Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Philosophy of Linguistics -- Damning with Faint Praise

I recently came upon that video where the commentator mentioned an idiom I hadn't heard before.

He was comparing two people as you saw and mentioned the term:

"Damning with faint praise"


I instantly looked it up:

Fig. to criticize someone or something indirectly by not praising enthusiastically. The critic did not say that he disliked the play, but he damned it with faint praise. Mrs. Brown is very proud of her son's achievements, but damns her daughter's with faint praise.


Once I figured out what it meant, it was just such a colorful way to say something, and as someone who enjoys writing, I love the pictures that are invoked when you say you're damning someone with faint praise.

I felt inspiration, and I actually saw one person practicing this faint praise(or really it should be thought of lack of praise) on another.

You really see the powers idioms have on our discussions, when they invoke so much emotion and so much color into our conversation.

They, in essence, bring into existence incarnations of the feelings and meanings deep inside our words.

They are manifestations of our true intentions and beliefs. Maybe that's why we memorize or are familiar with hundreds or thousands of them.

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