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when he faces a tough decision/ facing a tough decision Options
merve
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 3:42:35 PM
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"When he faces a tough decison he prefers to sit on the fence". Can I paraphrase this sentence "Facing a tough decision he shies away from taking it"
Thank you
jmacann
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 4:22:38 PM
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You should not, as these mean 1. 'taking your time to do it', and 2. 'keeping away from doing it'.

I mean, "sit on the fence" has not a literal meaning...

The key is how long it will take you to make up your mind.
excaelis
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 4:39:14 PM

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You could write any of " When facing a tough decision he prevaricates/equivocates/dithers/waffles/sidesteps/palters/tap dances/ ( or my personal favourite ) tergiversates". I love this language !
jmacann
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 7:31:25 PM
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Very promising, indeed -neither more, nor less: just about nothing is certain -devilish.
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 10:38:19 PM

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merve wrote:
"When he faces a tough decison he prefers to sit on the fence". Can I paraphrase this sentence "Facing a tough decision he shies away from taking it"


You could paraphrase it that way, yet whether it were accurate or not would depend on the context.

By itself, "to sit on the fence" means "to see both sides and take a neutral position"; the cause for this is not necessarily a lack of conviction nor courage, but could just as easily come from an honest admission of ignorance concerning the matter to be decided.

The phrase "to shy away from [something]" means "to be averse to [something]" or "to avoid [something] out of fear". If the indecisiveness were caused by fear, then "he shies away from taking it" would be appropriate.
Shivanand
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 10:41:06 PM
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Can't agree with leonAzul more!
merve
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2011 4:33:17 AM
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Location: Istanbul
Thank you.
Hope1
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2011 11:45:23 AM
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The question has been ably answered.


But - An observation - Most politicians are very adept at 'sitting on the fence'.
excaelis
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2011 11:57:20 AM

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Though in broad agreement with leonAzul's post, I think that currently there is a negative tone to the phrase. We value decisiveness, so straddling boundaries ( I just remembers ' hedges ') is generally viewed unfavourably. Perhaps " ...he is circumspect." might be more neutral and certainly more accurate in leon's scenario ?
thar
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2011 5:44:26 PM

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who was it who said (paraphrasing) it is the sign of an intelligent person that they can simultaneously hold two contradictory ideas?

and ex, thanks for both palters and tergiversates Applause - the trouble is if I did manage to work them into a conversation I have the suspicion people would look at me strangely and move quickly on!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2011 7:02:35 PM

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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Many European PM have been sitting on a wrong fence lately ;-)



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