LINGUIST List 3.84

Tue 28 Jan 1992

Disc: Usage, Etymologies

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. ,
  2. Monica Macaulay, Use of "way"
  3. Brian D Joseph, Re 3.75 on major
  4. Pascal Vaillant, "OK" a Wolof word ?
  5. "Norval Smith, RE: 3.78 Queries: Speech Synthesis, Errors, Celtic Etymology

Message 1:

Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1992 11:06 EST
From: <>
Subject:
 <SDFNCRritvax.isc.rit.eduSubject: but

The posting on Australian usage, "We got in trouble. We had a great time but"
is just like what you find in Hawaiian English (I'm being deliberately vague
about the status). The "but" is unstressed, and could be translated as
"though." Another postposed conjunction in Hawaiian English is "aswai"
(<--- that's why), as in an invented example like "I don't like it aswai" =
'Because I don't like it.' This conjunction also occurs in nonstandard
British English (It was used in one of the first episodes of "Poldark" on
Masterpiece Theater by Demelza).
Susan Fischer
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Message 2: Use of "way"

Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 00:11:52 -0Use of "way"
From: Monica Macaulay <macaulayj.cc.purdue.edu>
Subject: Use of "way"

Re: Way

Two nice examples of "way" - the first from my brother (age 26)
and the second reported by a student of mine:

1. They were way toast

(This is approximate; I know he said "way toast" but I'm not sure
if it was "they were" or "were gonna be" or what...) (Oh, you don't
know what it means to "be toast"? It means to be physically hurt
doing some dangerous activity, like skiing or skateboarding.)

2. From my student Karin Evans:
I had friends visit [Lafayette, IN] from Chicago this weekend, and when
they got off the train downtown in the middle of the street, they
said, "Wow, this is *way* Indiana."

(Lafayette doesn't have a train station; passengers just get off in the
middle of 5th street. There used to be a store that stayed open so you
could wait inside it for your train, or for someone getting off the train,
but it went out of business.)

- Monica
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Message 3: Re 3.75 on major

Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 12:39:00 ESRe 3.75 on major
From: Brian D Joseph <bjosephmagnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>
Subject: Re 3.75 on major


My two sons, ages 11-and-a-half and 6-and-a-half respectively, both use
the word "majorly" as an adverb in roughly the same contexts as "major"
and "big time" were discussed in this forum. At first I thought it was
a reinterpretation of "major league" used as "big time" is used, but
have realized it probably just involves the productive adverb-formation
process applied to "major". My impression is that my younger son uses
it more than the older, for what it is worth.

--Brian D. Joseph (bjosephmagnus.acs.ohio-state.edu)
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Message 4: "OK" a Wolof word ?

Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 16:21:23 +0"OK" a Wolof word ?
From: Pascal Vaillant <vaillantmikonos.alcatel-alsthom.fr>
Subject: "OK" a Wolof word ?

> Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1992 13:26 EST
> From: Herb Stahlke <00HFSTAHLKELEO.BSUVC.BSU.EDU>
> ...
> Dalby proposes Wolof sources for the following American
> English words:
>
> English Wolof
> ...
> OK waw kay "all right, certainly"
> ...

This is funny ; I had already heard of two other fancy etymologies for
the word "OK", one of them dating back to the civil war ("0 Killed" on
the daily reports), the other to the time of the French customs in Louisiana
(French "Au quai" ...)

Pascal Vaillant.
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Message 5: RE: 3.78 Queries: Speech Synthesis, Errors, Celtic Etymology

Date: Tue, 28 Jan 92 15:17 MET
From: "Norval Smith <NSMITHalf.let.uva.nl>
Subject: RE: 3.78 Queries: Speech Synthesis, Errors, Celtic Etymology

Etymology of Arran/Avalon

Without having my copy of Watson's Celtic Placenames of Scotland to hand,
I can categorically state that the name of the Scottish island of Arran is
completely unrelated to that of the Isle of Avalon, which is in Southern
England (nowadays!) anyway.
Norval Smith
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