un poco per il profitto

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by theartichoke, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Hello all,

    I feel like I'm being very dim here, but I can't figure out what "il profitto" is referring to in this context: "Al collegio c'erano ragazzi abbonati alle sberle, un poco per la condotta e un poco per il profitto, ma costoro per lo più si facevano un vanto dei ceffoni, ostentando indifferenza per le regole."

    There were boys at the boarding school who were destined for slapping, partly for their conduct and partly for advantage (???), but they, for the most part, took pride in such punishment, vaunting how little they cared for the rules.

    "Profitto" is benefit, gain, advantage, profit. But here it seems to be in parallel with "condotta" as a reason why these boys were destined to be slapped, and I'm completely mystified. Why does someone get slapped for "advantage" or "benefit" or "gain"? Whose gain? Of what kind?
  2. Mary49

    Mary49 Senior Member

    "profitto", referring to school, is the sum of the results (marks/achievements) in the different subjects. Profitto: Definizione e significato di Profitto – Dizionario italiano – Corriere.it "p. (scolastico), risultato raggiunto nelle varie materie da uno studente, valutato con il voto di p.".
    In the past, especially in boarding schools, teachers were free to beat pupils (using hands, sticks, canes, and so on), not only for their behaviour, but also for their results.
    See also this thread: valutazione del profitto (scolastico)
  3. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    So I was being dim: that's what happens when I work too late at night and don't think to further investigate the meaning of a word that seems self-evident.:oops:

    Is "profitto" neutral, like "grades" (which can be good or bad) or only positive? In other words, can it be translated as "partly for their conduct and partly for their grades" (i.e., the beating was punishment for bad conduct and bad grades), or is the implication that the beatings for "profitto" were to produce "profitto" (good results), and so it's best as "partly to improve their conduct and partly to improve their grades"?
  4. Mary49

    Mary49 Senior Member

    The beatings were for punishment, both for the conduct and for the bad grades.

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