Re: I'm Going To Socially Condition Your Face

1

Ja, ja, you look American all right. Happy now?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:13 PM
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I can't get the photo to display, but did you notice the news categories on the top of that page? "Health"--"Arts"---"Opinion"---"The Iranian Threat"---"Letters"... Wow.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:14 PM
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Ha! Totally missed that. Good old Jerusalem Post.

Does this photo work?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:15 PM
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I don't really see that he looks German.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:16 PM
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I think it has a lot to do with the way that language shapes one's facial muscles.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:17 PM
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That's always been my working hypothesis, but I'm wondering if it's more than that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:18 PM
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Well, that and clothing, haircuts, general style issues. But mostly it's facial musculature. Next question?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:19 PM
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I sort of see british and french faces from their language; do you have to be familiar with teh sound of the language for it to be discernabel"?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:20 PM
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Next question?

Does B need infinite attention or 2x infinite attention?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:20 PM
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what about introverts or those who grew up with one language but now speak another (emmigrants, those moving between classes, pretensioners)?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:21 PM
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How many attention? Infinite attention!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:22 PM
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Persians are sneaky like that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:23 PM
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pretensioners

Oh, well, I spent thirty years in the civil service, but now I'm living off my pretension.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:27 PM
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The same thing happens to an incredible extent with German Turks; the second-generation ones look so completely German I couldn't tell them apart from the Teutons in a crowd. It has to do with subtle effects of facial musculature, style, and so on.

I remember reading some blog by an Englishman who spoke perfect Persian and lived in Tajik-speaking parts of Afghanistan for a long time. Despite his accent-free speech, his close-enough physical similarity with most of these mountain Afghans and his adoption of local dress, he was constantly picked out as a foreigner. The reasons, they always said, were in the way he walked and smiled.


Posted by: CG | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:28 PM
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The same thing happens to an incredible extent with German Turks; the second-generation ones look so completely German I couldn't tell them apart from the Teutons in a crowd. It has to do with subtle effects of facial musculature, style, and so on.

Well, other Germans can certainly pick them out.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:32 PM
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The reasons, they always said, were in the way he walked and smiled.

I spent long enough in France to be able to spot even well-camophlaged Americans like this. (Americans are always more boisterious.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:33 PM
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Living in Samoa, I could spot someone from NZ and back to visit family as far away as I could see them -- the body language was all wrong. Even from a completely Samoan family, they looked way New Zealandy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:34 PM
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I think it has a lot to do with the way that language shapes one's facial muscles.

Plus, probably the way certain facial expressions are used. I may be wrong, but I notice this especially with students of Chinese descent. The ones that are raised here seem to move their faces differently.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:34 PM
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9: All B. needs is for people to admit that she's right. Attention's got nothing to do with it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:35 PM
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16: JM this is archaic spellings week for you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:35 PM
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My funniest moment of spotting Americans in Germany? Asian girl, black guy, and a blonde-haired white guy walking down the street together. Their dress and demeanor weren't at all out of place, but I saw them over a block away and knew instantly. No way you'd ever have that combination of Germans walking down the street.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:36 PM
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19 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:36 PM
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I think I've mentioned when the ex and I were walking in a French-speaking part of Montreal and a guy pulled alongside in his car and started speaking to us in English. I killed him, for Quebec.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:40 PM
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So John Kerry actually looked Swiss.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:43 PM
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I'm Going To Socially Condition's Your Face


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:44 PM
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26

In Italy I always got taken for French, and since I studied French I'd try to respond in French, at which point I was taken for slow.

But in Moscow, fucking Russians: They come up to you and ask you what time it is, because they can totally tell that your studies in Russian language have shown you how incredibly hard it is to say the time. They really do just do this, smirk, and walk off while you're stammering.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:45 PM
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27

Just show them your watch.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:46 PM
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How hard is it to say the time, Armsmasher?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:47 PM
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23: That's happened to me. But I didn't kill him.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:48 PM
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27: give a short, harsh, barking laugh and then walk off into the snow with your shoulders slumped.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:48 PM
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"The time"

I just said that, didn't seem so hard.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:49 PM
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It seems like the only women I ever see wearing shoes that are not either
A) sneakers
B) sandals
C) high heels
D) clogs

are European. I guess you would call these types of shoes "flats".

Other markers of Europeanism:
A) men wearing thin zippered sweatshirts
B) men with their shirt tucked into their tight-fitting pants, but no belt
C) tall, thin men with close-cropped hair despite little or no signs of baldness.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:50 PM
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It seems like the only women I ever see wearing shoes that are not either
A) sneakers
B) sandals
C) high heels
D) clogs

are European. I guess you would call these types of shoes "flats".

Huh? "Flats" have been all the rage in the U.S. for several seasons now. Do you mean lace-up oxford shoes? Those I can't find anywhere in the U.S.; I always get them in Germany.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:52 PM
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It seems like the only women I ever see wearing shoes that are not either
A) sneakers
B) sandals
C) high heels
D) clogs

F) crocs


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:53 PM
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Wow. That's pretty much my dumbest typo ever. I'm just going to sit back and admire that for a while.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:54 PM
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Pretty tough, comrade w-lfs-n.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:55 PM
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37

I could see the flats thing being true in 2004 or something


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:56 PM
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38

Just say, "Otkuda ya znaio?" really brusquely. (Note: I've never been to Russia.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:58 PM
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I read 34 for embarrassingly long before figuring out what typo you meant. Kept thinking, c-r-o-c-s, what's the problem?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:58 PM
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Aaand once again Ned demonstrates that he doesn't look at things very much. Ballet flats have been the huge trend for about a year now. A few years ago it was Campers, which I wear all the time. Let's see, then there's my Tsubos (which sadly I left outside too long and they're now ruint) and the Skechers I bought the other day. And loafers, and lace-up oxfords, and your standard waspy/middle-aged woman woven leather flats, and the tacky western gold lame version of same, and your driving moccasin type thing which is a little out of style now but plenty of people still wear them, and probably several other styles I can't think of right now.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:59 PM
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41

Male US exchange students (or whatever they are) always look like bums.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 5:59 PM
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42

E must have been running shoes.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:00 PM
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43

Yeah, ballet flats.

And they may be the huge trend where you live. The people over 25 that I meet
A) are scientists
B) live in Pittsburgh


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:00 PM
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44

41: That's what I said, taken for French.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:02 PM
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Women scientists wear your standard issue waspy flats *all the time*. And what, you've never seen American women wearing loafers or oxfords? I mean, I believe that you haven't seen it, but the only thing that demonstrates is that you don't pay attention to women's shoes.

Which, you know, is okay.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:02 PM
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Have been to Pittsburgh in the past year, and saw at least one woman over the age of 25 with them. She was a philosopher, though, maybe that doesn't count, either.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:02 PM
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It seems like the only women I ever see wearing shoes that are not either
A) sneakers
B) sandals
C) high heels
D) clogs

are European. I guess you would call these types of shoes "flats".

European or... nearly every American girl under the age of 22 in a metropolitan area?


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:03 PM
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48

Way to make fun of the blind guy, ladies.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:04 PM
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The collective brainpower of unfogged seemes to have established that flats are (/were) "in".


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:06 PM
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26: In Russia, time tells you.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:06 PM
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Now that I know this type of shoe actually has a name, I would say that I am referring to ballet flats and not the two mentioned in 45, both of which are worn by my mom.

Have not noticed any nitpicking in my generalizations about European men.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:07 PM
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52

Someone quarantine Jackmo, it's catching.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:07 PM
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53

You're right on about the men wearing thin zippered sweatshirts, if by sweatshirts you mean sweaters.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:09 PM
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the two mentioned in 45, both of which are worn by my mom.

So your mom is (a) European? Or (b) invisible to you?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:10 PM
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A) men wearing thin zippered sweatshirts

American Apparel has racks and racks of these.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:11 PM
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Dammit destroyer I am not talking about 22year old hipsters or American Apparel shoppers, I'm talking about adults.

Also, crocs are a form of sandal.

So your mom is (a) European? Or (b) invisible to you?

Try the more generous interpretation that I had never heard the word "oxfords" before and therefore without the signifier, the signified was indescribable.

I just realized that I am baiting people here. It's a stark realization. Time to go eat something.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:14 PM
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Have not noticed any nitpicking in my generalizations about European men.

A--men have been wearing zippered sweatshirts (hoodies) since like, forever.

B--straight American guys do tend to wear their clothes ultra baggy. Gay men, however, do not. And believe it or not, there are plenty of gay men in America. There are also, if you *really really look for them* a lot of young, trendy, hip American men who dress in exactly the way you describe.

C--American men don't shave their heads. Um, you're completely and utterly wrong, I'm very sorry.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:16 PM
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58

Baiting people successfully, Ned. Don't sell yourself short.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:19 PM
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59

A--men have been wearing zippered sweatshirts (hoodies) since like, forever.

I mean ones made of very thin fabric specifically. Much less baggy than the kind of hoodie that you associate with having a band name on the front.

B--straight American guys do tend to wear their clothes ultra baggy. Gay men, however, do not. And believe it or not, there are plenty of gay men in America. There are also, if you *really really look for them* a lot of young, trendy, hip American men who dress in exactly the way you describe.

Yeah, and non-young, non-trendy European men (e.g. 45-year-old scientists) also dress this way, whereas their American counterparts don't.

C--American men don't shave their heads. Um, you're completely and utterly wrong, I'm very sorry.

"close-cropped" means shaved? I didn't mean shaved, sorry. I meant very short. Of the type you usually only see on military types in the US.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:19 PM
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60

Also, women be shop-pin'!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:21 PM
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Of the type you usually only see on military types in the US.

Who aren't American men?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:22 PM
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I don't get 60.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:22 PM
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63

Someone needs a granola bar.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:23 PM
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57: true; straight american guys on average dress generally pretty sloppy compared to european guys, unless they are gay. In which case they don't really dress like average europeans, but usually not sloppy.

Hence the tendency I've notice when in europe with hetro american guys : they often wonder if everyone is gay, and have trouble believing that they aren't. Until the european guy makes off with one of the american women, who don't seem to have this problem somehow...


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:24 PM
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WHat are these flat wozen leather foot things you are talking about???


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:25 PM
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I never get taken for American -- people always say either French or English, or occasionally German. It has occurred to me that it might just be considered too insulting here to call someone American to their face.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:27 PM
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67

Wow, this thread is like an amazing crash and burn.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:33 PM
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68

In Italy, I was stopped twice in Genoa by people holding clipboards who asked me something in Italian. I had to explain that I didn't understand what they were saying. They seemed surprised.

In Spain a car pulled up next to me and asked something. I didn't know what they were saying and they drove off when they noticed I had an English language guidebook and was looking at a map.

In Berlin I was asked for directions three times in the same day in German. On a different day, I think, I was also asked something in German - "Studierst du?" or something like that - by a woman standing near one of the universities. There were people holding a camera - looked like a tv one, not a handheld - behind her; they might have been preparing for some kind of news report. I only noticed this after I decided I didn't know enough German to pretend to be a student.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:33 PM
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On the other hand, I was once stopped in Paris by Spanish tourists who were thrilled that I spoke Spanish. And a few crazy Brits sometimes mistook me for one of them after I'd lived there for a few months.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:40 PM
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70

What's wrong with me that I can no longer spell?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:44 PM
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71

Have you been masturbating less?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:45 PM
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72

Coot, I get plenty of action.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:50 PM
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73

In Taiwan, I got addressed in Mandarin.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:55 PM
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74

If he's interfering with your health practices and causing your spelling to deteriorate, perhaps you should dump your boyfriend.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:56 PM
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75

Jackmormon does get laid!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:57 PM
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straight American guys do tend to wear their clothes ultra baggy

So is the reason that clothes sold in both Europe and America have sizing schemes according to which the selfsame article is small/medium/large according to the European sizing scheme, but extra small/small/medium according to the American, that Americans prefer their clothes baggy, or that Americans are fat?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:57 PM
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I'm not fat. I'm just baggy boned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:58 PM
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78

I got addressed in german in germany by the nice old lady who lived above me who wanted me to help her carry her bags up the stairs. And ... that's about it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:59 PM
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I don't own any shoes. Gotta buy some for jury duty. Continue on, fashion mavens,


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 6:59 PM
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80

So, uh, what do you wear on your feet, bob?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:00 PM
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I love 78.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:01 PM
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74: Emerson would make a good agony aunt. Or agony uncle, I guess.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:03 PM
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straight American guys do tend to wear their clothes ultra baggy

I wonder if this this why, sometimes when visiting straight-people neighborhoods, I am mistaken for a local.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:37 PM
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84

76:

the selfsame article is small/medium/large according to the European sizing scheme, but extra small/small/medium according to the American, that Americans prefer their clothes baggy, or that Americans are fat?

I'm not following this for some reason.

I recently bought a pair of pajama pants designated "extra large," and it did not surprise me that they were so called, but they were actually, in point of fact, medium. Which is what I am. One encounters this all the time in women's clothing.

I've concluded that they want me to think I'm fat.

Now. I can't figure out how we get from that to Ben's question about whether Americans prefer their clothes baggy, or else are fat.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:44 PM
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85

Ben's question presupposes that a given article that is labeled, say, "medium" in the US is labeled "large" in Europe. I don't know if this is actually true.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:46 PM
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86

I knew a guy who never wore shoes when he could help it. When he had to, he'd wear kung fu slippers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:46 PM
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85: Oh. I was reading this backwards or something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:49 PM
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I've concluded that they want me to think

cut-rate manufacture means using as little fabric as possible. cheap brands of a given size run small.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:54 PM
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85: I have often found it to be true.

Meanwhile, I went to Uniqlo (a Japanese clothing store) in NY and found that everything was sized enormous. An extra small in anything but a t-shirt was huuuuuge on me. I think they must have overcompensated for the American physique.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:56 PM
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Ned's in Pittsburgh, and I have to say, when I get off the plane there for a visit, I am fashionable, because I am surrounded by people in tapered jeans and white sneakers. But ballet flats have hit there, just a bit late.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:56 PM
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I always feel like I've lost 30 pounds as soon as I step off the plane in Ohio.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 7:59 PM
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Seriously. I feel young, hip, attractive, and glamorous after a flight. It's very weird.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:02 PM
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I always feel like I've lost 30 pounds as soon as I step off the plane in Ohio

The first time I went there, shortly after arriving fresh off the boat from Yerp, I ordered chicken salad at this place and when it arrived the chicken was fried. I was quite surprised.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:02 PM
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I'm from Ohio, and know what Becks means, but have you compared it with Wisconsin?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:04 PM
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Haha, midwesterners are FAT!

Yay, coast!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:05 PM
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Whenever I step off the plane in Albuquerque I feel 50% whiter.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:06 PM
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In Salt Lake you can be a Gentile, Teo. And in Hawaii you would be 100% honky ("haole"). Though there's probably less advantage in being white in Hawaii than anywhere.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:17 PM
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I'm only taken for German in Germany by American servicemen. No servicewoman has made the mistake.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:27 PM
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On the subject of the post, didn't Barthes write something in Empire of Signs about how, when his photo appeared in a Japanese newspaper, his image became nipponized? Not that that's the case of the people mentioned in the post, but I'm guessing he wouldn't buy into the facial musculature theory.

Also, I think it's not hard for American descendants of Europeans to be taken for European. Subtle clues aside, if you dress well and don't act like an asshole, fewer people will assume you're a Yank. I've been repeatedly mistaken for French in France and Italian in Italy &mdash maybe it's the context, maybe it's the nose. To their credit, the Japanese never mistook me for one of their own.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:31 PM
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I feel young, hip, attractive, and glamorous after a flight. It's very weird.

It is weird. I tend to feel out of fashion, stubborn, amused, and full of ideas.

I expect this to change at any moment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:32 PM
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101

Whenever I comment on this blog, I feel entirely nonwhite.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:33 PM
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102

But Jesus, you're an asshole. You're just a France-and-Italy-compatible asshole.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:49 PM
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103

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:52 PM
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I embrace my essential asshole, John. I just suppress it when I'm abroad, out of courtesy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:53 PM
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105

That's how you get hemorrhoids, Jesus.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 8:58 PM
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106

Note Emerson's abuse of Jesus. This is what happens when you meet up with Emerson.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:06 PM
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80,81:Was off reading about 1848

Sandals when out of the house, mostly. I was mostly joking, I wore out my pair of running shoes this summer. My toes now show in the front and they got thrown away.

I only wear shoes where they are legally mandatory, or when the concrete/asphalt gets too hot. I walk the dogs in shoes, because of stones and glass. I remove them whenever possible. I need disposable slap-ons for the soles...do such things exist?

The soles of my feet are not pretty, like deeply scarred leather.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:09 PM
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I have been pro-asshole my entire life. Jesus still has aspects of the self-hating asshole, but I'm working on him.

Oddly enough, there are very few closet assholes in Congress. They're almost all out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:09 PM
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109

Letting John abuse me is an act of mercy. If only briefly, it puts a stop to his self-abuse.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:13 PM
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My healthful self-abuse.

Incidentally, this obese area right around here has about the highest life expectancy in the country. Somebody's been lying to us.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:16 PM
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111

Everybody wants to live a long time, like all them fashion models and rock stars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:20 PM
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Rock stars never masturbate. That's why Keith Richard looks so awful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:23 PM
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I get mistaken for a native French speaker in Quebec.

Once when I was in Italy I was mistaken for a German by an Italian tour guide who was a boy during World War II and clearly hated Germans with a passion. He kept trying to trip me up by saying something German to see if I understood it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:54 PM
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I think Ned's deliberately being wrong just to get B to sleep with him. This is a black-belt level PUA maneuver. Nothing gets the panties flying quite like telling someone "you were right, I was wrong" over and over.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 9:57 PM
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115

Rock stars never masturbate. That's why Keith Richard looks so awful.

This is funny.

It's Richards, I believe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 10:00 PM
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116

Ben's question presupposes that a given article that is labeled, say, "medium" in the US is labeled "large" in Europe.

There's one label that sez US SIZE MEDIUM and EURO SIZE LARGE.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 10:11 PM
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117

114: Is that what he's doing? A more ill-conceived approach was never invented.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 10:12 PM
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118

You know, you're totally right.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 10:14 PM
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119

With the way the dollar has been sliding that's going to be US SIZE SMALL and EURO SIZE LARGE.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 10:15 PM
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117: It might have worked, too, if I didn't just completely cockblock him in 114. I've betrayed the eternal brotherhood of man, or something.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-11-07 10:35 PM
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I've been asked if I was of Polish descent, in a Polish restaurant, here in Oxford. However, that was because I pronounced the words on the menu properly* rather than for any other reason.

In Holland, a friend and I had some Dutch girls come up and begin an animated conversation in Dutch with us. However, it transpired they had already guessed we were British and the Dutch language stuff was just a way to get a conversation started [since they were trying to chat us up].

Occasionally, in Prague, when ordering in shops people wouldn't pick up the fact that I was foreign from the first half dozen words out of my mouth. However, that impression never lasted longer than another half dozen words.

Other than that, I think I radiate Jockness.

* made easier by cunningly ordering things I knew how to pronounce properly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 12:40 AM
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Second and later generation Dutch men of Turkish, Moroccan or Surinam descent do look Dutch, including having a Dutch nose. The women largely don't; they dress too well.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 1:09 AM
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In France people kept coming up to me and asking for directions, something that doesn't happen anywhere else, so I suppose I must have mysteriously acquired Gallic features.

My daughters have just discovered ballet flats, which must mean that they're about to disappear from the fashion scene.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 1:12 AM
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124

Jeez, I am struggling not to trump dsquared's last word on the other thread.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 2:56 AM
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125

straight american guys on average dress generally pretty sloppy compared to european guys, unless they are gay.

I kind of figured that last bit.

A Scottish friend was approached on Oxford Street in London by a woman who launched right in speaking colloquial Portuguese. As it happened, my friend understood and was able to reply. But in the whole of London, what are the odds?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:03 AM
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126

Resist, ttaM, you know you can!


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:04 AM
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127

re: 125

Scots can be mildly swarthy. I have quite a few Scottish friends who, with a bit of a tan, could easily pass for southern European.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:05 AM
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128

Sounds like there's a few gypsies in the woodpile.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:12 AM
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129

re: 128

Or the fact that lots of 'Celts' are dark?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:25 AM
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130

When I speak french actual french people assume I'm swedish, for some reason.
re: fashion; I'm constantly resisting the urge to ask my belgian professor where he shops. I want to look just like him.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:31 AM
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Fortunately, being Scots, they never get tans. Thus confusion is avoided.

They come up to you and ask you what time it is, because they can totally tell that your studies in Russian language have shown you how incredibly hard it is to say the time

Non-Slavophones; in Russian, to say "half past three", you don't say anything like "half past three". You say "half of the fourth", because, you see, you're halfway through the fourth hour.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:31 AM
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132

130 was me.
128: When they're miscegenating Celts they're called "Pikeys". Get your facts straight.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:36 AM
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133

You people are taking all the fun out of race baiting.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:46 AM
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re: 131

I get a tan. I have to go through a transitional lobster phase first, then tan.

Also, re: telling time, it's the same in Czech. Made harder by the fact that the number four is among the hardest words to say in the language.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:58 AM
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If it weren't for my immigrant grandmother's 1950s era dictionary of American idioms, I'd have had no idea what you're talking about when you reference the ethnically dubious woodpile. If it makes you feel better, real pikies truly hate getting called pikies.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 4:03 AM
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the way he walked and smiled

There's a story from occupied Germany, about how the Brits walk around like they own the place, and the Yanks walk around like they don't give a damn who owns the place.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 4:39 AM
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Scottish youths are now showing such enthusiasm for tanning booths that a lot of local medics reckon that skin cancer is going to come along just in time for the end of lung cancer, in order to keep up that fine nation's record of selfless contribution to the pension annuity industry. And with one more post I can push myself off the end of the list and the cover-up will have been executed perfectly.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 4:57 AM
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115: Wait a minute, which one is Cliff and which one is Keith?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 5:02 AM
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139

Keith fell out of a coconut tree.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 5:04 AM
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Keith was born Richards and apparently dropped the 's' when he fell out with his dad. He restored it a few years later when they made up. Or so goes the tale.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 5:22 AM
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He restored it a few years later when they made up.

Some little while before he snorted his dad up his nose.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 5:25 AM
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We certainly hope so.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 5:32 AM
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Cliff isn't Keith's dad, is he? It seems that someone would have told me. (I mean, Sir Cliff Richard -- born Harry Rodger Webb. NRT Jimmy Webb I hope.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 6:04 AM
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No, Cliff appears to have a picture in his attic, but he's not that much older than Keef irl. It's very doubtful that he's ever taken any course of action which could lead to him being anyone's father.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 6:12 AM
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In fact, now you mention it, possibly Keith is the picture in Cliff's attic.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 6:13 AM
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That makes sense. We should tell the world.

People who want a realistic picture of typical Midwestern life should see Lars and the Real Girl. B. will love this movie.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 6:16 AM
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More Scandinavian news: Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. And 70% of the Kos readership would support him in the Presidential primaries if he ran.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 6:20 AM
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I think it has a lot to do with the way that language shapes one's facial muscles.

You must be kidding. This has probably been thoroughly criticized above, but chalking these differences in appearance up to *pronounciation* is, ummm, a little narrow. Culture shapes attitudes and emotional life, which transforms body language, posture, facial expressions, etc. E.g. it's obvious that Americans walk and carry themselves differently than Chinese, etc.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 9:19 AM
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Dark celts are so hot


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:20 PM
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Evidence for 148, please?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:20 PM
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In Taiwan American Chinese and Australian Chinese were very obviously not "Chinese". Genetically 100% Chinese, but with American body language and physique.

Same for my Japanese-American buddy there. No Taiwanese ever guessed he was Japanese; someguessed Mexican.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 3:44 PM
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My high school French teacher, who was himself French, said that my French accent was exquisite. It's still pretty good. That means, though, that when I'm not being careful I speak German or Italian with a French accent.

As a highschool student staying with a French family in Paris, some really dumb Americans asked my roommate and me for directions. We knew the neighborhood and were able to give them. The man turned back and shouted, "You speak English very well."

French people--both in France and in Italy--have thought that I was French. In Italy, I ran into some students, and I said, "Vous etes Francais?" And they replied, "Oui, et tu?" It was great, we wound up spending the whole day sight seeing together. We would have stayed in touch if the French had all been using the internet in 96. That same summer I was in a park in Rome, and some English tourists asked me to take their picture, but they spoke very slowly when they asked. To be fair, I was wearing pants I had bought in Italy. They then said, "Oh, we thought you were Italian."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 5:49 PM
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151: I wonder if there's been a change in attitude/body language among the Taiwanese. As I said above, I was addressed in Mandarin a couple of times by people who expected me to know it. Of course that's doesn't necessarily mean they thought I wasn't American. But on another hand, only one side of my family is Taiwanese.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-12-07 5:57 PM
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"I radiate Jockness'

I must radiate English Mum-ness, then, 'cause I'm forever getting lost teenage Brits in Amsterdam asking me for help and directions. I never blow them off: one day one of my kids may have to rely on someone else's expat Mum for help abroad. What what goes around comes around.

It's true what Martin says about 3rd or 4th generation non-ethnic Dutch developing Dutch noses, too: Dutch noses are like Tubs' and Edwards' - local noses for local people. But the upturned triangular nostril thing appears to be catching.

Maybe it's the wind.


Posted by: palau | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 8:53 AM
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131: Non-Slavophones; in Russian, to say "half past three", you don't say anything like "half past three". You say "half of the fourth", because, you see, you're halfway through the fourth hour.

The same for Dutch.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 8:58 AM
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And German, I think.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 9:09 AM
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156: You are correct! And for 7:35, you might say, "five after half eight."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 9:16 AM
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Di Kotimy is German?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 9:26 AM
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158: Or so the mullahs would have you believe . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 9:27 AM
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Di Kotimy is an enigma Ogged. An enigma with a vast store of random knowledge. An enigma who talks about herself in the third person. Because of the sleep-deprivation.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 9:31 AM
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The Enigma, of course, was German, and it was cracked.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 9:33 AM
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Thanks for the helpful link, ogged.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 9:38 AM
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