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Carla Bruni Blasts Berlusconi's Obama Remark

 
 
High Seas
 
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Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 10:34 am
@contrex,
Thanks for the clarification, Contrex. I'm sure that one of our resident grammarians can correct my simplistic reading of the verb "to hit" as a synonym for "to strike" - it sounded vaguely threatening to my untrained ear.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 04:32 am
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:
I'm sure that one of our resident grammarians can correct my simplistic reading of the verb "to hit" as a synonym for "to strike" - it sounded vaguely threatening to my untrained ear.


It does sound threatening, and there is a great deal that a psychologist could discuss about [male] sexual slang which uses words synonymous with those for violent or threatening actions. At best it implies lack of imagination on the part of the speaker, at worst, something more. I suppose that it could be argued that to "hit" could merely suggest a vigorous action on the part of the "hitter". "Tap" is another word used this way. It seems to me that many men who use this type of language see sexual intercourse as something which men (actively) do to (passive) women, and also that it serves to subdue, and establishes or demonstrates dominance in the same way that hitting another man would do.

High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 09:44 am
@contrex,
Contrex - your observation is very interesting to me as I work with several computer languages (and designed a number of AI programs in the past) because our languages convey so much more than we can explain to machines.

Just think of terms referring to colors, for instance. Think of the expression "she's in the pink": inexplicable to a computer other than in its non-literal sense; of course the color pink is easy to explain (just give the range in Angstrom), as is the color black, but "a black mood came over him" is only clear to us, not to machines...

Btw, is your background in linguistics? Mine isn't, I only came across the field in relation to computer applications.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:05 am
@High Seas,
I have a background in Latin and European modern languages, in a sense, since I studied them at university 30 years ago, although my professional life has taken a different direction. Idiomatic expressions are very difficult to explain to non-native learners of a language.

In English, when we wish to say that we have other, more important matters to consider than the one being currently discussed, we may say that we have other fish to fry. French people say that they have other cats to stroke.

Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:59 am
@contrex,
On aurait d'autres chattes à fouetter, en quelque sorte...

But talking about Kate Winslet, we would also say:

Je me la ferais bien ou je me la taperais bien..

But if we can't take her, we would say : Il faut encore que je me la cogne..
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:20 am
@Francis,
Francis wrote:
On aurait d'autres chattes à fouetter, en quelque sorte...


Les chattes comestibles?
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:34 am
Contrex wrote:
Les chattes comestibles?


Evidemment, I don't care about the other kind..
0 Replies
 
 

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