-1

On the one hand, recent advances in the power of computers have been decried as the nemesis of whatever vestiges of our privacy still survive. On the other, the Internet is acclaimed as a Utopia. When clichés contend, it is imprudent to expect sensible resolutions of the problems they embody, but between these two exaggerated claims, something resembling the truth probably resides.

There's no clause after contend here, so definition 1 must be the only choice. Yet no preposition exists after contend here, so it exceeds the dictionary? Is this an appropriate use of "contend"? Does "contend" always need a preposition?

Source: P136, Law, Raymond Wacks

8
  • To contend: (Intr.) To strive in controversy or debate; dispute. thefreedictionary.com/Contend
    – user66974
    Jul 3, 2014 at 8:43
  • contend: clash, conflict, disagree, be at loggerheads with, oppose, repugn
    – Kris
    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:57
  • 1
    There is a clause after "contend" there.
    – Robusto
    Jul 3, 2014 at 14:24
  • @Robusto: Please explain. Where?
    – user50720
    Jul 6, 2014 at 8:38
  • 1
    I would say the writer just used when clichés contend because he wanted to avoid the somewhat clichéed usage mixed metaphor. But it strikes me as clumsy phrasing. Jul 6, 2014 at 14:41

2 Answers 2

3

There is an implied clause that provides the missing "with":

When clichés contend [with each other], it is imprudent to expect sensible resolutions of the problems they embody, but between these two exaggerated claims, something resembling the truth probably resides.

This implied clause is fairly common when using the word "contend":

When two heavyweight champions contend, the match is always entertaining!

-2

I'd guess they've used the wrong word by accident. If the sentence read 'When cliches abound' instead, it makes sense.

1
  • 3
    No, it's the cliché "nemesis of privacy" contending with the cliché "acclaimed as Utopia".
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 3, 2014 at 13:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy