Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm going for a little stronger word than accept and I like the word approbate.

To approbate my flaws.

Does it work?

share|improve this question
    
Gabrielle, how about "endorse"? I see this word used very often in different context and maybe it is useable also in reference to "flaws". –  user19148 Mar 29 '13 at 23:11
2  
Approbate is a back-formation from approbation, itself an inkhorn word. So, no, it doesn't work. And what you call what you do with your flaws, whatever they are, is entirely up to you. –  John Lawler Mar 29 '13 at 23:46
    
@JohnLawler Actually, OED 1 records the verb as early as 1470, from a somewhat earlier participial use directly derived from approbatus, and goes on to say "Obs. in England since 17th c, but preserved in U.S., and often used as simply = approve." This is of course from a very early fascicle of the Dictionary. –  StoneyB Mar 30 '13 at 2:52
    
... representing British academic perceptions of American speech in the late 19th century, as observed from Oxford. –  John Lawler Mar 30 '13 at 15:02
add comment

1 Answer

It makes semantic sense (if I have time to look it up and determine whether it's properly used) and it's grammatical, but, no, it doesn't work, because it's weird English that ricochets off the wall sounding pretentious and pompous. No native speaker in their right mind would ever utter that sentence to another native speaker, except in a Blackadder sitcom (Tim McInnerny, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson). [NB: Watched one just last night on YouTube. Hilarious!]

It's not normal native speaker English, so I wouldn't use it unless I wanted to make someone laugh. Otherwise, it doesn't work.

I'd suggest something like embrace, cherish, or adore if you want to wallow in your flaws.

But rather than flaunting your flaws (we all have them, to be sure, but they're nothing to be proud of, just unpleasant realities we have to live with and often cannot jettison or abjure), I think you'd be much better off saying something reasonable, like:

I accept my {flaws / shortcomings[CHOOSE ONE]} (even though I do my best to rectify them).

share|improve this answer
    
+1 It doesn't make sense, since even in its loosest sense it means 'approve', not 'accept' ([OED])(archive.org/stream/oed01arch#page/414/mode/2up). –  StoneyB Mar 30 '13 at 2:56
1  
@StoneyB: approbate: "Definition: permit. Synonyms: OK, accept, agree to, allow, approve, authorize, clear, confirm, consent, endorse, okay, pass, sanction, support" and "Synonyms: abet, accede, accept, acquiesce, admit, agree, allow, approbate,... ". I know, I know, but when the printed authorities say one thing, even though we know the truth to be another, it's hard to argue the point. (Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition. Philip Lief Group 2009. 29 Mar. 2013.) –  user21497 Mar 30 '13 at 3:19
    
When people say you revel in your ignorance, they're normally thinking of that ignorance as a "flaw". But I think if you yourself say "I endorse my faults", there's a semantic/epistemological problem regarding what exactly "faults" means. Probably, it really means things you disapprove of, but which I approve of. –  FumbleFingers Mar 30 '13 at 3:28
    
@Fu: There certainly is an epistemological problem there. My take on "endorsing one's faults" is based on the absurd contemporary cultural memes of "total inclusion & celebration of diversity & 'respect' for the 'humanity' of even the most heinous of the inhumane, eg, Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik (21 years for murdering 77 people!)". I accept my faults because not to do so would be to deny reality, but I don't endorse them, because I'd like to rid myself of the worst of them, regardless of whether anyone else approves of them. –  user21497 Mar 30 '13 at 4:01
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.