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by zmj: (PIE did have at least two roots for 'fart')

I found the PIE perde (giving peter in French, tirarse un pedo in Spanish, furz in German). What is the second? Also: any connection of this one to perdre, perder (to lose)?
 
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PIE *pezd- is the other one. French perder < Latin perdere is not related. It's a compound verb: per- + dere < PIE *dhe- 'to do, make; place'. The same PIE root gives Latin facio, facere and German tun, English do, 'to do'.

English patridge is from the first PIE fart root via Latin; fart is also a reflex of the same root.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Didn't one PIE word mean a noisy fart, and the other one of the silent-but-deadly variety?


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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That was one theory I've heard, although I cannot remember which one is which.


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Saw this via a German friend on facebook: English Pronunciation, a poem-quiz for non-native speakers, by G. Nolst Trenite, published in UK's "The Poke" 12-23-11.
 
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Yes, I'm a ^%%!$@#*&! prescriptivist peeeeeeeevologist, but...: http://www.munciefreepress.com/node/25160 Someone tell me the first sentence makes sense so I can feel that peevology has no grounds for existence, please!


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Not sure what makes less sense - the typo that has turned amass into emass or the massive five dollar fortune.
 
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Complaining about typos isn't really peevology in my book. It does take a moment to work out what "emass" means, though.

The result of complaining is generally rather similar to that of a peevologist's complaint, alas. Any half-competent proofreader should have caught that error, which probably shows that the Muncie Free Press is scrimping on staff. A sub-editor/copy-editor should have also caught the "$5" error as well.

The main difference is that the paper is obviously incorrect and cannot argue the point. However, typos, particularly on the Internet, are now all too frequent. In the days of hot metal type, of course, there were more ways of catching typos before they were published. As well as the author proofreading his article, there would be at least one editor, then the typesetter, then the copy editor reading galley proofs... Nowadays, on the Internet, often the author will publish his/her own work directly, and it is notoriously difficult to spot errors in your own work.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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This reader's limerick appeared in my paper today:

Waterstones whose shops signs are in town
Will take their names apostrophes down
Pedants voices may clamour
At PR mens bad grammar
But the streets shoppers wont even frown.


Those not in the UK: Waterstone's is a chain of book shops and they made a minor splash in the papers a few days ago by announcing that their signs will no longer bear an apostophe. See one report here.

John Richards of the Apostrophe Protection Society got himself some free publicity out of it, acting as rent-a-quote again: "It's grammatically incorrect." [sic]


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quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
John Richards of the Apostrophe Protection Society got himself some free publicity out of it, acting as rent-a-quote again: "It's grammatically incorrect." [sic]


Not only that, it's the beginning of the end of English as we know it!

quote:
Make no mistake. These are dark times for the English language. The barbarians are at the gates. Right now, marauding grammatical Goths are encircling our linguistic Rome. We must act now to prevent disaster. We must valiantly defend the apostrophe against those who seek to attack her. We must don our grammatical armour and man the linguistic barricades, as an onslaught of grammatical philistinism will soon upon us.
 
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Lindsay Johns need not worry about losing an apostrophe, since others will add them where they aren't needed, thereby giving English a net gain in them.

Goofy's quoted text makes me think it would be a good Monty Python sketch.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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My fellow Americans are idiots!

http://www.news24.com/World/Ne...peak-French-20120120


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Arnie, where was this written? In England? I noticed the spelling of "labour."

If true, yes, there are some idiots in the U.S. But we aren't all idiots, are we? Wink
 
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Here are some interesting facts about salt...including that both salary and salad came from the word salt.
 
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quote:
Arnie, where was this written? In England? I noticed the spelling of "labour."

I think you mean Geoff, who posted that link. However, News 24 is a South African site. At the foot of the article it says "Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist." - Reuters have offices worldwide but that name looks German or Dutch (maybe Boer) to me.


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including that both salary and salad came from the word salt.

Well, technically, salary and salad come from Latin (via French) sal 'salt', but salt comes from Old English sealt. Both the Old English and the Latin words go back to a Proto-Indo_European root *sal- 'salt'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:


If true, yes, there are some idiots in the U.S. But we aren't all idiots, are we? Wink

OK, mild hyperbole on my part. It's mostly political candidates. I'm reminded of the movie, "Borat," wherein Borat attends a revival meeting, observes local politicians "speaking in tongues," and utters the aside, "These people run your government?" Hilarious, but scary too!


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I certainly agree that the article you linked to was scary! Geez.
 
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Modern era brings death to words

Not quite sure what to make of it. If the death rate of words is increasing how does it compare to the birth rate of words in the time frame. (At least we were spared the death of language rhetoric that usually accompanies this type of study.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I always find the "birth rate" of words confusing/intriguing. That is, what really is a "new" word? For example, look at this site about new words. "Baggravation?" "Foodnoir?" "Netizen?" "Trashion?" Really? Yet, we all know that "staycation" was added to the dictionary.

This all goes back to the discussion we've had here since 2002 when Wordcraft started: What is a word?
 
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What is a word?

Which is a question easily asked, but not easily answered.

Besides the kinds of portmanteau words you mention, there's also the dying out of some definition and the bearing of new meanings for existing words.

[Fixed typo.]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: zmježd,


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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It struck me that we still talk about telegraph poles, although the telegraph is (pretty well) extinct, and the wires the poles carry are for the telephone. It shows that even when a technology has been replaced, related words may well linger on in the language.


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Around here it goes one step more, with the telephone lines being buried and only the electric power lines being on the "telephone" poles.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Have we ever had telegraph poles? I don't think so, but I am not sure.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Around here it goes one step more, with the telephone lines being buried and only the electric power lines being on the "telephone" poles.

Yes, most telephone lines are buried here, as well as electricity. Normally we would only see power or phone lines above ground in the country. In (sub)urban areas it's rare to see any "telegraph" poles in the streets used for either purpose. That said, there is a street near me which has two poles bearing telephone lines to about 30 addresses. Why those poles appear there - halfway down the street, and only covering about a quarter of the houses - I've no idea.

Telegraph lines were often run alongside railway tracks, and often still appear, although I've no idea if they're still used with modern signalling, etc. At a guess I'd say that the telegraph isn't used now in the developed world, but in some places it may still be retained.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Have we ever had telegraph poles?

Yes, at least out West. They ran along the railroad tracks. By the '60s, there was little copper wire left and folks were taking the glass insulators for paperweights and decorative knick-knacks.

[Added missing word.]

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Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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If you put "Telegraph Road" into a search engine you'll get many hits, both from the UK and the US - and a Dire Straits song of that name too. As Z says, most telegraph poles were along railroads in the Western US at first, but then migrated into town - or town migrated to the poles. I remember a Telegraph Road in Oxnard, California, which was at the edge of town.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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The telegraph predated the telephone so the wires had to rest on something.

I sometimes find myself saying, when asked if there is anything cold to drink, "Sure. Look in the icebox", meaning refrigerator.

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Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
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My parents & grandparents (both of 'icebox' generation) managed to smoothly transfer their understanding of 'icebox' to that flimsy little open box with a flip door inside the fridge, which passed for a freezer in the '50's & '60's. It looked like a box, & had room for about 2 trays of ice & 4 packs of frozen veggies...

But when refrigerators began to sport their own freezers in the '70's, I noticed that 'icebox' disappeared from my mother's vocabulary (raised in upstate NY), whereas my Indiana dad began to call the whole fridge an 'icebox' again.

To me, the word brings back memories of boat and cottage refrigerators in the '50's, which required regular deliveries of giant ice cubes from the iceman.
 
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Back in the 40s we used to put a sign in the front window with a number on each of the four edges. The numbers indicated what size ice block we wanted that day. You turned the card so the amount you wanted was readable, while the others were not due to the angle.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Hmmm... I wonder if George "Iceman" Gervin ever stuffed some ice into Charles "Refrigerator" Perry?

Note to non-USA types: They were professional sports players of some sort.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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When I first read "icebox generation," I thought, "Wow. I have not heard of that generation. It must be very old." Geez. Roll Eyes
 
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One can still find iceboxes in antique stores hereabouts, and pretty often. Now, has anyone ever seen Powell Crosley's Icy Balls? http://crosleyautoclub.com/Icy...crosley_icyball.html


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
When I first read "icebox generation," I thought, "Wow. I have not heard of that generation. It must be very old." Geez. Roll Eyes

like the otzi iceman LOL
 
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"Frozen Fritz" was a proto-Italian, and he died a violent death. Flash forward to the time of Caesar, then to the Borgias and then to the present day Mafia and it makes me wary of Click and Clack! Roll Eyes


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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We know what became of Otzi, but what's the word on Harriet?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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They found an arrowhead in his back - what do you think!


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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quote:
it makes me wary of Click and Clack!
Oh, I've always been wary of them. Gotta love their laugh, though!
 
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Vonage has an ad where the young girl is on a cell phone saying, "No, you hang up," to her friend. But there is no physical motion related to "hanging up a phone" now.
I recall back in the thirties that phones actually had a hook that the earpiece rested on when not in use, which broke the connection when depressed, but today's phones have lost that feature. So why do we still hang up a phone?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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For the same reason we still talk about dialling a number.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Arnie, it's just one of Proofreader's hangups. See, I have him dialed in!


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Watch it. Your number may be up.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Hanging up did not even make sense for the dial phones I used in the '60s and '70s.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Didn't the handset rest on a cradle on top of the main part? If so, how is that not "hanging up?"
I know some of the so-called Princess phones were all in one, but the hangup kind was still around then.

I wonder when we'll have brain implants and won't need to carry phones?


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I think this is where "hang up" came from.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Technically, aren't they all "hanging down?" Now I do wonder where "hang up" came from.

It also is strange that we still say "hang up." We do talk about touch dialing, though.
 
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Didn't the handset rest on a cradle on top of the main part? If so, how is that not "hanging up?"

That's not hanging for me, but your meaning may be different. The old wall-mounted phones had a hook (remember "off the hook"?) from which the speaker unit could be hung.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I think "off the hook" is better applied to fishing, letting a fish wriggle free from it.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Now we're talking about a Babelfish phone?


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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