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#4747 - 08/01/00 09:38 AM Re: tsunami
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
>i guess tidal wave is a misnomer, but why did people pick that particular misnomer to be changed to a japanese word?

when the international community started studying these things I'd guess that they wanted something unique to the phenomenon and the Japanese already had a word that applied to it specifically? I know that in Hawaii they have Tsunami Watches and Tsunami Warnings, just as we have for hurricanes and tornadoes in the U.S. it hasn't been that long that the cause of these things has been known; previously they were thought to just be big "tidal" waves.


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#4748 - 08/01/00 10:17 PM Re: tsunami
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
>tidal wave is a perfectly good word for a big wave,
>just as sunrise is a perfectly good word for the earth turning to reveal the sun.
> so i wonder why tidal wave was discarded and who chose tsunami, which literally means harbour
>wave, in its place?

Perhaps the reason is the habit of the English language to pick words from where it can. (without much thought as to why). I mean, forest was a perfectly good word why did they have to choose the Indian word Jungle?


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#4749 - 08/02/00 05:41 AM Re: tsunami
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
i did a little more finding out about tsunami. there is a word takanami for just a big wave, and the japanese use tsunami for big waves caused by earthquakes. tsu can also mean cliff and shore (but the original meaning may have nothing to do with its current usage).
i think, tsuwm, your explanation sounds reasonable; someone wanted to disabuse us of the notion that these big waves have anything to do with tides. maybe the research was centred in japan, since japan suffers so much from them, and the word was carried over from there?
my next question is:
is there any use for tidal wave anymore?
one more:
does tsunami also mean small waves caused by earthquakes?


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#4750 - 08/02/00 06:20 AM Re: tsunami
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>forest was a perfectly good word why did they have to choose the Indian word Jungle?

Avy--I never knew 'jungle' came from India. Thanks. I can only guess that other English-speaking cultures have the same difference in meaning that we do.

If I see the word jungle, I think of the very heavy, lush, tangly green growths in tropical areas, usually heavy with humidity.

I think of a forest as being primarily a very large area covered with mostly trees. There may or may not be any underbrush to impede movement, but where there is, it won't
be as impassable as the undergrowth can be in a jungle.
And I'd say there usually isn't as much humidity, because if there were, the forest would probably be a jungle!




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#4751 - 08/02/00 07:34 AM Re: tsunami
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
Jackie I like your idea of colouring the reference


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#4752 - 08/02/00 09:45 AM okay
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
there is a word in japanese "daijoubu" that means "okay".
this word is used all the time and is one of the first words new speakers - and japanese kids - learn.
but japanese has borrowed "okay" in a big way. it can be used pretty much interchangably with daijoubu.
the emphasis is on the second syllbale, and it is often repeated (i think i mentioned before that japanese has a lot of words repeated twice for effect).
so you hear a lot of men saying "okeh okehh" to mean "that's fine".
interestingly the word used when assisting a car back out is "orai" from "all right", the only use of this english word i know.
how do other languages use "okay"?


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#4753 - 08/02/00 10:03 AM Re: tsunami
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
>s there any use for tidal wave anymore?

sure... the Casual Observer who can't be bothered to learn how to use tsunami!


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#4754 - 08/02/00 10:36 AM Re: okay
Rubrick Offline
addict

Registered: 05/18/00
Posts: 679
Loc: Somewhere outside New York
In reply to:

the emphasis is on the second syllbale, and it is often repeated (i think i mentioned before that japanese has a lot of
words repeated twice for effect).
so you hear a lot of men saying "okeh okehh" to mean "that's fine".


Or 'moshi moshi' when answering the phone.....


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#4755 - 08/02/00 12:35 PM Re: tsunami
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
>If I see the word jungle, I think of the very heavy, lush, tangly green growths in tropical areas, usually heavy with humidity.

As do I, Jackie, but interestingly enough, the word jungle derives from a Hindi word jangal, wasteland, which comes itself from the Sanskrit word Jangala, meaning wild or arid. So somewhere along the line there was a change of almost 180 degrees! Odd.


_________________________
TEd

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#4756 - 08/02/00 12:41 PM Re: tsunami
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
the word jungle derives from a Hindi word jangal

Is this also where the word jangle comes from?


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