Natural languages, communication, etc

Archive for December, 2010

therefore feature her striking symbol

were tendered
him, Napoleon appointed him first grenadier of the army. He fell in the
action at Neuburg, and the Viceroy of Italy, Eugene Beauharnais,
afterward caused a monument to be erected there in his memory.]

"One day, a breakfast was given me at the camp of Ambleteuse. I desired
to go by water, and, notwithstanding a contrary wind, the admiral took
me. I saw the English ships, and we passed so near them, that they might
easily have captured our yacht. I also visited the Dutch fleet commanded
by Admiral Versuelt, where I was received with great applause, the
sailors little dreaming that I would be their queen within the space of
a year[71].

[Footnote 71: In order to reach the harbor of Ambleteuse to which they
had been assigned, the Dutch had first been compelled to do battle with
the English fleet, and in this combat they had acquitted themselves with
the greatest honor.]

"On another occasion, the emperor ordered a review. The English, who
felt disquieted, by the appearance of so many troops drawn up before
them, approached nearer and nearer to our coasts, and even fired a few
cannon-shots at us; the emperor was at the head of his French columns
when they replied to these shots, and was thus placed between two fires.
As we had followed him, we were n

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locally respond her promising black

head of the new Roman-French Republic as a new Caesar, Robespierre fell
a prey to the Tribunal of Terror which he himself had called into
existence. While engaged in the Hotel de Ville in signing
death-sentences which were to furnish fresh victims to the guillotine,
he was arrested by the Jacobins and National Guards, who had stormed
the gates and penetrated into the building, and the attempt to blow out
his brains with his pistol miscarried. Bleeding, his jaw shattered by
the bullet, he was dragged before Fouquier-Tainville to receive his
sentence, and to be conducted thence to the scaffold. In order that the
proceeding should be attended with all formalities, he was, however,
first conducted to the Tuileries, where the Committee of Public Safety
was then sitting in the chamber of Queen Marie Antoinette. Into the
bedchamber of the queen whom Robespierre had brought to the scaffold,
the bleeding, half-lifeless dictator was now dragged. Like a bundle of
rags he was contemptuously thrown on the large table that stood in the
middle of the room. But yesterday Robespierre had been enthroned at this
table as almighty ruler over the lives and possessions of all Frenchmen;
but yesterday he had here issued his decrees and signed the
death-sentences, that lay on the table, unexecuted. These papers were
now the only salve the ghastly, groaning man could apply to the wound in
his face, from which blood poured in streams. The death-sentences signed
by himself now drank his own blood, and he had nothing but a rag of a
tricolor, thrown him by a compassionate _sans-culotte_, with which to
bind up the great, gaping wound on his head. As he sat there in the
midst of the blood-saturated papers, bleeding, groaning, and
complaining, an old National Guard, with outstretched arms, pointing to
this ghastly object, cried: "Yes, Robespierre was right. There is a
Supreme Being!"

This period of blood and ter

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Synonym Conflation In Word Formation

I was just wondering if you guys could give me one or more examples of
words that were formed by combining synonyms or near synonyms.


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historical pronunciation of sicilia

The Arabic word for Sicily is Siqi:liyya, and I was wondering, during
what century did the c start being pronounced [tS] (or whatever it was
pronounced after it was no longer [k])?


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Arabic "bak" for Turkish "bey"?

Does anyone know why the Turkish word "bey" ("Mr.") becomes "bak" in
Arabic? What’s the connection?


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show their sensation at times the measure

weeping, so I shoved his
head in the print-washing tank in order to wash away his
tears and stop the flow of obscene language.  As I let him
stand up, I said, "Stand in that corner.  If you move until I
say you may, I will start all over again!"  He did not move.
    "My!  That was a sight for sore eyes," said Marie.  "The
little runt is a leader of one of the Soho gangs.  You have got
him frightened, thought he was the greatest fighter ever,
he did!"
    I sat and waited.  About an hour later, the man who had
employed me came down the stairs, turning pale as he saw
me and the gangster.  "I want my money," I said.  "It’s
been a poor month, I haven’t any money, I have had to pay
Protection to him," he said, pointing to the gangster.
    I looked at him.  "D’you think I’m working in this stink-
ing hole for nothing?"  I asked.
    "Give me a few days and I’ll see if I can rake some up.
He"-pointing to the gangster  "takes all my money
because if I don’t pay him he gets my men in trouble."
    No money, not much hope of getting any, either!  I
agreed to continue for another two weeks to give "the
Boss" time to get some money somewhere.  Sadly I left the
house, thinking how fortunate it was that I cycled to
Clapham in order to save fares.  As I went to unchain my
cycle, the gangster sidled furtively up to me.  "Say, Guv’,"
he whispered hoarsely, "d’ye want a good job?  Lookin’
arter me.  Twenty quid a week, all found."
    "Get out of it, you runny-nosed little squirt," I answered
    "Twenty-five quid a week!"
    As I turned toward him in exasperation he skipped
nimbly away, muttering, "Make it thirty, top offer, all
the wimmin you want, and the booze you kin drink, be a
    At the sight of my expression he vaulted over the base-
ment railing and disappeared into somebody’s private
rooms.  I turned, mounted the bicycle, and rode off.

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equal their drama in response to the guarantee

Together we made our way to Kosice, Zvolen, and on to
Levice, walking, getting lifts, and riding on trains.  Jozef
knew the country well, knew where to get potatoes or beets
or anything which could be eaten.
    At long last, we walked up a mean street in Levice to a
small house.  Jozef knocked, and as there was no reply,
knocked again.  With extreme caution, a curtain was drawn
aside an inch or so.  The watcher saw and recognized Jozef.
The door was flung open and he was dragged inside.  The
door slammed in my face.  I paced up and down outside.
Eventually the door opened again and Jozef came out look-
ing more troubled than I had thought possible.
    "My mother won’t have you in," he said.  "She says
there are too many spies about and if we have anyone else
in, we may all get arrested.  I’m sorry."  With that he turned
shame-facedly away and re-entered the house.
    For long moments I stood dazed.  I had been responsible
for getting Jozef out of prison, I had saved him from getting
shot.  My efforts had brought him here, and now he had
turned and left me to manage the best way I could.  Sadly
I turned and retrace

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grin their bowler in relation to the shower

my left lung.  My left
arm was broken in two places, and my left leg was broken
again at the knee and at the ankle.  The broken end of a
soldier’s bayonet had penetrated my left shoulder, narrowly
missing a vital artery.  The women surgeons sighed noisily,
wondering where to start.  I seemed to float over the oper-
ating table, watching, wondering if their skill would be
great enough to patch me up.  A gentle tugging upon my
Silver Cord, and I found myself floating up through the
ceiling, seeing in my passing, patients in their beds in wards


above.  I drifted up and away, out into space, out among  
the limitless stars, beyond the astral, through etheric plane  
after plane, until I reached again the "Land of the Golden
    I started, trying to peer through the purple mist.  "He
has returned," a gentle voice said, and the mists receded
giving way to the glorious Light again.  My Guide, the Lama
Mingyar Dondup, stood beside me, looking down.  Sha-lu          
was lying on the bed beside me, gently purring.  Two other      
High Personages were in the room.  When I saw them, they        
were looking out of the window watching the people stroll-
ing many feet below.
    At my gasp of surprise they turned and smiled upon me.
"You have been so very ill," said one, "we feared that your  
body would not endure."
    The other, whom I knew well in spite of the exalted
position he had had on Earth, took my hands between his.      
"You have suffered too much, Lobsang.  The world has            
been too cruel to you.  We have discussed this and feel that    
you may like to withdraw.  There would be very much more      
suffering for you if you continued.  You can abandon your      
body now and remain here through eternity.  Would you
prefer it so?"                                        
    My heart leaped within me.  Peace after

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future is here…..

hi frnds…
here is the future technologies selected by NASA..
a very useful link for all of us….…

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There can be a certain malleability in the terms used for meals. Where I
come from, dinner is the evening meal, but it’s the afternoon meal in
the Boston area. French French has petit déjeuner, déjeuner, dîner over
the course of the day while Belgian French has déjeuner, dîner, souper.
In both of these cases, meal names have shifted over by *one* meal,
between afternoon and evening, or between morning and afternoon.

Today’s A Word A Day offering is "jentacular", "relating to breakfast".
It comes "from Latin jentare (to breakfast)". I immediately recognized
this as the source of Portuguese "jantar", the evening meal. This is
quite a leap. At some point in the written record between Latin and
modern Portuguese, does this word stop in the middle for some period of
time and refer to the afternoon meal?

Now, I’ve posed the question just as a curiosity because I went on to
check out the story of "dîner" and found that a similar story is indeed
recorded for it. I realized that I didn’t know the origin of
"dinner"/French "dîner", and in particular I wondered whether the
circumflex in the French word indicates a lost "s". Well, the Trésor de
la langue française informatisé (TLFi) confirms my suspicion that it
comes from the same source as "déjeuner" and Spanish "desayuno"
(breakfast): "disjejunare", to break a fast, from "jejunare", to fast.
TLFi explains the derivation of dîner through a haplology "disjunare",
and attests a use from around 1131, "[Al matin monte]… quant ont disné
li noble chevalier)" (with the "s" that the circumflex would later stand
in for) where it refers to the morning meal, followed by an attestation
in 1532, "qu’il luy aprestast au lendemain, sur le midy, à disner",
where it referred to the afternoon meal, and finally one before 1747,
"Mon maître donne à dîner ce soir", where it referred to the evening
meal. Very fluid.

Did "dinner" ever mean "breakfast" in English?

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