Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
Raen:I don't think I totally understand this word and I am not sure I could find a Chinese equivalent for it, not by its definition but how it's used. According to the Cambridge Dictionary's definition, it means "to speak to or behave towards someone as if they are stupid or unimportant".
Here's one example in which I've heard it used.........hmm on TV[:^)]. This is how I remember the dialogue, it may not be exact but the point is how it is said:
female: I don't think I can ever salvage the damage that's been done. How could this have happened? What am I gonna do?
male (showing undersanding and sympathy): Ah, don't worry about it. Things will work out....(speech unfinished)
female (huffed in anger): Oh, don't patronize me.......
So how is it patronizing? Or does "patronize" have a....I don't know, hidden meaning that a dictionary can't let on?
Thanks in advance
To your definition of 'patronize', I would add this. The patronizing person thinks he or she is superior to the other person, and shows this attitude to the other person.
The woman thinks that the man thinks she is stupid. She thinks that he thinks he understands the situation better than she understands it.
No, it fits the definition you have given. The girl thinks from his comments that the man is speaking to her as if her worries are unimportant.
Raen:Thanks Clive and Mr. Micawber.
The definition I provided sounds a little soft, other sources involve stong words like "condescend', " talk down"....I can't see how the man here was being patronizing, maybe not "epathizing" at worst. Could you give more examples using it to give me a better picture of how to use it? Thanks.
It is not a matter of what you think the man is doing or what the man thinks he is doing-- maybe he is and maybe he is not; it is only how she views his comments. It is she who calls him 'patronizing'.
In my opinion, the example posted is not truly an example of being patronizing.
Many native speakers will use words in an incorrect context. I am familiar with people saying "don't patronize me" in that sort of context. However I think they are using the word wrong.
Here is my example of patronizing:
(at a resteraunt)
Me: "Excuse me, I've been waiting on my meal for some time now. Can you check on it?"
You: "I'm sorry sir, I'll go check on that right away"
Now this could be 100% polite and well meaning. But depending upon the tone it could also be patronizing.
The key to patronizing is if both parties in the conversation know that the second persons really does not care and
will not act BUT (importantly) the reply was technically polite so the first party cannot complain.
It is similar to sarcasm but different in that with sarcasm the person talking wants you to know very clearly that they do not care. With patronizing there is a slight attempt to appear that you do care about the first persons concern.
I hope this helps!
Mister Micawber.very true. there are many people who think others are being patronizing or mean when they are not.
this also occurs when (in america) someone from a more unfriendly location (north east, etc.) interacts with someone from a friendly location (south, midwest). i've had occasions when i thought someone from the south was patronizing me when they were actually just being nice (i wasn't used to that level of attention).
when (in america) someone from a more unfriendly location (north east, etc.) interacts with someone from a friendly location (south, midwest).Shades of Sarah Palin!
"Palin also made a point of mentioning that she loved to visit the 'pro-America' areas of the country, of which North Carolina is one. No word on which states she views as unpatriotic."
No doubt. I remember the first time I went to the south I honestly thought half the people were trying to rip me off they were being so nice.
I kept expecting their buddy to come steal my wallet or something while the first person talked to me about the weather.
I kept thinking "Is this person fucking with me or something?"
(hope cursing is ok on this forum - i thought i might as well write the way i'd speak!)
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