What is the basis of ‘that’? The common view is that flattery is a fraud, a fake; the dictionary definition is that it is false or insincere praise. But what is the basis of its falseness? That it is not meant? That cannot be true ; flatterer can sincerely believe what they are saying. That the praise is false? Although much flattery is false, not all is. I can flatter handsome persons by telling them how good-looking they are. A teacher loves to think that students are telling the truth and that they are sincere when they shamelessly flatter her by telling her that her course was the best offered in the school. 1) That it is not meant? 2) That the praise is false? What is the basis of ‘that’?
Nov 8, 2018 9:49 PM
Answers · 5
An implicit 'Is it' before 'that' has been omitted. They are rhetorical questions, I think. 'Is it that it is not meant?', etc. Is that what you were asking?
November 8, 2018
The definition you references allows that flattery could be false or insincere; therefore, flattery does not have to be false. It could just be insincere. One way it can be true but still be flattery is that it could be given too frequently or in too great a measure. In that way it can reach the point of being insincere. Also, even if it is true, if a compliment is given for the purpose of getting something out of it, it changes from a simple compliment to flattery. That is my understanding of the word. That doesn't directly answer your question; if I had to choose, I would say (2).
November 8, 2018
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