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Koran vs Qur’an
Posted: 20 August 2008 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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languagehat - There’s a Giles De’Ath in Love and Death on Long Island by Gilbert Adair but I haven’t read it so I don’t know if that’s the book you mean.

(I once had a mate nicknamed Death (pronounced as in popping your clogs) - he was a sound engineer who worked late through the night and used to explain that the rest of the nickname was ‘Warmed Up’ from the way he looked in the morning)

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Posted: 20 August 2008 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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aldiboronti - 20 August 2008 07:23 AM

That rings a bell, but I can’t for the life of me recall the book. De’Ath is a genuine English surname, According to Burke’s, “This family, which derives its name from Aeth in Flanders, is of ancient standing in the county of Kent.”

I’m a bit sceptical of this: if the family really was from Aeth, would their name not be D’Aeth? (viz D’Arcy, D’Artagnan, D’Albert etc)

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Posted: 20 August 2008 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Just checked one of my family-name reference works, and there is indeed a DeAth from the town in Flanders; an alternate form is D’Aeth.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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This page is about the pronunciation of the Citroën, and has links to sound files.  The last link is a native Dutch speaker pronouncing Citroen and Citroën ; his pronunciation of the second very closely matches my pronunciation (and what I think of as the common US pronunciation) of the car name.

I’m not claiming this is “right”, and I’m not arguing with happydog, his hot-rodding friends, or any other foreign-car cognoscenti.  Just trying to be clear about what the pronunciation I’m describing actually sounds like.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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I think the only thing my friends were cognizant of was that hod-rods could get you girls. Citroens got you funny looks.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 10:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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I’m reminded of some book with a character named Death, “pronounced de-ATH,” as the character was always explaining, but I can’t remember title or author.

The middle name of Lord Peter Wimsey (fictional detective created by Dorothy L. Sayers) is Death. In one of the books, he says that his personal preference is to have it pronounced “Death” (one syllable, rhymed with “breath"). I think it was “Murder Must Advertise”. I stopped reading detective novels 40 years ago: with almost all of them, I found that after first reading the last 40 pages* they were quite devoid of interest ( Sherlock Holmes is an exception. You usually know whodunit from the outset, and the story’s the thing, not the puzzle).

*Reading the last 40 pages first, is a procedure I can heartily recommend, with regard to just about any book at all. It has saved me literally thousands of pages of reading.

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Posted: 21 August 2008 05:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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Reading the last 40 pages first, is a procedure I can heartily recommend, with regard to just about any book at all. It has saved me literally thousands of pages of reading.

You could save even more time and effort by not reading any pages at all, you know…

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Posted: 21 August 2008 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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I stopped reading detective novels 40 years ago: with almost all of them, I found that after first reading the last 40 pages* they were quite devoid of interest ( Sherlock Holmes is an exception. You usually know whodunit from the outset, and the story’s the thing, not the puzzle).

One of the reasons the Dowager Duchess of Denver is pleased to have Harriet Vane as a daughter-in-law is that her mysteries are such good puzzles, and keep her guessing until the very end.

With all respect and love for her creator, I hope that the stories were the thing in Harriet’s mysteries, since the whodunit is usually less interesting in DLS’s work.

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Posted: 21 August 2008 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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You could save even more time and effort by not reading any pages at all, you know…

well, thank you, languagehat, for that suggestion, which i am sure was well-intentioned, but won’t do. My problem is that i’ve been hopelessly hooked on reading for over 75 years, and can’t stop now. What I try to do is to avoid uninteresting reading, since (having left threescore and ten far behind) I am reading, so to speak, on borrowed time. I find that books worth reading are far outnumbered by the other kind. The last forty pages of a book usually leave me with a very clear notion of whether i want to read the rest of it.

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Posted: 21 August 2008 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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I understand the theory, but this is one of those areas where tastes differ—reading the end first seems perverse to me, and I find the first few pages give me a pretty good idea of whether I want to read the rest.  More power to you, though, if it works for you!

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Posted: 21 August 2008 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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There are nine and fifty ways
Of perusing tribal lays…

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Posted: 22 August 2008 12:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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I always read the last page then the first page and then I decide if I want to read the rest of the book.  Works for me!

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Posted: 22 August 2008 03:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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Try doing that with J.G Ballard’s The Burning World or Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day and you can save yourself the trouble entirely (accidentally both novels have similar endings), but you will have ruined two perfectly good books for yourself.

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Posted: 22 August 2008 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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I suppose we could extend the “first page, last page” approach.  You could listen to the first and last five minutes of a recorded symphony—before deciding to go to a concert.  You could try out a restaurant by ordering a salad and a dessert.  You could reflect on the first three years and last three years of a person’s life before deciding to waste time writing their biography.

It assumes a linear flow to a book that may not actually be there— but I suppose that it gives you a reasonable sample.

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Posted: 22 August 2008 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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JimWilton - 22 August 2008 05:45 AM

I suppose we could extend the “first page, last page” approach.  You could listen to the first and last five minutes of a recorded symphony—before deciding to go to a concert.  You could try out a restaurant by ordering a salad and a dessert. 

My, albeit limited, experience of expensive restaurants is that the starters and the puddings tend to be better than the main courses, so one could be misled....

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