Re: USAGE: Inventing gunpowder & idioms
|From:||Sally Caves <scaves@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, March 6, 1999, 19:47|
Daniel Andreasson wrote:
> >>>> > - Inventar a roda. (To invent the wheel)
> >>>> > To work hard to make something that had already been done and
> >>>> > could have been used.
> >>>> Interesting. We have a similar idiom, "re-invent the wheel", in
> >>>> English.
> >>>Also in Dutch, as well as "a storm in a glass of water" that means
> >>>a trivial upset that's made far too much of.
> >> Strange! We have exactly the same expression in French "une tempe^te dans
> >>un verre d'eau" with exactly the same meaning!
Not so strange, really. Don't people swap cultural and linguistic information
across languageboundaries? They did in Chaucer's day; and do so in all times.
> It would be interesting to know if they are shared by Indo-European langs or by
> langs spoken in Europe. That is, if it's cultural or linguistic.
It seems obvious to me that these particular idioms, inventing the wheel and a
storm in a glass of water are cultural borrowings. Europe is a tiny area, and
its people are pretty multi-lingual and cross-cultural. I can't imagine that
these expressions could derive from any other source than shared reading and