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Definition of condescending?

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I am having my daughter read, "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" this upcoming semester. I found an extensive lesson plan from KY schools with activities for each chapter. However, this really bugged me in the vocabulary section:

condescending – pretending one is equal to a supposed inferior

What? That's not right. Google says

condescending -- having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority

THAT is what it means. Not pretending to be equal. It's the opposite of that. So now I'm second guessing the whole plan! 

by on Dec. 26, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Replies (11-17):
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Dec. 27, 2013 at 4:59 PM


Quoting hipmomto3:

I don't understand how something "does not say what you say it does." Mind-bending syntax there.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

The definition you quoted first does not say what you say it does.  Pretending one is equal to an inferior does mean the same as superiority, it just leaves out the patronizing part.  Pretending to be above another would have been a simpler definition.

Condescending isn't pretending though; it's truly believed by the condescending person that they are smarter/better/whatever-er than the person they are speaking to, whether or not that is true. Condescending is 'talking down' to someone because you assume they are less intelligent than you are. 

Sorry, you are right that syntax was downright bad...... The definition you quoted says: "pretending one is equal to a supposed inferior" but you reitterated it as "Not Pretending to be equal.  It's the opposite of that."  The definition did not say that the condescender was pretending that the condescendee was equal.  It basically said pretending that a person (the condescendee") is an inferior.  And that is what condescending means.  Since the person is truly not an inferior the "condescender" truly is just pretending that the "condescendee" is inferior.  Does that make sense?  

JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Dec. 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

 I think even that's not quite right since to me the word implies INTERACTION with the purported inferior and that's what "patronizing" adds.  "Pretending" equality can be done without that interaction, and "pretending" if it was done well wouldn't be "patronizing," LOL. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

The definition you quoted first does not say what you say it does.  Pretending one is equal to an inferior does mean the same as superiority, it just leaves out the patronizing part.  Pretending to be above another would have been a simpler definition.

 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Dec. 27, 2013 at 6:30 PM

I think patronizing is a difficult concept to explain to children, since they are so often on the recieving end of it.  Maybe adding smugness to the definition.  I'm not sure there really needs to be interaction to be condescending.  One can feel condescending, have a condescending attitude, or even talk about the person with some condescention in the voice.  

Quoting JKronrod:

 I think even that's not quite right since to me the word implies INTERACTION with the purported inferior and that's what "patronizing" adds.  "Pretending" equality can be done without that interaction, and "pretending" if it was done well wouldn't be "patronizing," LOL. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

The definition you quoted first does not say what you say it does.  Pretending one is equal to an inferior does mean the same as superiority, it just leaves out the patronizing part.  Pretending to be above another would have been a simpler definition.



JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Dec. 27, 2013 at 7:07 PM

 Yes, but talking to someone IS interacting with them.  You're right about the condescending attitude -- that might not require interaction, but to me there is still the implication of some ACTION that exhibits the attitude.  You aren't "condescending" in your own mind. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I think patronizing is a difficult concept to explain to children, since they are so often on the recieving end of it.  Maybe adding smugness to the definition.  I'm not sure there really needs to be interaction to be condescending.  One can feel condescending, have a condescending attitude, or even talk about the person with some condescention in the voice.  

Quoting JKronrod:

 I think even that's not quite right since to me the word implies INTERACTION with the purported inferior and that's what "patronizing" adds.  "Pretending" equality can be done without that interaction, and "pretending" if it was done well wouldn't be "patronizing," LOL. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

The definition you quoted first does not say what you say it does.  Pretending one is equal to an inferior does mean the same as superiority, it just leaves out the patronizing part.  Pretending to be above another would have been a simpler definition.

 


 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Dec. 27, 2013 at 7:13 PM

I meant you can be condescending about someone when talking to a third party.  

Quoting JKronrod:

 Yes, but talking to someone IS interacting with them.  You're right about the condescending attitude -- that might not require interaction, but to me there is still the implication of some ACTION that exhibits the attitude.  You aren't "condescending" in your own mind. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I think patronizing is a difficult concept to explain to children, since they are so often on the recieving end of it.  Maybe adding smugness to the definition.  I'm not sure there really needs to be interaction to be condescending.  One can feel condescending, have a condescending attitude, or even talk about the person with some condescention in the voice.  

Quoting JKronrod:

 I think even that's not quite right since to me the word implies INTERACTION with the purported inferior and that's what "patronizing" adds.  "Pretending" equality can be done without that interaction, and "pretending" if it was done well wouldn't be "patronizing," LOL. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

The definition you quoted first does not say what you say it does.  Pretending one is equal to an inferior does mean the same as superiority, it just leaves out the patronizing part.  Pretending to be above another would have been a simpler definition.





celticdragon77
by on Dec. 27, 2013 at 7:48 PM


Quote:

condescending – pretending one is equal to a supposed inferior


I read the definition as saying that condescending means that you perceive someone to be inferior in some sort of aspect, so you "talked" something down (dumb something down) to what you perceive to be that persons equal. Which seems accurate to the meaning of condescending.


Quote:

condescending -- having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority


In this definition, you basically have a word in there that means the same as the word you are trying to find the meaning of. Might as well just say "having or showing a feeling of superiority". Which in my opinion in not entirely accurate and does not do the word justice.  

JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Dec. 27, 2013 at 8:52 PM
1 mom liked this

 True.  I'll amend my comment to it requires interaction with someone.  :-)

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I meant you can be condescending about someone when talking to a third party.  

Quoting JKronrod:

 Yes, but talking to someone IS interacting with them.  You're right about the condescending attitude -- that might not require interaction, but to me there is still the implication of some ACTION that exhibits the attitude.  You aren't "condescending" in your own mind. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I think patronizing is a difficult concept to explain to children, since they are so often on the recieving end of it.  Maybe adding smugness to the definition.  I'm not sure there really needs to be interaction to be condescending.  One can feel condescending, have a condescending attitude, or even talk about the person with some condescention in the voice.  

Quoting JKronrod:

 I think even that's not quite right since to me the word implies INTERACTION with the purported inferior and that's what "patronizing" adds.  "Pretending" equality can be done without that interaction, and "pretending" if it was done well wouldn't be "patronizing," LOL. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

The definition you quoted first does not say what you say it does.  Pretending one is equal to an inferior does mean the same as superiority, it just leaves out the patronizing part.  Pretending to be above another would have been a simpler definition.

 


 


 

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