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Quick question:

I looked up the definition of ignorance "Lacking education or knowledge.".

I can see that, I guess. But to me, it seems that "ignorant" comes from "ignore". Is this right?

I have always interpreted this sentence: "The pedestrian ran the red light because he has an ignorance of the law".

I thought that meant that the "pedestrian" knew the law, but chose to ignore it. Not that he simply did not know or understand the law.

Is my interpretation completely wrong?
Comments  
What causes you trouble is the verb "to ignore". Look at the meaning:

ignore: to fail or refuse to notice; disregard.

This verb comes from Latin (words meaning not to know, ignorant), but this sense is not necessarily present in the English meaning as you see. On the other hand:

ignorance: lack of knowledge, information, or education; the state of being ignorant.

ignorant:
1. lacking in knowledge or education; unenlightened
2. lacking in awareness or knowledge (of): ignorant of the law
3. resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or awareness: an ignorant remark

In the sentence you wrote:

The pedestrian ran the red light because he has an ignorance of the law.

"Ignorance" countable? I mean: an ignorance, two ignorances, etc.? Mmm... In my humble opinion, this should go like this:

The pedestrian ran the red light because of ignorance of the law.
(or "...because he was ignorant of the law)

In these cases, the pedestrian seems to be "inocent": he didn't know the law.

Check this one out:

The pedestrian ran the red light because he ignored the law.

In this case, I may think that the pedestrian is guilty. Maybe he knew the law but decided to ignore it. It's rather ambiguous. Compare:

The pedestrian ran the red light because he ignored the law. This is not the first time this person is caught and fained because of an irresponsible behaviour.

Hope this helps! Emotion: smile
Nicora,

There are two problems here. The first one is easy, so let's look at it first:

1) In English we do not say that someone "has ignorance", rather someone "is ignorant". This is a common difference between English and other European languages. (For example, in German "I have hunger", but in English "I am hungry.")
So in English you need to use the "be" verb and the adjective form.

OK, the other problem is that your interpretation is wrong (sorryEmotion: sad )

2) "to be ignorant" means to not have knowledge. Often English speakers will use "ignorant" as a synonym for "stupid", but that is technically incorrect. Ignorant means lacking knowledge. If a genius was raised by wolves in the forest, we would be ignorant of most human knowledge, but still a genius.

Your logic is good Emotion: smile but the problem is that ignore comes from the Latin "gnoscere" or "noscere" (which come from Greek "gignoskein"). The Latin meaning is "to know" or "to come to know." So "gnoscere" means "to know", and "ignoscere" means "not to know" (the prefix "in-" makes an opposite.

So originally "ignore" would mean "to not know", but it's modern meaning is (of course) to choose to not know, or to not pay attention... however, the originally meaning persists in the noun and adjective forms.

Hope that helps! Check out my site rec. below! Email me if you need more help!

Tino
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Ok, those explanations do help a lot. I guess my confusion comes from the fact that certain words seem to completly change definition during the conjugation process.

Tolerate: To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.
Tolerant: Inclined to tolerate the beliefs, practices, or traits of others; forbearing.

Anticipate: To feel or realize beforehand; foresee: hadn't anticipated the crowds at the zoo.
Anticipant: Coming or acting in advance: clouds anticipant of a storm.

Ignore: To refuse to pay attention to; disregard.
Ignorant: Lacking education or knowledge. ????

Is there a specific reason or rule when this is done? Or am I just missing something?

Thanks again for your replies =)
Yes. To ignore means to not bother about something you're doing it on purpose but ignorance means to be uneducated or unaware even uninformed about something.I had this same question too but i researched and asked around
ignorance - the state of not knowing, i.e., the state of not being informed or educated

ignorant - not knowing, i.e., not informed, not educated

ignore - (old meaning: not to know; to be ignorant of) - [new meaning: not to pay attention to]

ignore, the verb, gradually took on a new meaning during the history of English, so it no longer goes so neatly with its cognates as other verbs do.

As you say, when a historical change like this happens, it can be very confusing.

CJ
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Is there any difference between "be ignorant of " and "be ignorant about"?

I think if of is used it means not aware of sth, but if you use about, it means you know its existance but not knowing much about it. Am i right?
Surely it would be best to accept the classic definition of "ignorant/ignorance," for then we are able to describe the social situation in which one person speaks out of a perceived ignorance (lack of knowledge of the facts) and thus is ignored by others.