A question for native English speakers

  1. So the use of the word “bloody” in this context is comparable, in my understanding, to the word “damn”. It’s a word used for emphasis on how much of a shame something is. If someone just said “well that’s a shame” it would likely have more of a disappointed tone to the phrase. But someone saying instead, “well that’s a damn shame!” Or “that’s a bloody shame!” Has more of an emphatic or even angry tone to it. Using the word “bloody” in this context is for the most part an English term (as in UK English not American English). The American equivalent would be “that’s a damn shame!”. So in my opinion your are correct in translating it with a more angry tone or emphatic tone versus the disappointed/sorrowful tone.

  2. The epithet ‘bloody’ ( originally referring to Christ’s wounds) is much more frequent in England that in Barthelme’s native U.S. (and certainly not used in his birth city of Philadelphia (where I live). But perhaps the story is set in Britain? My understanding is that ‘bloody’ is considered to be a slightly shocking curse word, not said in polite company.

  3. I do not get anger at all, but resignation/acceptance which reinforces that they "don't like it." Your interpretation of a grumpy, slightly emphatic re-statement of not liking it fits with the tone.

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