Will you help me clarify my confusion about the following paragraph? (The narrator of the story is a 13 years old girl, in the late 1990's.)
I watched three talk shows on television. One was about teenagers whose mothers flirt with their boyfriends. They were pathetic. Another was about men who said they lost their jobs because they refused to cut off their ponytail. They were pathetic. The third was about people who pierce weird body parts: One girl had a silver nail run through her bellybutton, and another one had a diamond stud put in her tongue. One exposed her bellybutton, and the other stuck out her tongue. They were disgusting.
1. I guess "their " of "their boyfriends" refers to teenagers. So,consequently, the teenagers are female. I think, however, it is also possible that teenagers include both girls and boys, so mothers flirt with their own boyfriends. Do you think you can use the word "flirt" in that case?
2.The word pathetic seems to me to be used when the situation isserious. In the quote, however, the word sounds somewhat funny to me, although I do not know why. Will you tell which of the following definitions "pathetic" here come under?
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K typed thus:
Will you help me clarify my confusion about the following paragraph? (The narrator of the story is a 13 years ... boys, so mothers flirt with their own boyfriends. Do you think you can use the word "flirt" in that case?

Certainly you can flirt with your own boyfriend, but that's not relevant here.
The mothers have daughters. The daughters have boyfriends. The mothers flirt with their daughters' boyfriends. There's no need for the paragraph to explain that this use of "teenagers" relates only to girls (OK, the teenagers could be boys with gay boyfriends, with whom the mothers are flirting, but that's not what it means).
2.The word pathetic seems to me to be used when the situation is serious. In the quote, however, the word sounds somewhat funny to me, although I do not know why. Will you tell which of the following definitions "pathetic" here come under?

1. moving one to pity; touching, heart-rending, poignant or pitiful her pathetic sobs. 2. derogatory, colloquial hopelessly inadequate a pathetic attempt.

"hopelessly inadequate" is about right - the child is appalled that a mother would flirt with her daughter's teenage boyfriend.

David
==
Will you help me clarify my confusion about the following paragraph? (The narrator of the story is a 13 years ... to me, although I do not know why. Will you tell which of the following definitions "pathetic" here come under?

1. moving one to pity; touching, heart-rending, poignant or pitiful herpathetic sobs. 2. derogatory, colloquial hopelessly inadequate a pathetic attempt.

"Pathetic" is also used semi-humorously in slang. In this case it expresses the narrator's contempt for the people on TV, a very common attitude among teenagers.
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2.The word pathetic seems to me to be used when the situation is serious. In the quote, however, the word sounds somewhat funny to me, although I do not know why. Will you tell which of the following definitions "pathetic" here come under?

1. moving one to pity; touching, heart-rending, poignant or pitiful her pathetic sobs. 2. derogatory, colloquial hopelessly inadequate a pathetic attempt.

The second meaning seems to be indicated.
At least that's what it meant when I was a teenager. It means something that calls for pity, but doesn't evoke any.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
Steve Hayes filted:
At least that's what it meant when I was a teenager. It means something that calls for pity, but doesn't evoke any.

Later the word was supplanted by "lame", then "bogus"...the current teenspeak term seems to be "gay"..r
Steve Hayes filted:

At least that's what it meant when I was a teenager. It means something that calls for pity, but doesn't evoke any.

Later the word was supplanted by "lame", then "bogus"...the current teenspeak term seems to be "gay"..r

What about "loser" (or "looser")?

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Steve Hayes filted: Later the word was supplanted by "lame", then "bogus"...the current teenspeak term seems to be "gay"..r

What about "loser" (or "looser")?

Or perhaps "luser"?

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Steve Hayes filted:

At least that's what it meant when I was a teenager. It means something that calls for pity, but doesn't evoke any.

Later the word was supplanted by "lame", then "bogus"...the current teenspeak term seems to be "gay"..r

Spelled "ghey", to be perfectly accurate. I wouldn't be surprised if there are kids who don't realize the connection with homosexuality.

-=Eric

Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million typewriters, and Usenet is NOTHING like Shakespeare. Blair Houghton.
Later the word was supplanted by "lame", then "bogus"...the current teenspeak term seems to be "gay"..r

Spelled "ghey", to be perfectly accurate. I wouldn't be surprised if there are kids who don't realize the connection with homosexuality.

Have you met Young Joey?
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