|From:||Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, July 21, 2002, 19:01|
While reading the July 22-29 issue of Newsweek,
I came across a usage that seemed to me to combine
two recent threads on this list. In a discussion of a recent
important discovery of a fossil, the article's author used
the following word: "googol-granddaddy" when referring
to the creature whose fossilized skull was found.
(To put it in context: "But what has the paleontology
world agog is this googol-granddaddy's precocious
attributes ..." )
Anyhow, I wondered how we might translate the term
in our various conlangs.
As for rtemmu:
In the first place, I don't know whether to translate
the "googol" as a simple multiplier or as an exponential.
(the former would take | -yeh- | and the latter would
take | -t'i- | ). Then there's the question of _which_
granddaddy --- rtemmu doesn't have a general term;
it has to be either the "father's father" or the
So it could be:
with the parts analyzed as follows:
(o` = [O]; r` = [R]; uh = [V], [@]; eh = [E]; )
xasax = a generation (the process of birth to death)
-yeh- = multiplied by
-t'i- = to the power of
go`go` = googol
o`g = compounding particle
syr`vuh = the process of siring a new generation
(exactly where to begin the process,
I leave up to your fertile imaginations ;-) );
(I was originally going to say "no pun intended";
but, what the hell! :-) )
also means "father"
sxr`vuh = the female equivalent (ie egg donation; again,
(where this process exactly begins and exactly
what processes are involved at the macro-
as well as micro- level, I'll again leave to your
also means "mother"
syr`syr`vuh = (the process of being) father's father
syr`sxr`vuh = (the process of being) mother's father
-xual = a suffix denoting endearment;
the difference, ( in my English usage at least) between
the formal "grandfather" and the more relaxed
But this being rtemmu, now comes the fun! The term needs
a rate-of-change marker to precede it. Which? I think it is
clear that it would have to be "subjective": the _fossil_
is objectively observable, but the "googol-granddaddy"
himself is a subjective consideration, a theory.
I think it would be best to use | no | = slow rate of
(cognitive) change: there is usually a tremendous amount
of theoretical inertia involved with new discoveries;
this fossil will undoubtedly change our understanding
of the past, but I'd expect that there will be much debate
until a concensus is reached.
Hence, the "slow subjective". ( There might be people
who would refer to it as | ne |, or fast subjective change
since their picture of the past was turned over as soon
as they heard the story. But then again, I'd leave the
| ne | marker for the speaker's internal state, and stay
with the | no | slow marker for the concept itself.
(Note: the speaker's rate-of-change, if unchanged
from the previous instance of its use, may be dropped.
I'm including it [ the first rate-of-change marker of the pair ]
here in order to emphasize the difference between
the reaction of the speaker who is stunned by the news
and the "stunning" concept itself, which is not changing
quite so fast. Of course, there's always the easily
persuaded: fast personal change and fast acceptance
of a new concept (which may or may not ultimately
be the finally accepted version). This would take
| nene | as the rate-of-change markers. )
Googol-granddaddy in rtemmu:
likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a
A word is an awesome thing.