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I have a problem in understanding the meaning of this sentence:
"Perhaps less romantic than the mining booms, the exploitation of forest and water resources was just as vital to national development."
What is the role of the first part? Booms would play the role of a noun or a verb? Moreover, the connection between the first part and the second part is unclear for me? I would appreciate it if someone explains to me the exact meaning of this sentence. Thank you

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It is a plural noun: Originally U.S.

OED: 1.a. [...] a sudden bound of activity in any business or speculation.

1911 E. M. Clowes On Wallaby ii. 31 The Land Boom—‘the Boom’, as it is always called..had a most potentially humanizing effect on the people.

1936 M. Plowman Faith called Pacifism 28 The people of this country were enjoying a post-war boom.

1955 Bull. Atomic Scientists Mar. 88/2 Thus the uranium boom began.

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  • Thank you for your consideration, if the "booms" is a popular noun what is the role of the first part of the sentences? – negin tavakkoli Sep 16 at 10:52
  • Do you mean the phrase up to the first comma? If you do it then it describes the noun phrase "the exploitation of forest and water resources". What the first phrase does is contrast that exploitation with the exploitation of mineral resources through a mining boom by saying that, in the popular imagination, forestry and water exploitation are less romantic. – BoldBen Sep 16 at 11:15

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