overlook, oversee的用法 - 给力英语

overlook, oversee的用法

发布:jetshing    时间:2009-03-14 20:59:59     浏览:6546次

A glance in any dictionary will show that the verb overlook has many senses, including one in which it is synonymous with supervise. This sense dates back to 1532, but in current English it has become extremely rare—for obvious reasons:

The operators "overlook" the machines —Anglo-American Council on Productivity, Packaging, 1950

Take away the quotation marks and most readers will get an impression of distracted operators neglecting or perhaps tripping over their machines, since "to fail to notice; ignore" has long been established as the princi­pal sense of overlook. The "supervise" sense now sur­vives almost solely in the noun overlooker, a chiefly British synonym of foreman:

... overlookers in metal manufacture and engineer­ing —B. Benjamin & H. W. Haycocks, The Analysis of Mortality and Other Actuarial Statistics, 1970

... require an overlooker to take charge of our Fancy Yarn Department —advt, Telegraph & Argus (Brad­ford, Eng.), 4 June 1974

The history of oversee closely resembles that of over­look, except that the "supervise" sense is the one that has prevailed:

... a few aides who were to oversee the major departments —New Yorker, 12 May 1972

Oversee also once meant "to fail to notice; disregard":

... to oversee and wilfully neglect the gross advances made him by my wife —William Congreve, The Way of the World, 1700 (OED)

But that sense of the word is now obsolete.

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