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  1. #1
    cip is offline Newbie
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    Default disturbingly hopeful

    Hi,
    II'm translating a fantasy book
    with a skeleton detective.
    A guy asks him: "Were you born a skeleton or were your folks disturbingly hopeful?"
    The guy does not like him so does he mean "did your friends hope you would die and maybe gave a helping hand?
    Why disturbingly, in an alarming way?
    thanks a lot

  2. #2
    mfwills is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: disturbingly hopeful

    Quote Originally Posted by cip View Post
    Hi,
    II'm translating a fantasy book
    with a skeleton detective.
    A guy asks him: "Were you born a skeleton or were your folks disturbingly hopeful?"
    The guy does not like him so does he mean "did your friends hope you would die and maybe gave a helping hand?
    Why disturbingly, in an alarming way?
    thanks a lot
    Sounds to me like the question is "Were you born a skeleton, or did your folks hope you would turn into one?"

    It would certainly be disturbing if one's parents wished that on their offspring. But, then again, it is a fantasy story.

    The adjective "disturbingly" is often used where the speaker wants to convey and even higher level than "extremely," perhaps to the point of being unsettling, disarming.

    It is often simple hyperbole, like the girl in the Eagles' song "Life in the Fast Lane" being referred to as "terminally pretty."

  3. #3
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: disturbingly hopeful

    "Were you born a skeleton or were your folks disturbingly hopeful?"

    I think you need to find more options for your translation.

    This is a common line for a joke:

    "Were you XXX or did your parents XXXX?"

    Try to find something that would go with being a skeletion.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: disturbingly hopeful

    It's a skeleton detective! We're off into the surreal, and hence, the idiosyncratic.

    Were you born a skeleton...

    or: this raises the alternative - he was born with flesh on his bones...

    were your parents disturbingly hopeful? Hopeful of what? That if they starved the child, he die and they'd be rid of him?........and instead, here he is, just a skeleton, and still walking around, doing a Poirot?
    'disturbing' relating to the perspective of reality-grounded others, the 'hopeful' being of the parents, taking us into the surreal?????

    God knows on this one. Email the author's agent with this query!
    Last edited by David L.; 28-Nov-2008 at 21:40.

  5. #5
    cip is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: disturbingly hopeful

    Yes , I did ask the author in the end.
    David (and the others) you were right!
    It is an ironical remarks. The guy does not like the skeleton detective and basically asks him: were you born like this or did your parents do their best to part with you as soon as possible
    thanks to everybody. Sorry if I got mixed up with the icons

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