lull vs silence

Ben pan

Senior Member
chinese
People are lulled with the hope that a sweeping political reform will come in a short period (self-made).
Is it appropriate to replace the "lull" in this sentence with "silence"?

It seems to me "silence" implies some kind of coercion, which makes it worse in this case. Because hope, even though false hope, or hope of men who are fooled to hope, entails some initiatives.
 
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  • dadane

    Senior Member
    English (London/Essex)
    'Lulled' says to me that the hope is a false one, the political reform will not happen but the people are maliciously duped into believing it will. This is what I see, I am slightly unclear on your intended meaning?
     

    Ben pan

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Sorry that I am not clear about my problem. I want to ask, for example, can we say someone is silenced by/with a false hope?
     

    dadane

    Senior Member
    English (London/Essex)
    Yes, but only if the people had been particularly vocal about their discontent and you are trying to emphasise this fact. Unlike 'lulled', there is nothing inherent in 'silenced' to suggest that the hope is false, this would have stated explicitly.
     

    Ben pan

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I do not want to give a strong hint that I think the hope is false, I just want to describe the social psychology of the public. So lull will not suit to my purpose perfectly, right? But considering that people had never been vocal about their discontent, silence will not be good too. Then how about "sooth" ?
     

    aloofsocialite

    Senior Member
    English - USA (California)
    Lull often times implies deception, but not necessarily. One of the more common usages of the verb is to "lull someone into a false sense of security" or other similar constructions. As a word, it doesn't essentially suggest deceit, but it's likely that a lot of people will interpret it that way, so yes, if you don't want to be ambiguous, it might be better to choose a different word, like "quieted by the hope" or something. "Silenced" doesn't sound at all natural to me, (well, neither does "quieted" but it sounds better than "silenced" to my ear). The only other word that occurs to me is "pacified" but that can also have some negative implications.
     

    Dexta

    Senior Member
    English (British and Australian)
    I do not want to give a strong hint that I think the hope is false, I just want to describe the social psychology of the public.

    So perhaps then something more like:

    'People are buoyed by the hope that a sweeping political reform will come in a short period' or

    'People are satisfied with the hope that a sweeping political reform will come in a short period'.
     

    Ben pan

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Your wording is totally acceptable in my view, thanks for your help!
     
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