worst form of unlucky ['unlucky' as noun?]

< Previous | Next >

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Meanwhile too, is your question whether the adjective 'unlucky' can be used as a noun?
Yes, that's what we want to know.:D Normally, an adj can't serve as an object of a preposition.


These posts have been moved from a thread that lacked context. Cagey, moderator
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    What is your source, Long? Or, give us a sentence in which you propose to use 'unlucky' as a noun.
    If you're just asking, you are right that an adjective can't normally follow a preposition.
    'The worst form of unlucky' means 'unlucky in the worst way possible'. We could say 'he had the worst sort of bad luck'. Or we might say 'he was so unlucky that it was like a curse'.

    As you know well, we don't always get 'normal' in literature.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Oh, sorry. I don't know where the source is. I was just searching whether an adjective can serve as an object. Your interpretation tells me that, as in Lawrence's works, writers sometimes use words in a creative way.
    Thank you for your wonderful explanation
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast. The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat
    First paragraph, "The Old Man and The Sea" - E Hemmingway (1952)

    which (salao) is the worst form of unlucky, = which (salao) is the worst form of the attribute 'unlucky',

    Hemmingway is describing the nuance and meaning of the word salao -> it seems to mean "exceptionally unlucky" and is the most extreme word for "unlucky".
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Adjectives can sometimes be used as nouns.
    If we are referring to people (plural) we can sometimes leave out the noun 'people' and use the adjective with the definite article.
    Instead of 'poor/rich/homeless/elderly/ starving/dying/young/bad/ .... people', we can say 'the poor/the rich/the homeless/ the elderly/ and so on.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hemmingway is describing the nuance and meaning of the word salao -> it seems to mean "exceptionally unlucky" and is the most extreme word for "unlucky".
    I agree, he's giving the definition of 'salao' for his English-speaking readers (something like 'cursed'/'jinxed').
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top