Language Corner

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Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:47 am

Didn't we used to have something like this on the old site?

Anyways, in the spirit of Marina Orlova's "Hot For Words" videos (see the recommended 4 U thread) I think we should have a thread for discussing linguistological conundrums.

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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:52 am

No Problem

Remember when we learned the "magic words?"

-- Please

-- Thank you

-- You're Welcome

Miss manners said that the wonderful thing about the magic words is that they always suit the situation without any need for variation. You don't have to improvise or come up with anything witty--just say the magic word.

But lately I've been hearing something else, especially from the service sector:

-- Thank you

-- No problem

Miss Manners probably would not approve, but it reminds me of what some folks used to say 100 years ago:

-- You shouldn't have ...

-- It was nothing

or

-- No trouble at all

That's the same as "No problemo," isn't it?

And that started me thinking about how furriners and Yooropians say "You're Welcome"

-- De nada

-- De rien

-- di niente

-- Ne za chto

They're all saying "It was nothing," which is to say "No trouble at all," which is to say "No problem."

So, are American speakers just catching up with the rest of the world?

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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:00 am

Over educated

What does this phrase imply? That in education there is a point beyond which additional knowledge becomes harmful rather than useful?

Or does it mean that some people have more education than they are able to make use off, due to their lack of basic life skills?

Or does it mean that some people know things that make them less likeable--possibly even pompous and pedantic--in social situations?

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:45 pm

pinhedz wrote:Over educated

What does this phrase imply? That in education there is a point beyond which additional knowledge becomes harmful rather than useful?

Or does it mean that some people have more education than they are able to make use off, due to their lack of basic life skills?

Or does it mean that some people know things that make them less likeable--possibly even pompous and pedantic--in social situations?

...re the first implication: rather than the extra knowledge being harmful, I'd see it as being wasted (information overload, a saturation point at which you can no longer effectively process information).

...re the second: when I've heard the term 'over-educated' it's sounded derogatory, like 'but under-skilled' is implied

...re the third: bombast and pedantry occur when one thinks one is dealing with the 'less-educated'. In that sense the bombasts and pedants are 'over-educated' ('snobs' is implied).

...okay, no more edits.


Last edited by blue moon on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:39 pm

blue moon wrote:...re the third: do bombast and pedantry result more from a fear that one isn't educated enough?
So, due to one's being undereducated, one might create the impression of being overeducated? Laughing

This might explain why Johnny Mac often accused the pinhed of being both swell headed and underedjicated. geek

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:01 pm

...hi pinz...i was editing the previous post when you posted...trying to be clearer...silly me

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:14 pm

The other day on the radio they were talking about expressions people say but they don't like.
One woman asked why lately some people after "gracias" (thanks) say "un placer" (my pleasure). And someone said that it comes from the English language (do you use it oftenly?). The woman found it very twee and exagerated. I remember one boy from I think Nigeria said "thank you" to me after I accepted a drink from him and I assumed in Nigeria people did it that way (but maybe not). So maybe that's where "my pleasure" comes from... like it should be the giver who say "thanks".

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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:19 pm

Yes--"my pleasure" is like carrying "no problem" to the other end of the scale.

Not only is serving you not a problem, madame, it's downright enjoyable.

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:41 pm

When Maria Braun threw the flowers to the bin in front of the one who gave them to her, in the movie The Marriage of Maria Braun, my mother said "what a woman...". Maybe it's women like that that make men say "thank you" when their favor is accepted.

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Dick Fitzwell on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:47 am




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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:56 am

ISSUES

"Road closed due to flooding issues." Mad Mad Mad

PLEASE, we do not have "issues" with roads, we have "problems" with roads.

"Issues" are those matters that your analyst says you should have talked over and worked out with your mother.

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:01 pm

I love made up compound words that emerge spontaneously in the life of the Spaniards.

Perroflauta: perro (dog) + flauta (flute) = (not easy to define) person dressed like a hippie, a punk or whatever who spends his time in the streets or parks doing nothing. They usually have dogs and the legend tells they originally played flute.

Payoponi: payo (term used by the gypsies to refer to the not gypsy whites) + poni (pony)= latin american person.

Edit: I don't mean to offend anybody. I just find those words are funny.

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:11 pm

perroflauta...I like the sound of it.


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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:39 am

Chinese girls say it is easy to learn how to write papers on marketing in English, but they have to watch this show so they can talk to cute American guys:




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Re: Language Corner

Post  eddie on Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:24 am

Lexicographers cram 'squeezed middle' into word of the year slot

Phrase Ed Miliband ushered into widespread use beats bunga bunga and occupy to award lavished on 'big society' last year

Shiv Malik
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 23 November 2011 18.20 GMT


Feeling the squeeze ... lexicographers' darling Ed Miliband. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

After a year defined by economic turmoil, austerity and cutbacks, the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary have chosen the phrase "squeezed middle" as word of the year.

OED lexicographers on both sides of the Atlantic picked the phrase – popularised by Ed Miliband – as their first global word of the year.

The phrase beat a group of other largely politically resonant terms such as Arab Spring, occupy, phone hacking, and hacktivism – the action or practice of gaining unauthorised access to computer files or networks in order to further social or political ends.

Oxford dictionary judge and Countdown dictionary corner stalwart Susie Dent described the selection as a "sober list for sober times" adding that there had been very little creative wordplay compared to other years. She blamed the hard financial times.

The phrase "squeezed middle" was thoroughly derided when it was first aired by Ed Miliband during a headline interview on Radio 4's Today programme earlier this year. In an interview with John Humphrys, Miliband struggled to define who it specifically represented, but Dent said that had become the phrase's strength.

"I know Ed Miliband has had lots of stick for it, saying it can encompass 90% of the population, but in a way I think its power lies in that, because we're all opting into it, rather than a label that we're having directed against us," she said.

Surprisingly, the accolade does not guarantee the phrase inclusion into the dictionary.

Last year's choice was the David Cameron-associated "big society", but Dent denied that considerations of political neutrality played a part in the choice. She said that the phrase also had a strong link with fellow shortlist nominee occupy and the 99% slogan associated with the political movement.

"Occupy is an interesting one. One of the slightly perplexing things about this year is … because everything is so uncertain around us, people are looking for older words looking for a bit of reassurance, and giving them new meaning," she said.

Dent said that aside from bunga bunga – used both as an adjective and compound noun, often in relation to Silvio Berlusconi's alleged taste in evening entertainment – one of her favourite creative words was "facepalm", indicating the movement of someone's palm to their forehead. "One of the reasons I think it is so successful – and this is always a key indicator of linguistic survival or success – is that the phrase can move about in different ways and you can can put it into different parts of speech. So it is being used as a verb or a noun. You can say, 'She gave herself a facepalm … or you can just say, 'Facepalm! Lol.'

A spokesperson from Miliband's office said that he was pleased the phrase that had been "much derided" at its launch had become so widely spread and that it showed that Miliband was good at identifying the issues of ordinary people before they entered the political lexicon.

"I think to most ordinary people something like the squeezed middle is not massive news to them – it's what they're feeling everyday," a spokesperson said.

Miliband's office, however, said they believed Gordon Brown had first used the phrase and then the MP John Healey, well before Miliband speechwriters got to it.

Dent herself said that she believed a version of the phrase might first have been used by Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:06 am

When someone begins a rejoinder by saying "I'm sorry ..." should one even listen?

After all, "I'm sorry" implies that what comes next is a bad thing to say--and that even the person saying it knows it's bad--so why listen?

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Re: Language Corner

Post  eddie on Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:46 am

Latest US import: "buddy". It's everywhere. Very odd.

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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:44 am

eddie wrote:Latest US import: "buddy". It's everywhere. Very odd.
They stopped saying it in the US back in the '60s. Razz

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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:17 am

Minnesota boy arguing with his grandmother about the pronunciation of his name:

-- Gramma, my name is "Thor." Why do you always call me "Tor?"

-- Because it's your name.

-- But that's not how it's spelled. If you're going to pronounce it like that, than it should be spelled like that. bounce

-- Oh? Und how iss tat?

When Thor grew up, he changed the spelling to "Tor." Razz


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Re: Language Corner

Post  eddie on Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:53 am

Whence the beatnik nomenclature "daddy-o" for men and "mama" for women?

Bob Dylan's "Mama You Been On My Mind" confused me for years for it seemed to be about an incestuous maternal relationship rather than a departed lover. And "Tell Me Momma"'s reference to "graveyard hips" muddies these murky waters even more.

For that matter, whence "cat" and "chick"?

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:09 am

What's the difference in pronunciation between /d/ (like in "dentist") and /ð/ (like in "then")?
Is /ð/ a bit more like a t or what?

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:23 am

I think I've been pronouncing them both unconsciously during all my life...

I thought we didn't have the /ð/ sound... but I just saw, as an example, the spanish word "dedo" (finger) is pronounced like this: /ˈdeðo/ Shocked
Indeed Wiki says the "d" letter in Spanish has both sounds /ð/ and /d/

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Re: Language Corner

Post  pinhedz on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:24 am

Vera Cruz wrote:What's the difference in pronunciation between /d/ (like in "dentist") and /ð/ (like in "then")?
Is /ð/ a bit more like a t or what?
The differences are in tongue placement (roof of the mouth for d, against the front teeth for ð) and how air is expelled (explosive for d, but forced between a narrow space for ð).

In linguist-speak:

d in dentist is an "alveolar plosive"

ð in then is a "dental fricative."



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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:45 am

pinhedz wrote:(roof of the mouth for d, against the front teeth for ð)
Yes, I see you're right... I have never payed attention to my tongue when pronouncing "dedo" before...


Now I also know the difference between these arabic letters he he

د - /d/


ذ - /ð/

(the difference when writting them is just the dot above... but they're considered two different letters)

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Re: Language Corner

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:10 am

This is the sound of the "trilled r" (alveolar trill): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Alveolar_trill.ogg

I like it because the French can't pronounce it at all Razz


El perro de San Roque no tiene rabo
porque Ramón Ramírez se lo ha cortado
(San Roque's dog has no tail
because Ramón Ramírez cut it off)

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Re: Language Corner

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