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    New entry for LEO

    by my lights - meiner Meinung nach

    New entry

    by my lights phrase coll. - meiner Meinung nach

    Examples/ definitions with source references

    Recently while writing an article, I found myself using an old-time expression I don’t think I have ever used in writing before: “by my lights,” which means something like “in my view.”

    It´s a potent blend of argument and style which, by my lights (is that American-English?) is extremely successful.

    ... a science book that reads like novel, for readers of Carlo Rovelli or Umberto Eco. A prize winner, by my lights.

    ..., and likewise no problem with a real robot with real TTT capacity (and hence, by my lights, a real mind), ...

    But that’s no reason, by my lights, not to gather a retrospective anthology of essays about them.

    But by my lights ''One Mo' Time'' is a show that adds up to considerably less than the sum of its parts.

    By my lights, they might have gotten worse – ...

    By my lights, contemporary philosophical methodology could do with

    Author AMS (247184) 02 Dec 20, 12:35

    Gute Ergänzung zu den bisherigen Einträgen zu Dictionary: meiner Meinung nach

    ... allerdings sind die in drei unterschiedlichen Rubriken, bei den Pronomen, den Phrasen und den Beispielen zu suchen ...

    #1Authorno me bré (700807) 02 Dec 20, 12:45

    Stimmt, daran hatte ich nicht gedacht. Die meisten Einträge für 'in my opinion' lassen sich unter 'Beispiele' finden. Daher wäre dies eventuell die richtige Rubrik?

    #2AuthorAMS (247184) 02 Dec 20, 13:14

    Wenn es amerikanisches Englisch ist, sollte es als solches gekennzeichnet werden. Wenn es Slang ist, stimmt die Sprachebene mit "meiner Meinung nach" nicht überein. Da ist mangels verfügbarer Wörterbuchdefinitionen eine Einordnung durch englische Muttersprachler gefragt.

    #3AuthorRominara (1294573)  03 Dec 20, 21:05
    Context/ examples

    light - ... 11: lights (plural) – set of principles, standards, or opinions
    worship according to one's lights
    — Adrienne Koch
    according to one's lights (formal) – according to one's idea of what is right
    You know my views on the matter; but of course you must act according to your (own) lights.

    light – ... 12. lights – One's individual opinions, choices, or standards:
    acted according to their own lights.

    light – ... 2.1 (lights) A person's opinions, standards, and abilities.
    ‘leaving the police to do the job according to their lights’

    lights – a person's ideas, knowledge, or understanding
    he did it according to his lights


    It sounds old-fashioned or unusual to me, so I might have guessed that it would be historical, regional, or chiefly BE. It's not in my own active vocabulary.

    But there are both definitions and examples from both BE and AE sources, without any particular marking, so evidently it's usable in either, though perhaps indeed less common in the modern day?

    I would be curious to see what anyone could find out about the phrase from its history and etymology, whether in AE / BE text corpora or perhaps in the OED.

    #4Authorhm -- us (236141) 04 Dec 20, 03:54

    For my part, I'd have guessed that it was chiefly AE, simply because it's not part of my active vocabulary, either. That said, I wasn't baffled or surprised by this thread, so perhaps it was already lingering somewhere on the periphery of my consciousness.

    The Google Books NGram viewer suggests that it is in fact slightly more common in UK English, where its occurrence has gone up sharply since 1980. Use in the US seems to have risen in recent decades, but more gradually. See: Google Ngram Viewer . Whether that reflects conversational use is hard to say.

    The first writer linked by amw is from the US and thinks it was an old-fashioned colloquialism wherever he grew up (possibly Chicago, if the byline is a clue):

    "It’s an expression I heard a lot growing up in a working-class family decades ago and still hear among the old-timers of my generation".

    Incidentally, if I run it through a variety of search engines, I get a preponderance of hits from US speakers even if I tell the site to focus on the UK - but whether that proves anything, I don't know.

    #5Authorcaptain flint (782544) 04 Dec 20, 19:35
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