• hero

    From Ardith Hinton@1:153/716 to Roy Witt on Fri Mar 2 18:00:57 2018
    Hi, Roy! Recently you wrote in a message to alexander koryagin:

    A man went across a frozen river and fell through an
    icy crack. Another man jumped into the water and pulled
    him out. A witness began prasing the saviour, calling
    him a hero. "You were so magnanimous!

    The witness thought that the hero hated the fallen man
    very much, but he saved him anyway on the ground of
    humanism and high morality. I had a difficulty when I
    chose the word. Can you suggest you variant?

    The 'witness' could have been a learned man with a
    vocabulary that matches the use of such an extraordinary
    word as magnanimous.

    Uh-huh. Such beloved authors as James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain,
    and Robert Louis Stevenson used "in character" dialogue which reflected the way
    various people might have spoken. Joe Average probably wouldn't use words like
    "magnanimous". Without knowing more about this particular individual, however,
    we can't easily guess the limits of his vocabulary.

    A doctor, lawyer, college professor, maybe even a judge
    in life, but a witness to an accident in the meantime, who
    apparently knew of a disliking between the saved and savior,
    would perhaps have used the word 'noble'...because it was
    a noble thing that he did to help someone with whom he wasn't
    exactly on friendly terms.

    My initial response to Alexander's query would have been "generous" ... but according to my Gage dictionary "magnanimous" = "noble in soul or mind" *and* "generous in forgiving". IOW we were both right. A doctor, lawyer, etc.
    could indeed be familiar enough with Latin to say "magnanimous" if he felt that
    was the word which best explained his interpretation of what was going on. :-)

    --- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
    * Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver CANADA (1:153/716)