[it] came to seem like a matter of choice.


New Member
A sentence from the article "Get out of town" in the New-Yorker on 8th May, 2017 still baffles me. I can only vaguely gather what it means.
This is :" Dentists were expensive and as usual a lack of money came to seem like a matter of choice." Does it mean that the usual lack of money
make people believe they act deliberately as if it were a "matter of choice" ?
Thanks in advance
All the best
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    In the context it does indeed mean that these parents could not afford to take their children to the dentist, saying "there's way more important things in life". They pretended to have chosen not to spend money on such trifles, though in reality they didn't have any choice.

    The context shows the writer referring specifically to orthodontic treatment, which not surprisingly is or was considered a luxury by poor families with several children.


    New Member
    Thank you Velisarius and Grassy for your replies.
    I am very grateful !
    Best regards.
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