harry Bailey esq Registered User
#8,296

mzungu said:
All that talk of Greek got me thinking about Grease.


.


Did you you know that 'going greek' is a term for anal sex and grease is a byword for lube
Reminds me of the scene in 'Last Tango in Paris' where Marlon Brando says to yer one, get the butter....

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Esel Not your ornery onager
#8,297

harry Bailey esq said:
Did you you know that 'going greek' is a term for anal sex and grease is a byword for lube
Reminds me of the scene in 'Last Tango in Paris' where Marlon Brando says to yer one, get the butter....


Did you hear about the Greek who got a green card for the US but didn't go - because he didn't want to leave his friend's behind.

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razorblunt Registered User
#8,298

Srameen said:
Nope!


Not sure why I thought otherwise, I know folk from Dunblane, I must have misheard something along the way from them. Not that they talk often about that day obviously.

mzungu Moderator
#8,299

harry
Did you you know that 'going greek' is a term for anal sex and grease is a byword for lube

I did not, but if I had I would have certainly worded that sentence differently!

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mzungu Moderator
#8,300

Con man "Count" Victor Lustig convinced six scrap metal dealers to bid on the Eiffel Tower. Apparently he got the idea when he read an article about how the Eiffel Tower was rusting, and the financial drain of its high maintenance costs and repairs. Since the tower was only supposed to stand for 20 years, some Parisians were saying it should be taken down entirely.

Not one to miss an opportunity, Lustig devised a plan to convince the city's biggest scrap-metal dealers that he was a government director charged with the discreet task of selling off the Eiffel Tower's scrap metal. To keep up pretences, he rented limousines and gave tours of the landmark, and insinuated not only that this was very hush-hush government business, but that he could be bribed into accepting the winning bid.

One dealer was convinced, and paid Lustig $20,000 in cash plus an additional $50,000 to make sure his was the winning bid. Once he had the money, Lustig scarpered off to Austria to lay low while the story broke — but it never did since the dealer was too embarrassed to report Lustig's scam.

Lustig later returned to Paris and gave it another try, but was worried one of the scrap dealers had notified the police. He fled to the U.S. where he was ultimately caught operating another scam. In fact, as I write this I see that during his time in America he managed to scam Al Capone! Wiki entry on it below:

When the Great Depression hit, Lustig concocted a risky scam aimed towards Al Capone, knowing that he faced certain death if he was found to be betraying or sought to ruin his mark. For Lustig, the scam was not a straight-out con, but one designed around a mind game with his target that would get him to part with a small amount of cash. The scheme involved him asking Capone to let him invest $50,000 towards a crooked scam, whereupon he kept the money given to him within a safe deposit box for two months before returning it. When he did, he claimed that the deal had fallen through, but that he intended to return the money, which surprised Capone by the fact he was dealing with an honest man for the first time. At this point, Lustig stung him with a claim that the failure of the deal meant he had no money himself to support him, convincing Capone to give him $5,000 to "tide him over", as Lustig had planned.


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harry Bailey esq Registered User
#8,301

mzungu said:
I did not, but if I had I would have certainly worded that sentence differently!


I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter
*strokes chin*

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harry Bailey esq Registered User
#8,302

Esel said:
Did you hear about the Greek who got a green card for the US but didn't go - because he didn't want to leave his friend's behind.


Hehehehe

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IvyTheTerrific Registered User
#8,303

mzungu said:
Con man "Count" Victor Lustig convinced six scrap metal dealers to bid on the Eiffel Tower....

I love that his name means "funny" in German.

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$hifty Registered User
#8,304

Quazzie said:
I think your name should be misters chip


I'll have two curlies-wurly and two whoppers junior for both of these Sergeants Major, please

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mr chips Registered User
#8,305

Ok smart alecs, it's just the logic of how English works - which admittedly is often pretty fuzzy. NB DO NOT continue reading if language geekdom is not your thing ...

The term "knock on" is what's known as an open compound. A couple of other examples could be "post office", or "court martial", but there are plenty more. If you need to use the plural form of an open compound and are unsure where to put your letter s, a good rule of thumb is to look for the noun - or where there are two nouns, to look for whichever one is key to the meaning.

There are two nouns in the phrase "post office", so which of them is the key one? Well, the phrase describes a type of office - it could be expressed as "the office of the post", but not as "the post of the office". So the key noun here is office, which means that for the plural we don't say posts office, but post offices.

On the other hand - if two soldiers appear on two different occasions before a court martial, this can be expressed by saying "Two soldiers appeared before the courts martial." Why not "court martials?" Because in this open compound, the noun is court; martial in this instance is an adjective, which is describing a type of court. Therefore, one court martial, but two courts martial.

As an aside, there are also closed compounds in English, where two words have been joined together. One example of a closed compound is the word passerby. The plural is not "passerbys", but "passersby".

However! As I said at the top, the logic of English is often pretty fuzzy. The term "court martials" has been used so often that it has by now appeared in dictionaries as an acceptable alternative form, even though technically it breaks the rules of the language. Another example of this happening is the word "literally" - until recently, (and I'll paraphrase here) this was defined as something which was genuinely, really, factually true and truly factual. However, more recent proliferation of incorrect usage such as "I literally died of embarrassment" - clearly not a genuine, real, factually true or truly factual statement - has resulted in the expansion of the dictionary definition of the word literally to include its use as an emphatic. This is because part of a dictionary's raison d'etre is to reflect current usage.

Ok then, back to rugby terms. In the open compound "knock on", which one is the noun? The answer is the word "knock". Whether it's a knock forward, a knock to the left, a knock to the right or up or down, the singular version is "knock" and the the plural of that noun is "knocks". So the plural of the open compound is indeed "knocks on". However, a dictionary definition may well include the term "knock ons" because - as with "literally" and "court martials" - its changing use has been reflected.

But it's still wrong. So there.

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Fourier Registered User
#8,306

mr chips said:
O
On the other hand - if two soldiers appear on two different occasions before a court martial, this can be expressed by saying "Two soldiers appeared before the courts martial." Why not "court martials?" Because in this open compound, the noun is court; martial in this instance is an adjective, which is describing a type of court. Therefore, one court martial, but two courts martial.

I know that the adjective noun order is reversed in "court martial" because it is taken from French during the Norman invasion. Do all open compounds come from French?

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mr chips Registered User
#8,307

Interesting question - I wouldn't think so. Knock on doesn't , for a start - that's "un en-avant", which is a hyphenated compound (rather than an open compound). Life jacket, mobile phone, dinner table ... I suppose while all of these can obviously be translated, you're really asking does the linguistic format derive from French/Latin as opposed to German. I'd be more inclined to think it's due to the latter, seeing as compound words are so central to German. But I couldn't say for sure, so the honest answer is I don't know.

Interestingly, it was Irish monks who introduced the concept of spacing between words - the convention used to be that all the words of a sentence would be written together in one block, but since the holy scripts were written in Latin - a language foreign to them - they started spacing out the words to make things easier. That dates back to a good 1500 years ago, so it predates the "French" the Normans spoke - which wouldn't have been very similar to French as we know it today, more a derivation of a hybridised Latin and dialects local to northern France - not forgetting the Viking influence. Plus wasn't there a stronger influence of French on modern English tracing back to the period of the Restoration? ...

Going back to the spirit of the thread, and speaking of German ... as I said, the use of compound words is both extensive and routine in that language. For example, one of the main political parties there is abbreviated by "SDP". In English, the full version of this would translate as the Social Democratic Party of Germany, but in German the first two words are compounded, so it becomes "Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands".

Compound words in German are often derived from bureaucracy and there have been a number of contenders for the longest one, as from time to time some are officially no longer used. One example of this was the term (deep breath!)

Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz*

- which translates as "law for the delegation of monitoring of beef labelling". This was no longer needed after the testing of cattle for BSE was no longer required.
* I freely admit I couldn't remember exactly what that one was, so I had to check!

I'm struggling to remember the longest one I ever encountered when living there, but I think it was along the lines of "the cap-badge of a Danube steamship company captain", which was something like (another deep breath!)

Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsmützenanstecknadel

Hmm - I've just remembered that numbers are also compounded in German. So it occurs to me that the longest word in German may not be possible to define, since it would be infinite as numbers are - unless I've missed a rule for breaking up the way to write really big numbers!

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Chancer3001 Registered User
#8,308

for some reason in Irish when you put "cupla" in front of a word, meaning a couple of, or a few..... you use the singular.

So its cupla fear instead of cupla fir.

Cupla cailin instead of cupla cailini

(apologies for no fadas on this US laptop)

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IvyTheTerrific Registered User
#8,309

If you've ever wondered where the word "storey" comes from, it comes from the Greek word historia meaning story/history. In the middle ages, storey meant a tier of stained glass windows or sculptures on a building (usually a church). The higher a building, the more storeys it had... And eventually it just came to mean a floor of a building.

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#8,310

mr chips said:
Hmm - I've just remembered that numbers are also compounded in German. So it occurs to me that the longest word in German may not be possible to define, since it would be infinite as numbers are - unless I've missed a rule for breaking up the way to write really big numbers!
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry provides naming conventions that lead to very long compound words.

Which means this is one of the longest words in the English language

It starts off Methionylalanylthreonylserylarginylglycylalanylserylarginylcysteinylproly-
and ends up with -araginylglycylprolylprolylprolylleucine

The formula is for the protein Titin and has 189,819 letters.

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