Re: A look is not a look

From: Lindsay J. Whaley (
Date: Fri Oct 25 1996 - 09:57:01 EDT

--- Randy Leedy wrote:
I'd like to offer a knee-jerk reaction to this post, without taking
the time for study and verification. It seems to me that the semantic
feature distinguishing EMBLEPW from BLEPW is a more than usual
intensity. The "looker's" intent is not a component of meaning of the
word itself but rather a factor identified by the context. The
context under consideration implies nothing sexual at all other than
the gender of the characters; the issue clearly at stake is Peter's
identity. Given the undoubtedly poor lighting of the scene, an
intense look would be entirely in order. It seems to me that the
dictum that the meaning that adds the least to the context is
generally correct (I hope I'm stating this with reasonable accuracy)
applies nicely here.

If I had Louw and Nida ready to hand I'd check out my theory; perhaps
someone else on the list will be interested enough to go to that
--- end of quoted material ---

Louw and Nida define EMBLEPW as "to direct one's vision and attention to a
particular object-"to look straight at, to look directly at". They also note
that the verb may not differ significantly in meaning from BLEPW.
        My sense is that Randy is correct in his intuitions. If the verb is
intended to carry any connotation, it is the degree of intensity of the

Lindsay Whaley
Dartmouth College

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