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Re: Bootstrapping a cooperative conlang

From:Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>
Date:Sunday, November 18, 2007, 0:23
On Nov 17, 2007, at 2:33 PM, ROGER MILLS wrote:

> Stevo wrote: >> A picture only shows what the animal looks like. It doesn't give >> any of the >> rest of the meaning of the word, like how it moves, what sounds it >> makes, what >> kinds of food it eats, why it's a pest or pet. > > _Pest_ can be applied to people too!! > > Yes, definitions can get complicated. Does anyone recall Katz and > Postal's attempt at a "generative" definition of "bachelor" (the > only one they ever tried AFAIK)? > > Are there different species of mice, as there are of rats, > cockroaches et al? I believe so. > > Aside from the animal, and modern computer usage, there's also (not > too current I think) (a) _a black (bruised) eye__ and (b) 1920-30s > (?) slang "girl-friend (lover, mistress?)" maybe boyfriend too; and > IIRC older gay guys' slang (into the 50s) "trick, pick-up". (Cf. > Anita Loos' amusing book, "A Mouse is Born")-- neither of these > senses are in my Shorter OED, though there is _mouse: a term of > endearment_ > > During Army days in Vietnam (1958) lots of the guys had a [mus] > "(Vietnamese) girlfriend", which I always assumed had to be French > "mousse"-- is that old slang too? Perhaps the source of "mouse" in > that sense???? GIs in WW1/WW2 could have learnt/deformed the word > while in Europe, maybe a spelling pronunciation. > > (Is it possible my army buddies were using a Korean/Japanese > term??-- many of the older ones had served there, and they used > other Japanese words in their slang too-- "skosh, chogi, ichiban" > etc.)
I just learned of this term, from the _The Japanese Language_ by Roy Andrew Miller; he says it comes from Japanese _musume_.