Loses Something -- But Not Color -- In Translation: "A Real Boom"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 6 22:53:01 UTC 2008

Doug writes:

"... fathering seven children _with_ her ..."

<Sigh!> What ever happened to those days of yore when a man fathered a
child _upon_ a woman? It seems that the more recent term loses a lot
WRT descriptiveness. :-)


On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 10:24 AM, Doug Harris <cats22 at frontiernet.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Doug Harris <cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET>
>  Subject:      Loses Something -- But Not Color -- In Translation: "A Real Boom"
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  An Associated Press story about Josef Fritzl datelined May 4 from Amstetten,
>  Austria includes the following paragraph:
>      Graf said he sometimes met
>  Fritzl for business dealings, and
>  the pair would share a beer. "He
>  told jokes, not always the clean-
>  est," Graf said. "We laughed loud,
>  a real boom."
>  --
>  Perhaps the phrase "a real boom" is Austrian vernacular. Perhaps it was
>  simply a turn of phrase employed by this speaker. But it sure doesn't
>  seem to have an currency in English, at least not the American version.
>  However, that said, it _is_ an interesting variation on the AE "a real
>  card" (if anyone says that anymore) or "a real clown" or perhaps "a real
>  loudmouth".
>  --
>  Oh, and for anyone who isn't aware: Fritzl has admitted effectively
>  kidnapping his daughter a couple of decades ago, keeping her locked
>  in a basement and fathering seven children with her in the intervening
>  years. Coincidentally, this is the third such someone-locked-away-for-
>  years case to have emerged in Austria in the past few years.
>  dh
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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