Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2008 January 26

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January 26[edit]

Nesace, from Poe's Al Aaraaf[edit]

In this poem (my favorite), there is an angel named Nesace, who is Beauty personified. My understanding is that she was not at the time of writing a known mythical being; the name was one created by Poe for the story. What I would like to know are two things: How is this name pronounced? (and if you can bring yourself to use old-fashioned pronunciation symbols, I would be very grateful. The new ones seem confusing to me.); and, is there any etymology known or conjectured for this name? Thank you very much. QuorumAngelorum (talk) 06:03, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I can't speak for the pronunciation, but I'm told that "Nesace" was supposed to symbolise the island of Zante, coming as it does from the Greek for "small island." I have no idea if this is true, but it would appear to be the case. :p Steve TC 08:56, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Wow, thank you Steve. What an erudite bunch of people at those links. And as thorough an exploration of that part of the topic as I can imagine. QuorumAngelorum (talk) 12:23, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

(bump) Does anyone know how it's pronounced? QuorumAngelorum (talk) 19:04, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

From the meter of the poem I would guess it's three syllables, NESS-uh-see. --Cam (talk) 19:52, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Cam. QuorumAngelorum (talk) 05:38, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

It was prononced "Nee-sA-chee" then and yes, it still means "small island" in greek (Νησάκι). Nesace, Ianthe, Annabel Lee, Lenore, Aphrodite (contessa Mentoni) etc, Edgar's heroesses, all refer to Angelica Palli(notice the similarity with "Annabel Lee") imo.

CheersGioachino (talk) 07:10, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

On the one hand.... on the other hand[edit]

How could you say this in Italian? Thanks. -- Leptictidium (mammal talk!) 13:43, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd use da un lato ... dall'altro. (Literally: "from one side ... from the other")---Sluzzelin talk 16:31, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

"chandail de hockey"[edit]

Hi. Should "Hockey jersey" in (Canadian) French be "chandail de hockey" or "chandail d'hockey"? I see that most french words beginning with h have a l'aison (sp?), but is hockey in french pronounced haw-key, oh-kay, or oh-key? which one should be used? If it is "de hockey", are there any other French words like this? This isn't actually a homework question. Or is there another word for jersey that is more fitting than "chandail"? Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 19:34, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

See Also, Not all French h words use liaison. See --Sonjaaa (talk) 20:40, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
That answers the question, but I'll just add that we aren't talking about liaison here. Liaison refers to the way that certain consonants at the end of words are usually silent but are pronounced when a vowel follows. For example, "il est beau" sounds like "eel-e-bo", but "il est ouvert" sounds like "eel-et-oo-vair" with the T in "est" no longer silent. The change of "le" to "l'" before a vowel is a mandatory contraction, but almost the same concept is elision, a word that sounds similar to "liaison". Since it occurs in the same situations as liaison, Astro might have been thinking of either term. --Anonymous, 21:20 UTC, January 26, 2008.
So, it's "chandail de hockey", and "hockey" is pronounced something like "aw-kay". Marco polo (talk) 02:07, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
The correct French usage is invariably "de hockey", as in the 'Club de hockey Canadien'. Xn4 16:43, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

French has two types of H: H aspiré ("aspirated H") and H muet ("mute H"). In fact both are mute and none of them is aspirated in modern French, but the distiction affects both liasons and elisions. If a word begins with an H muet, the rules for liason and elision are the same as for any word beginning with a vowel, so you should make a liason (e.g. les hôtels, the s in les is pronounced) and an elision (e.g. l'hôtel). If a word begins with an H aspiré, you should make neither a liason (e.g. les haches, the s in les is not pronounced) nor an elision (e.g. la hache). French Wikipedia has a nice article about the H aspiré complete with a list of words that begin with this letter (and you can see hockey is on that list). In French dictionaries, words beginning with an H aspiré are usually preceded with an asterisk (*). — Kpalion(talk) 12:46, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


I'm currently writing a newspaper article and I'm trying to find a synonym for 'bullshit' as in lying convincingly, since using 'bullshit' wouldn't be well received. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks (talk) 19:44, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

something along the lines of "To attempt to mislead or deceive by talking nonsense."--Sonjaaa (talk) 20:43, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

As Winston Churchill said, "Short words are best and the old words when short are the best of all." I suggest a plain and simple sentence like "This is wrong" or "He's lying." (Note that when you use the second one, you're claiming you know he knows it's wrong. Be prepared to prove that to your editor, if the rest of your article won't itself contain your proof.) --Anonymous, 21:28 UTC, January 26, 2008.
Anonymous, I think you've misunderstood the original question. The OP was asking for a word for bullshit, not saying he/she was planning to perpetrate some.
Why would you think I misunderstood? I was suggesting and I still suggest a simple word like "wrong" or "lying", used in a simple sentence. --Anon, 07:40 UTC, Jan. 27.
Apologies, Anon, I misread your contribution. For some reason I thought you were advising the OP against bullshitting, but I see that you were answering the question. --ColinFine (talk) 09:41, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
To my surprise I can't come up with a satisfactory answer: 'bluff', 'fabulation' and 'flammery' come somewhere near, but aren't right. --ColinFine (talk) 22:04, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Deceive, con, mislead... I remember in Boys Scouts we would play a card game originally titled Bullshit but we called it blow smoke... or did we call it babushka? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 22:37, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Smooth talk, sweet talk, or snow job maybe? -- BenRG (talk) 23:43, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
to BS, to talk in circles, to string along, to bluff, to equivocate, to play, etc. There are a million words that are roughly synonymous with "mislead", but it's hard to find one with precisely the same connotation as "bullshit", which doesn't even necessarily refer to lying (Harry Frankfurt said that a liar knows the truth and makes a conscious decision to contradict it, while a bullshitter is indifferent to the truth). Also, bullshitting isn't necessarily successful. I wouldn't substitute the verb "deceive", for example, because you can bullshit someone without successfully deceiving them. Lantzy talk 00:40, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
For useful connotational distinctions among the excrements of various beasts see here.
– Noetica♬♩Talk 00:52, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Some people just say "bull"; or "a load of bull", or "bullhocky" (TV). A lot of hot air? Balderdash? Stuff and nonsense? It kind of depends on whether you're going to use it as an interjection in reply to some attempted bullshit, or as a noun in reference to some bullshit. QuorumAngelorum (talk) 05:45, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
This usage of 'bull' is almost unknown in the UK, however. Algebraist 16:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't know that. That must be why the British have all those colorful expressions for same that you don't hear much in the US. What would, say, a UK politician being interviewed on TV use as an interjection in response to some bullshit? QuorumAngelorum (talk) 19:01, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
"Nonsense!"; "Tosh!"; "Rubbish!"; Gwinva (talk) 20:22, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I like the one often put into the mouth of John Elliott by satirists - "Pig's arse!". It probably won't do for a newspaper, but it works really well colloquially. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:47, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
eyewash, buncombe —Tamfang (talk) 01:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Fiddlesticks! DuncanHill (talk) 01:06, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I heard "pure twaddle" in an ad on the radio recently, a 10-second story that sounds really comical to get one's attention but was obviously a load of you-know-what. Sounds like another British saying. Horse hockey is good, you might want to check some of the sayings of Colonel Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H, he used that and a variety of other really good euphemisms for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DTF955 (talkcontribs) 02:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)