Language fleeting thoughts

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:39 am UTC

The holy roman emperor charles V thought that nobody liked him and everybody hated him so he had a diet of worms.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:35 pm UTC

There didn't seem to be any need for a discussion of the above post, so this is now a general fleeting thoughts thread for language-related thoughts.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby GodShapedBullet » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:45 pm UTC

Does it count as discussion if I want to comment on how much I liked this joke?

A lot.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Felstaff » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:25 pm UTC

Sometimes, I find writing
Really can boustrophedonically
Alter the meaning of
Gibberish writing up end you so things
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:35 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:Sometimes I find writing
Yllaer nac yllacinodehportsuob
Alter the meaning of
Hsirebbig gnitirw pu dne uoy os sgniht


Ftfy
my pronouns are they

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Angua » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:19 pm UTC

It's embarrassing that for a second I was trying to figure out why you'd rewritten it in Welsh. Even though I got what Felstaff was doing the first time :P
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:08 pm UTC

Llatitashgual. Gniyasylno, dda'ttwontub.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:13 pm UTC

Necromancy = Magic dealing with undead
Mechronancy = Something dealing with mechs?

The opera about the Marriage of Figaro resulted in a well known Figaro of speech.

EDIT: Tact is verbal minesweeper.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Derek » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:53 am UTC

Angua wrote:It's embarrassing that for a second I was trying to figure out why you'd rewritten it in Welsh. Even though I got what Felstaff was doing the first time :P

Google Translate even detects it as Welsh.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:38 pm UTC

I just realized when someone says "Target neutralized", the original idea may have effectively come from the process of neutralizing an acid. Cool.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:30 am UTC

Or, in a war(like) situation, you have friendly forces, hostile forces and those that are neither may be1 neutral forces. You shouldn't need to concern yourself with neutral forces (neither to seek them out nor care that they will attack you), and any forces neutralised certainly resemble that status.


To stretch speculation probably beyond the inelastic limit, of course.

1 There's a chance that there are further forces involved, like ones that are disruptive (omnihostile), rogue (asocial) or peacekeeping (omnifriendly, at least to a certain point). Neutralising these may be similarly practical, other rewards and repercussions aside. :P

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:13 am UTC

You know what Germany said to France in WW2 when they conquered it? Allemagne.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Derek » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:22 am UTC

gd1 wrote:You know what Germany said to France in WW2 when they conquered it? Allemagne.

I don't get it.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Sizik » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:30 am UTC

Derek wrote:
gd1 wrote:You know what Germany said to France in WW2 when they conquered it? Allemagne.

I don't get it.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:00 am UTC

If the people of Earth in the Stargate universe destroyed their own planet while the Goa'uld were still around the reason they'd say it was destroyed would be: "Self-Ex-Planet-Tau'ri"

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Felstaff » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:17 am UTC

gd1 wrote:
You know what Germany said to France in WW2 when they conquered it? Allemagne.

The locals were Avignon of it.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Carlington » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:23 am UTC

Of course, that's what made the Resistance so dangerous - they were cornered, and didn't have anything Toulouse.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Grop » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:09 am UTC

Sizik wrote:
gd1 wrote:You know what Germany said to France in WW2 when they conquered it? Allemagne.

"All mine"


Incidently, Alle in the ethymology of Allemagne seems to mean "all" as well.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Felstaff » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:03 pm UTC

I've mentioned elephant gun three times on this forum, but I've never--in text form--considered the many possibilities to what the noun 'elephant gun' could be.

Elephant gun (n.)
  1. A gun used specifically to fire ammunition at elephants
  2. A gun that is in the shape of an elephant
  3. A gun that is the size of an elephant
  4. A gun that sounds like an elephant
  5. A gun that is designed to be used by elephants
  6. A gun that uses elephants as ammunition
  7. A gun made out of elephant
  8. A gun made by an elephant
  9. A gun made by a person called Elephant
  10. A gun named after a person called Elephant
  11. A gun named after, or inspired by, elephants

I think six would look like a giant cannon. (is that a cannon used to shoot giants? Or a cannon that shoots giants as ammunition? Or a cannon that...)
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Felstaff » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:05 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Felstaff wrote:Sometimes I find writing
Yllaer nac yllacinodehportsuob
Alter the meaning of
Hsirebbig gnitirw pu dne uoy os sgniht


Ftfy

You read words one letter at a time? B-e-a-yootiful.

I generally take the end two and make up the middle part.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:38 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:I(is that a cannon used to shoot giants? Or a cannon that shoots giants as ammunition? Or a cannon that...)
...in your pocket, or are you just very pleased to see me?

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby pogrmman » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:09 pm UTC

I just had a bit of a brainfuck moment.

I got out of my Spanish conversation class (which is obviously entirely in Spanish), and the first thing I heard was a Russian professor telling me, "Здравствуйте, как дела?" It took me by surprise and I needed to process it for an awkwardly long time before I replied. I almost made a fool of myself by replying in Spanish. Fortunately, I fought off the urge to do that.

On another note, "здравствуйте" is stupidly hard to spell. It was one of the very first Russian words I learned, and yet I still spell it wrong basically every time. I can spell pretty much any other word, but "здравствуйте" gets me every time.

That is all.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Angua » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:54 pm UTC

I used to do that all the time when I was learning Russian (I started age 16, have learnt Spanish as a second language at school since I was 5).

I think at first your brain just goes 'foreign language, must respond'. My grandmother said when she moved to Bolivia and learnt Spanish, at first she would always start to answer in French.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:11 pm UTC

I've reflexively gone to (or started to internally compose in) French as a response to German and vice-versa. Probably being sub-fluent in both, momentarily I could only remember how to say something like what I wanted to say in the other sub-fluent language. (Better than Franglais or Deutschlish, perhaps.)

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:20 pm UTC

It's an extra challenge for me to learn Japanese in English (native Hebrew speaker). Sometimes it's very confusing. Even at work, where I've been for about two years and have been pretty much exclusively speaking English, I sometimes get the urge to speak in Hebrew.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby poxic » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:41 pm UTC

After operating in German for a couple of months, reverting to English was a nice relief except when I tried to say something that was a common phrase in German. I could not come up with "train station" without a good 30 seconds of thinking, but bahnhof was right there and kept insisting on itself.

Also, a week in Mexico left me scrambling to find my rusty Spanish, well buried under the French, German, and even scraps of Italian I'd learned a decade earlier.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby pogrmman » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:45 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I used to do that all the time when I was learning Russian (I started age 16, have learnt Spanish as a second language at school since I was 5).

I think at first your brain just goes 'foreign language, must respond'. My grandmother said when she moved to Bolivia and learnt Spanish, at first she would always start to answer in French.


I think a big part of it is I'm WAY more fluent in Spanish than Russian -- so I go with "forgiven language", and go right to Spanish.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:21 am UTC

A research company in Canada had an employee with a new, yet untested, idea. When asked about the employee by the local newspaper their comment was: We have a Thierry.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Felstaff » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:20 am UTC

You may be seeking this thread.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:40 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
I used to do that all the time when I was learning Russian (I started age 16, have learnt Spanish as a second language at school since I was 5).

I think at first your brain just goes 'foreign language, must respond'. My grandmother said when she moved to Bolivia and learnt Spanish, at first she would always start to answer in French.


First time I went to Germany (which was on a school history trip) I didn't speak German at all and, well, when I went into a cafe to get a sandwich for lunch the person behind the counter asked what I want in German (entirely understandable, this being Berlin) and, well, I panicked and cycled through all the languages I knew at the time: French, Spanish, English, then back to Spanish again before I finally managed to get round to just pointing and saying "bitte".
my pronouns are they

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby jobriath » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:31 pm UTC

Related to panicking in sub-fluent language: While in Prague once, I said "Apfel Strudel" so convincingly that the woman serving me switched to German. ,,Toll!" I thought, and managed to keep up for a couple of exchanges. Then, the guy next to her asked me a question in German. Simultaneously, she surprised me with a discount (for not just speaking English). Then, I had to alter the quantity of unfamiliar money I had already got to hand. I just locked up and held out the money in my hand, let her take what was required, picked up my trdelníks, and had a sit down outside to compose myself.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:51 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:You may be seeking this thread.


Where has that thread been all my life.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Carlington » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:52 pm UTC

The "hue" in the phrase "hue and cry" is totally just French "huer" which stuck around since English was like "those French are just the best, aren't they?", isn't it?
Kewangji: Posdy zwei tosdy osdy oady. Bork bork bork, hoppity syphilis bork.

Eebster the Great: What specifically is moving faster than light in these examples?
doogly: Hands waving furiously.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Lazar » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:00 pm UTC

That reminds me of a lot of the traditional English legal doublets, like "breaking and entering", "assault and battery", "cease and desist". (The last one is all Latin, but hey, there are no brakes on the doublet train.)

Unrelated LFT: I'm kinda down with the wacky/unbalanced phonology idea in Klingon, but the one thing that I can't believe is the [qʰ] vs. [qχ] opposition. Those are just too close – either the [qʰ] should be something like [ɢ], or they would merge.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby ThirdParty » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:36 am UTC

Showerthought: I have trouble hearing allophones clearly, but I think the word "radar" may be pronounced roughly as [ˈɹeˌɾaɹ] in English and [ˌɾaˈɹaɾ] in Spanish (you can listen to them here). If so, there's a funny symmetry there.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:25 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
Showerthought: I have trouble hearing allophones clearly, but I think the word "radar" may be pronounced roughly as [ˈɹejˌɾaɹ] in English and [ˌɾaˈɹaɾ] in Spanish (you can listen to them here). If so, there's a funny symmetry there.


English doesn't really have /e/, it has /ej/ instead though (which is definitely what I hear in the recording).

I'm also confused by the Spanish pronunciation. I'm 90% sure the stress should be on the initial syllable (otherwise it'd need an acute accent on the second a).
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby chridd » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:37 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:
Showerthought: I have trouble hearing allophones clearly, but I think the word "radar" may be pronounced roughly as [ˈɹejˌɾaɹ] in English and [ˌɾaˈɹaɾ] in Spanish (you can listen to them here). If so, there's a funny symmetry there.


English doesn't really have /e/, it has /ej/ instead though (which is definitely what I hear in the recording).

I'm also confused by the Spanish pronunciation. I'm 90% sure the stress should be on the initial syllable (otherwise it'd need an acute accent on the second a).
If there's no accent, words ending in s, n, or a vowel are stressed on the penultimate syllable, and everything else (including words ending in r) is stressed on the last syllable.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby heuristically_alone » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:53 pm UTC

Radar sounds like a spanish verb.
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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:10 am UTC

The word "general" (and especially the derived forms "generally" and "generality") is used in vernacular and in mathematics in practically opposite ways. For instance, I would only add the phrase "in general" to some predicate in vernacular to explicitly state that it is not true in all cases but only in most cases or typical cases. But in mathematics, it is exclusively used to mean it is true in all cases.

"I generally go right home after work, but today I stopped by the bar" makes no sense at all in the mathematical sense.

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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:58 am UTC

I guess the way in which they are equivalent is that both mean "I'm not talking about specific cases", but in a different way in each case.

Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").
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