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being diligent and being late Options
raymondaliasapollyon
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2020 2:24:29 AM
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Joined: 7/14/2020
Posts: 205
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Hi,

I'd like to know whether "being late" is incompatible with "being diligent." Does the following present a contradiction?

She's late for work every day, but she's the most diligent employee I've seen.

I'd appreciate your help.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2020 10:56:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,641
Neurons: 69,796
raymondaliasapollyon wrote:
Hi,

I'd like to know whether "being late" is incompatible with "being diligent." Does the following present a contradiction?

She's late for work every day, but she's the most diligent employee I've seen.

I'd appreciate your help.

It would certainly be incompatible to me. A diligent person applies a concerted effort to do a job well. Showing up late for work every day would not connote diligence in my way of thinking, no matter how well the work was performed once they did arrive.

I once had a foreman on a job who expected diligence from all of us. I was unavoidably late (10 minutes) two days in a row. On the second day, he informed me that if I couldn't get to work on time, I shouldn't bother trying on the next day. I made it a point to get there early after that.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2020 2:43:30 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,926
Neurons: 58,226
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom


I guess it all depends on what kind of work one is doing.

In my line of work, one's "diligence" wouldn't be dependent upon whether one
tended to be habitually late or early. It would be gauged solely on one's output; its quality, volume, and results.

However, though our AE speakers seem to accept it as part of their lexicon, it's not a word that tends to be used by other English speakers. We use it in the abstract - to show due diligence, to show diligence and application to one's studies etc. - but it isn't a way we would describe a person.

She's a good worker, she's a dedicated worker, a strong worker, a committed worker.These are the most common adjectives used.

But a 'worker' is commonly used to describe unskilled workers so it's more usual to say things like:

"she's passionate about her work"
"they're all very involved in their work"
"work is her number one focus"
"they're committed to their work"
"she's completely involved in her work"

The word "diligence" tends to be used much more by ESL speakers than by native speakers themselves. Across Asia, in particular, it's one of the English words that every learner is taught. But to native-speakers it sounds a little bit unfamiliar and not-quite-standard. Its use often signals that the person using it is not a native-speaker.


thar
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2020 2:51:55 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 23,031
Neurons: 93,523
To me, being diligent is being dutiful, precise, and working hard.
The opposite is being lazy and careless.

As Rom says, it is a word that rarely comes up. I would not call a student diligent. Hard-working, careful, motivated, determined, yes.

You could say they work diligently on the problems or work they are given - that is their way. But not that they are diligent. Not describing the person.
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