Re: Good day for authors

liril at liril at
Wed Aug 17 12:48:38 EDT 2005


> Bettina wrote regarding my fumbling attempts at a definition for
> "squoily":
> >I'm impressed.
> >
> >It might be that reading about a new Chrestomanci novel I was squoily
> >myself.
> As I understood it, one can't know that of oneself; it is an observed
> phenomenon.  (All bets are off when it comes to hedgehogs, who are by
> their
> nature inexplicable and Other and seem to make a habit of confounding
> researchers, whether deliberately or not.)

Yepp. That's why I said "it might be" :-)
> >PS: I gather the English language has *more* words than German, so I
> shan't
> >even try to look for the "translation" :-)
> I was thinking of words made by adding more words to them, which English
> tends not to do but German can?

Yes and no (and I don't intend to start the English/German discussion
again). The "new" words don't really have a new meaning, but present a neat
and short way to express things. For want of a better example: if someone
invents a machine that controls the fusion of sponks the word
"sponkfusioncontrolmachine" would be grammatically correct and understood by
ervery German speaker as "a machine that...." So the Word
"Donaudampfschiffkaptiänsmütze" is too long and wouldn't really be used but
its gramatically correct and means cap of the captain of a steamship crusing
the Donau (that might be the example Mark Twain was poking fun at). But the
sheer mass of words the English language has (accumulated) e.g. in the field

"smile/grin/chuckle/sneer/guffaw/snicker/..." leaves me speechless :-)


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