legendary vs memorable

ingarten

Senior Member
Ukrainian - Russian
Why 'legendary' is a better choice than 'memorable' for #26?

Horatio Nelson is Britain’s (23) __greatest________ naval hero who is most often associated with the Battle of Trafalgar, but on the Caribbean isle of Nevis, his biggest association was with a woman (24) ____named______ Fanny Nisbet.
In his (25) ___ daring _______ exploits at the Battles of Cape St. Vincent, the Nile, and Copenhagen, his (26) ______ ____ romance with Lady Emma Hamilton, and his epochal victory and tragic death at the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson seems always to be a little larger than life.


26 A heroic B memorable C significant D legendary
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    What is the source of the question? I don't think that it is very good.

    All are possible grammatically and possible given the right context, and unless you know something of Nelson's relationship with Lady Hamilton, the choice between memorable and legendary is not clear and, any case, both adjectives have some problems.

    A: "Your intelligence is legendary."
    B: "Thank you."
    A: "No, you misunderstand, it is legendary like unicorns are legendary - they don't exist." :D
     
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    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Why would a romance be memorable? His battles could be memorable.
    Why, indeed? But "memorable" seems at least as likely to me as "legendary". I think students who just leave the space blank should get the highest marks. Why does everything seem to need adjectives? It makes for very tedious reading. "Epochal", indeed. Ugh!
     

    ingarten

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian - Russian
    Why would a romance be memorable? His battles could be memorable.
    On a scale of 1 to 10 memorable is a 4 and legendary is a 9 or 10. So, 'legendary' is definitely a wrong option as it is too strong for this sentence. To rephrase your question. Why would a romance be legendary? His battles could be legendary.
     

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Why would a romance be legendary?
    There are two senses of 'legendary': one is 'famous', and it doesn't fit. The other is 'based on legends' (= we don't know what if it happened or not but people talked and talk about it a lot), which makes it the best answer of the options given.
    All are possible grammatically
    The point of the task is not to find one that's possible grammatically but one that makes most sense or collocates best with the following words.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    There are two senses of 'legendary': one is 'famous', and it doesn't fit.
    Why not? Their relationship is famous (although doubtless some would say infamous). The "famous" meaning of "legendary" really means that it is the sort of stuff from which legends might be made, and I am sure that legends were made about their relationship. However, I cannot say that I like the word.

    I don't think anyone seriously suggests that Nelson did not have an affair with Lady Hamilton.
     

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    OK, whatever legendary means there, at least we agree it could fit.

    I still don't think memorable makes sense there. Worth remembering? Really? Since when are romances worth remembering? And what would make it memorable in the first place?
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    I don't think memorable makes sense, either.

    'Memorable' means that individual people remember it. For example, you could refer to the FIFA World Cup Final of a few decades ago as being 'memorable'. This is because that event is still in people's memories.

    However, there is nobody around today who actually remembers the events of Nelson's life. They could be described as 'legendary', but not 'memorable'.
     
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