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Thread: subtle and subtlety

  1. #1
    Завсегдатай
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    subtle and subtlety

    Hi!

    I was reading the book about The Book of Kells when encountered the word subtlety.
    The original phrase looks like:
    This text is decorated and at the same time elucidated with images of great iconographic subtlety.

    I checked this word through the free online dictionary, but got not enough of the information. I feel the sense of the word but still can not catch the right and particular meaning. What does that mean in this particular phrase? How would you rewrite it in other words?

    Thank you!
    Я так думаю.

  2. #2
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    Re: subtle and subtlety

    Quote Originally Posted by Leof
    This text is decorated and at the same time elucidated with images of great iconographic subtlety.
    The letters themselves are "decorated"; drawn in an aesthetically pleasing style.

    In addition, the "message" that the text represents (ie. the "meaning of the text") is "illustrated" by artistic "images".

    Though these "images" may appear to be simple or straightforward, they actually display a great deal of sophistication and deeper meaning that only becomes apparent to the reader after further reflection.

    =======

    * Are you familiar with the phrase "more than meets the eye"? That's "subtlety" in a nutshell.

    *Unfortunately, it is often used by people who don't know what the hell they are talking about. Imagine yourself at a party. You're talking about "wine", or "opera", or "art". You don't know anything about any of these. Just smile and call them subtle. Most people will think you see a deeper meaning that they don't -- and they will be afraid to ask you to elaborate because that would mean they are admitting that they don't see it as well. And since they don't want to look stupid, they will change the subject.
    —Ravin' Dave

  3. #3
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    Uhuh! Now it looks much fairer!
    Thank you for making it clear!
    Я так думаю.

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    "subtle" is an adjective, "subtlety" is a noun. The "ty" is like "ness" ность . Смотрю в свою книгу о Книге Келлса, и вижу (в ней цветные фотки), что там действительно искусные рисунки в виде букв.

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