Author Topic: English game (image)  (Read 94 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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English game (image)
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:23:09 PM »


(I found this on Facebook.)

Hmm, maybe the English language is unusually... flexible?
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: English game (image)
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2019, 04:43:00 PM »
I have read in years past that there are more than twice as many words in English and the language with the next largest vocabularly, German.  If true, this would imply English is unusually flexible. 

Offline Ron Obvious

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Re: English game (image)
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2019, 06:04:14 PM »
It isn't so much the huge vocabulary, it is indeed the unusual flexibility of word order that English allows.  You can literally insert the word "only" anywhere in that sentence and the meaning shifts subtly. In each case, there's a huge amount of implication that isn't explicit but is nevertheless clearly there. I can't think of another language where that also applies to the same extent.

E.g. "She only loved him."  Impl. She loved him, but doesn't much like him and really doesn't want much to do with him. Maybe this is a mother talking to her son who has made a mess of his life and has hurt people.  Each variation tells a different story.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 06:22:02 PM by Ron Obvious »

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Re: English game (image)
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 06:11:25 PM »
It mostly works in French, for a direct translation of the sentence above (Elle lui a dit qu'elle l'aimait). Only one spot doesn't work; you can't stick it in between the object and the verb.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: English game (image)
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 09:12:20 PM »
"She saw me."

Who saw you?

"She saw me."

Did she see you or hear you?

"She saw me."

Whom did she see?

"She saw me."
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