appealing = pleasing / begging, but not compelling?

siares

Senior Member
Slovak
Hi,
on another thread it has been said that 'The great orator's speech was really appealing' is unsuitable, 'compelling' was suggested.

Is the adjective 'appealing' usually only connected with the fourth definition of verb (below)?
Is an appealing speech/look either a pretty one, or a begging one - can it not be rousing emotions?

I am confused with the move from earnest plea (v) to begging (adj).
What if the speech is an earnest plea to decency?
Thank you.

Random house (there is no entry for adj. in Collins)
(v.)
[no object] to make an earnest plea:appealed to the public for help.
Law to apply for review of a case or particular issue to a higher tribunal: [no object]The lawyer will appeal to the Supreme Court.[~ + object]The lawyer appealed the case.
[~ + to + object] to call upon for proof or corroboration or support:He appealed to statistics to reinforce his case.
[~ + to] to exert an attraction: The red hat appeals to me.

ap•peal•ing /əˈpilɪŋ/adj.
having great appeal; attractive; pleasing:an appealing smile.
begging; pleading:gave an appealing glance for mercy.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Hi,
    on another thread it has been said that 'The great orator's speech was really appealing' is unsuitable, 'compelling' was suggested.
    As an adjectival complement of sentence, kittens playing are appealing, the idea of a meal at an expensive restaurant or an exotic holiday is appealing -> they all appeal to your emotions, sense of light pleasure and create facile or simple happiness. "Appealing" is a lightweight word expressing a simple delight.

    As part of the verb "The prisoner is appealing." does not mean "The prisoner looks like a pleasant man who would make a good husband" - it means that the prisoner is challenging the sentence or conviction.

    "Appealing" is inappropriate to the speech of a great orator because the contrast between a truly great speech, and the word "appealing" (the equivalent of 'nice') is too great. Additionally, the collocation of appealing and speech seems strange.

    If you want to say "He made a speech appealing for mercy." then that is what you say, you do not say "He made an appealing speech for mercy" as, in the latter case, when directly qualifying a noun, appealing has the meaning of "pleasing to people and tending to make them happy."

    See also "He gave me an appealing look." can mean "He gave me a look that I liked, or "He gave me a look to indicate that he wanted me to help him/do something/agree to something."

    The meaning is dictated by the context.
     
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    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Thank you.
    "Appealing" is a lightweight word expressing a simple delight.
    the equivalent of 'nice'
    I did get that it functioned like this, but I didn't realise that it always must.
    Because 'make an appeal' is a destiny changing action, in law context something well thought through. And to appeal for is also often followed by big words like mercy, clemency, action on..
    collocation of appealing and speech seems strange.
    Good to know that. I have also never seen 'the food and music made an appeal to me', now I think about it.
    appeal to your emotions
    If it is a lightweight word, than I'll just think of it as 'cater' here - and the 'emotions' will have to be the more base ones.

    Would it be a good way of remembering that the adjective is connected to the appeal to somebody sense rather than to appeal for something or make an appeal sense?

    He appealed to the governor.

    Can this mean both that he made a plea to the governor and the governor found him appealing?
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    He appealed to the governor.
    Can this mean both that he made a plea to the governor and the governor found him appealing?
    Yes.

    "The governor had been looking for a prisoner to be his butler. The prisoner Smith, who was intelligent and well spoken, appealed to (created a good impression on) the governor who thought he would be suitable. However, prisoner Jones, who wanted the job, appealed to (tried to persuade) the governor to change his mind."
     
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