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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 24th, 2013, 03:17 am
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Default Can I use 'clever' to mean each of the definitions?

Hi susan,

In British English, can I use 'clever' to mean all the following definitions:

1. people are able to learn and understand things quickly.

2.people are good at come up with solutions to problems and work things out.

3.people are able to use their intelligence to get what they want, especially in a slightly dishonest way.

Thank you very much.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 25th, 2013, 02:09 pm
Sue
 
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Default Re: Can I use 'clever' to mean each of the definitions?

Hi Fface - there are people around here other than me you know

Anyway ....

1. To mean someone is able to learn and understand things quickly.
He learnt to sit and stay in five minutes. He's a very clever dog!


2. To mean someone is good at coming up with solutions to problems and working things out.
It was really clever of him to think of using superglue. It would never have occurred to me in a thousand years.


3. To mean someone is able to use their intelligence to get what they want, especially in a slightly dishonest way.

I'm not convinced by this one. I would agree with...
"To mean someone is able to use their intelligence to get what they want"
and it may be "in a dishonest way" - but I don't like the "especially". For me, this would come under (2) above. Eg:
It was really clever how she convinced David that he wanted to do exactly what she had decided - and to make him believe it was his own idea.
This might be "cunning" or "manipulative" but I'm not sure about dishonest. And isn't it just another example of coming up with a solution to a problem? Your problem is that someone might not do what you want - and the solution you find is the way you convince them.

So I'd say yes to 1 and 2 (though even there I think there's an overlap) but 3 for me is part of 2.

I'd also point to the ironic use. When someone does something stupid, we often say...

He's got a promotion board tomorrow and today he goes and tells his boss he's an idiot??? Well, that was really clever of him.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 26th, 2013, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: Can I use 'clever' to mean each of the definitions?

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
He learnt to sit and stay in five minutes. He's a very clever dog!


2.It was really clever of him to think of using superglue. It would never have occurred to me in a thousand years.

3. It was really clever how she convinced David that he wanted to do exactly what she had decided - and to make him believe it was his own idea.

He's got a promotion board tomorrow and today he goes and tells his boss he's an idiot??? Well, that was really clever of him.
Hi susan,
Thank you for your great examples. Can I also use 'smart' instead of 'clever' in all your examples above in British English?
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Unread Nov 27th, 2013, 04:15 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Can I use 'clever' to mean each of the definitions?

"smart" sounds less likely to me in (3) but fine in the others. I don't think we'd use it in manipulative contexts.
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Last edited by susan53 : Nov 27th, 2013 at 05:49 am.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 14th, 2013, 09:39 am
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Default Re: Can I use 'clever' to mean each of the definitions?

Hi susan,

1.He learnt to sit and stay in five minutes. He's a very intelligent/bright dog!


2.It was really intelligent/bright of him to think of using superglue. It would never have occurred to me in a thousand years.

3. It was really intelligent/bright how she convinced David that he wanted to do exactly what she had decided - and to make him believe it was his own idea.

4.He's got a promotion board tomorrow and today he goes and tells his boss he's an idiot??? Well, that was really intelligent/bright of him.

Is it OK to use intelligent or bright in these examples here?

Thanks for your reply.
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