The Captain’s Log

Pontifications of The Great and Terrible Captain Cucamunga.

Wed, 27 Mar 2024 14:12:34 EDT

Hopeless Versus Hapless

…is an adjective that means without hope. When applied to a person, hopeless means that the person does not have confidence in a future positive outcome or that the person is itself incapable of changing in a positive manner. When applied to a person’s belief in, or desire for, a positive outcome, hopeless means that the belief or desire is naive. When applied to a task, hopeless means that the task has no chance of being completed successfully. When applied to a situation, hopeless means that the situation cannot improve or is destined to degrade into a worse one.
…is an adjective that means unfortunate, which is to say luckless. Hap is an Old Norse word for fortune or chance. Hapless means without hap. Happy has a similar derivation and means the opposite.