. (ein_suender) wrote in linguaphiles,
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ein_suender
linguaphiles

malheur

I recently read Simone Weil's Waiting for God, which is utterly fascinating.

About a yearish ago (somewhere in there) I asked how to say her name, and that's cleared up now on the Wikipedia page devoted to her.

What I'm writing about now, though, is a footnote on page 117, in the chapter entitled The Love of God and Affliction, concerning the word malheur:

>>>No English word exactly conveys the meaning of the French malheur. Our word unhappiness is a negative term and far too weak. Affliction is the nearest equivalent but not quite satisfactory. Malheur has in it a sense of inevitability and doom.

Can anybody elaborate? When would you generally use the word? How is it used in day-to-day speech?
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