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much to my chagrin

Discussion in 'English Only' started by mimi2, May 2, 2007.

  1. mimi2 Senior Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    "My children have never shown an interest in music, much to my chagrin."
    Would you please explain "much to my chagrin.
    Thank you very much.
     
  2. mimi2 Senior Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi,
    Is it necessary to use "by" in this context?
    "She was overcome by chagrin at the check-out counter when she discovered she had left her wallet at home."
    Thanks.
     
  3. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    Spain
    U.K. English
    "chagrin" can mean "displeasure" or "shame". I would take this sentence to mean "I am ashamed and disappointed that my children have never shown an interest in music."
     
  4. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    Spain
    U.K. English
    I've only ever heard "chagrin" as part of the expression "much to my chagrin" as in your other, similar post. I think it's technically possible to use "by" or alternatively "with" in your sentence.
     
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I merged these threads because they were both about chagrin.

    Chagrin is a strange word.
    It is not commonly used, but there is no other word that quite encapsulates chagrin when it happens.
    Displeasure, shame, disappointment are elements of chagrin, but don't quite capture it.
    The OED definition, " Acute vexation, annoyance, or mortification, arising from disappointment, thwarting, or failure," is better - especially vexation and mortification.

    Somehow it seems that an important element of chagrin is concern about image - how others perceive the situation. There has to be some element of embarrassment, of loss-of-face, if it is really chagrin.

    "My children have never shown an interest in music, much to my chagrin."
    For chagrin to be exactly the right word in this sentence, I would probably be a famous musician, a music teacher, or even better, a specialist in the development of interest in music among children (if such a specialist existed).
    Other people might be disappointed in this situation, but not chagrined (yes, it is a verb).

    "She was overcome by chagrin at the check-out counter when she discovered she had left her wallet at home."
    That's a good example, though again the appropriateness of chagrin depends on who she is.
    Chagrin would be particularly appropriate if she had already created some considerable fuss about something so that her discomfiture would be evident to others - whom she had previously annoyed.

    Chagrin, for me, is particularly useful to describe a disproportionately embarrassed reaction to a relatively minor annoyance.
     

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