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The unrefined type Options
coag
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 11:01:34 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/27/2010
Posts: 1,473
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Hello,

Can someone explain the use of the definite article in the following
sentence:
I'm afraid I'll strike you as being the unrefined type.
(A Streetcar Named Desire, T. Williams)

Q1: Would it be incorrect to use "an unrefined type" in this sentence?

Q2: What is wrong, with regard to the use of the indefinite article, in the
following reasoning?

He is an unrefined man.
He is an unrefined type of man.
What type of man is he?
He is an unrefined type.

Thanks in advance.
RuthP
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 12:32:55 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/2/2009
Posts: 5,408
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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Hi Crown Ag,

Your sentences are correct; so is Williams'. His sentence says Stanley is the type of man who is unrefined, as opposed to the type of man who is refined. He stresses the dichotomy between refined and unrefined.

Your sentences stress the idea that there are different ways in which one may be unrefined. They acknowledge there multiple things or facets which go into being refined. Yours reflects a more nuanced view of the world, but Williams didn't want that. He was going for more of a contrast: this not that.
GeorgeV
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 2:30:11 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/3/2009
Posts: 888
Neurons: 2,410
Location: Canada
.
Fine! - OK
Fined - NOT OK
Re-fined - NOT OK
Un-re-fined - OK
.
Briton
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 6:29:17 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/2011
Posts: 5,107
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I don't understand what you are trying to say, George.
Are you talking about grammar, words or spelling?
DavidScott
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 6:42:55 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/2/2012
Posts: 711
Neurons: 2,076
I think he is making word-play on "fined," or in other words, penalized. If not, he's lost his marbles.Dancing Pray
GeorgeV
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 8:34:29 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/3/2009
Posts: 888
Neurons: 2,410
Location: Canada
.
All of the above...I guess.
.
DavidScott
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 8:45:11 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/2/2012
Posts: 711
Neurons: 2,076
GeorgeV wrote:
.
All of the above...I guess.
.


I speak from experience, I've lost my marbles long ago, George!Whistle

leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 12:40:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,589
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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
First of all, let's make sure we are on the same page concerning the quote itself.

"I'm afraid I'll strike you as being the unrefined type."
Retrieved 17 June 2012 (http://plays.about.com/od/plays/a/A-Streetcar-Named-Desire-Act-One-Scene-One.htm)

In a nutshell, someone from a working class background — and who speaks that way — is none-the-less courteously and sympathetically expressing his concern for the comfort of a visitor who is obviously accustomed to more sophisticated surroundings. This use of the definite article is correct and acceptable in colloquial speech, and subtly emphasizes Stanley's suspicion that Blanche sees him not as an individual but rather as a typical member of a class.
Martinbeco
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 2:47:33 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 7/1/2010
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Neurons: 57,357
Location: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
The difference between choosing "the" or "a/an" relates to whether you want to define or not a noun. In the sentence you are particularly using, it seems the option between "the" or "an" is rather unimportant. He is the unrefined kind of man (A particular kind of man as opposed to another kind)and He is an refined kind of man. (One among many kinds of men).
Ava
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 2:58:28 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 4/17/2011
Posts: 46
Neurons: 157
Thank you again Ruth P!
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