Miscellaneous language questions

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:13 pm UTC

I rhyme "crayon" with "man." I'm not sure it's the same thing, though. The two syllable "cray-on" pronunciations dominate in the U.S. as elsewhere, but that's not the case with "Bayer," at least I don't think it is. Judging by its commercials, the monosyllabic pronunciation took over maybe 30 years ago. Of course, that's a German name, so it won't necessarily follow any rules. (The German pronunciation is not even close.)

It's hard to get information on similar words, which is why I'm asking.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:43 pm UTC

For me, it's bear/lair/pair to rhyme with "air" (if 'add a consonant to the beginning' can be called rhyming, rather than repetition) with one syllable, all the others are "(x)ae+uh" disyllabic constructions, give or take.

Hearing "bear", etc, with such a mid-digraph vowel transition makes me think of various distinctive US and UK accents, i.e. it's not unknown to me, but they are far from my own mode of speech.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby flicky1991 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:24 pm UTC

I pronounce "crayon" the same as "crown" unless I'm intentionally trying to distinguish them.
any pronouns
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby ThirdParty » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:45 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Do you guys rhyme "Bayer" with "bear"? How about Layer/lair and payer/pear? For me, "Bayer" and "bear" are both /bɛɚ/, while "payer" and "pear" are quite different: /ˈpeɪ.ɚ/ and /pɛɚ/. For "layer" and "lair," they sound a little bit different, but I'm not sure how to characterize it. "Layer" is definitely /ˈleɪ.ɚ/, but "lair" isn't quite /lɛɚ/, but sort of halfway between that and /ˈleɪ.ɚ/, like a 1.5 syllable word.
I pronounce them all the same way you do, except I'm not sure that "Bayer" and "bear" are quite homophones. My best guess is that "lair" has the vowel from "Mary", "Bayer" has the vowel from "marry", and "pear" has the vowel from "merry". It's just a guess, though, because those three are awfully smushed together in my dialect.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:55 pm UTC

There is definitely some Mary/marry stuff going on.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby chridd » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:19 am UTC

I've never heard of the word "Bayer" before, but based on the spelling I'd probably pronounce it two syllables. Layer and payer are two syllables for me; "bear", "lair", "pear" are one.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:45 pm UTC

chridd wrote:I've never heard of the word "Bayer" before,
Based on the capitalisation, I'm assuming it's the name Bayer, as in the German firm called Bayer Pharmaceuticals (or various other variations upon the name, over time). Which means we're probably pronouncing it wrongly, anyway. (Indeed, Wiki helpfully starts off with "Bayer AG (/ˈbeɪər/ or /ˈbaɪər/); German pronunciation: [ˈbaɪ̯ɐ]" in their article, which then goes on to identify one of the co-founders of the original company as having set his own surname upon the business.

But I've always made the same assumption to (Anglicised) pronunciation as you. So no surprise it matches the other 'standard' -ayer words being discussed, from which I essentially take my cue.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby ThirdParty » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:43 am UTC

chridd wrote:I've never heard of the word "Bayer" before
They're a corporation. You'd probably recognize the names of some of their products:

Image

Soupspoon wrote:But I've always made the same assumption to (Anglicised) pronunciation as you.
I'm a big fan of pronouncing words the way they're spelled, but if you listen to a Bayer commercial (here's one), it really sounds a lot more like "bear" than like "bay-er".

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:43 am UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:But I've always made the same assumption to (Anglicised) pronunciation as you.
I'm a big fan of pronouncing words the way they're spelled, but if you listen to a Bayer commercial (here's one), it really sounds a lot more like "bear" than like "bay-er".
In an old job, colleagues of mine (though not me, directly) did work for various pharma companies, and consensus tended firmly against slurring that into a single vowel. One sort of presumed that the ones that dealt with Bayer (or Pfizer, or Glaxo1, or whoever) had an inkling what the firm's own people liked to pronounce its name as.

Mind you, quite a lot of third-parties (delivery drivers, etc, not quite so much the pharma people we were dealing with) couldn't say our company name correctly (if reading it out) or spell our company name correctly (when told it) without hints. It being a slightly highfalutin construction taking liberties with word stubs, so a worse conundrum to the unfamiliar than any given (mis)treatment of Bayer.

1 The original Glaxo merged with Burroughs Wellcome to be Glaxo Wellcome. GW then merged with SmithKline Beecham (Beecham's having merged with Smith, Kline & Co., previously) to become GlaxoSmithKline. Which would be a messy name if they hadn't kept capitalisation whilst removing all other word-boundaries. But I digress.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:58 pm UTC

It's better than Glaxo, Burroughs, Wellcome, Smith, Kline, Beecham, & Co.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:32 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:It's better than Glaxo, Burroughs, Wellcome, Smith, Kline, Beecham, & Co.

Indeed it is. For that Oxford Comma alone!

*shudder*

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Derek » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:58 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:It's better than Glaxo, Burroughs, Wellcome, Smith, Kline, Beecham, & Co.

Indeed it is. For that Oxford Comma alone!

*shudder*

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Peaceful Whale » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:12 am UTC

Where does “against the wall” come from. I remember a paragraph from Hitch Hiker’s guide to the galaxy used it...
Also: what does it mean? I get the negative connotation, but that’s it.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby poxic » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:32 am UTC

In this context, it implies a firing line (standing in front of a squad of gunfolk). I've seen other uses that are closer to "we've got nowhere to run", I think, e.g. "we're up against a wall here".
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:54 pm UTC

There's also "backs to(/against) the wall, lads!", the homophobic shout out when one of 'them' comes into the room, obviously incapable of not sodomising any fellow man not conveniently obscuring the relevant entry-point. Yet, confusingly, most often used against the openly-camp-gay who is also overwhelmingly presumed to be receiver in their relationships, or at least rather keen on giving head, at the drop of a fly-zip. (And everyone now supposed to be arrayed in manner of a candy shop for the insatiable pervert to lick their lips for.) That's a very much deprecated usage of "against the wall", that marks the speaker out as very much 'unreformed' in sexuality issues - or perhaps so deep in the closet that he's actually having erotic thoughts about Mr Tumnus and Mr Beaver frolicking in the snow, none of which he wants to admit to the rest of his rugger club, whether or not they're at the point whip-cracking wet towel-tips in the changing rooms in a manly manner. YGWIM.


(But H2G2 is using the firing squad thing, as said. Round up your enemies (old regime, old allies who aren't good enough revolutionaries for your liking, old allies who are too revolutionary for your liking (they'd do it to you), random people that you hope to spin as enemies pour discoureger les autre, etc) stand them up against a wall and then get your armed guys to shoot them. Watch out for ricochets (one of the things a good firing-squad organiser understands and accounts for in the choice of wall, weapons and 'volunteers) and then for your own safety (sometimes, though, you might intend the execution unit to not last too much longer, as a witness to your measures) as what revolutions around often goes around again for another spin or two before finally landing on somebody's jackpot segment, and it might not be one that you'd like.)

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:31 pm UTC

There may be a variety of expressions that include the phrase "against the/a wall", but I think "first against the wall" is pretty clearly the firing squad metaphor.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Mega85 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:30 pm UTC

Freaking, fricking, frigging, or effing? Which of these do you use in situations where you don't use "fucking"?

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:01 pm UTC

Mega85 wrote:Freaking, fricking, frigging, or effing? Which of these do you use in situations where you don't use "fucking"?

I'm not sure I use any, actually. Including the original, or any tmesiated variation of another word. If you spot something I've said on the forum, then maybe that, but I'm not sure if I've ever said anything like that in hot blood, here.

I rarely get so incensed, in text or in real life, except maybe for deliberate effect (I think I 'faked' something similar in a recent post in this forum, 'in character', but can't remember if it was even an F-word variation). In general, I'd say so rare as to be statistically below significance, including the original term and maybe things like "fugging", "fornicating" and the like. And the self-censoring "<expletive deleted>" or wildcard/punctuation-substitution often in a parody situation.

I think I may have used "fubar" (and the sort-of-related Foo/Bar substituions, but then not for expletive effect), but that's straying outside the original question.

(It might not add much in isolation, but alternatives may still be food for thought once you've got the rest of this foul-mouthed lot to pipe up with more positive feedback. :P)

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:09 pm UTC

Why the fuck wouldn't I just say "fucking"?
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby ThirdParty » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:08 pm UTC

Mega85 wrote:Freaking, fricking, frigging, or effing? Which of these do you use in situations where you don't use "fucking"?
Well, it's not really part of my normal speaking vocabulary, so pretty much every situation is one where I don't use it. But in terms of what I use in positions where it could have been used...
  • For intensifiers, I tend to reach for words like "totally" or "absolutely": "That's totally awesome!"
  • For expressions of dislike, I tend to use profanity, not obscenity: "These danged bureaucrats are driving me crazy!"
  • For idiomatic use in prepositional phrases, I tend to use "screw": "I hope we're not screwing up."
  • For the literal meaning, I tend to use the euphemism "sleep with": "Is he sleeping with his secretary?"

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby freezeblade » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:17 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Why the fuck wouldn't I just say "fucking"?

Pretty much this.

In polite company (pretty much meaning friends with small children in tow, happens very infrequently), I'll use "Frickin" sometimes, but I'm more likely to use something completely off beat like "holy snakes-in-barrels!" or "what in the name of zeus almighty is going on here!?"

ThirdParty wrote:[*]For the literal meaning, I tend to use the euphemism "sleep with": "Is he sleeping with his secretary?"[/list]
In this case I like using the yiddish word "schtupp." ie. "He is definitely schtupping his secretary."
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:22 pm UTC

Mega85 wrote:
in situations where you don't use "fucking"?

I'm sorry I don't understand the question
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Mega85 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:05 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Mega85 wrote:
in situations where you don't use "fucking"?

I'm sorry I don't understand the question


Situations where saying "fucking" would be inappropriate, such as at a church service, around young children etc.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Liri » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:15 am UTC

Mega85 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Mega85 wrote:
in situations where you don't use "fucking"?

I'm sorry I don't understand the question


Situations where saying "fucking" would be inappropriate, such as at a church service, around young children etc.

Is... there something inappropriate about fucking in a church?
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:21 am UTC

Mega85 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Mega85 wrote:
in situations where you don't use "fucking"?

I'm sorry I don't understand the question

Situations where saying "fucking" would be inappropriate

I still don't fucking get it.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:17 am UTC

Liri wrote:
Mega85 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Mega85 wrote:
in situations where you don't use "fucking"?

I'm sorry I don't understand the question


Situations where saying "fucking" would be inappropriate, such as at a church service, around young children etc.

Is... there something inappropriate about fucking in a church?

It makes the clergy jealous.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:36 am UTC

The oldest occurrence of the word in adjectival form (which implies use of the verb) in English comes from the margins of a 1528 manuscript copy of Cicero's De Officiis. A monk had scrawled in the margin notes, "fuckin Abbot". Whether the monk meant the word literally, to accuse this abbott of "questionable monastic morals," or whether he used it "as an intensifier, to convey his extreme dismay" is unclear.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:46 am UTC

Liri wrote:Is... there something inappropriate about fucking in a church?

You're supposed to go forth and multiply. God hates sedentary reproduction. I think.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Mega85 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:22 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Mega85 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Mega85 wrote:
in situations where you don't use "fucking"?

I'm sorry I don't understand the question

Situations where saying "fucking" would be inappropriate

I still don't fucking get it.


You still don't fucking/freaking/fricking/frigging/effing/really get it. Yep, any of those words will do in the sentence. Though if you're in a park where children are playing, at church, at a job interview etc. the first one will be seen as inappropriate. In fact, in some of those situations substitute words for "fucking" might also be seen as inappropriate.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Liri » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:22 pm UTC

You've really lost us.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby somitomi » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:58 am UTC

I'm going to France in a couple weeks, and since I like learning languages, I was wondering what the best way is to pick up some basic French. Are there online resources for this? Should I get a French textbook? Or one of those "Learn French" cassettes?
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:06 am UTC

I hear CDs are gonna replace casettes soon.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby plytho » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:53 am UTC

somitomi wrote:I'm going to France in a couple weeks, and since I like learning languages, I was wondering what the best way is to pick up some basic French. Are there online resources for this? Should I get a French textbook? Or one of those "Learn French" cassettes?
Duolingo is a fun tool to learn a language. I'm not sure how effective it is for truly learning a language, but for the basics I think it's pretty good.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Liri » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:57 pm UTC

It has rather amusing phrases, like, "Er wird das Blut kosten."

How useful you find that is entirely up to you.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby somitomi » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:15 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I hear CDs are gonna replace casettes soon.

Next you're gonna tell me online streaming and digital distribution will replace CDs...
plytho wrote:Duolingo is a fun tool to learn a language. I'm not sure how effective it is for truly learning a language, but for the basics I think it's pretty good.

Thanks. I'm not going to learn French in 20 days anyway, so the goal is to pick up some basic grammar and vocabulary.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:25 pm UTC

A vous, j'espere tout le meilleur dans votre entreprise. Voyant dans mes lecons du temp perdu, plus deciennes sepere de maintenant, je sais que tu es deja plus capable que moi avec des langues.

(Add your own idea of the accent. And the doubtless missing accents on many of those letters. And the more correct words. Once you have mastered in 15-20 days what I struggled to become passable at conveying (and less so in understanding in return) in five-years-and-change of formal education.)

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Grop » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:18 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I hear CDs are gonna replace casettes soon.


That was done for some of the coolest languages; but French is still learned using cassettes.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:37 am UTC

Grop wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:I hear CDs are gonna replace casettes soon.


That was done for some of the coolest languages; but French is still learned using cassettes.

I mean, "cassette" is a French word, while "CD" is merely almost French (le CD = le disque compact, I guess in the same way SI = international system), so this seems about right.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby somitomi » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:37 pm UTC

Heh, turns out French isn't available in Hungarian yet, good thing "T-V distinction" makes it easy to remember which is which in French.
Soupspoon wrote:A vous, j'espere tout le meilleur dans votre entreprise. Voyant dans mes lecons du temp perdu, plus deciennes sepere de maintenant, je sais que tu es deja plus capable que moi avec des langues.

(Add your own idea of the accent. And the doubtless missing accents on many of those letters. And the more correct words. Once you have mastered in 15-20 days what I struggled to become passable at conveying (and less so in understanding in return) in five-years-and-change of formal education.)

Apparently I didn't mention my entire knowledge of french when I made that post was about five words. Or should I say Pardon?
Last edited by somitomi on Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:46 pm UTC

That's for when you've learnt it. ;) And to subtly annoy true francophones in the meantime, no doubt.


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