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BLUE-SKY

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BLUE-SKY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:46 pm

blue-sky

Pronunciation: blu-skay

Part of Speech: Adjective, Transitive verb

Meaning: 1. [Adjective] Unrealistically optimistic, pie-in-the-sky, as blue-sky estimates of profits. 2. [Adjective] Worthless, of no value, unprofitable, as blue-sky property or stock. 3. [Verb] To subject a stock to the blue-sky laws of a state, designed to protect the public from fraudulent, overoptimistic promises made to sell stock or other property.

Notes: We all cringe when a beautiful word with pleasant connotations is used to refer to the nefarious but today's good word is just that. On the one hand, it refers to an overly optimistic simple-mindedness, as blue-sky hopes for the future, which implies no evil. However, it also has a legal sense, suggesting the use of overly optimistic promises known to be false to make a sale. This tactic has led to blue-sky laws to protect the public from fraud. By the way, the verb has forms: (s/he) blue-skies, (is) blue-skying, or blue-skied. No paronyms, though.

In Play: The original meaning of this good word suggests simple simple-mindedness: "Dietrich's blue-sky idea of making money by selling pet rocks has everyone at the office laughing." However, using blue-sky figures to sell stock is far from simple-minded from the seller's perspective: "Having been convicted under the state's blue-sky laws, Miss Deeds will be seeing few blue skies for the next two years.

Word History: The conversion of this phrase to a word was motivated by the metaphorical use of the phrase to refer to a perfect day with no clouds, no rain. Notice that clouds (a dark and cloudy past) are associated with displeasure if not misdeeds, as is rain (don't rain on my parade). A blue sky indicates no problems, happiness, clear sailing in a sun-lit TV commercial, where the solution to any problem is only a purchase away. (We hope Bruce Spicer of McNees, Wallace & Nurik Law Firm in Harrisburg, PA is enjoying blue skies today—real ones. We thank him for suggesting this innocent word that unwittingly became a legal term for misbehavior.)
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Postby Apoclima » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:53 pm

Yeah, clouds have sure been given a bad rap over the years, except those with silver linings, of course!

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Postby tcward » Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:11 pm

I liked the visual effect of the blue font color for the subject text.

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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:40 am

A naive or gullible person is often described in Swedish as being «blåögd»....

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Blåögd

Postby wquinette » Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:36 pm

Hello, Henri.

May blåögd be translated as blue-eyed ? Or one who sees everything blue ? In Portuguese, "tudo azul" ("everything blue") may mean "everything's ok".

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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:44 pm

How didn't I think of that? And I was racking my brains the other day to see if I could squeeze something out, and no, zilch!

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Re: Blåögd

Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:45 am

wquinette wrote:Hello, Henri.

May blåögd be translated as blue-eyed ? ...

Quite right, WQ, as a literal translation, but interestingly enough, the adjectival is not used in Swedish to refer to someone with blue eyes (a large proportion of the Swedish population), as the figurative meaning has taken over completely....

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Postby gailr » Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:02 pm

wquinette
May blåögd be translated as blue-eyed ? Or one who sees everything blue ? In Portuguese, "tudo azul" ("everything blue") may mean "everything's ok".

English would render this as "seeing through rose-colored glasses". Seeing everything blue would indicate sadness.
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Blue-eyed boy

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:42 am

In English, the metaphoric sense of blue-eyed is "favored, preferred"--He's the teacher's blue-eyd boy, implies he is her pet. Although pejorative (used sarcastically), the thrust is quite different from the Swedish correlate.
Last edited by Dr. Goodword on Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:27 am

gailr wrote:English would render this as "seeing through rose-colored glasses". Seeing everything blue would indicate sadness.

Nice to see you on board, gailr !

Henri (who persists in viewing the world through rose-coloured spectacles)
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Postby gailr » Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:52 pm

Thank you, Henri, it's nice to be here.

Dr. Goodword's "blue-eyed boy" is new to me; I am more familiar with "fair-haired boy" to express favoritism. Such a person may seem to live under perpetual blue skies, though.

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Postby Stargzer » Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:10 pm

I, too, thought I'd never heard the sense of "blue-eyed" meaning "favored, preferred" before, until some forgotton brain cells popped up and told me that they had, and to do a quick search, which led me to find the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall:"

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?


Any thoughts on whether that's what he meant in the lyrics? Given the second sentence (" . . . my darling young one?"), blue-eyed here must mean "favored, preferred."
Regards//Larry

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:46 pm

I think you're definitely on to something there, Larry....

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