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#3056 - 06/17/00 03:46 AM Re: Attitude to Expletives
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
It must be a very wide border. I thought a bun was a coil of hair worn pinned to the head. On the other hand ... currant bun is an ISP, I think.


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#3057 - 06/17/00 08:07 AM Re: Attitude to Expletives
paulb Offline
addict

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
and there's a time each year when those buns get hot and cross, too!


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#3058 - 06/17/00 01:24 PM Re: Attitude to Expletives
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>...with 'buns' leaning in our direction?<<
>>>bordering on the obscene

that's some wide border! <<<

Tsuwm, I'll thank you not to get so personal.








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#3059 - 09/07/00 08:35 AM Re: Attitude to Expletives
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
I heard a very interesting radio programme today, discussing this subject - here is the website in case you are interested:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/routesofenglish/index.shtml

The premise of the section that I heard was that the popularity of a swear word had a lot to do with its sound. To be very effective it had to sound like a punch, and short vowels make “punchier” words. Some consonants have “explosive” sounds making them particularly effective – try saying “f” or “c” – they can sound quite aggressive.

Billy Connolly said that in order to avoid swearing in front of his children he made up quite believable swear words using these principles. Think of the difference between calling someone a “rat”, rather than a “mouse” – a rat would sound more aggressive, even if you knew nothing about the animal.

The other interesting area was how much movement there was over the words. “Rabbit” was brought in to replace the word “coney” which had gained a rather course usage. Many words become more acceptable over the years - few of us would be all that offended by most Shakespearian insults - new words are found to take their places.



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#3060 - 09/07/00 09:02 AM Re: Attitude to Expletives
Brandon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 218
Loc: Mountain West, USA
To be very effective it had to sound like a punch

The same concept applies to sign languages. In American Sign Language, signs for "defacation" or "intercourse" are often the same when used in medical settings and on the street. Where English differentiates appropriate terminology and expletives by expanding the lexicon, ASL simply modulates a single sign to cover the range of use. Jerkier movements, quicker movements, and a mood-appropriate facial expression are all one needs to convert a sign used in an anatomy class to a Class A expletive.

(Sorry if I've over-citing sign language in recent posts)


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#3061 - 09/07/00 10:48 AM Re: Attitude to Expletives
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
(Sorry if I've over-citing sign language in recent posts)

No, it's quite fascinating. Makes me admire all the more what Anne Sullivan did in teaching Helen Keller to communicate.


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#3062 - 09/07/00 01:06 PM Re: Attitude to Expletives
Brandon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 218
Loc: Mountain West, USA
(Sorry if I've over-citing sign language in recent posts)

Instead of apologizing for over-citing anything, I should apologize for changing the "I'm" to "I've" without correcting the "over-citing." First drafts often have better grammar. It's the editing that screws everything up.


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#3063 - 09/07/00 04:51 PM Re: Attitude to Expletives
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
It is interesting that ASL uses similar thought processes. Was the language devised in one go or has it grown organically. How do you you cope with new words, other than spelling them out?


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#3064 - 09/07/00 05:43 PM Re: Attitude to Expletives
Brandon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 218
Loc: Mountain West, USA
Was the language devised in one go or has it grown organically. How do you you cope with new words, other than spelling them out?

ASL's roots can be traced back to 16th Century France where monks used it as beneficent service to deaf parishioners and as a backdoor to talking during vows of silence. What we now see in ASL (as opposed to French Sign Language) is due to ASL's hybridization after it came into contact with the sign languages of regional areas in the United States (roughly 1820's). In fact, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., had an extraordinarily large deaf community several hundred years ago; most everyone, deaf and hearing, had fluency in both English and ASL.

As for adding to the ASL lexicon, there are general avenues that exist, such as compounding with existing signs, functional shifting, fingerspelling, fingerspelled loan signs (where the fingerspelling is modulated until it becomes its own sign), and the use of classifiers. Most, I feel, come into being through the last avenue, classifiers, because it offers the most freedom and flexibility in creating signs. Further, a classifier is more easily recognized and duplicated because the sign has inherent meaning (within the context of the whole signing system, of course).

For example, MICROWAVE is a former classifier (but is now a legitimate sign) where the fingers on each hand simultaneously classify, or give visual meaning to, the action of waves moving to a central location for the purpose of heating.

I've rarely seen anyone fingerspell INTERNET. Two signs have common use. One is a modulation of the verb sign for CONTACT or NETWORKING. The other is a classifier of fiberoptic cables transmitting loads of data (that actually looks like an "information superhighway").

Are there any other sign language users meandering through these threads?


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#3065 - 09/08/00 12:53 AM citing sign language
screen Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/25/00
Posts: 37
Loc: Newcastle, Australia.
>>Sorry if I've over-citing sign language in recent posts<<

Brandon,

Actually, I find your posts facinating and am keen to read more of your posts on the subject.


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