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#127303 - 04/12/04 11:33 AM Job's comforter
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Date: Fri Aug 20 00:02:00 EDT 1999
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--Job's comforter
Job's comforter (johbz KUM-fuhr-tuhr) noun

One who is discouraging or saddening while seemingly offering
sympathy or comfort.

[After Job, whose friends pretended to comfort but actually found
fault with him.]

"Napoleon was but a Job's-comforter, when he told his wounded staff
officer, twice unhorsed by cannon-balls, and with half his limbs
blown to pieces: `Vous vous ecoutez trop!'"
Carlyle, Thomas, Characteristics: Part II, Great Works of Literature,
1 Jan 1992.

Now I've got to find translation of that French sentence!
"You listen to yourself too much" just seems to miss something implied in Napoleon's words.



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#127304 - 04/12/04 07:36 PM Re: Job's comforter
lastday Offline
stranger

Registered: 12/27/00
Posts: 12
Loc: Earth
Does "ecoutez" have an accent mark over any of the letters?
I know vous = you and trop = too, but ecoutez has stumped me.


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#127305 - 04/12/04 07:42 PM Re: Job's comforter
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
doesn't ecoutez=listen? therefore he's saying something like"well, you give good orders, but you shouldn't have listened to yourself this time..."
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#127306 - 04/12/04 07:44 PM Re: Job's comforter
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
The use of diacriticals in French words on internet is
quite variable. The original did not have the accent aigu.I suppose écoutez was meant.

To me it sounds as though Napoléon were saying: "Cut your
bellyaching!"


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#127307 - 04/13/04 06:28 AM Re: Job's comforter
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
"You listen to yourself too much" just seems to miss something implied in Napoleon's words.

Literal translations can be misleading. Perhaps it was meant to imply that he should have listened to others a little more.


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#127308 - 04/13/04 10:04 AM Re: Job's comforter
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Remember Carlyle cited it as an example of cruel treatment of a sufferer. Napoléon could not afford to be tender -
he had to be tough. War was,is, and always will be hell.


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#127309 - 04/13/04 03:10 PM Re: Job's comforter
sjmaxq Offline
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Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
Is this a nickname for someone who buys a Mac?

_________________________
noho ora mai
http://maxqnzs.com/References.html

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#127310 - 04/13/04 03:18 PM Re: Job's comforter
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Is Job's dunghill where Macs are made?


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#127311 - 04/13/04 04:30 PM Re: Job's comforter
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
Is this a nickname for someone who buys a Mac?

That'd be Jobs's comforter, wouldn't it?


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#127312 - 04/13/04 04:31 PM Re: Job's comforter
sjmaxq Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
>That'd be Jobs's comforter, wouldn't it?

Yep, I knew it was pretty feeble to start with.

_________________________
noho ora mai
http://maxqnzs.com/References.html

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#127313 - 04/14/04 09:30 PM Re: Job's comforter
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Vous vous ecoutez trop!

I agree with Bill's interpretation on this. "Vous vous écoutez trop!" means "you listen to yourself too much."

If there really was an exclamation point it would mean "stop your bellyaching"

With no exclamation mark, though, it would most likely mean "think of something else to get your mind off of your trouble"



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#127314 - 04/14/04 09:34 PM Re: Job's comforter
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Hi lastday,

Yes écoutez has an accent aigue over the first E. It is conjugated with an "ez" at the end because it has to accord with the word "vous"

J’écoute
Tu écoutes
Il écoute
Nous écoutons
Vous écoutez
Ils écoutent




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#127315 - 04/15/04 05:48 AM Re: Job's comforter
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
It strikes me that he was, cynically, being told that he should be less gung-ho; not believe his own rousing speeches. "You listen to yourself too much, mate!"

He was, we are told, a staff officer, not a front line officer leading the men. Part of his role would be to persuade others into danger, pour la glôire de la patrie, not to put himself at risk and become injured to the point where he was no longer of use. Without knowing more about this officer it is difficult to guess exactly what was meant, but this idea certainly appeals to me and makes sense of the apparently unnecessarily callous comment. It provides 'the something missing' that Dr Bill senses.


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