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August 24[edit]

Batshit crazy?[edit]

Ok so where does the phrase "batshit crazy" come from? Been having a discussion on Facebook about it, and nobody can seem to agree. --TammyMoet (talk) 10:56, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

This seems to be promising. There are also dialects in English that use a whole array of <animal>-shit intensifiers, each with their own meanings. See, for example words like chickenshit, bullshit, horseshit, apeshit, etc. Batshit fits that pattern well. --Jayron32 12:16, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Speculation: Our article on bats states that a) they are carriers of numerous diseases, specifically rabies, and b) they have been associated with black magic and witchcraft. The word rabies is derived from the Latin term for madness (as in the related word rabid). The article´s notes on the symptoms give the reason for this association.
I can´t find a reference which states that an infected bat´s faeces alone can transmit the disease. This may be a colloquial hyperbole. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 15:27, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

August 25[edit]

Parallel language development[edit]

If I recall correctly, a human is born with an innate language development ability, and once a language becomes native, this ability fades to some degree. I am wondering if there is anyplace (Quebec, perhaps) where early public education requires simultaneous/parallel learning of two languages. 2606:A000:4C0C:E200:1821:CD59:E35A:CB68 (talk) 23:34, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

For starters, there's a long list by country and region in our article on bilingual education. Not all items fit "early public education", depending on how you define it, but you'll still find a number of examples. ---Sluzzelin talk 00:08, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. There's much there, but so far haven't found anything quite as I had thought I might; I am still looking. Canada's situation is rather convoluted. 2606:A000:4C0C:E200:1821:CD59:E35A:CB68 (talk) 02:12, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Language is learnt from parents and carers, long before any child enters formal education. If parents speak more than one language, a child usually picks both up very easily. We lived in France, and knew a family with an English speaking mother and Spanish speaking father. Their child quickly learnt both languages, and French at a nursery - trilingual at age two. Even in countries which teach in more than one language children will have a "mother tongue" before they start school - but at that age quickly learn a second one. Wymspen (talk) 09:08, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I've worked with some people who have a good "ear" for language. That is, they can immerse themselves in it and pick it up pretty quickly. It might be easier to pick up when you're a child, but some adults are quite adept at it too. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 09:13, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
The intention is to have bilingual Inuit/English in all Nunavut schools by 2019, page 64. As the document points out, it won't happen. There are several misconceptions in the document though. Page 63 says "Today in Nunavut, Inuktitut is the language of instruction from kindergarten through Grades 3 /4." That's nonsense. Not every community can provide that. In Cambridge Bay we have just a few teachers that are able to speak the language, Inuinnaqtun in our case, that only a few classes are provided and not every day. It also assumes that every child comes to school knowing an Inuit Language, the official term. However, in Cambridge Bay no child that has be born and raised here knows Inuinnaqtun and the only language they have. Oddly enough the Government of Nunavut ensures that we can't have Inuinnaqtun speaking teachers. If some can speak Inuinnaqtun they can make more money working for the government working as an interpreter and they don't have to deal with kids. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 12:12, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
This Google Scholar search result shows any number of studies on bilingual children, but I haven't found anything on those who acquire bilingualism at school. Alansplodge (talk) 18:47, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
  • According to this article, 60 to 75% of the world's people speak more than one language. I was brought up with English as my mother's tongue, but my family spoke a Slavic dialect and I lived in Puerto Rico with a Spanish nanny when I first began to talk, so I was conversant in three languages, and studied German and French in High School, Latin and Greek in college, and isiZulu as a post grad.
I remember crying when we moved from Texas to South Jersey, and people were very strange when I spoke to them in Spanish, which is what I had used with all my friends until 4 1/2. I think I may be one of those people with a "good ear" for language, or it may have been exposure. But I advocate early bilingual exposure of any sort. μηδείς (talk) 00:31, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Under the "innate ability" the OP most probably meant the very controversial theories of the language instinct and universal grammar.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 21:46, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Don't get me started on Chomsky. What I am talking about is simply a difference in aptitude. I spent two years trying to learn to play two different instruments. I basically know how a keyboard works. But I can mimic a sound in any language very easily (although I won't retain it without practice.) Yet I also know someone who was given a Flutaphone, had never had any schooling, and came home the first day playing TV theme songs. Unfortunately, and I do not kid, this lead to accusations of witchcraft. μηδείς (talk) 22:07, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

August 26[edit]

Growth of Spanish in Texas[edit]

When will >50% of Texans speak Spanish? I believe I remember reading that Spanish will become the dominant language in Texas by 2020(?), but now can't find a reference. The "Languages of Texas" page isn't entirely satisfying because the fact that Spanish is "the" language spoken at home doesn't encompass all the people/households that can speak Spanish, even if they choose to speak English at home. The current statistic also, of course, doesn't project when the majority of Texans will speak Spanish or the major news outlets will be in Spanish.RapunzelaTX (talk) 04:55, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

When you say "major news outlets", do you mean network affiliates or independent local stations? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 09:11, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Here is an article from the Dallas Morning News about the growth of the Hispanic population of Texas. Of course, not every person who identifies as Hispanic speaks Spanish, so it would not be a perfect answer for your question, but its a start. --Jayron32 14:43, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

See Ted Cruz and George Walker Bush for Texan Spanish speakers. Just try not to choke to death. μηδείς (talk) 00:12, 27 August 2016 (UTC)[edit]

Hi, as a foreigner I do not understand the monologue in the video from 3:32 to 3:42. Could anybody please give me subtitles? Thanks --Zulu55 (talk) 10:03, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

From 2:44
OFFSCREEN Move closer
ONSCREEN We were together at school, me and him. He went another way. Just standing here.
OFF. Okay
ON. I'm only here for a couple of minutes.
OFF. So how long do you know this man?
ON. Thirty years.
OFF. Thirty years you've been together and you went to school where?
ON. For? Kensington
OFF. Harvard! You've been to Kensington together? And you learned, did you learn martial arts together?
ON. Yes. We had a bad course.
OFF. What?
ON. I know him. He was over talkative. I remember at school. He used to sit by the sofa and read books. I was just this guy fooling around and having fun, he was just reading. You ask him questions and he would just answer with his head - yeah, no, yeah, no, What's your name? - no - What, you got a name? A shake of the head is not a name. Pretty soon a name. And by recess, you know, he's just this guy that's hanging out, shame his mother like picked him up from school. You know like by other guys more than 20, his mother picks him up from school.
(3:49 all laugh)

AllBestFaith (talk) 12:14, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Thank you very much. --Zulu55 (talk) 19:34, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Weinstein[edit]

On the CBS News this morning, they mentioned Harvey Weinstein and pronounced his name as if it were spelled "wine-steen." In German class many years ago I was told that German syllables with "ein" are pronounced so as to rhyme with the English word "pine," while German words with "ien" are pronounced like the English word "seen". Someone said that some Jewish Americans pronounce "ein" in a name as "een" so that they, if not most people pronounce the last name of Leonard Bernstein as "Bernsteen." Is that pronunciation practice limited to last syllables of names? That seems questionable, since I have never heard anyone of any ethnicity pronounce Einstein as "Ine-steen." Did the CBS reporter just mispronounce Weinstein's name? The bio article for Weinstein does not include a pronunciation guide. Granted, it is the right of the individual (in the US, at least) to decide how his name is pronounced, and granted, he is from the US, not Germany. If the correct pronunciation is "wine-steen" how would that be shown in IPA so I could add it to the article? Edison (talk) 15:53, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Young Frankenstein may be relevant here. Any time I can present a germane link to a Mel Brooks movie, I'm tickled --Jayron32 16:02, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
The gold standard. :) Part of the joke, maybe, was whether he said "fronk-en-steen" or "frank-en-stine", either way he got the German pronunciation wrong. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:39, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately Weinstein isn't mentioned in "Stine or Steen" by William Safire. I checked some interviews online, and I heard most people calling him Weinsteen in his presence, and he didn't protest, though Craig Ferguson called him Weinstine, and Harvey didn't protest or correct that either, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ---Sluzzelin talk 16:14, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
The Safire article suggests that in America we have the "I before e except after c" spelling rule, and "receive" is pronounced "receeve," so the Americanization of "stein" is "steen." But then I would expect the name to be pronounced "Weensteen." (Safire thinks "weird" is pronounced "weerd," but I hear it more often as "wird" with an "ih" sound, though some might say "wee-urd" in US English. That pronunciation smacks of a comic intent, like "You are being REALLY WEEurd!") Edison (talk) 17:00, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Does the vowel of weird differ from those of fear and beer? —Tamfang (talk) 06:21, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I always heard Leonard's name pronounced "-stine" unless someone was being funny. Counter to that was Joe Piscopo's ongoing joke, when imitating Frank Sinatra, of pronouncing Bruce Springsteen as "spring-stine". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:38, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
On The Navy Lark the helmsman was Able Seaman Goldstein (pronounced "steen" - we never got to learn his first name, and I'm not sure we ever heard him speak, either). Leslie Phillips (the navigator) would frequently tell him "Left hand down a bit" when he wanted a change of course. Most people, I think, use this pronunciation unless referring to a German, in which case they say the name the German way. The name of a local councillor, who is Jewish, is pronounced the German way. I imagine that German speakers will get the pronunciation right every time - after all, Ken Livingstone served on the Council and no - one ever mispronounced his name. (talk) 17:31, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Able Seaman Goldstein, known as Taffy, was played by Tenniel Evans, and we often heard him. DuncanHill (talk) 23:29, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
There is only one rule about how to pronounce a person name - and that is that the name is pronounced however the person concerned wishes to pronounce it. Any rules about how to pronounce the particular language do not apply. Otherwise the Featherstonehaughs (pronounced Fanshaw) and Cholmondeleys pronounced Chumley) would never get away with it. Wymspen (talk) 20:44, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
^^^^This. --Jayron32 01:57, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Thus, from Elmer Bernstein:
He was not related to the celebrated composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein; but the two men were friends, and even shared a certain physical similarity.Within the world of professional music, they were distinguished from each other by the use of the nicknames Bernstein West (Elmer) and Bernstein East (Leonard). They pronounced their last names differently; Elmer pronounced his (BERN-steen), and Leonard's was (BERN-stine).
-- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:45, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
They pronounced their names in parentheses? —Tamfang (talk) 06:21, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I was just quoting something from an obscure and no doubt totally unreliable online thing with a really stupid name like Wicky Pedia or something. Obviously just a fly-by-night outfit that will go nowhere fast. I shouldn't have done it, and I apologise for my unthinking action. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:13, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I think Carl Bernstein also pronounced it "-steen". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:10, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I was once distantly acquainted with two brothers named Rothstein, who were said to pronounce it differently! —Tamfang (talk) 06:21, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Statistics on Canadian spellings by individuals?[edit]

Out of curosity I am looking for surveys or studies of how prevalent Canadian spelling is in Canada. Setting aside the policies of newspapers and other professionally edited texts, are individual Canadians using American spellings more frequently than a decade ago? I wonder if there have been scholarly studies of this, based perhaps on an anonymized corpus of text messages or emails. I'd be even more interested in the usage rate of Canadian spellings for formal writing that is not subject to a style guide (and not professionally edited) such as internal business memoranda. Also, I remember hearing once that it varies regionally within Canada, e.g. in Alberta the American spellings are more common. Is there any peer reviewed study that confirms that, or is it just somebody's impression? Mathew5000 (talk) 17:37, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Do any of these articles work. --Jayron32 18:14, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, but it doesn't have what I'm looking for (at least not in the first four pages of hits). What I'm curious about, just to make it more concrete, is peer-reviewed research that would answer the question, among residents of Canada who use English, what percentage write "colour" in their daily life as opposed to those who write "color" and those who are inconsistent. Mathew5000 (talk) 18:51, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Canadians are notoriously cheap[1], so they almost always save money by using color, rather than colour. But the use of centre for the proper spelling "center" makes no difference, so one finds both. μηδείς (talk) 00:38, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Don't put the Canadians on the defence. They'll try everything from eh to zed... --Jayron32 01:56, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
If Canadians get their spellings from dictionaries they will spell like this: [2]. (talk) 11:21, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Here's a 2010 study based on a large corpus. You may need to ask at WP:RX if you don't have academic access to the full article. Anecdotally, I'd add that the media in Canada universally uses Canadian spelling and that's what we're all taught in schools. I've never seen anyone use color (in emails, for example, or on social media) who wasn't American themselves. (talk) 20:19, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
@Mathew5000: Aanother study which cites the above-mentioned, also mentions some other studies and gives some statistics.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 21:39, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

August 27[edit]

Damson Plums[edit]

What does it connote in this sentence: 'if you take away my land, you will see damson plums'? Omidinist (talk) 07:36, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Where did you see that? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:37, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Google finds an essay about arson in 18th century France. From my location I only get a snippet here (calling the language "enigmatic"). Maybe from elsewhere you can see more of the book. --Wrongfilter (talk) 09:39, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
It's a translation from a French source. Someone familiar with French social history may help. Omidinist (talk) 09:53, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
You probably know where it's from, but I'll just share the results of my Saturday morning research. The original French version of the article is here, the phrase is "Si on lui ôtait les terres ... l'on verrait des prunes de Damas", the source is the interrogation of one Surcy Levert, 12 January 1790. From the context, this appears to have been a threat made by the arsonist before committing the crime. There seems to be a legend (fr:Prunier de Damas, with "citation needed") that the Damson plum was brought back by the crusaders and was seen as a rather meagre result of the crusades. Whether this is the connotation looked for is of course not at all clear. --Wrongfilter (talk) 10:10, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
What a great help indeed. Many thanks, Wrongfilter. Omidinist (talk) 10:57, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Grammatically correct[edit]

(1) "Senior Workers Registration Arrangement" (2) "Senior Worker Registration Arrangement"

Of the above, which is grammatically correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ciesse 203 (talkcontribs) 09:37, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Both are perfectly grammatical. Depending on the exact situation, there might be a very small difference in meaning between them. Wymspen (talk) 10:43, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Other possibilities:

(3) Senior Worker's Registration Arrangement

(4) Senior Workers' Registration Arrangement

Without context we can't be more specific, but if it's arrangement for registering senior workers no (4) is correct. (talk) 11:17, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

For the plural forms (1) and (4), both can be correct with a slight difference in meaning. (1), "Senior Workers Registration Arrangement", means a registration arrangement with respect to, relevant to, or for senior workers; "workers" in this case is a noun adjunct and thus not in the possessive form. (4), "Senior Workers' Registration Arrangement", has more of an implication that the arrangement belongs to the workers (hence the possessive form). But since the two meanings are so extremely close, either one might be used without the user or reader even thinking about the subtle distinction. Loraof (talk) 17:08, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Etymology of Katowice[edit]

I can't find the etymology of the name of the Polish city of Katowice anywhere. Do you have any idea? -- (talk) 11:35, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Polish Wikipedia's article on the history of Katowice has a little bit of something, and from what I gathered, the origins are unclear. It might have been derived from a first settler named "Kat", or it might come from the Polish word kąty ("corners/angles"). As I don't speak Polish, but others here do, here is the excerpt in Polish: "Trudno jednoznacznie ustalić pochodzenie nazwy miasta. Prawdopodobnie wywodzi się ona od imienia (przezwiska) pierwszego osadnika: dzierżawcy Kata, bądź od słowa „kąty” - tak nazywano kiedyś chaty zagrodników, pracujących przy wyrębie i przewożeniu drewna do kuźnicy bogucickiej." Hopefully someone else can give you a better explanation. ---Sluzzelin talk 12:26, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Consider the name of London, which seems to have had a pre-PIE origin, which would have been taken over by the Celts, then the Romans, then the Anglo-Saxons. The German article says that the first written reference to the town was "Katowicze" in the 1500's. That would imply it was peopled by Western Slavs at the time.
But it could date back to the early Balto-Slavic, the Corded Ware people or to other ante-Proto-Indo-European people. Consider the huge number of city names in the US that have native Indian origins. Look up Pennsauken, which is purported to mean either "tobacco pouch" or "[William] Penn's outlet."
μηδείς (talk) 16:57, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
[citation needed] on "seems to have had a pre-PIE origin", Medeis. Etymology of London correctly states that Coates derives it from Krahe's Old European, but a note in the latter article specifically warns: "'Old European' in this sense is not to be confused with the term as used by Marija Gimbutas who applies it to non-Indo-European or pre-Indo-European Neolithic Europe.". Not that this affects your argument significantly. --ColinFine (talk) 17:32, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Seriously, Colin? Just google "origin of the name of London". Neither did I bring up Gimbutas, nor does it even matter to my example. The name was kept by the Celts, the Romans, and the Anglo-Saxons. (I am not sure if the Normans changed any place names, but you can add them to my list.) I have no horse in the Royal Ascot, and if you have a reference for a PIE or Celtic etymology, I am not stopping you. μηδείς (talk) 18:01, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
The Normans preserved most Old English place-names as best they could. Some have c /s/ because the Normans couldn't handle /tʃ/. —Tamfang (talk) 06:02, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Coates proposes IE but not Celtic *plowonida, Medeis. I assumed your reference to pre-PIE was assuming that 'Old European' meant Gimbutas' pre-PIE. --ColinFine (talk) 12:40, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I should have said "old (lower case) European" or better "a language spoken before the arrival of the IE." I realize that by capitalizing it, one could assume I was making a Gimbutean claim. I agree with her homeland theory, and that it is likely that the trope of princes going off to marry a princess to rule her land is probably a vestige of a transition from a sedentary matrolineal system to a patriarchical system. But I don't throw in with this peaches and cream matriarchical fantasy.
This *plowinda idea seems a bit far fetched. Is he talking about the Nordwestblock? Is there an online source I can read? Thanks.
μηδείς (talk) 18:12, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Deleted posting from banned user Tevildo (talk) 00:12, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
So that Ljuboslov's point makes sense, the removed comment suggested -wice mean the same thing as "-wick" in English. μηδείς (talk) 01:53, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
No, it's an atributive suffix (or more correctly two suffixes -ow- plus -ic-), which roughly means "pertaining to". It is a subling of another well-known Polish (and Common Slavic) suffix -owicz, only that -owice is the plural form with a different consonant output (Katowice may have come from the patronymic Katowic, the plural means "the settlement of (or where live or lived) the Katowices"). Both came from Proto-Slavic *-ov-itje, the difference between -c and -cz is an internal dialectal variation within Polish (the latter is thought to be from the Kresy dialects). Some details in Polish[3].--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 21:09, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Could a Polish speaker translate the bit I quoted in bold? I couldn't quite understand the last part, and am not even sure I got the gist of the first part right. Kpalion? CiaPan? Piotrus? ---Sluzzelin talk 23:01, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Not a speaker and never truly learnt the language but just to show how close and understandable Slavic languages may be. The text goes: It is difficult to establish the origin of the town. Most probable is to derive it from the name of the first settler, tenant Kat, or from the word kąt "corner", such were named the houses of the tenants, who cut and transported lumber to the smithy of Bogucica. (Practically, I've used a Polish dictionary only to avoid false friends.) The latter version seems less convincing for me, due to its unexpected phonology (no reasons for the change ą > a).--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 00:19, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Alexander Vovin explained on a mailing list once (back in the days when there were such things) that a Russian speaker can understand without having ever studied it any other Slavic language except Czech. Contact Basemetal here 00:42, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Assuming that's referring to the comment found here, "and a linguist" is a rather significant qualification; I'm incidentally surprised that he can deal with Slovak but not Czech. HenryFlower 09:42, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Could be this one but as I remember it was a much smaller (unarchived) list about Indo-European linguistics going out of UT Austin somewhere and maintained there (though not moderated) by a graduate student whose name escapes me. If so then Alexander Vladimirovich made that observation on at least two occasions. Many people who were on that much smaller list were also on Histling (e.g. Miguel Carrasquer-Vidal, the "Miguel" of your link, and Alexis Manaster-Ramer, the "Alexis" of your link; though Johanna Nichols wasn't so that if I'm correct and Alexander Vladimirovich did make that observation there also then it must have been in a different context). As to why Czech should give him trouble when Slovak didn't, it could be either that the distance between Czech and Slovak, though small, is in the wrong direction as seen from Russia and puts Czech just beyond the horizon from the point of view of a Russian speaker. Or it could be something about written Czech. I've been told that even Czech speakers have trouble with written Czech. As extreme case of diglossia in Czech maybe? (Extreme at least in the context of the modern West.) In any case it is important to note Alexander Vladimirovich was talking about his ability to read the written language. That may be an important caveat, I had completely forgotten about it and it is thanks to your link that I got reminded of it. Contact Basemetal here</sma"ll> 16:02, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
My grandmother from Uzhgorod (formerly of Austro-Hungary, then Czechoslovakia, now annexed by Ukraine) spoke the Rusyn language which is geographically intermediate between Slovak, Polish, and Ukrainian. She had no problem with Russian, the biggest difference being Russian's free stress. Her stress was pretty much fixed on the penult, while Russian stress could be anywhere, and even move around depending on the word's declension, including moving to added suffixes. For example, in Russian, язык, (jazyk) "tongue" is approximately yuhZIHK when it is the subject of the sentence, but it can change to ihzihKYEH when it is the object of various prepositions.
I never asked her about Czech, which has some strong phonetic changes from proto-Slavic and "three", tri, which is pronounced pretty much like "tree" (or better, the way you would say "tri" in Spanish) sounds like "chih", (one to ten in Czech) and out of context I would never have guessed that. Also, the verb systems for the past have been greatly simplified, except in the south, where Bulgarian keeps a rather complex system. A Russian speaker might figure it out, like we can figure out Shakespeare, without being able to produce it without study. μηδείς (talk) 17:47, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
@Basemetal: much depends on the background, the experience, the text and the language. People like me who have seriously studied linguistics and Slavistics in particular know quite well how words in one Slavic language correspond to words in another Slavic language, hence they have no great problems in recognizing cognates. Also outside the East Slavic languages I have encountered Polish more often than other Slavic languages. Short texts with a lot of simple words are easier to decipher and to recognize cognates. And after the East Slavic languages Polish seems to be one of the easiest Slavic languages for Russians. Bulgarian has the biggest number of cognates, but the Bulgarian grammar is very unusual and causes much difficulty: even if one may recognize all the words, sometimes it is difficult to put them together and make a sense out of the entire sentence. Serb-Croatian is more distant and less intelligible, Macedonian is in between. Slovenian and Czech are indeed most distant and most unintelligible. The case with Slovak is it's a bridge between the East and West Slavic languages, so being obviously foreign it has much more shared and recognizable elements with Russian than Czech has.
But the majority of common Russians with an average education, who have had problems even with learning English or German in school, could hardly understand anything but Russian. Also the majority of Russians have never been outside of Russia or the FSU, not to mention West or South Slavic countries. Most Russians has virtually had no experience with and never encountered other non East Slavic languages. Simply put, even if a Russian encounter Polish or Czech, s/he might not even be able to read the text as s/he most probably does not know the reading rules.
So in conclusion of my speech, the true answer is: Russian linguistically savvy people indeed easily understand other Slavic languages, but the commoners don't. However, it is a common knowledge that if a Russian, linguistically-savvy or not, come to a Slavic country s/he picks up the local language much more easily than it might be with non-Slavic languages.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 19:05, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
As a Polish speaker, I confirm Lüboslóv's translation. I'll only add that the literal meaning of Kat, the name of the supposed original tenant of the village, is "executioner". The smithy in the village of Bogucice eventually grew into a separate settlement, Kuźnica Bogucka (pl), later merged with the younger village of Katowice. The coat of arms of Katowice still bears an image of a water-wheel-powered trip hammer that was used in the forge of Kuźnica Bogucka. — Kpalion(talk) 08:35, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

User:Любослов Езыкин's translation above is correct. The pl wiki sentence is sadly unreferenced (I marked it as such). This topic seems to have been discussed by Polish scholars, sadly, their work is offline. I found some citations here: [4]. Google book is at [5] (snippet view, not in LibGen, so sigh. FUTON problem). Another related book would be [6], here I was able to piece together the entry from p.103 of the book: "KATOWICE, miasto wojewódzkie. Pierwszy zapis o nowej wsi Katowice pochodzi z 1598 r. (villa nova Kątowicze). Miasto zostało ustanowione dopiero w 1865 r. Zapis z -ą- z powyższej zapiski, jedyny dotąd znaleziony, i to w kopii, oryginał miał -a-, pozwolił prof. S[tanisławowi] Rospondowi wysunąć tezę, że nazwa brzmiała niegdyś Kątowice i określała pierwotnie miejsce w kącie, na uboczu położone. Więcej jednak przemawia za tym, że nazwa od początku brzmiała Katowice i że pochodzi od nazwy osobowej Kat. N[azwa] os[obowa] stanowiła zapewne przezwisko. Nazwy miejscowe typu Katowice, Kacice spotyka się w nazewnictwie słowiańskim." In summary, this entry states that the oldest mention of the village is Kątowice, which roughly translates as a "corner place" and that is the theory of Stanisław Rospond, but then the entry (presumably attributed and voiced by Kazimierz Rymut) states the more likely scenario is that it was named after somebody named or nicknamed Kat. According to this blog (]) the latter theory can be attributed to historian Witold Taszycki, but I don't have time to do more digging. Pretty much each source notes that there are no good answers, just speculations, based on next to no primary materials. The blog also notes that the assocition with executioner (Polish kat), while common, is almost certainly wrong, and indeed I didn't see any scholar discussing it seriously. The corner and person Kat theories were also mentioned as theories by a speech in parliament by Polish politician ([7]), who also noted the etymology is not conclusive. PS. I hope someone will use this to add some cites to the article, ping me if you need help/clarifications. PPS. Katowice is my hometown :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:30, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

August 28[edit]

Super ultra hyper[edit]

How did it come about that hyper- (from Greek) is stronger than super- (from Latin)? They both kind of mean the same thing in the original languages. Hyper- is usually stronger than ultra- right? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 00:00, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Stack Exchange has an informative thread on this question. ---Sluzzelin talk 00:06, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Latin was simply more common among the general population in the West until recently, while most people didn't learn Greek unless they were specializing in a subject that required it at University. So super was good, but hyper was super. μηδείς (talk) 04:43, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Technical difference[edit]

Whats the difference in meaning between 'buggery' and 'sodomy' ?-- (talk) 00:00, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

See: buggery and sodomy, which should adequately answer your question. 2606:A000:4C0C:E200:1821:CD59:E35A:CB68 (talk) 00:05, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
And let's not forget the worst of the lot, "Gomorrahy". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:08, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
There is no such word as Gomorrahy. So what do you mean?-- (talk) 16:28, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Bugs was making a joke; hence the small type. See Sodom and Gomorrah. Deor (talk) 16:34, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
So why does Wiktionnary give a definition for it? See [8] Contact Basemetal here 16:36, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Evidently Bugs thought he was kidding. But he might have been wrong. Btw is gomorrahy supposed to rhyme with gonorrhea? Contact Basemetal here 16:42, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I was merely subtly referencing a question George Carlin once asked. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:23, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Who is George Carlin may I ask?-- (talk) 23:46, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
George Carlin. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:22, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Wow. What's a good Aussie expression for Sic transit gloria mundi?Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:05, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Ask Goldie Hawn. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 12:07, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
An interesting illustration of cultural non-globalism. As a 60-y-o Brit I had read passing references to Carlin as being some sort of media figure, but have never seen him and did not know before now that he was a comedian. Evidently was in a similar position. Perhaps his material was USA-centric and did not export well. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:30, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Never heard of him either. Strange. Alansplodge (talk) 20:00, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Had never heard of him until the internet dawned for me, post-October 2001. Don Rickles, now there was a funny man known to NZ TV audiences. Akld guy (talk) 20:36, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Much of Carlin's work can be found on youtube. If you can find any of his early-to-mid 70's stuff (before the "angry old hippie" persona took over in the 1990s on) it is some of the best work he's done. Any of his first 4-5 HBO specials are required watching, and his routines on the "Seven dirty words", "Stuff" and "Football vs. Baseball" are considered classics of the genre. --Jayron32 14:28, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

traditional Chinese greeting[edit]

(This is about body language, not verbal language, sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong forum.)

I note we have entries for greetings like fist bump, eskimo kissing, etc. but not one for one of the most common greetings in Chinese culture, 抱拳 (bàoquán). How would we translate this? Under Greeting I found an explanation: A Chinese greeting features the right fist placed in the palm of the left hand and both shaken back and forth two or three times; it may be accompanied by a head nod or bow. The gesture may be used on meeting and parting, and when offering thanks or apologies. I feel though that baoquan deserves a whole article given its prominence in Chinese culture. But what would we call it in English? I would like to start a stub, but I have never done it before. I'm a regular contributor and admin at Wiktionary, but very rarely edit at Wikipedia. Tooironic (talk) 08:12, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

New Method Chinese (by Jenwei Kuo, Judy Chen, Lihua Zhang) calls the same gesture (I think) Zuòyī 作揖. I couldn't find any westernised word for it. This online dictionary has "ZUÒYĪ 作揖 to bow with hands held in front". Alansplodge (talk) 09:47, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Zuoyi is used in different situations and includes a bow, whereas baoquan doesn't. Tooironic (talk) 12:01, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay, that makes sense. Perhaps we could have a Traditional Chinese greetings article, that explains the differences. Alansplodge (talk) 11:27, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

questions quoting statements[edit]

I can’t decide how to write this sentence. My suggestions are:

1. Would you think, ‘I sure am glad that I got a shorter and easier version of this?’

2. Would you think, ‘I sure am glad that I got a shorter and easier version of this,’?

3. Would you think, ‘I sure am glad that I got a shorter and easier version of this.’

Which one is the best, if any? --Romanophile (talk) 10:41, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

If the question mark is supposed to refer to the "Would you think" part, then it's none of the above. It would be,
Would you think, ‘I sure am glad that I got a shorter and easier version of this’?
If the question mark is supposed to be attached to the part inside the quotes, it shouldn't be, because the part inside the quotes is not a question. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:17, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Would you think: ('etc')? -- (talk) 23:49, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Individuals always have their personal preferences, but in terms of a referenced answer to the question, Romanophile might like to consult the appropriate style guide for your language and part of the world. For example, in my country, journalists following The Canadian Press style follow this rule: "Periods and commas always go inside closing quote marks; colons and semicolons outside. The question mark and exclamation go inside the quote marks when they apply to the quoted matter only; outside when the apply to the entire sentence." American and British usage differs. For Wikipedia, there is the Wikipedia:Manual of Style, which has its own section on this issue. (talk) 21:13, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Side issue about consistency of approach[edit]

I've always been stumped by how Americans can be so logical about the above issue, but abandon logic when it comes to the inclusion inside quotes of commas that form part of the overall sentence but do not play any part in the quoted text itself. For example:

  • He said "I enjoyed reading the novel," but he made no comment about the movie.

The rest of the world would write:

  • He said "I enjoyed reading the novel", but he made no comment about the movie.

Can someone explain that to me? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:02, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

I would use the 2nd version, but, as you know, I follow my own rules when it comes to grammar, doing whatever makes sense to me. StuRat (talk) 00:24, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I am keenly aware of that. Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:35, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Typographical elegance? Logic can drive you mad. In fact from a logical point of view you ought to write: He said "I enjoyed reading the novel.", but he made no comment about the movie. Or how about: He asked "Did you enjoy the novel?", but he never mentioned the movie. Do you write: "He said: "Hello, my name is George."."? This is what "logic" would require though. Contact Basemetal here 00:58, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Omitting punctuation at the end of a quote seems fine, since a quotation is an excerpt, after all. I suppose one could argue you need to add "..." to show something has been omitted, but that would be silly. I only feel it necessary to add the ellipsis if something was omitted from the middle of a quotation. Note that I wouldn't omit a question mark or exclamation mark in a quotation, since that's critical to understanding the meaning. As for adding punctuation to a quote, that just seems wrong, to me. StuRat (talk) 13:41, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Which of my examples are you saying add punctuation to a quote? Contact Basemetal here 15:18, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
None of your examples, but rather Jack's example at the start of this subsection, where he claimed that Americans would add a comma within the quotation marks that did not occur in the original quote. StuRat (talk) 00:41, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't see why the novel," is more elegant than the novel", . They are both awkards. But de gustibus et coloribus non disputandum. --Lgriot (talk) 12:19, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

@JackofOz: I think it comes from a forgotten typographical tradition. My version that the quotation marks had to be followed or preceded by a thin space

  • He said, " I enjoyed reading the novel ", and then added, " but I don't like the movie ". (It is wider here with a standard space, but you got the idea.)

In such a case the comma after the quotes "hangs" in the open space, when it shouldn't. Whereas typed like this:

  • He said, " I enjoyed reading the novel," and then added, " but I don't like the movie."

The comma "ties" to the preceding word. See recommendations here (the first column at the bottom) or here.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 01:17, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Americans want the comma and full stop to be placed inside the quote marks for typographical elegance, but remember that this tradition came well before we had computers. Type looks different on the printed page as opposed to a computer screen, and American typeset text always used curly quotes (“x,” not "x"). In those days, kerning was accomplished by hand (or rather, hot lead slugs). You should compare [“novel,”] and [“novel”,] on a professionally set and printed page. When you do, [“novel,”] looks professional, while [“novel”,] looks amateurish.
Another factor: the British often used what we call "French spaces" (adding a word space before colons, semicolons, question marks, and exclamation marks, and around quotation marks, so : “ novel ”). French spaces were never used in American typography. Also, the British way of hyphenating words at the end of a line, being based on etymology (e.g., geo-graph-y, know-ledge) has a jolting effect on reading texts when there are a lot of end-of-line hyphens, so the British try to avoid hyphenation at end of line. American hyphenation, being based on spoken syllables (e.g., geog-ra-phy, knowl-edge}, allows for very smooth reading even when there are many hyphens. The effect of this was that British texts, to avoid hyphens, relied on a very wide range of word space width as well as widely variable letter spacing ( l i k e    t h i s ). Since Americans could hyphenate freely, we rarely had to fiddle with letter spacing, and our word spaces were constrained to a narrow width. Therefore, the British eye was accustomed to lots of space appearing in your lines of text, while American eyes were sensitive to all that space and offended by it. —Stephen (talk) 14:14, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Well don't presume to speak for me, User:Stephen G. Brown. I'm a Merickan and I use logical, not traditional inside/outism, even vough I were taught ve old tradition. Unless I get paid overwise. μηδείς (talk) 18:57, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
I haven’t any idea what you are saying, μηδείς. The use of logical is new to me. I owned a typography company from 1970 to 2007, and what I said reflects my training and experience during those years and before. The internet and computer have brought about massive changes to the industry, especially from 1995 on, so it may well be different now. —Stephen (talk) 19:10, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
"Logical" in this case means using the quotation marks inside the period where the item being quoted is not the end of the sentence. For example: she said "tumetos". (The context being there was a long sentence, of which tumetos was just one malapropism.) A normal quote with an internal punctuation would be, "John told the minister, 'Shut the fuck up!'"
In the first case, the marks indicate [sic], in the second case, the phrase is a complete logical phrase. My usage follows WP usage in my normal correspondence, so I would refer you to WP policy.
My basical point is, I don't follow what I was taught in the 70's in a Mericka when it don't make sense, and I'm not bein' paid otherwise. I do a lot of paid editting, almost all of which me da azco. μηδείς (talk) 20:56, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
  • @ User:Stephen G. Brown: Thanks for your detailed reply. I take issue with only one statement: [“novel,”] looks professional, while [“novel”,] looks amateurish.. I have the diametrically opposite position, as [“novel,”] looks as if the writer has given little or no thought to the proper placement of the comma. I suspect where one is on the professional/amateurish spectrum is a function of what one is used to seeing. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:53, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Nineteenth-century nautical(?) terminology[edit]

What does "act some trades" mean in the following sentence (published in "one of the London daily journals" in 1847)?

Needless to say, this feat was not accomplished, but I'd be interested to know what the person intended to do. Tevildo (talk) 17:16, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Here are some definitions of "trade". Two possibilities that come to mind are 1b: " archaic : a track or trail left by a person or animal :" or 3b: "an occupation requiring manual or mechanical skill :" That is, either they are going to make a track or trail; or perform some craft or artisanship. Both would be equally as ridiculous as drinking a beer on the way down. I can't find any other definition which fits the context. Perhaps someone with full OED access may find a better fit. --Jayron32 17:38, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't take "in coming down" to mean "while coming down", but rather "after coming down". It sounds like some type of a package deal for tourists, so the jump is presumably done safely, from a limited height into a net, for example. In the context of a package deal, pretending to perform tradesmans' crafts might fit in, like laying a brick or two and some mortar. StuRat (talk) 19:52, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
It wasn't an invitation to tourists, but an advertisement for a burlesque show. [9]. That is, someone was offering to perform a stunt and charging admission to watch him do it. --Jayron32 20:07, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I like how in the previous paragraph, it says that this monument to the Great London Fire was "illuminated with portable gas". Hoping to find a reason to build another monument, perhaps ? StuRat (talk) 21:13, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Something tells me it means doing impressions. --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 19:06, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I have no expertise in sailing, but even I know what Trade winds are. See also Winds in the Age of Sail. The whole thing reads as a stunt done for a fee or bet of £2,500 by a person jumping off a monument while consuming beer and cake. It seems he uses a cape or parachute device. "[A]ct some trades" seems to be a humorous euphemism for setting the cape for maximum performance into the wind, "shorten and make sail" for gliding maximum distance, and "bring ship safe to anchor" for making a successful, safe landing. No doubt "act some trades" was perfectly understandable to readers of the 1847 journal. Akld guy (talk) 21:21, 30 August 2016 (UTC)