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Re: Bootstrapping a cooperative conlang

From:ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...>
Date:Saturday, November 17, 2007, 20:33
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.)


Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>