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English vocabulary question...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm working on one of my essays and there's one article I'd like to quote but first I need to make sure that the sentence I want to use really means what I think it does.
Even though I live and study in English, it's not my first language so every once in a while I run into vocabulary problem.

Anyway, the article says something like this:
"Many African-Americans are today arrayed with the democratic party."

I'm not too sure what "array" means in that context. I looked it up in the dictionary and I can't find a definition that makes sense. The article was written in 1900 so maybe it's just older English...

Am I right to assume that it means that the African-Americans were in favor of the democratic party?
(I'm just worried that maybe it means the opposite and I'll look stupid for quoting it wrong)
post #2 of 26
I wouldn't have used the word "arrayed", as it means "dressed in" or "decorated with". Perhaps the author meant "allied" or "aligned".

A lot of native English-speakers use words improperly.
post #3 of 26
I'd say the same. That sentence doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.....
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
ok... so I'm not crazy. It's the guy who wrote the article who's crazy!

I guess I'll assume that he meant "alligned". It makes more sense in the context of what he was writting.
post #5 of 26
I`ll ask my friend who is black and see if she knows what that means. She maybe has heard that quote before...and I`ll get back to you and let you know what she says. (Hopefully she can shed some light for you.)
Linda
post #6 of 26
Oooh whilst on the topic of english essays could you give me a few tips? I've failed my last two at school and they aren't giving me good enough feedback to figure out what I'm doing wrong.
post #7 of 26
He used an incorrect word. He meant align themselves with the democratic party.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
Oooh whilst on the topic of english essays could you give me a few tips? I've failed my last two at school and they aren't giving me good enough feedback to figure out what I'm doing wrong.
Sam
I am far from good at english but I would be willing to read and try to give feedback
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charcoal
He used an incorrect word. He meant align themselves with the democratic party.
what ever happened to proof reading?? Okay I know I dont here much..lmao
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
Sam
I am far from good at english but I would be willing to read and try to give feedback
Thank you!! I'll have to get some of them up on the computer but I'll let you know!
post #11 of 26
Sam
I teach English essay writing and most people fail first because they don't plan and second they don't structure their work properly. The worst thing you can do is just start to write and hope it comes out OK. If you go to the Purdue Owl Site (google it) there are loads of handouts on essay structure. All essays must have:

Attention Grabber
Thesis statement at end of introduction paragraph
Topic sentence for each paragraph
Good support sentences
Concluding paragraph

PM me if I can give more help
post #12 of 26
I was hoping you would reply Jenny. Thank you very much for the information. I can't PM but I'll definitly let you know if you can help me further. Thanks again!
post #13 of 26
Marie-P: in this sense "arrayed" means something like : drawn up and given an orderly disposition. Put into an order so to speak.
post #14 of 26
Maybe the word had a different meaning when it was used,. I keep thinking of the phrase towed array. But anywho array can also mean lined up.

On a another note, why don't you post your essay for us to review. If this is a school essay, then you may need to discover what the exam answer demands. For example, do they want you to take a side or present both sides of the issue? Or is this English paper more content based with marks awarded for each point raised as opposed to the depth or how convincing the article is.
post #15 of 26
As soon as I read the sentence I knew arrayed was the incorrect word to use. I agree and would have thought it should have read aligned.
I like to proofread-when I was working I did that for a couple of my co-workers in the office. Some people just can't write a decent letter.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charcoal
He used an incorrect word. He meant align themselves with the democratic party.
& altho 'arrayed' can mean 'aligned', it's usually used for subjects dealing with science or mathematics. sounds like he used the thesaurus in MS word - it comes up with some strange choices sometimes!
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
thanks.

well, I'll probably still use the quote.

I now have 3 pages of my first draft done... only 9-12 more to go
post #18 of 26
mm.. I'm not sure that it IS an incorrect word, keep in mind that it was a VERY OLD article, and word meanings change in 50 years let alone 100.
post #19 of 26
If you use the quote, I would put '(sic - probably means aligned)' just like that after the word 'arrayed'. then the markers will know YOU know what you are talking about.
post #20 of 26
I teach German to English translation, and if one of my students used "arrayed" in that context, I would mark it as a full mistake, and replace it with "aligned". If it meant the difference between a passing and a failing grade, I'd quote a couple of dictionaries, write an "Obsolete usage" comment on the test itself, and calculate it as "half a mistake".
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlecat
mm.. I'm not sure that it IS an incorrect word, keep in mind that it was a VERY OLD article, and word meanings change in 50 years let alone 100.

That was my thought also. If you are using a quote, then use it as it was written. You shouldn't lose any points IMO for that.

Words used before our time were often used differently than we would use them today.
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
That was my thought also. If you are using a quote, then use it as it was written. You shouldn't lose any points IMO for that.

Words used before our time were often used differently than we would use them today.
that's what I was thinking.
It's an history assignment anyways... I'm sure the prof is used to reading quotes in old English.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
that's what I was thinking.
It's an history assignment anyways... I'm sure the prof is used to reading quotes in old English.
Marie, I believe you are from la Belle Province - perhaps that is the way it was translated into English at the time? Non?
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Marie, I believe you are from la Belle Province - perhaps that is the way it was translated into English at the time? Non?
I am from Quebec but this assignment is for an American history class. The quote is from an African-American newspaper back in 1900.
post #25 of 26
The more I think about it, I am not too certain if the correct word is aligned given the context that the article was in 1900. It was only from the 1940s to 1960s after the Civil Rights movement did African Americans became aligned with the Democrats. This was because prior to that the Democrat's traditional power base were from the Southern Conservative Democrats that were opposed to civil rights. Which suggests to me that in the 1900s African American support should be instead with the Republican party.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
The more I think about it, I am not too certain if the correct word is aligned given the context that the article was in 1900. It was only from the 1940s to 1960s after the Civil Rights movement did African Americans became aligned with the Democrats. This was because prior to that the Democrat's traditional power base were from the Southern Conservative Democrats that were opposed to civil rights. Which suggests to me that in the 1900s African American support should be instead with the Republican party.
actually, that's right. Most African-Americans around that time were supporting the Republican party. But in 1900, some switched sides because they were strongly opposed to the war in the Philippine waged by the Republican administration. The majority still supported the Republicans (less enthusiastically than before, but it still seemed like the lesser of two evils) but the article in question is written by a democrat... so he might have been exagerating democratic support a little.
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