1. "Optimist" is a word which here refers to a person, such as Phil, who thinks hopeful and pleasant thoughts about nearly everything. For instance, if an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn’t too bad. I don’t have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!"

    [Five Chapters Later]

    The cage part of the string machine was split open like an egg, and the string had become completely entwined and entangled. And I simply cannot describe the grotesque and unnerving sight–the words “grotesque” and “unnerving” here mean “twisted, tangled, stained, and gory”–of poor Phil’s leg. It made Violet’s and Sunny’s stomachs turn to gaze upon it, but Phil looked up and gave them a weak smile.

    "Well," he said, "this isn’t too bad. My left leg is broken, but at least I’m right-legged. That’s pretty fortunate."

    "Gee," one of the other employees murmured. "I thought he’d say something more along the lines of ‘Aaaaah! My leg! My leg!’"

    — Lemony Snicket, The Miserable Mill, A Series of Unfortunate Events
     
    1. postato da pinkrobotgirl