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The following is an excerpt from this newspaper article, it is about Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's previous leader who recently died,

Throughout, Mr. Mugabe remained inscrutable, some would say conflicted. Remote, calculating, ascetic and cerebral, a self-styled revolutionary inspired by what he once called “Marxist-Leninism-Mao-Tse-tung thought,” he affected a scholarly manner, bespectacled and haughty, a vestige of his early years as a schoolteacher. But his hunger for power was undiluted.

It is my understanding that vestige means some trace, trait or ruin that proves something existed before. I can't really think of what vestige above could possibly be referring to, is it the fact that Mugabe affected a scholarly manner? if so, isn't the bespectacled and haughty in the middle kind of strange, since it's completely unrelated to what is before it nor after.

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    It means exactly what you've said. a [trace] of his early years. And it's his scholarly manner that is a holdover from his time as a teacher. Bespectacled and haughty is simply parenthetical and syntactically nonessential information. You can remove it to understand the sentence. But its presence helps to convey the nature of the scholarly manner. – Jason Bassford Sep 6 '19 at 11:43
  • If you don't see how it belongs, then you may simply have a different opinion than the writer does. The writer evidently seems to think that wearing glasses, being haughty, and having a scholarly manner are associated with having been a schoolteacher. Seems normal to me. These three things together are vestiges of him having been a school teacher. – farnsy Sep 6 '19 at 20:42
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It is my understanding that vestige means some trace, trait or ruin that proves something existed before.

Yes.

I can't really think of what vestige above could possibly be referring to is it the fact that Mugabe affected a scholarly manner?

Yes.

if so, isn't the bespectacled and haughty in the middle kind of strange, since it's completely unrelated to what is before it nor after.

Not strange or unrelated.

"bespectacled" and "haughty" describes some school teachers, it's a stereotype.

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