Sasha
What is the meaning of "tedious" in the context above? "There was something fungoid in the oily brown skin, something in the clumsy deliberation of the tedious movements unspeakably nasty. " (The War of the Worlds) I find the phrase "tedious movements" pretty weird and odd as well as "clumsy deliberation". I don't know what exactly they mean. I've looked up in the dictionary and I've got some vague and opaque idea, but I have no idea what example sentence I can make. Nevertherless, I gave a try.. Take a look at this one: "Today Leo Messi's game was bloody awful his deliberation was quite clumsy not talking about his movements that were quite tedious, that made me drowsy." Does this sound natural? More context "Those who have never seen a living Martian can scarcely imagine the strange horror of its appearance. There was something fungoid in the oily brown skin, something in the clumsy deliberation of the tedious movements unspeakably nasty. Even at this first encounter, this first glimpse, I was overcome with disgust and dread."
Jan 7, 2018 9:41 PM
Answers · 9
something in the clumsy deliberation of the tedious movements unspeakably nasty ------>>>> deliberation: (old) leisure/relaxation (in movement) >> (today) carefulness (in thought) tedious: (old) slow in movement or motion >> (today) long and dull nasty: (old and today) disgusting If you change the words that have the same spellings as present day's English but have differnent, more or less, meaning or usage, you'll feel it much easier to understand the sentences. The book is published over a hundred years ago, so there are quite a lot of such words or phrases within the text, which makes it not so easy for EFL readers. I do not know what the exact situation is for native English speakers, as to us Chinese people, when we read writing in spoken Chinese a hundred years ago [ people then used a hard and much much older style, than the contemprory speech, for official writing], we can understand well, although a lot of people do not know exactly what some words or phrases mean.
January 8, 2018
I agree with Iris. It's literary English. It means that the movements are slow. In "clumsy deliberation," "deliberation" also means slow, and "clumsy" means that they give the impression of being difficult for the Martian. I don't know if the word "tedious" has evolved in meaning since 1897 when it was published. Checking a dictionary, I see a second meaning listed: "Obsolete: Moving or progressing very slowly." Perhaps when Wells used it, it didn't necessarily mean "tiresome" or "boring." The narrator is clearly bothered and repelled by the Martian, so perhaps he uses "tedious" to mean that he is bothered by watching them, or perhaps it just means "slow." Do not try to use it the same way Wells did. In modern usage it always involves an activity and somebody's feelings about that activity. "Today both sides played poorly, and there were too many pauses. I found it tedious to watch but, having paid for my ticket, I felt a duty to stay until the end."
January 7, 2018
Hi Sasha. It’s never really going to sound natural because the piece you’ve taken is literary prose, so more poetic and illustrative than any person would use day-to-day. I haven’t read the book, so I’m just going off the paragraph you have copied here. The writer is portraying the disgust he felt when he saw the Martian. “Clumsy deliberation” highlights the strangeness - even though the movements are deliberate (which would normally imply careful and steady movements), they are clumsy. The use of “tedious” - to me, it means the movements are slow and boring to watch. My advice would be not to spend too much time trying to understand each little bit of the sentence. Let the words come together to paint a picture. I hope this helps!
January 7, 2018
In this context it's... strange. I would describe it as "sporadic" maybe? "Random", or perhaps even "Chaotic" would be close as well. "Today Leo Messi's game was bloody awful (insert period here, and start new sentence" his deliberation (deliberation is strange. His "performance" maybe?) was quite clumsy not talking about ("talking about" works, but "not to mention" would sound more natural) his movements that were quite tedious, that made me drowsy (you probably mean "bored", or something to that effect. Drowsy literally means "sleepy", but we don't quite use it in this way)."
January 7, 2018
New to italki, and I didn't mean to place a comment here
January 7, 2018
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Sasha
Language Skills
English, French, Russian, Ukrainian
Learning Language
English, French