clang with me

JBPARK

Senior Member
Top of the morning to all the venerable native English speakers in the forum.


Can the word "clang" be used when one finds something awkward or disagreeable in something, as in

"One part of the movie that clanged with me was how unbelievable the characters were"?


Thanks for your time.
 
  • AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I think what you're trying to say is that the one thing that didn't ring true with you was how unbelievable the characters were. Clang in itself means to make a noise, perhaps even a ringing sound.

    "Ring true" is a set phrase in English that means something doesn't feel right or it's hard for you to believe in its authenticity.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    There's a saying: That rang a bell with me.

    Which sometimes sounds like a "clang" or maybe a "cling", well it's a "ding-dong", regardless. :)
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I use clang (as a noun) to describe the effect that a grammatical error, a spelling error, or the misuse of a word has upon a well-educated or well-read person. It sounds as though you are using it in a similar sense (although as a verb).

    My daughter once asked me why I was so critical of such errors in her schoolwork as long as people could understand it. I asked her to imagine reading while a man stood behind her with a hammer and a thick steel plate. Occasionally he hits the steel plate with the hammer making a loud clang. I suggested that every such mistake is a clang to the reader. It doesn't make it impossible to understand what he is reading, but it is much more difficult and much less enjoyable, because it forces him to think about the structure of the sentence, rather than its meaning.

    In a similar way, the unbelievability of the characters was a "clang" for you, making it hard to focus on the movie itself, and forcing you to think about the poor characterization. The poor characterization certainly clanged for you.

    So I would say, yes, such a use of clang, while unusual, is understandable and effective.
     

    JBPARK

    Senior Member
    It was just a shot in the dark.
    I am glad to hear that the expression seems legitimate (well..maybe legitimate is pushing it:)), even effective, to some venerable members of the forum.

    Thanks a lot.
     
    Last edited:

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It works for me too, but then, I use clang in virtually exactly the same way as Pete: it's a 'loud' mistake.

    (And is subtly different from a clanger = 'embarrassing mistake'. To commit one of those is to drop a clanger:))
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    The things I learn here!

    I've never heard clang used in this way, would never use it this way, and really had to stop and think last night before I understood what the word was being used to convey in the first post.

    Ring true...that works in the specific sentence in post #1. The reason I say this is that it's not the loudness of the understanding which the writer says is missing in the actors' performances. It's the clear honesty and believability of their performances.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "Ring true" is a set phrase in English that means something doesn't feel right or it's hard for you to believe in its authenticity.
    I think you meant "Doesn't Ring true" ... means something doesn't feel right ..."
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Paul,

    Yes, you're right. :)

    I wasn't clear, although I think I was in post #3.

    Something can ring true and be a good thing, or not ring true and send up flags of warning, dislike, or disbelief, which is exactly what it seems like the first post is trying to do.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't think I've ever heard "clanged" in this way, although I like it very much. It sounds like the more common phrase "struck a wrong note," but strikes me as something even worse.
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I don't think I've ever heard "clanged" in this way, although I like it very much. It sounds like the more common phrase "struck a wrong note," but strikes me as something even worse.
    Much worse. It actually stops you from progressing through the meaning and makes you think about the word or sentence which "clangs". Struck a wrong note (which I also use) merely gives you an uneasy feeling that something may be wrong. Of course, in its original musical sense, striking a wrong note (while playing a piano) can be a "clang". (However, as a famous conductor once sneered, "Anyone can hear the wrong notes.")

    I had not heard this use of clang before my lecture to my daughter (1980 or thereabouts), so it was a new use, at least for me. I have always put it inside quotation marks when I write it, and slightly emphasize it when I speak. I now find that this ground has been trodden before me.

    Side note: ring true derives from the detection of false coins, where a coin made from an inferior metal will not "ring true" (with a clear, bell-like sound) when struck or bounced on a marble counter. Of course, most modern coins are made from base metals, so very few have that traditional silvery ring.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Something can ring true and be a good thing, or not ring true and send up flags of warning, dislike, or disbelief, which is exactly what it seems like the first post is trying to do.
    I may be getting confused, AngelEyes, but I don't think the first post is using "clanged" to send up negative flags, but rather positive "disbelief" since the quote goes on to say "how unbelievable". Hope that makes sense. Like: it really resonated

    Hmmm. Maybe I'm not clanging right. :)
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I may be getting confused, AngelEyes, but I don't think the first post is using "clanged" to send up negative flags, but rather positive "disbelief" since the quote goes on to say "how unbelievable". Hope that makes sense. Like: it really resonated

    Hmmm. Maybe I'm not clanging right. :)
    "One part of the movie that clanged with me was how unbelievable the characters were."

    If I understand you, you're saying that the original statement of clanged with me was using a positive form to mean a negative. Does clang with me mean the same thing as doesn't resonate with me maybe?

    Example:
    One part of the movie that raised warning bells in my head (clanged with me) was how unbelievable the characters were.

    My didn't ring true was the negative expression of the same thing, no?
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    AngelEyes, You've got me thinking that it's very ambiguous. I wonder if in JBPARK's post he meant "not believable" (negative) regarding the actors, instead of "unbelievable" (positive). So, I see your angle now, and I may be completely wrong!
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I may be getting confused, AngelEyes, but I don't think the first post is using "clanged" to send up negative flags, but rather positive "disbelief" since the quote goes on to say "how unbelievable". Hope that makes sense. Like: it really resonated

    Hmmm. Maybe I'm not clanging right. :)
    I didn't take JBPARK's use of "clanged with me" to indicate disbelief, but that the "unbelievability" disturbed him - "clanged with him". It interfered with his ability to watch the movie, because it forced him to think about how badly they were being portrayed, instead of paying attention to the plot.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I didn't take JBPARK's use of "clanged with me" to indicate disbelief, but that the "unbelievability" disturbed him - "clanged with him". It interfered with his ability to watch the movie, because it forced him to think about how badly they were being portrayed, instead of paying attention to the plot.

    Exactly, pwmeek!

    They sucked so badly - their performance just didn't ring true - the whole show suffered for it, in his opinion.

    perpend, I've discovered through this thread that we all see this differently. :)
     

    JBPARK

    Senior Member
    I have to say Pwmeek's take almost perfectly dovetails with my intention behind using that expression.
    It wasn't the expression of a positive disbelief at all, but rather the particular fabric of implausibility that bothered me from entering the world of the film.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    ...rather the particular fabric of implausibility that bothered me from entering the world of the film.
    Yes, and in my world, that means their performance didn't ring true, so you couldn't buy into any of it. I'm not trying to talk you out of your word choice because I've come to learn what you mean by it now. I've just never heard of it.
     

    JBPARK

    Senior Member
    No worries, AngelEyes.

    Your suggestion, "not ringing true", would have been absolutely my first choice, hands down, if this sort of wild idea of "clang with" hadn't come to my mind, initially.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Well, I'm wiser for you having come back to the discussion, JBPARK. :)

    Did you mean "not believable" in your OP?

    "unbelievable" is ambiguous in that it could be taken positively.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Alrighty then. Your unorthodox use of English causes me to peg you at minimum as bilingual. You have a refreshing choice of words that many natives would envy. :) Peace.
     
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