He was a blank

Lanis

Member
Spanish
Hola. En un libro sobre una organización, el autor se refiere a un ex miembro, quien a su juicio, no tuvo una visión clara de los objetivos ni de la misión, y por lo tanto se refiere a él como "a blank". Cómo se puede traducir, o es una expresión literal? Gracias.

"They work together using their gifts and talents to support and enhance the growth and development of the community. Through unity and hard work, much has been accomplished...but Cornelius Palmer...he was a blank; little more than a lazy communist."
 
  • gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    This is not a normal usage, so I can't be sure of the intended meaning, but I interpret it to mean that he was difficult to read.

    I'm not sure if that fits your context.
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    I'm not sure either, but my interpretation is that he was a nonentity, a nothing. A Don Nadie, perhaps.

    I see that Mr Dent got his translation from the Collins tag in our dictionary, but I don't understand it at all.
     

    Azarosa

    Senior Member
    Español (rioplatense)
    I'm not sure either, but my interpretation is that he was a nonentity, a nothing. A Don Nadie, perhaps.

    I see that Mr Dent got his translation from the Collins tag in our dictionary, but I don't understand it at all.
    "Cero a la izquierda" es una muy buena interpretación... Perdón, @Bevj, ¿qué es exactamente lo que no entiende de ese significado?
     

    Azarosa

    Senior Member
    Español (rioplatense)
    I'm not Bevj, but I assume it's that the Spanish sounds like it is referring to a decimal number, such as 0.014. That has a zero to the left, but it's unclear how that means "blank."
    In this sentence I think a "blank” means a person of no consequence, someone unimportant or inconsequential (blank- empty, containing nothing); un cero al as or cero a la izquierda. To be honest, I’ve never heard anyone say this about a person, But that is what I understand especially based on the words after the semicolon.
    Edit: un don nadie it's probably a better translation.

    Quizás no entiendo yo.
    ¿Cero a la izquierda' es una frase hecha? Nunca la he oído en español de España.
    Un cero a la izquierda o un cero al as es un completo inútil. Son dos expresiones muy en uso.

    Un cero a la izquierda o un cero al as es un completo inútil. Son dos expresiones muy en uso.
    (los ceros puestos a la izquierda no tiene prácticamente valor; pero como he editado mi respuesta a @gengo, creo que un don nadie cuadra mejor para la idea que se plantea).
     
    Last edited:

    nanel

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    I'm not Bevj, but I assume it's that the Spanish sounds like it is referring to a decimal number, such as 0.014. That has a zero to the left, but it's unclear how that means "blank."
    Actually, it's not a zero in the decimal portion of a number, where it would make a difference (0.14>0.014), but in the integer: 04=4, where it changes nothing. So un "cero a la izquierda" is useless, of no consequence.
    Quizás no entiendo yo.
    ¿Cero a la izquierda' es una frase hecha? Nunca la he oído en español de España.
    Sí, es una frase hecha y se usa en España. Significa que algo o alguien carece de importancia.
     

    Mr.Dent

    Senior Member
    English - all over the USA
    I see that Mr Dent got his translation from the Collins tag in our dictionary, but I don't understand it at all.
    I didn't get it from the dictionary. This is an expression my wife uses to describe somebody who is completely useless. As far as I know this is a common expression.
     

    catrina

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Mexico
    Quizás no entiendo yo.
    ¿Cero a la izquierda' es una frase hecha? Nunca la he oído en español de España.
    Hola @Bevj,
    Efectivamente 'es un cero a la izquierda' es una frase hecha; muy común por estos lares.
    Significa que no tiene valor, que no cuenta, que no aporta y por acá sí se usa para personas @Azarosa.

    En cuanto a 'donnadie/ don nadie' en mi opinión no aplica en este caso; lo entiendo más como dice el DRAE: 1. m. y f. Persona sin valía, poco conocida, de escaso poder e influencia

    Todo esto siempre y cuando los nativos estén de acuerdo sobre este significado de 'blank' en este contexto

    Yo no lo había escuchado con ese uso; lo había escuchado más bien como ignorar a alguien
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    (los ceros puestos a la izquierda no tiene prácticamente valor
    Actually, it's not a zero in the decimal portion of a number, where it would make a difference (0.14>0.014), but in the integer: 04=4, where it changes nothing. So un "cero a la izquierda" is useless, of no consequence.

    Ah, now I see. :idea:
    In my example, the second zero was just a coincidence; I was referring to the first one (0.014).
     

    nanel

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Ah, now I see. :idea:
    In my example, the second zero was just a coincidence; I was referring to the first one (0.014).
    Oh, I was just using your example to explain the meaning of this saying :) I'm sorry if it sounded like I was trying to correct something.
    ¡Gracias!

    Había oído la frase y más o menos la entendía por contexto, pero tu explicación le presta sentido concreto.
    Me alegra que te sirva, OtroLencho.
     
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