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poor boy

English translation: Yes, somewhat ironic

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16:05 May 19, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: poor boy
Brian was a frustrated actor. He wanted to be an actor, but he never made it. I could tell you stories, but I do not want to go into things like that because the poor boy is not with us anymore.

My question is whether poor boy has a slightly ironic overtone in this sentence?
Or is it neutral?
Lacrimosa
Local time: 21:27
English translation:Yes, somewhat ironic
Explanation:
1) 'poor' simply denotes sympathy for his death
2) 'boy', as opposed to 'man', implies two things about Brian E: immaturity and homosexuality
Selected response from:

Mike Birch
Local time: 20:27
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +17he is dead (sympathetic tone)RHELLER
4 +3One would have to assume it is neutral,Fuad Yahya
5 +1works both wayssheena
4Yes, somewhat ironicMike Birch
2 +1not sure without more context
Mary Worby


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


1 min   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +17
he is dead (sympathetic tone)


Explanation:
-

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-05-19 16:07:48 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

\"no longer with us\" is a way of saying he is dead

not ironic IMHO

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 13:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1252

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: Nothing ironic judging from the slight context.
1 min
  -> thanks Kim!

agree  chopra_2002: correct, but could you inform me what does IMHO stand for?
2 mins
  -> in my humble opinion (thanks)

agree  Sarah Ponting
2 mins
  -> thanks Sarah!

agree  xxxIno66
3 mins
  -> thank you!

agree  Jacqueline van der Spek: for langclinic: IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
4 mins
  -> thanks Jacqueline!

agree  Refugio: Not exactly ironic, but there might be a slightly snide undertone. If the person really didn't wish to speak ill of the dead, he would not only suppress the stories but also the comments about how the poor fellow never made it as an actor.
7 mins
  -> just background info on Brian Epstein - like what his personal dreams were

agree  airmailrpl
7 mins
  -> thanks

agree  EdithK: sympathetic
7 mins
  -> thanks Edith!

agree  J. Leo
8 mins
  -> thanks James

agree  jccantrell: and one does NOT speak ill of the dead!
13 mins
  -> my sentiments exactly! (thanks jc)

agree  Bin Zhang
20 mins
  -> thanks Bin!

agree  Oceane: yes, sympathy is the impression I had at the first reading
2 hrs
  -> thank you!

agree  xxxwendyzee
11 hrs
  -> thanks wendy!

agree  PRAKAASH: yup!
13 hrs
  -> thanks Prakash!

agree  Gayle Wallimann: Yes, also, calling Brian a boy was not unusual, he called the Beatle lads.
15 hrs
  -> so right - thanks, Gayle!

agree  vixen
15 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Rusinterp: i think it maybe somewhat ironic, but only slightly
19 hrs
  -> thanks Alexandra
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
not sure without more context


Explanation:
But 'poor boy' could possibly have a slightly demeaning tone. Implies that he didn't really have what it takes to be successful.

Is it fair to assume that Brian is not a 'boy'?

HTH

Mary

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 164

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alaa Zeineldine: This agrees with the additional context.
11 mins
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
One would have to assume it is neutral,


Explanation:
. . . unless we know some more background. For example, who is Brian, who is talking about him, and so on.

"Poor" here means "pitiable," and "boy" does not necessarily mean "non-adult male." If by "not with us anymore" he means that Brian is dead, then the statement sounds pretty neutral. Any intended irony here would be rather subtle.

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Bin Zhang
14 mins

agree  PRAKAASH: yup!
13 hrs

agree  Rusinterp
19 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Yes, somewhat ironic


Explanation:
1) 'poor' simply denotes sympathy for his death
2) 'boy', as opposed to 'man', implies two things about Brian E: immaturity and homosexuality

Mike Birch
Local time: 20:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 15
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
works both ways


Explanation:
This isn't going to be v. helpful but .. as a native speaker I could easily interpret that either as an expression of genuine regret OR as a possibly sneering, condescending kind of remark. "Poor boy" and "not with us any more" are both slightly old-fashioned - a young man in the music industry would be unlikely to use them today - so I suppose that might make us inclined to think they are slightly mocking/tongue -in-cheek. However,the speaker must be in his 60s by now, so they're appropriate enough and the rest of his words are very carefully chosen so as not to offend/incriminate.
Suppose you'd just have to do the obvious + look for any other clues anywhere else in the text about his relationship to Epstein

sheena
Local time: 20:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  GoodWords
1 hr
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