English Vocabulary


understated or decent, proper or proper?????

according the correction the two words have the same meanings. I wonder what's the real difference
Mafao

6 comments

  • When it comes to the meaning in the sense of 'not salient, not overstated and restrained (1), 'understated' and 'decent' can indeed be used as synonyms. 'Decent' colors of a suit are colors which are not striking, like a uniform grey for example.


    But 'decent' has another meaning, which I hear more often than the synonymous use of 'understated': proper and appropriate (2)


    For example, clothes can be understated (decent) (=not salient, not sticking out from the standard) and they can also be proper (decent), that is appropriate for an occasion: A business man is well-advised to dress appropriately when negotiating with business partners (dress decently (2)).


    By the way, 'understatement' is a trait Englishmen are rumored to be, both in their dress code and their manner, while, conversely, North Americans tend to be overstating. Is it true? I don't know. But it's the prejudice, which has, perhaps, are core of truth to it. That is not to say English businessmen didn't dress appropriately, but the colors English people choose for their leisure clothing are more decent in the sense of not being salient, whereas Germans have a penchant to wear more vibrant colors. At least, I made the observation when being in London. Maybe, you can somehow tell a German from an Englishman by his conspicuous dress-code by making an educated guess.
  • understatement.... for me , it's much less that I wanted to say... so, choose your understatement, it's your own choice to say....


    So long pou all, i'am going in holidays to-morrow for a fortighnt.
    Cheers
    Victorine.
  • You lucky girl, Vic, going on vacation while we other poor fellows have to sweat and toil in offices and workshops.


    Anyway, have a nice vacation and take a good English book with you.
    Cheers
    Whacky
  • From Whacky:
    You lucky girl, Vic, going on vacation while we other poor fellows have to sweat and toil in offices and workshops.
    Yes Whacky, with chiefs :( and a whole hierarchy :( on top, with matrix management :(, notation :( and so on.
    Only 7 days to go before we can exchange replies with Vic who doesn't care about our wasting time ;).
  • Again, Sophie, the kindergaten vigilante group. That's what I call a waste of time ;)
  • From Sophie Moa:
    From Whacky:
    Yes Whacky, with chiefs :( and a whole hierarchy :( on top, with matrix management :(, notation :( and so on.
    Only 7 days to go before we can exchange replies with Vic who doesn't care about our wasting time ;).

     


    I don't work in an authoritarian hiararchy, and my GymGlish lessons are my
    private choice!! I pay for them myself! It's my private 'pleasure'. And so is my contribution to this forum. Both is absolutely voluntary. I can do it or I can leave it. So don't impute anything to me!

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