"tastes like happy!" adj. instead of nouns & v

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Cisza
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Postby Cisza » 2005-09-12, 12:51

Ha... here is one real dialog of my friend, a hitch-hiker, with a driver. They spoke Russian, and I try to translate it close to the original:
D: It's so hard to drive in winter without winter tyres! It's such a fucking thing! And as for me - I have these tyres - and it's such a fucking thing!
HH: What?!
D: Yeah, I mean, it's so easy to drive with these tyres!
:)

It's a common thing in quite different languages with this obscene word :) - it can be both positive and negative - not only in different regions, but in the speech of a same person!
Różnica między wielbłądem i człowiekiem – wielbłąd może pracować przez tydzień nie pijąc; człowiek może przez tydzień pić nie pracując.

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Postby MikeL » 2005-09-12, 22:02

A good example of divergent evolution is the word "terrible" in English and French. From the Latin for "frightening", it has evolved in English to a pejorative or negative meaning, while in French, at least in colloquial language it has a positive connotation: "Cette musique est terrible" = "This music is great/fantastic".

As for the use of "f***ing" as an adjective, in English I'm not aware of any way in which it can have a positive connotation, except when followed by another adjective e.g. "f***ing good"...

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-09-13, 4:49

I haven't understood completely in what cases or situations one would say "tastes like happy".
What does he/she mean by that?

I know, svenska said already that it tasted like "happiness" (:lol:), but I can't imagine how this would taste at all ! :P

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Postby Kirk » 2005-09-13, 6:27

yabba wrote:I haven't understood completely in what cases or situations one would say "tastes like happy".
What does he/she mean by that?

I know, svenska said already that it tasted like "happiness" (:lol:), but I can't imagine how this would taste at all ! :P


That's kinda the point. You're mixing senses which don't normally mix, so it's kind of funny. For example I think a spiced chai latte from Starbucks tastes like Christmas because I associate the spices in it with Christmas. Christmas of course doesn't have a taste--but if it did, for me it would be that drink :)

Image
Christmas in a drink :)
Image
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-09-13, 6:44

svenska84 wrote:
yabba wrote:I haven't understood completely in what cases or situations one would say "tastes like happy".
What does he/she mean by that?

I know, svenska said already that it tasted like "happiness" (:lol:), but I can't imagine how this would taste at all ! :P


That's kinda the point. You're mixing senses which don't normally mix, so it's kind of funny. For example I think a spiced chai latte from Starbucks tastes like Christmas because I associate the spices in it with Christmas. Christmas of course doesn't have a taste--but if it did, for me it would be that drink :)

Image
Christmas in a drink :)


That was a nice example I understand it now :)
Your example got me thinking and I remembered that in German such things do exist, too.

Tastes like Christmas
Schmeckt wie Weihnachten

I have definitely heard this before and the German ice industry uses a similar slogan which is part of a song they play during the commercials:

Image

So schmeckt der Sommer
That's how summer tastes

lyrics of the song are here: http://www.lyricscrawler.com/song/35016.html
[/url]

Kennedy

Postby Kennedy » 2005-09-13, 16:34

MikeL wrote:A good example of divergent evolution is the word "terrible" in English and French. From the Latin for "frightening", it has evolved in English to a pejorative or negative meaning, while in French, at least in colloquial language it has a positive connotation: "Cette musique est terrible" = "This music is great/fantastic".

The same happens in English, though, with the word "terrific" (as in it was a terrific concert!). If you notice, both words ("terrific" and "terrible") come from the same root (Latin terrere, "to frighten"), but neither in Portuguese, nor in Spanish you'd hear those words used melioratively. That's why "terrífico" (same word for Spanish and Portuguese) should be translated in English as "terrifying". It's a bad thing. :)



yabba wrote:I haven't understood completely in what cases or situations one would say "tastes like happy".
What does he/she mean by that?

I would say that that's a figure of speech called synesthesia. It's the mixture of different sensations in one single expression. For example, "that bitter and cold cry pierced me." It's a mix of the taste (bitter) and of the touch (cold, pierced). Or also "The music was bright and colourful." (sound being described in terms of sight)

That's why Synesthesia is also know as "sense transfer."



svenska84 wrote:Christmas of course doesn't have a taste--but if it did, for me it would be that drink :)

To me hot chocolate tastes like Christmas. :)

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Postby MikeL » 2005-09-14, 0:20

Kennedy wrote:
MikeL wrote:A good example of divergent evolution is the word "terrible" in English and French. From the Latin for "frightening", it has evolved in English to a pejorative or negative meaning, while in French, at least in colloquial language it has a positive connotation: "Cette musique est terrible" = "This music is great/fantastic".

The same happens in English, though, with the word "terrific" (as in it was a terrific concert!). If you notice, both words ("terrific" and "terrible") come from the same root (Latin terrere, "to frighten"), but neither in Portuguese, nor in Spanish you'd hear those words used melioratively. That's why "terrífico" (same word for Spanish and Portuguese) should be translated in English as "terrifying". It's a bad thing. :)

And another interesting example is "awful", which in modern English is synonymous with "very bad", "terrible", but which several hundred years ago could be used in a positive sense: "an awful building" was one that provoked awe, that is amazement and admiration. This original sense of "awful" has long since disappeared, but interestingly the word "awesome" is now used with exactly that meaning.

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Postby Kirk » 2005-09-14, 4:26

yabba wrote:That was a nice example I understand it now :)
Your example got me thinking and I remembered that in German such things do exist, too.

Tastes like Christmas
Schmeckt wie Weihnachten

I have definitely heard this before and the German ice industry uses a similar slogan which is part of a song they play during the commercials:

Image

So schmeckt der Sommer
That's how summer tastes

lyrics of the song are here: http://www.lyricscrawler.com/song/35016.html
[/url]


Ooh cool! Thanks for the examples :)

Kennedy wrote:To me hot chocolate tastes like Christmas.

Yum!

MikeL wrote:And another interesting example is "awful", which in modern English is synonymous with "very bad", "terrible", but which several hundred years ago could be used in a positive sense: "an awful building" was one that provoked awe, that is amazement and admiration. This original sense of "awful" has long since disappeared, but interestingly the word "awesome" is now used with exactly that meaning.


Yup! "Silly" also used to mean something roughly equivalent to "pretty, fair." I believe "nice" also has had great semantic shifts over the centuries, but I can't remember at this moment what it used to mean.
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'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks

Kennedy

Postby Kennedy » 2005-09-14, 9:13

svenska84 wrote:I believe "nice" also has had great semantic shifts over the centuries, but I can't remember at this moment what it used to mean.

Because it comes from Latin "nescius" (compare Portuguese "néscio", Italian "nescio", Spanish "necio"), it originally (by the end of the 1200s) meant "foolish", "stupid" (the Latin term means "ignorant", from "ne-" (not) and "scire", to know - that is, he who does not know). Obviously the term came through French, where it meant "foolish". Compare the development of the word throughout the years:
    ? - 1300: "timid"
    1380: "fussy, fastidious"
    1405: "dainty, delicate"
    1500: "precise, careful"
    1769: "agreeable, delightful"
    1830: "kind, thoughtful"

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Postby Kirk » 2005-09-15, 2:36

Kennedy wrote:
svenska84 wrote:I believe "nice" also has had great semantic shifts over the centuries, but I can't remember at this moment what it used to mean.

Because it comes from Latin "nescius" (compare Portuguese "néscio", Italian "nescio", Spanish "necio"), it originally (by the end of the 1200s) meant "foolish", "stupid" (the Latin term means "ignorant", from "ne-" (not) and "scire", to know - that is, he who does not know). Obviously the term came through French, where it meant "foolish". Compare the development of the word throughout the years:
    ? - 1300: "timid"
    1380: "fussy, fastidious"
    1405: "dainty, delicate"
    1500: "precise, careful"
    1769: "agreeable, delightful"
    1830: "kind, thoughtful"


Thanks! :)
Image
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.

maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks


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