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Keenly

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August 19, 2009, 06:54
Henry
Keenly
I came across the word keenly from a book which said "This world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligence etc."

keenly: with great sensitivity and intelligence
Synonyms: perceptively, sharply, shrewdly.

When I come across a new word I try to find others ways in creating sentences and phrases for that word.

I am having trouble figuring out when I can use this word in a sentence so far I got these sentences which I dont know if I am using it correctly.

She keenly applied her eye-liner before the show
He glances keenly over at his partner
I am keenly aware of my own shortcomings

I would love to hear more sentences and phrases.
August 19, 2009, 08:52
Richard English
Hello Henry and welcome to the site.

I can only give my opinion insofar as British English is concerned. However, here we would also expect "keen" to convey the sense of "with enthusiasm or particular affection".

"I am keen on her" = I like her a lot.

I would tend to avoid the adverb unless it conveyed that sense - which the exemplar sentence does. It is, however, rather more difficult to understand how eye-liner could be applied keenly - carefully, maybe.


Richard English
October 25, 2013, 12:36
buildvocab
Hey henry!!May be I can help you over this. Keenly is actually an adverb. It is somewhat related to keen only. When you are talking about keenly, you are trying to speak about an action which creates a deep interest inside you.Or may be for a thing which fascinates you or for a thing for which you were waiting desperately.
1-I was keenly waiting for my birthday present (waiting)
2-I was keenly witnessing the sudden snowfall(capturing interest)
It strictly means, you use keenly when you are already deeply interested in something or a random thing captures your interest
October 25, 2013, 21:34
Kalleh
We don't really use the word "keen" that much in the US.
October 26, 2013, 13:22
Geoff
I'm sharpening my knife, Tom said keenly.

Keen can be a verb, as in, "she keened over the loss of her dog," though the etymology differs, IIRC.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
October 28, 2013, 07:10
zmježd
Pee Chee folders are keen!


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
October 28, 2013, 11:04
Proofreader
My cleaver makes a keen cut.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
November 29, 2013, 14:33
Proofreader
Why is "keen" used in the term "peachy keen"?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
November 30, 2013, 12:26
zmježd
Why is "keen" used in the term "peachy keen"?

Not sure, but keen in the sense of good or strong is probably a natural semantic progression from sharp or intense. It's anybody's guess why peachy got to mean what it does in slang.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
November 30, 2013, 21:31
Kalleh
Here's a cite about it in Word Wizard. This is also an interesting citation from The Phrase Finder. While it really doesn't answer the question about the addition of "keen" to "peachy," it talked about the sexual connotations of peaches. I hadn't realized that.

The English Language & Usage site says that while the OED has "peachy-keen" originating in 1951, Time Magazine has citings in 1948.
January 26, 2014, 11:39
Proofreader
From Michael Quinlon's column last week:

Rhine A little stream that runs close to my house soon drops to what used to be the flood plain of the River Severn before it was enclosed and drained. It flows into a drainage ditch called the Pickedmoor Rhine ...

Little mention is made of the now extinct land animal that once inhabited the site, the Rhineocerus.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Proofreader,


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
September 01, 2014, 13:51
WeeWilly
quote:
She keenly applied her eye-liner before the show

---> No; probably inappropriate. Usage feels odd, as would "eagerly" in the sentence "She eagerly applied her eyeliner before the show." BTW, I am not saying that "eagerly" and "keenly" are synonyms (they aren't); I am merely trying to convey a similar sense of the oddity inherent in the usage!

quote:
He glances keenly over at his partner.

---> No; this would be poor usage.

quote:
I am keenly aware of my own shortcomings.

---> Yes.

Of course, I am keenly aware that offering such definite (and cocksure?) opinions about language usage may stir indignation among other readers, but I'll risk that in the interests of accuracy. "Keenly" means "sharply and cleanly" in the sense of "not being leavened by other cluttering or deflecting factors".

Here is a quote from Susan B. Anthony that uses "keenly" (I went surfing to find a good example):

quote:
It is cruel for you to leave your daughter, so full of hope and resolve, to suffer the humiliations of disfranchisement she already feels so keenly, and which she will find more and more galling as she grows into the stronger and grander woman she is sure to be.


Cheers.


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
September 03, 2014, 10:33
goofy
quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:

Of course, I am keenly aware that offering such definite (and cocksure?) opinions about language usage may stir indignation among other readers, but I'll risk that in the interests of accuracy. "Keenly" means "sharply and cleanly" in the sense of "not being leavened by other cluttering or deflecting factors".



I'm not indignant, however there are 6 definitions for "keenly" in the OED, one of which is "eagerly" and it dates from the 1400s.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
September 04, 2014, 12:18
zmježd
there are 6 definitions for "keenly" in the OED

Rare indeed is the word that only has one meaning.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
September 04, 2014, 12:39
Proofreader
quote:
one

There's a rarity.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
September 05, 2014, 03:42
Geoff
one

number
1.
the lowest cardinal number; half of two; 1.

1.
referring to a person or thing previously mentioned or easily identified.
"her mood changed from one of moroseness to one of joy"
2.
a person of a specified kind.
"you're the one who ruined her life"
September 05, 2014, 05:25
Proofreader
quote:
onenumber1.the lowest cardinal number; half of two; 1.1.referring to a person or thing previously mentioned or easily identified."her mood changed from one of moroseness to one of joy"2.a person of a specified kind."you're the one who ruined her life"

just examples of 'oneness'


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
September 05, 2014, 15:11
WeeWilly
quote:
I'm not indignant, however there are 6 definitions for "keenly" in the OED, one of which is "eagerly" and it dates from the 1400s.


Thanks for the heads up. I knew that "keenly" once had a meaning that was very close to "eagerly", but do you not believe that this has been lost in the sands of time? Maybe not.

That said, would you disagree with my assessment of the various uses of "keenly" in the examples? Wink


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
September 05, 2014, 18:40
goofy
quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
I knew that "keenly" once had a meaning that was very close to "eagerly", but do you not believe that this has been lost in the sands of time?


I do not.

I am keenly looking forward to an opening as a fresh engineering graduate.


I felt cut off and was keenly looking forward to hearing what Randall had found out

what do these mean if not "eagerly, enthusiastically, strongly".

quote:

That said, would you disagree with my assessment of the various uses of "keenly" in the examples? Wink

yes.
September 06, 2014, 07:58
Geoff
Goofy, that's keen!
September 06, 2014, 18:44
WeeWilly
Goofy, mayhap we strayed somewhat? I meant, would you see the following uses of "keenly" as correct:

quote:
She keenly applied her eye-liner before the show.


quote:
He glances keenly over at his partner.


I don't, even - or particularly - with "keenly" as a synonym for "eagerly" - and indeed I do agree that they can be synonyms, for I like your examples. But "eagerly applying make-up" is unlikely, as is "eagerly glancing over at one's partner". Certainly the second usage has a possible interpretation where "eagerly" might apply, but the casual term "glancing" renders such interpretation wildly unlikely. Wink

Cheers.


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
September 06, 2014, 19:18
goofy
quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
Goofy, mayhap we strayed somewhat? I meant, would you see the following uses of "keenly" as correct:

quote:
She keenly applied her eye-liner before the show.


quote:
He glances keenly over at his partner.


I agree "keenly" doesn't mean "eagerly" in those sentences. However those sentences don't sound weird to me. I'm not sure why you say they are inappropriate or poor usage. "keenly" can also mean "acutely, intensely, deeply, strongly" and "sharply, piercingly, incisively" (from the OED)
September 09, 2014, 04:14
WeeWilly
I agree that it can mean these things. Which meaning applies in each of the above examples? I find them all awkward, and out of place in the sentences. In the second sentence, the notion of "glancing" is not a good accompaniment for "keenly".

More directly, I have no idea of what is intended in either of the sentences. The use of "keenly" in the third example sentence of the original posting is clear. Not so the other two.

However, if they don't sound weird to you, then so be it, for diction is a personal thing ... thank heavens! Cheers. Wink


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
September 09, 2014, 04:36
arnie
I see nothing unusual in the uses above.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
September 11, 2014, 20:49
Kalleh
I don't know about Canada, but we in the U.S. just don't use the word keen any more. It reminds me of swell! or neat. If I am not mistaken, keen is pretty common in the UK.
September 14, 2014, 00:11
goofy
quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
I agree that it can mean these things. Which meaning applies in each of the above examples? I find them all awkward, and out of place in the sentences. In the second sentence, the notion of "glancing" is not a good accompaniment for "keenly".


But this is what happens when we modify one word with another - we change the meaning of the first word.

quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
More directly, I have no idea of what is intended in either of the sentences.


How about "incisively" and "intensely"
October 16, 2014, 05:07
goofy
“The detective glanced keenly at him as he passed. He made a practice of glancing keenly at nearly everything. It cost nothing and impressed clients.”

P. G. Wodehouse, Piccadilly Jim
October 27, 2014, 20:22
Kalleh
I wonder what happened to WeeWilly. He was posting like fire for awhile.

I suspect "keen" was used more in the U.S. in years past - just not as much anymore. In putting it into Ngram , it peaked between 1880 and 1940, and then came way down - until 2000 where it has started on its way up. Interesting!
October 28, 2014, 05:32
Proofreader
Our refusal to agree with his definition of "accident" seems to have struck a nerve.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
December 02, 2014, 19:02
Dolores Bunker
I am originally from California but I'm here in the Philippines right now. Filipinos are fluent in speaking English and "keen" is common in their vocabulary.

"I keenly believe that their is still hope for the Philippines"
December 03, 2014, 03:48
Geoff
What? A Californian who did NOT move to Oregon???
I'm amazed! What brought you to the Philippines?

It's keen to see another woman on here; they are not well represented.
December 03, 2014, 20:43
Kalleh
Welcome, Dolores! Tell us a little about yourself. Why from California (my favorite state) to the Philippines?
February 15, 2015, 23:02
Dolores Bunker
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Welcome, Dolores! Tell us a little about yourself. Why from California (my favorite state) to the Philippines?


quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
What? A Californian who did NOT move to Oregon???
I'm amazed! What brought you to the Philippines?


Hey, thanks for welcoming me Kalleh Smile Still here in Manila, I'm having a five months work related trip and I'm enjoying it so far but the weather here is HOT!
February 16, 2015, 17:58
Geoff
Dolores, please jump in with our word games! We've got a limerick game going on about the town of Valentine, Texas, and a parody of the poem, "Trees." Sit back with a glass of iced tea and get the creative juices flowing!
February 16, 2015, 19:47
Kalleh
Yes, Dolores. I agree with Geoff. Or - just give us a word to discuss.