“They will say I was an underachiever.”

“They will say I was an underachiever.”

(will say - future tense)

As if it were an epitaph; but also applicable as the musing of a man expecting to be remembered in a particular way, at an unspecified time in the future.

Far too complicated for me to even attempt this one!

Thanks in advance :)
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
What do you need this for?

I suppose one way of saying it could be
res mihi parum cessisse dicent.

... although there are other ways, I suppose. I don't think there is any single word in Latin that means "underachiever".
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Dicent oportuisse me (multo) plura consequi, if "more" is about the number of things achieved.

Dicent oportuisse me (multo) maiora consequi, if "more" is about the greatness of the things achieved.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Facta mea spe minora dicent = "They will say that my achievements were lesser than expected."
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Would you say this is the more classical of your suggestions @Pacifica ? It has a pleasing succinctness to it!
I don't think it's more classical than the others, but it's certainly more succinct.
I assume the “lesser” has a general meaning, rather than magnitude or number of achievements?
I'm not sure what you mean by general meaning. It denotes the (metaphorical) magnitude of the achievements, or rather the lack of magnitude.
 
I'm not sure what you mean by general meaning. It denotes the (metaphorical) magnitude of the achievements, or rather the lack of magnitude.
I meant whether it just referred to unspecified underachievement, rather than specifically the number of achievements, or the greatness of those achievements (as referred to in your first two suggested translations); but you’ve just clarified that anyway, by saying it refers to the magnitude.
Many thanks again :)
 

Bradicus

New Member
Latin tends to express notions of English abstract substantives directly through the verb (note the English “underachiever” is itself a verbally-rooted substantive):

Tradent me parum perfecisse.
They will say I achieved too little.

Since the concept of an “underachiever” is a modern notion (likely a foreign to the Romans), something more explanatory might be warranted:

Ferent me hominem vix idoneum fuisse qui res frustra gereret.
They will say that I was a man scarcely capable, who was conducting his affairs to little effect.
... or some such rendering.
 

syntaxianus

Civis Illustris
Perhaps:

dicar parum felix pro facultatibus meis

I will be called not very productive in proportion to my abilities / capabilities / opportunities.

Or:

dicar minus in vita egisse quam valui

I will be said to have done less in life than I was capable of doing.
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
That's monstrous.
 
I thought it a bit cumbersome when I thought of it, but in the end, it is really no different a construction than subscrīptor... One might say that the modern concept of the "underachiever" is that which is rather monstrous [as if it is anybody's province to expect a certain "achievement" (read: "income generation") from anybody else], wouldn't you say?
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Well, subperventor would be OK from a strictly morphological point of view. Supervenitor, not quite, because the b of sub wouldn't usually just disappear, and agent nouns are normally formed from the supine, which for pervenio is perventum rather than pervenitum.

Now, it's extremely doubtful whether even the morpholically correct coinage would have made sense to a Roman, let alone the intended sense. To say the least, it seems a rather unnatural way to go about expressing the idea.
 

syntaxianus

Civis Illustris
Incuriosus gloriae may capture a good bit of one possible meaning of "underachiever," that is, not particularly interested in doing what one can to leverage one's strengths to attain reputation or fame.
 
Well, subperventor would be OK from a strictly morphological point of view. Supervenitor, not quite, because the b of sub wouldn't usually just disappear, and agent nouns are normally formed from the supine, which for pervenio is perventum rather than pervenitum.
Yes...as usual, Pacifica, you are quite right. I do think, though, that the "b" of sub- is assimilated before "p", which would make it supperventor, no?
Now, it's extremely doubtful whether even the morpholically correct coinage would have made sense to a Roman, let alone the intended sense.
Sure, it is unclear whether the concept of "the underachiever" would have been recognized by a Roman of any social class. Certainly, certain types of behavior were expected from those born within the varying social classes of the Roman republic, as is demonstrated clearly enough by Tacitus in his Annals: "...Mamercus Scaurus, insignis nobilitate et orandis causis, vita probrosus." (Annals Book VI, 29), but whether someone who had all the advantages of a noble birth, yet was not "...distinguished by his talent as an advocate" or in any other way would be viewed as an "underachiever" within Roman society, is quite uncertain. Even so, our Nicolaus is not writing for the Romans, who now speak Italian, but for himself and for others of us today, wherein we do have the idea of the "underachiever". Certainly, Latin is a "dead" language, in that it is no longer a social language, but if Latin is to be useful to us beyond helping us to think better, and is to be used by us today as we find it useful, then it seems to me that we need not, of necessity, make reference to ancient Roman concepts when trying to express our own.
To say the least, it seems a rather unnatural way to go about expressing the idea.
On that point, however, I will defer to yourself ten times out of ten...
 
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