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 || http://www.reutershealth.com
to do / all things || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
with art- / lessness \\ -- Piet Hein