grim and gloomy

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After reading the following passage, I comment in my mind:"The situation is alarming, grim and gloomy."

The question of this thread is whether "grim and gloomy" is proper English here.


There is a lack of awareness about the importance of ethics training among health-care professionals in China, including those at IVF clinics, for instance. Many members of ethics committees, especially those associated with hospitals in cities such as Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — let alone smaller ones — are probably not in a position to evaluate emerging technologies rigorously, because they lack both ethics training and scientific knowledge. Moreover, education in the humanities, including in medical ethics, is inadequate for students at all levels — undergraduate, master’s and doctoral — as well as for research scientists.

Source: nature 08 MAY 2019
Reboot ethics governance in China
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    There's nothing wrong with the comment in itself, but it doesn't sound very natural in the context to me.

    'grim and gloomy' are words often used to describe a place (a lonely mountain or an old, dark house). That is not to say they cannot be used metaphorically for a view of the future, but it sounds more literary than scientific or journalistic. Of course, you personally can think: 'that's alarming, grim and gloomy'; but if you were commenting officially (maybe in writing) on the text, I think something like 'alarming and depressing' strikes a better note.


    Senior Member
    The question of this thread is whether "grim and gloomy" is proper English here.
    If inadequate education strikes you as grim and gloomy, your words are proper English. There is certainly nothing odd or illogical about using that combination of adjectives to express your point of view.

    Cross-posted with Chez. We must be working the same shift.

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    You could probably use any of these terms on their own, but "grim" and "gloomy" don't fit very well with "alarming", which is the sort of thing that might rouse people to action. "Grim" and "gloomy" seem more likely to invoke depression.


    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    Whichever adjective you choose, it would be better to use just one.

    The situation is alarming.
    The situation is grim.
    The situation is gloomy.
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