1. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    How to use FATHOM correctly..

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MatrixGravity, May 30, 2011.

    I'm having trouble with this word.

    Fathomable. Is there a way to use it to describe somebodys poor behavior? "Her behavior was unfathomable." Does that sound right? Could you guys possibly write out a few sentences for me with this word so I can understand it better? I know what the definition is, but I'm having trouble writing sentences with it.
     
  2. Malc-Downing
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    Malc-Downing Member

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    I you are having problems, change the word.
    Go to an online thesaurus (or book version) and see if there are any words that sound better.
     
  3. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    But I rather use this word..
     
  4. jo3bo
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    jo3bo Member

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    Unfathomable, as I'm sure you know from looking it up, means something is difficult to understand or incomprehensible; it does not necessarily mean poor as you want it to. In the example you gave: if her behavior is unfathomable, that means it is difficult for others to understand why she does things the way she does. Of course, this may result in poor behavior but the word itself doesn't always imply it. The context in which you use it will be very important.

    P.S I would avoid using thesaurus' unless you are extremely sure of the meaning of the word you choose. Different nuances are very often lost, or gained, by accident through the use of thesaurus synonyms.
     
  5. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't fathom him out. One minute he says he's going to marry the girl the next minute he says he's not. He is completely unfathomable.

    Could you please help me fathom this problem out for my maths homework.

    I'd also advise against using a thesaurus. But a dictionary for a writer is a must.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that sentence is perfectly ok... it puts across the idea that the person is acting in ways that cannot be understood...

    here are other ways to use 'fathom':

    I can't fathom why he'd have left so suddenly.

    Indifference to child abuse is hard to fathom.

    The sub lay six fathoms beneath the storm-tossed surface.
     

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