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Author Topic:   Sparrow, this is music in my ears
Kyloe
Member
posted June 29, 1999 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kyloe   Click Here to Email Kyloe     Edit/Delete Message
Sparrow wrote:
"Over the years some 'folk etymologies' have grown up around this symbolic gesture. Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say (like "pleasant mother pheasant plucker", which is who you had to go to for the feathers used on the arrows for the longbow), the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative 'F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter."

Oooh... labio-dental fricatives and consonant clusters... Why haven't I seen this before?

This reminds me of olden days on the forum, when we didn't have our Nutshouse. Have you followed the human/beast debate? Wish it was still available.

Frl. Moderatorin, gnä' Frau, can you add things to the archives, too?

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The Whispering Sombrero
New Member
posted June 30, 1999 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for The Whispering Sombrero     Edit/Delete Message
A rumpled and stained sombrero appears.

Pardon my current appearance. I got stuck in TJ’s sombrero a while back.

I can’t take (I wish I could) responsibility for the music for your ears (labio-dental fricatives and consonant clusters). That part of my posting originated from a friend’s friend - a person with decided linguistic bend. I just used his email to give that thread – in a very back handed way - ‘the bird’ I thought it deserved.

I have read with pleasure your postings on the ‘origins’ of the word ‘taffer’. Now it seems that Boojum coined the word out of her hat. But she may have had some sub-conscious help. Here is my candidate:

Taffy - chewy candy of sugar or syrup boiled until thick and pulled until glossy

That would give the word taffer a meaning similar to ‘candy-ass’. A derogatory expression that would fit the most common usage of the word taffer.

Sparrow


------------------
Boy, it is HOT here!

[This message has been edited by The Whispering Sombrero (edited June 30, 1999).]

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Lytha
Moderator
posted June 30, 1999 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lytha   Click Here to Email Lytha     Edit/Delete Message
and up you go.

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Kyloe
Member
posted July 02, 1999 04:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kyloe   Click Here to Email Kyloe     Edit/Delete Message
So this very interesting explanation is not yours, Sparrow. I have heard it before, in a similar fashion, but without any linguistic refinement. I'd file it under popular myth. It's just too plausible to be true.

I have another one: Why do they drive on the left in England?

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Sparrow
Member
posted July 02, 1999 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sparrow   Click Here to Email Sparrow     Edit/Delete Message
Kyloe,
About Agincourt and The Bird. Do you know if anybody has ever checked if the French had plans to cut off the fingers? If proof found, story is very plausible, otherwise not. I am afraid that Desmond Morris et al would disagree even then.

About English driving on left. I have no foggiest idea.

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GreyMouser
Member
posted July 02, 1999 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GreyMouser   Click Here to Email GreyMouser     Edit/Delete Message
Yes... does anybody know? Were all the knights in England left-handed? As opposed to the right-handed continental knights, whose swords were on the left side, so they had to mount and dismount their horses from and to the left - and subsequently rode on the rightmost side of the road.

Or were the roads in England worse than the ground beside them?
Whoever knows the answer to that enigma, please tell.

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Kyloe
Member
posted July 02, 1999 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kyloe   Click Here to Email Kyloe     Edit/Delete Message
You are almost right GreyMouser. My explanation has to do with most people being right-handed.

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Kyloe
Member
posted July 04, 1999 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kyloe   Click Here to Email Kyloe     Edit/Delete Message
Here's the very probable, and probably very wrong explanation of why they drive on the left in England: (Everyone knows why they drive on the left in Scotland, Jyre!)

- Most people are right-handed (outside this forum).
- So, most knights wore their sword on the left.
- Which is why they would mount their horses from the left. (Tangent: That's why we still mount bikes from the left.)
- It was only natural for coach drivers to mount their carriages from the left, and to sit on the left-hand side of their bench when somebody else was up there, too.

Now, believe it or not, England used to be a very rich country before the twentieth century. So, at the time when carriages where still in use, many people could afford them, which let to a lot of traffic on the roads. Given that, and a tendency to regulate things, the English were the first to come up with a highway code.

- When two carriages meet on a narrow road, they will have to agree on how they could pass each other. Since it is much more important with slow carriages not to drive your vehicle into the ditch than coming into contact with your opponent, it was decided that each driver should take his carriage as close to the left of the road (where they could look down the wheel) as they can.

- Cars have right-hand steering now, because at higher speed and better roads, it became much more important not to touch an opponent.

I have no idea, why we drive on the right on the continent. I personally prefer right-hand steering.

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Stonewall
Member
posted July 05, 1999 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stonewall   Click Here to Email Stonewall     Edit/Delete Message
Once again, Bruder Kyloe has proven why people pay attention when he posts.

Outstanding research....and I would guess we Americans reversed the well-thought-out and sensible driving arrangement out of "Sheer bloody-mindedness", as our British cousins would say.

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Tommyboy
Member
posted July 05, 1999 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tommyboy   Click Here to Email Tommyboy     Edit/Delete Message
Jesus Christ!

I'm gone for a couple of weeks and everything becomes even more insane than usual! Jesus!

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