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Tuernagel (was: Interlingvo)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 10, 2001, 16:55
Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:

> ObDrift: Why is a doornail in English more prototypically dead than > other dead things? Only after its alliteration?
If Charles Dickens in "A Christmas Carol" had no clue, why should we? # [...] Marley was as dead as a doornail. # # Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what # there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been # inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of # ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the # simile, and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's # done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that # Marley was as dead as a doornail. I have found two dozen instances of "tot wie ein Tuernagel" by googling, but half of them, at least, are translations of either Dickens or Poe's "The Gold-Bug". -- There is / one art || John Cowan <jcowan@...> no more / no less || to do / all things || with art- / lessness \\ -- Piet Hein