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If a time came when mobile phones where the only phones in existence, do you think the meaning of the phrasal verb "hang up" meaning finish a phone call , would become opaque?
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Hi,

If a time came when mobile phones where were the only phones in existence, do you think the meaning of the phrasal verb "hang up", meaning finish a phone call , would become opaque?

I wouldn't say 'opaque' is wrong. However, I assume the intended meaning is 'obscure', and I think that would be a more common word to choose.

The meaning of the sentence makes me think that a better choice would be 'incomprehensible' or perhaps 'archaic'.

Best wishes, Clive
<I wouldn't say 'opaque' is wrong. However, I assume the intended meaning is 'obscure', and I think that would be a more common word to choose. >

Would you choose obscure here, Clive?

I find her poetry rather opaque.

I meant "opaque" in the sense of hard to understand or explain.
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I think opaque, obscure, shaded, muddy, and cloudy would all do just as well there, depending on you audience, etc.
Hi,

Would you choose obscure here, Clive?



I find her poetry rather opaque.



I meant "opaque" in the sense of hard to understand or explain.

Yes, it seems fine here.

For one thing, it's quite a literary word, and you are speaking of a literary subject.

For another, I associate 'opaque' with things where you might reasonably have thought that there was some possibility that a little light might penetrate. In my opinion, that's why it sounds very odd to say 'This sheet of half-inch steel is opaque', yet it sounds OK to say 'This sheet of paper is opaque'.

Your statement about the poetry suggests that you think it should be possible to find a meaning in her poetry, ie that light should be able to penetrate it.

Best wishes, Clive
< For another, I associate 'opaque' with things where you might reasonably have thought that there was some possibility that a little light might penetrate.>

Not in this meaning:

opacity: incomprehensibility resulting from obscurity of meaning
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I think the topic discussion is more interesting that debates about personal choice of words. Can we get back to it?

_______

[Clarification for the benefit of readers of this thread: this is not a different Anon.]
Anon:
You are welcome to get back to that discussion if you have something to add.
By the way, I think you meant "than" rather than "that"
AlpheccaStarsAnon:

You are welcome to get back to that discussion if you have something to add.

Thanks. Yes, I'm wondering just how many multi-word expressions are not lost to opacity. Can you name some?

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