dazzling

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
"Gold jewelry is as dazzling as it is expensive."
I think "dazzling" means "shocking" in this sentence but the structure "as....as" made me confused so I don't understand what the writer wants to say.
To me, it is easy to understand if there is one "as":
"Gold jewelry is dazzling as it is expensive."
In this case I will understand "as" = "because".
Thanks.
 
  • coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    dazzling here carries the idea of scintillating, sparkling light refracted through the jewels.

    as ... as is the comparative (making comparisons):

    He is as tall as she is.

    The dog was as hungry as a wolf.

    His car was as new as his clothes.

    The structure of your sentence is slightly different, but it's still a comparative structure.
     

    tphuong122002

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese Vietnam
    In this context, "dazzling" does mean "shocking" or "impressive". It is correct to use the structure "as....as". In other words, the sentence means "the beauty of gold jewelry is as shocking/impressive as its expensive price."
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi coiffe.
    so, do you agree that the original one is correct?
    Hi Mimi,

    Yes, and yours is also correct, with one "as," although I would put a comma after "dazzling" in that instance. But there are very subtle shades of difference between the two.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you, coiffe and tphuong, very much for helping me.
    Very helpful because this sentence was understood very clearly.
    Thanks.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    In this context, "dazzling" does mean "shocking" or "impressive". It is correct to use the structure "as....as". In other words, the sentence means "the beauty of gold jewelry is as shocking/impressive as its expensive price."
    Dazzling doesn't mean shocking here. There is a slight play on words, between the idea of being impressive and the physics of the light play on diamonds, but "dazzling" wouldn't mean shocking unless it were conjugated in a different form, for example: "He was dazzled by the cost." But even here, if you just read as far as "He was dazzled" ... your expectation, if you're native English, is that this will be followed by something about bright sunlight or reflected diamond brilliance, etc. The connotations carried by the past participle "dazzled" are not the same, generally speaking, as those carried by the present participle or gerund "dazzling." You can force that meaning on a construction, if you try hard enough, but it isn't everyday speech in English.
     

    pseudoego

    Member
    canada english
    Hi coiffe.
    so, do you agree that the original one is correct?
    Hi Mimi:

    I would not agree.

    Dazzling implies a psychological effect...similar to "entranced by" or "enchanted by"...it is when your attention is captured by something, and you are reluctant to stop looking at it.

    Scintillating merely means that something glistens or shines brightly or is brilliant...it could also be painful to look at, or annoying...there is a medical condition called "scintillating scotoma."

    Gold is not dazzling *because* it is expensive: one might argue that it is *expensive* because it is so dazzling.

    Your sentence implies that the psychological effect of Gold is as extensive as the price is....a high positive correlation.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi Mimi:

    I would not agree.

    Dazzling implies a psychological effect...similar to "entranced by" or "enchanted by"...it is when your attention is captured by something, and you are reluctant to stop looking at it.

    Scintillating merely means that something glistens or shines brightly or is brilliant...it could also be painful to look at, or annoying...there is a medical condition called "scintillating scotoma."

    Gold is not dazzling *because* it is expensive: one might argue that it is *expensive* because it is so dazzling.

    Your sentence implies that the psychological effect of Gold is as extensive as the price is....a high positive correlation.
    pseudo, don't you think there is a slight play on words there? Obviously impressive is part of the idea, but the play of light is also part of it.

    Anyway the as ... as works because it means the jewelry is very dazzling and it's very expensive. (It's an unequal comparison but it's legal.)
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Mimi,

    After having thought about this some more, I agree somewhat with Tphuong that the meaning can be "impressive" or "shocking," but especially if you use your preferred construction with one as (and with my suggested comma):

    "Gold jewelry is dazzling, as it is expensive."

    If you say "Gold jewelry is as dazzling as it is expensive" then you've got ambiguity with "dazzling" because it means both impressive and coruscating. In fact I might argue that its precise meaning becomes secondary to the impression given by the ambiguity, the unequal comparison. Another example of that kind of effect is this sentence: "She wore silk pants and a smile."
     
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