What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Question I was allowed to grow up without too much fuss being made of me.

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,706
Reaction score
53
Dear native English speakers,

would you teach me what the sentence above means? Does this sentence sound natural?
 

Michael2

Sempai
Joined
4 Jan 2018
Messages
293
Reaction score
44
"To make a fuss of someone" means to pay a lot of attention to someone, in a positive way, so you might "make a fuss" of your mother on Mother's Day for example.
This sentence is a little odd because "being made a fuss of" is a positive action so you would normally want to have a fuss made out of you. This sentence sounds like the person was able to and wanted to escape that. I don't know why you would want to but it's possible.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
1,335
It means something like "I grew up with freedom from excessive oversight by my family."
It sounds like something that was written in a book.

Basically the author is saying that s/he didn't have helicopter parents.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
1,335
This sentence is a little odd because "being made a fuss of" is a positive action so you would normally want to have a fuss made out of you. This sentence sounds like the person was able to and wanted to escape that. I don't know why you would want to but it's possible.
The context of this sentence in my imagination is that it's written in the autobiography of a woman born in the early 20th century who was allowed to grow up with the freedom to climb trees and explore rather than being made to be prim and proper as little girls should. And that allowed her to follow her passion and do great things.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
1,335
I found the original essay.

An only child​

I was one of six children. I have two younger brothers and three elder sisters. My father was not a wealthy man and we lived in a three-bedroomed house, so conditions at home were always quite cramped and there was little privacy. Yet I consider that I was extremely fortunate. The house was on the outskirts of a small town. Meadows, woods and even a friendly stream lay within walking distance of our home. My mother and father were far too busy to occupy themselves with my affairs, so the greater part of my upbringing was left to my sisters. If I am now a comparatively calm and placid person, able to cope tolerably well with those problems that life presents us with, it is, I firmly believe, due to the fact that I was allowed to grow up without too much fuss being made of me.

The most dreadful fate that I can imagine would be that of growing up as an only child. All mothers and fathers experiment on their unfortunate firstborn. They read the latest baby books, they attend clinics and courses of lectures. They listen to the advice of maiden aunts.

They debate the exact moment to present him or her with solid food. What they find extremely difficult to do is to allow their child to grow up at his own pace, to make his own mistakes and quietly learn from them.

As soon as the second baby is on the way, the first escapes from this period of close attention. He begins to get away with things. He discovers that even if he does eat sandwiches with dirty hands, or unripe apples that have fallen from the tree, he may not be sick in the night. He acquires a sense of proportion regarding his own importance.

But what happens to an only child? Never, or at least not until it is far too late to do anything about it, does he or she escape from the minute examination of his every action. It is a miracle if he does not grow up a nervous person constantly worrying about his health, a wholly self-centred being, who shivers at the sight of his own reflection in the mirror.​
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,706
Reaction score
53
Thank you for the help, Michael2 and mdchachi.
Mdchachi, I tried to find the original essay, but I failed because my Google couldn't find it. How did you find it? Is this essay written by a native English speaker?
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
1,335
Thank you for the help, Michael2 and mdchachi.
Mdchachi, I tried to find the original essay, but I failed because my Google couldn't find it. How did you find it? Is this essay written by a native English speaker?
I found it via this Google query. I think it was written by a native speaker.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,706
Reaction score
53
Oh, I didn't know Google has such a useful tool. Thank you for telling me.
 

Lothor

Proofreader extraordinaire
Moderator
Donor
Joined
26 Sep 2015
Messages
1,249
Reaction score
717
Oh, I didn't know Google has such a useful tool. Thank you for telling me.
Just put quote marks around the phrase you are looking for and Google will only return matches for the exact expression. It's a useful editing tool - I often find that strange combinations of words turn out to be common expressions in particular scientific fields.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,706
Reaction score
53
Lothor, thank you for the information. I didn't know that.
 
Top Bottom