moodywop said:Here's one more challenge for the nuance-challenged . Damn with faint praise, i.e. mildly praise someone, suggesting quite the opposite
Charles Costante said:Carlo, the expression should actually be to damn with feigned praise but it seems that somewhere along the line someone has misheard the word. Both expressions are used by people nowadays but feigned makes more sense to me.
I hope you don't mind a few corrections. (I'm just trying to be helpful.)Tommaso Gastaldi said:Hi Charles I have checked that word "feigned" which was new to me. I see that corresponds to the Italian "finta".
However to me using "finta" instead of "debole" changes completely the meaning of the above expression.
As I understand the "faint" version, one does not want to say something false, it is just the use of "faint" adjective (instead of a big enthusiasm) that is a kind of
"condamn""condemnation" for the person or thing which is being judged, as you are withholding ana higher praise.
For instance a girl asks me: Do you like Anna. I answer "sì, è simpatica". This way I am not telling a lie, but my faint praise is kind of "cond
aemning" her to a "just ok" status. If I really liked her I would have said for instance: "sì, è bellissima"...
CharlesCharles Costante said:Carlo, the expression should actually be to damn with feigned praise but it seems that somewhere along the line someone has misheard the word. Both expressions are used by people nowadays but feigned makes more sense to me.
Both expressions are used Carlo but I remember reading that the original expression was to be damned with feigned praise. I'll see if I can get some information on it.moodywop said:Charles
I checked and it is indeed faint. It's a quote from Alexander Pope:
"damn with faint praise" (Pope, Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot)
(Oxford Dict of Quotations)
Tornando alla traduzione, in questo caso si potrebbe rendere con:moodywop said:“When the critic remarked that Miller’s book was ‘not as bad as some I’ve read,’ she was obviously damning it with faint praise.”
I am sorry Charles but I have to stick with Carlo on this one (otherwise he could say that we are ganging up on him)Charles Costante said:
Elisa try "damning with feigned praise" and "damned with feigned praise". There are quite a lot more.Elisa68 said:I am sorry Charles but I have to stick with Carlo on this one (otherwise he could say that we are ganging up on him)
Google gives just one result for the whole phrase "damn with feigned praise."
Panj, all he says is that they have used the word feigned in print since the 18th century. "To my relief, many others have feigned to praise in print, at least since the eighteenth century".He welcomes the finding that others have referred to feigned praise in this context since the C18th.
The assumption that it is the original phrase is purely that, an assumption. That's his whole argument.But nowhere does he declare that the original version
(see link above) of
"And with faint praises one another damn;"
or Alexander Pope's 1735:
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike.
CharlesCharles Costante said:Carlo, I apologize for sidetracking slightly from your original question.
We can, surely, be reasonably certain that Wycherley (1677) and Pope (1735) have not been misquoted - that we have an accurate version of what they originally wrote.Charles Costante said:The assumption that it is the original phrase is purely that, an assumption. That's his whole argument.
Anyway, we can't be absolutely certain one way or the other. They are both assumptions.