none the wiser

  • homotopy07

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Not exactly. It means that the public never noticed that the substitution had been made.
    Please look at the following two definitions of "none the wiser":

    not having any more understanding or knowledge about something than you had before
    Longman | none the wiser

    2 also never the wiser — used to describe someone who is not at all aware of something that has happened
    Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary | wise

    I now think, in this particular case, the latter definition is better than the former. What do you think?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    They mean the same thing. The first tries to give an explanation that matches the wording which uses the comparative (wiser).
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    But there is a difference.

    I talked to him about it but after an hour of him trying to explain it to me I’m none the wiser.

    This fits (1) but not (2).
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I suppose (2) is a typical way in which (1) is applied, but might not fit every situation like the one you described.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hmm... The second sense in Merriam-Webster might not be very common in BE. I'd like to see the definition in OED.
    For the record, this Brit isn’t familiar with “never the wiser”.

    From the OED, under wise:
    Informed or aware of something specified or implied. Now only in such phrases as none the wiser, as wise as before = knowing no more than before (i.e., usually, nothing) about the matter.​

    The list of usage examples below this definition does include two uses of “never the wiser”, from Shakespeare (1600) and Swift (1714), but there seem to be only three more elsewhere in the book.
     

    homotopy07

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Also, you found the topic sentence in a UK dictionary;)
    Longman's definition was unclear to me, which was why I started this thread.

    By the way, I think LEXCIO's definition is too narrow in scope. I'm satisfied with Merriam-Webster's definition. :)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I was afraid you were going to say you were none the wiser after starting this thread. :D
     
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