For good or bad

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redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Buck, my boss, was in his fifties when I started. That was more than twice my age, so he seemed very old to me at the time. He bought the guns and traps, designed any specialized equipment we needed, and came up with our hog-catching tactics.

For good or bad, he was my instructor. Unfortunately, my job almost ended with my first training session.

Source: Bear in the Back Seat: Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ,Jourdan, Carolyn; DeLozier, Kim

Background: Wild hogs had become so prolific in the Great Smoky Mountains that the national park, ironically, had to turn to Buck, an experienced local poacher, to control their growth. He was also tasked with training the author to be a seasonal hunter. Later in the story, when they worked together for the first time to hunt a group of hogs at night, the author's stumbling and bumbling almost cost Buck dearly.

Hi,

Can anyone clarity the use of "For good or bad"? I understand it to mean "No matter whether he was good or not, he was my instructor". Does that make sense to you?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Your idea sounds reasonable. I understand the phrase to mean "Whether or not it was a good idea for him to teach me rather than having somebody else teach me".
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thank you owlman and bennymix. Reading your replies, I feel that "For good or bad" is a bit slippery in this context. I get the general idea but it's not easy to pin down what exactly the author is trying to convey.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thank you owlman and bennymix. Reading your replies, I feel that "For good or bad" is a bit slippery in this context. I get the general idea but it's not easy to pin down what exactly the author is trying to convey.
    The remark is a little slippery, redgiant. It strikes me as a way to imply something negative about that instructor without attacking him openly.
     
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