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Re: TERM: valentudinarian

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  • metzke@rocketmail.com
    Odd that I came across this while trying to find a definition for the word, a consequence of having just read the M.R. James story noted! For what it is worth,
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 24, 2013
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      Odd that I came across this while trying to find a definition for the word, a consequence of having just read the M.R. James story noted!

      For what it is worth, there is a rock song of that title - "Valentudinarian," i.e. with letter 'n' in the fifth position as in the James story - recorded and (apparently self-) released by a group named Mystery Pills; it can be played at this address:
      http://www.last.fm/music/Mystery+Pills/Mystery+Pills

      Now if anybody has any ability to understand lyrics to rock songs when sung - I don't, my thing is opera and I have enough trouble with that! - perhaps listening to the song might give or imply a definition. Short of that I have to presume that James was using a word archaic in his own time (he loved to do that!) and long since gone from modern references. Anybody have the OED unabridged?





      --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In Czechlist@y..., JPKIRCHNER@a... wrote:
      > >
      > > In a message dated 3/17/02 3:03:43 PM, jirkabolech@y... writes:
      > >
      > > >What is the "current American usage" of the word
      > > >"valentudinarian" as hinted on near the bottom of
      > > >http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/mr_humphries.html (item 1 in
      > > >the list of Notes and References)?
      > >
      > > The current American usage is that no one has ever heard the word or
      > knows
      > > what the heck it means. It is completely absent from my Random
      > House
      > > unabridged dictionary, so I guess there isn't any current American
      > usage.
      > > Unless someone proves me wrong.
      > >
      > > Jamie
      >
      > Ciao,
      >
      > I presume this 'valentudinarian' is meant to be an amusing
      > country-bumpkin mispronunciation of 'valetudinarian' (as it is
      > correctly spelt in the footnote). Don't know if the word has gained
      > any special connotations in recent years but here is one dictionary
      > definition that I found:
      >
      >
      > valetudinarian \val-uh-too-din-AIR-ee-un; -tyoo-\, noun:
      > A weak or sickly person, especially one morbidly concerned with his
      > or her health.
      >
      > adjective:
      > Of or relating to or characteristic of a person who is a
      > valetudinarian; sickly; weak; infirm.
      >
      > [H]e is the querulous bedridden valetudinarian complaining of
      > his asthma or his hay fever,
      > remarking with characteristic hyperbole that "every speck of
      > dust suffocates me."
      > --Oliver Conant, review of Marcel Proust, Selected Letters:
      > Volume Two, 1904-1909,
      > edited by Philip Kolb, translated by Terrence Kilmartin, New
      > York Times, December 17,
      > 1989
      >
      > She affected to be spunky about her ailments and afflictions,
      > but she was in fact an utterly
      > self-centered valetudinarian.
      > --Louis Auchincloss
      >
      > My feeble health and valetudinarian stomach.
      > --Coleridge
      >
      >
      >
      > Valetudinarian derives from Latin valetudinarius, "sickly; an
      > invalid," from valetudo, meaning "state
      > of health," "good health," or "ill health," from valere, "to be
      > strong or well."
      >
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