demanding/discerning/snobbish

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tomtombp

Senior Member
Hungarian
These words all refer to someone that buys/uses/wears products of good quality.

"Snobbish" is the only negative word of the three. Both "discerning" and "demanding" hold a positive meaning.
Am I right?

Which of "discerning" and "demanding" is more intense? Do they mean the same thing at all?
 
  • jpyvr

    Senior Member
    English - Canadian
    Discerning has a positive connotation, but for me demanding has definite negative connotations. Demanding means (according to one dictionary):

    1. requiring or claiming more than is generally felt by others to be due: a demanding teacher.

    2. calling for intensive effort or attention; taxing: a demanding job.


    To be demanding is to require more of something than most people think is necessary or appropriate. Because of this, its connotations are more negative than positive.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    These words all refer to someone that buys/uses/wears products of good quality.
    To my mind "demanding" and "snobbish" are equally negative qualities.

    Being dicerning about quality products does not tell me anything negative or positive without further context. ie. a man with a lot of money might be called discerning because he only buys certain designer products, but then a tramp who searches charity shops for hard wearing clothes is also being discerning.

    The nearest I can come to a positive term (for a person who has all three qualities - demanding/discerning/snobbish) is "high maintenance". This is a humorous way of saying that a person is attractive but, like a beautiful garden, the result of a lot of hard work.
     

    tomtombp

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Thanks for the answers.

    Being dicerning about quality products does not tell me anything negative or positive without further context. ie. a man with a lot of money might be called discerning because he only buys certain designer products, but then a tramp who searches charity shops for hard wearing clothes is also being discerning.
    I tend to consider both of the above examples positive.

    As long as someone can afford to buy a certain designer products because they are of good quality or he/she has good experiences with them and trusts in the brand, he/she is discerning, which is positive.

    However, as soon as someone starts buying the same products of a certain brand just because they are trendy or give off prestige/class or other groups or classes he/she wants to belong to also buy them, he/she becomes snobbish.
     
    Last edited:

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    ...I tend to consider both of the above examples positive.

    As long as someone can afford to buy a certain designer products because they are of good quality or he/she has good experiences with them and trusts in the brand, he/she is discerning, which is positive.

    However, as soon as someone starts buying the same products of a certain brand just because they are trendy or give off prestige/class or other groups or classes he/she wants to belong to also buy them, he/she becomes snobbish.
    From the point of view of the tramp (or anyone who does not share the rich man's trust in the designer products) the rich man calling his choices "discerning" would appear to be mere snobbery, and thus a negative.

    From the rich man's point of view (or anyone with enough money to afford new products), hearing the tramp descibe his choices as "discerning" would sound like delusions of grandeur, and thus a negative.
     
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