Lightly worn


Senior Member
Hi everybody, I'm reading a passage about a minor poet:
"His influence, as well as learning, always lightly worn, was considerable."
Could someone help me understand what's the meaning of the verb wear in this context?
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Some people who know a lot like to make sure that we know that they know a lot.
    They give us lectures on chronology and philosophy when we ask the time. They seek to impress us with their learning.

    Others are more gentle and careful - more sensitive. They are happy to share and be helpful. They understand, instinctively, how much of what they know is appropriate to share in any context. They have no need to impress.
    They wear their learning lightly. This is wear in the sense of wearing a scarf, but used figuratively

    How does the radio work?
    Type A explains electromagnetic radiation, the variation in the atmospheric propagation of electromagnetic waves depending on the frequency and the climatic conditions, the noise characteristics of different modulation techniques, the difference between analogue and digital broadcasting, the regulatory frameworks underpinning the granting of broadcast licences, the varying approaches different governments take to such regulation, the politics of control of broadcasting, their personal experiences as technical advisor to the CIA, etc, etc.

    Type B tells you to press the red button on the top, marked "on/off".

    [I fear that I have given a type A answer to this question.]
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