General Writing and Grammar Help/RE: Have the heart

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Question
Dear Ted:

In the sentence "I didn't have the HEART to tell the children the party had been postponed," doesn't "to have the heart" mean "to have the COURAGE"?

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

In the sentence "I didn't have the HEART to tell the children the party had been
postponed," doesn't "to have the heart" mean "to have the COURAGE"?

** I don't think that "courage" is what is meant in this sentence.  By telling the children the truth, the teller would be disappointing them.  Telling them would be a very mild form of "cruelty," because it would destroy their happiness.

Since I don't have the heart, I am hoping that someone else will tell the children.  In other words, I do not want to feel "responsible" for the sadness of the children.

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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