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I am not a native speaker. Recently, I came across the following sentence.

They promise escapism. Escapism from the mundane and into the challenging and extraordinary.

Is the use of escapism correct on both occassions?

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The words have different meanings. If the writer of those sentences pertains to escapism, then it is correct. – Lester Nubla Dec 2 '13 at 9:56
No. You asked the right question, though. :) – Kris Dec 2 '13 at 9:59
@LesterNubla What would be 'Escapism from the mundane'? – Kris Dec 2 '13 at 10:00
@Kris why dont you answer it urself. btw i dono the answer. – uma Dec 2 '13 at 10:14
@Kris I really don't know. :D – Lester Nubla Dec 2 '13 at 23:48
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe escape would be more relevant here.Here are some meanings of the word from OED


1.an act of breaking free from confinement or control:

the gang had made their escape

he could think of no way of escape, short of rudeness

  • an act of avoiding something dangerous or unpleasant: the baby was fine, but it was a lucky escape

  • a means of escaping from somewhere: [as modifier]:

he had planned his escape route

2 a *form of temporary distraction from reality or routine:*

romantic novels should present an escape from the dreary realities of life

Escapism noun [mass noun] the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy:

virtual reality offers a form of escapism

Hence when referring to an instance or the act of freedom,it is escape.Escapism is a tendency, more like a psychological condition, something that cannot be actively offered by a third party.It is at best a quality that at best lends itself to certain activities or things like and there is definitely voluntry action if at all involved:

Day dreaming is a form escapism.

Day dreams offer him an escape from his mundane existence.

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on both occassions? – user52023 Dec 2 '13 at 11:30
Since a third party is offering it, yes in this context.As a standalone sentence, the second one works with Escapism. – Preetie Sekhon Dec 2 '13 at 15:09

The first sentence may or may not be right, depending on what the writer meant (a book, film or whatever can offer escapism or promise escape: it can also promise escapism, though it would be commoner to say that an advertisement for it promised escapism).

In the second sentence, though, escape would definitely be better. As Preetie said, escapism is a tendency or condition; it may be considered desirable or otherwise, but it cannot be qualified or subdivided. An office worker daydreaming about living as a hunter on the mighty plains of Africa is precisely as escapist as an African hunter daydreaming about earning a living just by pressing buttons in a warm safe office.

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@LesterNubla @PreetieSekhon @TimLymington @Kris I know that escape and escapism have different meanings as Preetie and TIm have clearly pointed out. But this is my problem: The author insists that he is talking about the surreal feeling of escapism that 'they' promise. So in that context the first use of escapism makes sense to me. My problem is with the use of the word in the second sentence. 'Escapism from the mundane' is meaningless. It should be 'Escape from the mundane'. But this is when the it gets tricky for me.

They promise escapism. An escape from the mundane and into the challenging and extraordinary.

The sentence above doesn't sound any better or accurate either.

I believe it should be: They promise escapism. A hope/opportunity (for lack of a better word) of escape from the mundane and into the challenging and extraordinary.

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I answered your question early on with a "No." Also see my comment at Lester: "What would be 'Escapism from the mundane'?" suggesting that escapism is incorrect in that sentence. – Kris Dec 3 '13 at 11:49

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