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In my book, I came across with this sentence:

The result of the match was ............... as far as human self-esteem was concerned.

(The context is about a chess match between a human and a machine; the human wins)

There are two possible word choices:

  1. salubrious
  2. facetious

At the end of the book, the correct answer is given which is salubrious.


Questions:

1): I cant figure out the highlighted sentence completely. Given to the context, I can guess the author want to imply a surprising fact which is the victory of human being over a computer in a chess match. Am I right? Would you help me to understand the sentence?

2): Why is salubrious the correct answer as matter of the fact that facetious has some humorous or amusing connotation which concurs with my thoughts about surprising content of the sentence.

  • I wouldn't associate a result with being humorous. A result is just a conclusion. As for salubrious I doubt many people know this word (I didn't). If the human won, it might make sense. – user3169 Jun 16 '16 at 15:49
  • 2. graded adjective & adjective Something that is described as salubrious is respectable or socially desirable. [formal] ⇒ ...London's less salubrious quarters. – user33000 Jun 16 '16 at 16:22
  • collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/salubrious – user33000 Jun 16 '16 at 16:22
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This sentence is implying that the human self-esteem was helped by the victory of the human chess player. Salubrious is not a commonly used word at all, I'm a native English speaker and had to look it up in a dictionary to make sure I knew what it means, but it means healthy.

In other words, the author is not saying that the human victory was surprising, he/she was implying that human pride would have been harmed if the human did not win.

Facetious does have some humorous connotation, but means more sarcastic or dishonest for humorous effect. It would not make sense in this usage.

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  • Thanks, but this part "human pride would have been harmed" in your example stems from which part of the sentence. It is the fundamental idea behind this question; I want to know what does it mean. I mean I can use dictionary to find the definition of the word. I couldn't understand the meaning of the sentence. – Cardinal Jun 16 '16 at 19:23
  • To get the meaning we can shift it around. We know the result of the match was a human victory, right? So let's substitute and get the sentence: "The human's victory was ________ to human self-esteem" (since "as far as ___ was concerned" is just a fancy way of indicating an object of a sentence"). We can assume that we need a positive adjective, then. "The human victory was healthy to human pride" is then a reasonable understanding of this sentence. – noah Jun 16 '16 at 20:17
  • Wow, You saved me. In fact as far as ___ was concerned" is just a fancy way of indicating an object of a sentence" was awesome. I think the bottle neck was this phrase. I couldn't digest it ! Manyyyyyyyyy Thaaaaanks – Cardinal Jun 16 '16 at 20:20

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