accept one's fate resignedly/apathetically

stargazer

Senior Member
Slovenia, Slovenian
Hello everyone

I'd like to know which of the sentences below is correct:
1) They accepted their fate resignedly/apathetically.
2) They resignedly/apathetically accepted their fate.
Are they both acceptable?
Thanks ;)
 
  • C. E. Whitehead

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Yes, they are both acceptable, but they do not both mean quite the same thing.

    Resignation is the result of giving up, perhaps on just one thing, though you can be resigned to a whole bunch of things too.

    Apathy is the result of not caring. General not caring in many cases, though you can be apathetic about only politics, perhaps, and not about other things--people, or guys, how you do in school, or whatever.

    --C. E. Whitehead
     

    BoTrojan

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Either one is OK. However, you would only very rarely if ever see/hear a native speaker of English use the word "resignedly." And frankly, "apathetically" would only be slightly more common in my view. They also mean materially different things. It doesn't sound like you want to use apathetically, which implies a lack of concern. To be "resigned to one's fate" simply means to accept a given outcome with an implicit understanding that another outcome was not possible. In short, I'd probably use a slightly different formulation, such as "They were resigned to their fate." Having said that, either of your phrases -- using the word resignedly -- is acceptable.
     

    C. E. Whitehead

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Hi, I'm a native speaker of English and I grew up saying,
    "They resignedly accepted their fate."

    But "They were resigned to their fate" (or "fates") is more common probably.

    --C. E. Whitehead
     

    stargazer

    Senior Member
    Slovenia, Slovenian
    Thank you both very much! :)
    I know that this example probably sounds a bit unnatural or at least not as something you would usually say. It's taken from a dictionary, hence a somewhat formal tone.
     

    C. E. Whitehead

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Hi, stargazer, my English is usually pretty formal because I got it from my mom (who speaks pretty proper English if you can forget about the pretty dreadful Fitchburg, MA accent she had when I was younger) and from reading early--I read in English more than spoke. So it might sound like dictionary English.
    (Oh well.) But then I lived in different cities (Chicago, New Orleans) as a teenager and began to pick up slang and also began to really listen to country-style southern talking for the first time.
    So sometimes I slip.

    --C. E. Whitehead
     

    jennball

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Did you also want to know if the adverb placements in 1) and 2) are OK? They are both fine. Sorry if that question was already answered to your satifaction, I couldn't tell. Also, I would say, 'They accepted their fate with resignation', it seems easier to pronounce than 'resignedly'.
     

    C. E. Whitehead

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I think this is probably why "They accepted their fate resignedly" sounds wierd; people tend to shy away from things they cannot pronounce! And so such sentences get to be 'out of fashion."

    --C. E. Whitehead

    Also, I would say, 'They accepted their fate with resignation', it seems easier to pronounce than 'resignedly'.
     

    stargazer

    Senior Member
    Slovenia, Slovenian
    Thanks, jennball! Yes, I was actually interested only in the position of adverbs but fortunately the nice people here pointed out that there is a difference in meaning. And please don't apologize - your answer was still on time, and the more answers I get, the better.
    And thanks again, C.E. Whitehead! Your formal English was of tremendous help to me, and it is always useful to get a formal and more common or spoken version.
    Thank you both & take care :)

    stargazer
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top