2

In a 1789 English translation of Frederick II 's eulogy on Voltaire it is written:

He passed whole nights in new modelling his work

What does the "in new" part mean?

(Also, if anyone has the eulogy in the original language, that would be helpful because I don't have it.)

9
  • 2
    Looks like a bad translation. Most likely it should be He passed whole nights remodeling his work. Certainly current Enhglish doesn't allow to new model to be used as a "compound verb". Commented Apr 24 at 11:17
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers oh, like revising his work, makes sense, thanks.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Apr 24 at 11:19
  • 1
    yes - revising is more natural here than remodeling (however spelt! :) Commented Apr 24 at 11:23
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers - Not a 'bad' translation, just one using the English of the late 18th century! Commented Apr 24 at 12:59
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers I didn’t know what it meant until you said “remodeling”. Instead, nude modeling kept entering my mind and I couldn’t think beyond that.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Apr 24 at 19:54

1 Answer 1

4

new modelling means remodelling:

He passed whole nights in remodelling his work

From the OED:

new-model verb
Now rare.
transitive. To remodel; to arrange in a new way. Cf. new-modelize v. 1647–
Source: Oxford English Dictionary (login required)

2
  • 2
    You can find the original online here. The relevant passage is: "il passa des nuits entières à refondre son ouvragez," and refondre means recast (both literally for casting metal and figuratively for other things). Commented Apr 25 at 3:18
  • @PeterShor — And a model is a mould in metal casting. Commented Apr 25 at 14:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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