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what does "rather" mean here?

It is part of their job to identify new security phenomena and define strategies to cope with them. Therefore they are often trained and, thus, predisposed to looking for security questions.

Rather these questions are important as an indication that the collapse of an institutionalized understanding of the security environment generates a complex game of producing new, legitimate security knowledge.

sorry i don't know how this works but i tried my best to show rather is in the beginning of second paragraph.

2 Answers 2

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"Rather than" typically has a meaning similar to that of "Instead of". But when "Rather" is used on its own like this, at the beginning of a sentence, the meaning is more like "However". Let me explain (and watch what I do next -- I'll bold the relevant sentence).

Just like, "However", the word "Rather" suggests that what is about to be said is in contrast to some expectation one might get from what has just been said. But unlike "However", "Rather" is not setting up a contrast with what might be inferred from the previous text. Rather, "Rather" is used to indicate that we are about to make a contrast with what almost anyone would take to be implied by the previous text.

(See what I just did there? 🤓)

Another example:

In most European countries, frogs are not consumed as food, however that is not the case in France. Rather, the French consider frogs legs to be a delicacy.

The only trouble is, that doesn't actually make sense given what is being said. The key part begins:

Rather, these questions are important ...

(Note my added comma)

What I think it is trying to say is something like:

Now, based on the previous sentence, one would tend to infer that the questions are important for [Reason A]. But that would be incorrect. Rather, these questions are important [for Reason B]

But the first part of your text actually fails to set up [Reason A] so that it can then be contrasted later. But for now I'm going to blame the first part, and stick with my parsing of the second part.

(That was surprisingly difficult to explain; I hope it's clear.)

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  • wow thanks a lot.
    – Kiarash
    Mar 1, 2021 at 19:10
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"Rather" means "more preferred" (or "preferrably"), or "very" in some circumstances but at the beginning of the sentence it mostly means "on the contrary", or as exclamation, "certainly" (but that is considered outdated). Can you give the previous sentence, as well, for more context?

EDIT: I believe in this case it would mean "certainly".

EDIT 2: I type as I think, so later on I have to make it more legible. -.-

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  • This seems like a comment, not an answer.
    – stangdon
    Feb 28, 2021 at 16:46
  • I did state the meaning of the word, didn't I? In order to give them a better answer, I need more context because a lot of things in English depend on the context. Feb 28, 2021 at 16:47
  • yes here it is >...It is part of their job to identify new security phenomena and define strategies to cope with them. Therefore theyare often trained and, thus, predisposed to looking for security questions. Rather these questions are important as an indication that the collapse of an institutionalized understanding of the security environment generates a complex game of producing new, legitimate security knowledge....
    – Kiarash
    Feb 28, 2021 at 16:48
  • But it clearly does not mean "very" here, so I don't think that answer helps the questioner.
    – stangdon
    Feb 28, 2021 at 16:51
  • @Kiarash - edit your question, so as to add the sentence there, please. Feb 28, 2021 at 16:51

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