Trouble in Understanding One Sentence

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orientaldreamer
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Trouble in Understanding One Sentence

Post by orientaldreamer »

Hi everyone, I encounter one sentence in my reading which says "neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least use to man...they must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed".

Does this sentence actually mean that both the enjoyment and the capacity of producing musical notes are among the most useless faculties to humans? If so, would it be correct to rephrase the sentence as "both the enjoyment and the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least use to man"?

Thank you for your explanation!
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Joe
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Re: Trouble in Understanding One Sentence

Post by Joe »

orientaldreamer wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:50 pm Hi everyone, I encounter one sentence in my reading which says "neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least use to man...they must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed".

Does this sentence actually mean that both the enjoyment and the capacity of producing musical notes are among the most useless faculties to humans? If so, would it be correct to rephrase the sentence as "both the enjoyment and the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least use to man"?

Thank you for your explanation!
YES to both your questions. :ok:
"We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood :-| " — Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

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Fungle
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Re: Trouble in Understanding One Sentence

Post by Fungle »

There is a very subtle difference in meaning:

'... are not of the least use..' means that these faculties are not of any use at all.

'... are of the least use..' implies that these faculties are less useful than all other faculties. So it leaves room for the interpretation that they do still have some small amount of usefulness.
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