manque /mong~KAY/ adj. (placed after a noun) having never become what one might have been (from French) ; an actor manque
Okay, I admit it, I was thumbing through a dictionary the other day. I came across this word, though, and was just struck at the depth of melancholy and regret contained in this one word. I love how some words--especially those we get from other languages--can wrap up so much meaning in the space of a few contiguous letters.
[Note: there's supposed to be an accent over the "e" - couldn't figure out how to get blogger to do that.]
It reminds me of an exchange in the movie Little Women in which a gentleman says to Jo, "You should have been a lawyer, Miss March." And Jo replies, "I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer." Some days I feel like that.