on a romantic whim

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jacdac, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. jacdac

    jacdac Senior Member

    The house was cramped, damp and impractical. <…> He’d bought it on a romantic whim after Sarah had left and he’d moved back to Shetland.
    He knew he’d been influenced by the passion of the Inspector from Inverness. It was probably another romantic whim, but tonight it seemed important to be a policeman.
    Source: Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

    on a romantic whim is the amalgamation of ‘infatuation’ and ‘on a whim’, right? It is hyperbolic though to buy something on a romantic whim.

    infatuation: an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.
    on a whim: (idiomatic) without thinking seriously about the consequences. It refers to a particular instance of unplanned, impromptu behaviour.

    Thank you.
  2. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    No. Don't confuse "romantic" with "infatuation". Romance is something beautiful, seeing things in the best possible light, a tumbledown damp cottage as somewhere cosy with a glowing fire in winter and roses round the door in summer, or to be a policeman, a fine upstanding member of the community, ridding the world of evil and making life better for his neighbours.

    Note that neither of these particular instances of "romantic" have anything to do with sex, though both appear to have been driven, indirectly, by personal relationships.
  3. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    "Romantic whim" here seems to mean a sudden, unconsidered and impractical urge for the "picturesque" - like the dear little cottage that Uncle Jack mentions..

Share This Page