What is there, what is there not

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sun May 26 12:25:41 UTC 2002


My favorite of these is the Polish:

Greeting: "How are things flying?"

Response: "Everything plays."

Probably also now old-fashioned.


>My immediate reaction was the same as Allan's, that this is a calque on
>Turkish "Ne var, ne yok?", used as a common greeting among acquaintances,
>and thus pragmatically parallel to "What's up?", recently reincarnated as
>"Whassup?". I wonder how many other languages in the area use this same
>However, a Turkish student of mine recently told me that this is now
>old-fashioned, and the newer "in" expression is "Ne haber?" = "What news?"
>i.e., "What's new?"

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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