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Re: Idioms & Phrases

From:Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
Date:Monday, August 26, 2002, 7:58
On 26 August, Arthaey Angosii wrote:

> The language has a tendency to shorten many common phrases into a single > word, although everyone knows the expanded form to which it refers. Anyone > know of another language (con or nat) that does this sort of thing?
Hebrew does it. For example: |natbag| (= Ben Gurion Airport, outside of Tel Aviv) is short for |nativ te'ufa Ben Gurion| |motsash| (= Saturday night) is short for |motsae shabat| |sakash| (= sleeping bag) is short for |sak shena| A very interesting shortening, IMHO, is what Israelis do to |le-hit-raot| , the equivalent of "see you later". (Grammatically, it breaks down into le (= towards) hit (reflexive) raot (form of the verb "to see"). Israelis often shorten it to |lehit|. The context, of course, makes it perfectly clear what is meant, but strictly speaking, it is a strange thing to say: "towards-reflexive". It just begs for the question: reflexive _what_? (I can think of a few verbs! ;-) ) The thing is, AFAIK, that the more people use the shortened forms, the more they turn into words in their own right and the phases they're based on become obscure. The (American) English word "snafu" comes to mind. This is even more evident across langs, when the shortened form, based on a phrase in one lang, gets used in another lang, but the original phrase is left behind. For example, any educated Israeli knows what |nato| (N.A.T.O.) and |nasa| (N.A.S.A.) are, their doings being reported in the media all the time. But just how many of those Israelis know the original phrases the acronyms are based on? Very few, I suspect. ObConlang: I haven't gotten to the "shorten and slang" stage of development yet with rtemmu, my conlang. Dan Sulani ----------------------------------------------------------- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a A word is an awesome thing.