be worth praise

Chinese Su

Senior Member
Chinese
I am learning to express the same idea in different ways. For example,

His selfless devotion to education is worth praising.

Is "is worth praise" an idiomatic alternative here? Thank you :)
 
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  • snargleplax

    Senior Member
    English - Northwestern United States
    I don't find it noticeably less idiomatic than "worth praising," but I find both odd because it's more natural to say "praiseworthy."
     

    Chinese Su

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I don't find it noticeably less idiomatic than "worth praising," but I find both odd because it's more natural to say "praiseworthy."
    I see! Thanks so much for your answer, Snargleplax! :D

    His selfless devotion to education is praiseworthy. :thumbsup: :tick:

    Speaking of "N-worthy", how about "His selfless devotion to education is worthy of praise"?

    Is it less odd than either of my original sentences? Thank you :)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I agree. "Worthy of praise" and combined version "praiseworthy" are very old, standard phrases in English. The meaning is similar to "great" and "wonderful". When I saw your title "worth praise" I immediately thought you meant "worthy".

    Edited after feedback:

    "X is worth praising" can have a couple meanings. In the most common one "worth" means the same as "worthy". That use is fine.

    Sometimes the sentence is used to mean "It is worthwhile to praise X": it is the praising, not X, that is valued.
     
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    snargleplax

    Senior Member
    English - Northwestern United States
    The phrase "worth praising" is not a standard idiom. "Worth" is often a money value, though it can also be an intangible "value" like respect.

    "X is worth praising." is ambiguous. Does X have worth that should be praised? Or does the action "praising X" have value for us? If I am a waiter at a restaurant, the more I praise a rich customer, the bigger my tip will be. So rich customers are worth praising.
    I'm sorry, but this is hogwash. The definition of "worth" you refer to is a noun. It's not ambiguous if the word is clearly not being used as a noun, which is not the case. The sentence parses and makes sense just fine, it's just not idiomatic.
     

    Chinese Su

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I agree. "Worthy of praise" and combined version "praiseworthy" are very old, standard phrases in English. The meaning is similar to "great" and "wonderful". When I saw your title "worth praise" I immediately thought you meant "worthy".

    Edited after feedback:

    "X is worth praising" can have a couple meanings. In the most common one "worth" means the same as "worthy". That use is fine.

    Sometimes the sentence is used to mean "It is worthwhile to praise X": it is the praising, not X, that is valued.
    I'm sorry, but this is hogwash. The definition of "worth" you refer to is a noun. It's not ambiguous if the word is clearly not being used as a noun, which is not the case. The sentence parses and makes sense just fine, it's just not idiomatic.
    I see, Dojibear and Snargleplax! Thanks so much for your detailed explanations ! :D
     
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