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    #1

    About Mark Twain Quotes

    Dear Teachers,

    Hi, I'm an editor in Taiwan, editing a book talking about the true value of money and family. There're many qutotes the writer mentioned that we are not sure the meanings. Two of them are from Mark Twain.

    1.
    I'm opposed to millionaires, but it would be a mistake to offer me the position. 覧Mark Twain
    We know every single word of it, but what is the whole meanings? Does he joke about he would not mind to become a millionaire himself?

    2.
    His money is twice tainted: 'taint yours and 'taint mine. 覧Mark Twain
    What is "tainted" and " 'taint" here? What does Mark Twain try to say?

    3. And, there's a another sentence in the article:
    "I felt like someone had jabbed me in the stomach with a Bayonne Flat so stale it couldn't even be salvaged for croutons."
    What the "Bayonne Flat" means here? Bayonne seems to be a place name in France. But why jab someone in the stomach with "a Bayonne Flat"? is it something particular?


    We will be so appreciate if any of you teachers have the answer for any one of them.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: About Mark Twain Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by fionchi View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    Hi, I'm an editor in Taiwan, editing a book talking about the true value of money and family. There're many qutotes the writer mentioned that we are not sure the meanings. Two of them are from Mark Twain.

    1.
    I'm opposed to millionaires, but it would be a mistake to offer me the position. 覧Mark Twain
    We know every single word of it, but what is the whole meanings? Does he joke about he would not mind to become a millionaire himself?

    Yes, he is saying that although he doesn't approve of millionaires, if someone offered him the possibility to be one, he would not say no.

    2.
    His money is twice tainted: 'taint yours and 'taint mine. 覧Mark Twain
    What is "tainted" and " 'taint" here? What does Mark Twain try to say?

    Here 'taint' means 'it aint' which, in turn, means 'it is not'.

    3. And, there's a another sentence in the article:
    "I felt like someone had jabbed me in the stomach with a Bayonne Flat so stale it couldn't even be salvaged for croutons."
    What the "Bayonne Flat" means here? Bayonne seems to be a place name in France. But why jab someone in the stomach with "a Bayonne Flat"? is it something particular?

    A bayonne flat is a type of bread.


    We will be so appreciate if any of you teachers have the answer for any one of them.
    Bhai.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: About Mark Twain Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by fionchi View Post
    1.
    Are you sure this isn't:
    I'm opposed to millionaires, but it would not be a mistake to offer me the position.

    2.
    His money is twice tainted: 'taint yours and 'taint mine. 覧Mark Twain
    What is "tainted" and " 'taint" here? What does Mark Twain try to say?
    "Tainted" also means spoiled in some way. Otherwise the second part wouldn't make sense.
    R.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #4

    Re: About Mark Twain Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Bhai.
    Dear Bhai,
    Thank you so much, it helps a lot.

    I'm still confused about the 'taint one.
    I might understand what Mark Twain tried to joke about: what we called "his money" means not yours, and not mine, which makes us laugh. But what's the first "twice tainted" here for, is for "polluted" or "perverted", or as another reply (Raymott) said is "spoiled" (which means rubbed in old adage?)

    Due to we have to translate it in Chinese, we need to know the literal meanings to decide how to express it.


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    #5

    Re: About Mark Twain Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    R.
    Dear R.,
    Thank you very much. We are still working on what "twice tainted" here for, can define "spoiled" here more?

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: About Mark Twain Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by fionchi View Post
    Dear R.,
    Thank you very much. We are still working on what "twice tainted" here for, can define "spoiled" here more?
    Imagine this conversation. Twain and another person, B, are walking along, and they see a rich man who is flashing his money about, buying lots of nice things:

    B: I wish I had his money!
    Twain: His money is tainted (corrupted, contaminated; perhaps illegally gained, in this context). In fact, it is twice tainted!
    B: Really? In what way is it twice tainted? (B naturally would be wary of corrupt or tainted money).
    Twain: 'taint yours and 'taint mine.

    I can't imagine how you are going to translate this joke. Puns do not translate. The humour depends entirely on the similarity of taint and 'taint.
    After all, the following is not very funny:
    B: How is it corrupted twice?
    Twain: It isn't mine and it isn't yours.

    If you gave that translation, your readers would say, "Why do the Americans like Mark Twain so much? I don't think he is very witty".

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: About Mark Twain Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by fionchi View Post
    Dear Bhai,
    Thank you so much, it helps a lot.

    I'm still confused about the 'taint one.
    I might understand what Mark Twain tried to joke about: what we called "his money" means not yours, and not mine, which makes us laugh. But what's the first "twice tainted" here for, is for "polluted" or "perverted", or as another reply (Raymott) said is "spoiled" (which means rubbed in old adage?)

    Due to we have to translate it in Chinese, we need to know the literal meanings to decide how to express it.
    In this case 'tainted' is most likely to mean 'dirty'.


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    #8

    Re: About Mark Twain Quotes

    Thank you so so much. I know it's not able to translate, that we have to use a foodnote with original sentence and description for the readers.

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