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  • Betrifft


    I'm reading a book about logical fallacies and came across this sentence as an example of equivocation: Well, it all depends on what you mean by full-hearted consent.

    I believed the concept full-hearted consent relates to a comment attributed to British Prime Minister Heath in conjunction with discussions of entering the EEC in the 1970s. Apart from that interesting historical tidbit, the question of how common full-hearted is in BE is of interest. It is not something I'd ever heard in AE, nor had I ever encountered it in any BE literature. In fact, if a non-native speaker used the term, my first reaction would have been that the person meant whole-hearted but got the word wrong.

    Is full-hearted completely synonymous with whole-hearted? Is the register the same? Would every BE speaker immediately recognize the word as part of normal, everyday speech? Or would it seem pretentious?

    Any comments from BE or BE-trained speakers would be much appreciated.

    Verfasser patman2 (527865) 13 Jun. 18, 22:56
    It rings no bells for me (BE speaker) at all whereas "whole-hearted" is quite commonplace.
    #1Verfasser Ecgberht (469528) 13 Jun. 18, 23:09
    Since LEO does not have anything for full-hearted, I'll add some dictionary entries for future reference.

    Oxford Online: full-hearted adjective; With great enthusiasm and commitment; full of sincere feeling. ‘a full-hearted commitment to proportional representation’

    (Note: wholehearted is listed in Oxford Online as a synonym of full-hearted, but full-hearted is not listed as a synomyn of wholehearted.)

    Merriam-Webster: fullhearted : having a heart full of courage or confidence or understanding; example: fullhearted support; — fullheartedly adverb — fullheartedness noun, plural -es

    Webster's Dictionary 1828: FULL-HEARTED adjective Full of courage or confidence.

    (Note: Webster definitions seem quite different from the one in Oxford. AE/BE difference?)

    No entries for either full-hearted or fullhearted in American Heritage, Collins or Cambridge dictionaries.

    #2Verfasser patman2 (527865) 15 Jun. 18, 07:12
    Ah, yes... 'the full-hearted consent of the British people'. I think that was the phrase used by Edward Heath re accession to the EEC, and it was certainly the phrase used ad nauseam by Harold Wilson during his pseudo-renegotiation of the accession treaty and the run-up to the 1975 referendum. And that is about the only context in which I have ever heard it. Yes, it means 'whole-hearted'.
    #3Verfasser escoville (237761) 15 Jun. 18, 09:03

    Thanks for confirming that full-hearted means whole-hearted (or is it wholehearted?) and that the word is scarcely used, apart from the historical full-hearted consent.

    Since I was still puzzled by its use as an example of equivocation, as well by how the meaning given in Oxford Online differs from the one in Merriam-Webster, I looked up full-hearted in the OED today and found yet another way of dividing up the possible meanings.

    OED: full-hearted, adj Having a full heart. a. Full of courage and confidence; hence of a work: carried on with zeal. b. Full of feeling; indicative of strong emotion. Hence full-heartedly adv

    A perfect word for a politician to use in equivocating since one can't be sure which meaning was intended; everyone can assume it means what he or she wants, but no one can pin the politician down later.

    #4Verfasser patman2 (527865) 18 Jun. 18, 02:05
    My very first attempt at searching the NY Times for examples of "fullhearted" came up with a book review by Constance Decker Thompson, dated Aug. 11, 2002. It doesn't sound to me like she was equivocating. ;-)
    There are more examples, but unfortunately I don't have time to read further.

    David Macaulay's latest book, ''Angelo,'' centers on the beauty and value of work, the transcendent nature of friendship and the consolations of art. It is an eloquent and in its fullhearted way a storybook for readers of all ages.
    #5Verfasser SD3 (451227) 18 Jun. 18, 07:12
    I'm not sure I would have even noticed it if you hadn't called it to our attention.

    But since you have, I wonder if it might have been a sort of subconscious mix of 'full-throated' and 'wholehearted.'

    It might also be useful for learners to be aware that 'with a full heart' doesn't actually mean the same thing at all, but goes more in the direction of feeling emotional or even on the verge of tears, as in the OED sense (b) in #4.

    The potential for ambiguity does seem to exist.
    #6Verfasser hm -- us (236141) 18 Jun. 18, 07:32
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