Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2008 August 22

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August 22[edit]

What is correct; Baseball parks or Baseball parks'?[edit]

Willy turner (talk) 01:29, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

The first is a regular plural; the second is a possessive plural. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:34, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

So 'List of baseball parks by capacity' would be correct? Willy turner (talk) 01:40, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Ja. Why would a baseball park own anything? It's not sentient. Avnas Ishtaroth drop me a line 01:42, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your help. By the way non-sentient entities can own things; eg. governments or companies. But no, not baseball parks. Willy turner (talk) 01:48, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Baseball parks' ambiance is unique, no? --hydnjo talk 01:52, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

And to be ultra pedantic possession needn't imply ownership. Willy turner (talk) 01:56, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

No. Algebraist 01:58, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
And neither is their ambience. But you could use the possessive plural with baseball parks: Baseball parks' locations and sizes are the subject of my Masters thesis (or, to forestall the pedants, "Baseball parks' locations and sizes" is the title of my Masters thesis.) -- JackofOz (talk) 04:34, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like a pretty boring master's thesis. Deor (talk) 04:57, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
There's a good reason why baseball has been dropped from the Olympics from 2012, and comments such as "What would Jack know about baseball?" can only inhibit the case for its re-inclusion.  :) I look forward to the day when cricket becomes an Olympic sport again (it's played in far more countries than baseball has ever been; it was in the Paris 1900 Games, with Great Britain beating France in the final, although the French team was made up mostly of British expatriates). -- JackofOz (talk) 05:09, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but cricket was dropped in my home town in the next games. I guess someone decided that people falling asleep in the stands would not be an attention-grabbing news report. :-) Deor (talk) 05:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Haven't you read what Lord Mancroft said: Cricket - a game which the English, not being a spiritual people, have invented in order to give themselves some conception of eternity. :) -- JackofOz (talk) 07:41, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
As the American novelist Marvin Cohen put it, Life is an elaborate metaphor for cricket. Gwinva (talk) 09:14, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
(some kind of outdent, the small print is too confusing) On the other hand, "Some baseball parks' left field walls are given nicknames. For example, Fenway Park has The Green Monster and Sovereign Bank Field has The Arch Nemesis." --LarryMac | Talk 15:22, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
And contrary to the partisans of cricket, I would contend that baseball parks' ambience is unique. While I am anything but a sports fan, I happen to have attended both baseball games and cricket matches, and their ambiences are quite different. Marco polo (talk) 17:49, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
"The American League baseball parks' dugouts are less comfortable than those of the National League." DOR (HK) (talk) 00:54, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Japanese question[edit]

What is Scrooge McDuck saying in this picture? JIP | Talk 15:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

You can find Leon and his friends in the residential area. At Merlin's place. Oda Mari (talk) 17:33, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

French words[edit]

I noticed on a toothpaste box that l'email is actually French for enamel. Does the average homme sur la rue (?) use it to refer to email anyway or do they have a different word for it? Also, what is French for "man on the street"? Clarityfiend (talk) 20:21, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Don't know about the equivalent idiomatic expression for "man on the street", but I believe the French do just use "Email". Although, I do remember hearing not too long ago that the Academie Française decreed that people should use "Courriel" instead. *sits back and waits for someone more knowledgable to correct him*Dgcopter (talk) 20:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok, according to the French Wiktionary entry (, "Courriel" was actually proposed by l'Office québécois de la langue française. Although, I'm not sure it's really caught on, since all the French out of office emails I get from Quebec say "E-Mail".Dgcopter (talk) 20:43, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
(e/c with Dgcopter's second post) It pays off to be bold, because Dgcopter is right: "email" (mirroring English pronunciation) is informally acceptable in French. According to Wiktionary [1], courrier électronique and courriel (courrier électronique, noted as a Quebecisme) are more formal alternatives, though I suspect "email" is more in more used in formal situations nonetheless. Be aware, however, that émail, meaning "enamel," has a different pronunciation (/e.maj/) and an accent mark in writing. As for "man on the street," homme dans la rue sounds better, but I don't think it carries the same idiomatic value for "just an average guy" like it does in English.--El aprendelenguas (talk) 20:54, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Please see John Doe#Informal names for unknown or unspecified persons in various countries/regions.
-- Wavelength (talk) 21:25, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
According to fr:Courrier électronique#Évolution des termes employés par les utilisateurs, le troisième paragraphe,

En France, l’appellation courriel, d’origine québécoise, a été rendue obligatoire pour les textes officiels depuis le 20 juin 2003 par la Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France pour toutes les administrations et services publics français qui ont désormais l’obligation d’utiliser ce terme de préférence à tout autre (Article du Journal Officiel du 20 juin 2003). L’emploi du terme courriel est un équivalent des termes admis message électronique et courrier électronique lorsqu’il s’agit du document transféré par une messagerie électronique. Ce terme se répand aujourd’hui de plus en plus, et a donné lieu au dérivé pourriel, terme qui s’est imposé pour désigner le spam (courriels non-sollicités).

Translated into English,

In France, the name "courriel", of Québécois origin, has been made obligatory for official texts since 20 June 2003 by the "Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France" (General Delegation to the French Language and to the Languages of France) [no link to an English article] for all French administrations and public services, which have henceforth the obligation to use this term in preference to any other. The use of the term "courriel" is an equivalent of the admitted terms "electronic message" and "electronic mail" when it has to do with the document transferred by an electronic message service. This term is being spread today more and more, and has yielded the derived term "pourriel", a term which has been assigned to designate "spam" (unsolicited mail).

-- Wavelength (talk) 03:13, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
According to the man in the street - Definitions from, the French "l'homme de la rue" means "the man in the street".
According to Jules Maigret#List of short stories, L'Homme dans la rue is The Man on the Run and Inspector Maigret Pursues The Man in the Street.
According to man in the street: Definition from, "man in the street" is a synonym of "John Doe, Joe Blow, Joe Bloggs".
According to man's body - English-French Dictionary, "man in the street" is equivalent to "homme dans la rue".
According to Traduire l'anglais: théorie et pratique - Google Book Search, "the man in the street" is equivalent to "l'homme de la rue" and "monsieur Tout-le-monde".
-- Wavelength (talk) 06:12, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
"The man in the street" as a synonym of "average guy", "John Doe" should translate to l'homme de la rue. L'homme dans la rue has a different meaning. In the short story here above mentionned, the murderer is pursued by the police, hence he cannot get home nor he can hire a room in a hotel. He is obliged to stay, to live in the street.
As a French native speaker from France I use mail, message, courrier électronique, courriel, email, mèl (by decreasing usage frequency).
-- AldoSyrt (talk) 07:50, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Email in French is written e-mail but in conversation is often shortened to just "mail" as in "je t'envois un mail", "i'll send you an email". (talk) 13:55, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Same in Dutch, where email means "enamel" as well, but is not homophonous with e-mail And in capitalising German Email is "enamel" whereas E-Mail means, well, "e-mail". Bessel Dekker (talk) 15:30, 23 August 2008 (UTC)