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Question
Dear Ted:

Does the expression "to have seen the best and the worst of something/someone/ourselves" exist?

If so, when is it used?

Would you please give me some examples?

Also, would you please give me some formal and informal/idiomatic alternatives to the above expression?

BTW, is it an expression?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Dear Ted:

Does the expression "to have seen the best and the worst of something/someone/ourselves" exist?

*** YES

If so, when is it used?

*** When two opposing views are presented or seen.

Would you please give me some examples?

Also, would you please give me some formal and informal/idiomatic alternatives to the above expression?

BTW, is it an expression?

*** I don't really know what you mean by "expression."   "To have seen the best and worst" can be called an expression, I suppose.  The words are actually just a group of words that someone has invented or "coined" to present an idea.  I doubt if you would find these words in any dictionary that has phrases or "sayings."

By reading Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities," a person can see the best and worst of the French revolution.

John remarked, "The decision of the Supreme Court is certainly not the best; in fact, it may very well be the worst I have seen."

In the movie "Three Faces of Eve," Joanne Woodward played the role of a woman with three personalities.  Through her acting, you can see the best and the worst of a mentally ill woman.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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