Author: koob88

what is the meaning of "half-decent" [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2006-2-26 17:56:24 |Display all floors
" I try not to use words which are not in the dictionary"

-- and that also introduces many problems.  Which dictionary? And which of the sometimes dozens of meanings do you use in a particular situation?

The worst are probably the electronic dictionaries used by students because many seem to be a conglomeration from all sorts of sources with little care taken to make sure suggested words really are those currently in common usage. Most paper dictionaries seem to grade the definitions a little so the most common usage comes before the unusual ones and the better electronic ones do the same.

Nowadays my source of new words or unusual usages, come from letters from friends in China using electronic dictionaries to broaden their vocabulary.

Tony

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Post time 2006-3-11 04:16:52 |Display all floors

leesinchina

"The use of slang or idiomatic english is what sets the different "types" of English speakers apart"
I think Idioms should be encouraged... slang shouldn't be.

I'm not an English teacher, nor am I a native speaker of English. I have never lived in a country whereby English is the native language. Nevertheless, I am confident about my English and can go as far as correcting a native speaker's writing and speaking. I don't mean to boast but colloquial and writing are two different things. "half decent" is slang, and it's not English- it's American.. have you heard of the question "do you speak American?"... I think it makes perfect sense because Americans speak " America English" and not English. Not that it matters... like I said, writing and speaking are two very different things.

"Which dictionary? And which of the sometimes dozens of meanings do you use in a particular situation?"

I use British dictionaries and I avoid using American ones... I have nothing against American ones but English, is for the English-lol.. I'm very flexible( or try to be rather) so I do have a Merriam-Webster on top of my Collins and Oxford dicts.

If a word has numerous meanings, which would I use for a particular situation? Is that what you mean? I would, of course opt for the word that best describes it.

Dictionaries are always updated, and I make it a almost must not to use words until they are published, depending on who I'm speaking with. I predominantly speak to non-native speakers. This is why I avoid slang at all cost. you're right... it's inconsiderate.

For non-native speakers, I wouldn't encourage the use of slang unless you can really distinguish the difference between slang, idioms and standard, colloquial etc. Oh, and take advice from good non-native speakers... we learned it the HARD way.

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Post time 2006-3-11 06:23:27 |Display all floors
barely acceptable
Compuer thays noh~~~

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Post time 2006-3-11 06:28:27 |Display all floors
half:副词;部分地;在某种程度上;在相当程度上;
half-decent试译:二流的;还凑和;马马虎虎;或褒或贬,视文而定。

[ Last edited by clearwater at 2006-3-11 08:15 AM ]

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Post time 2006-3-11 07:57:38 |Display all floors
positively okay

used in informal conversation with your friends

you might say the food was half-decent
you might say the movie was half-decent
you might say the band was half-decent

it is a complimentary comment by understatement
龙年顺顺利利

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Post time 2006-3-11 09:40:04 |Display all floors

half-decent

To #9
I'm not an English teacher, nor am I a native speaker of English. I have never lived in a country whereby English is the native language.

> I salute you for your good command of English, given that you have never lived in a country where English is the native language.

I think it sounds like slang... predominantly used by native speakers the US..

> I really don't know the origin of the word "half-decent", but it is unlikely to be a slang spoken mostly by the native speankers of the US. If I were to venture a guess, I would think that it is a natural deriviation of the word "decent" , the meaning of which is known to almost every learners of English; I might even suggest that it was originated from the GB since understatement is the national trait of the English people. :-,)

[ Last edited by imnoabrainer at 2006-3-11 09:41 AM ]

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Post time 2006-3-11 11:09:50 |Display all floors
The term is actually used quite a lot everywhere. I guess the only reason you don't find it in dictionaries is because it is really two words. A very common usage for it is in commentaring for a football game where it might be said "that was a half-decent chance at goal" meaning that was a reasonable chance.

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