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From Stan Carey:

There are surprisingly many instances of unselfishlessly Out There. Presumably these are a sort of blend of unselfishly and selflessly, with (un)selfishness cheering from the sidelines, and the spirit of misnegation brooding over all.



  1. Daniel von Brighoff said,

    September 1, 2015 @ 10:22 am

    Interestingly (or not), there's no mention of "self" in the Irish version:

    Nuair a bhí Éireann agus a daoine i gcontúirt, sheas tú na [sic] bhearna bhaoil leó. "When Ireland and her people were in danger, you leapt into the breach with them."

  2. KevinM said,

    September 1, 2015 @ 1:34 pm

    That's because Irish has no word for self (ducking and covering).

  3. Daniel von Brighoff said,

    September 1, 2015 @ 2:53 pm

    Fainic thú féin!

  4. J. W. Brewer said,

    September 1, 2015 @ 3:01 pm

    Perhaps unidiomatic English is intended as a gesture of anti-English defiance? This memorial inscription http://www.palacebarracksmemorialgarden.co.uk/archive/Royal%20Highland%20Fusiliers.htm for three young men with surnames also beginning Mc- whom the late Mr. McAdorey is believed to have participated in the killing of (sez https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Scottish_soldiers%27_killings) is by contrast idiomatic within the peculiar register of standard English (with Br spelling variation) generally thought suitable for such uses. It's monolingual, Gaelic having for good or for ill fallen out of use in the honorees' place of origin (Ayrshire and environs) many centuries ago.

  5. Steve Reilly said,

    September 1, 2015 @ 7:22 pm

    I like the word "unbreathlessly" from The Age of Entanglement https://books.google.com/books?id=njtDiBApHnUC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=%22unbreathlessly%22&source=bl&ots=w3Yve_05oD&sig=4r1mLc8xyPhm3U1f-PP4CANvua0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAWoVChMI2trDuorXxwIVRh8eCh1R_Awa#v=onepage&q=%22unbreathlessly%22&f=false

  6. Daniel von Brighoff said,

    September 1, 2015 @ 9:45 pm

    It's monolingual, Gaelic having for good or for ill fallen out of use in the honorees' place of origin (Ayrshire and environs) many centuries ago.

    The same is true, mutatis mutandis, for the example above, McAdorey being a native of Ardoyne (a working-class neighbourhood of Belfast). That may help account for the curious orthography (cló Gaelach, but with a following h to show lenition rather than a ponc séimhithe or dot above; obsolete use of the acute on leo) and grammatical errors.

  7. mollymooly said,

    September 2, 2015 @ 3:32 am

    I think it reads "sa bhearna", not "na bhearna": cf. the esses in "agus" and "sheas". OTOH "Éireann" should be "Éirinn" or "Éire". Interesting that it gives "Óglach Paddy McAdorney" rather than "Vol. Paddy McAdorney" or "Óglach Páidí Mac an Deoraidh". I note also the cló Gaelach is used for the English as well as the Irish. As ever, not all the symbolism is intentional.

  8. David Morris said,

    September 2, 2015 @ 4:48 am

    Possibly they realised that the English was problematic but went ahead irregardlessly.

  9. Daniel von Brighoff said,

    September 2, 2015 @ 10:33 am

    Go raibh maith agat, a mhollymooly. Yeah, that makes much more sense, since I was also puzzled by the apparent transitive use of seas.

  10. maidhc said,

    September 2, 2015 @ 2:16 pm

    The style is in imitation of the signs that the Irish government has put up around the country to commemorate people who were killed during the War of Independence (Cogadh na Saoirse, 1919-1921) . However this sign was not put up by any official body, as the person was killed during the Troubles of the 1970s. I would guess some private group in Ardoyne put it up. That would account for the peculiarities in both English and Irish.

    Not that official signs are immune to peculiar language.

  11. K. Chang said,

    September 2, 2015 @ 3:11 pm

    Noticed something like this in my local WW2 Memorial Hall (SF Chinatown). They had a display where it described the defeat of Japanese army in the last major engagement in China. The translator end up writing "shameless defeat" when the intent obviously was "shameful defeat".

  12. Charles said,

    September 4, 2015 @ 7:26 pm

    Shouldn't that be "selflessly"? The "un" and "-ish" seem a little redundant.

  13. Charles said,

    September 4, 2015 @ 7:28 pm

    On second reading, that doesn't seem to work either. Never mind.

  14. Chas Belov said,

    September 6, 2015 @ 4:35 pm

    One use in Google News, on the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/scotland/15232020

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