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Your interpretation of the word “pointedly” - for native speakers of English I would like to hear how native speakers of English interpret the word “pointedly”. To me it seems somewhat ambiguous and I want to hear what you think. Let me give an example of what I mean: “She yawned and looked pointedly at her watch.” To me this could mean 1) She was bored/tired/impatient. She wanted to know what time it was and didn’t try to hide that she was looking at her watch. 2) She looked at her watch to show that she was bored/tired/impatient, not because she wanted to know what time it was. So what do you think? Are my interpretations valid or do you interpret it differently? Do you agree that “pointedly” is somewhat ambiguous? Thanks a lot for your opinion!
Nov 18, 2016 12:42 PM
Answers · 8
I think it is 2), or possibly 3) (a combination of 1+2) - She was looking at her watch for the time as was bored, and also made sure the other person saw this to communicate non-verbally there is definitely the element of 2) with 'pointedly' in that sentence In other contexts not always though - pointedly to me just means deliberately and often to be seen to be doing something. For another example I might say "I pointedly went to the shop late in the day" in the context of - " I wanted to go when the products were on sale" - this use does not have this overtone of 'attitude' or to be seen to be doing something - the word pointedly only highlights that this part is important/particularly deliberate ('pointing' at it) hope this makes sense
November 18, 2016
Good point, yes, it could mean both things as a "demonstration" of her boredom.
November 18, 2016
This example is how I understand it: "in a very obvious way, usually to express criticism or disapproval: He pointedly ignored her after the show" I've never thought of any ambiguity. Quite the opposite, in fact.
November 18, 2016
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