I saw this quote "I refuse to be participated" mentioned as a "W. C. Field's classic". What does it mean exactly ? Is it a fancy way to say "I refuse to participate" ?

Extended quote :

To "Ecumenism" with its pomps and its works the reply of the faithful Catholic must be W.C. Fields' classic: "I refuse to be participated."

Source : p.145 of http://www.huttongibson.com/PDFs/huttongibson_robberchurch_book.pdf

  • Please include the source. Which "classic"?
    – Jammin4CO
    Jul 19 '16 at 17:13
  • @Jammin4CO I don't know which "classic" it is, I only found it in this quote Jul 19 '16 at 17:39
  • Regardless of whether W. C. Fields ever saiid this (which I doubt), it's "fancy" in the sense of "quirky" (i.e. - native speakers would not normally say something like this; it's supposed to be "funny haha" and "funny peculiar" at the same time). Jul 19 '16 at 17:44

After reading your context, I agree with FumbleFingers. This is a quirky phrase, but the meaning is: If you participate, you are included in all those who are a part of something. If someone includes you but you don't want to be, you have been "participated". An example might be of a conquered people. Their government fell, but they don't want to acknowledge the new king and his rules. They refuse to be participated.

This is similar to "voluntold". When you are instructed to volunteer.

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