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#87329 11/19/02 04:40 PM
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Sent me in e-mail by former AWADtalk member Reminded me of running through the
South Station in Boston trying to make the last train to Cape, only to have
heartless functionary slam gate shut and locked when I was ten yards away.


#87330 11/19/02 08:03 PM
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could you explicate? the only onelook hit for this word (Grandiloquent dict.) defines it as "The fear of young women that they will not be married until they are to old to have children."



#87331 11/19/02 08:13 PM
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"Tor" = gate. "Verscluss" = closure "panik" = panic. German cities used to have entrance
only through gates that were shut and barred after dark. Imagine the anxiety of a traveller
having to spend night outside with fear of robbers. The application to "unclaimed blessing"
females is a metaphor.


#87332 11/20/02 12:45 AM
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So, is the metaphor more widely understood where it's used now than the original meaning of the closed gate?


#87333 11/20/02 02:17 AM
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Dear WW: I doubt very much that German cities now have gates that shut at dark.
So no use the word in the sense in which I think it originated. I have no way of
testing my theory.


#87334 11/20/02 09:46 AM
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Well, I like your word Torschlusspanik and have witnessed conversations with women experiencing it. I would say that it is applicable, too, to those women who are married and are experiencing difficulty in conceiving.

I myself experienced such panic when married before conceiving Lof'. I could be around mothers with babies and would just have to go off and weep because I was childless and in my near-mid-thirties. I felt terribly hopeless at times. But finally the tables turned. The experience was helpful, however, when I met another young woman who guiltily admitted to me how very jealous she was of women with children. And I was able to let her know I understood exactly how she felt and that I was sure that mental state was common among women who wanted children, but from whom the blessing had been withheld. She, too, became pregnant about a year later, and she quit teaching to raise her child. Very good move when possible. It wasn't, however, for me.

And the word seems applicable to many other situations in which conception or realization of other goals are ones in which one is running against other kinds of biological clocks.

This is the second German word I've learned in which there isn't an English equivalent. Schadenfreude is the other one. Certainly there are others.

There are at least twice as many words in the English lexicon over any other language on earth, yet we remain incomplete.


#87335 11/20/02 10:44 AM
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There are at least twice as many words in the English lexicon over any other language on earth

Prove that, please.


#87336 11/20/02 11:40 AM
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the metaphor more widely understood where it's used now than the original meaning

This is a stereotypical cliché.


#87337 11/20/02 12:37 PM
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sjm:

In reply to:

Prove that, please.


I'll have a little time on my hands tonight, so I'll go proof-hunting on google. However, my information comes from several linguistics courses plus an article I read outside of those courses about the general topic of vocabulary. Now my linguistics courses go way back almost thirty years. But the article I read indicated that the English language grows in vocabulary more, too, than any other language. I have never read anything about the word-loss rate v. the word-growth relationship.

But back to way back then: I believe the language that was second in vocabulary--and I find this fact to be surprising--was French.

Also, tsuwm has commented here that there is no way of really knowing how large the English vocabulary is.

Still, it's an interesting topic to consider. I will google tonight, unless someone else already has the proof (or disproof) in hand.


#87338 11/20/02 02:43 PM
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a bit surprised I was to find this in OED2, evidently popularized a bit by Peg Bracken:

[Ger., lit. ‘shut door (or gate) panic’.]
A sense of alarm or anxiety (said to be experienced particularly in middle age) caused by the suspicion that life's opportunities are passing (or have passed) one by; spec. that manifested in an ageing woman who longs to (re)discover the (sexual) excitement of youth, and who fears being left ‘on the shelf’.

1963 P. Bracken I Hate to Housekeep Bk. ix. 92 The random housewife is often prone to Torschlusspanik, or fear of being locked in the park at night, after the gates are closed. 1977 Time 8 Aug. 21/3 She was haunted by Torschluss-panik (mid-life crisis). 1980 Times Lit. Suppl. 14 Mar. 287/2 She [sc. Mme de Staël] is perhaps history's most outstanding case of Torschlusspanik: the panic at the shutting of the door.



#87339 11/20/02 03:31 PM
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We do speak of "windows of opportunity" being closed--and biological clocks, but this torschlusspanik is so much more powerful once you know the story behind it.

And how nice to see up there that tsuwm's been surprised! Why, that's quite emotional of you, dear tsuwm, our resident tiger.


#87340 11/20/02 07:08 PM
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I was, naturellement, only having you on, mia vriend, sondern I couldn't resist taking un petit dig at a statement so bald as, "There are at least twice as many words in the English lexicon over any other language on earth". To make that statement of course, requires one to know exactly how many words there are in every language on Earth. Since you made the statement, you obviously have obtained that information, and I prostrate myself before you for having achieved such feat.


#87341 11/20/02 07:39 PM
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know exactly how many words there are in every language on Earth

No you don't.

There are at least twice as many words in the English lexicon over any other language on earth, (emphasis mine)

You only have to know a maximum for every other language and a minimum for English.

That and a definition of word that can be accepted for every language.


#87342 11/20/02 07:50 PM
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>You only have to know a maximum for every other language and a minimum for English.

Since I started this round of RdPdT, I shall concede. I don't see that the correction makes the task noticeably less onerous, but. For one thing, it appears to me that one still needs to know precisely how many languages there are on Earth, being unable to omit even one (other than English) to be able to make the statement mit main on corazón.


#87343 11/20/02 07:58 PM
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It's still impossible, but it's a much lower order of impossible.


#87344 11/20/02 08:00 PM
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#87345 11/20/02 08:15 PM
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Not my impossible task, vielen Grassias. I wasn't the one who made an impossible to prove, or even define, statement.


#87346 11/20/02 08:37 PM
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We could always apply statistical methods. Take a random sampling of world languages and a random sampling of estimates of number of words-necessary-to-function in each of the languages.


#87347 11/20/02 08:41 PM
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>We could always apply statistical methods.

Lies, damned lies & ...


#87348 11/20/02 08:45 PM
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>Lies, damned lies & ...

... the World Wide Web! : )


#87349 11/20/02 09:41 PM
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tsuwm,

Thanks for providing the link to a plausible word count of the English language. There I read:

"The number of words in English has grown from 50,000 to 60,000 words in Old English to about a million today. "

(from your first link)

The first article I read in which it was stated that English included about 600,000 words. That was about 1975 because I was in graduate school then and that's when I would have read the article.

Several years later--maybe ten or so--I read another article that stated the language had grown to 800,000 words.

And there's your link stating the language has grown to a million words.

I've always wondered whether a word taking on a new definition increases the count by one. I would expect so. That's why I become a little excited when I learn a new meaning of a familiar word. I figure I've increased my vocabulary by one.

Now back the first article I read in about 1975. It was in that article that I read that French (I do believe, but could easily be incorrect) was in second place. [That's counting forward by one, Faldage, for the record.] And English, at that time, had over twice as many words as that language in second place.

But I'll begin my googling, and the verb to google really should be a word included in the dictionaries if duologue, a by far less-used word, is included.


#87350 11/20/02 10:10 PM
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"Ger., lit. ‘shut door (or gate) panic’."

Das Tor = the gate
Die Tür = the door
Der Tor = the fool


#87351 11/20/02 11:12 PM
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I'll concede that it's impossible to know how many words are in a language.

However, wouldn't it be possible to get a count of words included in all types of dictionaries in given language? That would exclude languages that don't have a sophisticated array of dictionaries, but at least you could compare words listed in dictionaries.

I have no idea on which sources the articles I read were based. I would think there is some huge data base somewhere that lists all words appearing in dictionaries in any given language. It would be a huge task to create such a data base, but perhaps one exists...somewhere.


#87352 11/21/02 01:43 PM
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That's counting forward by one

Counting forward by one. Hmm. That would seem to say that English is first and French is, what, zeroth? So you're saying English is second to none and French is none. Thare's parbly some here would agree with you on that but others who might disagree. Strenuously.


#87353 11/21/02 02:14 PM
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Faldage,

I have the strongest feeling that you and I interpret numbers completely differently!

If I count forward by one, then first becomes second, doesn't it? I can't imagine counting forward by one and first becoming zeroith.

Wanna work on the national economy together? We could volunteer our services. We could guarantee opposite points of view to be taken into consideration.


#87354 11/21/02 02:58 PM
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Look up difference between "cardinal" and "ordinal" numbers. And remember how long it took
for the concept of "zero" to be recognized.

Raise hands! how many know origin of "count coup" :Dear WW: Why didn't you put up your hand?

http://makeashorterlink.com/?M63052682

#87355 11/21/02 03:14 PM
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Dearest wwh,

I assure you both Faldage and I are more than familiar with the difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers. You must have missed the "last" thread tsuwm started...???

I love zeroith and zeroth. These are both great non-words.


#87356 11/21/02 04:06 PM
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you and I interpret numbers completely differently!

I think what we're arguing about *here is which way is forward. I was all set to quote you back something from one of your posts where you talked about counting forward from the last one but found only I had used that phrase. Still, you didn't object so I claim some kind of moral victory.

I still say it all depends on whether you're counting items or moves.


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