Comment about "The gentle enforcement"

< Previous | Next >

NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Background: It is a Practice of Commenting. Watch a video and then comment. The video is about police enforcement. Some people criticize "police brutality."

***********************************

Comment: Brutality? What I've seen there is some gentility.

Both brutality and gentility here refer to the manner of law enforcement of police.

The gentle enforcement of the police is in some way appreciative.


Source: English Comment Practice by me.

************************************************************

The question of this thread is whether "The gentle enforcement" is proper English. It tends to mean the gentle manner of law enforcement.
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I'm sorry, but it's not clear what you mean by "The gentle enforcement of the police is in some way appreciative." Can you explain, using other words? [It would also help if you clarified whether you actually mean "gentility" in your preceding sentences, or whether you intended to say "gentleness."]
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Well, what is the opposite manner of brutal enforcement of law?

    In the OP, I imagined that "the gentle enforcement" is the opposite of "brutal enforcement," not knowing whether it works or not.

    Should it be "Civilized law enforcement"?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    If I understand correctly, then, by "The gentle enforcement of the police," you mean "Gentle enforcement by the police." Can you explain what you mean by "in some way appreciative" in the sentence? It may seem off-topic, but we can give you better answers if we understand what you want the entire sentence to mean.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    "in some way appreciative" refers to that "(We appreciate such manner of law enforcement - not fully appreciate it, but in some way appreciate it.)
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    He said "gentility" not "gentle". These are two different words. So which word is it? (Both definitions by Google definitions)

    gen·tle
    ˈjen(t)l/
    adjective
    1. 1.
      (of a person) mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender.
      "he was a gentle, sensitive man"
      synonyms: kind, tender, sympathetic, considerate, understanding, compassionate, benevolent, good-natured; More
    2. 2.
      moderate in action, effect, or degree; not harsh or severe.
      "a little gentle persuasion"
      synonyms: light, soft
      "a gentle breeze"


    gen·til·i·ty
    jenˈtilədē/
    noun
    1. social superiority as demonstrated by genteel manners, behavior, or appearances.
      "her grandmother's pretensions to gentility
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Gentleness is the noun from the adjective gentle.
    People are appreciative of X. X is appreciated by people.
    Yes, but New America uses both "gentle" and "gentility" in the original post, and it (the original post) seems to equate the two words. They have different definitions.

    A police officer can be brutal but carry out his tasks with gentility (good manners). But he cannot be gentle and brutal at the same time.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes, but New America uses both "gentle" and "gentility" in the original post, and it (the original post) seems to equate the two words. They have different definitions.
    My point exactly. The definition of gentility reads nothing like the noun gentleness, so I leapt to the conclusion that the OP thought it was the noun from gentle. Hence the clarification:)

    1. gentility

      [*]good breeding or refinement.
      [*]affected or pretentious politeness or elegance.
      [*]the status of belonging to polite society.
      [*]members of polite society collectively.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    My point exactly. The definition of gentility reads nothing like the noun gentleness, so I leapt to the conclusion that the OP thought it was the noun from gentle. Hence the clarification:)
    So we have to wait for New America to tell us which word she had in mind.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Thank you guys.

    It appears that I've practically mixed up "gentility" with "gentleness."

    But:

    A police officer can be brutal but carry out his tasks with gentility (good manners). But he cannot be gentle and brutal at the same time.
    What I don't understand here is that if you used "good manners" to define gentility, then you've yourself kind of equated gentility with gentleness. Because "good manners" = "gentle manners."


    My point exactly. The definition of gentility reads nothing like the noun gentleness, so I leapt to the conclusion that the OP thought it was the noun from gentle. Hence the clarification:)
    The four definitions of gentility you've listed do support your view.

    But the things are a bit more complicated here. One definition you've ignored is:

    Gentility: politeness and elegance. (WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English).

    Longman Dictionary adds more confusion to it:

    Gentility: the quality of being polite, gentle, or graceful...

    Wow, the quality of being gentle! Isn't it talking about gentleness? Yet you gentlemen have pointed out that "gentility reads nothing like the noun gentleness".

    I remember that one member said "Use Longman at your own risk."

    I believe Longman is compiled by native English speakers. So some native speakers are sometimes mixing up "gentility" with "gentleness."


    Well, go back to be completely on-topic:

    You guys haven't told me whether "the gentle enforcement" is proper English or not.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    “Gentle” seams like the wrong word.

    Other words seem like a better fit. I like “proportionate”. It covers a full range of appropriate behavior.
    • Proportionate
    • Restrained
    • Controlled
    • Temperate
    • Dispassionate
    • Appropriate
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    You guys haven't told me whether "the gentle enforcement" is proper English or not.
    It isn't, as I think has been made clear.:)

    This sentence:

    The gentle enforcement of the police is in some way appreciative

    is meaningless, not only due to the use of 'gentle' but also to your interpretation of 'appreciative', which means 'thankful', not:

    "in some way appreciative" refers to that "(We appreciate such manner of law enforcement - not fully appreciate it, but in some way appreciate it.)
    I don't know if I would ever feel the need to qualify 'law enforcement' in the positive as I will always assume that our police will always enforce the law in an appropriate (positive) manner unless I have proof to the contrary, in which case I would talk about police brutality.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Well, thank you.
    But what is the opposite of "police brutality"? "Police gentility" or "Police gentleness" or what have you?

    “Gentle” seams like the wrong word.

    Other words seem like a better fit. I like “proportionate”. It covers a full range of appropriate behavior.
    • Proportionate
    • Restrained
    • Controlled
    • Temperate
    • Dispassionate
    • Appropriate
    Thanks.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    But what is the opposite of "police brutality"? "Police gentility" or "Police gentleness" or what have you?
    Why "opposite"?
    If you don't want a sweet drink, do you have to have a sour drink?
    We don't want the police officer to hit us. We also don't want the police officer to pat us on the head and say "There, there, it's not so bad."
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you don't want a sour drink, do you want a sweet drink?

    The answer is a Yes. The "opposite" is comforting. :)
    You might want a sweet drink, but you don't have to have a sweet drink just to have a drink that is not sour. You might want some water or some unsweetened tea.
    It would correct the situation for the police to be neutral, business-like, efficient, calm, ... The police do not have to be the "opposite" of brutal in order not to be brutal.
    You don't have to hate everyone that you don't love.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Yes you don't have to. But for a linguistic practice, the richer the language, the better. Finding the antonym of a word or a phrase is a time-honored linguistic practice.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Yes you don't have to. But for a linguistic practice, the richer the language, the better. Finding the antonym of a word or a phrase is a time-honored linguistic practice.
    Finding the antonym for every word or a phrase is a pointless vocabulary exercise (along with making a cleft sentence from every sentence, making every sentence passive, adding a tag question to every sentence, ...).
    Regardless, the "opposite" is not what is needed here. You have found an antonym and it is useless. What was the point of that?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The police very often cannot be gentle. The police handle rough and dangerous criminals. What they can do, is to use "appropriate and proportionate" force.

    So while it may be appropriate to tackle and handcuff a bank robber, it would not be appropriate to do the same to a 10 year old caught jaywalking.

    So police brutality is a form of "bad police work".

    The opposite is "good police work" and that would be the use of appropriate and proportionate force.

    A police officer may treat a lost six year old with gentleness. And that is part of policing and an example of good police work. But it is the exception, not the rule. Even a traffic stop by an officer is at best "polite" but is is not likely "gentle".
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Well, thank you.
    But what is the opposite of "police brutality"? "Police gentility" or "Police gentleness" or what have you?
    No. As I said:

    I don't know if I would ever feel the need to qualify 'law enforcement' in the positive as I will always assume that our police will always enforce the law in an appropriate (positive) manner unless I have proof to the contrary, in which case I would talk about police brutality.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top