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[word-lover] 【整理】2008-05-08 :BBC:Keep Your English Up-to-Date

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Clueless,I'm clueless,he's clueless,she's clueless,um...,I mean,naturally a clue less,that is a clue in the sense of a piece of information or evidence used by police in solving a crime,that's where the word started years ago.And then it became a rather more general meaning,any facts about solving a problem,in phrases like,you know,clues about the past,have you got any clues about the past,in archaeology exploration,for example. In an earlier there was a usage in idiom,you know,I haven't got a clue,I have got no idea,I can't think what's happening. So it has its kind of informal sense,the word clue goes back quite a long time meaning having no knowledge or understanding or ability.So much milder a word,clueless,than stupid.and Stupid is quite strong,isn't it,you are stupid is stronger than you are clueless.Clueless is more you are absent-minded,you are scatty,you could probably do it if you kept your mind on it,it's that kind of usage,isn't it,a much milder concept. Usage spread when it became the name of a 1995 film,loosely based on Jane Austin's Emma,was called clueless.It's often intensified too,I'm totally clueless.I heard somebody say it the other day,I'm totally clueless when it comes to grammar.Well,I'm not totally clueless when it comes to grammar,but I have to say,I am totally clueless when it comes to cooking,I do toast nuts about it.
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