General Writing and Grammar Help/Have the heart

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Question
Dear Ted:

Would you please give me some formal and informal/idiomatic/colorful alternatives to "have the heart" in the sentence below?

I didn't have the hearth to tell the children the party had been postponed.

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:


Would you please give me some formal and informal/idiomatic/colorful
alternatives to "have the heart" in the sentence below?

I didn't have the hearth [HEART] to tell the children the party had been postponed.

*** I didn't want to break the hearts of the children by telling them the party had been postponed.

*** If you do not "have the heart," you do not want to do something because it will hurt or disappoint someone else.  It is very difficult to find other expressions, idiomatic or not, that can be used in its place.

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/thesaurus-category/american/Unwillingness-

The online "Macmillan Dictionary" suggests "unwillingness" as a close synonym.  You can find several other synonyms at the web address above.

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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