Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Does indiscrete make sense in the following sentence? Is this word used as synonym of indissoluble?

The instincts and conduct of the young man who aspires to the eminence of a dukedom, from which he seems hopefully removed by the precedence of several relatives and an indiscrete marriage which his mother made, are elegant and impeccable.

The New York Times, Books (Alec Guinness Plays 8 Roles in 'Kind Hearts and Coronets," at Trans-Lux 60th Street).


Oxford Dictionaries, indiscrete: "not divided into distinct parts".

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

They've used the wrong word:

indiscreet: not discreet; imprudent or tactless

is the word they meant to use.

share|improve this answer
    
+1. Most likely. Both discrete and discreet have the same origin and pronounciation, BTW. –  CesarGon Jun 2 '12 at 18:58

It seems to me this is more likely to be a misprint for indiscreet — lacking discretion; unwise.

IMDb has this for the plot of Kind Hearts and Coronets:

Louis Mazzini's mother belongs to the aristocratic family D'Ascoyne, but she ran away with an opera singer. Therefore, she and Louis were rejected by the D'Ascoynes. Once adult, Louis decides to avenges his mother and him, by becoming the next Duke of the family. Murdering every potential successor is clearly the safest way to achieve his goal...

...and I guess an opera singer was thought to be rather infra dig.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.