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Got your thinking cap on

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Topic: 3) Got your thinking cap on (1 of 5), Read 78 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 1999 04:10 PM

John Ellery, of Brooklyn, N.Y., writes: "Pretty often I want to compliment people at work for the amount of thought they've put into a topic. 'Thank you for being thoughtful about this' or 'How thoughtful of you' isn't right. What would mean that a lot of thought, rather than kindness in particular, went into something?"

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Topic: 3) Got your thinking cap on (2 of 5), Read 68 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Aaron Reneker (zanazarius@yahoo.com)
Date: Friday, November 19, 1999 09:05 AM

Well, I suppose, "How intellectual of you," would be a bit overdone. Usually, I say something like, "I admire your thinking," or, "I like the way you think." This is actually a double compliment, as it addresses both the person's intellectual contribution and their emotional state during the course of the project.
For my fourth graders, I just say, "Nice thinking." It's a little bland, but 9-10 year olds enjoy simple praise when it isn't doled out too heavily or too often.

Aaron

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Topic: 3) Got your thinking cap on (3 of 5), Read 67 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Diane Cioffi (dhcioffi@aol.com)
Date: Friday, November 19, 1999 01:58 PM

Well, what we used to say when we were collegiate was a simple, "Cerebral!" What I say to my high school students is simply, "Good thinking!" Simple and direct.

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Topic: 3) Got your thinking cap on (4 of 5), Read 50 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Carol Saba (sabas@gateway.net)
Date: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 01:06 PM

If John Ellery, of Brooklyn,
really wants "to compliment people at
work for the amount of thought
they've put into a topic," then thoughtful is indeed the correct term for him to use.
Although thoughtful certainly does mean consideration for the well-being of others, its first meanings are still contemplative, pensive, and characterized by careful thought. Please, John, don't lose such a valuable word--say "thoughtful" and make 'em think! (again)
Carol


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Topic: 3) Got your thinking cap on (5 of 5), Read 49 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Pete Horne (paypete1st@aol.com)
Date: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 03:28 PM

I think there has to be a distinction between the effort of thinking and the result. To merely say something is thoughtful connotes that the result is also appropriate. For example, a position paper can be well thought out, well written, and well presented, but at the same time be fatally flawed because it was based on incomplete or incorrect data. The original post asks for a term that focuses on the thinking that went in, and hints that the product of the thinking might be less than satisfactory.


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