Is 'neglect' intentional or unintentional?

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HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
[1] I neglected to write an email to Jim that day.

Hi, does 'neglect' per se get across the sense of an intentional or unintentional act to you? Or, does it do both?
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I don't think that either intentional or unintentional is implied by "to neglect" because "to neglect" offers no excuse or explanation.

    To me, "to neglect" (and other words from the root) is admitting that something was not done, when it should have been done, for whatever reason.
     

    gramman

    Senior Member
    In this particular context (neglecting to send an email), I'd say there's a pretty clear lack of intentionality. Forgot could well be substituted.
    neglect to do sth

    to not do something, often because you forget

    I'd neglected to give him the name of the hotel where I'd be staying.
    He neglected to mention the fact that we could lose money on the deal. — Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I'd neglected to give him the name of the hotel where I'd be staying.
    He neglected to mention the fact that we could lose money on the deal.
    I think these illistrate the two uses well.

    In the first, neglected is used as a euphemism for "plain forgot" that, according to the speaker, sounds less stupid.
    The second sentence, to me, means that he deliberately omitted the fact, for fear the deal might not go through.
     
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