the sublime archetype

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Senior Member
They had lived in the Lakeland district of Harrison, and Lakeland was the sublime archetype of suburbia. On a drunk night you could circle six or eight blocks for hours, just looking for your own house. The people who were their neighbors worked for the IBM plant outside town, Ohio Semi-Conductor in town, or taught at the college. You could have drawn two ruler-straight lines across an average-family-income sheet, the lower line at eighteen and a half thousand and the upper one at maybe thirty thousand, and almost everyone in Lakeland would have fallen in the area between.
Source: Firestarter by Stephen King

Would it be correct to rephrase the sublime archetype = the perfect example?


sublime: 2. used to denote the extreme or unparalleled nature of a person's attitude or behavior • he had the sublime confidence of youth.
archetype: 1. a very typical example of a certain person or thing • the book is a perfect archetype of the genre.

Thank you.
  • jacdac

    Senior Member
    Thank you. Close enough is not good enough. How else would you rephrase it better?
    Would it be correct to use it in this sentence: your answer is the sublime archetype of an indulgent teacher?


    Senior Member
    English - England
    That’s not the right definition of sublime, though. Here it has nothing to do with “a person’s attitude or behaviour”. It’s meant more in the sense of a perfect example – an exact replica, a sublime archetype, the very essence of…


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Close enough is not good enough.
    It is for me - and should be for you. :D

    I have said before, and I will say again: "there are very, very few true synonyms in English - combine two words and the phrase becomes all but unique."

    sublime (adj.)
    1580s, "expressing lofty ideas in an elevated manner," from Middle French sublime (15c.), or directly from Latin sublimis "uplifted, high, borne aloft, lofty, exalted, eminent, distinguished," possibly originally "sloping up to the lintel," from sub "up to" (see sub-) + limen "lintel, threshold, sill" (see limit (n.)). The sublime (n.) "the sublime part of anything, that which is stately or imposing" is from 1670s.
    sublime | Origin and meaning of sublime by Online Etymology Dictionary

    OED: "4. Belonging to or designating the highest sphere of thought, existence, or human activity; intellectually or spiritually elevated.
    10. In weakened use: excellent, superb; wonderful."

    However, your example is the weakened version and by the addition of "the" (as opposed to "a") it takes on your meaning, and that expressed by lingobingo above.

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Here, "sublime" is sarcastic. If you could "circle six or eight blocks for hours, just looking for your own house", the houses must all look the same, making the place rather boring.
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