Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one valence or multiple valences.)
"Valence" has a certain meaning in chemistry, but here, we're interested in the more general meaning:
Something's valence is its power to attract or repulse people (and, often, make them behave a certain way).
How to use it:
Talk about the valence of something, as in "the intellectual valence of documentaries" or "the emotional valence of a story about well-deserved revenge," or just talk about something's valence or the valence that something has, the valence that something carries, the valence that something wields, etc. When you say that something has a positive, strong, or high valence, you mean it pulls people toward it, and something with a negative, weak, or low valence pushes people away from it: "the positive valence of the buffet table," "the negative valence of pushy salespeople."
When we lived near Washington, D.C., we felt drawn to the cultural valence of the Smithsonian museums there--or maybe we just loved going because admission was free.
For high school students, it seems the general threat of getting in trouble with the teacher carries very little of the valence it did back in elementary school.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "valence” means when you can explain it without saying “attractive power” or “repulsive power."
Think of a time you changed your mind about feeling attracted to something or repulsed by something, and fill in the blanks: "_____ holds less (positive/negative) valence for me now that _____."
Example about being attracted to something: "That particular sitcom holds less positive valence for me now that I keep noticing how the laugh track is obnoxiously loud and constant."
Example about being repulsed by something: "Roaches hold less negative valence for me now that I understand they're not actually trying to crawl onto me."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Messages that go through an automated translator into several languages and back into English again often end up sounding funny and garbled-- but still somehow meaningful. We’re having fun with that phenomenon this month as we play our game: Guess the moral from Aesop’s Fables after it has been translated into a few foreign languages and back again by a computer program. Some of the morals may be very familiar to you, others not so much. You don’t need to quote Aesop verbatim but rather just understand the message being conveyed. Try it out each day and see the right answer the following day.
Yesterday’s answer: The translation-babble said, “For practical approach is more powerful than the brag be in vain.” Aesop said, “To take a humble approach is always more effective and practical than making empty boasts.”
Try this one today: “The winner will be really dealing with others.”
A Point Well Made:
Mary Oliver: “The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us. Our battles with our habits speak of dreams yet to become real.”
1. The opposite of VALENCE is
2. When _____, the valence reversed, and _____
A. our beloved ice cream brand's manufacturers switched to cheaper ingredients .. now we avoid buying it at all.
B. the crime was committed.. now there will be an excruciatingly long wait until the trial occurs.
C. I was suddenly approached by a begging child instead of a grizzled man .. I felt even more urgency to escape the situation.
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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