don't despair

raisingfink   Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 07:20 GMT
What does "His supporters began to despair him" mean? Is this an appropriate use of the word "despair" or would id be better to use "desert"?

Damian   Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 08:08 GMT
You could say:

"His supporters began to despair for him" or "His supporters began to despair on his behalf". That means they fear for his situation but not that they would actually "desert" him.

Despair and desert have different meanings. They can despair but still support him. If they desert him, they abandom him to his fate, or whatever.
raisingfink   Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 08:31 GMT
What about "Don't despair me". I hear it all the time but I can't quite put my finger on what it means. TQ
Michael Butler   Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 09:34 GMT
"Don't despair me" means Do not lose hope or worry for me. The way you have it written sounds stilted, but it is incorrect. Despair written in this form is an intrasitive verb, so you need a preposition: 'Don't despair for/over me.' But it is best to drop the 'me'.
raisingfink   Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 23:58 GMT
I see. Thanks.