The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Forsaken and abandoned Options
Kunstniete
Posted: Monday, February 27, 2017 6:53:14 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/2017
Posts: 1,161
Neurons: 155,211
Location: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Hi there,

I'm a bit confused about the difference between forsaken and abandoned. Has it something to do with purpose, for instance
- The land is forsaken due to massive radiation
- We chose to abandon and sell the house, because no one wanted to live there any more.
?

Thank you very much

The value of choice is not in the size of the action but in its effect.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, February 27, 2017 6:59:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 39,080
Neurons: 283,146
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
The first meaning of forsake to come in mind is to give something up. "You must forsake that binge drinking to gain your health back."

You can forsake a place or abandon it, here the words are synonyms. In many cases they are, but there is a slight difference in nuance in some context. I'd bet the natives here can explain this better than I.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
thar
Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2017 5:13:09 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 15,755
Neurons: 62,977
There is a difference in some examples - you wouldn't say land is forsaken.


To abandon something is to leave it behind, to cease caring for it.

To forsake something is to reject it.


There are some instances where you can use either, but some where the difference is clear.

Abandon comes from French.
à bandon "at will, at discretion,"
from à "at, to"
+ bandon "power, jurisdiction," from Latin bannum, "proclamation,"

It means relinquishing control. Sometimes it still has that meaning -
If you are drunk, you flirt with strangers with gay abandon
(ie you don't hold yourself back. And 'gay' here is the old meaning, 'happy'. Nothing to do with homosexual.)

If something is abandoned people have stopped controlling it, keeping it.
A broken-down car is abandoned by the side of the road.
People abandon land when they have to move away due to radiation.
You abandon a project if it isn't working.


Forsaken is from the Old English
English forsacan "object to, oppose, refuse, deny; give up, renounce" (past tense forsoc, past participle forsacen), from for- "completely"
+ sacan "to struggle, dispute, wrangle; accuse, blame"

It is not commonly used in normal speech.
There is a description of something really bad as 'godforsaken' - ie even God has stopped caring for it - it is really an unloved, derelict or terrible place.
Probably the most famous phrase is from Psalm 22 in the Bible - My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
This use gives its meaning of 'abandoned, left behind'. But it is more about repudiating something, making a deliberate choice to stop doing something.
eg
you forsake the chance to go to university, and get a job instead.

So, for example
if land is poisoned by radiation
People abandon their land and move to the cities.
(ie, leave it behind, ignore it)
It implies they run away, leave it behind, uncared for. The land is left abandoned.

People forsake their lives as farmers and move to the city to become factory workers
(give up, choose to turn away from).
It implies a painful choice, but a deliberate repudiation. It is not used as an adjective in that sense.
It is not a common word. More used in prose. The common parlance would be 'dumped' - as in a boyfriend dumping a girlfriend. Whistle




Kunstniete
Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 2:09:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/2017
Posts: 1,161
Neurons: 155,211
Location: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Thank you for that very nice explanation Applause

The value of choice is not in the size of the action but in its effect.
Eoin Riedy
Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 11:30:24 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2016
Posts: 134
Neurons: 814
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Kunstniete wrote:
The land is forsaken due to massive radiation

thar wrote:
There is a difference in some examples - you wouldn't say land is forsaken.


The sentence does sound awkward, partly from the mixing of poetic and technical phrasing. Writers do refer to forsaken land, though.

"14. Return, we beseech thee, O god of hosts. Again come and visit thy people; come back again to thy forsaken land."
Albert Barnes, Notes, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical, on the Book of Psalms, 1869

"Without a hand to tend them, and with few in this forsaken land to admire their beauty, they attire themselves season after season in a glory which Solomon, even when arrayed in his most gorgeous apparel, could not equal."
Rev. J. A. Wylie, Over the Holy Land, 1883

"In a God-Forsaken Land", Kay Cleaver Strahan, Good Housekeeping, July 1915

"The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him."
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, 1955
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2017 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.