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#172028 - 12/11/07 05:36 PM Lost for words  
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Hydra Offline
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This is a funny skit in which Blair is asked two impossible word questions.

But when the laughs have subsided, I am left wondering what the answers are, if there are answers.

Click, if you think you're smarter than Blair, and enlighten us.

#172029 - 12/11/07 05:54 PM Re: Lost for words [Re: Hydra]  
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this too shall pass
I'm really lost for words -- I couldn't understand most of what Paxman said!

-joe (faulty hearing) friday

#172030 - 12/11/07 06:17 PM Re: Lost for words [Re: tsuwm]  
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Really?

#172031 - 12/11/07 06:59 PM Re: Lost for words [Re: Hydra]  
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Linguistic typology has come a way since Wilhelm von Humboldt's day in the early 19th century. Linguists (not many of whom call themselves philologists) identify more than three basic types of morphological typology these days, but, I think the answer Mr Paxoman was going for is synthetic language. It's kind of a silly interviewing technique. Is hew a comedian or a reporter or both?


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#172032 - 12/11/07 07:05 PM Re: Lost for words [Re: Hydra]  
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My guess is that the first answer is "composite" and the second is "inflection."

Last edited by nharren; 12/11/07 07:07 PM.
#172034 - 12/11/07 09:50 PM Re: Lost for words [Re: nharren]  
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I... speak...normally...to...lull...you...then... wahsthealternacommanaymfotheastafamly

Live on camera, I think I would have just punched him out so I give Tony full points.

#172042 - 12/12/07 05:59 AM Re: Lost for words [Re: zmjezhd]  
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Hydra Offline
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Quote:
It's kind of a silly interviewing technique. Is hew a comedian or a reporter or both?


He is a very hard-nosed BBC journalist, but this is a little joke to promote the show, and Blair is clearly in on it.

#172043 - 12/12/07 06:12 AM Re: Lost for words [Re: tsuwm]  
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Quote:
I couldn't understand most of what Paxman said!


Quote:

Question 1.
Prime Minister, what word denotes in botany an alternate common name for the aster family, an order of architecture combining the elements of Corinthian and Ionic, a bow made of layers of horn, sinew and wood, a colour formed by the overlap of two other colours in a DTP document and an integer than is neither prime zero plus one or minus one?


Quote:

Question 2.
Traditional philology recognises three main linguistic types based on the way they construct words. What name is given to languages such as Latin and Greek which use endings that express several grammatical meanings at once?


The joke is Paxman used to host the quiz show University Challenge.

#172044 - 12/12/07 06:14 AM Re: Lost for words [Re: nharren]  
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Quote:
My guess is that the first answer is "composite" and the second is "inflection."


I think you're right on the first. I have no clue as to the second.

#172046 - 12/12/07 11:42 AM Re: Lost for words [Re: Hydra]  
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I'm with nharren with the slight tweak of saying inflecting for the language type. There's another word for it; synthetic.


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