I feel that this is a difficult question for me to explain, so please feel free to reword my query.

In context, the protagonist is explaining to the reader that he does know whether he should feel honoured that his friends would have prefered to watch him - ahem - copulate due to his popularity, or rather disgusted and uncomfortable. I've chosen to phrase it like this:

"It's a massive deal. And yes, we did [expect you to wait for us to watch]." Aline says, releasing me. I can't tell whether her response is _______ to my popularity, or, rather, something they should get checked out.

Someone suggested to me "as a result of", but this seems too ambiguous and I feel that it relies too heavily on context not given to indicate that the protagonist believes this is a benefit of his popularity. The word perquisite sprang to mind, but, given the colloquial tone of the narrator, it seemed inappropriate.

Many thanks.

Edit: The word owing does seem to work, but I'd prefer to rearrange the sentence in order to use it. I'm wondering if it loses its meaning:

"It's a massive deal. And yes, we did [expect you to wait for us to watch]." AQline says, releasing me. I can't tell whether to owe her response to my popularity, or consider asking them to seek medical help."

Does this lose the initial meaning, or sound scrappy?

  • The rearrangement using owe would sound more natural using "I owe" rather than "to owe". Did you not like due, as in "...her response is due to my popularity..."?
    – epsilon
    Dec 29, 2016 at 18:17
  • I knew it seemed a bit "off", thank you. Due works well, I'd just have prefered to use "owe". Many thanks. Dec 29, 2016 at 18:35

3 Answers 3


I would use the word owing here, as in :

I can't tell whether her response is owing to my popularily...

The word due would also work well.

Similar to your suggestion of "as a result of" would be "a function of", but here you would need to drop the marker to.


You haven’t specified whether you want a noun or something else, but you mention a benefit and perquisite, so I assume that you’re amenable to a noun.  I believe that tribute fits your sentence well:

I can’t tell whether her response is a tribute to my popularity, …



  • something given or contributed voluntarily as due or deserved
  • something (as material evidence or a formal attestation) that indicates the worth, virtue, or effectiveness of the one in question

Oxford English Dictionaries:

    An act, statement, or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration:
    ‘the video is a tribute to the musicals of the 40s’
    • Something resulting from a particular quality or feature and indicating its worth:
      ‘his victory in the championship was a tribute to his persistence’

Macmillan Dictionary:

    something that you do, say, or build to show that you respect and admire someone or something
    tribute to: They showed the program as a tribute to the two men.

Is the word "alluding" a possible option. Meaning as per Merriam Webster dictionary is " to make indirect reference"

  • I like that word a lot, but I wouldn't consider it fitting in this writing. The word, by definition, implies subtly and, in context, it seems innapropriate considering the bluntness of the girl's response. Thank you, though. Dec 29, 2016 at 18:02
  • "in envy" is one more option that may be considered. Thank you.
    – Monzoor
    Dec 29, 2016 at 18:07
  • This again doesn't seem to be correct in context. It's more fake disappointment rather than actual jealously, and it pertains to his popularity, which he defines as a positive thing. "Envy" sounds too antagonal. Dec 29, 2016 at 18:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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