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#127303 - 04/12/04 03:33 PM Job's comforter  
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wwh Offline
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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.



#127304 - 04/12/04 11:36 PM Re: Job's comforter  
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lastday Offline
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Earth
Does "ecoutez" have an accent mark over any of the letters?
I know vous = you and trop = too, but ecoutez has stumped me.


#127305 - 04/12/04 11:42 PM Re: Job's comforter  
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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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..."


formerly known as etaoin...
#127306 - 04/12/04 11:44 PM Re: Job's comforter  
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wwh Offline
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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!"


#127307 - 04/13/04 10:28 AM Re: Job's comforter  
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"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.


#127308 - 04/13/04 02:04 PM Re: Job's comforter  
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wwh Offline
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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.


#127309 - 04/13/04 07:10 PM Re: Job's comforter  
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Te Ika a Maui
Is this a nickname for someone who buys a Mac?


#127310 - 04/13/04 07:18 PM Re: Job's comforter  
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wwh Offline
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Is Job's dunghill where Macs are made?


#127311 - 04/13/04 08:30 PM Re: Job's comforter  
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jheem Offline
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Is this a nickname for someone who buys a Mac?

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


#127312 - 04/13/04 08:31 PM Re: Job's comforter  
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Te Ika a Maui
>That'd be Jobs's comforter, wouldn't it?

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


#127313 - 04/15/04 01:30 AM Re: Job's comforter  
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belMarduk Offline
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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"



#127314 - 04/15/04 01:34 AM Re: Job's comforter  
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belMarduk Offline
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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




#127315 - 04/15/04 09:48 AM Re: Job's comforter  
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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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