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For those who enjoy language (not Njorl!)

  1. Dec 13, 2003 #1
    For those who enjoy language

    These made me smile:


    Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.

    A backward poet writes inverse.

    A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

    Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

    Practice safe eating - always use condiments.

    Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

    A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

    Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.

    Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

    Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.

    Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

    When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

    A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.

    What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)

    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

    In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.

    She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.

    A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

    If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

    With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

    When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

    The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

    You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

    Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

    He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

    Every calendar's days are numbered.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2003 #2
    I really liked the one about condoms but they were all good.
     
  4. Dec 13, 2003 #3

    Monique

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    that was a fun read, really clever!
     
  5. Dec 13, 2003 #4
    A farmer is man who's outstanding in his field.
    (I always liked that one)
     
  6. Dec 14, 2003 #5

    Nereid

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    Why doesn't Njorl enjoy language? [?] :smile:

    Very amusing Adrian

    Are these kinds of plays on words common in languages other than English?
     
  7. Dec 15, 2003 #6

    Njorl

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    They are most common in English, because of it's amalgam nature. English has many words from other languages. While it is mostly Germanic, it also has a large number of words from Latin based languages. Also, the nature of the British empire, and the ecclectic nature of English speakers made the English language more permeable to other languages around the world.

    The English did not have the inordinate pride in their language that the French did in their "Lingua Franca" (the international language). The French language has remained pure, and consequently has fallen out of use as the Lingua Franca. The strength of the English language has been its malleability. English changes and adapts and expands, while French and German remain stagnant and shrink. Just as English accepted other languages, it now intrudes itself into them. It is almost like survival of the fittest in a linguistic arena.

    Hey, but what do I know? I don't enjoy language.

    Njorl
     
  8. Dec 15, 2003 #7

    Monique

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    ? It's amalgam nature? I never noticed that though.. and why would that allow for such word plays? I don't agree either that english is mostly germanic.
     
  9. Dec 15, 2003 #8

    Nereid

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    Its structure is germanic; its vocabulary is, as Njorl said, taken from just about everywhere. A significant part of the modern English vocabulary derives from Norman French, having been 'imported' following 1066.

    You can see the germanic roots of English perhaps most clearly in the core words that English, German (and other germanic languages) share, such as the numbers (e.g. 'ten' and 'zehn' vs 'dix' or 'diez'). The germanic connection is also much clearer if you look at the English of Chaucer; it still has many of the grammatical features which modern English has lost, and which modern germanic languages such as German still retain.
     
  10. Dec 15, 2003 #9

    Monique

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    So can you name some borrowed words? Truly, I never saw English as amalgam or Germanic, while Dutch IS. For instance: would an english person be able to understand Dutch? No way. Would a German be able to understand Dutch without ever have taken classes? Probably he would. Our borrowed words are mainly from French and English and our root is really Latin and is pronounced the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2003
  11. Dec 15, 2003 #10

    chroot

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    Yo hablo espanol und Ich spreche Deutsch... and I know a lot of Latin, though I don't really speak it.

    Spanish seems to be about 75% Latin. English, IMO, is about equal parts German and Latin.

    I am no linguist however, and don't have any hard facts to back my opinion, but it seems every word in English is either the same as a German word, or the same as a Spanish (Latin) word.

    And Njorl, I don't think it's fair to say that English adopts new words from other languages, while other languages don't. German is FULL of foreign words, particularly French words -- and the Germans are kind enough not to mangle their native pronunciations like the English speakers do (e.g., the word "buckaroo").

    - Warren
     
  12. Dec 15, 2003 #11

    Monique

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    WHAT!!?? English equal part German and Latin? Excuse me! Really, I don't think so.
     
  13. Dec 15, 2003 #12

    Monique

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    I believe some time ago there was an article in Science which plotted out the relations of languages in a branched tree.. now try to find it back..
     
  14. Dec 15, 2003 #13

    chroot

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    Monique,

    I'm frankly surprised you're so sure it's NOT equal parts German and Latin. Most people I know seem to think that's pretty much true!

    I challenge you: find me a word in English that is NOT similar to a German or Latin word.

    - Warren
     
  15. Dec 15, 2003 #14
    Well, how can you discuss about language. There are linguists spending their useful scientific lifes to produce the Language Family Trees. This is the Indo-European tree and you will notice, Monique, that Dutch is only a dialect of Frisian [:p] and English indeed is a form of Germanic languages.
     
  16. Dec 15, 2003 #15

    Monique

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    OK, a .edu opinion:

    http://pandora.cii.wwu.edu/vajda/ling201/test3materials/HistoryEnglishHANDOUT.htm

     
  17. Dec 15, 2003 #16

    Njorl

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    Here is a quickie tutorial of the evolution of English.

    http://www.geocities.com/blondelibrarian/professional/literature/english.html

    The word "English" comes from the German tribe that conqured central England, the Angles (the Saxons and Jutes conquered the south). The Germans conquered an already amalgamated land. It was Roman dominated, but still a majority Celtic population. This can be seen in the names of places; _____burg is Germanic, _____chester is Roman, _____shire is Celtic. On top of this add Danish conquests of the 10th century, then Norman conquest in the 11th century. These add Germanic influences of a different source. This yields words that are similar, but not identical. I believe English has many more homonyms than any other language. These are ideal for puns.

    English is indeed a Germanic language, for the most part. The European languages are broken down to Celtic, Germanic, Romantic, Slavic and Finno-Ugric. It doesn't sound German, because of three major changes. First was the consonant softening. The hard gutteral sounds of the German language disappeared. Then came the vowel shift. Every vowel sound changed slightly. Then came the vowel division. The influence of French expanded the vowel sounds in the language.

    You can see the gradual evolution from German to English, from Beowulf through the Anglo Saxon Chronicles, to The Canterbury tales.

    A cut of the AS chronicle:

    " Her Landfranc se þe wæs abbod an Kadum com to ængla lande, se efter feawum dagum wearð arcebiscop on Kantwareberig. He wæs gehaded .iiii. kalendæ Septembris, on his agenum biscopsetle fram eahte biscopum his underðioddum; ða oþre ðe þær næron þurh ærendrakan 7 þurh gewrite atiwdon hwi hi ðær beon ne mihton. On þam geare THOMAS se wæs gecoran bisc<o>p to Eferwic com to Cantwareberig þæt man hine ðær gehadede efter þan ealdan gewunan. Ða ða Landfranc crafede fæstnunge his gehersumnesse mid aðswerunge. þa forsoc he. 7 sæde þæt he hit nahte to donne. Þa gewraðede hine se arcebiscop Landfranc. 7 bebead þam biscopan ðe þar cumene wæran be ðas arcebiscop Landfrances hæse þa serfise to donde. 7 eallan þan munecan, þæt hi scoldan hi unscrydan. 7 hi be his hæse swa didan. Swa Thomas to þam timan agean ferde buton bletsunga. Þa sona æfter þysan belamp þæt se arcebiscop LANDFRANC ferde to Rome 7 Thomas forð mid. Þa þa hi þyder comon 7 umbe oþer þing gesprecon hæfdon umbe þæt hi sprecan woldon. þa angan Thomas his spæce hu he com to Cantuuarebyri, 7 hu se arcebiscop axode hyrsumnesse mid aþswerunge at him. 7 he hit forsoc. Þa agann se arcebiscop Landfranc atywian mid openum gesceade. þæt he mid rihte crafede þas þa he crafede 7 mid strangan cwydan þæt ylce gefæstnode toforan þam papan Alexandre. 7 toforan eallan þam concilium þe þar gegadered was. 7 swa ham foran. Æfter þysan com Thomas to Cantwarebyri 7 eal þæt se arcebiscop at him crafede. eadmedlice gefylde. 7 syþþan þa bletsungan underfeng.

    Is that English or German? I think a speaker of either language would say it is probably the other.

    Njorl
     
  18. Dec 15, 2003 #17

    Monique

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    Dutch a dialect of Frisian, are you kidding me. Frisian has a totally different origin and came from those normans or something who also invaded Britain, Frisian is closer to English than to German.

    My previous boss could have given you guys a very fine explanation of the history of invasions of Britain vs the the main land.
     
  19. Dec 15, 2003 #18

    Njorl

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    Algebra, it's Arabic.

    :wink:

    Njorl
     
  20. Dec 15, 2003 #19

    Monique

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  21. Dec 15, 2003 #20

    Monique

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    mosquito (Portuguese or Spanish); coach (Hungarian); pajamas (Hindi); bungalo (Bengali); tulip, turban (Turkish); taboo (Tahitian); okay (Chocktaw); typhoon (Chinese); So long (Malay). Suffice? :wink:
     
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