PSA for Those Suffering Endnote Absence

08 Mar

gossips – n. a kindred spirit, often the godparent of one’s children

Classic Usage:  Remember those snarky old women gathered around the jailhouse door to watch Hester take the walk from her cell to the pillary?  They wished Hester’s fate had been in their hands.  Here’s what one of them said, “It would be greatly for the public behoof, if we women, being of mature age and church-members in good repute, should have the handling of such malefactresses as this Hester Prynne.  What thisk ye, gossips?”

Classically Mad Usage:  I freely admit, that had I not been pulled to the back of my book with a handy little asterisk, I would have read over this unassuming word, simply believing that the ol’ matron was just calling a thing what it is.  But no, no.  Even though she was bashing Hester, her own dear friends were safe from her reproof.  So, next time you are called a gossip, plop the best construction on that label, and just imagine that you and the name-caller are kindred spirits.  Well, unless that makes it worse.


Posted by on March 8, 2012 in The Scarlet Letter


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8 responses to “PSA for Those Suffering Endnote Absence

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    March 8, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Oh my! Thank you Christina. I really thought it was odd that they called each other “gossips”. So glad you cleared that up!

    • Adriana @ Classical Quest

      March 8, 2012 at 8:55 am

      I did not use the version of TSL that SWB recommended. I was in a hurry to catch up, so I loaded the free unabridged version on my Kindle. Now I see that there were some disadvantages. I definitely could have used those endnotes. I also did not have a table of contents.

      • Christine

        March 8, 2012 at 9:31 am

        We’ve gone back and forth about using/not using the suggested texts. Most of the time, the frugal girl in me wins out and I snatch up a used copy. Occasionally that comes back to bite me. I think it’s more important to have the suggested version for the novels that have been translated. We had some funny/strange instances with DQ. Jeannette had a different version and sometimes her translation was completely different than Christina’s and mine.

      • Christina Joy

        March 8, 2012 at 10:30 am

        The copy I read was the World’s Classics edition. I do own the one she recommended (it’s the one pictured in the side bar) but it didn’t have any endnotes, so I opted for this other one that I picked up used for a buck.

        Like Christine, I agree that using her recommendations for translations is really wise, but for the others I’ve come up with my own criteria:
        –cheap is good.
        –wide margins and spaced out print are better.
        –endnotes are the best.

  2. Christine

    March 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I suffer from The Scarlet Letter endnote absence syndrome. I’ll be paying close attention to Classic Word of the Day. And yet…. this is not a vocabulary term that I will be using to describe my children’s godparents!

  3. Stacy

    March 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    So I don’t need to give it up for Lent?


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