What does "perspective" mean in the phrase "a bit of perspective"

77Cat77

Senior Member
Chinese
I have read the following sentence online:
"And, well, a bit of perspective, at the start of the 18th century, almost nobody in England drank tea. But by the end of it, almost everybody did."
The word "perspective" really puzzles me. Which sense does it refer to in a dictionary? Can anyone help me out?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Your extract doesn’t tell us what that information about 18th-century tea consumption relates to. But whatever the topic is, the intention is to give it perspective in the form of background information that sets it within a wider context.

    When you apply perspective to something, you present it in terms of how it relates to the things around it (just as an artist or architect does when making a perspective drawing).
     

    77Cat77

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Your extract doesn’t tell us what that information about 18th-century tea consumption relates to. But whatever the topic is, the intention is to give it perspective in the form of background information that sets it within a wider context.

    When you apply perspective to something, you present it in terms of how it relates to the things around it (just as an artist or architect does when making a perspective drawing).
    Thank you, lingobingo! So, can I see "perspective" here as "background or relevant information"?
    I see a similar expression from this website: A bit of perspective. Is it the same?
    "A bit of perspective, that is what we get when studying history. Without that perspective we are easily manipulated by politicians, demagogues, car salesman, snake oil salesman, televangelists, newspaper reporters, and people armed with alternative facts or altered facts that profit from our ignorance. Without that perspective we can’t even tell if they are alternative facts, altered facts, facts based on half-truths, or truth itself."
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s the same meaning, yes. But maybe a somewhat puzzling example.

    Wiktionary defines putting something into perspective as “To compare something with a similar thing to give a clearer, more accurate idea” and gives the following example:

    You can put your worries into perspective when you realise how many people in the world are so much worse off than you.
     
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