37 AM
Quote:
It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.


1. Can I just think "cultivate a respect" is equal to "respect" so that

"It is not worth to respect more for the law than for the right."

2. Can I reposition the sentence to "I have a right to assume that the only obligation is to do what I think right at any time"?

What's meaning of "I have a right to assume" and "assume"?

3. In the third sentence, does all "corporation" can be replaced with "group" or it's just a "company"? "a corporation has no conscience"?
Topic: "Can there not be" or "Can't there be"?
Posted: Monday, May 29, 2017 5:50:32 AM
Quote:
Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?

Is there some difference between "Can there not be" and "Can't there be"?

I used to think this sentence should be read as "Can it be allowed that no government exists in which conscience decide right or wrong?" I think it's a general question.

But when I read the sentence before this one

Quote:
But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?

I think it should be a rhetorical question "Why isn't it that a government should decide wrong or right by its conscience?", and I think it's equal to "Can't there be" here.

Which is right?
Topic: What does "free" and "but" mean here?
Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:57:20 AM
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

1. "Free"! in this case means "voluntary".
They (soldiers, police, jailers, militiamen) are not allowed to use their judgement or moral sense. Like machines, they just follow orders.


I don't think "they're not allowed to use... ", they just "don't want to use..." as you write "In most cases they do not voluntarily use judgement or moral sense". But I agree it means "voluntary".


Quote:
2. "But" is simply the conjunction 'but'. It connects and contrasts the two clauses, and at the same time says that the ideas in them are different.
It would not combine with the 'no' to form the phrase 'no . . . but', because that phrase uses a noun-phrase (which may just be a single noun or pronoun) after 'no' and after 'but'. The 'but' means 'except'.
"There is no city but Edinburgh for me."


I don't think it's an adversative conjunction because I find this sentence from oald:

(literary) used to emphasize that sth is always true
She never passed her old home but she thought of the happy years she had spent there (= she always thought of them).

So I guess "but" introduces a truth, "they don't want to use their judgement, they actually put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones".


Quote:
3. You exercise something by using it.
ex·er·cise n.
a. The active use or application of something: the exercise of good judgement.
American Heritage
a. To make active use of; employ, apply, or exert: exercise restraint; exercise control. Collins English Dictionary

In most cases they do not voluntarily use judgement or moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones.


It's reasonable that a man use (his) judgement, he judges by himself what's right or wrong. My understanding of "moral sense" is that it's a feeling or an experience formed by observing whether a man's motivation is consistent with moral discipline. When I use the keyword "use a feeling" on Google, it only displays use "feeling"(the usage of feeling) and "use a feeling + n.", so it in some way proves my opinion that "use a feeling" doesn't exist. Maybe I should open another thread discussing this...
Topic: What does "free" and "but" mean here?
Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2017 9:07:38 AM
Quote:
The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well.


1. Does "free" mean "not confined" or "voluntarily/spontaneously"?

2. Does "but" mean "it is a truth that"? Does it associate with "no" in the foregoing clause so they can be combined to "no...but"?

3. "moral sense" is only a sense, how can it be exercised? How to paraphrase the sentence?

4. Does "that will serve the purpose as well" modify "wooden men" or the thing that "wooden men can perhaps be manufactured"?

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