IpseDixit - English

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-23, 17:15

IpseDixit wrote:If for all = despite, doesn't "despite all the good they'll do us" mean that they are actually going to do good?
A better rephrasing would be "despite what good they'll do us". Semantically, the expression is neutral with regard to how much that is, but pragmatically it's only used to suggest that the amount of good won't be much at all.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-23, 17:34

Thanks! (I lost count of the times I wrote this)

Please bear with me, what does he folded the book open at the first blank page mean?

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-23, 17:40

IpseDixit wrote:Please bear with me, what does he folded the book open at the first blank page mean?
That's a somewhat odd way to say it. Here's how I would interpret it: There is a time-honoured method for opening a new book for the first time. You open a few pages at a time and then run your fingers along the gutter in order to make them lie flat. When I read this description, that's what I visualise.

I'd be curious what other fluent speakers make of this sentence.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

IpseDixit

Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-23, 18:47

Other things I don't understand or am not sure about:

-to start in with something
-work one's way around
-pick one's way
-that ugly fellow that fed you the door
-tug at something
-but inexperienced though he was
-the hair on the constable's neck stood on end
-it was stuffed into a bag and slung across the other shoulder. (Doesn't "to sling" mean to throw something with a sling?)

If you need, I can provide more context.

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby Ciarán12 » 2015-03-23, 19:19

Without context, here's what they look like to me:

IpseDixit wrote:-to start in with something


To start talking about something the speaker doesn't want them to talk about - e.g. "Of course, as soon as he had a few drinks he started in with this whole business with his mother..."

It could have a different interpretation though, more context would help.

IpseDixit wrote:-work one's way around


This one is context-dependent, but it implies that someone is moving gradually through a space, usually in the course of completing some task or other. "Everyone here wants to talk to you, how are you going to handle it?" - "I'll just work my way around the room, one person at a time."

IpseDixit wrote:-pick one's way


This normally uses a phrasal verb rather than just "pick" on its own which adds a specific nuance. Most commonly I'd say "pick one's way through", meaning "to proceed through something carefully". E.g. "I picked my way through the thorns to get to the ball I had kicked into the bush." You could also have "pick one's way out" implying the same thing except that you used this method to escape from something. On its own, "pick one's way" would just mean "select own's path/method".

IpseDixit wrote:-that ugly fellow that fed you the door


Never heard this, but it sounds like a rather violent euphemism for slamming someone's face into a door.

IpseDixit wrote:-tug at something


Can't think of anything other than its literal meaning - to pull something gently, most often without actually moving the thing.

IpseDixit wrote:-but inexperienced though he was


"even though he was not experienced"

IpseDixit wrote:-the hair on the constable's neck stood on end


"stood up straight" (i.e. the constable was scared).

IpseDixit wrote:-it was stuffed into a bag and slung across the other shoulder. (Doesn't "to sling" mean to throw something with a sling?)


Rarely. Mostly it means just to throw something in general, but here has the meaning that it was draped over the shoulder (though done in a more haphazard manner).

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-23, 19:25

IpseDixit wrote:-to start in with something
With something or with someone? "Don't start in with me" is a way of saying don't hassle me.

IpseDixit wrote:-work one's way around
To begin working with one subset of materials and continue systematically until you reach another, e.g. "I like to start at the middle and work my way around to the back seam." It can also be used of motion when it involves dealing with obstructions, rough terrain, being stealthy, or anything else which makes the process more challenging, e.g. "The trail continued on up the hill, and I tried to work my way around to the top of the waterfall on foot to look down it, but the canyon got pretty narrow and rough."

IpseDixit wrote:-pick one's way
See above. Again, it involves moving while avoiding obstructions.

IpseDixit wrote:-that ugly fellow that fed you the door
Presumably a bouncer or some other hired goon that prevented someone from entering a building.

IpseDixit wrote:-tug at something
Pulling at something which is fixed or caught on something else. E.g. "Jamie came close and tried to tug at his father's shirt sleeve."

IpseDixit wrote:-but inexperienced though he was
"although he was inexperienced"
IpseDixit wrote:-the hair on the constable's neck stood on end
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/stand_on_end
IpseDixit wrote:-it was stuffed into a bag and slung across the other shoulder. (Doesn't "to sling" mean to throw something with a sling?)
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sling#Verb
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

IpseDixit

Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-23, 20:21

Ciarán12 wrote:To start talking about something the speaker doesn't want them to talk about - e.g. "Of course, as soon as he had a few drinks he started in with this whole business with his mother..."

It could have a different interpretation though, more context would help.

linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:-to start in with something
With something or with someone? "Don't start in with me" is a way of saying don't hassle me.


Ok, so basically there's this constable who is interrogating a specter (it's a fantasy novel) but the specter talks very slowly and often repeats the same sentences, so a colleague of the constable says:

You're not to get anything more out of him. When they start in with the repetition there's not much else you can do.
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2015-03-23, 20:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-23, 20:24

IpseDixit wrote:Ok, so basically there's this constable who is interrogating a specter (it's fantasy novel) but the specter talks very slowly and often repeats the same sentences, so a colleague of the constable says:

You're not to get anything more out of him. When they start in with the repetition there's not much else you can do.
Yeah, that's more or less the usage Ciarán is talking about. The spectre is talking to the other characters in a way that they'd rather not have to put up with.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

IpseDixit

Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-24, 15:52

Can at all be used in affirmative sentences? And if so, what does it mean?

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-24, 15:54

IpseDixit wrote:Can at all be used in affirmative sentences? And if so, what does it mean?
To my ear, that's a Hiberno-English dialectalism.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

IpseDixit

Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-24, 16:00

linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Can at all be used in affirmative sentences? And if so, what does it mean?
To my ear, that's a Hiberno-English dialectalism.

And how would it be used in Hiberno-English?

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby Ciarán12 » 2015-03-24, 17:11

IpseDixit wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Can at all be used in affirmative sentences? And if so, what does it mean?
To my ear, that's a Hiberno-English dialectalism.

And how would it be used in Hiberno-English?


"Do you play football at all?" = "Do you ever play football?/Do you play any football?"

"Do you have any French at all?" = "Do you speak any French?"

IpseDixit

Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-24, 17:13

Ciarán12 wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Can at all be used in affirmative sentences? And if so, what does it mean?
To my ear, that's a Hiberno-English dialectalism.

And how would it be used in Hiberno-English?


"Do you play football at all?" = "Do you ever play football?/Do you play any football?"

"Do you have any French at all?" = "Do you speak any French?"

Any other examples besides questions?

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby Ciarán12 » 2015-03-24, 17:18

IpseDixit wrote:Any other examples besides questions?


"Any book at all will tell you that".

For affirmative sentences, I can only think of examples where it is used to strengthen "any" and must be used in conjunction with it.

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-24, 17:26

Ciarán12 wrote:"Do you play football at all?" = "Do you ever play football?/Do you play any football?"
"Do you have any French at all?" = "Do you speak any French?"
Those strike me as usages which would be at home in any variety of English. What I had in mind were examples like these (from a David Marcus novel):

"What brought ye this way at all?"
"And tell me, Denis, how did you get these cuts at all?"

In both cases, my dialect would've preferred "anyway"/"in the first place". These usages strike me as calques of Irish ar aon chor/in aon chor/ar chor ar bith.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

IpseDixit

Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-24, 17:29

Let's see if I got it right.

Do you like him at all? = is there anything you like about him?

Is that ok?

---

linguoboy wrote:"What brought ye this way at all?"
"And tell me, Denis, how did you get these cuts at all?"

What do those mean?

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-24, 17:41

IpseDixit wrote:
linguoboy wrote:"What brought ye this way at all?"
"And tell me, Denis, how did you get these cuts at all?"

What do those mean?
As I said, I would translate those into my dialect was:

"What brought y'all this way anyway?"
"And tell me, Denis, how'd you get these cuts anyway?"

Really, it's just a way of softening in the inquiry to make it sound more conversational.
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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby Ciarán12 » 2015-03-24, 17:59

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:"Do you play football at all?" = "Do you ever play football?/Do you play any football?"
"Do you have any French at all?" = "Do you speak any French?"
Those strike me as usages which would be at home in any variety of English. What I had in mind were examples like these (from a David Marcus novel):

"What brought ye this way at all?"
"And tell me, Denis, how did you get these cuts at all?"

In both cases, my dialect would've preferred "anyway"/"in the first place". These usages strike me as calques of Irish ar aon chor/in aon chor/ar chor ar bith.


I see. I would never say that, so perhaps it's part of a different or older form of Hiberno-English than what I speak.

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Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-24, 18:05

Ciarán12 wrote:I see. I would never say that, so perhaps it's part of a different or older form of Hiberno-English than what I speak.
Marcus is from Cork (as is the character in the book), so it could also be we're dealing with a regional feature.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

IpseDixit

Re: IpseDixit - English

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-25, 15:15

-Where's the difference between except something and except for something?

-Is media a mass noun?

-At the beginning of the Foreword to the Second Edition of The Lord of the Rings Tolkien writes this tale grew in the telling, until it became a history of the Great War of the Ring etc etc.

Does this tale grew in the telling mean that Tolkien gradually came up with the story as he was writing it, as opposed to thoroughly thinking it up and then writing it down?

-What does to be on a call mean? I've found it in this sentence: he hadn't been on a call this easy in weeks.


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