""To encourage the others"" Topic
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| John the OFM ||15 Nov 2013 8:00 a.m. PST|
Sparked by the discussion about whether British Marines in 1762 wore the mitre
The phrase "to encourage the others" comes from Voltaire's Candide where
In Portsmouth, Candide witnesses the execution of an officer by firing squad; and is told that "in this country, it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, in order to encourage the others" (Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres).
My question is whether there is a more subtle meaning in the French "encourager" than a simple English "encourage".
Are the words strictly analagous?
Today, "encourage" in English means that all the kids in the Youth Soccer League get trophies. Hardly the same thing!
I am wondering because of how the word "amuse" has evolved, among others. The word used to mean that a force would demonstrate in front of the enemy to distract or harass them. Now it means to make them laugh.
|britishlinescarlet2 ||15 Nov 2013 8:04 a.m. PST|
My mother had an "encourager"
..it was a piece of wood about two foot long that she used to both stir the copper and "encourage" me to behave.
| etotheipi ||15 Nov 2013 9:06 a.m. PST|
Of course, 18th Century French is a bit different from modern French, however, I don't think there is any hidden linguistic meaning here. I think is is plain old sarcasm, a forte of Voltaire, which seems to translate well across the centuries.
| Parzival ||15 Nov 2013 11:51 a.m. PST|
"encourage": Means what it saysó to put courage into someone.
The root word is the French for "heart," (as in Richard Cour de Lion). So, even in French, the word "encourage" literally means to give someone heart.
I think the meaning has always been what it is today, and etotheipi is correct regarding Voltaire's satirical intent.
|Last Hussar||15 Nov 2013 1:55 p.m. PST|
I enjoyed Candide – I was pleasantly surprised by that fact.
| UltraOrk ||15 Nov 2013 9:25 p.m. PST|