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Character’s names in fiction/film
Posted: 02 March 2007 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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I’ve never thought of it as simply a synonym for “commoners” as opposed to “the aristocracy”, and I don’t see any support for that specific sense in the OED’s definition ("the majority; the masses. Also formerly in Univ. slang, candidates for a pass degree.") or in any of the citations.

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Posted: 02 March 2007 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Kurwamac: try using a mnemonic for your PIN number. It’s the only thing that’s worked for me. For years, I would watch in anguish as my credit card disappeared into the bowels of the unarmed bandit, after my third unsuccessful try. Now, I just think: “two thousand years after the execution of Louis XVI”, and --- Bingo! there’s my overdraft!

Note: Spanish speakers say “La Alhambra” , “la almohada”, “el alcázar”, “el almacén”, etc. The Arabic article has become a part of the Spanish word, as Dr. Techie points out.

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Posted: 02 March 2007 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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as Dr. Techie points out.

Oh dear, it’s contagious.  Either Lionello has forgotten that I’m not languagehat or I’ve forgotten that I am.

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Posted: 02 March 2007 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Apologies to Dr. Techie and to languagehat.

I don’t think the senile decay is total yet. My mind, like the curate’s egg, is still “good in parts”.

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Posted: 02 March 2007 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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More rabble here.  I refer you to this LH post for a longer version of my thoughts on the matter.  Executive summary:

“Hoi polloi” is treated in English as an unanalyzable compound, and that is as it should be.

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Posted: 05 March 2007 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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kurwamac - 27 February 2007 12:16 PM

I found that too, but it really doesn’t explain anything.

The only thing that makes any sense at all to me is that he was so formidable that nobody dared to ask his first name, but that hardly seems to justify the ‘subtle satire’ that I remember reading about all those years ago. What with that and the rather silly Sheisskopf, I don’t think names were Heller’s strong point, though he seems to been obsessed with them: the (somewhat amusing) bit from Catch-22 where Yossarian signs other people’s names to the letters he censors, occasionally incorporating them into sentences, and the (pretty awful) decision to use Good as Gold as the title of a novel whose hero is named Gold, making a bad novel even worse.

I assumed Roger in Major ________ de Coverley was blanked out in a satirical reference to Roger being a synonym for “fuck” given his habit of providing rooms for this purpose. But its ages since I read the book.

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