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Site Topics - Part II

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by j, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This is really interesting. (0) Can I say forums. I despise the use of fora.
     
  2. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    +1. that might have been the most interesting 2 paragraphs on language evolution and pronunciation that i have read, perhaps ever.
     
  3. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    It's funny you picked the Julius in Caesar and not the Caesar, which if I'm not mistaken would have sounded more like the German Kaiser.
     
  4. why

    why Senior member

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    Yes, because those changes occurred in vulgar Latin and probably came to English through French where the Latin c had already changed from /k/ to /s/. Obviously something else changed too, but it gets a little hairy and I'm not sure it was due to an Anglicization in the same sense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  5. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    Do you have any idea when "valet" came into common use? If it was before about the 14th century then most of the English nobility would have been either Anglo Norman speakers or bilingual English/French speakers. So would there perhaps have been an upstairs downstairs division of pronunciation with the downstairs pronunciation vallit, especially in Britain, winning out until the mid/late 20th century? The re-emergence of vallay then possibly due to the ubiquity of American influence allied with the decline in the actual number of gentlemen's gentlemen?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  6. why

    why Senior member

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    Probably right after 1066 considering what it refers to. I can't imagine the new Norman nobles would have used a different word for their vassals.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  7. Big Texas

    Big Texas Senior member

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    Not sure about the origin of "valet" in British English, but my theory is that the "vallay" pronunciation won out in America because we didn't actually get the word from the English. We got it from the French -- either in parallel with, or subsequently to, the British borrowing of the word. Had we picked up the word from the British, we'd probably be pronouncing it "vallit" to this day (same thing with the similar "claret").

    A relatively small slice of upper-crust Americans probably picked up the word from the British prior to the 20th Century, but the word (re)emerged into prominence in the American vernacular -- along with the "vallay" pronunciation -- in the early 20th.
     
  8. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    Sorry should have been clearer, common "English" use? Also in 1066 it probably referred to a squire or young nobleman in training rather than a man servant who was "in service" for life. Although the later probably evolved from the former.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  9. why

    why Senior member

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    Shortly thereafter, I'm sure. Norman French became the official language of the courts, which is why we eat roast beef (both words from Norman French) but oxtail soup instead of beef tail soup (ox coming from Anglo-Saxon). Oxtail soup's name (or at least the 'oxtail' part) was preserved since the only people that ate it were peasants who didn't speak the language of the courts.

    There's a good poem by William Dunbar illustrating the strange language trifecta occurring during the High Middle Ages in England (Anglo-Saxon the language of the people, French of the courts, Latin of the clergy). Note the etymology of science (Latin, commonly used at the universities that were at that time run by the church) vs. craft (Anglo-Saxon) vs. sapience (likely coming from Old French) and ditto (with different order) for the following lines.

    To speik of science, craft, or sapience,
    Of vertew, morall cunnyng, or doctryne,
    Of jure, of wisdome, or intelligence,
    Of every study, lair, or disciplyne -
    All is bot tynt or reddy for to tyne,
    Nocht using it as it suld usit be,
    The craft excersing, considering nocht the fyne.
    Ane peralous seiknes is vane prosperité.


    more here

    Anyway, this is probably enough for trans-mod.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    there was a time when I though oxen were different animals than cattle.
     
    2 people like this.
  11. Big Texas

    Big Texas Senior member

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    Apropos of nothing, I was delighted and childishly amused to discover that an individual cow is known in the ranching and commodities trades as "a beef," and that the plural of such is "beeves."
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. deadly7

    deadly7 Senior member

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    I sparked an interesting conversation. Talk about how great I am!!! Everything must be about me!
     
  13. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    why is now my official favorite poster (sorry matt; sorry manton)
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Senior member

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    Now that that's setlled, can we all agree that the plural of bathtub be bathtubim? And photograph should be photographim?
     
    4 people like this.
  15. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    [COLOR=FF00AA]DUDE[/COLOR]
     
  16. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    Actually I don't think it did. For example William used English and Latin for most of his documents, likely to push his claim for legitimacy to the succession, and the legal system remained in English (proceedings often conducted and documented in French).

    Thanks for the interesting link, and yes, this is probably enough for trans-mod.
     
  17. NOBD

    NOBD Senior member

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    No, keep going. Good stuff.
     
  18. Big Texas

    Big Texas Senior member

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    I've always felt that the singular form of pornography should be "pornograph."

    "What are you doing in there?!"
    "Oh, just looking at some interesting pornographs. Very arty and stylized."
     
  19. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Anyone else getting an ad for Zulily on every page? Is StyFo trying to tell me something about my weight?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    maybe the ad people misplaced it in the banner as opposed to the Would you hit it? thread :puzzled:
     
    1 person likes this.

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