appreciation of Bismarck

kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Hi, everybody
Please tell me if ''appreication of Bismarck'' in the following context, taken from ''Meester Veelson'', ''1919'', ''USA'' by John Dos Passos, means: a) praising Bismarck; b) research about Bismarck; or c) evaluation of Bismarck:
In 1870 Dr. Wilson was called to the Theological Seminary at Columbia, South Carolina; Tommy attended Davison college,
where he developed a good tenor voice;
then he went to Princeton and became a debater and editor of the Princetonian. His first published article in the Nassau Literary Magazine was an appreciation of Bismarck.
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    (c) Perhaps review of the life and career of Bismarck, with an appreciative slant. (To paraphrase the dictionary I just looked at)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm not sure that the slant has to be appreciative, Ewie. I admit that to appreciate usually means to enjoy and thus has positive overtones, but I'm not sure that appreciation necessarily carries this bias. I think he wrote a very critical appreciation of Bismark isn't any sort of abuse of language.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'm not sure that the slant has to be appreciative, Ewie. I admit that to appreciate usually means to enjoy and thus has positive overtones, but I'm not sure that appreciation necessarily carries this bias. I think he wrote a very critical appreciation of Bismark isn't any sort of abuse of language.
    Admittedly that was my initial thought too, TT. I was just rehashing what my Concise OED says: (usu. favourable) review of book etc.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Admittedly that was my initial thought too, TT. I was just rehashing what my Concise OED says: (usu. favourable) review of book etc.
    Sure. The fact that it's usually favourable doesn't mean that it has to be favourable. The dictionary is hedging its bets. Students are asked to write critical appreciations of books or historical characters. Needless to say a lot of these are very unappreciative; that doesn't stop them being appreciations.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I would (perhaps) write an appreciation of the life of Bismarck if I intended to be appreciative, an evaluation if I intended to be neutral, and a critique if ... well, you get the rest.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would (perhaps) write an appreciation of the life of Bismarck if I intended to be appreciative, an evaluation if I intended to be neutral, and a critique if ... well, you get the rest.
    I can see the point of that, Ewie, but academic institutions have this expression a critical appreciation, which has a technical meaning which the students understand. Critical doesn't mean it has to be critical - in the other sense, and appreciation doesn't mean it has to be appreciative. A detailed evaluation might well be a less misleading term.
     
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