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What does "mal vivant" mean?

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 10:05 pm
What does "mal vivant" mean?

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Edit (Moderator): Link Removed
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 10:16 pm
@oristarA,
I'm no linguist, but I am using my logic and underastabnd of French terms:

bon vivant = good life (an enjoyer of the good life ..and epicurean)

mal vivant = bad life (an enjoyer of non-gourmet side of life, I'm assuming)
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 10:26 pm
@oristarA,
Seconding the above.

bon vivant
pleasure-seeker, hedonist, one who seeks fun

I would guess mal vivant to be one who seeks pain, and misery.
0 Replies
 
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 10:54 pm
Thank you Ragman.
See another context below about mal vivant:

John and Ivan aligned, making super-8 films as larks, the first of which was titled Doris's Saturday Night. It chronicled her cocktailed devolution from Delaware insecticide heiress elegantly tamping the shreds of hard-boiled eggs onto crustless toast triangles, loving the attention, then shamelessly hamming it up, becoming a haggard mal vivant gurgling fragments of sea shanties into the pipes beneath the kitchen sink.

================
Who would like to tell me:
1) What does "her cocktailed devolution from Delaware insecticide heiress" mean?
2) ham it up = ?
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 12:05 am
@oristarA,

Oristar, that passage is garbage.
Don't waste your time trying to understand English like that.
Where do you get hopeless material like that from?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 12:30 am
@McTag,
I have to hope it hasn't been assigned as required reading.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 12:38 am
@oristarA,
oristarA wrote:

Thank you Ragman.
See another context below about mal vivant:

John and Ivan aligned, making super-8 films as larks, the first of which was titled Doris's Saturday Night. It chronicled her cocktailed devolution from Delaware insecticide heiress elegantly tamping the shreds of hard-boiled eggs onto crustless toast triangles, loving the attention, then shamelessly hamming it up, becoming a haggard mal vivant gurgling fragments of sea shanties into the pipes beneath the kitchen sink.

================
Who would like to tell me:
1) What does "her cocktailed devolution from Delaware insecticide heiress" mean?
2) ham it up = ?


1. She became a drunk and lost her social status.

2. Over-act.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 01:11 am
@roger,

It is seriously bad English.

In fact, it's not even that. Unnecessarily obscure without being amusing. Pointlessly awkward.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 04:46 am
@dlowan,
1 A Delaware insecticide heiress, is obviously a reference to the social enclave of Duponts, Campbells,Carpenters who, as heirs of the Dupont Chemical Fortune, have never EVER worked a day in their lives but spend their time in doing visibly noble things with their money. Every so often though (like John Dupont III) someone of the gene pool goes totaqlly bonkers and buys a small nation and outfits it with surplus weaponry to blow itself into next weekend.Usually these Duponters commit some kind of heinous crime and are a big embarrassment to the rest of the family who must then redouble their efforts for good.

2The second, as a dependent phrase, explains that she went from a "typical dUPONTER" WHO, SLIPPING OFF THE SOCIAL WAGON OF THEIRstation, has declined in status by becoming a happy but self destructive drunk who occasionally vomits into the sink.

They way she wrote it actually sounds better, more interest in a life gone horribly bad than just some rich drunk bitch.
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 06:18 am
Deb wrote:
I would guess mal vivant to be one who seeks pain, and misery.


I'm not sure if mal vivant is a false cognate in English.

In French it defines someone who lives a "bad life", like bandits, rogues, prostitutes..
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 12:59 am
Thank you all.
The material is from DOUGLAS COUPLAN's novel MISS WYOMING, the first edition of which was published in Great Britain by Flamingo in 2000.

So Farmerman, according to your explanation, "sea shanties" refers to vomits?
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 01:05 am
@oristarA,

I told you. Stop thinking about it. It will poison your brain.
0 Replies
 
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 06:56 am
Well. Thanks for reminding me of that. Smile
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 07:22 am
really liked coupland's books generation x and life after god
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 09:58 am
@Francis,
Francis - things have gone downhill in France if the Academie Francaise can't spellcheck its own dictionary:

"MAL VIVANT s.m. Terme d'Ordonnances, qui signifie Un homme de mauvaise vie. C'est un mal vivant. Les vagabonds & mal vivans. "
http://portail.atilf.fr/cgi-bin/getobject_?p.14:27./var/artfla/dicos/ACAD_1762/IMAGE/

Those "mal vivans" (sic) don't seem to include vagabonds in this example.
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 11:18 am
@High Seas,
HS, language evolves as you know.

You can not apply today's criteria to a dictionary compiled in 1762, the edition you link to.

In addition, mal is not used as an adjective but as a noun, like in a living evil.

In terms of ordinances, it states: Vagabonds et mal vivans, implying that they are two separate categories..
High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 09:46 am
@Francis,
Francis - whatever ails the immortels has obviously affected you also; the mis-spelling "vivans" (sic) instead of the correct "vivants" was the first issue. That the vagabonds are not included in those mal vivants was the second.

The above were true in the siecle des lumieres and remain true today, so I've no idea why you don't see them, or don't read them correctly; please re-read and clarify. Here's the relevant portion on the link I posted, again:

Quote:
MAL VIVANT s.m. Terme d'Ordonnances, qui signifie Un homme de mauvaise vie. C'est un mal vivant. Les vagabonds & mal vivans.
Francis
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 10:36 am
@High Seas,
HS, sometimes I feel that it is an unsurmountable task to make people realize their misinterpretations, to use an euphemism.

Vivans is not a mispelling of L'Académie Française but the very proof of language evolution.

It is the way it was written throughout the middle ages, Renaissance and even the Siècle des Lumières.

The plural of vivant was vivans, according to L'Académie Française, as attested by all its editions till 1835.

Since then, it's vivants.

Based on that, you are telling me that they mispelled it in the years before.

To which I reply, if it pleases you, so be it.

But I have a different view of these matters. Evolution, as I stated.

Check out all the editions of Dictionaires d'autrefois for vivans, vivants..

You can also see how it was written in old French laws

I maintain that vagabonds were not assimilated to the mal vivans category, as they were not, ipso-facto, evil doers.

High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 10:42 am
@Francis,
C'est merveilleux, I never knew the plural changes like that - or at least used to, until 1835! Thank you. But at least those vagabonds were still excluded from the term, right? That was my original second point, with which you now seem to agree.....
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 10:54 am
@High Seas,
Sure!

Not only now, but I stated it already, putting the et in bold:

Francis wrote:
Vagabonds et mal vivans, implying that they are two separate categories..


 

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