Re: Notes On Language

1

FWIW, I identify it as southern, not black.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:09 AM
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(And I've lived in East Texas.)


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:10 AM
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You've only heard "I'ma" used on a single tv show? Only? Cloistered, man.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:10 AM
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Oh, and right, I agree with pdf. Pathway to association with urban African-Americans presumably comes from the same process that gave us Buddy Guy.

I once had a TA in classics who got his undergrad degree at Texas, where one of his professors maintained that the only way to translate a particular ancient greek particle or tense-like thing or whatever was with "fixin'". I think I've mentioned this before. "I'm fixin' to slay Achilles", you might say. I should ask him what he thinks of "I'ma" in this context.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:12 AM
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5

And where have you heard it, Ben? Once again, appropriation by your hipster friends doesn't count.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:12 AM
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is East Texas really southern? As opposed to coonass?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:12 AM
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I always figured the etymology of "I'ma" was a contraction of "I'm gonna," whereas "train's a-comin'" and "I'm a-comin'" was a bastardization (technical linguistic term) of "ahead," using "a-" as a general purpose prefix.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:14 AM
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8

That would suggest a more charitable interpretation of the lyrics of the Bread song "Baby I'ma Want You" than "Needed to add another syllable there somewhere".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:15 AM
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9

7: how does that explain `Im'a gonna ....'


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:15 AM
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I don't think I have any hipster friends, something that makes sense, since for the most part hipster friends are the hipster friends of hipsters.

I couldn't furnish a list, ogged, since I long ago stopped thinking it was remarkable.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:16 AM
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I always figured the etymology of "I'ma" was a contraction of "I'm gonna,"

But "I'ma gonna" is perfectly acceptable southern diction.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:17 AM
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9: it completely fails to; why do you ask?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:17 AM
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That's 1920s whitey talk

Ogged, surely you know that anything I might say is some kind of whitey talk. Yes, it's a southernism which I come by honestly and no, I've no idea what it represents linguistically. I mean, obviously it's a contraction of a contraction -- I'ma is some kind of whitey talk. Yes, it's a southernism which I come by honestly and no, I've no idea what it represents linguistically. I mean, obviously it's a contraction of a contraction -- I'ma <- I'm gonna <- I'm going to. But there may be some more scientific way of saying that.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:17 AM
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14

A fairly effective obfuscation and punt, Ben.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:18 AM
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15

In Scots vernacular people say things like, 'I'm are'. Which comes out like 'uh ma' or 'uhm ur'.* Which doesn't sound a mile away from the same construction.

This article seems to suggest that some uses of 'I'm' in southern dialects are used as a 'perfective' and that this may have its roots in Scots immigrants.

http://www.jstor.org/view/00031283/ap020161/02a00020/0?frame=noframe&userID=a3016c17@ox.ac.uk/01c0a80a6a00501cb184c&dpi=3&config=jstor

* they also add a negative suffix to it sometimes. "I'm are-nay" or "I am-nay". Pronounced 'uhm urnay' or 'ah umnay'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:18 AM
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16

I'ma done been pwned by soup biscuit


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:18 AM
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surely you know that anything I might say is some kind of whitey talk

I figured you got it from The Wire.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:19 AM
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18

Do real southerners say "I'ma gonna" or is that a Foghorn Leghornism?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:19 AM
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"I'm fixin' to slay Achilles", you might say.

Almost as good as Blume's translation of the German "doch" as "nuh-huh".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:20 AM
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Further to 15, if you look at page 22 of that article, it goes on to talk about the 'I'ma' construction as a form of 'I'm going to'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:21 AM
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21

18: I've heard it, but I don't know what makes a real southerner.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:22 AM
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22

Okay I'm now ready to argue that "I'ma" and "I'm a-gonna" come from completely different etymological branches.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:22 AM
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23

For the record, I think many of us would say, "I'm'na stop at the store." if we were being quick and hurried about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:22 AM
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24

re: 22

That article argues not.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:23 AM
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25

I'm'na back hbgb up


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:24 AM
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24: arguments based on JSTOR access are no fair!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:24 AM
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27

19: Shouldn't it be "yuh-huh?" "Is too!" seems like an equally effective translation.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:24 AM
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19: how can you tell? I haven't provided any Greek.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:25 AM
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I'm not sure "a-[verb]ing" is a back-formation - I had an impression it was a grammatical option and has since been fossilized.

Also, if anyone's unclear, I see "I'ma" as coming from the following progression:

I'm going to
I'm gonna
I'mana (I say this sometimes)
I'ma


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:25 AM
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30

Distinguishing between black culture and Southern culture is harder than ogged implies, I think.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:25 AM
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31

re: 25

Ah'm urney.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:25 AM
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I'm suspicious of all efforts, JSTORed or not, to trace southern culture to Scots roots. It's one of those neoConfederate shibboleths that has some truth in it but has been repeated into meaninglessness.

Which is not to say it's wrong, just to say, apply strict scrutiny.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:26 AM
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27: Of course, Di is exactly right. My command of teenage girl slang is weak.

28: It's all Greek to me anyway.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:26 AM
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Distinguishing between black culture and Southern culture is harder than ogged implies

I wasn't trying to distinguish them. A perceptive reader might see the post as arguing for a continuity between them. Honky.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:27 AM
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19: Shouldn't it be "yuh-huh?" "Is too!" seems like an equally effective translation.

"Is too!"? Tell it to eigenwilliger Oma.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:27 AM
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re: 32

This particular article isn't making any cultural claim. It's a linguistic claim about similarities between certain sentence construction forms and similar construction forms in Scots and Scots Gaelic. Further, it also argues that there's zero evidence that the particular perfective use of 'I'm' that's the key focus of the article actually has any roots in either.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:28 AM
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Distinguishing between black culture and Southern culture is harder than ogged implies, I think.

More the case that distinguishing between black and white southern culture is hard, and that much of what we think is "black" is in fact southern. Try to find a Phildelphia Negro (copyright © W. E. B. DuBois) saying "I'ma."


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:28 AM
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38

19: I think Goering painted the words "Du Doch Nicht" on the tailflaps of his fighter during WWI.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:29 AM
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39

34: a perceptive reader or one grasping at straws on your behalf, sure.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:29 AM
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40

19: how can you tell? I haven't provided any Greek.

Strained little bitchery. One need only know about the various voices in Greek to appreciate that "fixin" is a creative approach to translation.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:29 AM
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41

This particular article isn't making any cultural claim. It's a linguistic claim

Language is often thought to be a part of culture. Further, absurd linguistic claims are often cited in aid of absurd cultural claims.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:30 AM
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42

I'm suspicious of all efforts, JSTORed or not, to trace southern culture to Scots roots.

Arriving largely in the late colonial or early post-colonial period, the Scots tended to settle in the Mountain South west of the Piedmont. Contrary to neo-Confederate mythology, these tended to be the parts of the South that were least sympathetic to the Confederacy. They are also linguistically distinct, and though I'm no expert, I'll conjecture based on casual observation that "I'ma" is more common in the Mountain South than the lowland South, which would give it a true whitey pedigree as opposed to a Black-by-way-of-the-South pedigree.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:30 AM
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43

Do you have a cite for the article in 15, ttaM? I don't have JSTOR access.

I read something not too long ago about the "a-" prefix in "a-coming" etc. (which I think is different from "I'ma," which I have always assumed is from "I'm gonna"), but I can't remember where or what it said. I've generally thought it was related to Germanic participial prefixes like German "ge-" but whatever I read that I'm not remembering may have had a different explanation.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:30 AM
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44

Teo's got my back!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:31 AM
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45

re: 41

You know what I mean. An article by a dialectologist written about the perfective aspect in Lumbee dialect English doesn't really need to be tarred with any neo-Confederate brush and it's really stretching it to link the two.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:31 AM
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32: Cajun inputs, otoh, are solid. But this also gets a bit tricky, because although primarily french, there was a long stay in an area otherwise populated by Scots. Who knows what rubbed off... I've only heard the `coonass' above used positively, but it occurs to me that this was only from people with E. Texas or L. roots, so that may be an ingroup/outgroup thing, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:31 AM
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47

It wasn't supposed to translate a voice, sillyhead. Would "fixin'" be better as active or middle, do you think?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:31 AM
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48

It seems to me that "I'ma" is short for "I'm gonna".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:32 AM
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49

re: 43

It's American Speech, vol. 71, no. 1.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:32 AM
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50

48: I'ma gonna introduce you to 7, 9, 11, etc. now.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:33 AM
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51

I usedta could, but now I cain't. Definite southernism.


Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:34 AM
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52

I thought slol was referring to what Mark Twain meant when he said Sir Walter Scott, or the reading of same, were responsible for the Confederacy. I forget where he says that.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:34 AM
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53

"I'ma fixin' to" is a nice sentence construction in the right milieu.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:34 AM
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54

At some point in the past, I said "southern accents are used to show someone is dumb" and then there was an argument about that statement. Here's a forward I just got a minute ago: (warning: long and dumb.)

Down south, Bubba called his attorney and asked,
"Is It true theys suin them cigarette companies fer causin People to git cancer ?"

"Yes, Bubba, sure is true," responded the lawyer.

"And now someone is suin them fast food restaurants Fer makin them fat an cloggin their arteries with all Them burgers an fries, is that true, Mista Lawyer?"

"Sure is, Bubba."

"And that lady sued McDonalds for millions when she Was gave that hot coffee that she ordered?"

"Yep."

"And that football player sued that university when he Gradiated and still couldn't read?"

"That's right," said the lawyer." But why are you asking?"

"Well, I was thinkin . . .. What I want to know is, kin I sue Budweiser fer all them ugly women I slept with?"

(I rest my case.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:34 AM
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55

And what is a-coming, anyway? Apo?

I am not a-comin'. I'm at work.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:34 AM
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56

It wasn't supposed to translate a voice, sillyhead.

You mean a word doesn't translate a voice? Who knew?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:35 AM
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The book Albion's Seed has a lot of hard data on the origins of Southern culture as from the South and West of England. It even found attestation for things we think of as Southern/black speech (th => d) in certain English counties up to the mid-19C. Plus lots of dialect words ("mess of greens," for example).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:35 AM
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58

55: can't multitask?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:36 AM
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59

There's also the Ku Klux Klan's various claims to have roots in Scotland.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:37 AM
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60

I thought slol was referring to what Mark Twain meant when he said Sir Walter Scott, or the reading of same, were responsible for the Confederacy.

Like this?

Actually, I was thinking of neoConfederates who say the rebel yell is Braveheartian in origin.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:38 AM
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61

I'ma fixin'-a git a-comin at work. Ain't no job a-stoppin me nohow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:39 AM
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62

Actually, I was thinking of neoConfederates who say the rebel yell is Braveheartian in origin.

That's a-called a-wishful thinkin'.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:40 AM
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63

Nobody's arguing that there weren't Scots in the South. Their presence is uncontested.

The question is whether essential elements which southerners think of as definingly southern are in fact Scots-Irish in origin. This is contested.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:40 AM
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re: 60

I was thinking of neoConfederates who say the rebel yell is Braveheartian in origin.

I agree, all that stuff is obviously bullshit, of course.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:40 AM
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65

60: The rebel yell is bingedrinkian in origin.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:41 AM
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66

American Speech is a quite reputable journal. Probably the best source in this field, actually. Which is not to say anything about the quality of this particular article.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:42 AM
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67

In fact I would go so far as to say that the effort to trace elements of white southern culture to Scots-Irish origins is an essentially racist project to deny its Africanness.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:42 AM
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68

What specifically is a rebel yell, anyway?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:42 AM
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69

What I want to know is, kin I sue Budweiser fer all them ugly women I slept with?

IANAL, but I think A-B would be able to mount a successful defense based a theory of contributory or comparative negligence. Also, all those "enjoy our products responsibly" advertisements must count for something.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:43 AM
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What specifically is a rebel yell, anyway?

An annoying Billy Idol record.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:43 AM
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71

What specifically is a rebel yell, anyway?

It's actually a "Rebel L" and he cried "La, la, la."

(anyone recognize that?)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:44 AM
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43: OEDing now. Looks like "a-" as a cousin of German "ge-" may have existed, but is unrelated.

The "a" in "a-coming" seems to be an old preposition equivalent to "on/at/in," so "I'm a-doing" was like "I'm in doing." Also used with nouns giving us "alive," "asleep," "afloat," etc."

In fact, if I'm reading the definition right, phrases like "I'm coming" are descended from the "Southern" construction, just dropping the "a" at some later point! My mind is blown.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:44 AM
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73

68: It's not clear.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:44 AM
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74

Actually, it's the war whoop attributed to charging Confederate infantry.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:44 AM
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75

67: That's plausible. It's really got to be a (big 'ol) mess at this point though. Lot's of inputs.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:45 AM
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76

What specifically is a rebel yell, anyway?

The canonical form is "Get them cuffs offa me, Deputy, and I'll show your fat ass who's tough."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:46 AM
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77

I'm a good ol' boy. You know my mama loves me. But she can't understand, they keep a-showin' my hands and not my face on TV.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:48 AM
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78

50 etc.-I don't think the existence of "I'm-a gonna" is evidence that "I'm-a" didn't derive from "I'm gonna" (though I have no idea if it did): if it did, there's no reason that once it became sufficiently detached from its origins it wouldn't be used in ways that would be silly/redundant from an etymological perspective.

4-presumably the (so-called) periphrastic future. I taught Greek at Texas for a while, and "fixin' to" was the obvious rendering in that setting, but more I think in a (lame) effort to be folksy in a not-generally-all-that-folksy field than because it's an ideal rendering. (Given that the construction as I recall it is fairly high-register in Greek, it's probably not such a great rendering.)


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:48 AM
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79

68: "You got a purty mouth."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:49 AM
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80

The rebel yell originated primitive, pre-literate southern whites imitating the sounds of birds they heard while knuckle-walking naked through the swamps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:49 AM
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81

http://26nc.org/History/Rebel-Yell/rebel-yell.html

That's a pretty weird sound, it has to be said.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:49 AM
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82

The conventional spelling of a rebel yell (at least as explained by a Tennessee friend) is Yee-haw! Both parts drawn out, and with kind of a nasal, honking quality to the delivery.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:52 AM
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re: 82

That was what I had in mind, from watching the Dukes of Hazzard when I was about 10.

But the recording in 81 is altogether more disturbing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:52 AM
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84

That is a super weird sound. I assumed it sounded like Tarzan, but it actually sounds like a hoarse beagle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:53 AM
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85

On the other hand, what I was thinking of sounds nothing at all like the link in 81.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:53 AM
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86

The rebel yell recordings stir speculative yearnings: I would give a great deal to hear a recording of Abraham Lincoln or Julius Caesar.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:54 AM
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81: Damn. Sounds like my neighbor's yip-yip dog back in California. Weird.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:54 AM
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78: "fixin' to"

I bet this is a common rendering among US teachers of Greek, because I swear I've heard it before, and the only plausible source for me is St. Johns Annapolis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:55 AM
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re: 86

There was a post on Crooked Timber fairly recently, with a bunch of recordings made by German dialectologists during WW1 of British POWs. Not quite as far back as Lincoln, but 90+ years old.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:56 AM
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90

86: That's just 'cause you're hoping Caesar'll sound like Ciaran Hinds.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:57 AM
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(anyone recognize that?)

Of course. I like Letter B and Born to Add as well.

On odd diction, my daughter says "Lookit," which is the imperative form of "Look." No idea where she got that. On the veldt, etc.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:58 AM
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86: you never know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:59 AM
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93

I swear I've heard it before, and the only plausible source for me is St. Johns Annapolis

Ben is fond of saying it, so you might have heard it here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:59 AM
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94

That's a pretty weird sound

It would be weirder multiplied times an entire brigade, and charging down a hill at you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:59 AM
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95

91: It's Hip To Be A Square!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 9:59 AM
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96

I like "lookit," as well. "Lookee" I feel like I should use, but it rarely comes up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:01 AM
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68: What specifically is a rebel yell, anyway?

I believe noted scholar Billy Idol has provided us with the definitive answer to this question.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:02 AM
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90: That would be pretty neat, but the speculation is tempered by the memory of something I read about Pasolini's movie about Jesus: i.e., that he chose an actor with an irritating, unpleasant voice in order to give the presumptively comfortable bourgeois audience some sense of how annoying Jesus must have been to people like them in the Jerusalem of A.D. 33, since he couldn't easily replicate on film the experience of having some disreputable country preacher wandering around day after day getting in everybody's way.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:02 AM
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99

I'ma I'ma I'ma I'ma I'ma chameleon.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:02 AM
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I believe noted scholar Billy Idol has provided us with the definitive answer to this question.

I believe you are nine kinds of pwned.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:04 AM
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101

97: Objection: Mr. Idol's topic was the distaff version, leaving the rest of the field open to future researchers.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:04 AM
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102

Curses.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:05 AM
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103

I'ma I'ma I'ma I'ma I'ma chameleon.

That made me laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:05 AM
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104

Curses.

The potentially kept woman?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:06 AM
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105

I can vaguely remember people saying "I'ma" in parts of south Georgia when I was a kid, but I still associate the word more strongly with urban hip hop slang. Before hearing it in Dre, Nas, etc., I'm sure I hadn't heard the word in 20 years.

(My grandmother used to say "I'm fixin' to make you breakfast," and we'd reply "No, Nana, you're fixin' to fix us breakfast.")


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:06 AM
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106

So I was all set to point to this, but the article, she say "Is icumen in" translates to "has come in" instead of "is going to come in" & thus the modern renditions are WRONG WRONG WRONG and I'm so disappointed in them.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:08 AM
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107

Of course, Di is exactly right. My command of teenage girl slang is weak.

Interestingly, my translation was influenced by the usage of an adult male.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:09 AM
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98: That's pretty cool. "Dude, in this drama, you'd be the Pharisees, mmkay?"


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:10 AM
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I've heard George W. use "I'ma", as in "If the Congress keeps passing that bill, I'ma keep on vetoing it." But I'm pretty sure it's an affect and not part of his normal speech patterns.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:10 AM
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107: who talked like a teenage girl, apparently.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:11 AM
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108: respect my authoritaaah!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:12 AM
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109: I'm pretty sure by this point, his normal speech patterns are an affect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:12 AM
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104: I can be very emotionally vulnerable in moments of total pwnage.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:14 AM
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36: I'm not inclined to resist ttaM's attempt to claim Confederate culture for the Scots. It would allow me to consolidate a prejudice and open up a slot for a new prejudice.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:22 AM
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This is very amusing.

freerice.com

I got stuck at 45.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:23 AM
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WTF at 114.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:23 AM
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I might could tell y'all that "I'ma" is said by the (white, Southern) secretary who sits directly outside my office. (And thus I hear a lot of what she says during the day.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:24 AM
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40: It's notional-functional. I haven't heard anothing about notional-functionalism since I took the course in 1979. I wonder whether it up and died on me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:24 AM
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Oh, so now you don't want credit for something created post-enlightenment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:25 AM
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I can be very emotionally vulnerable in moments of total pwnage.

It's called being real, DS. This is the real you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:27 AM
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Okay, I figured out how to access the article in 15 through my alma mater's library website and read it. It's not actually about "I'ma" (though it does discuss it briefly, and gives the same derivation as in 29), but rather about a considerably more obscure construction in the English of the Lumbee Indians in North Carolina where they use "I'm" in place of "I've." It briefly mentions that many of the early white settlers in the area were Scottish, but it doesn't attribute the construction to Scottish influence, instead seeing it as an analogical restructuring based on a presumed retention from Early Modern English.

72: Interesting. That sounds about like what I was remembering, though I don't think I read it in the OED.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:28 AM
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115: freerice.com

I love this! I'm up to 440 so far (with 3 errors and several guesses).


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:30 AM
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That's good work, Kraab. 47 is the new goal.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:35 AM
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Frog Went A-Courtin (Roud 16, see alternative titles) is an English language folk song. Its first known appearance is in Wedderburn's Complaynt of Scotland (1548) under the name "The frog came to the myl dur." There is a reference in the London Company of Stationer's Register of 1580 to "A Moste Strange Weddinge of the Frogge and the Mouse." The oldest known musical version is in Thomas Ravenscroft's Melismata in 1611. There are many texts of the ballad.

Only relevant to the "Froggie went a-courtin" form.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:35 AM
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Damn, I'm still at 44. But 680! (bjk & I have now have a secret code.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:36 AM
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Dylan never should of sang that song.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:37 AM
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I only briefly made it to 46. But this is really about the children.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:38 AM
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Briefly to 46 here, too. Hard words are hard!


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:40 AM
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113,120: If we pwn DS a few more times we can break him down entirely and mold him to our sepcifications.

Oddly, though, it's logically impossible to pwn someone deliberately unless you have access to their innermost thoughts and are faster than they are.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:43 AM
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50 is the limit, but the site says 48 is the top.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:44 AM
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Yeah, I got a couple at 46, but am generally hovering around 44. bjk, it's a good thing that it's for the children given how much time I'm clearly going to waste feed the world with this.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:44 AM
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Today at Language Log.

Back to "a ring in a bell": Several correspondents noted the marked character of the form a-ringin' for them -- archaic or regional or something. Quite so. The a-Vin' form has been much studied (in recent decades, by Wolf Wolfram with various collaborators); in the U.S. these days, it's pretty much limited to some relatively isolated areas (the Appalachians, the Ozarks, the Sea Islands), and even there its use is declining. (For a summary of its properties, see the discussion in this handout of mine.) It was once much more widespread in the U.S. (and the U.K.), even standard, but now it reminds most people of Hee-Haw or The Beverly Hillbilles.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:44 AM
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"Oh, I saw that last month, babe, I thought you'd be bored by it."
"They say that it is rare for someone to get above level 48. Now it's a challenge."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:45 AM
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Dialects? Swimming posts? Come on, people. What this blog needs is a swarm of angry monkeys overrunning New Delhi.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:45 AM
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What happened to notional functionalism. Apparently it did up and die.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:45 AM
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I can consistently get up to 46, too. Haven't seen a 47. At 45/46 I'm guessing a fair bit based on roots, etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:46 AM
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Re: freerice.com--this is great for feeling validated, but some of the definitions are awfully questionable, e.g. unequivocal = evident?

Sir Kraab, are you up to 440 grains of rice, or vocab level 440? If the latter, I bow before you.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:46 AM
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Olberman did drunken elephants yesterday. It was part of his Paris Hilton schtick.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:47 AM
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The I'mas in "I'ma kick yore ass", and in "I'ma gonna kick yore ass" have different origins.

The first is a contraction of "I'm gonna"; the second is just an extra vocalization of the "m" sound, adding a schwa between the m and the hard g.

Evidence: The first would be pronounced in the drawlier Southern dialects as "I'maw kick yore ass." You would never draw out the "ma" to "maw" in the second sentence.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:48 AM
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these seem archaic, as much as anything.

Tend to average 43 ish; got up to 46 once, more as a function of good guessing than anything.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:48 AM
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Remember the children.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:48 AM
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Focus, Emerson, focus. Preferably on the monkeys.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:48 AM
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I've gotten to 48, but not because I'd seen the words previously. I'm mostly bumping back and forth between 46 and 47. At 1000 grains, your bowl empties and you get a little 1000 marker on the left.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:49 AM
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139 provides more support for my now definitively proved 22.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:49 AM
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So far, peaked at 47, averaging around a 43. God, my vocab has suffered in graduate school.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:50 AM
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Classics profs are geeks who think they are wild and crazy when they suggest things like translating second-person plurals as "y'all" or "youse" (my native dialect). The "fixin' to" is no doubt part of the same deal -- I'm assuming that it's for future participles indicating purpose or intention?

88: LB -- SJCA, eh? My old stomping grounds.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:52 AM
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now hit 47 and found the 1000 grain marker thingy. I really need to do some work and forget that damn page.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:53 AM
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137: No, I misunderstood which number bjk was reporting at first.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:54 AM
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I seem to be hovering around 46 on that. Up as far as 47 once, but mostly 45/46.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:54 AM
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I suspect the average number is more indicitive (of whatever) than the peak.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:54 AM
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149: Yeah, exactly. With a lucky run of words you can get up a level or two from where you tend to stay, but you get knocked down again pretty quick.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:56 AM
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I stuck at 49-50.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:56 AM
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I hover at 46/47, too. Got to 50 once -- but it involved guessing at the meaning of many foreign words.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:56 AM
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Of knowing old words, mostly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:56 AM
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149: Yeah, exactly. With a lucky run of words you can get up a level or two from where you tend to stay, but you get knocked down again pretty quick.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:56 AM
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I briefly hit 47. Also guessing a bit based on roots, etc.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:56 AM
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152: I think that means you've topped it out.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:57 AM
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No one cares about your fucking Freerice scores, people. But they do care about the monkeys.

Freerice sucks, by the way. Your "donation" only counts when you get a word right, but the advertisements refresh no matter what word you click. So the amount of food they donate doesn't have to be dependent on how well you do in the game at all - but it's set up that way, so the site ends up donating considerably less food than it would have otherwise. Assholes.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:58 AM
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Yeah, there's definitely runs. I've now been hovering at 47 for a while, since posting 149, but then hit a run I didn't know.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 10:59 AM
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158: Oh, that's pretty stupid. On the other hand, I didn't even notice there were adds for a while, and then adjusted my browser to cut them off anyway. Net win for food, I guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:00 AM
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I'm happy to pay for rice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:01 AM
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158: I'm not sure the last bit follows. If it's not set up as a competition, and they say, "just refresh many times to donate rice", would it get links and the same amount donated?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:01 AM
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On freerice.com:

I've gotten up to 50 eventually just about every time I've played, though it does get easier (obviously) the more times you cycle through the same words. Usually, I can't stay at that level for more than a word or two. My comfort zone can really be anywhere between 44 and 47 or so.

Was it asilon who posted this link a week or two ago?


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:02 AM
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I got up more to a 44-45 average and 47, but now it's telling me to try again when I click the correct answer, which I think is a sign to stop.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:02 AM
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No one cares about your fucking Freerice scores, people.

If we can't compare fairly meaningless numbers, what the hell is unfogged for?

The swarm of monkeys is old hat. Didn't they kill a mayor or something a bit ago?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:02 AM
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Somebody did, Nick. But apparently mineshaft has been hitting the glue a bit hard, and everybody's forgotten.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:02 AM
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Net win for vocabulary, too. Possibly not in the long run, I guess.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:03 AM
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163: If, as you suggest, it is a bit repetitive, I'd be surprised if someone hasn't created a bot for it yet.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:04 AM
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Assholes.

Strasmangelo Jones: national treasure.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:04 AM
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158: B-b-but surely the 2,000 grains of rice I "donated" are a great sacrifice for Macy's & Time Life.

Also, rampaging monkeys!!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:04 AM
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My Dad claims he saw something on tv about how those monkeys are quasi-symbiotic with dogs, in the sense that the stray dogs follow them about and scavenge the scraps the monkeys find. The dogs then tend to be fairly hostile to anyone trying to disturb the monkeys.

This is probably an urban legend.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:05 AM
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so the site ends up donating considerably less food than it would have otherwise.

Well sure, if dumb people play it....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:06 AM
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I went back to it and started to slip. I basically go back and forth between 46 and 49.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:07 AM
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171: when the monkeys domesticate the dogs, then I'll worry. A pack of monkeys riding a pack of dogs would truly be something.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:08 AM
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174: If that happens, we should import some asap. And take up a collection to give them tazers, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:09 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if a freerice bot had been created either, soup. And I agree with Knecht that the definitions are sometimes on the sketchy side, being one word and all. Regardless, I recommended it to the SAT-tutoring shop that I work for part-time, and everyone loved it.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:10 AM
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Huffing glue has an unfairly bad reputation. It's a form of racism against whoever it is that sniffs glue.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:10 AM
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171's ominous monkey-dog non-aggression pact is more like what I'm looking for. More stories of evil rampaging monkeys and their subversion of our culture, people!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:11 AM
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re: 177

It, er, killed a non-zero number of my schoolmates. But other than that [and the sores round the mouth], I'm sure it's all cool.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:12 AM
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but it actually sounds like a hoarse beagle.

Heebie, please don't say things lie that when I'm drinking my morning Coke Zero at the keyboard...


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:15 AM
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Today's Find-A-Need-And-Fill-It idea, in honor of J. Paul Getty:

An alarm clock for guilty white liberals, like me, that wakes sleepyheads with the initially gentle but eventually brassy admonition "Everyone else is racist. Not you."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:15 AM
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s/b like that


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:15 AM
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175: "Don't taze me, little furry bro!"


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:18 AM
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174: Is that like those ants that are cowboys -- cowboys who herd and wrangle this other little insect that they milk?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:18 AM
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Racist against Scots. Gotcha.

Back in the day there was a Christian glue-sniffing commune in Seattle. They had a charismatic leader and owned several houses. Glue was their sacrament. For me, in a certain way that was the high point of the Sixties. That was the hippieness-greater-than-which-nothing-can-be-imagined.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:18 AM
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129: The Unfogged counterpart of Videodrome. Chilling.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:19 AM
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184: aphids?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:20 AM
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re: 185

Heh at the idea of a glue-sniffing commune. Actually, glue was pretty nasty but the real 'instant dead' came from butane.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:21 AM
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187: Something like that. The little dudes excreted some kind of sweet, nourishing substance, so the ants kept them safe and herded them about so they would eat and then milked them.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:22 AM
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Right- they stroke the aphids to get them to produce their sweet sticky.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:23 AM
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Northern debutante to Southern belle: 'Why, I was 18 before I knew that Robert E. Lee wasn't just a steamboat.'

Southern belle to Northern debutante: That's all right, sugah - I was 21 before I knew "damnyankee" wasn't one word.'

Blame heebie, she started it...


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:25 AM
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Oddly, though, it's logically impossible to pwn someone deliberately unless you have access to their innermost thoughts and are faster than they are.

Coming soon, to a theater near you!

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2001testing/bushnell.pdf

OUDA Loop, JE


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:26 AM
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165: If we can't compare fairly meaningless numbers dick sizes, what the hell is unfogged for?

174: A pack of monkeys riding a pack of dogs

I miss Tripp.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:27 AM
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Wow, a lot of people came close without reaching it. There at least two distinct Southern cultures described in Albion's Seed. The Scots-Irish Mountain immigrants were preceded by the Cavaliers out of far Southwest England (Wessex?) by about a century, and settled the SE coast, Virginia, Georgia, flat Alabama and Mississippi. "Southern" culture, in the plantation sense, is cavalier not Scots-Irish. Of course they shared some values, interacted and competed etc.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:28 AM
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It, er, killed a non-zero number of my schoolmates

Was it an integer?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:28 AM
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Sara Robinson at Orcinus is doing a protracted Albion's Seed


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:29 AM
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From S. Tweety's link in 92:

The very first sample that we reconstructed was the Goodnight Irene song. It's thought of as a lullaby these days, but if you listen to the lyrics it's about adultery, murder and some other things.

DUDE! I always loved that song, and I always knew it was really bad news. Why's he have to see her in his dreams? She's RIGHT THERE! Unless...


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:30 AM
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re: 195

Yeah, I just can't remember exactly how many. Three people I personally knew, but there were others within my rough age cohort.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:31 AM
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195- integer or not, it sure wasn't rational.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:31 AM
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Jesus, it's scary to realize that many of the world's life-and-death decisions are being made by people who express themselves best with Powerpoint.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:31 AM
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195: was it a positive integer, more importantly. It might have created schoolmates out of ether! Or, I guess, butane.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:32 AM
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Yeah, I just can't remember exactly how many.

Because, you know, glue. Get a clue, folks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:33 AM
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That rebel yell recording certainly woke up my dog.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:36 AM
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200. I was actually looking for this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_Loop

But thought that the other link was "interesting"


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 11:38 AM
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I used to do some work for NASA, and those people can't make themselves a cup of coffee without an ugly-ass PowerPoint. No one who has sat through a few big NASA meetings will doubt Tufte's claim that a bad PowerPoint slide blew up the Space Shuttle.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:01 PM
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I once had a TA in classics who got his undergrad degree at Texas, where one of his professors maintained that the only way to translate a particular ancient greek particle or tense-like thing or whatever was with "fixin'". I think I've mentioned this before. "I'm fixin' to slay Achilles", you might say. I should ask him what he thinks of "I'ma" in this context.

A particle? Which particle are you talking about, Ben? Or is oudemia right that it's really a future periphrastic that you're talking about and not a particle at all?

oudemia, do you have any good suggestions for grammar reviews?

In college we used Hanson and Quinn for Greek, and I kind of resent it. One of my professors in a 100 level class wanted to review some grammar point and handed out a photocopy from the Mastronade text which seemed much clearer to me. After college I discovered Mastronade's web drills and wished that I'd had them available to me as an undergraduate.

Is there something good for Latin self study? I didn't use Wheelock, because I took Latin in high school. My college now sponsors a free pizza Latin table night. I'd love to practice speaking Latin--which may be the nerdiest thing ever--because I think it would help me to read Latin in order without having to translate it. I got a taste of what that experience must be like when I took regular German and dropped the German for reading class.

Is there a difference in meaning between Youse and Y'all?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:03 PM
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Is there a difference in meaning between Youse and Y'all?

not to mention "y'all" and "all y'all"


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:06 PM
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Unpopular claim: Tufte's books are pretty, but not so great at teaching you how to be better at conveying information graphically.

"Here are three cool maps, look at the pretty and consistent color" is not gonna cut it.

Also: Information rich graphics? Fine! But there are limits, guy. Sometimes concision is good.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:06 PM
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Mastronarde is far superior to Hansen and Quinn. The reason, I think, is that H&Q was written for an intensive summer class and Mastronarde was written with full explanations, and an answer key.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:06 PM
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205: I'm pretty certain that powerpoint has been a large net loss.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:06 PM
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I miss Tripp.

I miss apostropher's encyclopaedic mastery of the internet.

But yeah, I miss Tripp too.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:08 PM
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TJ - Kinda with you. I have all four of them on the shelf to my right, and while the demonstrate the practices he likes, they don't lead you through the process of creating a rich display.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:08 PM
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Some sexy, sexy maps in there, though. Atlas porn.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:10 PM
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They do give you advance notice that creating something good will take you many times longer than you expect.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:13 PM
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Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:13 PM
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Word sandwich


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:14 PM
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Atlas porn.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:14 PM
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Is there something good for Latin self study?

Latin: An Intensive Course is good.

"I'ma," I thought, was a Southern contraction of "I'm going to," as "fin'ta" is a contraction of "fixing to."

In the Upper Midwestern place where I grew up we said, "I'munna."


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:14 PM
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Hey BG -- Mastronarde is good and for self-review comes with an answer key. Both are on sale right now from Berkeley (or at least were, a week ago). For Latin I have less of an idea. I've only taught from Wheelock. If you don't want to use that, maybe something like Latin via Ovid? Where you practice on real live texts?

I can't see how Ben means a particle. I'm guessing he means the future participle -- which can signal intention or purpose.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:16 PM
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207: Yes. Consider these two sentences, spoken to a group of children who are siblings.

"Y'all needta clean this place up 'fore yore ma gets home."

"All y'all needta clean this place up 'fore yore ma gets home."

The request made in the first sentence could be satisfied if only some of the children participate in the cleaning up.

The request made in the second sentence, however, could only be satisfied if all the children participate in the cleaning up.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:17 PM
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Just for JE: they publish the first (and perhaps others) harry potter book in latin.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:17 PM
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206--
perhaps the greek that lay behind the ta's quip about 'fixin ta' was mellein + infinitive?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:19 PM
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220: Are you saying "y'all" can never be used as an all-inclusive 2P-plural, it always is understood to mean something short of all those addressed?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:20 PM
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I second Michael's recommendation of Latin: An Intensive Course. I'm no Latinist, but I thought it was excellent within the context of an accelerated Latin-translation class I took a couple of years ago as a grad student.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:21 PM
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You mean a word doesn't translate a voice? Who knew?

Of course voice is one of the thing translated by words, ogged. Consider "amat": is that better translated by "loves" or "is loved"? Clearly the former, because it's in the active voice.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:22 PM
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220: Are you saying "y'all" can never be used as an all-inclusive 2P-plural, it always is understood to mean something short of all those addressed?

That's not what it looks like to me -- rather, y'all can be used to refer to a subset of the addressees, while all y'all is necessarily all-inclusive.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:23 PM
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223: It's my understanding that this is locational.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:24 PM
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223: I'd say "y'all" is no stronger than any 2nd-person plural usage of "you" in standard American English. I guess whether it's all-inclusive or not depends on whether the verb is collective or not.

"All y'all" is the equivalent of "all of you."


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:24 PM
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223: rtfs is correct. Y'all better listen to her.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:26 PM
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OT: I think that the Regan-Kerik-Giuliani mess will be the most fun ever, unless Regan is bought off or has an accident. This is make-the-popcorn at a whole new level, a battle to the death in a nest of weasels.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:26 PM
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227: Can you elaborate?

226, 228: Oh, I misread - I swapped the words around and thought he said it "could only be satisfied" if some of the children participated.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:26 PM
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rtfs is correct. All y'all better listen to her.

fixed.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:29 PM
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222: That's a periphrastic future (as was mentioned by someone way up there, I see). It has the same soupçon of intention that the future participle has, so that would work for "is fixin'," too, I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:29 PM
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My grade school and high school Latin texts were weird. In the 8th grade we used some small blue book which always had a section called "Pitfalls to Avoid." The best thing that I learned in eighth-grade Latin, was ablative preposition soup. It's a jingle that helps one remember which prepositions take the ablative. The ending is super cheesy, but it's remarkably useful.

A ab coram de,
cum ex and e,
sine tenus pro prae,
what a smart girl/boy am I!

The prepositions which can take either the accusative or the ablative were easily remembered with the phrase in a super sub.

In high school we used Jennye, Baade and Burgess, because Baade and Burgess taught at my school. Wheelock seems to be the main college Latin text. I need to work on my Latin, since eventually I'm going to be helping my prisoner in college with his Latin.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:30 PM
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I am so very disappointed in this blog. On the one hand, monkey assassins striking back at environmental despoilers while the authorities organize a counteroffensive of langur-armed mercenary monkey-catchers. On the other hand, English class. And yet it wasn't even close.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:31 PM
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w-lfs-n's phrase greek particle or tense-like thing or whatever was an attempt to be as vague and non-technical as possible. Some of the above seems to misread him as trying to be more specific.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:32 PM
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We were just seeing if we could goad you into doing something interesting, stras. Didn't work.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:32 PM
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I am so very disappointed in this blog.

And how is this day's disappointment different from every other day's disappointment, SJ?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:33 PM
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Underlining there didn't work so I'll use bold.

"in a super sub" should be in a super sub


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:33 PM
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When I learned Latin, my memory device for whether a particular proposition took the ablative was if I couldn't remember what it was, it was probably the ablative. Better if I could remember of what the ablative was: Ablative of Motion, of Going Forth Around Elevenish, of Small Woodland Rodents.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:33 PM
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A particle? Which particle are you talking about, Ben? Or is oudemia right that it's really a future periphrastic that you're talking about and not a particle at all?

Oudemia also wondered how I could mean particle.

The answer is simple: I know fuckall about ancient greek. Oudemia is presumably right.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:34 PM
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Ablative of Motion, of Going Forth Around Elevenish, of Small Woodland Rodents

she remembered having seen in her brother's Latin Grammar, 'A mouse - of a mouse - to a mouse - a mouse - O mouse!'


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:36 PM
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really, though, in a perfect world "in a super sub" should be "I'm a super sub".


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:36 PM
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234: I love all those old schoolboy/girl Latin-learning rhymes. Like "After si, nisi, num and ne, ali- takes a holiday."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:37 PM
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I'm backing stras, but the monkey-dog urban gang post should be combined with the Regan-Kerik-Giuliani weasel death-battle post.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:37 PM
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244: I learned that one! whee.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:37 PM
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It's a jingle that helps one remember which prepositions take the ablative.

I've got jingles for accusative, dative, and two-way prepositions in German. There's a little dance that goes along with the last one.

The best way to get college students to do it is to tell them that you know a preposition song and dance, but that it's surely too juvenile for them. They BEG to learn it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:38 PM
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Favorite case -- the "dead dog" dative. As in, "My dog up and died on me" -- which is, I suppose, just a subset of the dative of disadvantage.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:39 PM
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245: See, that's what's wrong with NY. Not enough monkey-dog urban gangs. Those ferrets didn't even put up a semblence of a decent fight.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:39 PM
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181: Or an alarm clock that plays Steve Reich's "Come Out."


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:39 PM
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The only one I remember is "semper ubi sub ubi." Practical, but not mnemonic, advice. Also, Catullus non est nullus. But I forget why that's important.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:39 PM
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Damn, Blume. Heebie, we're missing out!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:40 PM
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226: Right. At least that's the way it worked in Birmingham, AL for thirty years.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:41 PM
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248: My Latin withered away after middle school, but I'm tickled that Japanese too has a grammatical exception for those kinds of statements - literally "I was died by my dog" (just as ungrammatical on its face as in English).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:41 PM
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213: Atlas porn

This blog, Strange Maps, has pretty good map porn.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:42 PM
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There's a little dance that goes along with the last one.

Now that I would have liked to see.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:42 PM
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244: 234: I love all those old schoolboy/girl Latin-learning rhymes. Like "After si, nisi, num and ne, ali- takes a holiday."

I learned that one as "every ali- runs away."

I also liked the mnemonic to remember the difference between -dem and -dam. I think that I'm going to get this wrong which proves that the mnemonic wasn't person. My teacher said that dem (and here the accent is crucial) referred to "the same dem thing," and with dam the question was, "how certain are you?" "You're damn certain."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:43 PM
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mnemonic wasn't that great.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:44 PM
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Oudemia in 146: We went to school with LB's sister.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:45 PM
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I've got jingles for accusative, dative, and two-way prepositions in German.

The ones I learned went to the tune of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" for the accusative ones and the Blue Danube Waltz for the dative ones. I don't think we had one for the two-way ones.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:46 PM
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All requests for the two-way preposition dance will be honored at UnfoggeDCon II!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:47 PM
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My grade school and high school Latin texts were weird. In the 8th grade we used some small blue book which always had a section called "Pitfalls to Avoid."

I'm just amazed that you had the option of taking Latin in the 8th grade at all. I'm only 33, and I went to decent public secondary schools in the Chicago suburbs, but we didn't have any language classes until high school. Even then, you had to bus to another high school across town to take Latin.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:48 PM
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You people are determined to make me wish I could go to that thing, aren't you?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:49 PM
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I can't even remember the vaguely melodic list for dative prepositions I sort of half-learned in high school for german. In fact, the only thing I remember from high school german that has a tune I learned before I was even taking it, a song that goes a wee bit like this:

Ich bin Auslander ich spreche nicht gut Deutsch (x2)
Bitte langsam, bitte langsam,
bitte sprechen Sie doch langsam
Ich bin Auslander ich spreche nicht gut Deutsch


Ich bin Auslander ich spreche nicht gut Deutsch (x2)
Ich versteh' nicht, was Sie sagen (x2)
Ich bin Auslander ich spreche nicht gut Deutsch

To the tune of that song. ENDLESSLY AMUSING.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:50 PM
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259: Aha! That fits, as I am convinced it's going to turn out that I know everyone here.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:51 PM
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264: That's just like our "Ya ne znayoo" song from hs Russian. To the tune of Frere Jacques.

Ya ne znayoo
Ya ne znayoo
Nichevo
Nichevo
Nichevo ne znayoo
Nichevo ne znayoo
Chorosho
Chorosho

Overandoverandoveragain!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:54 PM
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"I don't know anything"? How is that helpfully mnemonic?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:56 PM
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Oh, it isn't in the least bit helpful. It was just the moronic song that we sang to plague our teacher, even though he's the one who taught it to us.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:57 PM
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Got up to 48 or so. Feels like I'm trapped in a Gene Wolfe novel.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 12:59 PM
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I'm just amazed that you had the option of taking Latin in the 8th grade at all. I'm only 33, and I went to decent public secondary schools in the Chicago suburbs, but we didn't have any language classes until high school. Even then, you had to bus to another high school across town to take Latin.

I'm 32. We started French in the 5th grade, but we didn't use a serious grammar book until the 7th grade. Latin wasn't an option. It was required on top of French. I think that's been changed, because it meant that we only took one semester of science and one semester of history in the 8th grade. And Chinese has been added as an option.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:00 PM
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A friend of mine teaches at the Pierrepont School in Westport, CT. They start Latin at 6 and Greek and comparative grammar at 8. Sort of nuts.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:02 PM
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"I don't know anything"? How is that helpfully mnemonic?

It's actually very important to remember that you don't know anything.

Sometimes people forget that they don't know anything, and that causes all kinds of trouble.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:03 PM
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peep is Socrates?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:04 PM
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271: Rox/bury Latin starts Latin earlier than Win/sor does. I really wish that I'd started Latin in the third grade.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:05 PM
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270: Wow. Such different experiences, especially for students of the same generation. Was that a private school, or is that just a standard language-learning timeline in the northeast?


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:05 PM
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There's some British prep school which starts the little kids on Sanskrit. I don't think that most of them advance very far.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:06 PM
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271: I'm sure it's easier to learn them at that age than to learn them in college like I did.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:07 PM
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275: Private school. Having said that, I do think that the public school in Broo/kline did offer some sort of foreign language instruction before high school.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:07 PM
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278: Spanish and French for 7th and 8th graders, with Latin, German, and Chinese added in High School.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:08 PM
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275: Canadian public schools are different this way too, as they all have to teach french all the way through, and many add other languages in middle school.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:10 PM
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It's actually very important to remember that you don't know anything.

peep is Socrates?

Or Carneades, or Sextus Empiricus, perhaps. A thread on the complex and contentious history of philosophical skepticism? Now that, I could get into.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:10 PM
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they all have to teach french all the way through

Is there any research on how this affects third-language acquisition? I remember hearing that each additional language is generally easier than the one before, but I don't know if there's any real basis for that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:13 PM
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279: We weren't allowed to switch to Spanish until the 9th grade. I think that they've since changed that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:15 PM
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We didn't do any languages at primary school [i.e. from age 4/5 to 11/12]. French was compulsory for 2 years at high school, even for people who chose not to do it as an exam option, most kids also had to do a year of German. Latin was an option from the 3rd year of high school onwards but I think only about 6 or 7 kids did it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:16 PM
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My mom always liked to recite "hic haec hoc, huius, huius, huius" as if it were a football cheer. (I never knew before this moment how to spell what sounded like "Hooyas").

Our German song mnemonic was, to the tune of "When the Saints..."

Wir fahren mit
dem blauen bus
etc.

My brain does this weird thing with memorization of things like accusative vs. dative prepositions - I convince myself I can feel the difference between them; like für just is accusative. Same deal with NL teams vs. AL, when I was still too young to have them truly committed to memory. Like, I could just look at the logos and tell that the Rangers were AL and the Padres NL. The trouble is, once I doubt my intuition, I have nothing to fall back on.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:17 PM
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Spanish available to 7th and 8th graders. Possibly also French, but I don't think so. In high school, Latin, German, French, and Spanish were all taught. Houston suburb, and I am 34. My sister, who is 43, took Italian in her Chicago suburban high school. Latin FTW! Even with 4 years of high school Latin, I never got higher than 48 on freerice.com. I think I spent 20 minutes on it, earning 1680 grains of rice, didn't really think about the ads.


Posted by: Pantene | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:18 PM
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282: I suspect it will be pretty regional. I'm not at all convinced particularly western schools manage to hit anything approaching fluency. It's a requirement, but one a lot of people isolated from any francophone popluation don't take very seriously, I think.

On the other hand, even if your background is weak, it has to help with romance languages, etc. If I recall correctly all students must take grade-school French, and must continue with a language until 11th, I think. It's up to the school what, if any, alternatives are offered. Some schools in, say Vancouver, will offer Cantonese and things like that, which makes sense. But having a little bit of French probably doesn't help much with that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:18 PM
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285: romulus and remus were 2 little babies who founded rome chiz if only they had abstained there would be no lat. and anyone who said hic haec hoc would be put in the pigsty with the skool pig and ritely too.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:19 PM
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I bet knowing Yiddish would help with Cantonese.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:20 PM
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(molesworth, of course.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:20 PM
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282: also, I think there is pretty solid research to the effect that people who grow up monolingual as children are at a relative disadvantage learning languages.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:20 PM
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French and German were the only compulsory language courses and then only in the first two years of high school.

Spanish, Russian, Italian and Gaelic were also all, I think, options — in addition to the other two and Latin — for people who wanted to sit the O level exams.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:20 PM
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All requests for the two-way preposition dance will be honored at UnfoggeDCon II!

Now I *really* can't afford to miss UnfoggeDCon 2.0.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:22 PM
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peep is Socrates?

No.......it always seemed to me that he was only pretending to think he didn't know anything.


Or Carneades, or Sextus Empiricus, perhaps. A thread on the complex and contentious history of philosophical skepticism? Now that, I could get into.

I really don't know anything about that.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:24 PM
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"I'd've" comes as naturally to me as "y'all". "I'ma", less so, I think.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:25 PM
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re: 291

I actually studied this as part of a course on language acquisition I took as an undergraduate. At the time I remember coming away with the impression that the evidence was more mixed than you'd think.

However, that was nearly 10 years ago, so it's possible that the evidence now conclusively supports the view that bilingualism helps.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:25 PM
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295: I say "I'd'a" so naturally I hadn't thought about it before, and I'm a straight-up yankee. Go figure. I say "y'all," but that was more of an intentional decision I made at a certain point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:27 PM
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My grandfather (and maybe yours too) sang:

Hitler has only got one ball.
Goering has two, but they're too small
Himler
Has something similar
And Goebals has no balls at all.

to the tune of The Colonel Bogey March.

And wikipedia is an amazing thing, that I could find that tune by googling "Hitler has only got one ball".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:29 PM
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298: I learned that song as a kid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:30 PM
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298: I'm very fond of that one! My version went "Himmler was somewhat sim'lar".


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:30 PM
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Ha, I didn't know 298 at all. [I comment, knowing full well that JE will take it as more evidence that I am a Nazi.]


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:33 PM
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peep is Socrates?

No.......it always seemed to me that he was only pretending to think he didn't know anything.

Ah, now we're getting somewhere...Much turns on whether peep asserts his/her lack of knowledge with certainty or not. If so, does that make him/her a Pyrrhonian, or an Academic skeptic? Many scholars disagree...


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:34 PM
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The version we sang had the line:

"the other is in the Albert Hall"

Looking at Wikipedia, that's version 2.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:34 PM
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bilingualism
Describes very different people. I had a grad-school friend who left Vietnam at age 8 on a rickety boat, then lived with an adoptive family in France until college, then the US. He spoke no language perfectly, I learned from the other Vietnamese in a French dorm. Being exposed to lots of speech in one language at home and a different language outside the home in stable environments seems optimal (Belgium, say). Emigration, the most common path to bilingualism away from border zones or polyglot countries, can introduce all manner of stress into family life and growing up.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:41 PM
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Ah, now we're getting somewhere...Much turns on whether peep asserts his/her lack of knowledge with certainty or not. If so, does that make him/her a Pyrrhonian, or an Academic skeptic? Many scholars disagree...

Hmmmmmmmm....... I guess that I just don't know...


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:41 PM
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My linguistics professor is Belgian, and it seems appropriate. 304-style alingualism is a real phenomenon. My mom teaches ESL, and about 1 out of 20 of her kids has serious, insurmountable language deficits.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:51 PM
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305:

More interestingly (I hope), I was recently surprised to learn that, historically, strong philosophical skepticism has often been associated with religious and political conservatism. If we can't know anything, so the argument goes, we should act according to the dictates of convention, including those insisted upon by hereditary monarchs and revealed scripture, for instance. You'd think--or I did, initially, at least--that a radical skeptic would especially apply his/her skepticism to traditional values, etc., right?

(Feel free to ignore this comment completely, peep, if it's not interesting to you. I do realize that I'm using a brief and light-hearted exchange to comment at length on a subject that's probably fun only for me.)


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:51 PM
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Speaking of Socrates, I've been re-reading Plato's dialogues recently (for the first time since grad school ten years ago), and I was wondering whether the philosophical inhabitants of the Mineshaft had any thoughts on which dialogues where the most interesting philosophically.

I started out with the "Last Days of Socrates" sequence: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo. Euthyphro struck me as the best of the four, and Phaedo the worst, from a purely philosophical perspective. (Though the death scene still brings tears to my eyes ... sniff.)

Where should I go from here? The only other ones I remember well are Meno, portions of the Republic, and Symposium.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:55 PM
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Personally, I'm a big fan of the Phaedrus, zadfrack. There's lots there, from the bucolic plane-tree opening, to the famous competing-horses description of the soul, to descriptions of the ideal rhetorician-philosopher, etc.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 1:59 PM
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206-Is there something good for Latin self study?

If you've got the basics (sounds like you do), I think the best self study is to just read some Latin. Start with something relatively simple, Caesar for instance (vocab fairly restricted, style rarely gets in the way). Use an annotated edition if you want some help, there's plenty out there. The Moreland & Fleisher textbook mentioned above is decent to have on hand as a reference. But all Latin textbooks that I know of pretty much suck as tools to help people read Latin.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:01 PM
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I liked this Caesar comic book, edited by the very posh-sounding Karl Heinz Graf von Rothenburg.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:18 PM
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Re: learning languages made easier:

Admittedly, I had an odd upbringing in a variety of countries, but I was the child in my family most exposed to different languages: Norwegian and English within the family, then Arabic when we lived in the Middle East, and French. I started Latin in 5th grade, had that and other languages available in junior high and my first high school offered French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian and Spanish. [My second high school had to form a "special" class for three transfer students who'd already had a couple of years of Russian before enrolling.] Neither of my siblings has had any success learning a foreign language, whereas I seem to be able to pick them up relatively easily.

The high school the Offspring attended only offered Spanish because "no one was interested in anything else".

When my son was an infant, I used to leave the international channel on, so that he could hear a variety of phones not present in English. I also spoke French to him. One thing his language teachers/native speakers have all complimented him on is his accent - be it Japanese or Spanish or Italian, he evidently sounds like a homeboy. [And you should have seen the faces of the restaurant staff in Little Tokyo when two gaijin brought in this Korean four-year-old who promptly started chatting to the waiter in Japanese.] Reportedly, his Korean accent is great, which I would expect, given that he only heard Korean for the first 7 months of hs life. I do know that his collection of Korean four-letter is extensive...


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:22 PM
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There's some British prep school which starts the little kids on Sanskrit. I don't think that most of them advance very far.

My Sanskrit professor began the first class by saying, "The study of Sanskrit is famous for the many bleached bones it leaves by the wayside."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:26 PM
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My dad used to sing the song in 298, with the variation rfts mentions in 300.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:28 PM
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I use the death of Socrates sequence in my intro class and when I need to add other things, I go with Meno or Republic. SJC did that full list plus parts of Theatetus, Gorgias, Phadrus and Symposium. They are all fine dialogues.

I'm surprised you didn't like Phaedo, it is one of my favorites. It helps to remember that many of the arguments are supposed to be poor, or not quite show what Socrates says they show.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:35 PM
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Random factoid: I once lived in Montoursville PA for a year, where a common phrase was "I dassn't". This was a conversion of "I dare not". I don't know where the "s" came from. My parents would not let me say it. So, of course, I adopted it and "crick" for "creek". As in 'I dassn't go in the crick 'cause I don't got any salt for the litches.[leeches]".

I think my mother still regrets that year, given that I worked very hard at unlearning my faintly British, New England U accent. Ah, well.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:46 PM
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316: Common in Huckleberry Finn.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:49 PM
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316: Interesting; I always thought of "dassn't" as a particularly upper-crusty--i.e., characteristic of high-society New England--contraction. I thought it was short for "dares not," pronounced with a snooty accent.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 2:54 PM
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315: I got rather bogged down in the long digression into speculative geography in Phaedo.

And some of the arguments for the immortality of the soul really are awful. It's much to the credit of Cebes and Simmias that they resist the initial ones, even if they do cave in at the end.

Materialist that I am, though, I was always fond of the "soul as attunement" metaphor, and think it deserves better treatment than it gets.

What do you mean when you say that "many of the arguments are supposed to be poor"? Do you think Plato was deliberately putting forth flawed arguments in Socrates voice?


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 3:18 PM
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Re: 298. I almost made a joke on a thread the other day that relied on knowing that little bit of doggerel (can't remember the context), but I held back, not thinking that familiarity with it would be widespread enough for it to be funny. Just goes to show that you should never underestimate the Unfoggedariat.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 3:22 PM
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It helps to remember that many of the arguments are supposed to be poor, or not quite show what Socrates says they show.

How come?

Also, BG is 32? It may be time to lose the "girl".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 3:33 PM
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Also, BG is 32?

You didn't know that? She's exactly 9 years older than me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 3:39 PM
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I remember the black girl in one of my freshman classes who, when we read "Bastard Out of Carolina," said with surprise, "they talk and eat the same as black people!"

Yeah, it's Southern.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 4:16 PM
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BG is 32? It may be time to lose the "girl".

Don't be a quitter. Think of solutions to extend the "girl", like pigtails and a Catholic schoolgirl outfit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 4:20 PM
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much of what we think is "black" is in fact southern

Problematic (if by "southern" you mean "not black") since much of what we think of as southern is in fact "black" (i.e., has African and/or slave roots). I suspect that there's a lot of things that went back and forth between the various southern subcultures for so long that a lot of cultural markers have multiple or mixed origins.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 4:31 PM
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Problematic (if by "southern" you mean "not black")

I was thinking that the assertion was that it was a more inclusive category, but it would be better to phrase it as something that made it clear that the intention was to embrace something like "of the South (regardless of race)" and "some black subcultures outside the South, but with linguistic roots there".


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 4:42 PM
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Sorry.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 4:44 PM
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Was it asilon who posted this link a week or two ago?

Love you Nick!

And I got 50 before all of you.

I loved Latin. Would like to learn Ancient Greek too really, but not sure I could be doing with the different alphabet. Hated German, found it really hard. Actually, found it the first thing I'd ever had to work hard at at school, which is probably why I hated it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 4:49 PM
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Different alphabets are a minor introductory problem. Rote, drill and practice solve it within a few weeks. Don't worry about it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:11 PM
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OK John, I'll have a bash. When I go on holiday in December (for nearly 4 weeks) I'll only be able to be online for a fraction of the time, so I'll need something to do when I'm not out enjoying myself. I do know the alphabet already (from maths and because my parents' pets have all been named after Greek letters - currently they have Alpha, Eta, Iota and Lambda).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:15 PM
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328: Ancient Greek is very difficult, but the different alphabet doesn't contribute to the difficulty at all.

The nice thing about Ancient Greek is that it doesn't get a whole lot harder after the first two years. Once you get to the point where you're reading Plato (usually in second-year Greek), you can read anything.

Latin, on the other hand, just keeps getting more and more challenging.

And Greek writers were at least consistent about word order, unlike the Latin writers, who seemed to throw together sentences in a completely random order, leaving you to piece it together based on the word endings.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:21 PM
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This is only tangentially related, but I have no Latin at all & wonder if any of you shining classicists would be able to shed some light:

Aliorumque Carminum seems a common enough name for the collection of Tibullus's work, but I can't for the life of me figure out what "Aliorumque" means. "Carminum," sure, that's easy. But the other? The internet only gives me speculations about garlic plants.


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:27 PM
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"Of others"? Genitive plural of 'alius', 'other', with a 'que' tacked on the end? But my Latin's almost all gone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:37 PM
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"Aliorumque" means "and of other things"

"Aliorum" is the plural neuter genitive of 'alius'=another and "-que" is an ending that means and

So, Of songs and other things

(I'm pretty sure.) Scooped, I see on preview.


Posted by: Zippy | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:39 PM
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I taught myself to read an abugida once--huge pain in the ass.

Logographs are even harder, I imagine.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:40 PM
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Fantastic; thanks! I sort of gathered it would be one of those weird non-nounal bits of language that are so hard to simply look up. Also--what a complicated language.

I am going to retreat behind my public-school youthful education now so that I can feel as though I have an excuse for being, like, totally uncultured.


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:43 PM
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What's going to be even more complicated is telling the person I'm working with how I found out what "aliorumque" means.


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:45 PM
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Logographs are even harder, I imagine.

From my experience with cuneiform, I'd say they're definitely hard, but manageable with effort. Abjads are easier than you might think, assuming you know the language fairly well. I have no experience with abugidas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:45 PM
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what a complicated language

If you think Latin is complicated, you ain't seen nothin'.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:46 PM
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339: I haven't. I'm utterly uneducated, except for in Romance languages.

Though I should have probably said something more like--"when the language is one that uses lots of modifiable building blocks, it can be really complicated to figure out what something means if you don't already know the language."--because, simply because it does use the "building blocks" model, it isn't that complicated if you know in advance how it works.


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 5:52 PM
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Latin sounds awesome.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 6:18 PM
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It doesn't sound at all like a modern romance language.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 6:19 PM
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Re 335: I taught myself to read an abugida once--huge pain in the ass.

One of the things about learning to read Bengali (which uses an abugida, if I understand the word correctly) is that a letter modified by a diacritic often gets fused into a ligature that looks very little like what you get by simply putting the letter and the diacritic together. And there are ligatures for other letter combinations as well. So you end up having to learn a lot of distinct symbols.


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 6:33 PM
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Fearlessly responding to the actual post at comment 350:

Hey, doesn't Yosemite Sam (or as my son says, "Yo-somebody Sam") say that all the time? As in: "I paid ma money, and I'ma gonna see me some divin'"


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 6:38 PM
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331: Hmm. I don't agree with all of that. I think that Greek prose, at a fairly rarefied level nowhere near second year, becomes easier to read than Latin, only because there is so much more to learn. What I mean is that there are infinitely more fiddly bits in Greek that once one does learn all of them Greek prose -- and only prose -- is much better signposted than Latin (but gaining any sort of facility with all of those signposts takes years). There simply isn't any Latin of any sort that is harder to read than, say, Alkman or Aeschylos. Even the Greek prose writers are nothing at all like consistent in word order. Once one gets the knack for reading Plato one can truck right through it, but those skills and learned expectations will in no way translate usefully to Hermogenes or Isocrates.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 6:59 PM
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I think Bijou Phillips, a white girl, says things like:
I'm'a call you, OK
in James Toback's Black and White, but only for allophilic reasons.


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 7:19 PM
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I was about to say something about Albion's Seed, but discovered that I'd be repeating myself.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 7:24 PM
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316: I also picked up crick for creek. I don't come by it honestly, but I like it.

Crick actually has its linguistic roots in Pennsylvania, though, as opposed the the south, which I had originally thought. Which makes me feel better about claiming it as my own, as I've got legitimate ancestry from PA.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 7:34 PM
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346: Yeah, that's the more interesting usage. "I'm a gonna," if colloquial, is still a recognizable version of "I'm going to." "I'ma call you" is neater, because the "going to" is completely elided.

My now-favorite bit of Southern American usage was heard on the news during the Atlanta Olympics. They asked a teenaged girl what she thought about the city's Olympic-driven "improvements" to her neighborhood. She answered that she thought it was fine, but that "They shoulda been did it." Shoulda been did it! Like very, very plus pluperfect.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-14-07 7:52 PM
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