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Thread: confounded

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    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to help me to make the proper choice by the interpretation of the adjective in bold from the following brief excerpt of the Jean Webster “Dear Enemy”?

    "Isn't it a pity that Sallie hasn't amounted to more since she left college? She ought to be doing something useful instead of frittering her time away in the petty social life of Worcester. Also [Jervis speaks] she is getting interested in that confounded young Hallock, too good-looking and fascinating and erratic;

    There are two rather contradictory meanings of the adjective in question:

    confounded = 1. mentally uncertain, muddled, comfused, perplexed

    2. so annoying or detestable as to deserve condemnation, cursed, damned,

    Thank you for your efforts.


    Last edited by vil; 13-Nov-2008 at 10:05.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Re: confounded

    In your quote, the author could have written:

    in that confounded young Hallock,

    in that damned young Hallock,

    in that infernal nuisance, young Hallock.

    Here, the words in bold are just an out-dated way of expressing annoyance and anger. I'm not sure what dictionary you are quoting, but "so annoying or detestable as to deserve condemnation, cursed, damned" seems to be over-emphasizing++ the depth of feeling!


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