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

Meaning of 'half-pay'. Options
TMe
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 8:46:03 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/12/2017
Posts: 472
Neurons: 3,004
Respected Teachers, please tell me what is the meaning of 'half-pay' in the following context.

"Oh, I'm sure she will prevent him from seeing those half-pay, questionable people. I'll talk to her," said Mademoiselle Cormon, "for he might lose his place in the mayor's office; and then what would he and his mother have to live on? It makes me shudder."

I am a layman.
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 10:25:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,068
Neurons: 25,548
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
TMe wrote:
Respected Teachers, please tell me what is the meaning of 'half-pay' in the following context.

"Oh, I'm sure she will prevent him from seeing those half-pay, questionable people. I'll talk to her," said Mademoiselle Cormon, "for he might lose his place in the mayor's office; and then what would he and his mother have to live on? It makes me shudder."


I would need more context to explain it further.

Literally, "half-pay" would refer to those who give or accept half the pay one would normally expect to receive for a particular job.

There is one thing that is universal across all languages and cultures: we all experience conflict amongst us, and what distinguishes each and every one of us is the way in which we resolve those conflicts.

Dancing

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Chazlee
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 3:13:12 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/24/2016
Posts: 408
Neurons: 3,934
TMe wrote:
Respected Teachers, please tell me what is the meaning of 'half-pay' in the following context.

"Oh, I'm sure she will prevent him from seeing those half-pay, questionable people. I'll talk to her," said Mademoiselle Cormon, "for he might lose his place in the mayor's office; and then what would he and his mother have to live on? It makes me shudder."


I agree with leonAzul that more context is needed, but based on what is written, especially the phrase "questionable people," I would suspect that the speaker is talking about people who are poor, or people who are not on the same high-level in society as she is.

Peace. Chazlee.
mactoria
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 3:53:55 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/2014
Posts: 464
Neurons: 883,007
Location: Stockton, California, United States
TMe wrote:
Respected Teachers, please tell me what is the meaning of 'half-pay' in the following context.

"Oh, I'm sure she will prevent him from seeing those half-pay, questionable people. I'll talk to her," said Mademoiselle Cormon, "for he might lose his place in the mayor's office; and then what would he and his mother have to live on? It makes me shudder."


Tme: it would help other posters a lot if you included the name of the book and author that you are quoting from; that way they can go to 'google books' on-line and read a long portion of the quote you are asking about. So this is from Honore de Balzac's "The Old Maid," a book I'm not familiar with, so I read part of the relevant chapter around this quote snippet.

It's my guess that "half-pay, questionable people" refers back to the Mademoiselle's beau/suitor who is said to have attended the government school (ie lyceum) and taught by government paid teachers who someone of Mademoiselle's class would think is inferior. You have to put her words (and those of the chevalier) into the context of the era the book is written about: continuing upheaval between the upper class elite society and the rest of the people who would include 'service people' like teachers and others. That's my best assessment without having read the whole book.
Chazlee
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 5:13:46 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/24/2016
Posts: 408
Neurons: 3,934
mactoria wrote:
TMe wrote:
Respected Teachers, please tell me what is the meaning of 'half-pay' in the following context.

"Oh, I'm sure she will prevent him from seeing those half-pay, questionable people. I'll talk to her," said Mademoiselle Cormon, "for he might lose his place in the mayor's office; and then what would he and his mother have to live on? It makes me shudder."


Tme: it would help other posters a lot if you included the name of the book and author that you are quoting from; that way they can go to 'google books' on-line and read a long portion of the quote you are asking about. So this is from Honore de Balzac's "The Old Maid," a book I'm not familiar with, so I read part of the relevant chapter around this quote snippet.

It's my guess that "half-pay, questionable people" refers back to the Mademoiselle's beau/suitor who is said to have attended the government school (ie lyceum) and taught by government paid teachers who someone of Mademoiselle's class would think is inferior. You have to put her words (and those of the chevalier) into the context of the era the book is written about: continuing upheaval between the upper class elite society and the rest of the people who would include 'service people' like teachers and others. That's my best assessment without having read the whole book.


mactoria, If that is your assessment without having read the whole book, you are to be commended! I wish I had your ability to give such a logical and interesting explanation when I was attending literature classes in college. It would have saved me a lot of time, and I would have gotten better grades!!
Peace.
Chazlee.
TMe
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 10:20:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/12/2017
Posts: 472
Neurons: 3,004
Yes mactoria is right, it is from the book,
'An Old Maid: Works of Balzac'

I am a layman.
thar
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 10:35:05 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 15,661
Neurons: 62,540
To me 'half-pay' indicates military officers who are not serving (have been effectively 'laid off'), and have nothing to do but get into trouble, and good reason for it because they are only being paid half their pay (and that is low enough even on full pay!) so they have no money. A bad combination!



But since this is French.....Think
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:23:20 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 673
Neurons: 4,338
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
thar wrote:
To me 'half-pay' indicates military officers who are not serving (have been effectively 'laid off'), and have nothing to do but get into trouble, and good reason for it because they are only being paid half their pay (and that is low enough even on full pay!) so they have no money. A bad combination!



But since this is French.....Think


It makes me think of that too it's a term used quite often in naval fiction set in the Napoleonic era such as in the Horatio Horneblower or Aubrey novels.

Sometimes 'half-pay' was given to officers who retired injured and sometimes to keep them on inactive service as a reserve.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
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.