Worthless Excuse for Worthlessness

18 Jun

Are you wondering what ever happened to Classic Word of the Day?

I should really stop asking those kids of questions.

So, as I was saying, I’ve let Classic Word of the Day slide since we began Madame Bovary. I’ll save you all the excuses, but this concern remains valid:  since we’re almost all reading different translations words my translator chose will likely be different than yours.

So, will you do this for me?  There I go again, asking questions.  Anyway.  If you can figure out what word I’m talking about and your translation has something different, please drop it into the comments.  Maybe we’ll learn something about our translators this way.

With no further ado, I give to you the first MB Word.


feckless – adj.  worthless, ineffective, weak

Classical Usage:  In the quick Chapter 1 fly-by of Charles boyhood and early adult life his medical school down-fall is described in this manner, “The fecklessness that was part of his nature soon led him to break all his good resolutions.  One day he skipped rounds; the next, a lecture; idleness, he found, was to his taste, and gradually he stayed away entirely.”

Classically Mad Usage:  I probably shouldn’t have started with this word after totally failing to get a vocabulary word up for over a week, I myself am feeling a little feckless.  But, it is summer, and that means I’ve had some decent sun exposure, so at least I’m not freckleless.


Posted by on June 18, 2012 in The Blog


5 responses to “Worthless Excuse for Worthlessness

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    June 19, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Davis translation: “Quite naturally, out of indifference, in time he released himself from all the resolutions he had made. Once he missed the hospital rounds, the next day his class, and, savoring this idleness, gradually he did not return.”

    • Christina Joy

      June 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      That’s a bit kinder to Charles, I think. Being a translator must be tricky business, you have the power to shift and change characters. This is interesting.

  2. Christine

    June 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Free Kindle version. Translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling
    “Naturally, through indifference, he abandoned all the resolutions he had made. One he missed a lecture; the next day all the lectures; and, enjoying his idlenes, little by little, he gave up work altogether.”

    • Christine

      June 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Penguin Classics. Translated by Geoffrey Wall
      “Inevitably, nonchalantly, he managed to release himself from all the resolutions he had made. One day, he missed a visit, next day his lecture, and, savouring indolence, eventually, he never went back again.”


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