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The Skill Of Paraphrase

  1. May 14, 2005 #1
    The OED defines the verb paraphrase thus:

    to express the meaning of (a word, phrase, passage or work) in other words, usually with the object of fuller and clearer exposition

    Here's another statement (or paraphrase) of that, from the Webster's Unabridged:

    a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness
    ----------------
    The ability to accurately paraphrase something is a sure indication that you understand what it means.

    Here are some random quotes. Can you paraphrase them?

    1. "To give formal recognition to standards and to adopt them as the guiding lines of action in the teeth of all the adversities of a changing situation are two very different things - as the impartial observer may see particularly in the history of religious institutions."

    2."Tate piloted his Lexus back through Centreville, which some of the redder of the rednecks around these parts disparagingly called New Calcutta and New Seoul - because of the immigrants settling here."

    3." While Leonardo was thus trying to establish the laws of hydrostatics, he did not lose sight of the importance of studying fluid motion, since it was common knowledge that when the flow of water is deviated or prevented, a pressure is created which, if devestating at times, may also be put to profitable use."

    4."Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
    Such shaping fantasies that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends."

    5."It was fortifying, therefore, that they could count on the moral support of a man like Einstein; however wooly his proposals for action might be, he was a man whom most felt, and usually with good reason, sensed right from wrong with almost uncanny intuition."

    I think it will be challenging for people to pick one, or a couple and paraphrase them. Post the result.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2005 #2

    arildno

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    1. "It's a big distinction between ideals and reality, what is wanted and what is doable at present"
    That's a rather trite paraphrase..:wink:
     
  4. May 14, 2005 #3
    Okay, I'll just pick one, the first one, and try:
    "Heeding a law, and integrating it into one's life - as apparent in history, these are anything but similiar"

    The phrasing of "paraphrase" is actually quite deceptive: even if we are able to understand and simpify a quote, it is doubtful we will make it more "clear."
     
  5. May 14, 2005 #4
    Actually, I think you and arildno did a great job of making that one more clear.
     
  6. May 14, 2005 #5

    arildno

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    4."Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
    Such shaping fantasies that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends."

    Extrapolation from detail may often yield insights where deduction from first principles yields nothing.
     
  7. May 14, 2005 #6

    plover

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    While Tate was happy enough to thread his vehicle, formally recognized as an industry standard, through Centreville, a part of town where lived those who, driven forth by the pressures in their home countries, had settled in a new one, he was mindful that other local residents, lacking the moral instincts of an Einstein, or even a dash of cool reason, viewed their new neighbors through the lens of their seething resistance to accept a dynamic fluidity in their community.
     
  8. May 14, 2005 #7

    arildno

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    :rofl: :rofl:
     
  9. May 14, 2005 #8
    That would be the definitive paraphrase of #2, covering not just this, but most parallel universes.
     
  10. May 14, 2005 #9
    ???????????????????
     
  11. May 15, 2005 #10

    arildno

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    As I see it, the lovers&madmen's over-active imagination makes it easier to make an intuitive leap from a tiny detail to an "insight" (for example, a lover might guess his lover's mood by rather subtle signs a more "cold" person would miss)
     
  12. May 15, 2005 #11
    Insane people, and those in love, have such turbulent emotions, and imaginations so hyperactve, that no reasonable person can begin to understand them.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2005
  13. May 15, 2005 #12

    arildno

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    Well, I thought "apprehend" in this context meant something like "understand intuitively".
    Perhaps I've misunderstood the word..
     
  14. May 15, 2005 #13
    Yeah, I think that's what it means.. that they don't need reason to understand each other. Zooby just gave it a little twist..
     
  15. May 15, 2005 #14
    In the context of "seething brains" and "shaping fantasies" apprehend shouldn't be construed as a positive "grasping", but as "seizing upon any wild notion that comes along."

    So, maybe I should have ploverized it a bit more:

    Insane people and people in love have such demented faculties, such hyperactive immaginations that they clutch at a far greater number of wild notions in a day than the number of reasonable notions a reasonable person understands in a lifetime.
     
  16. May 15, 2005 #15

    arildno

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    Well, but they might in fact stumble onto some correct insight occasionally which a cooler head would miss (in between all their wild ramblings).
     
  17. May 15, 2005 #16
    That they might, yes, if you had written it, but of course you didn't, because SHAKESPEARE wrote it, yep, uh huh.
     
  18. May 15, 2005 #17

    plover

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    Hey wow, I'm a verb! :rofl: o:) :rofl:
     
  19. May 15, 2005 #18
    ploverize: (insert definition here please)
     
  20. May 15, 2005 #19

    Math Is Hard

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    hmmm.. I did once use(invent) the adj. "plovery"...
     
  21. May 15, 2005 #20

    arildno

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    That was rather ploovish of you.
     
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