conviction only used for speech?

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  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Can I say "I went in that direction with conviction."? It seems that most examples in my dictionary are used for persuaion/voice/speech etc.

    a feeling of being certain about somethingHe said he was enjoying his new job, but his voice lacked conviction.

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/conviction_2

    The man who carried conviction in speaking to him yesterday was right.

    I think you're right, redgiant: we probably do usually use this meaning of "conviction" with verbs of speaking:).

    I don't think I would say "I went in that direction with conviction".
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Agreed, although there is also the phrase conviction politics. Mrs Thatcher called herself a conviction politician, meaning she acted on the basis of her convictions.
     

    shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Ah! I misread the question (yet again!). Yes, mostly to do with speaking. "He spoke with conviction...." As for heading in a certain direction with conviction; I'd say it works.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    A:I don't care how.

    B:It's an execution!

    A:I don't want to know. But you can't stand by the sidelines.

    B:You're a man with convictions. You--

    Source: Walking Dead 211
    Background: A is the owner of a farm where a group of survivors has been staying for some months. B is persuading A to step up and talk the group out of executing a young man. But A has let the group decide his fate, having gone through a series of tragedies.

    Does conviction in "You're a man with conviction" also refer to speaking ? Does it effectively mean "you would stop the execution by your words"?
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Does conviction in "You're a man with conviction" also refer to speaking ? Does it effectively mean "you would stop the execution by your words"?
    There's a difference, redgiant - your quote has "You're a man with convictions (plural)". This means "You're a man with strongly-held beliefs".
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    No - convictions, in this sense = strong beliefs by which you conduct your life.

    To be a person with convictions = to be a person with certain sorts of principles/beliefs. It is usually associated with a strong morality or strong moral feelings and/or the correctness of your own actions.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm worried by that word only in your title, Redgiant.

    In the British Corpus there are many examples of people speaking, preaching, or expressing themselves orally with conviction, but about 40% of the examples are not concerned with vocal acts at all. You can play the cello with conviction, for instance, and the conviction makes a lot of difference.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Assuming we're talking about a person literally going (walking, etc) in a particular direction, I'm with loob: I don't think I would say "I went in that direction with conviction". The word that comes to mind is "purposefully"; I might say "I walked purposefully towards him/her".
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I would be happy with, "I went in that direction with conviction" i.e. with a certainty born of (self-)belief.
     
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