a blurring of this distinction

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bamboo--tw

Senior Member
ROC/Mandarin
"Natural building" is an umbrella term that connotes any sort of building that is accomplished with the use of natural materials primarily. There is, of course, a blurring of this distinction when any specific material or building technique is examined, because the influence of technology is all-pervasive in today's world.


Hi,

Could I interpret "a blurring of this distinction" in the above as "a gray area of this distinction?" Thanks.
 
  • Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    No, 'fraid not.
    A "blurring" implies that the object (in the case the distinction) is becoming blurred, not that it is blurred absolutely. When when no specific material or building technique is being examined, the distinction is perfectly clear [it is probably a theoretical distinction]. When you move on to examine a specific material or technique, this theoretical distinction is no longer so clear. The important concept is the relativity of clarity between the two situations.

    A "grey area" would be present also in the theoretical distinction.
     

    1337pino

    New Member
    United States / English
    No, 'fraid not.
    A "blurring" implies that the object (in the case the distinction) is becoming blurred, not that it is blurred absolutely. When when no specific material or building technique is being examined, the distinction is perfectly clear [it is probably a theoretical distinction]. When you move on to examine a specific material or technique, this theoretical distinction is no longer so clear. The important concept is the relativity of clarity between the two situations.

    A "grey area" would be present also in the theoretical distinction.
    You are forgetting that "blurring" can also be a noun meaning an indistinctness (and is therefore already in the state of being somewhat blurred). As such, interchanging "gray area" for "blurring" shouldn't change the meaning.

    I guess it really comes down to what the author is trying to relay in his/her use of "blurring."
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    "There is, of course, a grey area of this distinction when any specific material or building technique is examined, because the influence of technology is all-pervasive in today's world.
    This simply does not work, Pino.

    I agree that the concepts are similar, so I was happy with your "more or less," but you can't simply plug it into the sentence. You need to rephrase completely to use "grey area" in this context.
     
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