in or out of captivity
In this sentence,
"There is no such animal, in or out of captivity, as a born public speaker."
What does "in or out of captivity" mean?
An animal in captivity is one in a zoo, farm, home or other restricted environment. An animal out of captivity is one in the wild. Animals raised in captivity can have different learned behaviors than those in the wild. There is sometimes debate on whether an animal (or person) behaves in a certain way because of nature or nurture. The phrase "no such animal, in or out of captivity" expresses that it does not matter whether the person's behavior was formed by nature or nurture - it just doesn't exist. The person wasn't born with the ability, nor was it a learned behavior. The writer has used the phrase incorrectly, since he is only arguing one side - that no one is born a public speaker.
Not that you asked, but I personally would argue the opposite point. Everyone is born a public speaker. Babies and young children will speak (or cry or scream) in public until they are taught not to. ;-)
|link||answered Aug 03 '11 at 05:51 Patty T Grammarly Fellow|
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